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First time seeing this movie, I had read and enjoyed the book in high school. Set and shot in Montreal, it's very much a Canadian film. Richard Dreyfuss looks so young here, and it's only a few years before he did "Jaws". There's also a very young Randy Quaid who recently go in trouble in Montreal. Worth a watch.
I didn't like it at all, I found it rushed, annoying and rather stale. Dreyfus put in a valiant effort but the dull storytelling made his portrayal seem out of place. The entire screenplay felt forged from the novel due to the fact that mordecai Richler was hired to screen write. I think in order for the film to reach a fresher standard, a new input is needed and more originality crafted.
Considered one of the greats of Canadian cinema, "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" is a modest effort from director Ted Kotcheff that details the rise and fall of a young Jewish kid whose aspirations and greed end up cutting him off from his friends and family. One of the reasons why "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" is so successful is because of how it remains indifferent to the actions of its titular character, never showing him in a negative light even when it's clear that what he's doing isn't exactly morally sound. The performances are all brilliant, especially from Richard Dreyfuss, Jack Warden, Barry Pascal and Denhom Elliot, and overall, the film is an exceptional tale of how greed can fulfill one's dreams while simultaneously destroying everything else in their lives.
While spot-on with the Jewish-isms that made the likes of Woody Allen and Philip Roth so legendary, the greatest strength of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is in it's main character. Richard Dreyfuss is indelible in the title role, playing the character both cool headed and blunder-prone. What a shock of an ending too, as while it's mostly happy, we do acknowledge that the protagonist has paid a price for his actions. A bit fragmented in parts due to the film's intentionally jumpy storyline, but for the most part whatever idea is in this film works tremendously.
Duddy Kravitz is a incredibly hard working, ambitious and inventive guy, and that would be great, except he is also a complete jerk, a terrible friend and morally repugnant. That, and I found the film boring, so yeah, you suck Duddy, but it was cool to see a young Richard Dreyfuss.
Duddy (Dreyfus) wants desperately to get a leg up in the wold. As he trawls for opportunities, he finds that a number of capitalist paradoxes limit his options. Receiving colorful, irreverently funny, but all-too-true pragmatic advice from mentors and questionable role models along the way, he hatches an ambitious but tenuous business model. To pull it off he will need guts, friends, and lot of luck. But here's the rub: Duddy, who has been learning and wrestling with ethical dilemmas faces his biggest test when he must decide whether to dive for the brass ring, or listen to his inner conscience.
The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, is both poignant and extremely hard hitting; A tragic comedy, the story delves into the manner in which Duddy's character changes as he balances priories between what is most important to him and what he wants most to achieve.
This interplay of what fate decides will be mutually exclusive goals is expressed via his altering relationships with the important people in his life. The essence of the story is conveyed by the way these relationships reflect his actions and evolving attitudes. With strong character performances, and some heavy cultural commentary, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz is an offbeat, comically honest movie that might not be easily produced today.
A great story, but a very dull presentation of it. Mordecai would roll over in his grave.
In way I liked it but it has disturbing vibes somehow - really hard to explain. There's lots of talking and Dreyfuss is great. It's not so often when the leading character is a good guy but still doing some morally bad things. Some tragic and surprising turns are making this movie memorable.
Poor Duddy Kravitz, finally gets his comeuppance. It's a Canadian classic, to be sure, but my somewhat lukewarm response to it has more to do with the characters than it does with how it's all put together. Well done, to be sure, but do I ever want to see it again? Probably not, no.
Decent Canadian Comedy/Drama.