Elia Kazan


Director
Elia Kazan

About

Also Known As
Elia Kazanjoglou
Birth Place
Turkey
Born
September 07, 1909
Died
September 28, 2003
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

A rare talent who scaled the heights of two artistic disciplines, Elia Kazan overcame humble roots to establish himself as both a driving force in American theater and as a highly-regarded filmmaker. Along the way, he would win three Academy Awards for directing classics like "On the Waterfront" (1954) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) and be the recipient of an equal number of Tony ...

Photos & Videos

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Movie Poster
A Streetcar Named Desire - Lobby Card
Pinky - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Molly Day Thatcher
Wife
Filmmaker, photographer. Married on December 2, 1932; died in 1963 from a brain aneurysm; worked together with Kazan as members of the anti-fascist filmmaking group Nykino (for New York Camera, using the Russian word for "camera"); were two of the six directors of the famous experimental short, "Pie in the Sky" (1934), in which Kazan also acted.
Barbara Loden
Wife
Actor, director. Married on June 5, 1967; died on September 5, 1980; met while Kazan was casting "Wild River" (1960) and appeared in "Splendor in the Grass" (1961) and on Broadway in "After the Fall" (1964) under Kazan's direction; directed acclaimed independent feature "Wanda" (1971).
Frances Rudge
Wife
Novelist. Formerly married to manager Peter Rudge with whom she had a son and daughter; married on June 28, 1982.

Bibliography

"Kazan--The Master Discusses His Films--Interviews with Elia Kazan"
Jeff Young (1999)
"Beyond the Aegean"
Elia Kazan, Alfred A. Knopf (1994)
"Elia Kazan: A Life"
Elia Kazan, Alfred A. Knopf (1988)
"The Understudy"
Elia Kazan (1986)

Notes

Kazan's handyman abilities earned him the nickname Gadget--Gadg for short--a handle he has often said he despised for its patronizing tone but which many of his closest friends use to this day as a purely affectionate form of address. Reportedly John Steinbeck told him: "That goddamn name is not you. ... You're not--or weren't--a handy, friendly adaptable little gadget. You made yourself that way to get along with people, to be accepted, to become invisible ... "

"I was the first to deal with many difficult subjects in the United States. I read the papers carefully. I get much of my inspiration from them." --Elia Kazan quoted at 1996 Berlin Film Festival in New York Post, February 19, 1996.

Biography

A rare talent who scaled the heights of two artistic disciplines, Elia Kazan overcame humble roots to establish himself as both a driving force in American theater and as a highly-regarded filmmaker. Along the way, he would win three Academy Awards for directing classics like "On the Waterfront" (1954) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) and be the recipient of an equal number of Tony Awards for his direction of such Broadway landmarks as "Death of a Salesman." Kazan would be further lauded as a pioneer of social justice in cinema, and his daring examinations of topics like racial and religious prejudice came during a time when such things were discouraged by movie studios. Such displays of depth, daring and humanity influenced a generation of filmmakers including Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Kazan's groundbreaking work with The Actor's Studio also earned him much credit for his promotion of "The Method," and he was instrumental in launching the careers of such practitioners of that craft as Marlon Brando, James Dean and Warren Beatty.

Born Elias Kazanjoglou on Sept. 7, 1909 in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), Kazan's parents immigrated to America when he was four years old. His father, George, was a rug dealer given to displays of hostility at home, and the quiet boy was more simpatico with his mother, Athena, sharing her love of reading. George felt that his son would not amount to anything and aside from the bond he developed with his mother, Kazan tended to keep to himself. It was not until he later attended Williams College, where he graduated cum laude, that Kazan began to truly find his way. Upon completing an MFA at Yale Drama School in 1932, Kazan joined the Left-leaning Group Theater and became an actor, earning the nickname "Gadge" or "Gadget" for his handyman talents. That same year, he wed theater director Molly Day Thatcher, who introduced him to the works of Tennessee Williams and was a tremendous influence in pushing Kazan to try new things. Following such acclaimed performances as the labor agitator Agate in Clifford Odets' "Waiting for Lefty," he continued acting in Group productions until the troupe's dissolution. However, Kazan also initiated a second career as a director, overseeing stagings of such plays as Robert Ardrey's "Casey Jones" and "Thunder Rock," and made his motion picture directorial debut with the 1937 short "The People of the Cumberland." He also made a brief sojourn into film acting during this time, most notably, a co-starring role in the 1940 James Cagney vehicle "City for Conquest."

