New York based independent international film distributor Film Movement returns home to make "Famous Nathan" available to the home-video market. This documentary about the legendary New York hot dog restaurant Nathan's Famous and the man behind that company hit VOD platforms in early August 2015 and is coming out on DVD in September 2015.
The following YouTube clip of the "Famous" trailer wonderfully showcases the heart and the humor that distinguish the film.
This labor of love by Lloyd Handwerker, who is the grandson of Famous founder Nathan Handwerker, is the end result of material that Lloyd has collected for 30 years. The jewel in this treasure trove of home movies and photographs is an audio tape of Lloyd's cousin interviewing Nathan. This true rarity is the only recorded interview by Nathan.
The wide range of the topics in the recording go from the early childhood of Nathan in Poland, the circumstances regarding his emigration to the United States, his operation of the business, and his retirement. Nathan's wife Ida regularly coming into the room to shout at her husband adds terrific unintentional humor.
These elements make Lloyd narrating "Famous" from the former office, which has shrine status, of his grandfather very apt. A tour of the desk drawers is a highlight.
The family aspects continue with discussions of the conflict between Nathan's father and uncle. Some of this information comes from "the horse's mouth" in the form of an interview with Nathan's father. These portions of "Famous" verify that these issues are universal regarding a family business.
Literally learning how the sausage is made makes a good case for becoming a vegetarian.
On a larger level, "Famous" awesomely portrays a nice achievement of the American dream. The film shows how a virtually penniless immigrant works very hard to build a multi-million dollar business that has a very positive reputation. We learn as well that this success is largely attributable to providing employees extreme generosity and kindness.
The most colorful of said employees is a counterman known for physically assaulting customers who offend him. Another profiled notable worker seems to provide fast food at light speed.
The end result of this recipe of love, well-deserved success, and good old-fashioned storytelling is the feel good summer hit of 2015. This coming in the form of a more "nutritional" product than its subject is a nice bonus.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Famous" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.