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Phlegethon
Tuesday, September 30th, 2003, 01:47 PM
Obituary

Elia Kazan

Oscar-winning director of On the Waterfront who named communists to the Un-American Activities Committee during the McCarthy era

David Thomson
Monday September 29, 2003

The stage and film director Elia Kazan, who has died aged 94, had outlived so many friends and enemies; yet there are actors everywhere working towards a mystery he did so much to define. He had helped found the Actors' Studio and whole scheme of psychological naturalism; he had directed the first stage productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman: he had made movies like Viva Zapata!, On the Waterfront and East of Eden; he was a father-figure to Brando, Dean, Clift, Steiger, Beatty.

Yet there were still some left, burned from his testimony to the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, determined to read his obituary. There were people who hadn't spoken to him in over 45 years; and who had crossed the street sometimes to avoid him. They had their reasons, good reasons; but everyone has his reasons. And the man is dead now, and his size cannot be denied any longer. Crossing the street will not do. Elia Kazan was a scoundrel, maybe; he was not always reliable company or a nice man. But he was a monumental figure, the greatest magician with actors of his time, a superlative stage director, a film-maker of real glory, a novelist, and finally, a brave, candid, egotistical, self-lacerating and defiant autobiographer - a great, dangerous man, someone his enemies were lucky to have.

There is no way his crammed career and conflicting impulses can be reduced to a short obituary. To list all his credits would take up the space, and leave no room for a proper account of his truly ugly face, made magnetic by the way his reproachful eyes watched you. He was edgy, belligerent, seductive, rhapsodic, brutal, a soaring humanist one moment and a piratical womaniser the next. Until old age and illness overcame him, he was ferociously and competitively alive. To be with him was to know that, in addition to everything else he had done, he could have been a hypnotic actor or an inspiring political leader.

We sometimes hearken back nostalgically to that generation that went to America out of a hostile Europe, penniless and speechless, and made themselves into something. It is a 19th-century model, one that provided the men who pioneered the picture business. But Elia Kazanjoglous, an Anatolian Greek, was, born in Istanbul (it was Constantinople then) and was four years old when his parents set out for America as rug dealers. In time, everyone would remark on what a success the kid had become, how smart and energetic he was. They would congratulate themselves on their America that such an ugly little runt could make it.

But Kazan was always an aggrieved outsider, an angry, thrusting intruder - at Williams College, Massachusetts and the Yale School of Drama, friendless, he said, fuming at being ignored by the lovely "Wasp" girls - until they were moved by his alien intensity. In the 1980s he would begin his autobiography with his third wife, Frances, asking him why he was mad. And he answered: "What I'm mad at nowadays is, for instance, mortality. I've passed 78 and have only recently found how to enjoy life. For one thing I've stopped worrying about what people think of me - or so I like to believe. I used to spend most of my time straining to be a nice guy so people would like me. Now I'm out of show business and I've become my true grumpy self."

There are so many half-truths in that, how does A Life end up the book it is? In part, because self-deception is an autobiographical feast. Kazan had always eaten life up with a large spoon. He never quit show business. He was consumed with wondering how others thought of him. And some reckoned he worked hard to be a famously nasty guy. His anger was energising, for it was ego affronted by those errors in nature that had not made him at birth an unmistakable beauty, prince, genius and pasha. Instead, for years, he laboured under the fond nickname "Gadget", or "Gadge" - the guy in the theatre company who could repair a light board, rig a harness, or bring the star actress to a quick, performance-enhancing orgasm.

From Yale, he joined the Group Theatre in New York as a small-part actor (those looks) and a stage manager (the Gadget thing). As such he appeared in notable productions of two Clifford Odets plays - Waiting for Lefty (1935) and Golden Boy (1937). With the photographer Ralph Steiner, he also directed his first film, the 20-minute documentary, People of the Cumberland. With his wife, Molly Day Thacher (a writer and teacher and a great force in his life), he had joined the Communist party, like many young people in the arts who saw the wasteland of the Depression and wanted a more hopeful way ahead.

But Kazan was not cut out to be an obedient party member. He had wayward tastes; he liked the work of Orson Welles, for instance. Finally, a party official, "the Man from Detroit", came to Kazan's cell meeting and tore him off a strip in front of the others. A vote was taken on whether Kazan should be allowed to stay in the party: he got just one vote - his own. So he became an outcast; even in the zealous 1930s, he hated the secrecy and the paranoia, and could not abide the suppression of individuality. The seeds for the future were sown.

By the late 1930s, however, Kazan was finding himself, as a director of plays. Though he acted in two movies - City for Conquest (1940) and Blues in the Night (1941), and he's good in both - he never fancied his long-term chances as more than a villain or a character actor. And he longed to be heroic. So he seized creative power in the theatre at what proved a crucial moment.

In less than a decade, he was responsible for Irwin Shaw's Quiet City, Robert Ardrey's Thunder Rock, Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth (a production that included Fredric March, Montgomery Clift and Tallulah Bankhead), One Touch of Venus, by SJ Perelman and Ogden Nash, SN Behrman's Jakobowsky and the Colonel, Arthur Miller's All My Sons, and - opening on December 3, 1947, at the Ethel Barrymore theatre, a big night in Broadway and American history - Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire.

Why was that night so important? In part it was the full delivery of Williams' poetic talent after the promise of The Glass Menagerie. In part, it was because of a new physical intensity in the acting, of psychologically enriched behaviour, as embodied in Marlon Brando, the actor Kazan chose to play Stanley Kowalski. And Kazan, by then was working his way towards an American way of acting (much influenced by Stanislavsky).

