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DIRECTORS (Page 4 of 4)

Frank Capra

"Lost Horizon"
One of Ten Greatest Films of All Time!
This 1937 original card has slight damage to corners

11" X 14" Original Vintage Lobbycard
Reduced price due to slight damage.  Please email for price.

Frank Capra
Greatest 1930's Director of "It Happend One Night" ,
"Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" & "Lost Horizon"
w/ 3 Oscars.

8" X 10" Original Vintage Photograph
Authentically Signed

Biography for
Frank Capra

Height: 5' 5 1/2"
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Trivia

Studied electrical engineering at CalTech, and only began working in films as a temporary summer job.

Interred at Coachella Valley Cemetery, Coachella, California, USA

(1982) Awarded American Film Institute Life Achievement Award

Capra was once a gag man for the Keystone Film Company (best known for its Keystone Kops shorts).

Son Tom and Frank Jr. Daughter Lulu. Family lived in Fallbrook, California, USA.
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Personal quotes

"Behind every sucessful man there stands an astonished woman"

"Compassion is a two-way street"

"My advice to young film-makers is this: Don't follow trends. Start them!"
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Salary:  That Certain Thing (1928) $1000

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Writer, producer, director. (b. May 18, 1897, Bisaquino, Sicily; d. Sept. 3, 1991.) So many people think of Capra only in terms of his "Little Guy" films that they'd be shocked to realize those movies constituted only a portion of a remarkable career that spanned nearly half a century. He began as a gag writer for silent comedy kings Hal Roach and Mack Sennett, eventually working for comic actor Harry Langdon as a writer and later director. After the egocentric star decided to direct himself, Capra went to Columbia-then a minor studio-and began an amazing affiliation that, through his efforts, brought the company "major" status. He did everything from tearjerkers to adventures to comedies to whodunits, and tackled such dicey issues as Jewish assimilation in The Younger Generation (1929), evangelism in The Miracle Woman (1931), miscegenation in The Bitter Tea of General Yen and bank fraud in American Madness (both 1932).

Capra's successful, sentimental comedy Lady for a Day (1933) brought him to the top rank of directors, and It Happened One Night (1934) cemented his reputation by becoming the first film to win all five top Oscars. Within four years, he would win two more Best Director trophies, for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), and You Can't Take It With You (1938), his second Best Picture winner. This incredible winning streak was the result of a felicitous collaboration with screenwriter Robert Riskin, who with Capra developed the little-guy-bucks-the-system theme that was eventually dubbed "Capra-corn." Capra's peerless handling of actors resulted in many star-making performances, and some of the best opportunities that Hollywood's character players ever had.

After a lavish adaptation of Lost Horizon (1937) and his masterpiece Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Capra left Columbia for Warners, where he made two films in 1941-Meet John Doe certainly the darkest of the "little guy" dramas, which flirted with the danger of fascism in prewar America, and the black comedy Arsenic and Old Lace (not released until 1944)-before World War 2 beckoned, resulting in several outstanding documentaries in the "Why We Fight" series. After the war, he formed Liberty Pictures with George Stevens and William Wyler, but It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and State of the Union (1948) were boxoffice flops, and the unit eventually dissolved. He coasted through two Bing Crosby vehicles, Riding High (1950, an exact remake-complete with stock footage-of his 1934 Broadway Bill) and Here Comes the Groom (1951), then retreated from Hollywood, though he did make several marvelous educational TV programs for Bell Telephone. When he did attempt a comeback, the films (1959's A Hole in the Head and 1961's Pocketful of Miracles a remake of his Lady for a Day) only served to underscore how wonderful (and effortless) his earlier films had been.

Capra's 1971 autobiography, "The Name Above the Title," is one of the most entertaining books ever written about the movie industry-compulsively readable though, as it turns out, fanciful. (In 1992 Joseph McBride effectively rebutted that book with an exhaustively detailed biography, "Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success.") He lived long enough to see a new generation rediscover his work, but it was a bittersweet irony that America fell in love with It's a Wonderful Life because the film fell into the public domain, run ning on TV during the Christmas holidays. It brought him no income, and was colorized against his wishes. Capra himself had finally become The Little Guyand, sadly, he could not prevail.

