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George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey (1984)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey: Director George Stevens filming the Texas-set 1956 family drama Giant.

‘George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey’: Cinematic filial homage to two-time Best Director Academy Award winner

Directed by George Stevens Jr., the 1984 documentary George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey was presented both on the big screen and on American Masters.

An homage to the filmmaker’s filmmaking father, the documentary features interviews with the following Stevens (Sr.) collaborators and fellow directors:

  • Actress Katharine Hepburn (Alice Adams, Quality Street, Woman of the Year), who recalls the unusual effectiveness of George Stevens’ deliberately paced comedy direction during the making of Alice Adams, singling out the scene when Hattie McDaniel serves dinner to her petite bourgeoisie employees (Hepburn, Fred Stone, Ann Shoemaker) and their upper-class guest (Fred MacMurray).
  • Actor Cary Grant (Gunga Din, Penny Serenade, The Talk of the Town). Audio only; Grant told Stevens Jr. that if he appeared on camera to discuss Stevens, “I’d have to do it for [Alfred Hitchcock], and the others.”
  • Actors Fred Astaire (Swing Time, A Damsel in Distress), Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Gunga Din), Joel McCrea (The More the Merrier), and Max von Sydow (The Greatest Story Ever Told).
  • Actresses Ginger Rogers (Swing Time, Vivacious Lady) and Millie Perkins (The Diary of Anne Frank).
  • Actor-filmmaker Warren Beatty (The Only Game in Town), who offers an anecdote regarding the use of sound – guns going off like cannons to exacerbate the brutality of the Old West – in Shane and, 14 years later, in Bonnie and Clyde.
  • RKO supervising producer Pandro S. Berman (Vivacious Lady, Gunga Din, Vigil in the Night, etc.).
  • Producer/indie studio head Hal Roach, for whom George Stevens worked as a cinematographer on various shorts in the 1920s and early 1930s (Double Whoopee, Liberty, Night Owls, etc.).
  • Screenwriters Irwin Shaw (The Talk of the Town) and Ivan Moffat (Giant).
  • Choreographer Hermes Pan (Swing Time, A Damsel in Distress).
  • Fellow filmmakers Rouben Mamoulian (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Blood and Sand), Alan J. Pakula (All the President’s Men, Sophie’s Choice), Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity, Julia), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (A Letter to Three Wives, All About Eve), John Huston (The African Queen, The Dead), and Frank Capra (Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).

George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey image: Warner Home Video.

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