“The result is a kind of sensory madness and torture that telegraphs perfectly the interior state of our sympathetic protagonist's mind.” - Kevin Maher, Times (UK)

“A brilliant cinema achievement. Directed with a sharp eye by Sidney Lumet, this is a film that holds you by the throat for its full two-hour running time, and a film you will not long forget.” - William J. Nazzaro, Arizona Republic

Saturday, June 8, 3:00 p.m. & Wednesday, June 12, 6:00 p.m. | In his mesmerizing Academy Award-nominated performance, Rod Steiger plays Sol Nazerman, a Jewish pawnbroker living in Harlem after World War II. A Holocaust survivor, Sol is haunted by his memories of the war and the death of his family. Embittered and numb to the world around him, including his desperate clientele and the scrum of humanity at his doorstep, Sol’s carefully constructed walls begin to crumble as his trauma overwhelms him. THE PAWNBROKER is one of Lumet’s most enduring and impactful works, an existential ghost story about guilt and memory that combines the power of Steiger’s performance with Lumet’s provocative eye for a film that remains as shocking as it was when it was released 60 years ago. Content consideration: contains disturbing imagery.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Best Actor in a Leading Role (Rod Steiger), Academy Awards
Winner - Silver Bear Best Actor (Rod Steiger), Berlin Film Festival
Nominee - Golden Bear, Best Film, Berlin Film Festival

Sidney Lumet CentennialSidney Lumet (1924–2011) was a director driven by stories of morality. Corrupt systems vs. brave protagonists, the worst of men pitted against the best, honesty in the face of hypocrisy—Lumet’s filmography reflects his dedication to championing what is true and what is just in this harsh world. To celebrate his centennial, we present 12 films by the Oscar-winning filmmaker, June 1–August 21View full series

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu