Stage Meets Screen: Yentl

Amazingly, it took until 1983 before Hollywood let a woman write, direct, produce, and star in a major motion picture. That woman had to be Barbra Streisand in order to do it, and it took her 15 years of fighting (and eventually agreeing to huge pay cuts and financial penalties) in order to get it done. At which point Yentl—a musical adaptation of a Isaac Bashevis Singer play about a woman who has to go to extraordinary lengths to get the same education as a man—became a box-office success, won Streisand a Golden Globe for Best Director… and was promptly turned, along with its writer/producer/star, into an industry punchline for the rest of the decade. It’s 2020, Streisand is still the only woman to have won a Globe for Best Director, and maybe it’s time to give Yentl the fair shake it’s almost never gotten. BOBBY ROBERTS