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Elia Kazan: Neither Hero nor Villain

Elia Kazan is perhaps the most complicated figure in Hollywood history. Kazan’s films—On the Waterfront, East of Eden, A Streetcar Named Desire, Gentleman’s Agreement, and A Face in the Crowd— are universally recognized for their complexity, vitality, and emotional intensity. Lauded as the ultimate “actor’s director,” Kazan regularly coaxed superlative performances from Hollywood’s greatest actors, including Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, and Julie Harris. Yet his legacy has been permanently tarnished by his voluntary testimony against colleagues and friends to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. In this course, examine Kazan’s legendary career, including his transition from Broadway director to Hollywood filmmaker and back; his rich catalog of emotionally nuanced and complex films; and his decision to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee and the repercussions that still reverberate today.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • Increased familiarity with the films of Elia Kazan
  • An understanding of Kazan’s complex and much-debated legacy

Ideal for

  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between
  • Screenwriters, directors, and anyone with an interest in film
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.