An American Pickle, HBO Max, Point Grey Pictures, Gravitational Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Max

Ditch Digger

HBO Max original film An American Pickle dropped last Friday August 7, 2020.

#AnAmericanPickleis HBO Max’s first feature / is based on NYT literature.

rottentomatoes: 74%

metacritic: 58

imdb: 5.8



Herschel Greenbaum, An American Pickle, HBO Max, Point Grey Pictures, Gravitational Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Max, Seth RogenHerschel Greenbaum

Herschel and Sarah Greenbaum emigrate to the United States outside of 1919 Schlupsk, Poland.


Herschel Greenbaum, An American Pickle, HBO Max, Point Grey Pictures, Gravitational Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Max“In old country of Schlupsk, I am ditch digger.  It is not always great.  Life is difficult.  But then one day, Hashem gives me a miracle.  Her name is Sarah.  She is strong and she has all her teeth, top and bottom.  I decide at once to woo her.  So… do you come here often?  Wooing fails, but I am determined to win her.  Every day, I dig twice the ditch.  It is greatest summer of my life.  We have so much in common.  Her favorite color black.  My favorite color black.  Her parents murdered by Cossacks.  My parents murdered by Cossacks.  I notice nice little thing about her.  She always sneeze same way.  Is adorable.  Sometimes, when we want to be alone, we go to very special bog.  We tell each other our hopes and dreams.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“I promise!  How rich?  Whoa!  Someday, before I die… I would like to try… …seltzer water.  To feel the bubbles tickling my tongue.  I know a way for us to reach our dreams.  Together.  We have wedding in front of whole town.  Hashem blesses us.  We are attacked by Cossacks.  Bloodthirsty, Jew-hungry, Russian maniacs drunk from vodka.  The Cossacks destroy our whole world.  But… we the Greenbaums.  We keep fighting till we have American dream.  Compared to Cossacks, Americans very kind.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“I find a good job in pickle factory.  A good Jewish business.  The foreman will not let me mix salt.  Or sort cucumber.  But he says I can chase rats with club and he will pay nickel for every ten Herschel smash.  It is not dream job.  But I am grateful for chance to prove my worth.  Some things still out of reach.  But over time we work and save.  I grant Sarah’s wish.  A beautiful Greenbaum family plot for us to share.  Forever.  Then Hashem gives us biggest miracle of all.  So one night to Sarah I make this vow.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“Our child will be strong.  And our child’s child will be strong.  Our family will prosper.  And in 100 years, the Greenbaums will be powerful.  Successful.  The strongest in the land.  And then one day, everything changed.  The scientist explains.  His logic is good.  It satisfies everyone.  But… I’m very sad.  The world has changed.  Everything I know is gone.  And… …everyone.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“You will check again.  You will check again.  My Sarah is gone.  Our child is gone.  I have nothing.  Then I get some great news.  I have family?  Thank you.  I am so excited I forget all my misery.  Even though I have not met this Ben I can see him in my mind.  He will be just like how I vowed to Sarah, powerful.  The strongest in the land.  Greenbaum.  Greenbaum.  Greenbaum.  Greenbaum!  Greenbaum!  Very crazy.  Very much.  So he’s gonna stay with me for a bit.  Yeah.  Thank you.  All this yours?  I do not want to be burden to you.  Neither did I.  ‘Kombucha?’  Is fine.  They inject drink into my arm in hospital.  I am fine.  You have seltzer.  ‘Cartridge.’  Press button.  You’ll let me press seltzer button?  The bubble.  L’chaim.  Ooh!  Crazy.  It’s a lot.  It’s a little much.  Yes.  It’s a good song.  It’s okay.  It’s okay.  I watch you dance.  Hey.  They are couple?  Hmm?  You have legs.  You do not need this thing.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“How many pairs of shoes you own?  Seven.  How many sock?  Twenty-five socks!  Twenty-five.  You only have two feet, right?  Ben Greenbaum.  Owner of 25 pair of sock.  Tell me, what is it you do for job?  Wait, let me guess, you’re a doctor.  No, you’re a lawyer.  What?  A magic rectangle.  You make this?  How long has meat been dead for?  They do?  ‘Boop Bop?’  Why Boob Bop?  You work for five years.  How come you no sell?  Is this your father?  Is this your mother?  You kept.  Who is this?  ‘Mort?’  Sarah had son.  How was his life?  Was he success?  A foreman?  Who is this?  He was also foreman?  Accountant.  This his wife?  Who is this very shapely young woman here?  These are your parents.  Where are they?  I’m very sorry.  Murdered or regular?  So, regular.  You will tell me everything of their death so I may bear witness to your grief.  How their bodies died, their faces as the life left.  Be very specific.  Spare no detail.  We will bond over our pain.  No detail too small.  We will go to cemetery now.  Visit Greenbaum family grave, pay our respect to dead.  All right.  But now we go to shul, we say Mourner’s Kaddish, prayer for dead.  Must properly honor memory of Sarah, Mort, your parents.  What is problem?  You do not know Mourner’s Kaddish?  How do you grieve for dead parents if you do not say prayer for dead?  I do not understand.  You were raised Jew.  Are you not still Jew?  It’s not like I was that religious in the first place.” — Herschel Greenbaum

