troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Creator: Elia Kazan
"Conscience...that stuff can drive you nuts."
Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), On the Waterfront.

"What's called a difficult decision is a difficult decision because either way you go there are penalties."
Elia Kazan, describing his situation as a "friendly witness" during the years of The Hollywood Blacklist.

Elia Kazan (1909-2003) was born to Greek immigrants and became a pioneer in the performing arts as a director of several ambitious stage productions. He mounted the productions of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. For the latter production, he cast a young unknown actor Marlon Brando, a decision that revolutionized acting forever. In the movies, he directed Brando in the film adaptation of Streetcar, in addition to which he made On the Waterfront for which he won an Oscar for Best Director and created a true Hollywood classic, and also in Viva Zapata!. He also directed James Dean in East of Eden (though he personally didn't like Dean) and in his last film he directed Robert De Niro in The Last Tycoon. To put it simply Method Acting owes Kazan a great deal.

He's also known for another reason. His decision to serve as a "friendly witness" for the House Committee for Un-American Activities at the height of the Red Scare. He initially testified admitting to be a former communist in the 30s but he refused to "name names". He subsequently did do so, when placed under pressure. He also put out an ad in the newspapers justifying this decision and asking others to come forward. This made him Persona Non Grata among many of his former leftist friends for whom Kazan could Never Live It Down. Even when he won an Oscar in 1999 for Lifetime Achievement, there were protests inside the auditorium and outside. Kazan himself remained a liberal and a leftist and resented the Communists for monopolizing all kinds of opposition on social issues which remained a constant interest for him.

As a director, Kazan was a trailblazer in pushing forth sexually suggestive and aggressive content to audiences. Making films like Baby Doll as well as A Face in the Crowd a dark satire of media that anticipates films like Network. His influence on American cinema was phenomenal with even his former friends admitting his great talent. He was especially influential on the New Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese especially. The former was initially going to cast him as Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II which eventually went to Lee Strasberg (famous acting teacher and rival) instead. In his later years, he found fame as a novelist and wrote an autobiography, Elia Kazan : A Life that was highly praised for its good writing and for its fairly honest look at a contentious personality.

Kazan was married thrice. His second wife Barbara Loden was an actress (on Wild River) who directed a film Wanda which is a great film in its own right. He has several children and grandchildren active in film production. He died in 2003 but his legacy lives on.

Films directed by Elia Kazan include:


Provides Examples of tropes like:

Lloyd KaufmanDirectorsBuster Keaton

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
12303
44