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Elia Kazan

Click to enlarge each emage

"Gentlemen's Agreement"
Original Signed in Ink Script 1947
NOT A XEROX!!!

Gentleman's Agreement (also 1947), starring Gregory Peck,
was a full-blown treatise on anti-Semitism that won Oscars for Kazan,
supporting actress Celeste Holm, and as Best Picture.

First US film to deal with Anti-Semitism

Biography for
Elia Kazan

Nickname: Gadg
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Mini biography
Elia Kazan, known for his creative stage direction, was born Elia Kazanjoglous in Constantinople in 1909 to Greek parents. He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He directed the film version of Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) and many other films. He is a proponent of the method approach to acting, developed by Konstantin Stanislavski. Kazan has received two best director Academy Awards, for the films Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On the Waterfront (1954). He has written many films about Greek immigrants, such as America, America (1963). These films are based on his novels. Kazan's autobiography, published in 1988, is entitled "Elie Kazan: A Life".
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Spouse
'Molly Day Thatcher' (5 December 1932 - December 1963) (her death)
Barbara Loden (? - 1980) (her death)
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Trivia

His selection for an Honorary Oscar angered many in the filmmaking community on account of him being amoung the first to cooperate with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1952 which led to the Blacklist which ruined many careers in Hollywood because of their political beliefs and publicly stating that he had no regrets for that action. In response, there were loud protests against Kazan's selection of the award and many attendees of the Awards Ceremony itself stayed in their seats and refused to applaud when he received the award. For his part, Kazan quickly received the Oscar and left the stage with only a few thanks in response to the hostility.

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Director, screenwriter, producer, actor. (b. Sept. 7, 1909, Constantinople, as Elia Kazanjoglou.) A truly pioneering Hollywood director, Elia Kazan in the late 1940s and early 1950s helped blaze trails into the largely uncharted territories of social consciousness and cinematic naturalism, turning out some of the era's most memorable movies and influencing subsequent generations of filmmakers. Born to Greek parents who came to America when he was a small child, Kazan fell under the spell of the theater as a young man, acting in New York's avant-garde Group Theatre troupe and eventually becoming a director whose Broadway triumphs included the original productions of "The Skin of Our Teeth," "All My Sons," "A Streetcar Named Desire," and "Death of a Salesman."

Kazan, whose first brush with the movie industry consisted of assisting documentarian Ralph Steiner in the mid 1930s and acting in two Warner Bros. films,City for Conquest (1940) andBlues in the Night (1941), was courted by 20th CenturyFox's Darryl F. Zanuck, who signed him to a contract in 1944. From the first, directingA Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Kazan evinced an ability to coax great performances from his actors; star James Dunn and child actress Peggy Ann Garner both won Oscars for their turns in this lovely, evocative film.Boomerang! (1947), part-murder mystery, partcourtroom drama, also featured superb performances and presented a subtle but definite comment on political corruption.Gentleman's Agreement (also 1947), starring Gregory Peck, was a full-blown treatise on anti-Semitism that won Oscars for Kazan, supporting actress Celeste Holm, and as Best Picture. Seen today, the picture seems rather tame and obvious, but it was considered a real breakthrough back in 1947. Kazan took on race relations inPinky (1949), the story of a light-skinned black woman (improbably played by Jeanne Crain) who passes for white; it too was thought very daring at the time but has lost much of its impact in the intervening years. In retrospect, Kazan considered his first "real" film to be Panic in the Streets (1950), a solid thriller about efforts to contain a burgeoning epidemic which was shot entirely on the streets of New Orleans.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) not only earned Kazan another Oscar nod for Best Director, it made a full-fledged screen star of Marlon Brando, leading exponent of the "Method" acting technique taught at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio, which was cofounded by Kazan. The Tennessee Williams play, which Kazan had directed on Broadway, was strong stuff to moviegoers of 1951, but it ushered in an era of similarly ambitious and unusual stage-to-screen translations. Brando continued his association with the director most successfully, first inViva Zapata! (1952, which, likeStreetcar netted him a Best Actor nomination) and then in the classicOn the Waterfront (1954), which took eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor. Budd Schulberg's hard-hitting exposé of the longshoremen's unions was ideal fodder for Kazan's mastery of heightened realism. (It came, ironically, on the heels of the director's still-infamous decision to testify and name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee.) He went abroad to make Man on a Tightrope (1953), the story of a circus troupe's escape from behind the Iron Curtain.

Kazan picked up yet another nomination forEast of Eden (1955), in which he did for newcomer James Dean what he'd done for Brando a few years earlier. Viewers today are still riveted by the rawness of emotions the director managed to capture in this powerful Steinbeck story of a family in conflict. By this time, he had fully mastered the cinematic technique (critics of his earlier pictures suggested that they were too much like filmed stage plays), and was producing his own pictures. The wildly provocative Baby Doll (1956),A Face in the Crowd (1957),Wild River (1960), andSplendor in the Grass (1961) all bore Kazan's stamp of quality, but didn't quite match his earlier successes.America, America (1963), based on the experiences of Kazan's own uncle, movingly captured the turn-of-the-century immigrant experience and snagged Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Screenplay (which Kazan himself had written). It also ended his most fertile creative period.

Since then, Kazan has directed only three films-The Arrangement (1969, based on his own novel), the little-seen The Visitors (1972), andThe Last Tycoon (1976, a highly anticipated but ultimately disappointing F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation)and has abandoned the theater altogether. Kazan was married to actresses Molly Day Thatcher and Barbara Loden. His autobiography, "A Life," was published in 1988. His son, Nicholas Kazan, is a screenwriter who was Oscar-nominated for Reversal of Fortune (1990) and made his directing debut with Dream Lover (1994).

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Buster Keaton


Buster Keaton -- Born October 1895 - Passed On 1966
Extremely Rare Full Signature Joe Frank "Buster" Keaton

Original Vintage Signed A.G.V.A. Union Card
$395.00

Biography for
Buster Keaton

Nickname:  The Great Stone Face
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Height: 5' 6"
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Mini biography
When at six months he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed he was given the name "Buster" by 'Harry Houdini' who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson (I) ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with The Three Keatons: Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton. Their act, one of the most dangerous in vaudeville, was about how to discipline a prankster child. Buster was thrown all over the stage and even into the audience. No matter what the stunt, he was poker-faced. By age 21 his father was so alcoholic the stunts became too dangerous to perform and the act dissolved. He first saw a movie studio in March 1917 and on April 23 his debut film, 'Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle''s Butcher Boy, The (1917), was released. He stayed with Fatty through fifteen two-reelers even though he was offered much more to sign with Fox or Warner after returning from ten months with the 40th Infantry in France. His first feature length Saphead, The (1920) established him as a star in his own right. By the middle of 1921 he was starring, directing and scripting through Buster Keaton Productions. General, The (1927), his favorite, was one of the last over which he had artistic control. In 1928 he signed with MGM and his fame dwindled. By 1932 he was divorced, reduced to co-starring, and alcoholic. In 1935 he entered a mental hospital. [By 1937 he had been re-hired by MGM as a $100-a-week gagman.] In 1947 his career rebounded with a live appearance at Cirque Medrano in Paris. In 1952 James Mason, who then owned Keaton's Hollywood mansion, found a secret store of presumably lost nitrate stock films of Buster's; Raymond Rohauer began serious collection/preservation of his films. In 1957 he appeared with Charles Chaplin in Limelight (1952) and his film biography Buster Keaton Story, The (1957) was released. Two years later he received a special Oscar for his life work in comedy. Festivals the world over acknowledged Buster until his death at age seventy.
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Spouse
'Eleanor Norris' (1940 - 1 February 1966) (his death)
'Mae Scribbens' (1933 - 1936) (divorced)
Natalie Talmadge (1921 - 1932) (divorced); 2 sons
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Trade mark

Porkpie hat, slapshoes, deadpan expression
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Trivia

Son of Joe Keaton

Son of Myra Keaton

Father of Buster Keaton Jr.

Brother of Harry Keaton and Louise Keaton.

Keaton's older son was born Joe Keaton but was renamed James Talmadge in 1933 when Keaton was divorced by his sons' mother, Natalie Talmadge.

Heavy Smoker.

Hollywood Handicap is a TERRIBLE two reeler made by MGM in 1938, directed by Keaton. Interesting only to see the depths he was forced to in his career. Very brief, nonspeaking cameo appearances by Mickey Rooney, Al Jolson, Ruby Keeler, Bing Crosby, Stu Erwin, Robert Montgomery, Charles Butterworth, Edmund Lowe. Two music numbers by black combo, The Original Sing Band. Much of film appears to be newsreel footage of horserace.

Unlike many silent movie stars, Buster was eager to go into sound considering he had a fine baritone voice with no speech impediments and years of stage experience, so dialogue was not a problem.

Interred at Forest Lawn (Hollywood Hills), Los Angeles, California, USA.
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Personal quotes

"No man can be a genius in slapshoes and a flat hat."

"The only person who has the right attitude about boxing in the movies for me was Buster Keaton." - Martin Scorsese, director of Raging Bull (1980)

"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot."
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Salary
Jail Bait (1937) $2500
Love Nest on Wheels (1937) $2500
Ditto (1937) $2500
Chemist, The (1936) $2500
Blue Blazes (1936) $2500
Mixed Magic (1936) $2500
Three on a Limb (1936) $2500
Grand Slam Opera (1936) $2500
Timid Young Man, The (1935) $2500
Tars and Stripes (1935) $2500
Palooka from Paducah (1935) $2500
E-Flat Man, The (1935) $2500
Hayseed Romance (1935) $2500
One Run Elmer (1935) $2500

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor, director, screenwriter. (b. Oct. 4, 1895, Piqua, Kans., as Joseph Francis Keaton; d. Feb. 1, 1966.) The silent screen's "Great Stone Face," and arguably its greatest comic player, Buster Keaton possessed a prodigious talent that, fortunately, was properly utilized as much as it was abused-which, owing to the comedian's personal demons, was frequently. On stage from infancy in his family's knockabout vaudeville act, he came to films in 1917 after visiting the New York studio where Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle was making two-reelers for producer Joseph M. Schenck. Keaton made his film debut supporting Arbuckle inThe Butcher Boy (1917), and over the next two years appeared with the rotund comic in more than a dozen shorts.

When the Arbuckle company moved to California, Keaton followed, and when "Fatty" signed with Paramount in 1920, Schenck turned his Comique Studio over to Keaton. The short, slender, sad-faced performer initially producedThe High Sign (1920), but it was held up for release; audiences first sawOne Week a bizarre tale of newlyweds trying to assemble a prefabricated house kit that has been sabotaged by the hero's rival. He turned out nearly 20 two-reelers in three years (taking time out to star in a partially successful, if conventional, feature for Metro calledThe Saphead in 1920).The Boat (1921),Cops (1922), andThe Balloonatic (1923) set the pattern for Keaton films to come, each one full of inventive gags and surreal imagery.

Unlike his greatest competitor, Charlie Chaplin (who used the camera merely to record his brilliant performances), Keaton immersed himself in the medium of film, learning by experimentation how to use the mechanics of cinema to enhance his comedies. Schenck, for his part, gave Keaton free rein in making the films, and even though the comedian often collaborated with directors Eddie Cline and Mal St. Clair, he was largely responsible for guiding his own work.

Buster graduated to features in 1923 withThe Three Ages a sendup of the DeMille historical flashback genre.Our Hospitality (also 1923) combined the visual appeal of a lovingly recreated early steam train with a strong dramatic story about a family feud.Sherlock, Jr (1924) was a wild gag comedy about a projectionist who dreamed himself onto the theater screen; it delineated, in sharp relief, both his fascination with things mechanical and his remarkable grasp of motionpicture grammar and artifice.The Navigator (also 1924) found Buster on an abandoned ocean liner adrift with only a single companion, andSeven Chances (1925) climaxed with a tremendous chase showing Keaton pursued by hundreds of jilted brides (and an avalanche of rocks and boulders).Go West (also 1925) andBattling Butler (1926) were weak efforts, butThe General (also 1926), a picturesque retelling of a Civil War railroad raid, showed the star at his best in a meticulously constructed comedy that also reflected his almost fetishistic penchant for historical accuracy. AlthoughThe General fared poorly with audiences of the day, it is generally considered Keaton's greatest work.Steamboat Bill, Jr (1927) was another top-notch comedy, and featured as its highlight an hysterical and, at the same time, terrifying tornado sequence. By comparison,College (1927) seemed a minor effort, even though it too was packed with laughs.

