UCLA Film & Television Archive to Kick Off CHAMPION: THE STANLEY KRAMER CENTENNIAL Series, 8/9
Opening Night of the UCLA Film & Television Archive Film Series: “CHAMPION: THE STANLEY KRAMER CENTENNIAL” is set for Friday, August 9, 2013 at the Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the corner of Westwood Boulevard), Los Angeles, Calif.
Celebrities expected to be in attendance include: Karen Sharpe Kramer, Katharine “Kat” Kramer, Zach Miller, Larry King and his wife, Shawn King; Jennifer Ahn, Donna Anderson, George Barris, Cara Williams Barrymore, Philip Berk, Theodore Bikel, Dan Bucatinsky, George Chakiris, Barrie Chase, Tim Cogshell, Grover Crisp, James Curtis, Ken Davitian with his wife, Ellen Davitian; Harrison Engle, Richard Erdman, Stan Freeberg and his wife, Hunter Freeberg, Jeff Garlin, Gregory P. Goeckner, Louis Gossett Jr., Congressman Alan Grayson, Pete Hammond and his wife, Madelyn Hammond, Jan-Christopher Horak, Marsha Hunt, Anne Jeffreys, Marvin Kaplan, Shannon Kelley, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Piper Laurie, Judi Levine, Ben Lewin, Mother Love and her husband, Kennedy Rogers, BarBara Luna, Shelley Markham, Andrea Marcovicci, Kate McCarthy, Mary Ann Mobley, Bill Mumy and his wife, Eileen Mumy, Rick Overton, Marvin Paige, Dr. Lawrence D. Piro and his wife, Judy Piro, Sidney Poitier and his wife, Joanna Poitier, Mickey Rooney and his son, Mark Rooney, and daughter-in-law, Charlene Rooney, Don Roos, Mark Rydell, John Savage, Teri Schwartz, John Herman Shaner and his wife, Madelyn Shaner, Gary Takesian, Glynn Turman, Ret Turner, Marc Vahanian, and Fred Willard and his wife, Mary Willard.
UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hugh M. Hefner Classic Film Program will present the World Premiere screening of the new restoration of Death of a Salesman (1951), directed by Laslo Benedek, produced by Stanley Kramer and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play written by Arthur Miller on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard (at the corner of Westwood Boulevard), Los Angeles, CA 90024. Stars from many of Stanley Kramer’s films will be in attendance at the event, including: Sidney Poitier, Mickey Rooney, George Chakiris, Barrie Chase, Marvin Kaplan, Stan Freeberg, Cara Williams Barrymore, Theodore Bikel, Richard Erdman, Marsha Hunt, BarBara Luna, Bill Mumy, Marc Vahanian and Karen Sharpe Kramer.
Death of a Salesman (1951), is the first of 15 films to be presented in the exhibition, “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial,”which screens August 9 – September 29, 2013 (what would have been Kramer’s 100th Birthday). Philip Berk, a current member and former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), championed the restoration of Death of a Salesman and the film was restored with funding provided from HFPA and The Film Foundation. Larry King (Larry King Live; Larry King Now) and Karen Sharpe Kramer(Mrs. Stanley Kramer and Golden Globe Awardâ-Winning and Emmy Award-Nominated Actress) will appear as special guests at the August 9th screening.
Stanley Kramer produced numerous successful film versions of Broadway plays, including Death of a Salesman, which received five Academy Award nominations and four Golden Globe Awards, among other accolades. The film stars Fredric March, Mildred Dunnock(who also appeared in the World Premiere Broadway cast of the play), Kevin McCarthy, Cameron Mitchell (who also appeared in the World Premiere Broadway cast of the play) and Howard Smith. Arthur Miller, considered one of the most important playwrights of the 20th Century won the Pulitzer Prize for his play, “Death of a Salesman.” The playwright passed away on February 10, 2005, the 56th Anniversary of the Broadway Opening Night of “Death of a Salesman.”
The film series, “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial” celebrates the influential producer-director Stanley Kramer, a key figure of postwar American cinema. Born in Hells Kitchen, New York, Stanley Kramer was raised alone by his mother. He graduated from New York University at the age of 19. Trained in the studio system in a number of supporting positions, and as an Army enlistee and sometime producer, Kramer got his break upon returning to civilian life with the emergence of independent production as the studios retrenched in the postwar economy. First as a producer, and later as a producer-director, Kramer became a proponent of socially relevant material as a filmmaker with a very definite point of view. He featured prominent actors in his films while tackling difficult subjects as racism, fascism and nuclear policy.