However, a motion picture directing career was what Kazan truly desired and he made his feature debut with the acclaimed "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" (1945), about a young girl striving to overcome the limitations of life in the Brooklyn tenements. His next effort, the Western "The Sea of Grass" (1946) proved far less auspicious and Kazan would later state that it was the only title in his filmography of which he was ashamed. The well-received docu-noir "Boomerang" was more rewarding, but the most important credit for Kazan in 1947 was "Gentlemen's Agreement," the first of the "social message" pictures for which he would become known. The groundbreaking story of a reporter (Gregory Peck) who pretends to be Jewish in order to research a story on anti-Semitism, the film won Best Picture and earned Kazan his first Best Director Oscar. Nonetheless, Kazan felt it just did not go far enough in its examination of the suffering of those who faced such prejudice. That same year, Kazan co-founded The Actor's Studio, which would become the preeminent organization for actors, directors and playwrights to study and refine The Method, an acting style derived from the teachings of Constantin Stanislavski. Practitioners sought to create more layered and complicated characters, and Kazan's leads were often thoughtful and introverted, but also given to bouts of great emotion, including unpredictable, violent outbursts of anger. Allowing performers to display a more complex range than commonly seen on the American stage at that time, The Method also brought a new reality and naturalism to screen acting.

Much as "Gentlemen's Agreement" explored anti-Semitism in a manner quite proactive for that time, Kazan's "Pinky" (1949) proved to be equally pioneering in its look at race relations in America, with Jeanne Crain starring as an African-American woman successfully passing for Caucasian in the South. While less polarizing in its subject matter, 1950's "Panic in the Streets" continued Kazan's successful exploration of film stylistics, making excellent use of down and dirty New Orleans locations in the manner made popular by 1948's trendsetting crime drama, "The Naked City." The year 1951 would prove to be a landmark one for Kazan, masterfully interpreting Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" for the screen after having made it a smash on Broadway four years earlier, where it showcased a dynamic new talent named Marlon Brando. With powerhouse performances by Brando - who was making waves with his raw and real Method style - and Vivien Leigh, the film version's steaming sexual tension required that edits be made to satisfy censors, but there was still more than enough dramatic power remaining for the picture to score with both critics and the public.

In the wake of this triumph, however, Kazan made a decision in the spring of 1952 that would negatively color many people's perception of him until the end of his life. As a result of his membership in the American Communist Party from 1934 to 1936, Kazan was called to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities and eventually agreed to act as a "friendly witness," providing the names of several individuals - including playwright Clifford Odets, actor John Garfield, and Lee Strasberg, an instructor at The Actor's Studio - who were also members of the Group Theater during that time. Although the people in question were already familiar to the committee, Kazan also made his case in the press and that zealous championing of his beliefs set him apart from most others who cooperated with HCUA . Liberal members of the industry quietly condemned Kazan's actions, feeling that he could easily have continued his career with Broadway productions had he been blacklisted in Hollywood instead of throwing his coworkers under the proverbial bus.

Shouldering on, Kazan continued his string of successes, reteaming with Brando on "Viva Zapata" (1952) with the hot young star vividly interpreting famous revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in a mostly fictionalized screenplay by novelist John Steinbeck. Kazan and Brando worked together again on the powerful Union corruption drama "On the Waterfront" (1954), which earned the director his second Academy Award and further plaudits for Brando's singular talents via his superb turn as a punch-drunk ex-boxer who develops a conscience and fights back against his thuggish employers. Brando had spoken out against Kazan's testimony and said that he would no longer work with him, but the actor reconsidered his stance for this picture. However, "On the Waterfront" -which many interpreted as being in thematic support of Kazan's decision to name names - proved to be their final collaboration and one of many prices Kazan had to play. In a 1957 interview for The American Weekly, the director solemnly reported "I guess Marlon and I were as close as two people could get in this business. But I never hear from him. I sent him a script a year ago. He sent it back through an agent."

