Yentl: Costumes; Awards/Noms;
Premieres; Home Video

Yentl Costumes & Behind The Scenes

Streisand Yentl costume and wig

Above: Streisand/Yentl's apron and dress and her long-haired wig. Below: Another Yentl dress, this one used in several of the publicity photographs for the film.

Streisand Yentl dress costume Industry ad for costume oscar

Above: MGM took out an industry ad touting Judy Moorcroft for a Best Costume Design Oscar nomination for her work on Yentl. (She was not nominated, unfortunately.)

deco line

Below: An overhead view of a scale mode (approximately 30 by 21 by 16 1/2 inches) of the synagogue interior and exterior, constructed of balsa wood and cardboard. Streisand used miniature cardboard cutouts of the Rabbi, Cantors, and other congressional figurines to block the camera movements and placement in this scene. The full scale synagogue appears during the song “Where Is It Written?”

synagogue set model

Below: Streisand on the set.

Streisand directing on set Streisand directing on location

deco line

Yentl—Major Awards & Nominations
Best Art Direction (nominee)Tessa Davies
Leslie Tomkins
Roy Walker
Oscar (AMPAS)
Best Original Score (winner)Michel Legrand
Alan Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Oscar (AMPAS)
Best Original Song (nominee)"Papa, Can You Hear Me?" by
Michel Legrand
Alan Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Oscar (AMPAS)
Best Original Song (nominee)"The Way He Makes Me Feel" by
Michel Legrand
Alan Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Oscar (AMPAS)
Best Supporting Actress (nominee)Amy Irving Oscar (AMPAS)
Best Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical) (winner)Yentl (producers: Streisand, Lemorande, De Waay)Golden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Best Director, Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (winner)Barbra StreisandGolden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Best Actress, Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (nominee)Barbra StreisandGolden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Best Actor, Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (nominee)Mandy PatinkinGolden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Best Original Song, Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (nominee)"The Way He Makes Me Feel" by
Michel Legrand
Alan Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Golden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Best Original Score, Motion Picture Comedy/Musical (nominee)Michel Legrand
Alan Bergman
Marilyn Bergman
Golden Globe (Hollywood Foreign Press Association)

More nomination ads:

Music nomination ad

Patinkin nomination ad

Yentl Premieres & Press Conferences

Los Angeles Premiere
November 16, 1983

Peters and Streisand

Benefitting Women's Guild of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Yentl's Los Angeles premiere was at the Cinerama Dome. Stars who attended: Jon Peters, Gregory Peck, Michael Douglas, Bette Midler with Barry Manilow, Jane Fonda, Roddy McDowell.

Paris Press Conference
March 19, 1984

Bergmans and Streisand

The Bergmans and Streisand participated in a news conference at the Paris Grand Hotel.

Paris Premiere
March 21, 1984

Streisand at Maxims

While in Paris, Streisand was presented with the French Legion of Honor, La Croix D'Officier Des Arts Et Lettres by French Minister of Culture Jack Lang.

After the premiere, Pierre Cardin hosted a party for Barbra at Maxim's. European celebs like Placido Domingo, Charles Aznavour, Roman Polanski, Charlotte Rampling, Jeanne Moreau, and more joined Streisand at the Paris hotspot. Barbra wore a gorgeous 19th-century-style black lace dress.

Hamburg, Germany Press Conference
March 22, 1984

Placed in front of huge Yentl poster, Streisand answered questions for the German press in Hamburg.

Streisand faces press in Hamburg

London Premiere
March 29, 1984

Princess Alexandra and Streisand in London

Yentl received a Royal Charity Premiere benefitting the National Association for Mental Health. Princess Alexandra greeted Streisand.

London premiere dress auction

Streisand auctioned the cream crepe, silk gown and coat ensemble by Dior that she wore to the 1984 London premiere in 2004. (Barbra also wore this at the 58th Annual Academy Award Ceremony in 1986 where she presented the best director award to her friend, director Sidney Pollack, for Out of Africa.)

April 1, 1984

Israel after party

Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Samuel J. Lewis and Israeli dignitaries, the premiere was held at Shahaf Cinema in Atarim Square, Tel Aviv.

Related Link:

Reception & Oscar Snub

MGM press release

Streisand fans protest Oscars

Mad Magazine parody of Yentl

Yentl on Home Video

Laser disc and VHS of Yentl

Barbra's Yentl, for years, was only available in the now defunct laserdisc format and on VHS cassette.

