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Following up on our screenings of ON THE WATERFRONT and A
STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE during our Marlon Brando series earlier this year, please join us
for more of the timeless works (EAST OF EDEN, BABY DOLL and AMERICA, AMERICA)
by the groundbreaking American master, Elia Kazan, as they were meant to be seen -
on the big screen.
Friday, January 27 7:30 PM
EAST OF EDEN, 1955, Warner Bros., 115
min. Iconic status in world cinema was immediately thrust upon James Dean with the
release of director Elia Kazans adaptation of the John Steinbeck classic. All
the more amazing is that it was Deans motion picture debut. Dean is brilliantly cast
as shy Cal, a pre-WWI teenager who cant escape from the shadow of his perfect
brother, Aaron (Richard Davalos). He is also a rebellious black sheep who will do almost
anything to gain the love of his strict father (Raymond Massey), a desire that may destroy
those around him, but may also, in the end, offer him his last chance at redemption.
Incendiary Jo Van Fleet won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Cals
estranged, brothel madam mother. With a great cast that also includes Julie Harris as
Abra, the girl loved by both brothers, as well as Albert Dekker, Burl Ives and a cameo by
Saturday, January 28 7:30 PM
BABY DOLL, 1956, Warner Bros., 114 min.
Director Elia Kazans controversial film starring Carroll Baker in a
ground-breaking performance as a thumb-sucking, child bride in the deep south. Karl
Malden stars as Archie Lee Meighan, her middle-aged husband, a cotton gin owner who
eagerly awaits his brides 20th birthday when they will finally consummate
their marriage. But rival cotton business man Silva Vaccaro (Eli Wallach in his
film debut) suspects Archie of burning down his gin and takes an erotic form of Sicilian
vengeance in this gothic tale of pride and perversity. Tennessee Williams wrote his first
original screenplay for BABY DOLL, using some elements from two of his earlier one-act
plays. The film garnered four Oscar nominations, including Carroll Baker (Best Actress);
and Tennessee Williams (Best Writing, Best Screenplay adapted for script). But the
explosive film was condemned by the Legion of Decency upon its release. Rip Torn also
makes his film debut in an un-credited role.
Sunday, January 29 5:00 PM
AMERICA, AMERICA, 1963, Warner
Bros., 174 min. If ever there was a director who seemed born for the job of spinning an
immigrants tale as not just high adventure but bittersweet tragi-comedy, it was Elia
Kazan. This sprawling epic of a young Greek, Stavros (based on Kazans uncle),
living with his family in Turkey circa 1900 and obsessed with making it to America for a
better life, is one of Kazans most moving, personal films. Kazan molds a talented
cast of comparatively unknown performers into a powerhouse ensemble: Stathis Giallelis is
perfect as Stavros, with able support from John Marley, Lou Antonio, Joanna Frank and the
great Frank Wolff (an underrated American actor who enjoyed a prolific career in
1960sera Italy before his tragic death in 1971). If youre a fan of
Kazans more famous classics like ON THE WATERFRONT and EAST OF EDEN, but have never
seen AMERICA, AMERICA, you owe it yourself to catch this masterpiece on the big screen.