Sophie’s Choice (1982)

Sophie's Choice (1982)

Taglines: There are still some things we have yet to imagine.

Sophie is the survivor of Nazi concentration camps, who has found a reason to live in Nathan, a sparkling if unsteady American Jew obsessed with the Holocaust. They befriend Stingo, the movie’s narrator, a young American writer new to New York City. But the happiness of Sophie and Nathan is endangered by her ghosts and his obsessions.

Sophie’s Choice is a 1982 American drama film directed by Alan J. Pakula, who adapted William Styron’s novel Sophie’s Choice. Meryl Streep stars as Sophie, a Polish immigrant who shares a boarding house in Brooklyn with her tempestuous lover, Nathan (Kevin Kline in his feature film debut), and a young writer, Stingo (Peter MacNicol).

Streep’s performance was acclaimed, and she received the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was nominated for Best Cinematography (Néstor Almendros), Costume Design (Albert Wolsky), Best Music (Marvin Hamlisch), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Alan J. Pakula). British company ITC Entertainment produced the film, and Universal Pictures distributed and released it.

Sophie's Choice (1982)

About the Story

In 1947, Stingo relocates to Brooklyn in order to write a novel and is befriended by Sophie Zawistowski, a Polish immigrant, and her emotionally unstable lover, Nathan Landau.

One evening, Stingo learns from Sophie that she was married but her husband and her father were killed in a German work camp and that she was interned in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Nathan is constantly jealous, and when he is in one of his violent mood swings he convinces himself that Sophie is unfaithful to him and he abuses and harasses her. There is a flashback showing Nathan with Sophie who is near death due to anemia shortly after her immigration to the U.S.

Sophie eventually reveals that her father was a Nazi sympathizer. Sophie’s wartime lover, Józef, who lived with his half-sister, Wanda, was a leader in the Resistance. Wanda tried to convince Sophie to translate some stolen Gestapo documents, but Sophie declined, fearing she might endanger her children. Two weeks later, Józef was murdered by the Gestapo, and Sophie was arrested and sent to Auschwitz with her children.

Nathan tells Sophie and Stingo that the research he is doing at a pharmaceutical company is so groundbreaking that he will win the Nobel Prize. At a meeting with Nathan’s physician brother, Stingo learns that Nathan is a paranoid schizophrenic and that all of the schools that Nathan had attended were “expensive funny farms.” He has a job in the library of a pharmaceutical firm, which his brother got for him, and only occasionally assists with research.

Sophie's Choice Movie Poster (1982)

Sophie’s Choice (1982)

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Peter MacNicol, Rita Karin, Stephen D. Newman, Greta Turken, Josh Mostel, Robin Bartlett
Screernplay by: Alan J. Pakula
Production Design by: George Jenkins
Cinematography by: Néstor Almendros
Film Editing by: Evan A. Lottman
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: Carol Joffe
Art Direction by: John Jay Moore
Music by: Marvin Hamlisch
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: December 8, 1982