Marc Snetiker
May 30, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Albert J. Delvin
publisher
Knopf
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

You wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a threat from Elia Kazan, the formidable director who helmed (and fought over every detail of) classics such as A Streetcar Named Desire. Kazan’s correspondence reveals a man who got whatever he wanted thanks to his masterful manipulation of Hollywood’s eggshell egos. (He persuaded Marlon Brando to star in On the Waterfront by informing him, ”You are not right for this part.”) Kazan also emerges as an anxious father struggling to connect with his children, a through-line that makes this retrospective all the more illuminating. B+

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