Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)

PG   |    |  Comedy


Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975) Poster

Sheila Levine is a Jewish-American princess and a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. An innovative, bright, but painfully introverted individual, she comes to New York City with her mother... See full summary »


6.5/10
204

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  • Roy Scheider and Jeannie Berlin in Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)
  • Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)
  • Jeannie Berlin in Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)
  • Roy Scheider and Rebecca Dianna Smith in Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)
  • Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)
  • Sheila Levine Is Dead and Living in New York (1975)

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2 June 2016 | steven_torrey
10
| A classic ...
This is one of those under rated movies that really is a classic in disguise. Like "Penny Serenade" or "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." Jeannie Berlin (as Sheila Levine) recites her lines in a stylized Jewish manner, just as Frank Sinatra did in "Guys and Dolls" to create that sense of identity that Damon Runyon intended for Nathan Detroit. So too Jeannie is Jewish and the movie is not about 'female' but Jewish. And all that female Jewish implies. Sheila, like George Costanza, a nebbish and charming for all that.

She falls in love with Sam (played by Roy Scheider), the Doctor, who hates himself for performing an abortion. But Sam the Doctor has a wandering libido and is not ready to stop philandering.

Like so many picaresque novels and films that unfold over a period of time, various and sundry adventures and mishaps occur before the denouement. (Girl gets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy...) It is a quintessential New York story for those who like quintessential New York stories.

I didn't find Vince Canby's objections relevant; he seems to have missed the whole point of the movie as a Jewish story. If the viewer misses that, then an important part of the story is lost.

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