KAZAN REALLY RATTED ON NOBODY
The director who directed McCarthy to go to hell.
By Ed Gauthier
World's Greatest Reporter
Today is the 100th birthday of the classic movie director Elia Kazan (1909-2003). That's right - he almost lived to be a hundred!
He directed many fine films, including A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), The Sea of Grass (1947), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Pinky (1949), Panic in the Streets (1950), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), On the Waterfront (1954), East of Eden (1955), Baby Doll (1956), A Face in the Crowd (1957), and Splendor in the Grass (1961). Any one of those would make a director's career, and he did all of them.
But looking around the web, it's easily seen that many of you dear readers are not very good students of history or showbiz: Kazan "stabbed his friends in the back" by testifying during Joe McCarthy's Hollywood blacklist hearings? Guess again!
In reality, Kazan totally screwed McCarthy and his right wing psycho kangaroo court committee by sugaring their gas tank. He only named names that he already found out had been named, knowing that merely repeating them could add no further harm, and would only be beating a dead horse. (Or in this case, a dead career.)
McCarthy could do nothing about this, and Kazan correctly recognized that limitation as "Tailgunner Joe's" Achille's heel. Because while McCarthy could demand that names be named, he could never demand specifically which names, nor could he demand that any or all names be new.
Kazan knew exactly what he was doing, and McCarthy knew Kazan was giving him the finger by doing it, but McCarthy couldn't do a damn thing about it, which only made it all the sweeter.
Now to hear all you revisionists many years later coming along and trying to say Kazan was a "squealer" or a "traitor," is absolutely hilarious, since he was the exact opposite.
Meanwhile, look at a real Un-American Activities squealer like Ronald Reagan when he headed the Screen Actors Guild - and how he later also did all he could to ruin the country as President. Now that's some true un-American activity, folks.
And so happy 100th birthday, Elia baby!