Elia Kazan Compliance Vs Defiance Term Paper

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Since the 30s people have been politically inclined towards left in Hollywood. Kazan was also known for his left-wing views that eventually led him to the appearance before HUAC. However, with the inquiries of the House Un-American Affairs Committee problems for the supporters of left came up. Demand for anticommunist films required more writers with right-wing inclinations. The demand for anti-fascist films in late 30s through mid-40s could not match the demand for anticommunist films. Even though many blacklisted liberals fled to other countries to support their careers. Many people expressed different views regarding people who supported HUAC. For example Lillian Hellman's view of Elia Kazan's friendly testimony is that he simply couldn't do otherwise because he valued his own

American success story too much. Arthur Miller also mentioned in his autobiography that if he did not come out clean he would not be able to make another movie in Hollywood and moviemaking was his passion. Before 1952 hearing both Miller and Kazan worked with each other but after that they did not work together again. It was also the conscious effort on Kazan's part to work for social causes and social element. It was because of his attachment to social causes in plays that raised eyebrows for his involvement in hearing.

His unapologetic attitude continued till the end while he kept on producing movies and earned himself a name as a reputed director. In 1954 he made a movie called, "On the Waterfront" in which he tried to justify his move of naming people in the form of "Marlon Brando's character that informs on the mobsters who run his labor union. Confronting a mob boss played by Lee J. Cobb, the Brando character tells him:

You're a cheap, lousy, dirty stinkin' mug. And I'm glad what I done to you. You hear that? I'm glad what I done" (Mccain, 1999).


Mccain, R. (1999). New Book Defends Kazan in Saga of 'Hollywood 10'. The Washington…

Sources Used in Document:


Mccain, R. (1999). New Book Defends Kazan in Saga of 'Hollywood 10'. The Washington Times. Publication Date: March 17.

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