George Stevens

George Cooper Stevens (December 18, 1904 – March 8, 1975) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter and cinematographer.[1]

Among his most notable films are A Place in the Sun (1951; winner of six Academy Awards including Best Director), Shane (1953; Oscar nominated), Giant (1956; Oscar for Best Director), and The Diary of Anne Frank (1959; nominated for Best Director).

George Stevens
George Stevens with Oscar for Giant
George Stevens with his Oscar for directing Giant
Born
George Cooper Stevens

December 18, 1904
DiedMarch 8, 1975 (aged 70)
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Occupationdirector, cinematographer, actor, writer, producer
Years active1915–1970
Spouse(s)Yvonne Howell (1930–1947)
Joan McTavish (1968–1975)
ChildrenGeorge Stevens, Jr.
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Director

Legion of Merit
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1954)
National Board of Review Award for Best Director

New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
George Stevens at Giant premiere
L-R: George Stevens Jr., his father George Stevens, and composer Dimitri Tiomkin at premiere of the Giant (1956 film)

Biography

Film career

He was born in Oakland, California, the son of Landers Stevens and Georgie Cooper, both stage actors. His uncle was drama critic Ashton Stevens. He also had two brothers, Jack and writer Aston Stevens. He learned about the stage from his parents and worked and toured with them on his path to filmmaking. He broke into the movie business as a cameraman, working on many Laurel and Hardy short films, such as Night Owls (1930). His first feature film was The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble in 1933.

George Stevens and Barbara Bel Geddes I Remember Mama
Stevens with Barbara Bel Geddes on set of I Remember Mama (1948)

In 1934 he got his first directing job, the slapstick Kentucky Kernels. His big break came when he directed Katharine Hepburn in Alice Adams in 1935. He went on in the late 1930s to direct several Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies, not only with the two actors together, but on their own. In 1940, he directed Carole Lombard in Vigil in the Night, and the film has an alternative ending for European audiences in recognition of World War II, which at the time the U.S. had not yet entered.

During World War II, Stevens joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps and headed a film unit from 1943 to 1946, under General Eisenhower. His unit shot footage documenting D-Day—including the only Allied European Front color film of the war—the liberation of Paris and the meeting of American and Soviet forces at the Elbe River, as well as horrific scenes from the Duben labor camp and the Dachau concentration camp. Stevens also helped prepare the Duben and Dachau footage and other material for presentation during the Nuremberg Trials.[2] In 2008, his footage was entered into the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as an "essential visual record" of World War II.[3]

One result of his World War II experiences was that his subsequent films became more dramatic. The motion picture I Remember Mama from 1948 was the last movie that he made with comic scenes. He was responsible for such classic films as A Place in the Sun, Shane, The Diary of Anne Frank, Giant and The Greatest Story Ever Told. He ended his directing career with the 1970 film The Only Game in Town with Warren Beatty and Elizabeth Taylor. In the same year, he was head of the jury at the 20th Berlin International Film Festival.[4] In 1973 he was a member of the jury at the 8th Moscow International Film Festival.[5]

Personal life

Stevens was the father of television and film writer-producer-director George Stevens, Jr., the first CEO and director of the American Film Institute. George Jr. produced and directed the documentary about his father George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey in 1984 and is the father of Stevens's grandson Michael Stevens, also a television and film producer-director.

Death

Stevens died following a heart attack on March 8, 1975, on his ranch in Lancaster, California, north of Los Angeles. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.[6]

Awards

As a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, Stevens headed the U.S. Army Signal Corps unit that filmed the Normandy landings and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. For these contributions, he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Stevens has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1701 Vine Street. He won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, in 1951 for A Place in the Sun and in 1956 for Giant. He was also nominated in 1943 for The More the Merrier, in 1954 for Shane, and in 1959 for The Diary of Anne Frank.

