Robert De Niro
Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. is an American actor and director. He is a recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards, a Golden Globe Award, the Cecil B DeMille Award, AFI Life Achievement Award, Presidential Medal of Freedom, has been nominated for six BAFTA Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. De Niro was cast as the young Vito Corleone in the 1974 film The Godfather Part II, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his longtime collaboration with director Martin Scorsese earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. De Niro's first major film roles were in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly and Scorsese's crime film Mean Streets, he earned Academy Award nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver and Cape Fear, both directed by Scorsese. De Niro received additional nominations for Michael Cimino's Vietnam war drama The Deer Hunter, Penny Marshall's drama Awakenings, David O. Russell's romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook.
His portrayal of gangster Jimmy Conway in Scorsese's crime film Goodfellas, his role as Rupert Pupkin in the black comedy film The King of Comedy, earned him BAFTA Award nominations. De Niro has earned four nominations for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his work in the musical drama New York, New York, the action comedy Midnight Run, the gangster comedy Analyze This, the comedy Meet the Parents. Other notable performances include roles in 1900, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Untouchables and Casino, he has directed and starred in films such as the crime drama A Bronx Tale and the spy film The Good Shepherd. Robert Anthony De Niro Jr. was born on August 17, 1943, in the Manhattan borough of New York City, the only child of painters Virginia Admiral and Robert De Niro Sr. He is of Irish and Italian descent on his father's side, while his mother had Dutch, English and German ancestry. De Niro's parents, who had met at the painting classes of Hans Hofmann in Provincetown, divorced when he was two years old after his father announced that he was gay.
De Niro was raised by his mother in the Greenwich Little Italy areas of Manhattan. His father lived within walking distance and De Niro spent much time with him as he grew up, his mother was raised Presbyterian but became an atheist as an adult, while his father had been a lapsed Catholic since the age of 12. Against his parents' wishes, his grandparents had him secretly baptized into the Catholic Church while he was staying with them during his parents' divorce. De Niro attended a public elementary school in Manhattan, through the sixth grade, he went to Elisabeth Irwin High School, the private upper school of the Little Red School House, for the seventh and eighth grades. He was accepted into the High School of Music and Art for the ninth grade, but only attended for a short time before transferring to a public junior high school. De Niro began high school at the private McBurney School and attended the private Rhodes Preparatory School, although he graduated from neither. Nicknamed "Bobby Milk" for his pallor, De Niro hung out with a group of street kids as a youth in Little Italy, some of whom have remained his lifelong friends.
His stage debut was at age 10, when he played the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz. Along with finding relief from shyness through performing, he was fixated by cinema, he dropped out of high school at age 16 to pursue acting, he studied acting at HB Studio, the Stella Adler Conservatory, as well as Lee Strasberg's Actors Studio. De Niro's first film role came at the age of 20, when he appeared in Brian De Palma's 1963 film The Wedding Party, but the film was not released until 1969, he appeared in Roger Corman's film Bloody Mama. He gained popular attention with his role as a dying Major League Baseball player in Bang the Drum Slowly and began his collaboration with Martin Scorsese when he played the small-time criminal Johnny Boy in Mean Streets. De Niro had a pivotal role in the Francis Ford Coppola film The Godfather Part II, playing the young Vito Corleone. Coppola had remembered his previous auditions for the roles of Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone, Carlo Rizzi, Paulie Gatto in The Godfather.
His performance earned him his first Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actor, although Coppola accepted the award as De Niro was not present at the ceremony. De Niro became the first actor to win an Academy Award speaking a foreign language. In this case, several Sicilian dialects, he and Marlon Brando, who played the older Vito Corleone in the first film, are the only actors to have won Oscars for portraying the same fictional character. After working with Scorsese in Mean Streets, De Niro went on to have a successful working relationship with him in films such as Taxi Driver, New York, New York, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, Cape Fear, Casino, they acted together in Guilty by Suspicion and provided their voices for the animated feature Shark Tale. Taxi Driver was important to De Niro's career, his iconic performance as Travis Bickle catapulted him to stardom and forever linked his name with Bickle's famous "You talkin' to me?" monologue, which De Niro improvised. The role of Bickle earned him his first Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor.
