Image of Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan

1909-09-07 Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]

Image of Elia Kazan


Elia Kazan ( September 7 , 1909, Kayseri – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director and actor, described as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He also produced, and wrote screenplays and novels. Born in the Kayseri, Ottoman Empire to Greek parents, they emigrated to New York when he was four. After two years studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years before becoming a stage and film director. Kazan co-founded the influential Group Theater in 1932 and Actors Studio in 1947, and together with Lee Strasberg, introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism". Having been an actor himself for eight years, he brought sensitivity and understanding of the acting process, and was later considered the ideal "actor's director". He himself acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest (1940), alongside James Cagney. Overall, Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and 1960s by his run of provocative, issues-driven subjects, and acting. Moreover, his personal brand of cinema, employing real locations over sets, unknowns over stars, and realism over convenient genres, proved influential to a whole generation of independent filmmakers in the 1960s. Film author Ian Freer concludes that "If his achievements are tainted by political controversy, the debt Hollywood — and actors everywhere — owes him, is enormous." In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film, A Letter to Elia, as a personal tribute to Kazan, who he credits as the inspiration for his becoming a filmmaker.


Faye Self (archive footage) 2024-05-15
Un Américain nommé Kazan Self (archive footage) 2019-03-10
Arthur Miller: Writer Self (archive footage) 2017-12-08
Marlon Brando, un acteur nommé désir Self - Filmmaker (archive footage) 2014-09-20
Inside Rupert Pupkin Self (archive footage) 2014-05-14
A Letter to Elia Self (archive footage) 2010-09-04
An Actor Named Brando Self (archive footage) 2006-05-02
A Streetcar on Broadway Self (archive footage) 2006-01-01
A Streetcar in Hollywood Self (archive footage) 2006-01-01
Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan and the Blacklist: None Without Sin Self (Archive footage) 2003-09-03
Backstory: 'Gentleman's Agreement' Self (archive footage) 2001-10-21
Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey Self 1995-08-14
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies Self 1995-05-21
Tennessee Williams: Orpheus of the American Stage Self (archive footage) 1994-12-19
Sanford Meisner: The American Theatre's Best Kept Secret Self 1990-08-27
Hello Actors Studio Self 1988-11-09
Sis Old man in the coffee house 1988-03-18
Empire City Self 1985-07-01
Elia Kazan: An Outsider Self 1982-09-15
Ich bin Wanda – Portrait der Schauspielerin und Regisseurin Barbara Loden Self 1980-12-01
A New Lifestyle Self 1969-04-04
The Screen Director Self (archive footage) (uncredited) 1951-03-12
Panic in the Streets Cleaver - Mortuary Assistant (uncredited) 1950-07-27
Blues in the Night Nickie Haroyen 1941-11-15
City for Conquest 'Googi' 1940-09-21
Pie in the Sky 1935-04-09
Strangers All Protester Calling for a Ballot at Communist Meeting 1935-04-01