Hester Street (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hester Street (1975)

Hester Street (1975)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hester Street Photos

Movie Info

Gitl arrives in New York with her son to join her husband Jake, but whereas Jake has completely embraced America, his shy wife clings to her old country ways.
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
First Run Features

Watch it now


Carol Kane
as Gitl
Mel Howard
as Bernstein
Doris Roberts
as Kavarsky
Stephen Strimpell
as Joe Peltner
Anna Berger
as Poultry Woman
Eda Reiss Merin
as Rabbi's Wife
Sol Frieder
as Scribe
Leib Lensky
as Peddler
Robert Lesser
as Lawyer
Joanna Merlin
as Jake's Landlady
Lin Shaye
as Whore
Philip Sterling
as Mr. Lipman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Hester Street

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

It is just this short sightedness, this emotional skimpiness, that makes Hester Street a truly "little movie." It is not a matter of size, really, but of depth.

Full Review… | July 13, 2015
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Joan Micklin Silver displays a sure hand for her first pic.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Top Critic

An unimaginative camera and misty monochromes do little beyond conveying some self-conscious period recreation.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

There is nothing very original about Hester Street except its loveliness.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Hester Street is compromised by preciousness and oversimplification, but it makes a pleasant and efficient entertainment.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

I think Hester Street just gets itself into the 'don't-miss-this-tiny-gem' category. It is most notable for the contrasting beauty and performances of Carol Kane and Dorrie Kavanaugh.

Full Review… | July 13, 2015
The Spectator

Audience Reviews for Hester Street


A look at early "feminism" as we have the story of a woman trying to exceed traditional roles to embrace the lifestyle of a new country. This however is a dull rendition.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

This portrait of Eastern European Jews coming to America at the turn of Century is decent. A man comes to America and quickly adapts to the culture, and even begins to have an affair...so his life becomes decidedly complicated when his wife and child finally arrive. He neglects her for her old country ways, and changes their son's name to the more American Joey, and he continues with his affair. For it's small budget, it is a decent period piece with a fairly accurate portrayal of the plight of the immigrants that came to America at this time. It is almost strange to see Carol Kane in such a dramatic role, as I am so used to seeing her in zany comedy characters.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

Awkward in some places but still a fine film, perhaps the best I've seen to feature immigration in the Gilded Age.

Sean Chick
Sean Chick

Hester Street Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Hester Street on our Movie forum!

News & Features