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Ján Kadár

Ján Kadár

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Also Known As: Janos Kadar Died: June 1, 1979
Born: April 1, 1918 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Budapest, HU Profession: director, screenwriter, assistant director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Began his career after WWII making documentary shorts, then moved to Prague where he made one feature, "Katya" (1950), before teaming up with Elmar Klos in 1952. Despite wary Czech censors, the pair co-directed and co-wrote a number of socially-oriented documentaries and features, noted for their smooth craftsmanship and solid storytelling. They were, however, banned from filmmaking for several years for their depiction of postwar cynicism and housing shortages in "The Three Wishes" (1958). Kadar (who dominated on the set) and Klos (who was more administratively inclined) achieved international recognition for their incredibly powerful Oscar-winning portrait of a man who must "guard" an elderly Jewish woman during WWII, "The Shop on Main Street" (1965). "Adrift", meanwhile, begun in 1968 but interrupted by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, proved on its release in 1971 to be one of the most haunting depictions of mental breakdown in modern cinema. After his partnership with Klos dissolved in 1969, Kadar tried his hand in the US and Canada with varying degrees of success. "The Angel Levine" (1970) seemed a somewhat overly sentimental Jewish remake of "It's a Wonderful Life", but both it and...

Began his career after WWII making documentary shorts, then moved to Prague where he made one feature, "Katya" (1950), before teaming up with Elmar Klos in 1952. Despite wary Czech censors, the pair co-directed and co-wrote a number of socially-oriented documentaries and features, noted for their smooth craftsmanship and solid storytelling. They were, however, banned from filmmaking for several years for their depiction of postwar cynicism and housing shortages in "The Three Wishes" (1958). Kadar (who dominated on the set) and Klos (who was more administratively inclined) achieved international recognition for their incredibly powerful Oscar-winning portrait of a man who must "guard" an elderly Jewish woman during WWII, "The Shop on Main Street" (1965). "Adrift", meanwhile, begun in 1968 but interrupted by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, proved on its release in 1971 to be one of the most haunting depictions of mental breakdown in modern cinema.

After his partnership with Klos dissolved in 1969, Kadar tried his hand in the US and Canada with varying degrees of success. "The Angel Levine" (1970) seemed a somewhat overly sentimental Jewish remake of "It's a Wonderful Life", but both it and Kadar's last feature film, "Lies My Father Told Me" (1975), possessed a certain low-key appeal in their evocation of milieu. Kadar also worked on several TV-movies and served as president of the American Film Institute from 1975 until his death.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Other Side of Hell, The (1978) Director
2.
  Lies My Father Told Me (1975) Director
3.
  Adrift (1971) Director
4.
  The Angel Levine (1970) Director
5.
  The Shop on Main Street (1966) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Left school to fight in WWII
:
Was interned at a Nazi labor camp during WWII
1945:
Began film career at a studio in Bratislava specializing in shorts; directed first film, "Life Is Rising from the Ruins", about the reconstruction of Slovakia after the war
1946:
Moved to Barrandov; first met Elmar Klos; worked as an assistant director and a scenarist; attracted attention for his script of the comedy, "Know of a Flat?" (date approximate)
1950:
Went to Slovakia to direct first feature film, "Katka/Katya/Cathy" (also co-wrote with Vlatislav Blazek)
1952:
Returned to Barrandov; first teamed with Elmar Klos as co-directors when they made the political thriller "Unos/The Hijacking"
1954:
Caused some controversy when his second film with Klos, the musical comedy "Music from Mars", presented its hero, the director of a factory, in a comic light; film eventually released to great popular success
:
Worked on the production team of "Laterna Magika" (1958) and "Laterna Magika II" (1960)
1959:
Kadar and Klos suspended for two years after making "Tri prani/The Three Wishes" (1958), which detailed postwar cynicism and housing shortages
1960:
Directed "Youth", a segment of the experimental film "Polyecran", which needed nine screens in order to be projected; also worked on the sports documentary "Spartakiade"
1963:
Directed (with Klos) first film after end of suspension, "Death Is Called Engelchen"; film won first prize at the Moscow Film Festival and at the Los Alamos Peace Festival
1968:
Shooting of "Adrift" (with Klos as associate director and co-screenwriter only) interrupted by the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in August; Kadar escaped to Vienna across the border
1969:
Made first US film, "The Angel Levine" (released 1970); shooting completed in June
1969:
Returned to Czechoslovakia long enough to complete "Adrift"
1969:
Klos and Kadar ended partnership; Kadar returned to US
1973:
Made first TV-movie, "The Blue Hotel"
1975:
Last feature film, the Canadian "Lies My Father Told Me"
1979:
Died while shooting "Freedom Road: Part One", featuring Kris Kristofferson and Muhammed Ali, for television
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Education

Bratislava Film School: -
Charles University: -

Notes

Served as president of the American Film Institute from 1975 until his death in 1979.

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