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Overview for Stanley Kramer
Stanley Kramer

Stanley Kramer


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Also Known As: Died: February 19, 2001
Born: September 29, 1913 Cause of Death: pneumonia and complications from diabetes
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Producer ...


Moved to Hollywood after graduating from college
Worked for MGM as a scenery mover and as a carpenter
Worked briefly for MGM's research department
Worked in MGM's editing department for three years (dates approximate)
Joined a short film unit at MGM headed by Jack Chertok; worked as a production assistant
Was on the writing staffs at both Columbia and Republic Studios
Wrote for radio programs including "Big Town", a CBS program featuring Edward G. Robinson, and "The Rudy Vallee Show"
Was a production assistant on the feature, "So Ends Our Night", directed by John Cromwell
Was an associate producer of "The Moon and Sixpence", directed by Albert Lewin
Made training and orientation films for the Signal Corps during WWII, emerging as a first lieutenant
Established Screen Plays Inc with Sam Katz, Carl Foreman and George Glass as partners, acquiring the rights to the stories of Ring Lardner
Produced first film, "So This Is New York", based on Lardner's "The Big Town"
Scored first commercial success as producer with "Champion" (also based on a Lardner tale), which brought stardom to Kirk Douglas, Ruth Roman and Lola Albright and launched Mark Robson's career as an important director
Began addressing social issues with "Home of the Brave"
Production unit became the Stanley Kramer Company, committed to producing 30 films in five years for Columbia
Garnered first Academy Award nomination as producer of "High Noon"
Columbia bought out his contract before release of "The Caine Mutiny", reacting to heavy losses incurred by its predecessors; film earned Kramer an Oscar nomination
First film as director, "Not as a Stranger", a smash hit which critics decried as a trashy trifle
Helmed "The Defiant Ones", regarded by most critics as his best directorial effort; Kramer earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (as producer) and Best Director
Depicted the world facing nuclear destruction in "On the Beach", arranging for it to open simultaneously in 18 cities, including Moscow; the noted scientist and anti-nuclear advocate Linus Pauling speculated, "It may be that some years from now we can look back and say that 'On the Beach' is the movie that saved the world."
First of four movies with Spencer Tracey, the screen adaptation of "Inherit the Wind", about the 1925 Scopes' "monkey" trial
Returned to the courtroom with "Judgment at Nurenberg", a fictionalized account of the prosecution of German War criminals following WWII; Oscar nominated as producer (Best Picture) and Best Director
Turned to comedy for "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", achieving mixed results
Last feature producing credit on a film he did not also direct, "Invitation to a Gunfighter", directed by Richard Wilson
Returned to more serious fare with film version of Katherine Anne Porter's "Ship of Fools"; film nominated for Best Picture Oscar
Last film with Tracy (and Tracy's last film), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", was also Kramer's last major success; earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and as Best Director
Appeared on the NBC documentary special, "Bogart", a portrait of Humphrey Bogart
Was an interviewee on the ABC documentary special, "Sophia", a biography of Sophia Loren
Directed the three ABC-TV documentary specials, "Judgment: The Trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg", "Judgment: The Court-Martial of the Tiger of Malaya, General Yamashita" and "Judgment: The Court-Martial of Lt. William Calley"; Kramer also produced and narrated
Created, produced and directed the ABC comedy pilot, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", based on his 1967 feature film
Last feature directing and producing credit to date, "The Runner Stumbles"
Moved from California to Seattle where he taught at the University of Washington and at Bellevue Community College
Was the subject of the TV documentary, "Stanley Kramer on Film"
Appeared on a number of Cinemax's "Crazy About the Movies" specials focusing on Grace Kelly, Montgomery Clift, Cary Grant, and Anthony Quinn
Published autobiography, "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World: A Life in Hollywood", written with Thomas M Coffey

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