His portrayal of Jake LaMotta
A Hatful of Rain
A Hatful of Rain is a 1957 American dramatic film about a young married man with a secret morphine addiction, based on a 1955 Broadway play of the same name. It is a medically and sociologically accurate account of the effects of morphine on an addict and his family; the frank depiction of drug addiction in a feature film was a rarity for its time. The film stars Eva Marie Saint, Don Murray, Anthony Franciosa, Lloyd Nolan, Henry Silva, it was adapted by Michael V. Gazzo, Alfred Hayes, Carl Foreman from the play by Gazzo. Foreman was blacklisted at the time of the film's release; the Writers Guild of America added his name to the film's credits 14 years after his death. It features a strong musical score by Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann was asked by 20th Century Fox to rescore his prelude for the film as the original was considered "too terrifying". Franciosa was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. In a housing project apartment in New York City near the Brooklyn Bridge, Johnny Pope lives with his pregnant wife Celia and his brother Polo.
Johnny is a veteran returned from the Korean War, in which he sustained an injury while surviving for days trapped in a cave. His survival made him a hero in the newspapers, but his ensuing recuperation in a military hospital left him secretly addicted to the painkiller morphine, with Polo his only family member aware of his condition. Johnny and Polo's father, John Sr. arrives in New York from his home in Florida to visit his sons, to pick up $2500 that Polo had saved and promised to him whenever he wanted it. John Sr. has just fulfilled his dream of quitting his job and buying his own bar, needs the money to pay for repairs and remodeling to the new business. However, Polo tells his father that he refuses to say what he spent it on. John Sr. becomes angry and refuses to speak to Polo, continuing his lifetime pattern of praising Johnny and putting down Polo. On, John Sr. expresses his pride in Johnny's war service and that he has married a fine wife, is starting a family, lives in a nice apartment, while Polo by contrast is renting a room from his brother, is not married and works in a bar that his father considers low-class.
Unbeknownst to their father and Celia, Polo gave the money to Johnny, who spent it all on his $40-a-day drug habit. John Sr. is unaware that Johnny has lost four jobs in a row due to his habit and that Johnny and Celia are on the verge of divorce because Johnny ignores her and is gone for hours, including overnight. Celia thinks he is seeing another woman but in reality he is looking for drugs, which are becoming harder to find as the police are arresting many dealers. While John Sr. is visiting, Johnny's dealer "Mother" comes to the Popes' apartment with his henchmen Apples and Chuch, ready to beat Johnny badly because he owes Mother $500 and has no money to pay. Johnny begs for enough dope to last him until his father goes back to Florida the next day, Mother gives him one dose, but warns him that he needs to pay at least $300 by the next day or they will put him in the hospital. Mother suggests he commit robbery to get the money. After arguing with Celia, Johnny spends the night walking the streets.
He is unable to go through with it. Meanwhile and Celia are home alone in the apartment and Polo, drinking, confesses his love for Celia, who in her loneliness and desperation is ready to return his love. Despite their mutual feelings for each other, they fall asleep in separate rooms; when Johnny returns in the morning, he is starting to suffer withdrawal again and needs to meet a dealer for a fix, but his father expects to spend the day with him. Johnny tries to get his father to spend the day with Polo instead, but his father doesn't want to talk to Polo, causing an emotional confrontation. John Sr. agrees to attend the football game with Polo. Johnny next coerces Polo into driving him to meet the dealer by threatening to throw himself out of the car in traffic, but when he arrives at the meeting place, the dealer is being arrested. Johnny goes into severe withdrawal and begins to hallucinate, just as Mother and his gang arrive to collect Johnny's debt payment. Upon learning that Johnny doesn't have the money, they give him one dose in exchange for the twelve dollars Polo has in his wallet, tell Polo to sell his car to cover Johnny's $500 debt.