For it was in 1947 that he, Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford founded the Actors' Studio, the home of the "Method". Only later did the Studio take in Lee Strasborg, who had been one of Kazan's early teachers (as well as a spiritual opposite) at the Group Theatre. But the Actors' Studio style would prove enormously influential in its stress on inner truths to be mined by the actor - indeed, it was a method that made a cult of the brooding actor, turning him from professional interpreter to creative genius (for good and ill). More than that, its hunger for intimate behaviour worked even better in movies than on stage.

But there is more to be said about Streetcar and its treatment of sexual violence. In Blanche DuBois, Williams had written a kind of gay surrogate character - a very refined, neurotic woman, hardly able to own up to her sexual identity. Kazan recognised this - and felt a little left out. He was a raging heterosexual, a man who needed some personal sexual identification in his work, and who often had passionate affairs with his actresses. And so he built Brando's Stanley into a sexual icon, a sweaty, rough Adonis from the working class, a guy in a torn t-shirt, someone who stirred a gay audience as much as the straight. A new sense of bisexuality had been revealed, and it came out of the fruitful jostling of two very different men, Williams and Kazan.

A few months later, in March 1948, a film was released, Gentleman's Agreement, directed by Kazan, that would win Oscars for best picture and direction. These look generous awards now for a project about anti-Semitism that seems stilted in its sense of its own courage or novelty. It is not a very good, or fluent film: at that point Kazan was a far better director on stage, much more attuned to the momentum of live theatre.

But he was ambitious for movies. He had made his first feature A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, in 1945, from the Betty Smith novel, and he followed this with respectable, if rather dull movies - Sea of Grass, a drama with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn; Boomerang, a realist thriller; Gentleman's Agreement; Pinky - a banal effort, about racism (it claimed), with pretty Jeanne Crain as a girl of mixed blood; Panic in the Streets, a good thriller; and the movie of Streetcar, with the Broadway cast, except for Vivien Leigh who was deemed more commercial than Jessica Tandy. The movie gives some feeling of the stage production, but it was restricted by censorship problems.

There was a crisis coming, an American dilemma as well as a fork in the road for Kazan and other Communists of the 1930s. But Kazan thrived on crisis, and even in the late 1940s he had been wrestling with himself about "going" Hollywood or staying with his roots in the East; about staying married or going off with other women. He did not give up the stage: indeed, he directed Lee J Cobb in the 1949 premiere of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman; and in the 1950s he handled the first productions of Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with big rewrites urged by Kazan) and Sweet Bird of Youth, all by Williams; and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, by William Inge.

But he had been thrilled by the chances the movies offered of putting reality - wind, air and place - on screen, as well as drama and good acting. He was becoming more visual, more cinematic, and - some said - more of the Hollywood person he liked to despise. But Kazan was often a natural enemy or rival, a scold to old friends, the opponent of others' orthodoxies, a wilful contrarian. In the personal drama that ensued, Kazan was not just a character, he was director and author, too. He was himself against the world, his own lone vote, his anger justified.

In 1952, from a script by John Steinbeck, he released the film of Viva Zapata!, with Brando as the Mexican peasant leader. It is Hollywood radicalism, if you will: the rebel is a romantic hero, and his opponents are dishonest men. But the movie worked. Brando was fully engaged; there was a feeling of heat and dust; there was passion and myth on the screen, as Kazan had never managed before. And then he heard that the House Committee on Un-American Activities wanted to talk to him. This was no surprise. The committee had been active since 1947, and Kazan was a very obvious target. There was a questioning session, early in 1952, at which he refused to name names. People in power in the picture business told him his career was in jeopardy. He went back and named names.

"Concerned friends", he would write, "have asked me why I didn't take the 'decent' alternative, tell everything about myself and not name the others in the Group. But in the end that was not what I wanted. Perhaps ex-communists are particularly unrelenting against the party. I believed that this committee, which everyone scorned - I had plenty against them too - had a proper duty. I wanted to break open the secrecy."

In which case, of course, he should have talked the first time. The defence was typical of Kazan, and it was underlined in a piece written by his wife which they ran as an exculpatory ad in the New York Times. It was a moment of divide; many people would never talk to Kazan again - they pointed to his rising career, and to others that were crushed. They saw nastiness in the self-serving defence and predicted moral disaster for the man.

Maybe. A careful reading of A Life suggests that Kazan was haunted by the decision, decades later (he was too shrewd a director to miss its impact). There was also a part of him that relished the solitary ground he had staked, and took strength in the melodrama recrimination. Yet he had wounded himself, just like a tragic hero. What may be most illuminating is that the "play" he had set off surely deepened him as an artist and film-maker. Somehow the split had let him see farther into human nature. The evidence of that is in the string of films that came next, and which seem to be made by a new man. Man on a Tightrope (1953), little known still, is about a circus troupe trying to escape the Iron Curtain. On the Waterfront (1954) won Oscars for Best Picture, for Kazan as director, for Brando in the lead, for Eva Marie Saint as supporting actress, and for Budd Schulberg's script. There were also nominations for Lee J Cobb, Rod Steiger and Karl Malden. Kazan's enemies loathed the film because it was an apologia for informing. They also deemed the pseudo-politics of its story, and its anti-union stance, as the final sell-out. Whatever, On the Waterfront is a great melodrama, a throwback to the era of Cagney's best work, full of acting learned by heart by later generations. Maybe only a wounded man could make it, or one who felt his wound was greater than those of others. But maybe that is the chill in being an artist.

