A powerful drama that focuses on Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), a middle-aged concentration camp survivor who lost his entire family to the Nazis and now runs a pawnshop in Harlem. His survival is a source of bewilderment and pain which has caused him to take refuge in misery and the condemnation of humanity. He is totally removed from the world of thieves and pimps that frequent his shop and displays no emotional vulnerability to the few people who try to penetrate his icy exterior. When his assistant Ortiz (Jaime Sanchez) sacrifices his own life for Sol during a robbery, the pawnbroker is finally confronted with the inherent goodness of the human spirit. Attacked at the time of its release for being anti-Semitic, anti-Black and pornographic, the film is also memorable for its innovative use of flashbacks to represent the disturbing flashes of Sol’s memory and the soundtrack composed by Quincy Jones. Also stars Geraldine Fitzgerald. Based on the novel by Edward Lewis Wallant.
Black and White