Polo tells Johnny to tell Celia the truth. The fix temporarily cures Johnny's withdrawal symptoms and he tries to make up with Celia by preparing a romantic dinner, only to have her tell him when she gets home from work that she no longer loves him and wants a divorce, but when he confesses that he is a junkie, that his habit has caused his absence and inattention to her, she reacts supportively. His father and Polo arrive for dinner and Johnny informs his father that he is a junkie and that Polo's $2500 was spent on drugs for him, his father gets angry, causing Johnny, going into withdrawal again, to run out of the apartment. Celia becomes ill and has to be rushed to the hospital to make sure she will not lose the baby; when Johnny returns, he is menaced by Mother, but is saved by Polo who pays Mother the $500 he obtained by selling his car. Johnny announces his intention to get clean throwing a package of dope back to Mother. John Sr. and Celia return, Celia takes charge, reassures Johnny, calls the police to come get the sick Johnny and put him in the hospital.
Frank "Frankie Five Angels" Pentangeli is a fictional character from the film The Godfather Part II. In the film, he is portrayed by Michael V. Gazzo, nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance, which he lost to Robert De Niro, his co-star from the same film, he gets his nickname from his last name, Greco-Italian for "five angels". Born as Francesco Pentangeli in Partinico, Pentangeli has an older brother named Vincenzo who remains in the country. Frank is a caporegime in the Corleone family, running the family's operations in New York City while Michael Corleone, his brother and underboss and the other two capos, Rocco Lampone and Al Neri, are based in Nevada, he was a top soldier in the regime of Peter Clemenza, took over the regime after Clemenza's death. He moved into Vito's former estate in Long Beach, Long Island, his bodyguard is longtime soldier Willi Cicci. In The Godfather, Part II, Frank Pentangeli is portrayed as having been one of godfather Vito Corleone's most trusted associates.
A rift grows between Pentangeli and Michael, that results in Pentangeli betraying the family. Pentangeli's character was conceived in The Godfather, Part II by Coppola and Puzo when actor Richard Castellano did not reprise his role as Clemenza in the sequel; the Pentangeli character took the part in the plot, intended for Clemenza, whose death was to be set anti-parallel to the extended sequence in which the young Vito becomes Clemenza's partner. It would have continued the sequence in which Michael is responsible for the deaths of his father's relatives and associates in an order reversing the order in which Vito met them. Near the beginning of the story, Pentangeli approaches Michael to ask for his help in eliminating the Rosato brothers, rivals in New York, who claimed to have been promised territories by Clemenza prior to his death. Michael refuses and orders Pentangeli to do nothing, as he does not want a war to interfere with an upcoming deal with Hyman Roth, who supports the Rosatos.
Pentangeli leaves in anger. That night, Michael narrowly escapes an assassination attempt at his home. Michael concludes on his own. After visiting Florida to seal the deal with Roth, Michael pays an unannounced visit to Pentangeli on Long Island and asks him to help take his revenge; as part of his plan, he insists that Pentangeli capitulate to the Rosato brothers so that Roth will not suspect that Michael is on to him. Pentangeli reluctantly obeys Michael's order. Pentangeli arranges a meeting with the Rosato brothers. Arriving at the meeting place, Pentangeli enters the bar alone. Once inside, Tony Rosato ambushes Pentangeli with a garotte, telling him, "Michael Corleone says hello." A policeman steps inside, the attack degenerates into a shootout in the street. Pentangeli is believed to be dead. At a Senate hearing investigating organized crime and allegations of Michael's criminal activities, Michael learns that the committee intends to call Pentangeli as a surprise witness to contradict Michael's adamant denial that he is a crime boss.
