Among the first releases in the new wave of independent films of the 1970s, writer/director Joan Micklin Silver's portrait of turn-of-the-century New York is also important for its unflinching look at women's issues. Russian Jewish immigrant Gitl (Carol Kane) joins her husband Jake (Steven Keats) in New York after he has gone ahead to establish himself. Jake has quickly assimilated many American customs, much to the dismay of Gitl, who clings to her Old World ways. Gitl's discovery of how Jake was able to finance her trip to America leads to more tension, and Gitl is soon on her own with few resources on which to draw. Although the film performed modestly at the box office, it was a sign of changing times when Kane
's quietly assured performance was nominated for an Academy award, a rare recognition by Hollywood of a film made outside the studio system.