There can be no doubts about what followed - East of Eden, with James Dean, yet another great actor found and nurtured by Kazan; the unexpectedly comic Baby Doll; A Face in the Crowd, about the way a rural demagogue comes to power through the media; Wild River, a neglected masterpiece, in which Montgomery Clift plays a Tennesse Valley Authority agent who has to remove Jo Van Fleet from her land so a life-saving dam can be built; and Splendor in the Grass, the debut of Warren Beatty, but the best evidence we have that Natalie Wood had great acting in her. Time and again, people gave their best performances in Kazan pictures.

Seven films that no one who has seen them can forget. In the 1960s, Kazan shifted ground. He began to write novels, for the worst reason in the world - because he thought literature was more noble or worthy. He proved to be a page-turning hack - in books like America, America (1962), The Arrangement (1967), The Assassins (1971), The Understudy (1974) and Acts of Love (1978). They are all readable, yet ordinary.

On the stage, Kazan directed Arthur Miller's After the Fall (1964), starring Barbara Loden, his second wife - Molly had died in 1963, but Kazan had been involved with Ms Loden for some years. For the screen, he made a picture of America, America, which traces his own origins - it was the sort of film a man with Kazan's history had every reason to make, yet the direct self-expression was far less vivid than say, the identification with Dean's recalcitrant son, Cal, in East of Eden.

He retired too early - and how much of that was because of those in his world who ostracised him? He filmed his own novel, The Arrangement, in 1969, with Kirk Douglas, Faye Dunaway and Deborah Kerr in roles that reflected the Kazan-Loden-Molly triangle. Then, in 1971, with his older son, Chris, he did the low-budget The Visitor.

Then, five years later, came The Last Tycoon, adapted from Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished Hollywood novel. Sam Spiegel was the producer (he had done On the Waterfront); Harold Pinter wrote it; Kazan directed; and the cast included Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson. So much was hoped for - yet all the geniuses seemed to have left their heads at home. It is Kazan's dullest film.

But he was not finished. For several years he worked on A Life. It is long, but it was much longer before it was edited. It is frank yet tricky, and needs to be read with the care a lawyer might bring to a deposition. But it is an essential book, deeply compelling, the portrait of a very confused man, and maybe the best show business autobiography of the century. His foes hated it - and Kazan was made all the more secure in his magnificent isolation. He was a demon, a genius, a man who left his mark everywhere. He had great faults, yes, and he did shameful things. None of which is to be discounted or forgotten. So?

Barbara Loden died in 1980, and Kazan then married his third wife, Frances Rudge. She survives him, along with five children - Chris, Judy, Leo, Katie and Nicholas, the last of whom is now a screenwriter and a director.

Elia Kazan, theatre and film director, author, born September 7 1909; died September 28, 2003

http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,1052051,00.html

Phlegethon
Tuesday, September 30th, 2003, 02:01 PM
On the Waterfront (1954) is a classic, award-winning, controversial film directed by Elia Kazan - a part drama and part gangster film. The authentic-looking, powerful film is concerned with the problems of trade unionism, corruption and racketeering. And it is set on New York's oppressive waterfront docks, where dock workers struggled for work, dignity, and to make ends meet under the control of hard-knuckled, mob-run labor unions that would force them to submit to daily 'shape-ups' by cruel hiring bosses. To add realism, it was filmed over 36 days on-location in Hoboken, New Jersey (in the cargo holds of ships, workers' slum dwellings, the bars, the littered alleys, and on the rooftops). The low-budget film brought a depressing and critical, but much-needed message about society's ills to the forefront, and was hailed by most critics.

The film's morality tale of corruption ends with its ultimate defeat and the saving of the community by a morally-redeemed martyr (a common man with a conscience). Marlon Brando portrayed the struggling hero and small-time, washed-up ex-boxer Terry Malloy, an errand boy for the union boss who eventually joins forces with a tough-minded, courageous and crusading priest (Malden) and a loving woman (Saint), a sister of one of the victims, to seek reform and challenge the mob. The similarity between Terry Malloy's whistle-blowing testimony against his own corrupt group paralleled director Elia Kazan's self-justifying admissions before the HUAC two years earlier (in 1952) regarding his membership in the Communist party and the naming of others who were sympathizers.

Its screenplay by screenwriter Budd Schulberg (in collaboration with Kazan) was taken from his original story that was based on newspaper reporter Malcolm Johnson's expose called Crime on the Waterfront - a chronicling of actual dockside events, labor racketeering, and corrupt practices. [Schulberg based Karl Malden's character on the tough and profane-mouthed waterfront Catholic priest Father John Corridan, and Pat Henning's character on a Father John disciple named Arthur Browne.] The Pulitzer Prize-winning report, titled Waterfront, was published in 1955 in the New York Sun (now defunct) in a series of 24 parts. It revealed rampant bribery, extortions, kickbacks to union officials, payoffs, theft, union-sponsored loan sharks, murder, and the mob's tyrannical influence on New York's waterfront.