Both Pentangeli and Cicci have been in the protective custody of the FBI since the apparent attempt upon his life. Believing that Michael ordered him murdered, Pentangeli provides a sworn statement to investigators that Michael is the head of the most powerful Mafia family in the nation, controls all gambling activity in North America, has ordered countless murders. Most damningly, Pentangeli tells investigators that Michael killed Captain McCluskey and Virgil Sollozzo, began planning a mass slaughter of New York's other Mafia bosses as early as 1950. Cicci has disclosed this to the FBI. However, he is unable to directly implicate Michael in any criminal activities. In contrast, since Pentangeli was a capo, there is no insulation between himself; the Senate subcommittee and the FBI thus consider Pentangeli credible, are certain that he can corroborate Cicci's testimony and charge Michael with perjury. While the Committee is in recess and others look for a way to avoid the perjury charges. Fredo, who had unknowingly conspired with Michael's enemies, informs Michael that the hearing was engineered by Roth as part of his plan to eliminate him from the scene.
Michael knows that Pentangeli's protective custody is too secure to make an attempt on his life before he testifies. Instead, Michael flies Pentangeli's brother, Vincenzo, in from Sicily, Vincenzo accompanies Michael to the hearing at which Frank is scheduled to testify. Vincenzo and Frank exchange a silent glance before the hearing. Frightened, Frank recants his earlier statements, saying he "told the FBI guys what they wanted to hear," and now claims that the Corleone family is innocent of any wrongdoing, thus perjuring himself before the Senate committee; this testimony catches the Senators off-guard and derails the government's case against Michael. After the hearing, Corleone family consigliere Tom Hagen visits Pentangeli in custody. Hagen tells Pentangeli, a history buff, a story about how traitors in ancient Rome could spare their families if they committed suicide.
Henry Silva is an American film and television actor. A prolific character actor, Silva has been a regular staple of international genre cinema as a criminal or gangster. Notable film appearances include Ocean's 11, The Manchurian Candidate, Johnny Cool, Sharky's Machine, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. Silva was born in New York, of Sicilian and Portuguese descent, he grew up in Harlem and quit school when he was 13 years old to attend drama classes, supporting himself as a dishwasher and waiter at a Manhattan hotel. By 1955, Silva felt ready to audition for the Actors Studio, he was accepted, one of only five successful applicants out of more than 2,500. When the Studio staged Michael V. Gazzo's play A Hatful of Rain as a classroom project, it proved so successful that it was presented on Broadway, with students Ben Gazzara, Shelley Winters, Harry Guardino, along with Franciosa and Silva, in key roles. Silva appeared in the play's film version. In Hollywood, he played a succession of villains in films including The Tall T with Randolph Scott, The Bravados with Gregory Peck and The Law and Jake Wade.
In the 1959 adventure film Green Mansions, he played a forest-dwelling Venezuela native known as Kua-Ko who tries to murder a young woman played by Audrey Hepburn. Silva was one of the eleven casino robbers in the 1960 Rat Pack caper film Ocean's 11, starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford. He played the communist agent Chunjin in the original The Manchurian Candidate, again opposite Sinatra, portrayed a Native American in Sinatra's and Martin's Rat Pack Western Sergeants 3 that same year. Silva became typecast playing mobsters and other criminals, although he did play a comic role as one of the stepbrothers in the 1960 Jerry Lewis film Cinderfella, a parody of Cinderella with Lewis in the title role, he appeared in two episodes of The Outer Limits television series. Other TV appearances included as a hitman in the episode "Better Bargain" on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus roles on episodes of The Untouchables, Rod Serling's Night Gallery, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Mission Impossible, as well as Boris Karloff's suspense series Thriller.