As much as "On the Waterfront" lionized Brando as one of the greatest screen actors of his generation, Kazan's superb adaptation of John Steinbeck's "East of Eden" (1955) made an instant icon of the similarly gifted James Dean, who was riveting as an angry youth desperate to attain the love denied to him by his father. However, the incredible critical plaudits for "East of Eden" were followed by loud condemnation from conservative elements when Kazan's "Baby Doll" hit screens the following year. The director's adaptation of Tennessee Williams' salacious play "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" (about the rivalry between a cotton gin owner and a Sicilian competitor for the affections of the former's sexy, virginal wife, who still sucks her thumb and sleeps in a baby's crib) pushed the Hays Code movie censorship rules to their breaking point and the picture was vehemently condemned by The Catholic Legion of Decency. While distributor Warner Bros. capitalized on some of the heat that was generated, "Baby Doll" proved to be too much of a hot potato for many theater owners and the film did not receive the wide exposure one would have expected of a project that had attracted such notoriety.

Still timely decades after its release, "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) found Kazan successfully returning to the role of social commentator, presenting a scathing look at the power of the young medium of television in the transformation of a seemingly country-wise, but actually highly-ambitious and hateful rube (Andy Griffith) into a powerful influence on the world of politics. "Wild River" (1960) offered a fictional return to a subject the director previously explored with "The People of the Cumberland," telling of a Tennessee Valley Authority representative (Montgomery Clift) charged with kicking people off their land so that the river system can be re-directed. Working with a leading man plagued by personal problems that further impacted his performance, Kazan still fashioned a compelling drama, highlighted by Jo Van Fleet's turn as a stubborn, elderly local who refuses to capitulate to government demands. The following year's "Splendor in the Grass" heralded another Kazan find in Warren Beatty, who made an immense impression opposite Natalie Wood in a sometimes melodramatic, but ultimately affecting look at unrequited love and a struggle between father and son that shared echoes of the similar conflict at the heart of "East of Eden."

Having already achieved great success in the theater and cinema, Kazan explored new frontiers with his first novel, 1962's semi-autobiographical America, America, based largely on the life of his uncle. He adapted the book for film the following year, intending it to be the first chapter in a trilogy that unfortunately never materialized. In spite of this and the great hardships he endured making it, Kazan considered "America, America" to be the favorite of his movies. With more film work not immediately in the offing, he concentrated his energies on the Lincoln Center, directing such plays as Arthur Miller's "After the Fall" and S.N. Berhman's "But for Whom Charlie." He returned to the literary world with 1967's The Arrangement which told of a successful advertising man struggling to find true happiness. A huge success, the subsequent paperback edition received a first printing of 2.4 million copies, a record at the time. Kazan would direct a 1969 film adaptation, toplined by Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway. Negative critical reaction to the novel did nothing to stem its popularity, but the brickbats afforded the film version did hurt its chances and the movie was not among Kazan's better remembered titles. Based on a novel that author F. Scott Fitzgerald had only partially completed prior to his death, "The Last Tycoon" (1976) was a fictionalized look at the life of Irving Thalberg, the young wunderkind studio head at MGM during the 1920s and '30s. Supervised by legendary producer Sam Spiegel, the film featured a number of attributes, including some impeccable production design and costuming, but ended up a commercial disappointment, in spite of a powerhouse cast, including Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Robert Mitchum.

His days as a member of the Hollywood community were now behind him, but Kazan continued to write novels and enjoyed much status as a director emeritus, with his greatest works being the object of considerable study. He also penned his autobiography, Elia Kazan: A Life in 1988 and was celebrated by esteemed film critic Richard Schickel twice over, first by the documentary "Elia Kazan, a Director's Journey" (1995) and later with Schickel's 2005 publication Elia Kazan: A Biography. In the spring of 1999, it was announced that Kazan would receive a lifetime achievement award from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Inevitably, the director's cooperation with HCUA became an issue and a few hundred picketers both in support of and against Kazan marched in advance of the ceremony. Kazan's appearance onstage was introduced by Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. The 89-year-old filmmaker expressed his thanks for the Academy's "courage and generosity," though some members of the audience refused to acknowledge these sentiments with applause, sitting firmly in their seats during the standing ovation. It would be his last hurrah, as Kazan passed away on Sept. 28, 2003 at the age of 94, leaving behind a daunting and still controversial legacy as a master director of stage and screen, a successful novelist, a leading proponent of an acting style that helped revolutionize the depiction of emotion on stage and in cinema, and a man who stood by personal principles that shaped both his own craft and the way the world viewed him.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Last Tycoon (1976)
Director
The Visitors (1972)
Director
The Arrangement (1969)
Director
America America (1963)
Director
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Director
Wild River (1960)
Director
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Director
Baby Doll (1956)
Director
East of Eden (1955)
Director
On the Waterfront (1954)
Director
Man on a Tightrope (1953)
Director
A Streetcar Named Desire (1952)
Director
Viva Zapata! (1952)
Director
Panic in the Streets (1950)
Director
Pinky (1949)
Director
Gentleman's Agreement (1948)
Director
Boomerang! (1947)
Director
The Sea of Grass (1947)
Director
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
Director

