Elia Kazan – Pinky (1949)

lurabb Elia Kazan   Pinky (1949)

logoimdbb Elia Kazan   Pinky (1949)

synopsis

Elia Kazan directed this, one of Hollywood’s early attacks on racism, starring Jeanne Crain as Patricia “Pinky” Johnson. Patricia is a light-skinned black woman who is studying nursing at a New England medical institute. A white doctor, Thomas Adams (William Lundigan), has fallen in love with Patricia and wants to marry her, but Patricia refuses his proposal. Convinced their interracial union would never work out, Patricia believes Thomas would never be able to endure the acrimony that would be heaped upon their marriage. Patricia leaves New England to return to her childhood home in the South, where her grandmother (Ethel Waters) works for rich widow Miss Em (Ethel Barrymore). When Miss Em takes ill, Patricia cares for her. Upon Miss Em’s death, it is discovered that she has bequeathed her entire estate to Patricia. Miss Em’s family disputes the will because Patricia is black, and a courtroom battle ensues over the estate.- by Paul Brenner Continue reading

Elia Kazan – Boomerang! [+Extras] (1947)

jx5iiz Elia Kazan   Boomerang! [+Extras] (1947)

thgc Elia Kazan   Boomerang! [+Extras] (1947)

Quote:
Boomerang, directed by Elia Kazan, is a chilling film noir, the true story about the murder of a priest, the subsequent arrest and trial of a jobless drifter, and the efforts of young state’s attorney Henry Harvey (Dana Andrews) to uncover the truth. Closely based on the actual 1924 murder of Fr. Hubert Dahme in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the film was directed by the young Elia Kazan in a highly effective, semi-documentary style. Kazan shot most of the film on location, using high-contrast cinematography and an extremely mobile camera to create a palpable sense of urgency. The screenplay, expertly crafted by Richard Murphy received an Academy Award nomination. Continue reading

Elia Kazan – Man on a Tightrope (1953)

manonatightropeen1yp7 Elia Kazan   Man on a Tightrope (1953)

logoimdbb Elia Kazan   Man on a Tightrope (1953)

Quote:
This little movie is an exciting sleeper. It is a fictional story of a real incident about a small circus in an Eastern Bloc country that planned to escape to the West during the cold war. With uniformly excellent performances by all one of its unique accomplishments is the creation of a real sense of place. Although most of the cast is North American and speak in English, through the use of carefully written dialog, well thought out characterizations and wordrobe you have no doubt that you are in a foreign country listening to people speaking in their own language. Continue reading

Elia Kazan – Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)

gentlemansagreementz Elia Kazan   Gentlemans Agreement (1947)

logoimdbb Elia Kazan   Gentlemans Agreement (1947)

From Classic film:

One of the earliest films about anti-Semitism in the U.S.A. (though Oscar Best Picture winner, The Life of Emile Zola (1937) dealt with the subject in France), this Best Picture winner ironically competed against another (better?) film based on the same, Crossfire (1947). The former is a story about a gentile writer who pretends to be Jewish and then experiences the prejudice firsthand, while the latter explores a murder whose anti-Semitic motive is at first unknown. Additionally (even stranger?), these two similar films competed with a Dickens classic & two traditionally Christmastime films The Bishop’s Wife (1947) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947). But Best Actor nominee Gregory Peck & Director Elia Kazan (winning an Oscar with his first nomination) proved a more powerful combination than the three Roberts (Young, Mitchum, Ryan – though Robert Ryan was nominated for Best Supporting Actor) & Director Edward Dmytryk, who received his only Academy Award nomination. Additionally, Celeste Holm beat fellow Gentleman’s Best Supporting Actress nominee Anne Revere and Crossfire’s Gloria Grahame for that award. Both pictures also lost in the Editing & Writing categories. This was probably a very closely contested “race” considering the direct competition by genre. It’s a wonder the other nominee, Great Expectations (1947), didn’t win except for the fact that (up until that point) the British never had (which was “corrected” the following year with Laurence Olivier’s self-directed Hamlet (1948))! Continue reading

Elia Kazan – Panic in the Streets [+Extras] (1950)

panicinthestreetsposter Elia Kazan   Panic in the Streets [+Extras] (1950)

logoimdbb Elia Kazan   Panic in the Streets [+Extras] (1950)

Synopsis from AMG:
Filmed entirely on location in New Orleans, Panic in the Streets stars Richard Widmark as a city medical officer, racing against time to stop a plague epidemic. The carrier was an illegal alien, who has been murdered by criminals Jack Palance and Zero Mostel. At first facing opposition from rule-bound police captain Paul Douglas, Widmark is finally able to work hand-in-glove with Douglas in tracking down Palance and Mostel, who have themselves become plague carriers. Many of the actors in Panic in the Streets are local nonprofessionals, selected by director Elia Kazan because of their “rightness” within the framework of the story; the rest of the cast is peopled by such film veterans as Barbara Bel Geddes, Tommy Cook, Emile Meyer and H.T. Tsiang. Widmark’s son is played by an uncredited Tommy Rettig, four years before he starred on the Lassie TV series. Though Elia Kazan liked to claim that much of Panic in the Streets was improvised, there was a script, adapted by Richard Murphy and Daniel Fuchs from a story by Edward Anhalt and Edna Anhalt. — Hal Erickson Continue reading

Elia Kazan – On the Waterfront (1954)

onthewaterfront Elia Kazan   On the Waterfront (1954)

logoimdbb Elia Kazan   On the Waterfront (1954)

synopsis

This classic story of Mob informers was based on a number of true stories and filmed on location in and around the docks of New York and New Jersey. Mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) rules the waterfront with an iron fist. The police know that he’s been responsible for a number of murders, but witnesses play deaf and dumb (“plead D & D”). Washed-up boxer Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) has had an errand-boy job because of the influence of his brother Charley, a crooked union lawyer (Rod Steiger). Witnessing one of Friendly’s rub-outs, Terry is willing to keep his mouth shut until he meets the dead dockworker’s sister, Edie (Eva Marie Saint). “Waterfront priest” Father Barry (Karl Malden) tells Terry that Edie’s brother was killed because he was going to testify against boss Friendly before the crime commission. Because he could have intervened, but didn’t, Terry feels somewhat responsible for the death. When Father Barry receives a beating from Friendly’s goons, Terry is persuaded to cooperate with the commission. Featuring Brando’s famous “I coulda been a contendah” speech, On the Waterfront has often been seen as an allegory of “naming names” against suspected Communists during the anti-Communist investigations of the 1950s. Continue reading

Elia Kazan – Wild River (1960)

WildRiver Elia Kazan   Wild River (1960)

imdbimage Elia Kazan   Wild River (1960)

Description: A young field administrator (Montgomery Clift) for the TVA comes to rural Tennessee to oversee the building of a dam on the Tennessee River. He encounters opposition from the local people, in particular a farmer who objects to his employment (with pay) of local black laborers. Much of the plot revolves around the eviction of an elderly woman from her home on an island in the River, and the young man’s love affair with that woman’s widowed granddaughter. Continue reading

pixel Elia Kazan   Wild River (1960)