The Juggler (1953) is a drama film about a survivor of the Holocaust, played by Kirk Douglas. The screenplay was adapted by Michael Blankfort from his novel of the same name.
After World War II, a German named Hans Müller (Kirk Douglas) is one of a shipload of Jewish refugees who debark at Haifa in 1949. Like many other concentration camp survivors, Hans has psychological problems, including survivor guilt. At one point, he mistakes a woman and some children for his murdered family.
At the first opportunity, he sneaks out of the refugee camp and goes into the city. When he spots a policeman, Hans reacts by fleeing. The policeman chases him down and begins questioning him. He becomes very agitated and attacks, leaving the man unconscious in the street. Hans flees and ends up sleeping in the countryside, where he is found by a teenage orphan Sabra, Yehoshua “Josh” Bresler (Joey Walsh). Hans pretends to be an eccentric American, out to see Israel firsthand. Josh offers to be his guide. During their journey, Hans reveals that he was a professional juggler; Josh persuades him to pass on his knowledge. Meanwhile, police detective Karni (Paul Stewart) sets out to track the fugitive down.
On their journey, Josh is injured when he wanders into a minefield. He is taken to a hospital at a nearby kibbutz; fortunately, he has only broken his leg. While Josh recovers, Hans becomes acquainted with one of the residents, Ya’El (Milly Vitale). They are attracted to each other, but he at first strongly resists her attempt to persuade him to remain at the kibbutz. He reveals to her that he had ignored warnings from friends to flee Nazi Germany before it was too late, making the fatal mistake of counting on his fame and popularity to protect his family. Gradually, however, he begins to settle in.
Karni finally tracks Hans down and tries to take him into custody. Hans panics again and barricades himself in Ya’El’s room with her rifle, but Ya’El and Karni get him to admit he needs help and to give himself up.