“Praise Hashem, there is still beautiful Greenbaum plot.  Very special place.  Very special.  Tell me, how high is elm tree now?  100 feet?  200 feet?  When last time you come?  Wait.  It’s this way.  This way!  Sweet Hashem.  You let them put garbage.  And you let them put huge sign block out sun and kill tree!  Sarah.  We will pray.  What?  What it say?  Vanilla-flavored… …vodka?  Cossacks.  Cossack!  You will take down vanilla vodka… or I will do violence.  You will take down vanilla vodka… or I will do violence.  Yes!  Come on!  Come on!  Ben!  Ben!  Come on!  You can never stop the Greenbaums!  You will never stop the Greenbaums!” — Herschel Greenbaum

“We must go back to grave.  We will cut down Cossack billboard.  Okay.  We must purchase billboard from Cossack, which I do not like, and then we cut down billboard.  Why are you being so difficult about this?  You have moneys?  Your parents leave you moneys?  You have all this, so you have moneys.  How much moneys you have?  It’s not my fault!” — Herschel Greenbaum


Sarah Greenbaum, An American Pickle, HBO Max, Point Grey Pictures, Gravitational Productions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Max, Sarah Snook

Sarah Greenbaum

“No.  Food is expensive and I am destitute.  Promise not to laugh?  Sometimes I imagine that I work hard, and save, and become rich.  Like ‘afford my own gravestone’ rich!  What is your dream?  Oh.  If people heard us talk like this, they would say we’re crazy.  How?  Together.” — Sarah Greenbaum