Archives

The moving image collection of George Stevens is held at the Academy Film Archive. The film material at the Academy Film Archive is complemented by material in the George Stevens papers at the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.[7]

Filmography

Year Title Production Co. Cast Notes
1930 Ladies Last Hal Roach Studios 3rd episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 Blood and Thunder Hal Roach Studios 4th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 High Gear Hal Roach Studios 5th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 Air-Tight Hal Roach Studios 7th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 Call a Cop! Hal Roach Studios 8th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 Mama Loves Papa Hal Roach Studios 9th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1931 The Kick-Off! Hal Roach Studios 10th episode from the "Boy Friends" series
1932 Who, Me? Universal Short film
1932 The Finishing Touch Universal Short film
1932 Boys Will Be Boys Universal Short film
1933 A Divorce Courtship Universal Short film
1933 Family Troubles Universal Short film
1933 Rock-a-Bye Cowboy Universal Short film
1933 Should Crooners Marry Universal Short film
1933 The Cohens and Kellys in Trouble Universal George Sidney/ Charles Murray Part of "The Cohens and Kellys" comedy series
1933 Room Mates Universal Short film
1933 Quiet Please! RKO Short film
1933 Flirting in the Park RKO June Brewster/ Carol Tevis Part of "The Blonde and The Redhead" comedy series
1933 What Fur RKO Short film
1933 Grin and Bear It RKO Short film
1934 Ocean Swells RKO Short film
1934 The Undie-World RKO June Brewster/ Carol Tevis Part of "The Blonde and The Redhead" comedy series
1934 Cracked Shots RKO Short film
1934 Hollywood Party MGM Hollywood Revue In an attempt to salvage the film Harry Rapf hired Stevens, and 8 other directors, to direct a sequence for the film.
1934 Bachelor Bait RKO Stuart Erwin/ Rochelle Hudson
1934 Kentucky Kernels RKO Robert Woolsey/ Bert Wheeler/ George McFarland
1935 Bridal Bail RKO June Brewster/ Carol Tevis Part of "The Blonde and The Redhead" comedy series
1935 Hunger Pains RKO June Brewster/ Carol Tevis Part of "The Blonde and The Redhead" comedy series
1935 Laddie RKO
1935 The Nitwits RKO Robert Woolsey/ Bert Wheeler/ Betty Grable
1935 Alice Adams RKO Katharine Hepburn/ Fred MacMurray
1935 Annie Oakley RKO Barbara Stanwyck
1936 Swing Time RKO Fred Astaire/ Ginger Rogers
1937 Quality Street RKO Katharine Hepburn/ Franchot Tone
1937 A Damsel in Distress RKO Fred Astaire/ Joan Fontaine/ George Burns/ Gracie Allen
1938 Vivacious Lady RKO Ginger Rogers/ Jimmy Stewart
1939 Gunga Din RKO Cary Grant/ Douglas Fairbanks Jr./ Victor McLaglen/ Joan Fontaine
1940 Vigil in the Night RKO Carole Lombard/ Brian Aherne/ Anne Shirley
1941 Penny Serenade Columbia Cary Grant/ Irene Dunne
1942 Woman of the Year MGM Spencer Tracy/ Katharine Hepburn
1942 The Talk of the Town Columbia Cary Grant/ Jean Arthur/ Ronald Colman
1943 The More the Merrier Columbia Jean Arthur/ Charles Coburn/ Joel McCrea
1945 That Justice Be Done War Activities Committee Documentary/ Short film
1945 Nazi Concentration Camps Documentary
1945 The Nazi Plan U.S. Council for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality Documentary
1948 On Our Merry Way Miracle Productions Anthology story/ Co-directed a sequence
1948 I Remember Mama RKO Irene Dunne
1951 A Place in the Sun Paramount Montgomery Clift/ Elizabeth Taylor/ Shelley Winters
1952 Something to Live For Paramount Joan Fontaine/ Ray Milland/
1953 Shane Paramount Alan Ladd/ Jean Arthur/ Van Heflin Technicolor film
1956 Giant Warner Bros. Elizabeth Taylor/ Rock Hudson/ James Dean Warnercolor film
1959 The Diary of Anne Frank 20th Century Fox Millie Perkins/ Joseph Schildkraut/ Shelley Winters
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told George Stevens Prod. Max von Sydow Ultra Panavision 70 Technicolor film
1970 The Only Game in Town 20th Century Fox Elizabeth Taylor/ Warren Beatty Color film

