Remembering Gene Wilder (Opening Night)

43rd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival Opening Night

Director Ron Frank, producers David Knight and Julie Nimoy, and participant Karen Wilder expected to attend

He was born Jerome Silberman to an assimilated Milwaukee Jewish family, and his childhood buddies called him Jerry—but the world would come to know Gene Wilder (1933 – 2016) as an endearing comic genius through an extraordinary string of film roles that seem to grow deeper, funnier and more humane with time: from the timid Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’ The Producers to the strange and magical title role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, from his inspired on-screen partnership with Richard Pryor in movies like Silver Streak to the comedy classics of Blazing Saddles, The Frisco Kid and Young Frankenstein. Now, in Ron Frank’s affectionate and touching biographical documentary, the full measure of Wilder’s gifts is on display, not only as a comedic actor but as a writer, director and a mensch.

Told in part through Wilder’s own voice (luckily he recorded the audiobook of his memoir, which serves as narration), Remembering Gene Wilder is a treat to watch with its generous helpings of film clips from across Wilder’s career. Yes there are the ever-fresh line readings (“Put…the candle…back”) and his manic physical antics (his pre-verbal meltdown when Zero Mostel’s Bialystok separates Bloom from his little blue blanket) -- but there are also uproarious outtakes from the set of Young Frankenstein and poignant home movies from his marriage to Gilda Radner. Get ready to binge-watch Wilder’s whole career—you’ll want to after seeing this tender and eye-opening tribute.

Thursday, July 20 · 9:00pm

The Green Room at the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center
401 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102

Following Remembering Gene Wilder, the party continues at The Green Room at the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center. Nosh on tasty treats and enjoy refreshments from our festival partners. Outdoor and indoor spaces provided.

Masks are strongly recommended at all SFJFF screenings and events when not eating or drinking. Proof of vaccination is not required to attend.

Film & Party: $65 JFI Members / $75 General Public

Film Only: $30 JFI Members / $35 General Public

Sponsored by Steven and Bunny Fayne


Release Year
Festival Year(s)
Running Time
90 minutes

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