The harsh, naturalistic, well-acted and uncompromising film was hugely successful, critically and financially. Boris Kaufman's gritty black and white cinematography was singled out as superior, and the film received a phenomenal number of Academy Award nominations - twelve. It won eight Academy Awards including: Best Picture and Director (Kazan), Best Story and Screenplay (Schulberg), Best Actor (Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Saint in her film debut), Best B/W Cinematography (Boris Kaufman), Best B/W Art Direction-Set Decoration (Richard Day), and Best Film Editing (Gene Milford). Three of its other four nominations were supporting acting nods (for a total of four): Best Supporting Actor (Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger), and Best Scoring (Leonard Bernstein).



Following the credits, drumbeats accompany a scene at the New York waterfront, where a large ocean liner is docked. The gangster union boss, Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb) who callously rules this section of the waterfront, walks up the gangplank with his mobster entourage from the office (shack) of the Longshoreman's local Union. Slow-witted, illiterate waterfront bum Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) follows behind, surviving as a lackey by running odd jobs and errands for Johnny and doing strong-arm work.

He is asked to lure to the rooftop of his tenement building a young dockworker Joey Doyle, one of the informant union workers who is planning to cooperate with crime investigators by testifying (before the Waterfront Crime Commission) against gangsters who tyrannically control the docks. Terry shouts to fellow pigeon-lover Joey in his apartment, in the opening lines of the film, unwittingly becoming a pawn in setting a trap to murder his fellow longshoreman:




Joey, Joey Doyle!...Hey, I got one of your birds. I recognize him by the band...He flew into my coop. You want him? Terry keeps pigeons in coops on his tenement apartment's rooftop, and soon convinces Joey to meet him on the roof. When he looks up to the rooftop, he sees the dark figures of two men standing there. Instead of joining Joey on the roof, he releases his pigeon into the air, and then walks down the street to a seedy bar, Johnny Friendly's BAR. In front of the corner saloon is Charley Malloy (Rod Steiger), Terry's smartly-dressed older brother and manager. Charley, who works as Johnny Friendly's crooked lawyer and chief lieutenant, is flanked by two of Friendly's goons.

In shock, Terry witnesses Joey's murder, as he is hurled from the rooftop to his death many stories below with a bloodcurdling scream. One of the thugs coldly states: "I think somebody fell off the roof. He thought he was gonna sing for the Crime Commission. He won't." Unknowingly set up, Terry is stunned by the murder, believing that the racketeers (and his brother) would only threaten the man:




I thought they was gonna talk to him...I thought they was gonna talk to him and get him to dummy up...I figured the worst they was gonna do was lean on him a little bit...Wow! He wasn't a bad kid, that Joey. Two of the thugs make a joke about the 'squealer' who has threatened to 'sing' to the crime commission and break the waterfront's unspoken code to be D and D (Deaf and Dumb):




A canary.
Maybe he could sing but he couldn't fly! In the street, a shocked crowd gathers around Joey's body. Introduced characters are local parish priest Father Barry (Karl Malden) who delivers the last rites, Joey's father Pop Doyle (John Hamilton), and Joey's fresh-faced sister Edie (Eva Marie Saint). One of the neighbors, Mrs. Collins (Anne Hegira) knows this was no accident: "Same thing happened to my Andy five years ago...(about Joey) He was the only longshoreman that had the guts to talk to them crime investigators ... Everybody knows that." Pop laments that his son didn't follow his advice: "Kept telling him. Don't say nothin'. Keep quiet. You'll live longer." Angered by the senseless murder of the brother she was close to, Edie screams: "I want to know who killed my brother!"

In the rough waterfront bar where some of the patrons watch a prizefight on a TV above the bar, Big Mac (James Westerfield) the waterfront hiring boss, brings beer-drinking Johnny Friendly a thick wad of bills, revealing union racketeering, corruption, strong-arm tactics and payoffs: "Here's the cut on the shape-up. Eight hundred and ninety-one men at three bucks a head, that's, uh, - twenty-six seventy-three...We got a banana boat at 46 tomorrow. If we could pull a walk-out, it might mean a few bucks from the shippers. Them bananas go bad in a hurry." Friendly responds sharply: "Ask two G's." A whole network of runners for Friendly's mob are in the bar including a weasel-like banker nicknamed "J.P." Morgan (Barry Macollum) and another conniving mobster named Skins (Fred Gwynne).

As a man in his 30s who is exploited like a pawn by others, ex-prizefighter and has-been Terry knows that he owes his waterfront career and livelihood to Johnny Friendly, head of the racketeers, and his brother Charley. But he also realizes that he is dull-witted and inarticulate, and not even capable of accurately counting a wad of bills. Big Mac good-naturedly comments on Terry's lack of education: "The only arithmetic he ever got was hearing the referee count up to ten." But Terry is hot-tempered, and reacts harshly to the criticism. Charley excuses his brother's a-typical behavior: "It's just the Joey Doyle thing. You know how he is. He exaggerates the thing. Just too much Marquis of Queensbury. It softens 'em up."

Johnny raises his voice and explains how he became head of the local union and continues to maintain a lucrative (but illegal) operation. He also calmly rationalizes to Terry about the death of Joey Doyle - a waterfront dockworker who might have threatened the entire business:




When I was sixteen, I had to beg for work in the hold. I didn't work my way up out of there for nuthin'...You know, takin' over this local took a little doin'. There's some pretty rough fellas in the way. They gave me this (he displays an ugly scar on his neck) to remember them by...I got two thousand dues-payin' members in this local - that's $72,000 a year legitimate and when each one of 'em puts in a couple of bucks a day just to make sure they work steady - well, you figure it out. And that's just for openers. We got the fattest piers in the fattest harbor in the world. Everything moves in and out - we take our cut...You don't suppose I can afford to be boxed out of a deal like this, do ya? A deal I sweated and bled for, on account of one lousy little cheese-eater, that Doyle bum, who thinks he can go squealin' to the Crime Commission? Do ya? (pause) Well, DO YA? Terry is given "a present from your Uncle Johnny," a fifty-dollar bill, and then promised a prime work area at the docks at the next morning's shape-up: "Put Terry up in the loft. Number one. Every day. It's nice easy work, you see. You check in and you goof off on the coffee bags. OK?" Charley reinforces Johnny's kind gesture to his brother with a warning: "Hey, you got a real friend here. Now don't forget it."