Academy Awards

Year Award Film Result
1942 Outstanding Motion Picture The Talk of the Town Sidney FranklinMrs. Miniver
1943 Outstanding Motion Picture The More the Merrier Hal B. WallisCasablanca
Best Director Michael CurtizCasablanca
1951 Best Motion Picture A Place in the Sun Arthur FreedAn American in Paris
Best Director Won
1953 Best Motion Picture Shane Buddy AdlerFrom Here to Eternity
Best Director Fred ZinnemannFrom Here to Eternity
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Won
1956 Best Motion Picture Giant Mike ToddAround the World in 80 Days
Best Director Won
1959 Best Motion Picture The Diary of Anne Frank Sam ZimbalistBen-Hur (Posthumous)
Best Director William WylerBen-Hur

Notes

  1. ^ Obituary Variety, March 12, 1975, page 79.
  2. ^ Robert E. Conot, Justice at Nuremberg, page 197
  3. ^ Library of Congress "Cinematic Classics, Legendary Stars, Comedic Legends and Novice Filmmakers Showcase the 2008 Film Registry" News from the Library of Congress (30 December 2008)
  4. ^ "Berlinale 1970: Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
  5. ^ "8th Moscow International Film Festival (1973)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2012-12-25.
  6. ^ She Could Be Chaplin!: The Comedic Brilliance of Alice Howell
  7. ^ "George Stevens Collection". Academy Film Archive.

References

  • Cronin, Paul: George Stevens: Interviews. Jackson, MI, University Press of Mississippi, 2004. ISBN 1-57806-639-5
  • Moss, Marilyn Ann: Giant: George Stevens, a Life on Film. Madison, WI, University of Wisconsin Press, 2004. ISBN 0-299-20430-8
  • Petri, Bruce: A Theory of American Film: The Films and Techniques of George Stevens. New York, Taylor & Francis, 1987. ISBN 0-8240-0070-6
  • Richie, Donald: George Stevens: An American Romantic. New York, Taylor & Francis, 1984 (reprint of 1970 original). ISBN 0-8240-5773-2

External links

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
George Seaton
President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences
1958–1959
Succeeded by
B. B. Kahane
1856 Grand National

The 1856 Grand National was the 18th renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree near Liverpool, England, on 27 February 1856. The race was won by Freetrader. This was the first of five times that George Stevens rode the winner of the Grand National.

This was the last time that the race was held in February.

1870 Grand National

The 1870 Grand National was the 32nd renewal of the world-famous Grand National horse race that took place at Aintree near Liverpool, England, on 9 March 1870. This was the fifth and final time George Stevens rode the winner in the Grand National.

A Damsel in Distress (1937 film)

A Damsel in Distress is a 1937 English-themed Hollywood musical comedy film starring Fred Astaire, Joan Fontaine, George Burns, and Gracie Allen. With a screenplay by P. G. Wodehouse, loosely based on his novel of the same name, music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin, it is directed by George Stevens. It is the second (and last) Astaire musical directed by Stevens; the first was Swing Time.

A Place in the Sun (film)

A Place in the Sun is a 1951 American drama film based on the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and the 1926 play, also titled An American Tragedy. It tells the story of a working-class young man who is entangled with two women: one who works in his wealthy uncle's factory, and the other a beautiful socialite. Another adaptation of the novel had been filmed once before, as An American Tragedy, in 1931.

