Stanley Kramer

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Stanley Kramer_table_infobox_0

Stanley KramerStanley Kramer_header_cell_0_0_0
BornStanley Kramer_header_cell_0_1_0 September 29, 1913

Manhattan, New York, U.S.Stanley Kramer_cell_0_1_1

DiedStanley Kramer_header_cell_0_2_0 February 19, 2001(2001-02-19) (aged 87)

Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.Stanley Kramer_cell_0_2_1

Years activeStanley Kramer_header_cell_0_3_0 1933–1979Stanley Kramer_cell_0_3_1
Spouse(s)Stanley Kramer_header_cell_0_4_0 Marilyn Erskine (1945–1945; annulled)

Anne Pearce Kramer (1950–1963; divorced; 2 children) Karen Sharpe (1966–2001; his death; 2 children)Stanley Kramer_cell_0_4_1

Stanley Earl Kramer (September 29, 1913 – February 19, 2001) was an American film director and producer, responsible for making many of Hollywood's most famous "message films". Stanley Kramer_sentence_0

As an independent producer and director, he brought attention to topical social issues that most studios avoided. Stanley Kramer_sentence_1

Among the subjects covered in his films were racism (in The Defiant Ones and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner), nuclear war (in On the Beach), greed (in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), creationism vs. evolution (in Inherit the Wind) and the causes and effects of fascism (in Judgment at Nuremberg). Stanley Kramer_sentence_2

His other notable films included High Noon (1952, as producer), The Caine Mutiny (1954, as producer), and Ship of Fools (1965). Stanley Kramer_sentence_3

Director Steven Spielberg described him as an "incredibly talented visionary", and "one of our great filmmakers, not just for the art and passion he put on screen, but for the impact he has made on the conscience of the world." Stanley Kramer_sentence_4

Kramer was recognized for his fierce independence as a producer-director, with author Victor Navasky writing that "among the independents . Stanley Kramer_sentence_5

. Stanley Kramer_sentence_6

. Stanley Kramer_sentence_7

none seemed more vocal, more liberal, more pugnacious than young Stanley Kramer." Stanley Kramer_sentence_8

His friend, Kevin Spacey, during his acceptance speech at the 2015 Golden Globes, honored Kramer's work, calling him "one of the great filmmakers of all time." Stanley Kramer_sentence_9

Despite uneven critical reception, both then and now, Kramer's body of work has received many awards, including 16 Academy Awards and 80 nominations, and he was nominated nine times as either producer or director. Stanley Kramer_sentence_10

In 1961, he received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Stanley Kramer_sentence_11

In 1963, he was a member of the jury at the 3rd Moscow International Film Festival. Stanley Kramer_sentence_12

In 1998, he was awarded the first NAACP Vanguard Award in recognition of "the strong social themes that ran through his body of work". Stanley Kramer_sentence_13

In 2002, the Stanley Kramer Award was created, to be awarded to recipients whose work "dramatically illustrates provocative social issues". Stanley Kramer_sentence_14

Early years Stanley Kramer_section_0

Stanley Kramer was born in Manhattan, New York, in a neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen due to its reputation as a tough, gang-ridden area. Stanley Kramer_sentence_15

His parents were Jewish, and having separated when he was very young, he remembered little about his father. Stanley Kramer_sentence_16

His mother worked at a New York office of Paramount Pictures, during which time his grandparents took care of him at home. Stanley Kramer_sentence_17

His uncle, Earl Kramer, worked in distribution at Universal Pictures. Stanley Kramer_sentence_18

Kramer attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, where he graduated at age fifteen. Stanley Kramer_sentence_19

He then enrolled in New York University where he became a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity and wrote a weekly column for the Medley newspaper. Stanley Kramer_sentence_20

He graduated in 1933 at the age of nineteen with a degree in business administration. Stanley Kramer_sentence_21

After developing a "zest for writing" with a newspaper, notes biographer Donald Spoto, he was offered a paid internship in the writing department of 20th Century Fox and moved to Hollywood. Stanley Kramer_sentence_22

