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Clifford Odets

Clifford Odets



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Clifford Odets, syn židovských prisťahovalcov, sa narodil vo Philadelphii 18. júla 1906. V 17 rokoch opustil školu, aby sa stal hercom. Po sérii malých častí v divadle a rozhlase pomohol Odets založiť Group Theatre v New Yorku. Členovia zastávali ľavicové politické názory a chceli produkovať hry, ktoré sa zaoberali dôležitými sociálnymi problémami.

Odets, ktorý vstúpil do Americkej komunistickej strany v roku 1934, nechal vyrobiť svoju prvú hru, Čakanie na LeftyhoV roku 1935. Hra, ktorá sa zaoberala korupciou odborov, mala okamžitý úspech. S jeho ďalšími dvoma hrami, Zobuď sa a spievaj! a Až do dňa, keď zomriemOdets sa etabloval ako šampión znevýhodnených.

Po výrobe stratený raj (1935), Odets prijal lukratívnu ponuku stať sa filmovým scenáristom a počas pobytu v Hollywoode sa stretol a oženil s herečkou Luise Rainer. Pokračoval však v písaní hier a s Zlatý chlapec (1937) mal najväčší komerčný úspech. Nasledovalo Raketa na Mesiac (1938), Nočná hudba (1940) a Súboj v noci (1941).

Nonkonformná herečka Rainer odmietla akceptovať hodnoty Hollywoodu. V roku 1937 musel Rainera prinútiť Louis B. Mayer, aby prijal jej Oscara. Neskôr tvrdila, že: "Za moje druhé a tretie obrázky som získala ceny Akadémie. Nič horšie sa mi nemohlo stať." Štúdio trvalo na tom, aby ju prinútili do rolí, ktoré považovala za nedôstojné pre svoj talent. „Všetky nezmysly ... Nechcel som to urobiť a odišiel som.“ Mayer povedal: „To dievča je Frankenstein, zničí celú našu firmu ... urobili sme ťa a ideme aby ťa zničil. “Rainer sa rozhodol opustiť Hollywood. Režisérka Dorothy Arznerová tvrdí, že sa s ňou zle zaobchádzalo, pretože sa vydala za komunistu.

Odets a Luise Rainer sa presťahovali do New Yorku. Čas strávili aj v Nichols, Connecticut. Rainer povedal, že Odets je „moja vášeň“, ale bol majetnícky. Keď Rainer nadviazal priateľstvo s Albertom Einsteinom, Odets bol údajne tak pohltený žiarlivosťou, že divoko zachytil fotografiu Einsteina nožnicami. Pár sa rozviedol v roku 1943.

Odets tiež napísal Veľký nôž (1949) a Vidiecke dievča (1950). Vyšetrovaný Josephom McCarthym a Domovým výborom pre neamerickú činnosť v roku 1953 Odets tvrdil, že nikdy nebol pod vplyvom Americkej komunistickej strany a jeho práca bola založená na jeho hlbokom súcite s robotníckymi triedami. Na rozdiel od mnohých spisovateľov a hercov, ktorí boli členmi strany, Odets nebol na čiernej listine a pokračoval v práci v Hollywoode. To zahŕňalo scenár uznávaného, Sladká vôňa úspechu (1957).

Clifford Odets zomrel 18. augusta 1963.


