- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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america america grade
- kevin sellers
Damn! I was so busy being mad at Kazan in my review that I forgot to give it a grade. B minus.
- kevin sellers
This movie is a classic example of the pitfalls of letting the producer also be the director. Apparently, there was no one on the set with the requisite amount of cojones, or authority, or money to shout at this egomaniacal stool pigeon "ENOUGH, ELIA! IT'S TOO GODDAMN LONG!!" If there had been such a person, then this movie would have been a helluva lot better. As it is, every powerful scene, and there are several, (like the nervous first time Stavros and his future wife are alone together, and the relationship between Stavros and a swindler/leech on the way to Constantinople, and the travails of the shipboard passage to the U.S.) is effectually ruined by the air being let out of the dramatic ballloon, thanks to inordinate length. And by the time Stavros reaches America, we're drained of interest (much like that other caterpillar of a film about coming to these shores, Jan Troell's "The Emigrants.") Having said the above, let me hasten to add that there is some notable acting in this movie. (Kazan was always good with actors, as befits the theatre director he was in the beginning of his career) Paul Mann, as Stavros' overbearing prospective father in law, Lou Antonio as the world's most annoying con artist, and Linda Marsh as the hysterical but submissive wife to be are particularly good. As for the actor who plays Stevros, Statis Giallelis, he manages to hold his own, even though he was new to acting and was in over 90% of the film. Also impressive is Haskell Wexler's hand held camera, which plunges the viewer into the bizarre (in both senses of the word) world of Turkey, circa 1900. Kazan thought Wexler talented, but a "pain in the ass." I can think of no better description of Elia Kazan.
..With the all the turmoil in Greece these days,I'm sure many would like to leave
Since I had seen this movie before I almost didn't watch it and am glad I did. Amazing movie I would suggest for others to watch. It is a reminder of the struggle and determination many of our ancestors made to come to this beautiful place we call home - AMERICA. Stathis Giallelis played his character very well. I felt captivated watching his eyes, so serious yet as one would expect a person to be in his situation, and his movements wondering what he would do next. Remember he has become a person trusting no one - understandably, and focused on his dream, so this has made his personality intense. I can't imagine anyone else playing this character. I think Elia Kazan made a great choice in casting an unknown. I really enjoyed all the actors. The length of the movie didn't faze me a bit. Actually I was so caught up in the story I didn't realize it was 3 hours until the last half hour. This is definitely a movie I wish to have in my collection.
Running time is far too long!
I have a problem with Kazan's later films such as this one. They are, to the one, over-acted. By the time this film was made, Kazan was deep into "the method" and the use of unknown actors. It shows here, as the lead in this film never appears as interesting as those around him - and there are scores of extraordinarily good actors around him! It appears this is Kazan's homage to his roots but it is so long and so tedious in places that he forgot about tautness of story and just let this ramble. I honestly believe this film was ego-driven, as Kazan was just off his triumph in the Academy Award winning "On the Waterfront" and he probably believed he could do nothing wrong. He erred.
Exceptional Tale of Personal Stuggle & Triumph..
Was drawn in immediately to this story of a fathers attempt to save his family from tyranny, and the eldest son on who's shoulders he's placed all their fortunes.. But his son has his own ideas of salvation, and so we're brought down a long and arduous path filled with missteps, misfortunes, and the internal struggles of a young man so determined not to fail himself or his father, that he almost loses his soul along the way...
My husband and I just watched this movie, and thoroughly enjoyed it! Very well done movie! i could picure my ancesters coming over from the old country and landing at Ellis Island. Also, someone in a previous review said that Elia Kazan was Armenian, and not Greek - but according to Wikipedia he was born in Istanbul to Greek immigrant parents.
Kazan wasn't as bad as the Stalinist Dalton Trumbo
- Uncle Teardrop
who made sure "Darkness at Noon" was never produced
Too bad that a movie about people seeking freedom and justice was made but such a sniveling lackey of Joe McCarthy. Kazan made great movies, but he was a rat, and that should never be forgotten.
- Donald Nolan
Please get it correct. He was an Armenian, not Greek
Brilliant, passionate movie
This is an epic story. Sometimes it feels as if the movie is as long as the journey. But the performances are so honest, and the characters and the story so compelling. It is the story of my grandparents too, who were forced to flee an oppressive land in order to survive. It is the same story of countless people on this earth today too, who by sheer strength of will, and a few miracles along the way, become Americans. We must remember it is the story of everyone whose family struggled to get here, so we can see people as individuals, with individual stories, and not some faceless horde of immigrants who come here seeking a handout.Another amazing movie about the immigrant experience is "El Norte," which I would love to see on TCM.
No Matter What Others May Spin
About this film, it was a true story, and was portrayed as such. No "gimmics",or "political meanderings" herein. To wonder how "conservatives" would view this is silly....it was a cinematic voyage that emotes an emotional response from the viewer,and a newfound gratitude for this "Last Best Hope"for mankind, namely America. After all, isn't that the focal point of the movie? How peoples from around the globe dreamed of the journey to America, and would endure extreme hardship, and yes, even death itself to come here. The main character's trials and tribulations,his experiences detailing great personal loss, shame, discouragement, and the all- too- familiar" evil of man" upon fellow man were compelling. But it must also be noted that there were brief moments of kindness, in an unkind world, that shone through and it was portrayed in a realistic sense, not any "sappy" Hollywood genre. The realization of the world, and "life as it is" is reminiscent of the works of Miguel deCervantes, and "Quixotic" to say the least....and because of that one never tires of the tale. Today's film industry would balk at a making a movie of almost three hours....that's what was truly great about this epic tale...you become so enraptured with it that the time just flew by, and the finale was wonderful. An epic tale not meant for the short attention span sheeple who need to wake up today.
could have been really good
This film could have been really good if the Lead Actor knew how to act. Everyone in the Movie is better than the lead. So call it an Artistic film....but you can watch it if your bored and there is nothing else on.
- Adrian Snare
An excellent movie, can our conservatives learn anything by watching it ?I'll give this one an 89%.But, I fell asleep before it ended.I think these sort of movies depict how bad things are on this planet rather than how great America is..
- Dashiell Barnes
Elia Kazan directs this personal joureny about his uncle's struggle to immigrate to America in the hopes of making a better life. What I liked, Manos Hadjidakis score & the documentary style of filmming in graphic black & white. Elia's story is compelling & suspenceful, but had dull & uneventful episodes, which is one of the thing's I didn't like. The lead, played by Stathis Giallelis is an uninteresting character which could have been easily played by somebody with talent. To sum up, the film is more artistic than entertaining that left me unsatisfied. I give it a 2/5.