Until receiving that writing job, he had planned to enroll in law school. Stanley Kramer_sentence_23

Film career Stanley Kramer_section_1

Move to Hollywood Stanley Kramer_section_2

Over the following years, during the period of the Great Depression, Kramer took odd jobs in the film industry: He worked as a set furniture mover and film cutter at MGM, as writer and researcher for Columbia Pictures and Republic Pictures, and associate producer with Loew-Lewin productions. Stanley Kramer_sentence_24

Those years as an apprentice writer and editor helped him acquire an "exceptional aptitude" in editing and develop the ability to understand the overall structure of the films he worked on. Stanley Kramer_sentence_25

They enabled him to later compose and edit "in camera," as he shot scenes. Stanley Kramer_sentence_26

He was drafted into the Army in 1943, during World War II, where he helped make training films with the Signal Corps in New York, along with other Hollywood filmmakers including Frank Capra and Anatole Litvak. Stanley Kramer_sentence_27

He left the army with the rank of first lieutenant. Stanley Kramer_sentence_28

After the war, Kramer soon discovered that there were no available jobs in Hollywood in 1947, so he created an independent production company, Screen Plays Inc. Stanley Kramer_sentence_29

He partnered writer Herbie Baker, publicist George Glass and producer Carl Foreman, an army friend from the film unit. Stanley Kramer_sentence_30

Foreman justified the production company by noting that the big studios had become "dinosaurs," which, being shocked by the onrush of television, "jettisoned virtually everything to survive." Stanley Kramer_sentence_31

But they failed to develop cadres of younger creative talent in their wake. Stanley Kramer_sentence_32

Producer Stanley Kramer_section_3

Kramer's new company was able to take advantage of unused production facilities by renting time, allowing him to create independent films for a fraction of the cost the larger studios had required, and he did so without studio control. Stanley Kramer_sentence_33

Kramer also saw this as an opportunity to produce films dealing with subjects the studios previously avoided, especially those about controversial topics. Stanley Kramer_sentence_34

However, Kramer soon learned that financing such independent films was a major obstacle, as he was forced to approach banks or else take on private investors. Stanley Kramer_sentence_35

He did both when necessary. Stanley Kramer_sentence_36

But with studios no longer involved, rival independent companies were created which all competed for those limited funds. Stanley Kramer_sentence_37

According to Byman, "there were no fewer than ninety-six" other companies in competition during that period, and included some of Hollywood's biggest names: Frank Capra, John Ford, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Leo McCarey, and George Stevens. Stanley Kramer_sentence_38

Kramer explains how he tried to differentiate his new company from the others, noting that he was less interested in the money than having the ability to make a statement through his films: Stanley Kramer_sentence_39

The first movie produced under his production company was the comedy, So This Is New York (1948), directed by Richard Fleischer, and based on Ring Lardner's The Big Town. Stanley Kramer_sentence_40

It failed at the box office. Stanley Kramer_sentence_41

It was followed with Champion (1949), another Lardner story, this one about an ambitious and unscrupulous boxer. Stanley Kramer_sentence_42

Scripted by Foreman, it was tailored to fit the talents of Kirk Douglas, an ex-wrestler who had recently become an actor. Stanley Kramer_sentence_43

Filmed in only twenty-three days with a relatively small budget, it became an immense box-office success. Stanley Kramer_sentence_44

It won an Academy Award for Best Editing, with four other nominations, including Douglas for best actor and Foreman as screenwriter. Stanley Kramer_sentence_45

Kramer next produced Home of the Brave (also 1949), again directed by Mark Robson, which became an even bigger success than Champion. Stanley Kramer_sentence_46

The story was adapted from a play by Arthur Laurents, originally about anti-Semitism in the army, but revised and made into a film about the persecution of a black soldier. Stanley Kramer_sentence_47

Byman notes that it was the "first sound film about antiblack racism." Stanley Kramer_sentence_48