This approach set precedents in Hollywood for storylines of this sort, which had rarely been pursued as consistently or as successfully as they were by Kramer, garnering box office success and great critical acclaim. Kramer’s 35 films (as a producer and director) won him and his associates 16 Academy Awardsâ, among many other awards and accolades. Among his films’ 85 Oscar nominations, Kramer received nine nominations himself. In 1961, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences bestowed upon Stanley Kramer their highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, in recognition of the consistent high quality of his body of work.
The UCLA Film & Television Archive film series, “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial,” screens August 9 – September 29, 2013 and will include the films: Death of a Salesman (August 9th), The Defiant Ones and The Wild One (August 10th), The Caine Mutiny andHome of the Brave (August 17th), So This is New York and Cyrano De Bergerac (August 22nd), Champion and The Men (August 23rd),Pressure Point and Bless The Beasts and Children (September 20th), Ship of Fools (September 21st), On The Beach (September 27th) and The Secret of Santa Vittoria and High Noon (September 29th). All screening times are at 7:30 p.m. in the Billy Wilder Theater, except forSeptember 29th when The Secret of Santa Vittoria will screen at 3:00 p.m. and High Noon will screen at 7:00 p.m.
Selected screenings in the film series, “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial,” will feature in-person appearances by participants in some of the productions, and notable persons influenced by Kramer’s career who will introduce the films. Confirmed participants include: Larry King, Theodore Bikel, Cara Williams Barrymore, Louis Gossett Jr., Fred Willard, Richard Erdman, Sally Kellerman, Tippi Hedren, BarBara Luna, Karen Sharpe Kramer, Donna Anderson, Ed Begley, Jr., Lainie Kazan, Pete Hammond of www.deadline.com and Tim Cogshell of KPCC 89.3 FM. Please visit the UCLA Film & Television Archive website, www.cinema.ucla.edu for special guest updates and other information about the program.
Prominent legendary actors who starred in Stanley Kramer’s films included: Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Jose Ferrer, Sophia Loren, Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Mildred Dunnock, Kevin McCarthy, Julie Harris, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum, Olivia DeHavilland, Richard Widmark, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Maximilian Schell, Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster, Mickey Rooney, Carl Reiner, Milton Berle, Ethel Merman, Jonathan Winters, Vivien Leigh, George Segal, Rex Harrison, Ethel Waters, George C. Scott, Faye Dunaway, John Mills, Gene Hackman, Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, George Chakiris, Maureen Stapleton and Beau Bridges.
In addition to those titles screening in the series “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial,” other notable Stanley Kramer films include: My Six Convicts, The Sniper, High Noon, The Happy Time, The Four Poster, The Member of the Wedding, The Juggler, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., Not As a Stranger, The Pride and The Passion, Inherit The Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, A Child Is Waiting, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Invitation to a Gunfighter, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, RPM, Oklahoma Crude, The Domino Principle and The Runner Stumbles.
“Stanley Kramer is one our great filmmakers, not just for the art and Passion he put on-screen but for the impact he has had on the conscience of the world. He has exemplified the spirit of the independent production, challenging the audience to respond and react to subjects and issues that others would not even attempt. Stanley and his extraordinary body of work have been and continue to be a lasting inspiration to me and generations of filmmakers to come.” – Steven Spielberg
The Stanley Kramer Centennial will continue for a period of five months, August – December 2013, starting at the UCLA Film & Television Archive with the film series, “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial,” August 9 – September 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. Stanley Kramer Centennial Celebrations will be held in other major cities as well. The new website, www.stanleykramer100.com will be the go to place for all information concerning Stanley Kramer Centennial Activities.
Tickets for “Champion: The Stanley Kramer Centennial” are $9 general admission; $8 students and seniors and $10 online advance purchase. Parking is $3 under the Billy Wilder Theater. For further information, please call 310.206.8013 or visit www.cinema.ucla.edu.
Pictured: Stanley Kramer, circa 1940s. Photo courtesy of Stanley Kramer Private Collection.