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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you all probably know, the director Elia Kazan died in the last few days.


His work was groundbreaking. Some of it is still new and fresh almost fifty years later.


I just took a look at amazon.com, and was disappointed to see how few of his films are available on DVD. The ones that are:


On the Waterfront

Gentleman's Agreement

Splendor in the Grass

A Streetcar Named Desire

The Last Tycoon


Among the missing are some of his best films:


East of Eden - James Dean's first film. Kazan's first use of color and first use of CinemaScope. Some of his camera moves and tilts had never been tried before in this process.


A Face in the Crowd - I saw this in theatres (that dates me, I know) and I've always wanted to see it again. Way ahead of its time.


Baby Doll - quite controversial; I believe this was Carroll Baker's first film.


Wild River.


I've left a lot out, most of them not so well known. I find it kind of shocking that East of Eden has never been released on DVD.


Michael Bate
 

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You forgot Viva Zapata
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I left out many of his films. For a full list, check imdb.com. I did see "Viva Zapata" years ago.


"East of Eden," BTW, was released on LD, in a beautiful widescreen version. I rented it and saw it. This was no doubt the first time it was available on home video in the correct format. This would make a great DVD.


I saw "Splendor in the Grass" a few years ago, I think on LD. The film was in excellent condition, as I recall.


I can't recall if I ever saw "The Last Tycoon" IMDB says that this was made in the 70s, past Kazan's prime. It starred Robert De Niro. IMDB users do NOT rate it highly.


Michael Bate
 

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Kazan has a great body of work - in fact, you can credit him as one of the earliest and greatest proponents of the "method acting" that Brando made famous in On The Waterfront. This style has almost entirely replaced the earlier and more mannered style of acting, unless you are an afficianado of "Merchant Ivory" films or the few other remnants of the early Hollywood style that bridged the silent film era with today.


He was also a member of the Communist Party in the 1930's - until the genocidal excesses of Josef Stalin drove him from such beliefs. He became a staunch proponent of Constitutional Democracy, much to the chagrin of his left-leaning Hollywood cronies. His talent was so massive that he would have easily weathered this storm had he not cooperated with Senator McCarthy's HUAC (House UnAmerican Activities Committee) by naming eight influential Hollywood people as Communists. This occurred at the peak of his career between A Steetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront. When it became apparent within a few years that these folks would not work again in Hollywood due to the blacklist, Kazan fell from favor among the glitterati. East of Eden was made at this time, largely with Kazan's own funding - and from then on he made very few films, as he could not afford a commercial failure. This was less a case of a man past his prime than it was the backlash against the blacklist.


In spite of the fact that History has shown that the Hollywood blacklist was justified (during the Cold War, a concerted and largely successfull effort was made by the Soviet Union to subvert Hollywood fimmaking), some in the film industry still resent Kazan's action even after his death. Regardless of this treatment by other filmmakers, he always made films and directed plays that displayed great social conscience - yet his own great moral scandal followed him to the grave.


Gary
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MichaelBate


I can't recall if I ever saw "The Last Tycoon" IMDB says that this was made in the 70s, past Kazan's prime. It starred Robert De Niro. IMDB users do NOT rate it highly.


Michael Bate
The Last Tycoon is a good film but not nearly of the stature of his films from the 50s and 60s, worth seeing but not great.
 
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