The subject matter was so sensitive at the time, that Kramer shot the film in "total secrecy" to avoid protests by various organizations. Stanley Kramer_sentence_49

Critics generally liked the film, which, notes Nora Sayre, "had a flavoring of courage." Stanley Kramer_sentence_50

His renamed Stanley Kramer Company produced The Men (1950), which featured Marlon Brando's screen debut, in a drama about paraplegic war veterans. Stanley Kramer_sentence_51

It was the first time Kramer and Foreman worked with director Fred Zinnemann, who had already been directing for twenty years and had won an Oscar. Stanley Kramer_sentence_52

The film was another success for Kramer, who took on a unique subject dealing with a world few knew about. Stanley Kramer_sentence_53

Critic Bosley Crowther noted that its "striking and authentic documentary quality has been imported to the whole film in every detail, attitude and word." Stanley Kramer_sentence_54

Zinnemann said he was impressed with Kramer's company and the efficiency of their productions: Stanley Kramer_sentence_55

Also released in 1950 was Kramer's production of Cyrano de Bergerac, the first English language film version of Edmond Rostand's 1897 French play. Stanley Kramer_sentence_56

It made a star of José Ferrer, who won his only Oscar for Best Actor. Stanley Kramer_sentence_57

Films with Columbia Pictures Stanley Kramer_section_4

In 1951, Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn offered Kramer's company an opportunity to form a production unit working with his studio. Stanley Kramer_sentence_58

Kramer was given free rein over what films he chose to make, along with a budget of nearly a million dollars each. Stanley Kramer_sentence_59

Kramer agreed to a five-year contract during which time he would produce twenty films. Stanley Kramer_sentence_60

However, Kramer would later state that the agreement was "one of the most dangerous and foolhardy moves of my entire career." Stanley Kramer_sentence_61

He agreed to the commitment because of his "deep-seated desire to direct," he states, along with the security of ready studio financing. Stanley Kramer_sentence_62

He finished his last independent production, High Noon (1952), a Western drama directed by Fred Zinnemann. Stanley Kramer_sentence_63

The movie was well received, winning four Oscars, as well as three other nominations. Stanley Kramer_sentence_64

Unfortunately, High Noon's production and release intersected with the Red Scare. Stanley Kramer_sentence_65

Writer, producer and partner Carl Foreman was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee while he was writing the film. Stanley Kramer_sentence_66

Foreman had been a member of the Communist Party ten years earlier, but declined to "name names" and was branded an "un-cooperative witness" by HUAC, and then blacklisted by the Hollywood companies, after which he sold his interest in the company. Stanley Kramer_sentence_67

Kramer continued producing movies at Columbia, including Death of a Salesman (1951), The Sniper (1952), The Member of the Wedding (1952), The Juggler (1953), The Wild One (1953) and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). Stanley Kramer_sentence_68

With a larger budget, his films took on a "glossier" more polished look, yet his next ten films all lost money, although some were nonetheless highly praised. Stanley Kramer_sentence_69

In 1953 Cohn and Kramer agreed to terminate the five-year, 20-film contract Kramer had signed. Stanley Kramer_sentence_70

However, his last Columbia film, The Caine Mutiny (1954), regained all of the losses Columbia had incurred as a result of his earlier projects. Stanley Kramer_sentence_71

The Caine Mutiny, was an adaptation of the book written by Herman Wouk and was directed by Edward Dmytryk. Stanley Kramer_sentence_72

Kramer noted that during the 1940s and 1950s, "cinema was the producer's medium:" Stanley Kramer_sentence_73

Director Stanley Kramer_section_5

After The Caine Mutiny, Kramer left Columbia and resumed his independent productions, this time in the role of the director. Stanley Kramer_sentence_74

Over the next two decades, Kramer reestablished his reputation within the film industry by directing a continual series of often successful films dealing with social and controversial issues, such as racism, nuclear war, greed and the causes and effects of fascism. Stanley Kramer_sentence_75