Up on his rooftop at daybreak the next day, Terry tells a fourteen-year old neighborhood boy Tommy (Thomas Handley) that he thinks his pigeons have the life:




Boy, they sure got it made, huh? Eatin'. Sleepin'. Flyin' around like crazy. Raisin' gobs of squabs. The faint sound of ship's whistle brings Terry back to reality and he hurries to the docks, where hundreds of men mill around on the pier. [The film effectively uses authentic sounds from its environment: foghorns, ship's whistles, etc. to heighten the realism.] Some of the longshoremen are muttering about the unfortunate Doyle death, because he "couldn't learn to keep his mouth shut." Two of Friendly's goons threaten Kayo Dugan (Pat Henning): "Why don't you keep that big mouth of yours shut?...What are you, a wise guy?" Dugan replies: "If I was wise, I wouldn't be no longshoreman for thirty years. I'm poorer now than when I started." Pop Doyle passes the mantle of Joey's jacket to Kayo.

While waiting for the morning's work, Terry is approached by Glover (Leif Erickson) and Gillette (Marty Balsam), representatives from the Waterfront Crime Commission. The commission is "getting ready to hold public hearings on waterfront crime and underworld infiltration of longshore unions." When questioned by them about what he knows, being the last one to see Joey alive, Terry pleads ignorance:




I don't know nothin', I ain't seen nothin', I'm not sayin' nothin'. At the 8 am whistle announcing the shape-up at the pier entrance (for 5 gangs and 100 banana carriers), Big Mac calls forward men to work for the day. Terry Malloy is favored and one of the first to be called. From the side, Edie and Father Barry watch, as he tells her: "This is my parish. I don't know how much I can do, but I'll never find out unless I come down here and take a good look for myself." When Big Mac is surrounded by the men, he throws the work tabs over their heads, causing a mad, animalistic, free-for-all scramble.

Terry meets the sister of the murdered union worker when he grabs a tab that Edie's father had seen first. When she wrestles with him for the tab, he first teases her, withholding the tab from her. But when he learns she's "Joey Doyle's sister," he gives her the working tab. She gives it to her humiliated father so he can work. Father Barry asks the rejected men who have been denied work: "What do you do now?...Is this all you do, just take it like this?...Huh? What about your union?" He is told that the lawless local union is mob-controlled by Johnny Friendly: "The waterfront's tougher, Father, like it ain't part of America." Father Barry offers the men "the bottom of the church" as a safe haven so that they can discuss their grievances - it can be one place where it's safe to talk.

At work, Charley finds Terry lying comfortably on a pile of coffee bags while reading a photo magazine filled with bikini-clad women. He sends Terry on an "extra detail" to sit in on tough, insistent Father Barry's meetings (with the "Doyle girl") that he is organizing in his parish to expose union racketeering. Terry is to keep "a run-down" on the "names and numbers of all the players." Terry argues that he doesn't want to stool, but Charley straightens him out:




Let me tell you what stooling is. Stooling is when you rat on your friends, the guys you're with. Johnny wants a favor. Don't think about it. Do it. In the church meeting with only a handful of longshoremen in attendance, Father Barry speaks out against the controlling power of the mob and stands up for moral principles against the corrupt bosses. He preaches about the reality of the situation:




Isn't it simple as one, two, three? One. The working conditions are bad. Two. They're bad because the mob does the hiring. And three. The only way we can break the mob is to stop letting them get away with murder. He attempts to determine who killed Joey Doyle, asking: "Who killed Joey Doyle?" The reaction to the Father's question is total silence - the men either look down, blankly stare away, or look embarrassed. Then the priest asks a second, more pointed question: "How can we call ourselves Christians and protect these murderers with our silence?" Terry sits at the back of the parish during the meeting, viewed suspiciously: "The brother of Charley the Gent. They'll help us get to the bottom of the river." Father Barry cuts through the talk and returns to the crucial question:




Now listen. You know who the pistols are. Are you going to keep still until they cut you down one by one? Are ya? The priest is told by Kayo Dugan that there is a code of silence, called "D 'n D" on the docks: "Deaf and dumb. No matter how much we hate the torpedoes, we don't rat." Father Barry persuasively argues that they must break the code of silence and testify, but he feels defeated when the men don't respond to his words:




There's one thing we've got in this country and that's ways of fightin' back. Gettin' the facts to the public. Testifyin' for what you know is right against what you know is wrong. Now what's ratting to them is telling the truth for you. Now can't you see that? Can't you see that? The meeting is suddenly broken up when rocks shatter the church windows. As Father Barry pairs off the men, Terry suddenly grabs Edie and leads her to safety down a fire escape. Thugs who wield long clubs and baseball bats mercilessly ambush and beat the men.