Assistant Direction (Feature Film)

People of the Cumberland (1937)
Assistant Director

Cast (Feature Film)

A Letter to Elia (2010)
Himself
Tell Them Who You Are (2004)
Himself
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)
Himself
L' Heritage de la chouette (1989)
Himself
Sis (1989)
Fishing Boat Captain
Hello Actors Studio (1987)
Himself
He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (1986)
Himself
50 Years of Action! (1986)
Himself
Acting: Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio (1981)
Himself
The Fighters (1974)
Himself
The Big Show (1957)
Blues in the Night (1941)
Nickie Haroyan
City for Conquest (1940)
"Googi"
Cafe Universal (1934)

Writer (Feature Film)

Splendor in the Grass (1981)
Story By
The Arrangement (1969)
Writer
America America (1963)
Screenwriter
Pinky (1949)
Contr to Screenplay
Gentleman's Agreement (1948)
Revisions to Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

The Arrangement (1969)
Producer
America America (1963)
Producer
Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Producer
Wild River (1960)
Producer
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Producer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

The Visitors (1972)
Company
East of Eden (1955)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Tell Them Who You Are (2004)
Other
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (1995)
Other
L' Heritage de la chouette (1989)
Other
Hello Actors Studio (1987)
Other
50 Years of Action! (1986)
Other
Acting: Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio (1981)
Other
James Dean, the First American Teenager (1975)
Other

Cast (Special)

Karl Malden: Workingman's Actor (1998)
Interviewee
Tennessee Williams: Orpheus of the American Stage (1994)
Sanford Meisner: The Theater's Best Kept Secret (1990)
Harold Clurman: A Life of Theatre (1989)
Broadway Dreamers: The Legacy of the Group Theatre (1989)
Natalie Wood (1987)

Life Events

1913

After brief stay in Berlin, immigrated to the USA with parents

1932

Apprenticed with Group Theater

1932

Theatrical debut as stage manager and understudy for the Theater Guild production, "The Pure in Heart" in Baltimore, Maryland

1933

Broadway acting debut, "Men in White"

1934

Film acting debut in the short "Cafe Universal"

1934

Co-directed and acted in the experimental short film, "Pie in the Sky"; wife Molly Day Thatcher also directed a segment

1935

Appeared on Broadway in Group Theatre production of Clifford Odets' "Waiting for Lefty"

1937

Directed short documentary "People of the Cumberland"

1937

Played Eddie Fusseli in the Group Theatre production of Odets' "Golden Boy"

1938

Stage directing debut with "Casey Jones"

1940

Feature film acting debut in "City for Conquest", playing a neighborhood tough-turned-gangster opposite James Cagney

1941

Group Theater folded

1942

Broadway directing debut, Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth"

1945

Feature film directing debut with "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"

1947

Co-founded (with Cheryl Crawford, Robert Lewis and Lee Strasberg) Actors Studio

1947

Directed seminal Broadway productions of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" (for which he won his first Tony) and Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1947

Won Best Director Oscar on first-ever nomination for "Gentleman's Agreement"; film also won Best Picture

1949

Helmed the Broadway production of Miller's "Death of a Salesman"; received second Tony Award

1950

"Panic in the Streets" marked his passage to a more ambitiously cinematic phase

1951

Received Oscar nomination as Best Director for "A Streetcar Named Desire"

1952

Directed "Viva Zapata!", written by John Steinbeck and starring Marlon Brando

1952

Testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and named eight former colleagues (including Odets and actress Paula Strasberg) as dangerous Communist infiltrators

1953

Directed overtly anti-Communist film, "Man on a Tightrope", starring Fredric March

1954

Took home second Oscar as director of "On the Waterfront", written by fellow "name-dropper" Budd Schulberg

1955

Staged the premiere of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" on Broadway; exercised much influence over the final draft

