Chapter 14

Elia Kazan: Drama as Life


Individual will struggling powerfully against another person, family, society—this is Elia Kazan’s view of the world that infuses his films. Kazan in his time was the most celebrated director of theater and film in the United States. Working with Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams on stage or with playwrights and novelists such as Moss Hart, John Steinbeck, Paul Osborne, Budd Schulberg, and William Inge, Kazan created a unique group of films. Although his reputation was tarnished and career ruined by his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, his work as a director is unique in American film. His director’s idea, that drama is life, infuses his work with a ...

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