Walking Edie home through a park, Edie asks Terry about where his affiliation lies:




Edie: Which side are you with?
Terry: Me? I'm with me, Terry. After he identifies his self-interest, Terry is confronted for a handout by an old rummy, one-armed derelict longshoreman named Mott Murphy (John Heldabrand). The man recognizes Edie and Terry, and accuses him of being there the night Joey was killed. Although bought off by the toss of some coins by Terry, Murphy spitefully calls him a "bum." Terry tells Edie to pay no attention to the "juice-head" who hangs around the neighborhood.




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Phlegethon
Tuesday, September 30th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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“On the Waterfront” (http://java_script_:openWindow%28%27http://us.imdb.com/M/title-exact?On+the+Waterfront%20%281954%27%29) was based on magazine articles by Malcolm Johnson; it was to be filmed in New York, partly because the locations demanded it, and partly because Elia Kazan (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/kazan/index.html), like Huston, Mankiewicz and Zinnemann, believed the atmosphere in Southern California was detrimental to his work. He was still angry about the cuts Zanuck had insisted on in “Man on a Tightrope”, but nevertheless On the Waterfront was destined for 20th Century-Fox until Zanuck decreed that audiences were not interested in labor problems. The project was taken on by the independent producer, Sam Spiegel, who arranged a deal with Columbia, and whose help in all ways was “tremendous”, according to Kazan. The film reunited Kazan with Marlon Brando, whose performance as Terry Malloy, ex-pug and longshoreman, is one of the best ever recorded on celluloid. A foreword claims that the “film will exemplify the way self-appointed tyrants can defeated by right-thinking people in a vital democracy”, thus avoiding the main problem, which is how tyrants achieve power in the first place. Malloy defeats them not by persuasive convictions (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/audio/wat4.wav) (467k) about democracy but by the old movie standbys, revenge and the strength that comes from love. The film’s rich texture and dialogue disguise the fact that Malloy is activated by a familiar maxim, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do”, but, as Brando makes clear, he is not accustomed to thinking. As events crowd in on him he uses his hands desperately in gesture or is forced back on an insolent grin; he under-reacts in contrast to the Admittedly striking histrionics of Rod Steiger as his brother, of Lee J. Cobb (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/audio/wat2.wav) (253k) as the corrupt Union boss and a rather dotty Karl Malden as the local priest. Brando is most memorable in the For the love scenes with the equally impressive Eva Marie Saint, playing the neighborhood girl who encourages him in a quietly bantering way which effectively contrasts with the excitement of the rest of the film. It can be enjoyed as a thriller about corruption at least, till the denouement, when Malloy becomes a Capra-like hero and testifies before the Crime Commission, and is ostracized by his colleagues—but rises from a beating-up to martyrdom and atonement. The subject is emotional and volatile, filmed in a style appropriate to the occasion; Leonard Bernstein’s score (sample 289k) (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/audio/wat1.wav) is theatrical, but offset by Boris Kaufman’s photography of Hoboken across the river, white with winter mists and steam drifting from the manholes.



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The film’s seven Oscars included awards to Kaufman, Brando, Kazan for direction and one as Best Picture. Its popularity reestablished Kazan after the box-office failure of his previous two films. He identified with Malloy (he felt proud and ashamed of himself at the same time. hurt by the fact that people—his own friends—were rejecting him. He also felt that it was a necessary act). Eventually Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront falls into most of the traps lurking to ensnare filmmakers of reforming zeal, but its virtuosity is undeniable—be it the words unheard under the ship’s hooters (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/audio/wat6.wav) (324k) or the shuffling conversation in the taxi, devices which were then new in films. The film, though often imitated, still retains its power, not least in the taxi scene. (http://www.moderntimes.com/test.ram/test.ram)




David Shipman, The Story of Cinema, 1982Liner Notes from,
Studio Heritage Collection,
Columbia Pictures Laserdisc

Marlon Brando, Karl Maiden and Eva Marie Saint star in “On the Waterfront, the timeless Academy Award winning film about a dockside worker who heroically goes up against his corrupt labor leaders to expose the union’s criminal practices. The idea for On the Waterfront began with an expose series written for The New York Sun by reporter Malcolm Johnson. The 24 articles won Johnson a Pulitzer Prize and, reinforced by the April 1948, murder of a New York dock hiring boss, awakened America to the killings, graft and extortion’s that made up everyday life on the New York waterfront. Author Budd Schulberg “What Makes Sammy Run.7” saw the subject as material for a future film project Schulberg: ”...I had taken a rather unorthodox approach to the writing of the screenplay, applying not a month or two, but years of my life to absorbing everything I could about the New York waterfront, becoming an habitude, of the West Side Manhattan and Jersey bars, interviewing longshore-union leaders and getting to know the fearless and outspoken labor priests from St. Xavier’s in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen...”

One priest that fascinated Schulberg was Father John Corridan, a “rangy, ruddy, fast-talking, chain-smoking, tough-minded, sometimes profane” Roman Catholic priest. He would become the model for Karl Maiden’s character in the film (Father Barry).

In 1951, director Elia Kazan “Gentleman’s Agreement, Panic in the Streets”, after suggesting to Schulberg that they should work together, agreed to make a movie about the waterfront.

Schulberg: “I spent a year in the research and writing. (Kazan) swore that Darryl Zanuck owed him a picture, so we mailed him the script and got on the train and went West....

