Bill, Martha and their little child Hal are spending a quiet winter Sunday in their cosy house when they get an unexpected visit from Mike Nickerson and Tony Rodriguez. Mike and Tony are ... See full summary »
Elia Kazan, ethnic Greek but Turkish by birth, tells the story of the struggles of his uncle - in this account named Stavros Topouzoglou - in emigrating to America. In the 1890's, the young, kind-hearted but naive Stavros lived in Anatolia, where the Greek and Armenian minorities were repressed by the majority Turks, this repression which often led to violence. Even Stavros being friends with an Armenian was frowned upon. As such, Stavros dreamed of a better life - specifically in America - where, as a result, he could make his parents proud by his grand accomplishments. Instead, his parents, with most of their money, sent Stavros to Constantinople to help fund the carpet shop owned by his first cousin once removed. What Stavros encountered on his journey, made on foot with a small donkey, made him question life in Anatolia even further. Once in Constantinople, his resolve to earn the 110 Turkish pound third class fare to the United States became stronger than ever. But try after try,...Written by
Gene Callahan was Kazan's 'set decorator' on films that Dick Sylbert, and his twin brother Paul, as an associate, had art directed for Kazan. The Sylbert twins had worked with Gene on CBS-New York Network and Local television productions as an art department team. Kazan asked Gene to travel with him to Greece, and to be his film's Production Designer. Noteworthy is that this is Gene's first 'art director' credit. During the film's location filming, Gene also decorated, as he supervised the sets preparation for filming (construction and set decorating) crews. During the film career of Kazan and Callahan, they performed as a team on many succeeding film projects. See more »
Director Elia Kazan narrates the main portion of the closing credits, reading the words as they appear on the screen, using complete sentences such as "The cinematography was by Haskell Wexler." See more »
I first saw America, America when it was originally released and I saw it with my father. When the lights came up, I looked at my father and there were tears in his eyes and he said "this is my story too". His journey to America was the same as the character in the movie, only he came from Armenia.
Elia Kazan, with this movie has told the story of many immigrants, just like my father, with truth and depth of character. This isn't a fairy tale, the story is real and reflects the perils and experiences many immigrants took to come to
America. I am amazed that more people don't know about this movie. Whenever I rewatch it, I am reminded of the sacrifices my father made to come to this country and why I'm am blessed to be an American.
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