1955

Produced first film "East of Eden"; also directed; adapted by Paul Osborn from the Steinbeck novel; picked up fourth Oscar nomination as Best Director

1956

Collaborated with Tennessee Williams on "Baby Doll"

1957

Reunited with Schulberg for "A Face in the Crowd"

1959

Received acclaim for producing and directing "J.B.", Archibald MacLeish's retelling of the biblical story of Job

1959

Appointed to develop and run the new Lincoln Center Repertory Theater

1960

After trying for some time to write a screenplay about the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority), turned ideas over to Osborn who scripted "Wild River", directed by Kazan

1961

Helmed "Splendor in the Grass" from an Oscar-winning original screenplay by William Inge

1963

Nominated for three Oscars--Best Director, Best Picture (as producer) and Best Screenplay--for "America, America", based on his uncle's life

1964

Directed Miller's "After the Fall" for inaugural season of Lincoln Center Repertory Theater; production starred second wife Barbara Loden playing a thinly disguised Marilyn Monroe

1969

Bombed with "The Arrangement", film version of his own best-selling novel

1972

Accused of union-busting on "The Visitors", a family-affair (son Chris wrote and produced), low-budget picture shot in and around Kazan's home turf of Newton, CT; film reportedly cost $150,000, of which the non-union actors (including James Woods and Steve Railsback) received a total of $1,200; put on "unfair" list of Screen Actors Guild

1976

Directed last feature film to date, "The Last Tycoon", adapted from the unfinished F. Scott Fitzgerald novel by Harold Pinter

1982

Subject of French documentary "Elia Kazan, Outsider"

1988

Published memoirs "Elia Kazan: A Life"

1989

Turned up in a surprising role as Captain of Fishing Boat in foreign film "Sis", directed by Omer Zulfi Livanelli

1995

Subject of documentary "Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey" (AMC), produced by long-time friend Julian Schlossberg

Photo Collections

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Fox' A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), directed by Elia Kazan. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
A Streetcar Named Desire - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Pinky - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Pinky (1949), starring Jeanne Craine and Ethel Waters. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
A Face in the Crowd - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from A Face in the Crowd (1957). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
East of Eden - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for East of Eden (1955), starring James Dean. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Splendor in the Grass - Movie Posters
Here are a few original movie posters from Elia Kazan's Splendor in the Grass (1961), starring Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty.
On the Waterfront - Movie Posters
Here are a few American release movies posters from On the Waterfront (1954), starring Marlon Brando.

