Introduction: Elia Kazan (03:58)
Elia Kazan forced raw talent out of actors and made them famous after their first films, producing a number of enormously popular films. (Credits)
Kazan: Career Beginnings (04:19)
Experts describe Kazan's birth in Constantinople, the family's move to New York, and his education. He chronicled his childhood in "America America." Lee Strasberg and Harold Clurman convinced Kazan to focus on directing instead of acting. Credits on Broadway include "Death of a Salesman" and "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Kazan: Film Debut (04:32)
Kazan directed "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," which focuses on the immigrant experience. Subsequent films include "Sea of Grass" and "Boomerang." Kazan hated to shoot in the studio and prefers locations.
"Gentleman's Agreement" (04:15)
Darrell Zanuck wanted the film made after being denied entrance to a country club because the proprietors thought he was Jewish. Gregory Peck portrays a reporter who is writing a series on Anti-Semitism. Subsequent films include "Pinky" and "Panic in the Streets."
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (04:39)
Kazan filmed "A Streetcar Named Desire," which he had directed four years earlier on Broadway. Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, and Vivien Leigh starred in the adaptation. Brando reunited with the director to shoot "Viva Zapata."
Kazan: Political Leanings (05:53)
After being called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1952, Kazan admitted he was once a member of the communist party and named others. Malden and Brando starred in "On the Waterfront." The film garnered several Academy Awards.
"East of Eden" (02:27)
This film features the debut of James Dean. Bonnie Greer describes the plot of the film adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel set in California at the turn of the century.
"Baby Doll" (04:35)
Malden reunited with Kazan to film an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play. Eli Wallach, another member of the Actor's Studio, portrays a rival of Malden. Subsequent films include "Wild River" and "A Face in the Crowd."
"Splendor in the Grass" (03:51)
Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty starred in this film about a high school golden couple. Kazan adapted his own memoir into a film in "America America." The film explores the immigrant experience.
Kazan: Final Films (06:17)
Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway star in "The Arrangement," another book Kazan wrote. James Woods debuts in a film about returning Vietnam veterans that Chris Kazan wrote. Experts discuss Kazan's ability to discover raw talent and generate superb performances from actors.
Credits: Elia Kazan (00:40)
Credits: Elia Kazan
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