A Place in the Sun was directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by Harry Brown and Michael Wilson, and stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters; its supporting actors included Anne Revere, and Raymond Burr.The film was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards and the first-ever Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. In 1991, A Place in the Sun was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Alice Adams (film)

Alice Adams is a 1935 romantic film made by RKO, starring Katharine Hepburn. It was directed by George Stevens and produced by Pandro S. Berman. The screenplay was by Dorothy Yost, Mortimer Offner, and Jane Murfin. The film was adapted from the novel Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington. The music score was by Max Steiner and Roy Webb, and the cinematography by Robert De Grasse. The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Actress.

The film is about a young woman in a medium-sized town in the United States in the early 1900s and her pretentious attempts to appear upper-class and wed a wealthy man while concealing her poverty. Hepburn's popularity had declined after her two 1933 film triumphs - her Oscar-winning performance in Morning Glory and her celebrated performance as Jo March in Little Women; her performance in Alice Adams made her a public favorite again.

George Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford

George Stevens Byng, 2nd Earl of Strafford, PC (8 June 1806 – 29 October 1886), styled Viscount Enfield between 1847 and 1860, of Wrotham Park in Middlesex (now Hertfordshire) and of 5 St James's Square, London, was a British peer and Whig politician.

George Hamilton (actor)

George Stevens Hamilton (born August 12, 1939) is an American film and television actor. His notable films include Home from the Hill (1960), By Love Possessed (1961), Light in the Piazza (1962), Your Cheatin' Heart (1964), Once Is Not Enough (1975), Love at First Bite (1979), Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981), The Godfather Part III (1990), Doc Hollywood (1991), 8 Heads in a Duffel Bag (1997), Hollywood Ending (2002) and The Congressman (2016). For his debut performance in Crime and Punishment U.S.A. (1959), Hamilton won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a BAFTA Award. He has received one additional BAFTA nomination and two additional Golden Globe nominations.

Hamilton began his film career in 1952 and although he has a substantial body of work in film and television he is, perhaps, most famous for his debonair style and his perfect and perpetual suntan. Bo Derek writes in her autobiography "there was an ongoing contest between John [Derek] and George Hamilton as to who was tanner".

George Stevens Jr.

George Cooper Stevens Jr. (born April 3, 1932) is an American writer, author, playwright, director and producer. He is the founder of the American Film Institute, creator of the AFI Life Achievement Award and instigator/producer of the Kennedy Center Honors. Since 2009 he has served as Co-Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Accolades to date for his professional career include seventeen Emmys, eight Writers Guild awards, two Peabody Awards, the Humanitas Prize and an Honorary Academy Award.

Giant (1956 film)

Giant is a 1956 American epic Western drama film, directed by George Stevens from a screenplay adapted by Fred Guiol and Ivan Moffat from Edna Ferber's 1952 novel. The film stars Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean and features Carroll Baker, Jane Withers, Chill Wills, Mercedes McCambridge, Dennis Hopper, Sal Mineo, Rod Taylor, Elsa Cardenas and Earl Holliman. Giant was the last of James Dean's three films as a leading actor, and earned him his second and last Academy Award nomination – he was killed in a car accident before the film was released. Nick Adams was called in to do some voice dubbing for Dean's role.In 2005, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Gunga Din (film)

Gunga Din is a 1939 RKO adventure film directed by George Stevens and starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., loosely based on the poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling combined with elements of his short story collection Soldiers Three. The film is about three British sergeants and Gunga Din, their native bhisti (water bearer), who fight the Thuggee, an Indian murder cult, in colonial British India.

The supporting cast features Joan Fontaine, Eduardo Ciannelli, and in the title role, Sam Jaffe. The epic film was written by Joel Sayre and Fred Guiol from a storyline by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, with uncredited contributions by Lester Cohen, John Colton, William Faulkner, Vincent Lawrence, Dudley Nichols, and Anthony Veiller.

