American Pastoral

Synopsis: Seymour Levov, going by the nickname of 'Swede' in the Jewish community he was born into, was even more of an all-American than Douglas Fairbanks himself. He had just everything an American idol can dream of: not only was the tall muscular young man a high school star athlete but he married a beauty queen named Dawn in the bargain. And as if all this were not enough, Swede later became the successful manager of the glove factory his father had founded, which allowed him to live with his wife in a beautiful house in the New Jersey countryside. Well-mannered, always bright, smiling and positive, conservative but with a liberal edge, what bad could ever happen to him? And yet...this was reckoning without fate and its obnoxious irony, Swede and Dawn's nemesis manifesting itself in the person of Merry, their beloved daughter who in her teens unexpectedly turned into a violent activist.
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Ewan McGregor
Production: Lakeshore Entertainment
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
108 min

was won over.

In a few years, the Swede took over

the glove factory, built it up.

He commuted from the home

he and Dawn had made together

30 miles west of Newark,

out past the suburbs

in wealthy Old Rimrock,

where they were raising

the child they had,

a daughter, Merry.

Count! Where are you?




I hear him.

[Merry] Count! We're here!


Come on, Count.

[Seymour] Penny, Russ,

how are you doing?

- How's the family, Mr. Levov?

- [Seymour] Real good, thanks.

- You two have a good rest of your day.

- You, too, Mr. Levov.


[Nathan] Something was

smiling down on him.

This is the way I thought

it would always be.

[Merry] Daddy!

Life would open its arms

and he would carry all before him.

He was the Swede, after all.

- [Seymour] Hey,

- [Merry] Hey.

Won't you play the music

so the cradle can rock

To a lullaby in ragtime

Sleepy hands are creeping

to the end of the clock

Play a lullaby in ragtime...

Jerry Levov.

God, Nathan!

I didn't expect to see you here.

Well, I didn't expect

to see you either...

I was sure you'd find all this

sentimentality repellent.

Yeah, I do.

This nostalgia. Bullshit.

- You wanna find a spot?

- Sure.

So, why did you come?

[Nathan] Well, of all the forms

of bullshit available,

this was the most likely

to have unsettling surprises.

And you like

unsettling surprises?

I suppose I do.

Hey, did you see that display

they have for your brother?

Like I said,

I'm not one for nostalgia.

We were... I don't know,

we were probably ten,

and we went to watch

one of his practices.

He ran the ball and his teammates

took him down and they piled on.

And we were worried

for a second, you and I.

Worried about the Swede?

No, never.

No, we were,

because they took him down hard.

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Philip Roth

Philip Milton Roth (March 19, 1933 – May 22, 2018) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Roth's fiction, regularly set in his birthplace of Newark, New Jersey, is known for its intensely autobiographical character, for philosophically and formally blurring the distinction between reality and fiction, for its "sensual, ingenious style" and for its provocative explorations of American identity.Roth first gained attention with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, for which he received the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. He became one of the most awarded American writers of his generation. His books twice received the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle award, and three times the PEN/Faulkner Award. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel American Pastoral, which featured one of his best-known characters, Nathan Zuckerman, a character in many of Roth's novels. The Human Stain (2000), another Zuckerman novel, was awarded the United Kingdom's WH Smith Literary Award for the best book of the year. In 2001, in Prague, Roth received the inaugural Franz Kafka Prize. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "American Pastoral" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Oct. 2020. <>.

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