We finally get to see Zanuck and he starts talking about widescreen Technicolor pictures. And I thought, uh oh because our script was specifically in black and white. Finally Zanuck comes clean and says he doesn’t like a single thing about it. And we ask why not. And I will never forget his reply. “Who’s going to care about a bunch of sweaty longshoremen?" (http://www.moderntimes.com/palace/audio/wat3.wav) (143k)

Undaunted, Schulberg and Kazan eventually met Sam Spiegel, the man who had produced “The African Queen and The Stranger, and would later be responsible for such classics as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia”. Spiegel agreed to make the film, which would be distributed through Columbia Pictures.





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To cast the film’s lead, Terry Malloy, Spiegel sent the script to an actor who had worked with Kazan twice in the past “A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata”, Marion Brando. Schulberg: “Sam sent the script to Brando, and it came back with a refusal. But I had done the old trick of putting bits of paper between the pages. They were in place, so he hadn’t read it.” While Spiegel continued to work on Brando, Frank Sinatra agreed to play the part. Before he could sign, however, Brando changed his mind and accepted the role. Although the other leads—Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Karl Malden -were Hollywood veterans, On the Waterfront leading lady came direct from the Broadway stage and Manhattan television studios. Bud Schulberg, “ Eva Marie Saint we found in the Player’s Directory, it was her first picture.”


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The $906,000 production was filmed in Hoboken, New Jersey on a 36 day shooting schedule. Originally entitled “Waterfront”, Columbia changed the name when it learned there was already a television series by that name. On the Waterfront opened in October 1954 to sensational reviews and grossed over $9.5 million in its initial release.

When the Oscars were presented the following year, On the Waterfront won eight: Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), Best Supporting Actress (Saint), Best Director (Kazan), Best Story & Screenplay (Schulberg), Best Editing, Best Cinematography—Black & White and Best Art Direction—Black & White. Nominated but not winning were Malden, Cobb and Steiger—each for Best Supporting Actor—and Leonard Bernstein, who made a rare foray into film composing’ for Best Music. After 40 years, On the Waterfront remains one of the most moving and powerful motion pictures ever produced.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Wednesday, October 1st, 2003, 05:59 AM
Kazan??? Personally I think for ink has been spilled immediately above on this guy than he was worth. Here is what sticks out in my mind: He came to prominance, not by himself but in an artistic partnership with others. The only reason we remember him is that he was a Jewish Communist in a cell of Jewish Communists at a time and place when Communists were really trying to hurt us. When named and caught as a Communist, to save his career, he rolled over and named everyone in his cell as a Communist. Maybe that is ok where he came from, I don't know. Of course, he was given a second and third chance by fellow Landsmen in Hollywood and Broadway where he did Death of a Salesmen whose point is that you can be somebody even if you are nobody so long as you are Jewish. He also made Street Car Named Desire starring Marlon Brando. How many bombs did Brando have? I think anyone who had Brando had better than a 50-50 chance of success. In the end he will be remembered as a man who soiled himself and was never able to wipe it off again.

Phlegethon
Wednesday, October 1st, 2003, 02:36 PM
That's all McCarthy paranoia. Communists were not even a bleep on the radar - not in the 30s and not in the 40s.

Kazan was a great director (and a gentile, by the way) and Dalton Trumbo was a great playwright.

Everything that is wrong in the U.S. today has not one jota to do with communism. Communism would have made the U.S. a better place.

Evolved
Thursday, October 2nd, 2003, 06:17 AM
Elia Kazanjoglous --> Kazanjoglu

Elia Kazanjoglu, a Konstantinápolyban született, öt éves kora óta Amerikában élő görög-amerikai filmrendező.

He's not a Greek or Jew, but a Turk. :)

Moody
Thursday, October 2nd, 2003, 05:26 PM
Brando blotted his copy book some years ago by lambasting the Jews on a live Larry King TV interview. He said that Jewish Hollywood cruelly stereotyped every race except the "Kike".

Razmig
Friday, April 9th, 2004, 06:41 AM
Elia Kazanjoglous --> Kazanjoglu

Elia Kazanjoglu, a Konstantinápolyban született, öt éves kora óta Amerikában élő görög-amerikai filmrendező.

He's not a Greek or Jew, but a Turk. :)
Sorry Lady, your wrong (again :nod )...Kazan was Christian, and an Armenian...Kazanjian is given to Armenians as a sirname, Kazan means Strong/Upholding. He made a movie about Armenians and Greeks in the Ottoman Times called "America, America." Any Armenian successor in Turkey would be called a Turk (by the Turk government, gee go figure), as Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were the only citizens other than Turks...remember they were the backbone of it, the Turks were merely military and peasant workers, uneducated and muslim.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/09/30/db3001.xml
"Elia ("Gadge") Kazan was born Elia Kazanjoglou on September 7 1909 into an Armenian family in Istanbul, Turkey. When he was four, his parents emigrated to America and settled in New York. All his life, he remained aware of his European origins. His father became a carpet dealer."

The sirname KLU or OGLU is/was intentionally given to non-Turks of the Ottoman Types (Greeks, Armenians, Serbs, Circassians). Any sirnames that were given to the masses were for Christians...as Muslims inherit the first name of their fathers (traditionally, pre-Mustafa Kamal).

You all should do some homework before making an outrageous claim as to call Elia a Turk, or a bloody Jew, or a Communist.

Dienekes_Pontikos
Friday, June 25th, 2004, 02:03 AM
Elia Kazanjoglous --> Kazanjoglu

Elia Kazanjoglu, a Konstantinápolyban született, öt éves kora óta Amerikában élő görög-amerikai filmrendező.