Critic Charles Champlin would later describe Kramer as "a guy who fought some hard battles. Stanley Kramer_sentence_76

He took on social issues when it was not popular to do so in Hollywood." Stanley Kramer_sentence_77

Among some of those controversial films were Not as a Stranger (1955), The Pride and the Passion (1957), The Defiant Ones (1958), On the Beach (1959), Inherit the Wind (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). Stanley Kramer_sentence_78

Besides dramas, he also directed It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) with an all-star cast of famous comedians. Stanley Kramer_sentence_79

His films often generated interest and other times failed, such as Bless the Beasts and Children (1971), Oklahoma Crude (1973), The Domino Principle (1977), and The Runner Stumbles (1979). Stanley Kramer_sentence_80

His first film as director was Not as a Stranger (1955), the story of medical students and their career, some of whom lose their idealism and succumb to blind ambition, adultery, and immoral behavior. Stanley Kramer_sentence_81

The film was a "smash hit," although reviews were mixed. Stanley Kramer_sentence_82

Pauline Kael claimed it "lacked rhythm and development." Stanley Kramer_sentence_83

The Pride and the Passion (1957) Stanley Kramer_section_6

The Pride and the Passion (1957) is an adaptation from The Gun, a novel by C. Stanley Kramer_sentence_84 S. Forester. Stanley Kramer_sentence_85

It portrays in detail how a dedicated group of Spanish guerrillas dragged a gigantic cannon across half the country in an effort to defeat Napoleon's advancing army. Stanley Kramer_sentence_86

It stars Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Sophia Loren. Stanley Kramer_sentence_87

The Defiant Ones (1958) Stanley Kramer_section_7

The following year, Kramer directed The Defiant Ones (1958), the story of two escaped convicts in the Deep South, one black, played by Sidney Poitier, and one white, Tony Curtis. Stanley Kramer_sentence_88

To add to the intensity of the drama, both men are shackled together with chains, forcing them, despite their wishes, into a sense of brotherhood, suffering and fear. Stanley Kramer_sentence_89

New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther lauded the production and the acting in the film, calling it "a remarkably apt and dramatic visualization of a social idea—the idea of men of different races brought together to face misfortune in a bond of brotherhood — is achieved by producer Stanley Kramer in his new film." Stanley Kramer_sentence_90

It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two. Stanley Kramer_sentence_91

Five years after the film was released, producer George Stevens Jr. helped organize a showing of this, along with other Kramer films, at the Moscow Film Festival, which Kramer and co-star Sidney Poitier attended. Stanley Kramer_sentence_92

Stevens writes that the showings of his films, especially The Defiant Ones, were a "great success in Moscow." Stanley Kramer_sentence_93

He remembers that "filmmakers applauded his films, often chanting Kraaaamer, Kraaaaamer, Kraaaaamer," at their conclusion. Stanley Kramer_sentence_94

Kramer spoke to the audience after each film, "making a fine impression for his country." Stanley Kramer_sentence_95

Stevens credits The Defiant Ones for having the most impact, however: Stanley Kramer_sentence_96

On the Beach (1959) Stanley Kramer_section_8

With his next film, On the Beach (1959), Kramer tried to tackle the sensitive subject of nuclear war. Stanley Kramer_sentence_97

The film takes place after World War III has annihilated most of the Northern hemisphere, with radioactive dust on a trajectory towards Australia. Stanley Kramer_sentence_98

Kramer gave the film an "effective and eerie" documentary look at depopulated cities. Stanley Kramer_sentence_99

It starred Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. Stanley Kramer_sentence_100

Reviews were mostly positive, not just from critics but from scientists. Stanley Kramer_sentence_101

Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel Prizes (Chemistry and Peace), commented: Stanley Kramer_sentence_102

Critics Arthur Knight and Hollis Alpert likewise praised the film and admired Kramer for showing "courage in attempting such a theme." Stanley Kramer_sentence_103