In 1999, Gunga Din was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

List of EastEnders characters (2005)

The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the UK BBC soap opera EastEnders in 2005, by order of first appearance.

Penny Serenade

Penny Serenade is a 1941 film melodrama starring Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Beulah Bondi, and Edgar Buchanan. The picture was directed by George Stevens, written by Martha Cheavens and Morrie Ryskind, and depicts the story of a loving couple who must overcome adversity to keep their marriage and raise a child. Grant was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

Shane (film)

Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount Pictures, noted for its landscape cinematography, editing, performances, and contributions to the genre. The picture was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A. B. Guthrie Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer. Its Oscar-winning cinematography was by Loyal Griggs. Shane stars Alan Ladd and Jean Arthur in the last feature (and only color) film of her career. The film also stars Van Heflin and features Brandon deWilde, Jack Palance, Emile Meyer, Elisha Cook Jr., and Ben Johnson.Shane was listed No. 45 in the 2007 edition of AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list, and No. 3 on AFI's 10 Top 10 in the 'Western' category.

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959 film)

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, which was based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It is the first film version of both the play and the original story, and features three members of the original Broadway cast.

The film was based on the personal diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who lived in hiding with her family during World War II. All her writings to her diary were addressed as "Dear Kitty". It was published after the end of the war by her father, Otto Frank (played in the film by Joseph Schildkraut, also Jewish). All of his family members had been killed by the Nazis. The film was shot on a sound stage duplicate of the factory in Los Angeles, while exteriors were filmed at the actual building in Amsterdam.The film won three Academy Awards in 1960, including Best Supporting Actress for Shelley Winters. Shelley later donated her Oscar to the Anne Frank Museum. In 2006, it was honored as the eighteenth most inspiring American film on the list AFI's 100 Years…100 Cheers.

The Greatest Story Ever Told

The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film produced and directed by George Stevens. It is a retelling of the Biblical account about Jesus of Nazareth, from the Nativity through to the Ascension. Along with the ensemble cast, it marked Claude Rains' final film role.

The Talk of the Town (1942 film)

The Talk of the Town is a 1942 American comedy/drama film directed by George Stevens and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Ronald Colman, with a supporting cast featuring Edgar Buchanan and Glenda Farrell. The screenplay was adapted by Dale Van Every, Irwin Shaw, and Sidney Buchman from a story by Sidney Harmon. The picture was released by Columbia Pictures. This was the second time that Grant and Arthur were paired in a film, after Only Angels Have Wings (1939).

Vigil in the Night

Vigil in the Night is a 1940 film (produced and distributed by RKO Pictures) based on the 1939 serialized novel Vigil in the Night, by A. J. Cronin. The film was produced and directed by George Stevens and stars Carole Lombard, Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley.

Vivacious Lady

Vivacious Lady is a 1938 American black-and-white romantic comedy film directed by George Stevens and starring Ginger Rogers and James Stewart. It was released by RKO Radio Pictures. The screenplay was written by P.J. Wolfson and Ernest Pagano and adapted from a short story by I. A. R. Wylie. The music score was by Roy Webb and the cinematography by Robert De Grasse.

The film features supporting performances by James Ellison, Frances Mercer, Beulah Bondi, Franklin Pangborn, and Charles Coburn, as well as an uncredited appearance by Hattie McDaniel.

Woman of the Year

Woman of the Year is a 1942 American romantic comedy-drama film starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. The film was written by Ring Lardner Jr., Michael Kanin, and John Lee Mahin, directed by George Stevens, and produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

The film's plot is ostensibly about the relationship between Tess Harding—an international affairs correspondent, chosen "Woman of the Year"—and Sam Craig—a sportswriter—who meet, marry, and encounter problems as a result of her unflinching commitment to her work.

In 1999, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Films directed by George Stevens
Films
Related
Awards for George Stevens

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.