He's not a Greek or Jew, but a Turk. :)

Elia Kazan was a Greek.

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kazan.htm

Elia Kazan was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul) of Greek parentage.

http://www.filmnight.org/eliakazan.htm

Immigrating with his Greek family to the U.S. in 1913, Kazan began his acting career with the New York Group Theatre in the 1930s.

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0827236.html

Awar
Friday, June 25th, 2004, 02:49 AM
What does Kazan mean in Greek?

Dienekes_Pontikos
Friday, June 25th, 2004, 07:22 AM
What does Kazan mean in Greek?

Nothing, the last name is not Greek etymologically.

Razmig
Saturday, June 26th, 2004, 11:09 PM
Elia Kazan was a Greek.

http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kazan.htm

Elia Kazan was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul) of Greek parentage.

http://www.filmnight.org/eliakazan.htm

Immigrating with his Greek family to the U.S. in 1913, Kazan began his acting career with the New York Group Theatre in the 1930s.

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0827236.html

"Elia ("Gadge") Kazan was born Elia Kazanjoglou on September 7 1909 into an Armenian family in Istanbul, Turkey. When he was four, his parents emigrated to America and settled in New York. All his life, he remained aware of his European origins. His father became a carpet dealer."

"Kazan, born in Turkey (and half-Armenian), wrote the screenplay and novel as a means of exploring his family?"

Looks like he was both Armenian and Greek...the only Greeks I know (rembetika) with "glu" surnames do not spell it with Armenian words or with the KLUs (western Armenian pronounciation)of a Turkish originated surname ending.

Razmig
Saturday, June 26th, 2004, 11:12 PM
What does Kazan mean in Greek?
"kazan" also means a storage pit in eastern armenian...it probably has persian origins or turkic

Wayfarer
Sunday, June 27th, 2004, 01:48 AM
I always thought Elia Kazan was an Armenian.
As for the name Kazan, i think it must be Turkic. The capital of Tatarstan is also called Kazan.

Stríbog
Sunday, June 27th, 2004, 02:27 AM
It's obviously Turkic. That whole region of Russia was referred to as Kazan after the Golden Horde Mongols and Tatars invaded.

Dienekes_Pontikos
Sunday, June 27th, 2004, 04:33 AM
Looks like he was both Armenian and Greek...the only Greeks I know (rembetika) with "glu" surnames do not spell it with Armenian words

Read his autobiography (Elia Kazan, "A Life") if you still have a doubt that he was a Greek. The "kazantz-" occurs in many Greek names, e.g., the famous writer Nikos Kazantzakis, the singer Stelios Kazantzidis, and the director Elias Kazan(tzoglou).

Kazantzoglou (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzoglou&btnG=Search

Kazantzidis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzidis&spell=1

Kazantzakis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzakis&btnG=Search

Kazantzopoulos (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzopoulos&btnG=Search

Kazantzis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzis&btnG=Search

Kazandjian (Armenian):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazandjian&spell=1

Dienekes_Pontikos
Sunday, June 27th, 2004, 04:39 AM
From his autobiography:

His dad: "but he plunged on, telling the truth he knew, that I was a Greek, an Anatolian Greek, "not like these people over here," and that I should recognize my nature."

How he was introduced in interviews: "the interviews were friendly; I was heralded as the famous man from Anatolia who denied absolutely that he was Armenian."

About his dad: "In Turkey, he'd learned what Anatolian Greeks learn: how it was necessary to be in order to survive. "

Razmig
Friday, July 9th, 2004, 11:49 PM
Read his autobiography (Elia Kazan, "A Life") if you still have a doubt that he was a Greek. The "kazantz-" occurs in many Greek names, e.g., the famous writer Nikos Kazantzakis, the singer Stelios Kazantzidis, and the director Elias Kazan(tzoglou).

Kazantzoglou (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzoglou&btnG=Search

Kazantzidis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzidis&spell=1

Kazantzakis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzakis&btnG=Search

Kazantzopoulos (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzopoulos&btnG=Search

Kazantzis (Greek):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazantzis&btnG=Search

Kazandjian (Armenian):

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=Kazandjian&spell=1

whats the point of those links? for someone who has a website dedicated to his "opinion" on facts, it not surprising that you would label "Kazantzoglou" (a fully turkic surname lol) as "greek"...at least label it by its proper name...unless you are part of the rembetika



From his autobiography:

His dad: "but he plunged on, telling the truth he knew, that I was a Greek, an Anatolian Greek, "not like these people over here," and that I should recognize my nature."

How he was introduced in interviews: "the interviews were friendly; I was heralded as the famous man from Anatolia who denied absolutely that he was Armenian."

About his dad: "In Turkey, he'd learned what Anatolian Greeks learn: how it was necessary to be in order to survive. "

elia denied he was armenian during the accusations of him being a communist (armnie was under russia at the time)...i have a book about kazan in my closet...what does him stating being an anatolian greek have to do with him not being half? your posts arnt adhering to the topic...but i really dont care...you can have kazan but i will take sarma and dolma

you dont realize a lot of what is now greek was imported...that can include names....examples: fermented drinks during xenephones trip to anatolian armenia, along with grapes...fruits such as apricots etc were also imported from eastern anatolia along with olives....the idea of modern western mentality which was founded as greek democracy from babylonia, phoenician alphabet...christianity...ETC

hah...a "patriotic ellen" with the markings of the enemy rome