Inherit the Wind (1960) Stanley Kramer_section_9

Inherit the Wind (1960) became Kramer's next challenging film, this one taking on the highly charged subjects of creationism and evolution, and how they are taught in school. Stanley Kramer_sentence_104

The film, an adaptation of the play of the same name, written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee, was a fictionalized account of the 1925 Scopes Trial, which concerned a violation of Tennessee's Butler Act. Stanley Kramer_sentence_105

This law had made it unlawful to teach human evolution in any state-funded school in Tennessee. Stanley Kramer_sentence_106

It starred Spencer Tracy, portraying the real Clarence Darrow, defending the teacher, and Fredric March as his rival attorney, William Jennings Bryan, who insisted that creationism was the only valid subject that should be taught to children. Stanley Kramer_sentence_107

It was nominated for four Academy Awards. Stanley Kramer_sentence_108

For Tracy, who was nominated as Best Actor, the film would become the first of four films he did for Kramer. Stanley Kramer_sentence_109

"Everybody tells me how good I am," he said, "but only Stanley gives me work." Stanley Kramer_sentence_110

The film received "extravagant reviews," yet failed at the box office due to its poor distribution and advertising. Stanley Kramer_sentence_111

In addition, fundamentalist groups labeled the film "anti-God" and called Kramer "anti-Christ." Stanley Kramer_sentence_112

Kramer, however, explains that these groups failed to understand the real theme of the film and the actual court trial it portrayed: Stanley Kramer_sentence_113

Kramer also notes that the film was the third part of a "trilogy of what have been called by some 'controversial pictures,'" of which the first two were The Defiant Ones and On the Beach. Stanley Kramer_sentence_114

"I have attempted, and I hope succeeded in, making pictures that command attention," said Kramer. Stanley Kramer_sentence_115

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) Stanley Kramer_section_10

Like his previous film, Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) was also a fictionalized account of a real trial, this one about the Nuremberg Trials held after the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. Stanley Kramer_sentence_116

It also starred Spencer Tracy as the leading judge, along with numerous other stars. Stanley Kramer_sentence_117

Richard Widmark played the American military prosecutor and Maximilian Schell the defense attorney. Stanley Kramer_sentence_118

The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won two, for Schell as Best Actor and Abby Mann for Best Screenplay. Stanley Kramer_sentence_119

Reviews were extremely positive. Stanley Kramer_sentence_120

Critic Hollis Alpert wrote in his review: Stanley Kramer_sentence_121

Similarly, Arthur Knight credited Kramer for the film's significance: "From first to last, the director is in command of his material. Stanley Kramer_sentence_122

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he has not only added hugely to his stature as a producer-director, but to the stature of the American film as well." Stanley Kramer_sentence_126

However, despite mostly rave reviews in the U.S. and many countries in Europe, biographer Spoto notes that during its various premiers overseas, "it shocked many, angered some, disgusted others. Stanley Kramer_sentence_127

But it bored no one. Stanley Kramer_sentence_128

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. " Stanley Kramer_sentence_130

Kramer described its world premier, in Berlin, as "the most frightening evening in my life." Stanley Kramer_sentence_131

It was attended by hundreds of dignitaries from throughout Germany. Stanley Kramer_sentence_132

William Shatner, who had a supporting role, recalls that prior to filming, Kramer and screenwriter Abby Mann required that everyone involved in the production, actors and crew alike, watch some films taken by American soldiers at the liberation of the concentration camps. Stanley Kramer_sentence_133

"They wanted us to understand what this film was about": Stanley Kramer_sentence_134

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Stanley Kramer_section_11

After the seriousness of his previous films, Kramer "felt compelled to answer" for the "lack of lightness" in his earlier films, writes Spoto. Stanley Kramer_sentence_135

As a result, he directed It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), a film with a "gifted, wacky crew of comedians." Stanley Kramer_sentence_136