But on February 3, 2009, fans were rewarded with a Director's Extended Edition of Yentl—complete with a load of bonus features and behind-the-scenes footage.

Yentl DVD cover

The Yentl Extended Director's Edition DVD is presented in widescreen with English Dolby Surround 5.1 sound. Special features include:

Disc One:

Disc Two:

Barbra participated in an interview to publicize the DVD in March 2009:

Though she made her directorial debut with 1983's "Yentl" -- the musical drama about a young Jewish woman who disguises herself as a man -- she was initially wary of taking on filmmaker duties for the cinematic adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story.

She even went as far as to have conversations with other directors about helming the project, including French director Claude Berri, who had made one of Streisand's favorite films, "The Two of Us," a touching drama about the friendship that develops between a Gentile and a young Jewish boy during World War II.

"I was frightened to do it myself," Streisand, 66, recently acknowledged. "But I had a vision of it. I was looking for a sign whether or not to direct it."

She found the inspiration at her father's grave. Emanuel Streisand, who was a scholar and teacher, had died when she was just 15 months old.

"I had never been to my father's grave -- isn't that interesting? -- until I was 39 years old," she said, adding that perhaps she had stayed away because it was too painful for her.

"I never had a picture with my father," she said. "When I came home my brother sent me the picture of my arm around the tombstone. And I think it was [producer] Rusty Lemorande who said, 'Oh, my God. Look at the picture."

In the photo, the tombstone next to her father's was for a person named "Anshel," the name Yentl takes when she becomes a man.

"That was the sign," Streisand said. "I have to direct it."

Earlier this month, the two-disc director's cut arrived on DVD.

The DVD features warm, engaging commentary from Streisand and Lemorande (her former assistant who produced the film with her), rehearsal footage that Streisand shot in Los Angeles from her own archives, two songs that didn't make the cut in the original movie along with the storyboards of the numbers, as well as some deleted scenes. It also features the 8-millimeter "concept film" that Streisand shot on location in Europe to sell the movie.

Based on Singer's "Yentl, the Yeshiva Boy," the film revolves around Yentl (Streisand), who lives in Europe at the turn of the 19th century and wants to be a scholar and study the Torah. But women then were not permitted to study. So after the death of her father, she disguises herself as Anshel to make her dream come true.

Problems ensue when she falls in love with a fellow student, Avigdor (Mandy Patinkin), who, in turn, is in love with a beautiful young woman, Hadass (Amy Irving). But her parents won't let him marry her, so Avigdor persuades Yentl to marry her.

After the film was released, Streisand, who co-wrote the script with Jack Rosenthal, became the first woman to win the Golden Globe for best director. The movie went on to win an Oscar for best original score, featuring the songs "Papa, Can You Hear Me?" and "The Way He Makes Me Feel."

Revisiting the film for the new DVD "brought back a lot of memories and the challenges of getting the film made," Streisand said. "We didn't have any money. We didn't have a video camera. I think it was an 8-millimeter film camera. When I would interview actors, I would also have them do scenes in front of my little 8-millimeter camera to see how they responded in front of a camera, whether they would be natural or freeze up".

Streisand bought the rights to the story in 1968, the year she made her Oscar-winning film debut in "Funny Girl." However, she was told that audiences didn't want to see her playing another Jewish character. But Streisand felt that it was a "universal story of the limits that are put upon a woman -- just because she wanted an education, she had to dress as a male. It was as simple as that."

Much like her character, Streisand said, she struggled with gender bias when trying to get the movie made. She hid the fact that she had co-written the script by not putting her name on it. "I was afraid if they saw my name on it, [people in Hollywood] wouldn't like it," she admitted.

Streisand even put the film's credits at the end of the movie, which was unusual back in 1983. "In those days, the credits of a film were at the beginning. And the reason I didn't put it on in the beginning is that I didn't want [audiences] to be prejudiced -- 'Oh, she directed it' -- and have them think about it. I think it was easier for women who weren't actresses" to become directors.

Order the Yentl DVD from

NEW! DECEMBER 2014: Twilight Time released Yentl on Blu-ray disc December 2014.

Yentl Bluray

Order the Yentl Blu-ray directly from Twilight Time/Screen


[ top of page ]

[ back to Streisand/Film main page ]

Navigate to other Streisand films using the jump menu below: