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Rod Steiger in Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker on BFI Blu-ray in August

18 July 2021

Oscar-nominated and a BAFTA winner for his performance, Rod Steiger firmly established his credentials as an actor of international standing in Sidney Lumet’s 1965 film, The Pawnbroker. Wonderfully supported by Geraldine Fitzgerald (Wuthering Heights) and Brock Peters (To Kill a Mockingbird), the film also boasts a score from the legendary Quincy Jones.

Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) is a survivor of the concentration camps, which took the lives of his wife and children. Managing a New York pawn shop, he is bereft of hope and takes refuge in condemnation of humanity while seemingly numb to the circumstances of the prostitutes, pimps and thieves that frequent his store. Yet there are those who strive to connect with him, even as their intrusion into his world threatens the protective cynicism within which he has wrapped himself for so long.

The Pawnbroker Dual Format temporary cover art

The Pawnbroker will be released on Blu-ray & DVD in a Dual Format Edition by the BFI on 16 August 2021 at the RRP of £19.99.


  • Newly recorded audio commentary by Maura Spiegel, author of Sidney Lumet: A Life and Annette Insdorf, author of Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust
  • Now and Then: Quincy Jones (1968, 21 mins): the legendary producer, musician, songwriter and composer is interviewed by Bernard Braden for a never-broadcast television series
  • The Guardian Interview: Rod Steiger (1992, 113 mins, audio only): Rod Steiger discusses his career and talks candidly about his mental health issues in this interview with film critic Tom Hutchinson. Recorded at the BFI's National Film Theatre following a screening of The Pawnbroker
  • Ten Bob in Winter (1963, 12 mins): Lloyd Reckord’s short film about the intriguing social dynamics that arise as a ten shilling note is passed around the Black community. Featuring a sparky jazz soundtrack provided by The Joe Harriott Quintet
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Stills gallery
  • *First pressing only* – illustrated booklet with new essays by Jim Hemphill, Laura Spiegel and Nicolas Pillai, notes on the extras and full credits

Pre-order from the BFI Shop here.