Kramer describes it as a "comedy about greed." Stanley Kramer_sentence_137

According to one writer, he directed it "to prove he could also handle comedy" and hired many of the leading comedic actors of the previous decades, from silent star Buster Keaton to emerging talent Jonathan Winters. Stanley Kramer_sentence_138

Winters would later write that "Kramer was a man who took chances—as they say, he worked without a net." Stanley Kramer_sentence_139

It played to mixed reviews with some criticizing its excessive comedy with too many comedians thereby losing its focus. Stanley Kramer_sentence_140

Nonetheless, it was Kramer's biggest box office hit, and the public enjoyed its "socially disruptive and goofy" story and acting. Stanley Kramer_sentence_141

Film critic Dwight Macdonald writes that its "small army of actors—105 speaking roles—inflict mayhem on each other with cars, planes, explosives and other devices . Stanley Kramer_sentence_142

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is simply too much for the human eye and ear to respond to, let alone the funny bone," calling it "hard-core slapstick." Stanley Kramer_sentence_145

It was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning for Best Sound Editing. Stanley Kramer_sentence_146

Ship of Fools (1965) Stanley Kramer_section_12

Ship of Fools (1965) has been described as a "floating Grand Hotel," an earlier film which also had an all-star cast. Stanley Kramer_sentence_147

Its multi-strand narrative deals with the failing personal relationships among the passengers on board a passenger liner returning to Germany in 1933, during the rise of Nazism. Stanley Kramer_sentence_148

Spoto describes its theme as one of "conscious social and psychological significance." Stanley Kramer_sentence_149

It won two Academy Awards and was nominated for six others. Stanley Kramer_sentence_150

Some writers describe the film as a "microcosm" displaying a "weakness of the world that permitted the rise of Hitler." Stanley Kramer_sentence_151

Kramer does not disagree, and wrote, "Even though we never mention him [Hitler] in the picture, his ascendancy is an ever-present factor. Stanley Kramer_sentence_152

Most of the passengers on the ship are Germans, returning to their fatherland at a time when millions of other Germans are looking for ways to escape." Stanley Kramer_sentence_153

In a scene noted by Spoto, a Nazi passenger is "barking inanities" about how Germans should purify their race, to which a German-Jewish passenger responds, "There are nearly a million Jews in Germany. Stanley Kramer_sentence_154

What are they going to do — kill us all?" Stanley Kramer_sentence_155

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) Stanley Kramer_section_13

For his fourth film about the sensitive subject of anti-racism, he both directed and produced Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), a groundbreaking story about interracial marriage. Stanley Kramer_sentence_156

It starred Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn, winning two Academy Awards with eight nominations. Stanley Kramer_sentence_157

It has been listed in the top 100 films over the last 100 years by the American Film Institute. Stanley Kramer_sentence_158

However, despite its popularity with the public and its box-office success, many critics gave it negative reviews. Stanley Kramer_sentence_159

For Kramer and others involved in the production, it "was one of the most important events of their lives," writes Spoto. Stanley Kramer_sentence_160

Partly because it was the first film that touched the subject since the 1920s silent era. Stanley Kramer_sentence_161

"No one would touch this most explosive of social issues" until Kramer took on the challenge. Stanley Kramer_sentence_162

Co-star Sidney Poitier called the film "revolutionary," and stated why: Stanley Kramer_sentence_163

The film was also important as it was the last film role for Spencer Tracy, who was aware while making the film that he was dying and did in fact die a few weeks after its completion. Stanley Kramer_sentence_164

It was his fourth film directed by Kramer and his ninth with Hepburn, who was so shaken by Tracy's death, that she refused to watch the film after it was completed. Stanley Kramer_sentence_165

Kramer called Tracy "the greatest actor I ever worked with." Stanley Kramer_sentence_166

As a result of this film's commercial success, Kramer helped spur on Hollywood to reform its film marketing practices when it was observed that the film was doing excellent business everywhere in the US, including the southern states where it was assumed that films with African American lead actors would never be accepted. Stanley Kramer_sentence_167

