The chosen ones
|German title||The chosen ones|
|Original title||The Chosen|
|Country of production||United States|
Steven Douglas Brown
Ely A. Landau
|camera||Arthur J. Ornitz|
The film begins with excerpts from speeches by Adolf Hitler and American politicians. The action begins after the USA enters World War II in 1941: In Williamsburg , Brooklyn , American Jews live only a few meters away from each other and yet in other worlds. While some do not differ outwardly from the average American, others live in the isolated world of the Hasidim . All male Hasidim wear the same clothing: high-necked black suits, headgear and sidelocks . Danny and Reuven get to know each other at a baseball game between secular and Orthodox Jews. Both of them hate each other from the start. When Danny acts as a batter , and Reuven as a pitcher , Reuven throws the balls close to his head. Danny hits him in the face, causing an eye injury. Danny visits Reuven and apologizes to him. They both meet and become friends slowly, although both are very different. Danny is highly intelligent, gifted, and has a photographic memory. He studies the Talmud all day . However, he knows little about the American outside world. His father is an influential rabbi, and Danny is expected to become a rabbi as well. When the friendship solidifies, Reuven meets the father who wants to approve the friendship. Reuven is invited to a meal on Shabbat and gets to know the world of Hasidim, which is alien to him. Rabbi Saunders is kind but extremely strict, and he believes that no life is possible outside of Orthodox life. Reuven is intimidated and uncomfortable by the father's religious authority and mockery. Reuven later falls in love with Danny's attractive sister Shaindel. However, Danny immediately tells him that Shaindel is already taken. She is going to marry an Orthodox Jew. When Danny's and Reuven's father have different political and religious views, Danny's father forbids him further contact. Eventually, Danny's father gives in and allows Danny to go out into the world and lead a self-determined life. Danny takes off his Hasidic clothes and decides to go to college.
Chaim Potok plays in a cameo as a Talmud teacher.