In 1963, Henry Silva played the lead role in the gangster film Johnny Cool, produced by United Artists and Chrislaw. His character Salvatore "Johnny Cool" Giordano was a hitman sent on a mission by exiled mobster Johnny Colini to kill the underworld figures who had plotted against the mobster. Premiering on October 19, 1963, the film was successful at the box-office and was critically well received. So was the actor's first lead performance, which carried the film; the strong supporting cast features Elizabeth Montgomery, Mort Sahl, Telly Savalas, Jim Backus, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis, Jr. most of whose characters were murdered by Silva's murders during the course of the film. Variety praised Silva's performance, writing "Henry Silva, as a Sicilian-born assassin, is at home as the'delivery boy of death'"; the film's box-office receipts dropped by late November. In 1965, an Italian film producer made Silva an offer to star as a hero for a change and he moved his family overseas. Silva's turning-point picture was a spaghetti western, The Hills Run Red, which made him a hot box-office commodity in Spain, Italy and France.
Between 1966 and 1977 he starred or co-starred in at least 25 movies, the majority of which were Italian Poliziotteschi films, where he played the villain or hitman, or the dark hero, or a combination of the two. His best remembered of these are Manhunt, Il Boss, Almost Human, he appeared against type as the Japanese detective Mr. Moto in the 1965 murder mystery The Return of Mr. Moto, as an Apache who helps rape victim Michele Carey in the 1970 revenge western Five Savage Men. Returning to the United States in the mid-1970s, he co-starred with Frank Sinatra in Contract on Cherry Street and Charles Bronson in Love and Bullets, he signed on as the evil adversary Killer Kane in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. In the 1980s and 1990s, he appeared as the arrogant hunter Colonel Brock in Alligator, a drug-addicted hitman in Burt Reynolds' Sharky's Machine, a former prison warden-turned-enforcer in Escape from the Bronx, lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000, a comedy gangster in Cannonball Run II opposite many of his former Rat Pack buddies, the villainous CIA agent Kurt Zagon in Steven Seagal's debut Above the Law, the sinister mob hitman Influence in Dick Tracy, the voice of the supervillain Bane in Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.
Silva plays the crime boss Ray Vargo in Jim Jarmusch's Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai who puts out a hit on the titular character. Silva starred as himself in a spoof of In Search of...-type shows in the comedy Amazon Women on the Moon for a segment titled Henry Silva's "Bullshit, or Not!", played a spectator at a boxing match in the 2001 version of Ocean's Eleven. Henry Silva on IMDb Henry Silva at the Internet Broadway Database Henry Silva at AllMovie
Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as Columbo, a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by Richard Levinson and William Link, popularized the inverted detective story format, which begins by showing the commission of the crime and its perpetrator. Columbo is a shrewd but inelegant blue-collar homicide detective whose trademarks include his rumpled beige raincoat, unassuming demeanor, frequent cigar smoking, his suspects are affluent members of high society who try to cover their tracks. Dismissive of Columbo's circumstantial speech and apparent ineptitude, they become unsettled as his pestering behavior leads him to tease out incriminating evidence, his relentless approach leads to self-incrimination or an outright confession by the suspect. Episodes of Columbo are between 70 and 98 minutes long, have been broadcast in 44 countries; the 1971 episode "Murder by the Book", directed by Steven Spielberg, was ranked No. 16 on TV Guide's 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time and in 1999, the magazine ranked Lt. Columbo No. 7 on its 50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time list.
In 2012, the program was chosen as the third-best cop or legal show on Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time. In 2013, TV Guide included it in its list of The 60 Greatest Dramas of All Time and ranked it at #33 on its list of the 60 Best Series. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America ranked it No. 57 in the list of 101 Best Written TV Series. After two pilot episodes, the show aired on NBC from 1971 to 1978 as one of the rotating programs of The NBC Mystery Movie. Columbo aired less on ABC beginning in 1989 under the umbrella of The ABC Mystery Movie; the last film was broadcast in 2003 as part of ABC Thursday Night at the Movies. In every episode the audience sees the crime unfold at the beginning and knows the identity of the culprit an affluent member of society. Once Columbo enters the story, viewers watch him solve the case by sifting through the contradictions between the truth and the version presented to him by the killer; this style of mystery is sometimes referred to as a "howcatchem", in contrast to the traditional whodunit.
