On the Waterfront
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2 items from 2003


Director Elia Kazan Dies at 94

29 September 2003 | IMDb News

Director Elia Kazan, who helmed A Streetcar Named Desire and won directing Oscars for Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront died Sunday at his home in New York. He had celebrated his 94th birthday on the 7th of this month. Kazan made some of the most important films of the 1950s and worked particularly well with young talent. In Streetcar he introduced Marlon Brando to the world, gave James Dean his major motion picture debut in East of Eden and provided Warren Beatty with his big break in Splendor in the Grass. The child of Greek immigrants, Kazan's first love was the stage and he first gained notoriety with his productions of "A Streetcar Named Desire" and the 1948 first run of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." In addition to Miller, Kazan worked with many of the greatest playwrights and writers of the 20th century, including Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck and Thornton Wilder. In 1948 Kazan helped to found Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio (itself a product of the Group Theater) in New York wherein the "Method" was taught, an acting discipline that brought a heightened realism to film. Despite the organic emotion onscreen, Kazan was frequently criticized for his stage-blocking style in his earlier films, something that dissipated nearly completely with Waterfront. He also worked with Brando on Viva Zapata! (nominated for five Oscars in 1953), and also contributed Baby Doll, and A Face in the Crowd to the 50s. Earlier in the decade, at the height of Communist paranoia, Kazan agreed to testify at hearings before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Kazan admitted to membership in the Communist party in the latter half of the 1930s (mostly from his association with the members of the Group Theater) but earned eternal enmity from many of his colleagues by naming other names as well, including Clifford Odets. When Kazan was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar at the 1999 ceremony, the chill was still felt as Chris Rock ad-libbed that Kazan was "a rat," for which Rock was then, much to his surprise, booed. Though many sat on their hands, Kazan was escorted onstage flanked by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro and his brief, addled acceptance ended any more occasion for politics and bad blood. Kazan is survived by his third wife, Frances, and his four children: Christopher, Nicholas, (also a director and screenwriter), Judy, and Katharine. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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Elia Kazan dies; directed historic films

29 September 2003 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Elia Kazan, who won Academy Awards for directing Gentleman's Agreement and On the Waterfront and greatly influenced a younger generation of New York-based directors such as Sidney Lumet and Arthur Penn, died at his home Sunday in New York. He was 94. Kazan admitted membership in the Communist Party and cooperated with the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, which contributed to the Hollywood Blacklist and made him the target of political opprobrium for decades afterward. In 1999, Kazan was presented an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences "in appreciation of a long, distinguished and unparalleled career during which he has influenced the very nature of filmmaking." However, many in attendance refused to applaud or rise from their seats. He stoically left the stage after only a few perfunctory thanks. »

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2 items from 2003


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