Clifford Odets

ODETS, CLIFFORD (1906 �), americký dramatik. Narodil sa vo Philadelphii a vyrastal v Bronxe v New Yorku. Odets sa stal hercom vo veku 15 rokov. Bol spoluzakladateľom Skupinového divadla, kde jeho jednoaktová hra, Čakanie na Leftyho (1935), založený na štrajku taxíkov v New Yorku v roku 1934, mu priniesol skorý úspech. V tom istom roku boli predstavené ďalšie dve hry: Zobuď sa a spievaj!, dráma o chudobných newyorských Židoch, znamenala dôležitý zlomový moment vo vykreslení Žida na americkom javisku a Až do dňa, keď zomriem sa zaoberal ľavicovým nemeckým odporom voči nacistom. Vďaka nim sa Odets dostal do popredia ako najsľubnejší dramatik novej generácie. Vyjadril možno lepšie ako ktorýkoľvek dramatik svojej doby útrapy veľkej depresie v 30. rokoch minulého storočia a napriek tomu, že jeho diela stratili časť zo svojej pôvodnej príťažlivosti, mali vo svojej dobe značný spoločenský význam. Ich vplyv bol do značnej miery spôsobený živým dialógom a charakterizáciou. Pravdepodobne najlepším príkladom tejto poslednej kvality je Zlatý chlapec (1937), príbeh hudobníka, ktorý sa stal víťazom cien, z ktorého bol v roku 1964 vyrobený muzikál. Odets tiež napísal Raketa na Mesiac (1938), a Súboj v noci (1941). Potom, čo strávil mnoho rokov ako scenárista v Hollywoode, sa vrátil na Broadway Veľký nôž (1949), hra zaoberajúca sa kaziacim vplyvom filmovej kolónie. Dve neskoršie hry boli Vidiecke dievča (1950) a Kvitnúca broskyňa (1954), nová verzia biblického príbehu o Noemovi z hľadiska židovského rodinného života.

BIBLIOGRAFIA:

E. Murray, Clifford Odets: The Thirties and After (1968) R.B. Shuman, Clifford Odets (1962) J. Gould, Moderné Americkí dramatici (1966), 186 � S.J. Kunitz (ed.), Autori dvadsiateho storočia, najskôr suppl. (1955), vr. bibl.

Zdroje: Encyklopédia Judaica. © 2008 Skupina Gale. Všetky práva vyhradené.

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Životopis Clifforda Odetsa

Clifford Odets sa narodil židovským prisťahovaleckým rodičom vo Philadelphii, PA, 18. júla 1906. Vyrastal v New Yorku, ale v 17 rokoch zanechal školu, aby sa stal hercom. Pracoval v malých repertoárových spoločnostiach počas dvadsiatych rokov minulého storočia a potom sa stal jedným z pôvodných členov avantgardného ľavicového súboru Group Theatre so sídlom v New Yorku, ktorý založili Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford a metodický guru Lee Strasberg. Skupina, dnes považovaná za najvplyvnejšiu americkú divadelnú skupinu, sa zaviazala k radikálnym revolúciám v divadle, na ktoré by sa zamerali a prípadne ovplyvnili naliehavé spoločenské problémy, pričom zbavili svoju pôvodnú produkciu umelosti, ktorá pohltila Broadway. Vyhýbali sa tiež známym osobnostiam a robili so svojimi inscenáciami skutočnú spoluprácu podľa názorov zastávaných vo svojich hrách.

Uprostred Veľkej hospodárskej krízy skupina nemala nedostatok naliehavých sociálnych problémov, ale museli by počkať, kým Odets odhalí svoje skutočné povolanie dramatika, a potom sa vydať na divadelnú scénu. Po vstupe do Americkej komunistickej strany v roku 1934 Odets použil taxikárov a štrajk taxikárov z toho roku ako inšpiráciu pre svoju prvú hru „Waiting for Lefty“ vyrobenú v roku 1935. Hra si výrazne požičiava od komunistickej ideológie a propaguje odborovú organizáciu ako jedinú. znamená odkloniť stupnice moci od veľkého podnikania k pracovníkovi. Hra, v ktorej si zahrá budúci legendárny filmový režisér Elia Kazan, mala obrovský úspech a vzrušovala divákov až do pandémie. Odets zdokonalil aj ambíciu skupiny písať hry v autentickom jazyku postáv robotníckej triedy. Jeho praskajúci dialóg s dokonalým tónom priniesol do divadla nebývalú úroveň sociálneho realizmu.

Odets rýchlo nadviazal na úspech filmu „Čakanie na ľaváka“ v roku 1935 tým, čo mnohí považujú za jeho majstrovské dielo „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ A tiež „Do dňa, keď umriem“, jednej z prvých protinacistických hier produkovaných na Broadwayi. V tom istom roku bol producentom filmu „Stratená rada“, Odets bol najatý na písanie scenárov v Hollywoode, kde sa stretol a oženil s herečkou Luise Rainer. Predtým, ako sa s Rainerom rozviedli v roku 1940, mal mnoho vzťahov s takými herečkami, akými boli Frances Farmer a Fay Wray. Neskôr sa oženil s divadelnou herečkou Bette Grayson.

