The Juggler

The Juggler (1953)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Release Date - May 11, 1953 (USA - Unknown), May 11, 1953 (USA)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Mark Deming

A man finds himself running from both the police and his own troubling memories in this drama. Hans Muller (Kirk Douglas), a German Jew, was once a well-known juggler before he was committed to a concentration camp; Muller survived, but his wife and children did not. After the war, Muller and many other displaced people found themselves in a temporary camp in Israel; his experiences have left him upset and confused, and several of the guards notice that he's behaving oddly. Muller flees the camp after one day, but while running away, he's stopped by Kogan (Richard Benedict), an Israeli policeman. When Kogan asks to see Muller's papers, he immediately flashes back to an unsetting memory in which a Nazi officer asked the same question; Muller panics, attacks the cop, and flees for Mount Carmel. In the morning, Muller encounters a group of children who believe the story he tells them: that he's a tourist from the United States. One of them, Yehoshua (Joseph Walsh), is making his way to a kibbutz in Syria, and Muller, who hopes to get to some friends in Egypt, joins him. Muller entertains the young man by teaching him to juggle, and they become close friends. When Yehoshua is injured by a land mine, Muller rushes him to a hospital, where he meets Ya'el (Milly Vitale), a woman who lost her husband to Arabs. A romance soon blossoms between Muller and Ya'el, and he confesses to her that he's on the run from the police; meanwhile, Israeli Detective Karni (Paul Stewart) is combing the nation, searching for the juggler -- not to arrest him, but to convince him that he's not wanted for murder, and that others want to help him. Michael Blankfort, who wrote the original novel upon which The Juggler was based, adapted the screenplay and also served as executive producer.



POW (Prisoner of War), America, Arab, attack, bitterness, camp, chase, child, concentration-camp, conflict, confusion, craziness, death, detective, escape, friendship, fugitive, Germany, help, high-rise, home, homecoming, hospital, house, husband, Israeli [nationality], Judaism, juggling, kibbutz, killing, knock-out, land, land-mine, lost, love, mental-health, Nazism, officer, overcome, performer, police, problems, psychiatry, refugee, secrets, sentimental, sleep, talent, teacher, torment, tourist, tracking [following], traveling, trial [courtroom], understanding, voyage, war, widow/widower, wife, woman, camping, life, man, will [document], youth