Ben Greenbaum

“Oh, I’m sorry.  Excuse me.  Yeah.  Greenbaum.  Greenbaum!  All right!  This is nuts.  It must be so crazy for you.  Crazy for me, too, man.  Are you allowed to leave?  Do you wanna come back to my apartment?  All right.  Let’s go.  Yeah, I got him.  I’m his great-grandson.  Take it in.  Cool, huh?  It’s a scooter.  They’re actually pretty fun.  Anyway, I can’t wait to show you, like, the future.  There’s so much cool shit, man.  You’re gonna love it.  It’s cool, man.  It’s a cab.  It’s gonna take us back to my apartment.  Hop in.  It’s all right.  Oh, yeah, crawl in.  There you go.  You got it.  We’re going to Brooklyn, please.  Thank you.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Here we are, man.  Home, sweet home.  Hey, check this out.  Alexa, lights.  Pretty cool, huh?  Yeah.  I mean, I don’t own it or anything like that.  I do live here by myself.  I work from home, though, a lot.  It would be nice, honestly, to have someone around.  So you can stay here as long as you want.  It’s not a burden, Herschel.  At all.  I mean… I’m amazed you’re alive.  I really never thought I would get a chance to meet another Greenbaum.  So… you must be thirsty.  I mean, you were brined, for, like, a century.  And there’s salt in brine, right?  So you must be pretty parched, to say the least.  Can I get you something drink?  Macadamia milk?  Or there’s cashew milk.  I got pea milk.  They’re milking peas now.  They’re milking everything nowadays, dude.  You name it, they’re milking it.  I got mint tea.  I have kombucha.  Yeah.  It’s fermented… stuff.  Honestly, I don’t even know.  Tastes nasty.  But it’s very healthy.  Would you like some?  Fair enough.  There must be something I can get you.  Would you like some seltzer?  Oh, I got seltzer for days, son.  I got a whole seltzer machine.  It’s pretty cool, actually.  Ya just fill this up there.  That’s it.  You put in the cartridge.  And you just press that button.  Makes you seltzer.  Exactly.  You wanna press it?  Yeah.  It’s a pretty big deal, but we’re family.  So you can press the seltzer button.  Knock yourself out.  Yeah!  There you go!  You’re seltzering.  Pretty cool, huh?  So many bubbles.  Well… one for you.  And one for me.  Cheers.  Yeah.  Lots of bubbles.  This must be very overwhelming for you.  But I think you’ll find there’s actually, like, some pretty cool stuff about the future.  Oh, yeah.  Exactly.  Not just that.  Uh, I know what else you might like.  You like music, right?  Watch this.  Alexa, play… oldies.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Pretty cool, huh?  It’s a stereo, and it plays music from the internet.  It comes through these speakers.  Pretty good, huh?  Here, check it, check it, check it.  No, I’m lip-syncing.  Get in there.  Get in there, man.  Get in there.  I’m a very good dancer for my time.  Come on.  Get in there.  Come on.  Get in there.  I know you want to.  Yeah.  Oh, there you go.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Brooklyn’s probably changed a lot since you last saw it, I would imagine.  Good Pizza. huh?  Yeah, yeah.   Interracial couples totally cool now in parts of the country.  Yeah, check it out.  Twinsies.  Good, huh?  Kosher, too.  This is a scooter.  That is a weirdly inappropriate thing to say.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Um, like seven, maybe?  I have like 20, 25 pairs of socks.  It’s a lot of socks.  No, it’s just these.  It’s pretty normal for today.  No.  Close.  Freelance mobile app developer.  It’s easier if I show you.  Here, come on.  You’re gonna think it’s dope.  Which mean’s ‘good.’  Check it out, man.  Go.  No, I didn’t invent the iPad.  I wish I did, though.  But let me ask you this, before people buy something what’s something they wish they knew?  Yeah, that.  Also, they want to know whether or not the company they’re buying from is ethical.  Yes.  They do.  It’s called ‘conscientious shopping.’  It’s very popular.  My app makes it very easy.  All you do is, you scan a product.  And it tells you whether or not the company is ethical by analyzing its carbon footprint, its labor policies, and a bunch of other things and it gives you a score.  Check it out.  91.  These kale chips are gonna be extra delicious because I know how ethical they are.  Thanks to Boop Bop.  Boop Bop, yeah.  It’s called ‘Boop Bop.’  Um… you know, it’s kinda just like the trend, I guess, these days to give apps, like, silly names.  You know, Venmo, Hulu, Hipmunk and… you know, you might think it’s kinda silly.  But I’ve been working on it pretty hard for five years now, basically.  And once I sell this thing, I can finally, you know, start the next chapter, which is exciting.  It’s just… not ready yet.  I’m still finalizing some things.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Just really focused on getting it right, you know?  Make it perfect.  I think once it’s ready, though, I’ll have a pretty easy time selling it.  I went to school with this guy who works in venture capital.  And I’m pretty sure he’d be into it.  He said that they wanna hear the pitch as soon as it’s done.  But I’m still kind of noodling with the logo.  I mean, this mustardy one has really been growing on me.  I kinda wish it was mustardier, though.  No, that’s David Bowie.  No, that’s also David Bowie.  That whole poster’s David Bowie.  How come in this whole place you have so many things, but no pictures of family?  I have pictures of my family.  I just haven’t really, you know, like, framed them and incorporated them in my… design.  But I got that stuff right here.  Yeah.  I kept.  That’s… your son.  It’s Mort Greenbaum.  Yeah.  He was a foreman of a brick factory.  Yeah.  Uh… that’s Mort’s son.  David Greenbaum.  Your grandson.  He was an accountant.  Yeah.  Mm-hmm.  That’s me.  They passed away.  It was a car crash.  We don’t have to get into that right now.  You wanna get outta here?  Let’s go to Smorgasburg.  They have jackfruit nachos that are actually really good.  Actually, I’m not sure… I don’t think the cemetery’s open right now.  I think it was maybe supposed to rain.  So I guess weather permitting.  Yeah, I’m not… I’m not sure that’s something I want to do right now.  But I would be happy to walk you over there.  It’s not a problem.  I guess I understand why you’re a religious person.  That makes sense for someone from your era.  But I am not… I’m not very religious.  Not anymore, no.  I’m doing okay.  Yeah.  Technically.  I also had a Jumanji-themed bar mitzvah.  It’s not like I was that religious in the first place.  Also, like, organized religion is very regressive.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Yeah.  Something like that.  Probably.  I’m not 100% sure.  I don’t know, maybe like five years ago, or somethin’.  So been a little while.  Yeah, it’s not on our property.  There’s nothing we can do about it.  You okay?  What?  It’s an ad for vanilla-flavored vodka.  Hershel, what are you doin’, man?  Oh, shit.  No!  Stop!  Stop!  Fantastic.” — Ben Greenbaum