Videos

Movie Clip

Arrangement, The (1969) - The Countdown Continues A couple of minutes into writer, producer and director Elia Kazan's stylized opening, advertising executive Eddie (Kirk Douglas) becomes irrational on an L-A freeway, his wife Florence (Deborah Kerr) in the aftermath, in The Arrangement, 1969, also starring Faye Dunaway.
Gentleman's Agreement (1948) - I Think Sometimes For Myself Crossing Grand Army Plaza alongside the Plaza hotel, New Yorker director Elia “Gadge” Kazan introduces leading man Gregory Peck and Dean Stockwell his son, then visiting Atlas at Rockefeller Plaza, meeting Ann Revere as his mom, and visiting the heady confines of fictional Smith’s Weekly, opening the Best Picture-winning Gentleman’s Agreement, 1948.
Gentleman's Agreement (1948) -- I'm Jewish Myself Magazine writer Phil (Gregory Peck), new on the staff at prominent Smith's Weekly, now telling everyone he's Jewish for his anti-Semitism story, has a first talk with his secretary (June Havoc), then with the doctor (Nicholas Joy) treating his mother, in Gentleman's Agreement, 1948.
Gentleman's Agreement (1948) -- I Don't Care About The Jews Much talked about but just introduced Dave (John Garfield), a lifelong Jewish pal of writer Phil (Gregory Peck), now in New York after a tour abroad, hears about his friend's unorthodox approach to his assignment, Anne Revere the mom, in Gentleman's Agreement, 1948.
Man On A Tightrope (1953) - There'll Be Plenty Of Charges Notable in that director Elia Kazan had recently surrendered names of Communist Party members to congress, and actor Adolphe Menjou was one of Hollywood’s leading anti-Communists, here playing a Czechoslovak propaganda officer, collared by a superior (Philip Kenneally) for going soft on a wayward circus troupe, in Man On A Tightrope, 1953.
Man On A Tightrope (1953) - Czechoslovakia, 1952 Opening with noise and some scale, shooting on location in Bavaria, Germany, director Elia Kazan introduces leading man Fredric March as circus boss Cernik, Gloria Grahame his wife, Paul Hartman his aide, Terry Moore his daughter, Cameron Mitchell her friend, in the feature Kazan made after Viva Zapata! but before On The Waterfront, Man On A Tightrope, 1953.
Man On A Tightrope (1953) - Show Your Teeth! Ever-interesting work by director Elia Kazan, Gloria Grahame as the maybe-straying circus manager’s wife Zama, determined to flirt with the worried lion tamer (Alex D’Arcy), then another relationship emphasizing idyllic Bavarian locations, with the manager’s daughter Terry Moore and boyfriend Cameron Mitchell, in Man On A Tightrope, 1953.
Man On A Tightrope (1953) - This Is Considered Amusing? Summoned by officials of the communist Czechoslovak government, circus manager Cernik (Fredric March) explains to interrogator John Dehner about his staff, and his difficulty in presenting politically skewed skits, with propagandist Adolphe Menjou listening, in Elia Kazan’s Man On A Tightrope, 1953.
Panic In The Streets (1950) - Just To Be Important Struggling to contain pneumonic plague in New Orleans, military public health official Reed (Richard Widmark) tries to find common cause with cop Warren (Paul Douglas) who’s not convinced of the emergency and wants to use conventional police tactics, in Panic In The Streets, 1950, directed by Elia Kazan.
Face In The Crowd, A (1957) - Vitajex! His new self-appointed manager Tony Franciosa helping with the pitch, crazed TV personality Lonesome Rhodes (Andy Griffith) performs and outlandish commercial, as imagined by screenwriter Budd Schulberg and director Elia Kazan, a famous scene from A Face In The Crowd, 1957.
Sea Of Grass, The (1947) - Parties Unknown Cattle baron Brewton (Spencer Tracy, his first scene), his bride-to-be (Katharen Hepburn) just in from St. Louis observing, as the judge (Robert Barratt) presides over a bent verdict in his favor, plaintiff's lawyer Chamberlain (Melvyn Douglas) infuriated, early in The Sea Of Grass, 1947.
Sea Of Grass, The (1947) - The Way God Made It Who knew, that Elia Kazan directed Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, as New Mexico cattle baron Col. Jim Brewton and his new from St. Louis wife Lutie, taking in lots of landscape, in their first extended scene together, in The Sea Of Grass, 1947.

Trailer

East Of Eden - (Original Trailer) James Dean had his first starring role in Elia Kazan's movie version of John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden (1955).
On The Waterfront - (Original Trailer) Eight Academy Awards went to On The Waterfront (1954) about a stevedore (Marlon Brando) thinking of informing on the mob.
Face in the Crowd, A - (Original Trailer) Television turns a folk-singing drifter (Andy Griffith) into a media celebrity in Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957).
Gentleman's Agreement - (Academy Award trailer) Three Academy Awards went to Gentleman's Agreement (1947) an exposé of American anti-semitism starring Gregory Peck and John Garfield, directed by Elia Kazan.
Boomerang! - (Textless Trailer) Prosecutor Dana Andrews fights to prove the defendant in a scandalous murder case is innocent in Elia Kazan's Boomerang! (1947).
Baby Doll - (Original Trailer) Carroll Baker stars as the child bride Baby Doll (1956) in the most notorious movie from a Tennessee Williams' play, directed by Elia Kazan.
Arrangement, The - (Original Trailer) An advertising executive (Kirk Douglas) has a mid-life breakdown in Elia Kazan's The Arrangement (1969).
Viva Zapata! - (Original Trailer) Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) leads the peasants against a corrupt president in Viva Zapata! (1952).
Pinky - (Original Trailer) A light-skinned black woman (Jeanne Crain) returns home after passing for white in nursing school in Eliz Kazan's Pinky (1949).
Blues in the Night - (Original Trailer) The members of a traveling jazz band try to keep their leader (Richard Whorf) from drinking himself to death in Blues in the Night (1941).
Panic in the Streets - (Original Trailer) A killer evades the police not knowing he has a deadly plague in Panic in the Streets (1950).
Streetcar Named Desire, A - (Re-issue Trailer) A fading Southern belle (Vivien Leigh) tries to build a new life with her sister (Kim Hunter) in New Orleans in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951).

