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Elia Kazan

Protrait of man

Elia Kazan, 1909-2003 – Member of the Workers Theater and Group Theatre, he collaborated with Nykino members, including Hurwitz, in acting workshops and in the production of Pie In The Sky, 1935 (the Eastern Orthodox motif in the junkyard sequence is attributable to him). He was part of the founding of Frontier Films and directed most of the filming of People of the Cumberland, 1938, along with Sydney Meyers. Kazan went on to become a celebrated Broadway and Hollywood director, winning Academy Awards and nominations among other honors. A signal point in his career came as he named his friends’ names, including Clifford Odets, Morris Carnovsky, Art Smith and Leo Hurwitz before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952, effectively ending their careers for at least the next 10 years. In a later act of reputed hostility, Kazan used the structure of a sequence from the Labor Spy section of Native Land, virtually shot for shot, in his film, On the Waterfront, 1954. His 1999 Lifetime Achievement Oscar award was protested in and outside the theater at the time, and given to him by Martin Scorcese.

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