VIVA ZAPATA!
1952, 20th Century Fox, 113 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) leads the poor of his country in an uprising against the corrupt, dictatorial president, with a little help from brother Eufemio (Anthony Quinn). Kazan’s spectacularly entertaining historical epic is part Western, part biopic and part social commentary - and a smashing success on every level. Quinn won the Oscar for his supporting role in this John Steinbeck-scripted masterpiece.


BABY DOLL
1956, Warner Bros., 114 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Director Elia Kazan’s 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 bride’s 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 one for Carroll Baker (Best Actress) and one for 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.


A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
1951, Warner Bros., 122 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Director Elia Kazan’s powerful adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ classic play made Marlon Brando a household name for his incendiary portrayal of working-class Stanley Kowalski, who collides headlong with fragile Southern belle Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) when she moves in with Stanley and wife Stella (Kim Hunter), her sister. Brilliantly acted and mounted on every level, with Academy Awards going to Leigh for Best Actress, Hunter for Best Supporting Actress and Karl Malden for Best Supporting Actor. "A masterwork in some indefinable middle ground which is neither stage nor screen." - David Shipman


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