Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 69%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
David Ayer Posts A First Look At The Suicide Squad Cast In Costume
First a Joker. Now a bunch of goons...
More Movie News

Lifetime Achievement Stokes The Fire
Kazan's McCarthy era controversy hits apex...

22 March 1999  |  Written by   

submit to reddit

Allegedly, he shopped his pals in the McCarthy era - an act many equated to making a pact with the devil. Last night, 89-year-old Elia Kazan - creator of some of Hollywood's greatest films - received a lifetime achievement award. However, a troop of big-name stars refused to forget and snubbed him for his supposed sins against a Hollywood society.

Among those silently protesting, Oscar-nominated actors Nick Nolte, Ed Harris - who sat cross-armed in defiance - and Sir Ian McKellen, who sat with his hands decidedly inanimate while the remainder of the crowd applauded.

The protest stems from his having named eight communists in testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952, an act that many say opened the floodgates in Hollywood and resulted in hundreds of writers, artists and directors being 'blacklisted' for their left-wing beliefs.

Indeed, upon the announcement of the award winner, only about half the hall rose to a standing ovation and those that did weren't quick about getting to their feet. Onlookers attending the ceremony commented that in fact, only about 20 per cent of the crowd actually bothered to stand at all. Director Steven Spielberg applauded but remained seated.

Kazan, however, appeared to acknowledge the nigh-on 50 year controversy when he accepted the award, saying, "I want to thank the Academy for its courage and generosity. I want to thank you all very much,'' he said, before finally adding, "I think I can just slip away now'' Which he evidently did, as he made no appearance backstage for a quizzing by waiting reporters.

In his time, Kazan has won best director Oscars for On the Waterfront and Gentleman's Agreement, but is still today seen as a symbol of the McCarthy era and the days when artists were blacklisted for their political beliefs. A point that wasn't missed by a 300-strong army of protesters who stood across the street from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where the awards were being presented, carrying signs saying, 'Don't Whitewash the Blacklist' and 'Blacklists Shred the Bill of Rights', shouting all the while "Don't stand for Kazan!"

Nominated for best actor for his role in Gods and Monsters, McKellen said in one interview that he did not clap. "I just sat and watched. A few people stood up but not too many where I was sitting'' He also described the presentation and the controversy surrounding it as "a piece of real theatre"

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Take It Like A Man
Boy George biopic in the making...
Impractical Magic
Kidman ready to be Bewitched?


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Updated! Stan Lee’s Marvel-lous Cameos – Now With Even More Cameos
From Daredevil to... Daredevil?

11 Of The Silliest Sesame Street Film Parodies
From Aveggies: Age Of Ultron to Big Birdman (and back again)

Astonishing Movie Star Music Video Cameos
Hiccup, Rhodey and Spidey join the party

Podcast #158: Paul Bettany, Charlie Cox
The Vision vs. Daredevil

Daredevil Season 1 Spoiler Podcast - Featuring Charlie Cox
The team discuss and dissect the Marvel / Netflix show

Richard Armitage Bids Farewell To The Hobbit
On goat-riding, keepsakes and saying goodbye to Thorin

Empire's Jurassic World Covers Unveiled
You're going to hear her roar

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire Digital Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)