The New York ghetto, the daily life of which
throbs to the rhythm of music that is as old as
1. EXT. NEW YORK STREET LONG SHOT
It is a typical East Side business street at the height of the day's
activities, a street that is lined with pushcarts, sidewalk vendors and
little stores, with its milling shoppers, its petty marketing arguments,
its unkempt kids playing in the street heedless of consequences. In the
distance is seen an elevated train flashing across the background like
a comet across the sky.
2.MOVING SHOT SAME
A shot may be made from an auto or truck down the street showing the
teeming life of the ghetto. As the camera reaches a street intersection,
a half dozen kids come into the scene.
3.MED. SHOT KIDS (STUDIO STREET)
They are playing tag on the intersecting street which is given over to
tenements. There are no pushcarts and only a few stores in the basements
or ground floors of the buildings which house many thousands of ghetto
folk. The kids are attracted to something. They all look down the street
and then start running in the direction they have been looking. Some
little girls join them. (Vitaphone street piano, at some distance.)
4.EXT. SIDE STREET MED. SHOT
In front of a low brick building is an Italian with a street piano and
he is grinding out that always popular classic of the East Side, "The
Sidewalks of New York." The kids come into the scene and gather around
The Italian smiles as the children start dancing about. He looks
expectantly at the windows above him and nods pleasantly to someone up
above as he continues cranking the piano.
6.EXT. TENEMENTS LONG SHOT
Looking upward from the street piano. This may be a very effective shot.
In several of the windows women are looking down at the music-maker and
other heads appear in other windows. Several take deliberate aim and
toss coins to the street.
He holds out his ragged cap and expertly catches several coins without
once taking his hand from the crank of the street piano. The piece ends.
He pulls a little lever and starts turning on another selection -- some
old operatic favorite like the "Intermezzo" from Cavalleria Rusticana.
He starts moving down the street as he plays.
8.TENEMENT STREET LONG SHOT
As the street piano, still in operation, goes down the street, the group
of kids, now much larger, follows along. The Italian stops in front of
another building, which adjoins the Orchard Street synagogue.
9.CLOSE SHOT FRONT SYNAGOGUE
It bears the name, in Hebrew, of the temple. Several children get up on
the steps in front of the closed doors to listen to the music, which is
approaching. Next door is an old brownstone front, before which the
Italian stops. Underneath is a store, and in the flat over the store
live Cantor Rabinowitz and his family.
10.INT. ROOM IN SYNAGOGUE
Full shot of the little anteroom in which the rabbi holds school for the
children of the congregation and in which the cantor teaches the boys of
the choir the songs and chants of the orthodox -- the prayers set to
music that has been handed down for generations. Several boys are seated
on a bench beside a battered old square piano (one of the old square
Knabes may be obtained here). The sound of the street piano comes
through the open window, and the kids rush to the window. They no sooner
get to it and climb up to look out when the door into the room from the
synagogue proper slowly opens and the head of the venerable Cantor
Cantor Rabinowitz, who sang and taught the
youth of his congregation to sing the age-old
songs of Judea -- a man revered and respected
by all the ghetto.