In structural analysis terms, the majority of the narrative is therefore dénouement, a feature reserved for the end of a story. Episodes tend to be driven by their characters, the audience observing the criminal's reactions to Columbo's intrusive presence; the explanation for the crime and its method having played out as part of the narrative, most of the stories end with the criminal's reaction at being found out. In some cases, the killer's arrogance and dismissive attitude allow Columbo to manipulate his suspects into self-incrimination. While the details, the motivation, of the murderers' actions are shown to the viewer, Columbo's true thoughts and intentions are never revealed until close to the end of the episode. Columbo maintains a friendly relationship with the murderer until the end; the point at which the detective first begins to suspect the murderer is not revealed, although it is fairly early on. In some instances, such as Ruth Gordon's avenging elderly mystery writer in "Try and Catch Me", Janet Leigh's terminally ill and deluded actress in "Forgotten Lady", Donald Pleasence's elegant vintner in "Any Old Port in a Storm", Johnny Cash's enserfed singer in "Swan Song", the killer is more sympathetic than the victim.
Each case is concluded in a similar style, with Columbo dropping any pretense of uncertainty and sharing details of his conclusion of the killer's guilt. Following the killer's reaction, the episode ends with the killer confessing or submitting to arrest. There are few attempts to provide a twist in the tale. One convoluted exception is "Last Salute to the Commodore", where Robert Vaughn is seen elaborately disposing of a body, but is proved to have been covering for his alcoholic wife, whom he mistakenly thought to be the murderer; the character of Columbo was created by the writing team of Richard Levinson and William Link, who said that Columbo was inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment character Porfiry Petrovich as well as G. K. Chesterton's humble cleric-detective Father Brown. Other sources claim Columbo's character is influenced by Inspector Fichet from the French suspense-thriller film Les Diaboliques; the character first appeared in a 1960 episode of the television-anthology series The Chevy Mystery Show, titled "Enough Rope".
This was adapted by Levinson and Link from their short story "May I Come In", published as "Dear Corpus Delicti" in an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The short story did not include Columbo as a character; the first actor to portray Columbo, character actor Bert Freed, was a stocky character actor with a thatch of grey hair. Freed's Columbo wore a rumpled suit and smoked a cigar, but he otherwise had few of the other now-familiar Columbo mannerisms. However, the character is still recognizably Columbo, uses some of the same methods of misdirecting and distracting his suspects. During the course of the show, the frightened murderer brings pressure from the district attorney's office to have Columbo taken off the case, but the detective fights back with his own contacts. Although Freed received third billing, he wound up with alm
Alfred Zinnemann was an Austrian-born American film director. He won four Academy Awards for directing films in various genres, including thrillers, film noir and play adaptations, he made 25 feature films during his 50-year career. He was among the first directors to insist on using authentic locations and for mixing stars with civilians to give his films more realism. Within the film industry, he was considered a maverick for taking risks and thereby creating unique films, with many of his stories being dramas about lone and principled individuals tested by tragic events. According to one historian, Zinnemann's style demonstrated his sense of "psychological realism and his apparent determination to make worthwhile pictures that are highly entertaining." Among his films were The Men, High Noon, From Here to Eternity, Oklahoma!, The Nun's Story, A Man For All Seasons, The Day of the Jackal, Julia. His films have received 65 Oscar nominations, winning 24. Zinnemann directed and introduced a number of stars in their U.
