Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974): Ted Kotcheff’s Jewish Drama Starring Richard Dreyfuss

Paramount (Canadian Production)

Richard Dreyfuss, right after appearing in George Lucas’s “American Graffiti,” and about to become a major star in a year (after Spielberg’s 1975 “Jaws”), gives a compelling performance as the titular Jewish hero, growing up in the 1940s in the Montreal ghetto, but determined to get out of there and rise up in the social ladder.
Ted Kotcheff’s drama is based on the memoirs of Mordecai Richler, who also co-penned the script with Lionel Chetwyn.
The supporting cast is excellent, especially Jack Warden, Randy Quaid, and best of all Brit Denholm Elliott as a pretentious director, who makes a movie about a Bar Mitzvah.
 
Oscar Nominations: 1
Screenplay (Adapted): Mordecai Richler, Lionel Chetwynd
Oscar Awards: None
 
Oscar Context:
 
The winners of the Adapted Screenplay were Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo for “The Godfather, Part II,” which also won Best Picture and Director.