Synopsis: Set in 1951, the story follows Marcus Messner, the idealistic son of a humble kosher butcher from Newark, N.J. Marcus leaves for Ohio to study at a small, conservative college, where he finds himself at odds with the administration, grapples with anti-Semitism and sexual repression and pines after a troubled girl.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): James Schamus
Production: Likely Story
  4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min


[slow piano music playing]

Mrs. Anderson?


(Marcus, off) It is important

to understand about dying

that even though in general you do not

have a personal choice in the matter,

it is going to happen to you

when it happens to you.

There are reasons you die.

There are causes,

a chain of events

linked by causality,

and those events include decisions

that you have personally made.

How did you end up here,

on this exact day,

at this exact time,

with this specific event

happening to you?



[soldier shouts]



[thud on floor]

[singing in Hebrew]


May our mourners rise.

Today, we mourn the loss

of young Jonah Greenberg,

fallen in Korea,

fighting for his country,

at 19 years of age.

Moses Greenberg, please,

to recite the Kaddish.

[reciting in Hebrew]





[light chatter]


Yeah, sure.


Hi, Mrs. Greenberg.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Yes, Marcus.

You're such a clever boy.

Jonah, he always looked

up to you.

Maybe not such close friends.

But he respected.

We were teammates. He

was a really good guy.


He enjoyed.


Don't go into this war.

For your parents' sake.

You should be

a baseball star.

Don't go into this draft.

(Max) He's going to

college, Miriam.

They keep the ones in

college from the draft.

Such a clever boy,


A scholarship,

is that right?

Yes. In Ohio,

this college is.


how will you keep kosher?

(David) Only one thing worse than dyin'

by gettin' stabbed with a bayonet,

and that's dyin' by gettin' stabbed with

a bayonet when you're still a virgin.

And Greenberg

was definitely a virgin.

Yeah? I thought maybe you and Greenberg

had taken care of each other

before he shipped out.

Shut up, asshole.

So, when do you report?

Two weeks.

Ah, you'll be okay.

You're smarter than Greenberg.

Not as smart

as you.

[bell on door rings]

Mrs. Davidovich.

Two chickens?

Let me see. (Max) Of course.

Markie! Flick two chickens

for Mrs. Davidovich, will ya?

Turn them around.

Yeah. I'll wrap them for you.

So what will you do when this

one goes off next month?

(Max) The Mrs. will help.

Like the old days.

(Max) I can't keep him here

chopping meat like me.

I have to go see Gurevich.

You can close up early.

And bring home some

brisket for your mother.

I told you, Dad. I'm going out

with Davey and Sam tonight.

You didn't tell me.

I told you! We're going

to the pictures.

To the pictures.


I know what you boys are doing.

I heard from Mrs. Pearlgreen, about

that Eddie, going to pool halls.

Dad, I'm going to the pictures.

I told you.

I'm not Eddie Pearlgreen!

For Chrissake, I don't even

know how to play pool!

He took his father's car,

drove all the way to Scranton

to some special pool hall

they have there.

He bets, he gambles...

his father says he'll

be stealing cars next.

What does Eddie Pearlgreen

have to do with me?

Dad, I'm leaving

in less than a month.

You think I'm tempted

to steal cars?

[car horn honks]



Everything okay?

What's going on?

Your father.

What happened?

He went out.

Looking for you.

He was worried.

He's been talking to Artie Pearlgreen

again, it got him all riled up.

I think he smoked three packs of

cigarettes. Then he went. [sigh]

What's happening to him, Mom?

What's the matter with him?

He's crazy... he's driving me

crazy, he's driving you crazy.

It's your leaving.

It's all the boys dying,

Bennie and Abe in the last war,

now this new war, I don't know.

He's worried about you. He's

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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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    "Indignation" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 Jan. 2021. <>.

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