Odetove romantické pochúťky mu nebránili v písaní. „Zlatý chlapec“, vyrobený v roku 1937, sa stal jeho a skupinovým divadlom najväčším úspechom. Ukázalo sa, že to budú potrebovať, pretože súbor krvácal peniaze a rozhodol sa prijať hollywoodskych hercov ako poslednú cestu, aby pritiahol publikum. Napriek tomu sa v roku 1941 rozpustil, ale nie skôr, ako Odets dokázal nasadiť „Raketu na Mesiac“ (1938), „Nočnú hudbu“ (1940) a poslednú produkciu skupiny „Clash By Night“ (1941).

Odetova radikálna politika z neho urobila očividný cieľ pre senátora Josepha McCarthyho a komunistický hon na komunistické čarodejnice v roku 1953. Odets však tvrdil, že nikdy nebol priamo ovplyvnený Americkou komunistickou stranou, ale že jeho hry pramenili z jeho sympatií k pracujúcej triede. Odets, ktorý nie je na čiernej listine, ako mnoho jeho kolegov komunistických umelcov, napísal viac scenárov vrátane adaptácie románu „Sladká vôňa úspechu“, klasického vyšetrovania bezohľadného sveta slávy. Našiel si tiež čas na napísanie divadelných hier „Veľký nôž“ (1949) a „Vidiecke dievča“ (1950).

Odets zomrel na rakovinu 18. augusta 1963, krátko po odchode z televíznej show „Divadlo Richarda Booneho Repertory“, pre ktorú sa prihlásil ako výkonný redaktor príbehu. Model idealistického titulárneho dramatika vo filme bratov Coenovcov „Barton Fink“, „Odets“ je považovaný za určujúceho amerického dramatika 30. rokov minulého storočia a je uctievaný ako jeden z najväčších drámových križiakov za sociálnu spravodlivosť.


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História / Životopisná poznámka

Životopisná poznámka

Clifford Odets bol významný americký dramatik. Narodil sa v roku 1906 vo Philadelphii ruským a rumunským prisťahovalcom. Odets sám vyrazil, prerušil strednú školu a začal sa venovať herectvu. Bol zakladajúcim členom Group Theatre v New Yorku, ktorý v herectve využíval novú techniku ​​založenú na myšlienkach Constantina Stanislavského. Skupinové divadlo ďalej rozvíjal režisér Lee Strasberg. Odets bola dvakrát vydatá, obe za herečky: Luise Rainer a Bette Grayson. S Graysonom mal dve deti, Noru a Walta. Odets písal hry a scenáre, pravdepodobne najlepšie známe pre neho Čakanie na Leftyho, Zobuď sa a spievaja Zlatý chlapec. V roku 1952 bol Odets predvolaný pred Snemovňu pre neamerické aktivity. V rokoch 1934-1935 patril k CPUSA necelý rok. V posledných rokoch pracoval Odets s NBC Show Richarda Booneho. Odets zomrel na rakovinu hrubého čreva vo veku 57 rokov.


Etapa vľavo

17. apríla pri príležitosti stého výročia narodenia dramatika Clifforda Odetsa uvedie Lincoln Center Theatre novú inscenáciu „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“, Prvú Odetovu celovečernú hru a takú, ktorá ho v roku 1935 urobila literárnou superhviezdou. , vo veku dvadsaťosem rokov. V nasledujúcich rokoch tento časopis nazýval Odets „chlapcom revolúcie č. 1“ Čas položil svoju tvár na obálku Cole Porter rýmoval svoje meno v piesni (dvakrát) a Walter Winchell razil slovo „Bravodets!“ "Zo všetkých ľudí, ty Clifford Odets sú najbližšie k porozumeniu resp cítiť túto americkú realitu, “napísal v roku 1938 jeho priateľ, režisér Harold Clurman, a nabádal ho„ písať, písať, písať - pretože to tak veľmi potrebujeme “. "Ty si Muž“Povedal mu Clurman.