As a result, the prominent presence of Black actors in films would never again be considered a factor in Hollywood film marketing and distribution. Stanley Kramer_sentence_168

However, Kramer, bothered by the film's negative reviews and wanting respect as an important film artist like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, undertook a nine-college speaking tour to screen the film and discuss racial integration. Stanley Kramer_sentence_169

The effort proved a dispiriting embarrassment for him with college students largely dismissing his film and preferring to discuss less conventional fare like Bonnie and Clyde directed by Arthur Penn. Stanley Kramer_sentence_170

The film was Kramer's last major success, and his subsequent films were not profitable, although many had mixed reviews. Stanley Kramer_sentence_171

Among those films were The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1968), R. Stanley Kramer_sentence_172 P. M. (1970), Bless the Beasts and Children (1971), Oklahoma Crude (1973), The Domino Principle (1977), and The Runner Stumbles (1979). Stanley Kramer_sentence_173

Oklahoma Crude was entered into the 8th Moscow International Film Festival where Kramer won the Golden Prize for Direction. Stanley Kramer_sentence_174

At the time of his retirement, he was attempting to bring a script entitled "Three Solitary Drinkers" to the screen, a film about a trio of alcoholics that he hoped would be played by Sidney Poitier, Jack Lemmon, and Walter Matthau. Stanley Kramer_sentence_175

Retirement and death Stanley Kramer_section_14

In the 1980s, Kramer retired to Bellevue, Washington and wrote a column on movies for the Seattle Times from 1980 to 1996. Stanley Kramer_sentence_176

During this time, he hosted his own weekly movie show on then-independent television station KCPQ. Stanley Kramer_sentence_177

In 1997, Kramer published his autobiography A Mad Mad Mad Mad World: A Life in Hollywood. Stanley Kramer_sentence_178

He died on February 19, 2001 in Los Angeles, aged 87, after contracting pneumonia. Stanley Kramer_sentence_179

He was married three times and divorced twice. Stanley Kramer_sentence_180

He was survived by his third wife, Karen, and four children: Casey and Larry (with Anne Pearce), and Katharine and Jennifer (with Karen Sharpe). Stanley Kramer_sentence_181

Legacy Stanley Kramer_section_15

Kramer has been called "a genuine original" as a filmmaker. Stanley Kramer_sentence_182

He made movies that he believed in, and "straddled the fence between art and commerce for more than 30 years." Stanley Kramer_sentence_183

Most of his films were noted for engaging the audience with political and social issues of the time. Stanley Kramer_sentence_184

When asked why he gravitated to those kinds of themes, he stated, "emotionally I am drawn to these subjects," and thought that independent productions like his might help "return vitality to the motion picture industry. Stanley Kramer_sentence_185

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If our industry is to flourish, we must break away from formula thinking." Stanley Kramer_sentence_189

Film author Bill Nichols states that "Kramer's films continue a long-standing Hollywood tradition of marrying topical issues to dramatic form, a tradition in which we find many of Hollywood's more openly progressive films." Stanley Kramer_sentence_190

Among his themes, Kramer was one of the few filmmakers to delve into subjects relating to civil rights, and according to his wife, Karen Kramer, "put his reputation and finances on the line to present subject matter that meant something." Stanley Kramer_sentence_191

He gave up his salary to make sure that Guess Who's Coming to Dinner would be completed. Stanley Kramer_sentence_192

He has not though been universally admired. Stanley Kramer_sentence_193

Film critic David Thomson has written that Kramer's "films are middlebrow and overemphatic; at worst, they are among the most tedious and dispiriting productions the American cinema has to offer. Stanley Kramer_sentence_194

Commercialism, of the most crass and confusing kind ... devitalised all [of] his projects." Stanley Kramer_sentence_195

Critics have often labeled Kramer's films as "message movies." Stanley Kramer_sentence_196

Some, like Pauline Kael, were often critical of his subject matter for being "melodramas," and "irritatingly self-righteous," although she credits his films for their "redeeming social importance . Stanley Kramer_sentence_197

