Crossing Delancey

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Crossing Delancey
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoan Micklin Silver
Written bySusan Sandler
Based onCrossing Delancey
1985 play
by Susan Sandler
Produced byMichael Nozik
CinematographyTheo Van de Sande
Edited byRick Shaine
Music byPaul Chihara
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • September 16, 1988 (1988-09-16)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million
Box office$16 million (United States)[1]

Crossing Delancey is a 1988 American romantic comedy film adapted by Susan Sandler from her play of the same name, and directed by Joan Micklin Silver.[2] It stars Amy Irving and Peter Riegert. The film also features performances from Reizl Bozyk, David Hyde-Pierce, Sylvia Miles and Rosemary Harris. Amy Irving was nominated for a Golden Globe for the film, for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical.


Isabelle Grossman works for a New York bookstore which supports authors through public readings. When Dutch-American author Anton Maes comes to the bookstore to give a reading, he shows an interest in Isabelle, who is enamored with the literary world that is very different from her strictly religious upbringing.

Isabelle pays frequent visits to her Yiddish-speaking Bubbe (grandmother), Ida, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Anxious for her granddaughter to settle down with a decent Orthodox Jewish man, Ida hires a marriage broker. Although enraged, Isabelle grudgingly allows the matchmaker to introduce her in Bubbe’s kitchen to Sam Posner.

At first Isabelle is dismissive of Sam, believing that the small business he owns, a street corner pickle stand, is too working class to provide the life she wants. Instead, she sets her sights on Anton and the New York City intelligentsia, but she also feels guilty for how rude she was to Sam. She tries to make it up to him by setting him up with her girlfriend Marilyn. In the process, though, she learns that Sam kept turning down the matchmaker because he was waiting for her to bring a photo of Isabelle; Sam has quietly had a crush on Isabelle from afar for many years. She is deeply touched, but it seems Sam has given up on her and starts dating Marilyn.

One day at a store book reading, Sam shows up, as does Anton. Isabelle leaves with Sam, and later agrees to meet him the next day at her Bubbe’s apartment.

After work the next day, however, she is sidelined by Anton and, believing that he is romantically interested in her, goes to his apartment. She discovers instead that the narcissistic Anton wants an assistant he can sleep with, not a real wife or girlfriend. A disgusted Isabelle rejects him and races to her grandmother's apartment, finding it empty with Ida sleeping on the couch. Heartbroken, she believes she has ruined her chances with the honest and caring Sam. As she cries, Sam enters from the balcony. The two finally are united and Ida, waking and having feigned senile dementia to keep Sam from leaving, laughs gleefully that her plan has succeeded.


This was Yiddish theatre star Reizl Bozyk’s only film role.


Crossing Delancey (original motion picture soundtrack)
Studio album by
ReleasedOct 17, 1988
LabelVarèse Sarabande
ProducerPaul Chihara
The Roches chronology
No Trespassing
Crossing Delancey (original motion picture soundtrack)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic link

Crossing Delancey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the soundtrack album to the motion picture Crossing Delancey, released October 17, 1988. Instrumental tracks were by Paul Chihara, and songs were performed by (and in some cases written by members of) The Roches.

Suzzy Roche of the Roches played Marilyn, a friend of Isabelle (Irving), in the film. The Roches provided several songs for the soundtrack. One of the songs that was featured in the film, Nocturne, is also featured on the group's 1989 album Speak. An earlier arrangement of their cover of "Come Softly to Me" is featured on their album Another World.

Track listing[edit]

  1. Come Softly To Me (credited to Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, and Gary Troxel)
  2. Lucky (written by Terre and David Roche)
  3. Anton's Theme
  4. Portrait Of Izzy
  5. Anton Again
  6. Come Softly To Me
  7. Sadness
  8. Pounding (written by Terre and Suzzy Roche)
  9. Lucky
  10. Portrait Of Anton
  11. Barber Shop
  12. Nocturne (written by Margaret Roche)
  13. True Love
  14. Pounding (Terre and Suzzy Roche)
  15. Happy Ending
  16. Come Softly To Me
  • Tracks 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 16 are performed by the Roches.
  • Tracks 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13, 15 composed by Paul Chihara
  • Track 11 composed by Sergei Prokofiev
  • All songs arranged and orchestrated by Paul Chihara


The film received positive reviews.[3][4][5] It currently holds an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 82 reviews.

One retrospective review from 2018 called Crossing Delancey "the ultimate Jewish rom-com" and a rare great story of "outwardly Jewish love".[6]

Box office[edit]

The film was a modest success, grossing 16-million dollars in the United States against a 4-million dollar budget. [1]


Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film Casting – Comedy Meg Simon and Fran Kumin Nominated [7]
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Amy Irving Nominated [8]


  1. ^ a b Klady, Leonard (January 8, 1989). "Box Office Champs, Chumps: The hero of the bottom line was the 46-year-old 'Bambi'". Los Angeles Times. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2013-03-26. Retrieved 2019-12-10.
  2. ^ Calling the shots : profiles of women filmmakers. Cole, Janis., Dale, Holly. Kingston, Ont.: Quarry Press. 1993. ISBN 1-55082-085-0. OCLC 39763692.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ Maslin, Janet (August 24, 1988). "Movie Review - Crossing Delancey - Review/Film; Learning to Appreciate a Mr. Right Who Sells Pickles and Tells Jokes". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  4. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 16, 1988). "Reviews: Crossing Delancey". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2024-01-05 – via
  5. ^ Benson, Sheila (April 14, 1989). "MOVIE REVIEW: 'Moonstruck' Glow Lights 'Delancey'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25. Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  6. ^ Silver, Stephen (2018-08-24). "'Crossing Delancey,' now 30 years old, was the ultimate Jewish rom-com". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Archived from the original on 2020-08-12. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  7. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Casting Society of America. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "Crossing Delancey – Golden Globes". HFPA. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2021.

External links[edit]