Hester Street [The Discovery of America]

Midwest Films, 1973. Draft script for the 1975 film. Copy belonging to actress Doris Roberts, who portrays Mrs. Kavarsky in the film, with her annotations, changes, additions and translations heavily notated in holograph ink and pencil. Here under the working title, " The Discovery of America." Laid in is one page notated in holograph pencil.

Based on the 1896 novella "Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto" by Abraham Cahan. The tale of Yankel Bogovnik's (Keats) immigration to America, where he has settled on the Lower East Side, like so many other Jews from Russia and the Pale of Settlement. Though he is raising money to send for his wife and son to travel from their homeland, he falls in love with a dancer named Mamie Fein (Kavanaugh). Nominated for one Academy Award.

An accurate depiction of the Jewish immigrant experience at the turn of the twentieth century, including the degradation of traditions and assimilation into American culture, though the struggle between the past and future is still reflected even in the film, when the characters themselves are speaking either English or Yiddish, depending on their audience. Indeed, this screenplay is heavily notated in Yiddish translations for the English dialogue.

Set in New York, shot on location there.

Red titled wrappers, with credits for screenwriter Joan Silver. Title page present, dated June 1, 1973, with credits for screenwriter Joan Silver, and author Abraham Cahan. 113 leaves, with last page of text numbered 108. Mechanical duplication, with pink revision pages throughout, dated variously between August 8, 1973 and August 23, 1973. Pages Very Good plus, wrapper Very Good plus bound with two gold brads.

National Film Registry.


[Book #141773]