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[with] situations and settings nevertheless excitingly modern, relevant." Stanley Kramer_sentence_200

Kramer, however, saw himself as "a storyteller with a point of view": Stanley Kramer_sentence_201

In the 1960s Kramer blamed the growing "youth culture" with having changed the "artistic landscape" as he remembered it from his own youth. Stanley Kramer_sentence_202

"No longer," he said, "were writers or filmmakers interested in creating the Great American Novel or the great American film, or indeed with exploring what it meant to be American." Stanley Kramer_sentence_203

In extreme cases, Kramer was accused of being "anti-American" due to the themes of his films, many concerning social problems or pathologies. Stanley Kramer_sentence_204

But Kramer notes that it was his ability to produce those films in a democracy which distinguishes them: Stanley Kramer_sentence_205

Kramer produced and directed 23 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances, with José Ferrer, Gary Cooper, Maximilian Schell and Katharine Hepburn winning for their performances. Stanley Kramer_sentence_206

Kramer's was among the first stars to be completed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 28, 1960, out of the original 1,550 stars created and installed as a unit in 1960. Stanley Kramer_sentence_207

One of his daughters, Kat Kramer, is co-producer of socially-relevant documentaries, part of her series, Films That Change The World. Stanley Kramer_sentence_208

The Stanley Kramer Award Stanley Kramer_section_16

The Producers Guild of America established the Stanley Kramer Award in 2002 to honor a production or individuals whose contribution illuminates and raises public awareness of important social issues. Stanley Kramer_sentence_209

Recent winners include Loving, The Hunting Ground, and The Normal Heart. Stanley Kramer_sentence_210

Filmography Stanley Kramer_section_17

Academy Award Nominations Stanley Kramer_section_18

Stanley Kramer_table_general_1

YearStanley Kramer_header_cell_1_0_0 AwardStanley Kramer_header_cell_1_0_1 FilmStanley Kramer_header_cell_1_0_2 Resulting WinStanley Kramer_header_cell_1_0_3
1952Stanley Kramer_cell_1_1_0 Best Motion PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_1_1 High NoonStanley Kramer_cell_1_1_2 Cecil B. DeMilleThe Greatest Show on EarthStanley Kramer_cell_1_1_3
1954Stanley Kramer_cell_1_2_0 Best Motion PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_2_1 The Caine MutinyStanley Kramer_cell_1_2_2 Sam SpiegelOn the WaterfrontStanley Kramer_cell_1_2_3
1958Stanley Kramer_cell_1_3_0 Best Motion PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_3_1 The Defiant OnesStanley Kramer_cell_1_3_2 Arthur FreedGigiStanley Kramer_cell_1_3_3
Best DirectorStanley Kramer_cell_1_4_0 Vincente MinnelliGigiStanley Kramer_cell_1_4_1
1961Stanley Kramer_cell_1_5_0 Best PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_5_1 Judgment at NurembergStanley Kramer_cell_1_5_2 Robert WiseWest Side StoryStanley Kramer_cell_1_5_3
Best DirectorStanley Kramer_cell_1_6_0 Jerome Robbins and Robert WiseWest Side StoryStanley Kramer_cell_1_6_1
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial AwardStanley Kramer_cell_1_7_0 WonStanley Kramer_cell_1_7_2
1965Stanley Kramer_cell_1_8_0 Best PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_8_1 Ship of FoolsStanley Kramer_cell_1_8_2 Robert WiseThe Sound of MusicStanley Kramer_cell_1_8_3
1967Stanley Kramer_cell_1_9_0 Best PictureStanley Kramer_cell_1_9_1 Guess Who's Coming to DinnerStanley Kramer_cell_1_9_2 Walter MirischIn the Heat of the NightStanley Kramer_cell_1_9_3
Best DirectorStanley Kramer_cell_1_10_0 Mike NicholsThe GraduateStanley Kramer_cell_1_10_1


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley Kramer.