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The Juggler

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The Juggler (1953) starring Kirk Douglas, Milly Vitale, Joseph Walsh
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The Juggler (1953) starring Kirk Douglas, Milly Vitale, Joseph Walsh

The Juggler is a powerful, touching story of a Holocaust survivor. Once a world-famous juggler, he’s made his way to Israel. He blames himself for the deaths of his wife and child in the Nazi death camps.


In short, The Juggler is a powerful, touching movie. It’s the story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, who makes his way to Israel. But his guilt, and paranoia, make his life even more difficult.

It’s a truly great movie, with great performances by all involved. I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.


  • Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life) … Hans Muller. Clearly a man with PTSD. Once a world-famous juggler, he thought his fame would protect him from the Nazis in Germany. Instead, he & his family were sent to the Nazi concentration camps. They died there, but he lived. He has survivor’s guilt, and an absolute aversion to authority. When he’s running wildly, a police officer wants to see if he’s alright. Hans assaults him, putting the man in the hospital. And causing Hans to run.
  • Milly Vitale (The Seven Little Foys) … Ya’El. The lovely young lady, who sees through Hans’ rough exterior. And sees the hidden value of the man within.
  • Paul Stewart (Citizen Kane) … Detective Karni. The detective, who chases Hans after the assault on the police officer. With the tenaciousness of a bloodhound.
  • Joseph Walsh (Hans Christian Andersen) … Yehoshua Bresler. The young man whom Hans hires to take him through the back roads of Israel. Along the way, Hans teaches him juggling. He wants to become Israel’s first great juggler.
  • Alf Kjellin … Daniel
  • Beverly Washburn (Old Yeller) … Susy
  • Charles Lane (The Invisible Woman) … Rosenberg
  • John Banner (36 Hours, Hogan’s Heroes) … Emile Halevy. The only eyewitness to Hans’ assault on the police officer.
  • Richard Benedict (It! The Terror from Beyond Space) … Police Officer Kogan
  • Oskar Karlweis (5 Fingers) … Willy Schmidt.

Editorial review of The Juggler courtesy of

A once-famous juggler who survived after losing his family in the Nazi death camps, Hans Muller (Kirk Douglas) is just one of the thousands of refugees who have come to Israel following World War II. Confused and disoriented by his new surroundings, he instinctively attacks a police officer who asks to see his papers before fleeing into the countryside, landing at a kibbutz where he falls in love with Ya’El (Milly Vitale), a young farmworker who’s committed to helping get the new Jewish state on its feet. But when he’s tracked down by a detective (Paul Stewart),fearing a return to prison, Hans barricades himself inside a cottage, forcing Ya’El to convince him to come out and face the truth. Newly remastered.

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