S. film debuts, including Marlon Brando, Rod Steiger, Pier Angeli, Julie Harris, Brandon deWilde, Montgomery Clift, Shirley Jones and Meryl Streep. He directed 19 actors to Oscar nominations, including Frank Sinatra, Montgomery Clift, Audrey Hepburn, Glynis Johns, Paul Scofield, Robert Shaw, Wendy Hiller, Jason Robards, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, Gary Cooper and Maximilian Schell. Zinnemann was born in the son of Anna and Oskar Zinnemann, a doctor, his parents were Austrian Jews. He had one younger brother. While growing up in Austria, he wanted to become a musician, but went on to graduate with a law degree from the University of Vienna in 1927. While studying law, he became drawn to films and convinced his parents to let him study film production in Paris. After studying for a year at the Ecole Technique de Photographie et Cinématographie in Paris, he became a cameraman and found work on a number of films in Berlin, before immigrating to Hollywood. Both of his parents were killed during the Holocaust.
Zinnemann worked in Germany with several other beginners. His penchant for realism and authenticity is evident in his first feature The Wave, shot on location in Mexico with non-professional actors recruited among the locals, one of the earliest examples of social realism in narrative film. Earlier in the decade, in fact, Zinnemann had worked with documentarian Robert Flaherty, "probably the greatest single influence on my work as a filmmaker", he said. Although he was fascinated by the artistic culture of Germany, with its theater and films, he was aware that the country was in a deep economic crisis, he became disenchanted with Berlin after continually seeing decadent ostentation and luxury existing alongside desperate unemployment. The wealthy classes were moving more to the poor to the left. "Emotion had long since begun to displace reason," he said. As a result of the changing political climate, along with the fact that sound films had arrived in Europe, technically unprepared to produce their own, film production throughout Europe slowed dramatically.
Zinnemann only 21, got his parent's permission to go to America where he hoped filmmaking opportunities would be greater. He arrived in New York at the end of 1929, at the time of the stock market crash. Despite the financial panic beginning, he found New York to be a different cultural environment: New York was a terrific experience, full of excitement, with a vitality and pace totally lacking in Europe, it was as though I had just left a continent of zombies and entered a place humming with incredible energy and power. He took a Greyhound bus to Hollywood a few months following the completion of his first directorial effort for the Mexican cultural protest film, The Wave, in Alvarado, Mexico, he established residence in North Hollywood with Henwar Rodakiewicz, Gunther von Fritsch and Ned Scott, all fellow contributors to the Mexican project. One of Zinnemann's first jobs in Hollywood was as an extra in All Quiet on the Western Front, he said that many of the other extras were former Russian aristocrats and high-ranking officers who fled to America after the Russian revolution in 1917.
He was twenty-two but he said he felt older than the forty-year-olds in Hollywood. But he was jubilant because he was certain that "this was the place one could breathe free and belong." But after a few years he became disillusioned with the limited talents of Hollywood's elites. After some directing success with short films, he graduated to features in 1942, turning out two crisp B mysteries, Eyes in the Night and Kid Glove Killer before getting his big break with The Seventh Cross, starring Spencer Tracy, which became his first hit; the film was based on Anna Seghers' novel and, while filmed on the MGM backlot, made realistic use of refugee German actors in the smallest roles. The central character—an escaped prisoner played by Tracy—is seen as comparatively passive and fatalistic, he is, the subject of heroic assistance from anti-Nazi Germans. In a sense, the protagonist of the film is not the Tracy character but a humble German worker played by Hume Cronyn, who changes from Nazi sympathizer to active opponent of the regime as he aids Tracy.
After World War II, Zinnemann learned. He was further frustrated by his studio contract, which dictated that he did not have a choice in directing films like My Brother Talks to Horses and Little Mister Jim despite his lack of interest in
Sandra Dale Dennis was an American theater and film actress. At the height of her career in the 1960s she won two Tony Awards, as well as an Oscar for her performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Sandy Dennis, Anne Bancroft, Zoe Caldwell, Viola Davis, Colleen Dewhurst, Maureen Stapleton, Irene Worth, Audra McDonald, Laurie Metcalf are the only winners of Tony Awards for both Best Actress in a Play and Best Featured Actress in a Play. Dennis was born in Hastings, the daughter of Yvonne, a secretary, Jack Dennis, a postal clerk, she had Frank. Dennis grew up in Kenesaw and Lincoln, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1955, she attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska, appearing in the Lincoln Community Theater Group before moving to New York City at the age of 19. She studied acting at HB Studio in New York City. Dennis made her television debut in 1956 in the soap opera The Guiding Light, she had an early break when cast as an understudy in the Broadway production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs by William Inge directed by Elia Kazan.