In 1928 Joe Schenck sold Keaton's contract to MGM, which was headed by his brother Nicholas Schenck. The star's first MGM vehicle,The Cameraman (1928), was up to his very best work, but increasing interference (by a studio that was accustomed to having its stars follow orders, not create their own movies) and Keaton's own losing battle with alcoholism contributed to a steady decline thereafter.Spite Marriage (1929) had many fine moments, and the star's first talkie,Free and Easy (1930), showed promise. ButDoughboys (also 1930) was dismal, and inParlor, Bedroom, and Bath (1931), Keaton-the ostensible star-was relegated to comic relief. By the time ofWhat! No Beer? (1933), he was forced to team with Jimmy Durante, as the studio had lost faith in his ability to carry a picture alone. Keaton completed seven talkies for Metro, all pale imitations of his silent work, but all moneymakers.

Finally fired for embarrassing alcoholrelated escapades, Keaton could find employment only in low-budget two-reel shorts, first with Educational Pictures and then, late in the decade, for Columbia. (He also traveled abroad in 1935 to appear in two interesting but unsatisfying comedies, the English-madeAn Old Spanish Custom and the French-madeLe Roi des ChampsElysées Although there were flashes of the old Keaton brilliance in such shorts asAllez Oop (1934) andGrand Slam Opera (1936), generally these three-day wonders only served to diminish Keaton's earlier achievements.

By the late 1930s and early 1940s Keaton was reduced to playing bit parts (most notably as himself in 1939'sHollywood Cavalcade and working as a screenwriter. He supplied gags forThe Jones Family in Hollywood (1939), directed by his old friend Mal St. Clair. Returning to MGM in virtual anonymity during the 1940s, he did the same on several Red Skelton comedies, and served as a comedy troubleshooter at the studio. He had occasional roles in features (1940'sLi'l Abner 1943'sForever and a Day 1944'sSan Diego, I Love You and even though most of them were minor, he brought to each a flash of Keatonesque invention that proved his mind was still fertile. He also appeared as one of the "waxworks" in an all-too-brief cameo inSunset Blvd (1950), and did a much-anticipated but sadly unsatisfying star turn with Charlie Chaplin inLimelight (1952).

Television, however, provided both a new vehicle of employment, and a chance to regain lost ground. He starred in his own live half-hour series in Los Angeles, and then filmed another series of half-hours that were later edited into an ersatz feature titledThe Misadventures of Buster Keaton (1950) for foreign release. TV commercials, series guest shots, theater appearances in a revival of "Merton of the Movies," and cameos in feature films kept Keaton before the public.The Buster Keaton Story (1957), starring Donald O'Connor, was a typically whitewashed and ill-conceived screen biopic, but the fee paid to Buster enabled him to buy a comfortable house in which he lived out his years.

In the 1960s, a rediscovered Keaton found himself in ever-increasing demand. Canadian filmmaker Gerald Potterton directed him in a silent-film-style short,The Railrodder (1965), while another crew chronicled the production in a poignant documentary calledBuster Keaton Rides Again He appeared in Stanley Kramer's all-starIt's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (though his best scenes wound up on the cutting-room floor), and a series of Beach Party movies (1965'sBeach Blanket Bingo andHow to Stuff a Wild Bikini to name two), in which he was allowed to devise his own sight gags. Director Richard Lester hired him, in spite of failing health, to appear inA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), and American-International Pictures (producers of the Beach Party movies) released an Italian-made comedy with Buster's name above the title,War, Italian Style (1967).

Had he lived, there is no question that other projects-perhaps even better ones-would have followed. A posthumous biography, "Keaton," by Rudi Blesh received Keaton's full cooperation and became the life story the comedian himself should have written. (His official autobiography, 1960's "My Wonderful World of Slapstick," was ghostwritten.) In 1959 Keaton received a special Oscar "for his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen."

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