Critically acclaimed Rod Steiger plays Sol Nazerman, a Jewish pawnbroker who survived imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, even though his wife and family did not. The devastating experience and unrelenting memories inhibit Sol from emotional involvement with life. He has no faith in religion and less in mankind. Though he carries on an affair with a woman who was also a victim of the Nazi camps, it is without emotion and Sol grows increasingly bitter and callous, withdrawing still further from the world around him. As his small shop in Harlem is run with little care or attention, it becomes a convenient cover for a local racketeer. Finally, a caring social worker tries to appeal to his humanity, but Sol's emotional wounds may prove to be too great to overcome. Based on a book by Edward Lewis Wallant, The Pawnbroker features the skilled camera work of Boris Kaufman, who had previously worked with director Sidney Lumet on films such as 12 Angry Men (1957) and Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962). The score is composed by Quincy Jones, who would contribute to Lumet's 1978 musical, The Wiz.