TJFF 2019: Lemon Popsicle – Of Winners & Losers

May 10, 2019 | By

Before Porky’s (1981), there was Lemon Popsicle (!978), a teen sex comedy-drama made in Israel, starring a fine cast of young Israeli actors, directed by prolific writer-producer-director Boaz Davidson, and produced by future mini-empire builders, Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan.



As Davidson opines in Eric Friedler’s excellent documentary Lemon Popsicle: Of Winners and Losers (2018), the film was produced at a time of great optimism, and a determination to show everyday characters with a bawdy sense of humour, and provocative elements that helped make the film a major hit in Israel, Europe, and Japan.

Friedler (whose second film, It Must Schwing! The Blue Note Story, closes the 2019 Toronto Jewish Film Festival this Sunday) interviewed as many participants of the original and myriad sequels, and while it does fulfill nostalgia for a cult classic, the narrative expands to address a handful of sharp controversies.

Golan and Globus appear in the final third, and although responsible for getting funding, producing and selling the film abroad for millions of dollars, not unlike the two docs on the former Cannon co-founders and real-life cousins – Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014) and The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (both 2014) – they don’t come off so swell; business is business, but does it have to be so cold-hearted?

In addition to a review of Lemon Popsicle: Of Winners and Losers, I’ve added an examination of the original 1978 film which should really be on Blu-ray at this stage. Full HD remaster, original and alternate dub tracks, rare making-of footage, and perhaps Friedler’s doc. The rights issues (especially music) will be a complete nightmare, but someone should give it a go. Shout! Factory, perhaps?

Coming next: Alan Dwan’s weird little noir The River’s Edge (1957), new on Blu from Twilight Time.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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