Between 1945 and 1957 Elia Kazan directed 10 critically acclaimed motion pictures. He won Academy Awards as best director for Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), and On the Waterfront (1954). He was nominated for best director for two other films during that period, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), and East of Eden (1955). Kazan also directed two of the most profound and influential dramas in Broadway history, A Streetcar Named Desire (1947), and The Death of a Salesman (1948). His novel The Arrangement, published in 1967, became a best seller.
Kazan came to the fore during the post-World War II years, arguably the most controversial period in Hollywood history. His films of the period contributed much to the reputation of 20th Century Fox, and augmented further the luster and brilliance of Darryl F. Zanuck. Kazan, nicknamed “Gadge” was one of the great directors of his time. His post-war films remain as powerful and compelling as any produced in America. For a period of 12 years Elia Kazan had no peer! Read more
The motion picture industry most likely began in Los Angles in 1902 when Thomas L. Tully opened the first theater exclusively for moving pictures. From its earliest days, when movies were thought of as peep shows, the Negro was presented in an unfavorable light.
The year 1915 is a significant date in motion picture history. This is the year of the release of D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, the film version of Thomas Dixon’s pro South, Ku Klux Klan, novel, The Clansman. In terms of advancement of the medium, it must be regarded as one of the most significant films ever made. Subsequent to its release, movies were crude at best, with uneven lighting and quick jerky movements, the acting, melodramatic and exaggerated. From an artistic and technical outlook, it was a masterpiece of conception and structure. Though much has been written about it’s overt racism, it gave rise to the modern narrative film.
The Reconstruction scenes in The Birth of a Nation are especially harsh. The black members of Congress are portrayed as arrogant, lustful, and are shown drinking heavily right on the House floor. They are depicted going about the business of the country coarsely reclining in their congressional chairs, with bare feet plopped upon their desks. When the film was released small riots broke out in Boston, and other cities. Read more
The year 1939 is regarded by most film historians as the pinnacle of success and legitimacy in the short history of Hollywood’s Golden era. That year gave us the likes of Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and many more.
The manifest quality of these great classics is evident and needs no further elaboration here. There are a number of reasons for the achievements of 1939, chief of which was the great Hollywood studio system. If 1939 was a watershed year for Hollywood, then the next great shift came in 1946, Hollywood’s most successful year ever, in terms of attendance. The motion picture had grown up in the seven years since the release of Gone With the Wind. The great change of course came about with World War II, and it’s aftermath. Read more
blak’ list n., v., list– ed, – list– ing
a list of persons who are under suspicion, disfavor,or censure,
or who are not to be hired, served, or otherwise accepted.
—Random House Webster’s Dictionary—
According to the experts, the start of the cold war with the Soviet Union began in July 1947 when Stalin refused to accept the Marshall Plan for the Soviet Union. Although Soviet—American tensions had been mounting ever since the Bolshevik Revolution, they were briefly relaxed during the alliance to defeat Nazi Germany. By the spring of 1947 the euphoria created by the allied victories was waning. Meanwhile the Soviet Union continued its free and unabated domination of a tattered Europe. Marxist principles appeared to be gaining a foothold in much of the world. It appeared to some Americans that the terrible sacrifices by so many during the war years had been in vain. Read more
The year is 1948. The American economy is booming. The farmers are prospering. Abundance overall is greater than at anytime in the nation’s history. The net working capital of American corporations is at a new high of nearly $64 billion. For the steel, oil, and automobile industries, 1948 is a banner year. Unemployment is below 4 percent. Nearly everyone who wants a job has one, and though inflation continues, people are earning more actual buying power than ever before, and all of this following the record year of 1947, which, Fortune magazine reported had been the greatest productive record in the peacetime history of this or any other nation”. In the summer of 1948 London played host to the first Olympic Games since those held in Berlin in 1936. American athletes, Bob Mathais, Harrison Dillard, Melvin Patton-swept the track and field events, winning thirty-eight medals. American prosperity, it seemed was endless. It was a time of extraordinary technical and scientific achievement. A 200-inch telescope, the world’s largest, was unveiled at Mount Palomar, California. Test pilot Chuck Yeager, flying a revolutionary rocket-plane, the Bell X-1, broke the sound barrier. In 1948 the transistor was developed. A new antibiotic, Aureomycin and Cortisone to treat rheumatoid arthritis, were developed. A new kind of fuel, liquid hydrogen, promised, its inventor claimed, to “send men to the moon.” Read more