Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Rod Steiger
For a landmark film from one of the major American directors of the latter half of the 20th century, Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker seems to be woefully underseen and underappreciated. The first American film to deal with the Holocaust and a film credited with providing a chink in the armor that would lead to the dismantling of the Production Code, The Pawnbroker is a historically important film, but it's also an incredibly good one. A character driven film about the enduring trauma of the Holocaust told from the point-of-view of a survivor who has attempted to segregate himself from the rest of the world as a mode of protection against further pain, The Pawnbroker features one of star Rod Steiger's best performances (and earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor). An enthralling and emotionally wrenching film, The Pawnbroker is a film worth seeking out.