Kazan cast Dennis in her first feature film, a small part in Splendor in the Grass, which starred Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty. Dennis was cast in Face of a Hero on Broadway alongside Jack Lemmon, it only had a short run. The Complaisant Lover by Graham Greene was more successful. Dennis achieved Broadway fame with her leading role in Herb Gardner's A Thousand Clowns, for which she won a Tony award for her performance alongside Jason Robards; the show ran for 428 performances. Around this time, she guest starred on episodes of the TV series Naked City, The Fugitive and Trial, Mr. Broadway. Dennis was the lead of the Broadway comedy Any Wednesday, which ran for 983 performances and won her a second Tony. Dennis' second film role was as Honey, the fragile, neurotic young wife of George Segal's character, in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Directed by Mike Nichols and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the film was a huge critical and commercial success and Dennis won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role.
Dennis returned to the stage in a production of The Three Sisters with Geraldine Page and Kim Stanley that went to London and was filmed. Dennis' first lead role in a movie was in Up the Down Staircase, directed by Robert Mulligan, a box office success. So too was The Fox, directed by Mark Rydell, in spite of the controversial subject matter. In 1967 Dennis was voted the 18th biggest star in the US. Dennis returned to Broadway to star in Daphne in Cottage D which only had a short run, she starred in Sweet November, as a terminally ill woman who takes multiple lovers, made a TV version of the play A Hatful of Rain. Dennis went to London to star in A Touch of Love. So too did That Cold Day in the Park despite being directed by Robert Altman; however The Out-of-Towners, a Neil Simon comedy with Jack Lemmon, was a hit. Dennis made a TV movie with Stuart Whitman, Only Way Out Is Dead, she went back to Broadway for How the Other Half Loves by Alan Ayckbourn which ran for over 100 performances did another TV movie Something Evil directed by Steven Spielberg, which drew a mixed reception.
Let Me Hear You Smile on Broadway only lasted one performance, but Absurd Person Singular was a big hit, running 591 performances. In 1974 she played Joan of Arc in the pilot of Witness to Yesterday, Canadian Patrick Watson's series of interviews with great figures out of the past. Dennis was in Mr. Sycamore with Jason Robards and had a small role in the low-budget horror film God Told Me To from Larry Cohen. Dennis' performance in the British comedy Nasty Habits drew harsh criticism from Vincent Canby in the New York Times. Dennis guest starred in Police Story, starred in the TV movies Perfect Gentlemen, Wilson's Reward. On Broadway she joined the cast of the long running Same Time, Next Year, she had a well-received part in Alan Alda's The Four Seasons and was in The Supporting Cast on Broadway for Gene Saks. She was in the stage production and film version of Robert Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. In the mid and late 1980's, Dennis appeared on television in Young People's Specials, The Love Boat, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Equalizer.
In motion pictures, she had supporting roles in a 1986 remake of Laughter in the Dark, never completed, Woody Allen's Another Woman, the horror films 976-EVIL and Parents. In 1991, she played her final role in the crime drama The Indian Runner, which marked Sean Penn's debut as a film director. Sandy Dennis died from ovarian cancer at her home in Westport, Connecticut, at age 54. Dennis lived with prominent jazz musician Gerry Mulligan from 1965 until they split up in 1974, she lived with actor Eric Roberts from 1980 to 1985 despite their 25 year age difference. In an interview with People magazine in 1989, Dennis revealed she and Gerry Mulligan had suffered a miscarriage in 1965 and went on to say, "if I'd been a mother, I would have lo