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May 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
"Mary C. Kalfatovic" <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 29 May 1994 04:42:08 -0400
"Mary C. Kalfatovic" <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (27 lines)
In response to Gene Stavis' rather hostile comments about my GENTLEMEN'S
AGREEMENT posting---
I am aware that GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT was a prestige picture and won the
Best Picture Oscar (which, by the way, doesn't mean much.  Lots of high
minded but perhaps not so great movies have won the award).  I am also
aware that Darryl F. Zanuck was not Jewish.  I was going to mention this
in my posting but I didn't want my comments to get too lengthy.  I do
think Elia Kazan is Jewish (born in Turkey) but, as I don't have his
autobiography with me, I cannot verify this.  Furthermore, I agree that
the "auteur theory," does not apply to movies made under the studio
system.  It was imprecise of me to say that >Kazan< took a condescending
attitude towards prejudice against Jewish people.  What I really meant to
say is that GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT seemed to me to echo the ambivalent
attitude that Jewish people in Hollywood had towards their own Jewishness
(not a new subject, check out Neal Gabler's book AN EMPIRE OF THEIR OWN).
Mostly, however, in my posting I only wanted to make the point that
topical movies frequently don't hold up very well.  My comments were off
the cuff.  Isn't the Internet an informal method of communication?  Many
postings, I've noticed, contain major and minor factual errors.  For
example, in a discussion of the movie THE DRESSER a few weeks ago, the
actor Tom Courtenay was called Tom Courtney in many postings.  It didn't
matter much.  We're not writing dissertations here on the list, we're just
Mary Kalfatovic