Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan – The Arrangement (1969)

The Arrangement tells the story of a seemingly-successful Los Angeles-area advertising executive of Greek-American extraction, “Eddie Anderson” (birth name Evangelos Arness, portrayed by Kirk Douglas) who is miserable in both his job and his marriage to his WASPy wife, Florence (Deborah Kerr) and is having a torrid affair with a co-worker, Gwen (Faye Dunaway). “Anderson” is forced to re-evaluate his life and its priorities after an automobile accident which occurs after he can no longer face what his life has become. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Baby Doll (1956)

Quote:
A child bride holds her husband at bay while flirting with a sexy Italian farmer.

When the film was released in 1956, it was enormously controversial for its extremely risqué subject matter. The Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film for its “carnal suggestiveness”. Cardinal Francis J. Spellman condemned the film in a stunning attack from the pulpit of St. Patrick’s Cathedral two days before the film opened. He said that the film had been “responsibly judged to be evil in concept” and would “exert an immoral and corrupting influence on those who see it”. He exhorted all Catholics to refrain from patronizing the film “under pain of sin”. Cardinal Spellman’s condemnation of the film led to the Legion of Decency’s first-ever nationwide boycott of an American-made major studio film. All over the country, almost 20 million Catholics protested the film and picketed theaters that showed it. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Splendor in the Grass (1961)

Quote:
It’s 1928 in oil rich southeast Kansas. High school seniors Bud Stamper and Deanie Loomis are in love with each other. Bud, the popular football captain, and Deanie, the sensitive soul, are “good” kids who have only gone as far as kissing. Unspoken to each other, they expect to get married to each other one day. But both face pressures within the relationship, Bud who has the urges to go farther despite knowing in his heart that if they do that Deanie will end up with a reputation like his own sister, Ginny Stamper, known as the loose, immoral party girl, and Deanie who will do anything to hold onto Bud regardless of the consequences. They also face pressures from their parents who have their own expectation for their offspring. Bud’s overbearing father, Ace Stamper, the local oil baron, does not believe Bud can do wrong and expects him to go to Yale after graduation, which does not fit within Bud’s own expectations for himself. And the money and image conscious Mrs. Loomis just wants Deanie to get married as soon as possible to Bud so that Deanie will have a prosperous life in a rich family. When Bud makes a unilateral decision under these pressures, it leads to a path which affects both his and Deanie’s future. Read More »

Elia Kazan – On the Waterfront (1954)

Quote:
Marlon Brando gives the performance of his career as the tough prizefighter-turned-longshoreman Terry Malloy in this masterpiece of urban poetry. A raggedly emotional tale of individual failure and social corruption, On the Waterfront follows Terry’s deepening moral crisis as he must decide whether to remain loyal to the mob-connected union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) and Johnny’s right-hand man, Terry’s brother, Charley (Rod Steiger), as the authorities close in on them. Driven by the vivid, naturalistic direction of Elia Kazan and savory, streetwise dialogue by Budd Schulberg, On the Waterfront was an instant sensation, winning eight Oscars®, including for best picture, director, actor, supporting actress (Eva Marie Saint), and screenplay. Read More »

Elia Kazan – Splendor in the Grass [+Extras] (1961)

It’s 1928 in oil rich southeast Kansas. High school seniors Bud Stamper and Deanie Loomis are in love with each other. Bud, the popular football captain, and Deanie, the sensitive soul, are “good” kids who have only gone as far as kissing. Unspoken to each other, they expect to get married to each other one day. But both face pressures within the relationship, Bud who has the urges to go farther despite knowing in his heart that if they do that Deanie will end up with a reputation like his own sister, Ginny Stamper, known as the loose, immoral party girl, and Deanie who will do anything to hold onto Bud regardless of the consequences. Read More »

Elia Kazan – The Last Tycoon (1976)

The Last Tycoon (1976) is a feature dramatic film based upon Harold Pinter’s screenplay adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon, sometimes known as The Love of the Last Tycoon.

Directed by Elia Kazan and produced by Sam Spiegel, the film starred Robert De Niro as “Monroe Stahr,” Tony Curtis as “Rodriguez,” Robert Mitchum as “Pat Brady,” Jack Nicholson as “Brimmer,” Donald Pleasence as “Boxley”, Jeanne Moreau as “Didi” and Theresa Russell as “Cecilia Brady”. Read More »

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

Synopsis:
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. Read More »