Joan Micklin Silver

1935 –
Airing Crossing Delancey (1988) on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 9:15 PM on TCM

Silver’s debut film was the keenly observed immigrant tale Hester Street (1975). Made for under $400,000 and rejected by distributors, the black-and-white feature was eventually released and earned $5 million as well as a Best Actress Oscar nomination for Carol Kane. A few years later Silver directed Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979). The film was cut by the studio and the ending changed significantly. Despite this small setback, Silver would earn her first notable commercial success with Crossing Delancey (1988), the story of a love affair between a sophisticated New York literary type (Amy Irving) and a reticent Lower East Side pickle seller (Peter Riegert).

Silver directed Mary Tyler Moore and Robert Preston in the romantic comedy Finnegan Begin Again in 1985 and an episode of Prison Stories: Women on the Inside for HBO in 1991. She followed up with another film for HBO in 1992 starring Sissy Spacek (A Private Matter). Silver would go on to earn more critical praise for her remake of the 1960s Rod Serling drama In the Presence of Mine Enemies (1997), a drama about a Jewish family struggling during the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

Select Filmography

Hester Street (1975)
Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979)
Crossing Delancey (1988)
Big Girls Don’t Cry...They Get Even (1992)
A Fish in the Bathtub (1999)