Family

George Kazanjioglou
Father
Rug merchant. Greek.
Athena Kazanjioglou
Mother
Greek.
Judy Morris
Daughter
Mother, Molly Day Thatcher.
Chris Kazan
Son
Screenwriter, novelist, film professor. Born in New York City c. 1939; died of cancer on December 14, 1991 in Santa Monica CA; mother, Molly Day Thatcher; wrote and produced "The Visitor" (1972) directed by his father; novels include "Mouth Full of Sugar" (1969) and "The Love Freak"; received BA from Harvard; was an assistant professor of film at Columbia University's School of the Arts; married to Jeneene Harris.
Nicholas Kazan
Son
Screenwriter, director. Mother, Molly Day Thatcher; received Oscar nomination for "Reversal of Fortune" (1990); married to screenwriter Robin Swicord.
Katherine Athena Kazan
Daughter
Mother, Molly Day Thatcher.
Leo Kazan
Son

Companions

Molly Day Thatcher
Wife
Filmmaker, photographer. Married on December 2, 1932; died in 1963 from a brain aneurysm; worked together with Kazan as members of the anti-fascist filmmaking group Nykino (for New York Camera, using the Russian word for "camera"); were two of the six directors of the famous experimental short, "Pie in the Sky" (1934), in which Kazan also acted.
Barbara Loden
Wife
Actor, director. Married on June 5, 1967; died on September 5, 1980; met while Kazan was casting "Wild River" (1960) and appeared in "Splendor in the Grass" (1961) and on Broadway in "After the Fall" (1964) under Kazan's direction; directed acclaimed independent feature "Wanda" (1971).
Frances Rudge
Wife
Novelist. Formerly married to manager Peter Rudge with whom she had a son and daughter; married on June 28, 1982.

Bibliography

"Kazan--The Master Discusses His Films--Interviews with Elia Kazan"
Jeff Young (1999)
"Beyond the Aegean"
Elia Kazan, Alfred A. Knopf (1994)
"Elia Kazan: A Life"
Elia Kazan, Alfred A. Knopf (1988)
"The Understudy"
Elia Kazan (1986)
"The Assassins"
Elia Kazan (1981)
"Kazan on Kazan: Interviews with Michel Ciment"
(1974)
"The Arrangement"
Elia Kazan (1968)
"America, America"
Elia Kazan, Stein and Day (1962)
"The Assassins"
Elia Kazan

Notes

Kazan's handyman abilities earned him the nickname Gadget--Gadg for short--a handle he has often said he despised for its patronizing tone but which many of his closest friends use to this day as a purely affectionate form of address. Reportedly John Steinbeck told him: "That goddamn name is not you. ... You're not--or weren't--a handy, friendly adaptable little gadget. You made yourself that way to get along with people, to be accepted, to become invisible ... "

"I was the first to deal with many difficult subjects in the United States. I read the papers carefully. I get much of my inspiration from them." --Elia Kazan quoted at 1996 Berlin Film Festival in New York Post, February 19, 1996.

" ... I can get along all right with you liking me or disliking me. I'm O.K., I do my work, and that's what I feel is important for an artist--that he does his work in his way with his vision and he doesn't pay a lot of attention to the reaction. And I don't. I never did. ... On my worst day, when I was being attacked by all sides, I didn't care. I don't live by what people are saying about me. The only way we're ever going to be known is by our work, not by somebody boasting about us.

"You're looking at a man who is essentially content. I'm proud of my films. I think about a dozen of them are very good, and I don't think there are films as good on the subject or feeling. Writing my own work means more to me than I can get out of somebody else's work, and some of the stuff I did turned out all right." --Kazan to The New York Times, August 24, 1995.

"For what he's done, he's gone into a hermit's life. The thing is, he did name people, and many careers were destroyed. But you have to remember, this was an era where just ten years before, Japanese citizens, not aliens, had been rounded up and put in concentration camps in this country. We came through a dreadful time. But [Kazan] won't apologize, and he has to live with that. He felt his career would be over unless he did what he did." --Eli Wallach, in Entertainment Weekly, March 1998.

"If you can't say what's on your mind in the time it takes to soft-boil an egg, it isn't worth saying." --Elia Kazan quoted by Patricia Bosworth in "Kazan's Choice" in Vanity Fair, September 1999.