“Dude, if we do that, we’re gonna go back to jail.  So, no.  First off, the Cossacks don’t own it.  Second off, it’s owned by some giant billboard company.  It costs $200,000.  I can’t afford it!  I don’t have $200,000.  I have some money left, but I don’t have a lot left.  And I have a lot less now that I had to bail us out of jail, Herschel.” — Ben Greenbaum

Wedding

“Cossacks!”

Cossacks

“Jew!”

Ellis Island

“All right, let’s get these dumb Polacks outta here.  All right.  This way, you filthy Jews.  Let’s go.”

Street Vendor

“Get your seltzer water here!  Just one bright, shiny nickel.  Seltzer water.  Get your seltzer water!  Yeah, you, sir.  Seltzer water today?  It’s only one bright, shiny nickel for the men.”

Pickle Factory Foreman

“Attention!  This factory has been condemned.”

Brooklyn kid 1

“Damn it.  Dude, we’re never gonna find this, bro.  Let’s go!”

Brooklyn kid 2

“Shit.  No, it’s definitely this way.  Whoa.”

Omni-Crom Technologies

“Please!  Please!  Settle down.  Essentially, the pickle brine preserved him perfectly.  It’s been 100 years, but he hasn’t aged a day.  Please, let me explain.”

“I’m so sorry, Herschel.  We already checked the city records twice.  She wasn’t brined.  She’s been dead for 80 years.  We already checked.  Great news, Herschel.  It took a little bit of doing, but we were able to track down a living relative.  Yes.  A great-grandson.  And as luck would have it, he lives right here in Brooklyn and he’s exactly the same age as you.  His name is ‘Ben Greenbaum.’  And we’re contacting him right now.”

Media 1

“That’s impossible.  Oh, yes.  Absolutely.”

Media 2

“You don’t honestly expect us to buy that, do you?  What’s the science behind it?  It makes sense.  Very clear.”

Hospital Reception

“Bless you.”

Pedestrian

“Make way.”

Alexa

“Here’s a station for you.  Oldies.”

Brooklyn Pedestrian

“Hey, nice clothes.  Is that vintage?”

Construction

“Hey, guys!  Sorry, you can’t be there.  We’re putting up a billboard!  What?  Look, buddy, I don’t have time for–“

Brooklyn PD

“Your payment’s been processed.  You’re free to go.”


++

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