The Chosen (1981)

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The Chosen (1981) is a movie version of The Chosen, in which two Jewish boys from opposite backgrounds (religious and secular) become friends. Reuven is pinch-hitting in a softball game when Danny hits the ball directly into his face, shattering his glasses and injuring his left eye. In the hospital, Reuven angrily rejects Danny's apology; at home, he reflects on the "gift" of health which he had always taken for granted.

Another day, Danny visits Reuven at home to talk with him. This time, he is invited in. He wonders aloud why he wanted to hit Danny with the ball. Reuven calls him weird. Danny hopes his eye will be better, and Reuven jokes about looking like Errol Flynn (who was then a popular actor). Danny has no idea who that is, although he can memorize 4 pages of Talmud in one day and demonstrates that he has total recall. He also has no idea who musician Benny Goodman is. The two boys are worlds apart.

Inspired direction and a superb script overcome a poor casting choice in the case of Robby Benson (Danny).