Odets zomrel na rakovinu hrubého čreva 14. augusta 1963, mesiac po jeho päťdesiatych siedmych narodeninách. O deväť týždňov neskôr v sále s vysokými stropmi nad kóšer reštauráciou zvolal Elia Kazan, umelecký vedúci novovyrobeného Lincoln Center Repertory, prvú skúšku prvej hry spoločnosti „After the Fall“. Keď sa Kazaň zdvihla, aby oslovila zhromaždených divadelníkov - medzi nimi aj samotného Millera, ktorý bol ovplyvnený Odetovým „nehanebným slovom radosť“ - Odsetovi sa veľmi zdalo. Na začiatku tridsiatych rokov boli Kazan a Odets ako členovia Skupinového divadla pomocníkmi a nespokojnými bojovníkmi v rovnakých umeleckých bitkách. Kazaň zdieľala Odetove sny o veľkosti a o zmenách a zdieľali aj železničný byt na Západnej päťdesiatej siedmej ulici-byt „nasýtený sklamaním“, neskôr Kazan povedal, kde Odets v miestnosti napísal „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ taký malý, že jeho písací stroj, ktorému dal prezývku Ambition Corona, musel ležať na jeho lone. Kazan bola medzi hráčmi, ktorí kričali „Úder, úder, úder!“ vo finále „Waiting for Lefty“, Odetsovej jednoaktovej agitpropallovej salve, ktorú počul celý svet v roku 1935. Predstavil sa v prvom Odetovom prvom broadwayskom hite „Golden Boy“ a vo svojej poslednej hre pre skupinové divadlo „Night Music“ . ” Bol tiež pravidelným návštevníkom Hollywoodu, kde Odets strávil posledné dve desaťročia svojho života písaním scenárov, ktoré označoval ako „fondán“ a „sladký koláč“, a vo filmoch ako „Sladká vôňa úspechu“ (1957) ) a hry, neskôr sfilmované, ako napríklad „The Big Knife“ (1949) a „The Country Girl“ (1950), ťažiace legendu o jeho vlastnom zrútení.

"Tragédia našich čias v divadle je tragédiou Clifforda Odeta," začal Kazan predtým, ako bránil svojho zosnulého priateľa pred obvineniami z neúspechu, ktoré sa objavili v jeho nekrológoch. "Jeho plán, povedal, bol." . . vráťte sa do New Yorku a zahrajte si [niekoľko nových] hier. Uistil ma, že to budú najlepšie hry jeho života. . . . Cliff nebol „zastrelený“. . . Myseľ a talent v mužovi žili. “ Na svojej smrteľnej posteli v nemocnici Cedars of Libanon, podľa Kazana, Odets „naposledy zdvihol päsť svojim charakteristickým, dramatizujúcim spôsobom a povedal:„ Clifford Odets, máš toho ešte veľa čo robiť! “

Odets nie vždy odolával pojmu smrti. Kým mal dvadsaťpäť, pokúsil sa trikrát zabiť. Bol to muž extrémnych romantických emócií, prenasledovaný pocitom záhuby a transcendencie. „Som bezdomovcom, nech idem kamkoľvek, vždy osamelý,“ napísal na vrchole svojej ranej slávy vo svojom fascinujúcom časopise z roku 1940 vydanom pod názvom „Čas dozrel“.

Prvé dieťa z troch sa narodil v roku 1906 vo Philadelphii nezodpovedným rodičom imigrantov prvej generácie. Pearl Geisinger emigrovala z Rumunska, keď mala osem rokov. V šestnástich sa vydala za Lou Odeta, patologickú veľmoc z Ruska, ktorej zvedavosti odporovala skromnosť jeho úspechu. O šestnásť mesiacov neskôr porodila Pearl Clifforda. Jej život bol históriou abdikácie a lamentovania. Väznená, bez hlasu a chronicky vyčerpaná svojimi deťmi - jej druhé dieťa, Genevieve, bola ochromená obrnou - Pearl vysolila haliere zo svojho rodinného príspevku na „únikový fond“, ktorý mala uložený v košíku na šitie. (Kým zomrela, v roku 1935, nazhromaždila značnú sumu tri tisíc dolárov.) „Urobte si prestávku alebo strávte zvyšok života v rakve“, postava v seriáli „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ prihovára sa svojmu nešťastne ženatému milencovi. V hre žena opúšťa svoju rodinu, aby tvrdila, že svoje túžby Pearl nikdy neurobila. Namiesto toho sa uväznila doma, posadnuto upratovala (prezývali ju Sanitárna perla) a znášala výsmech a záletníctvo svojho manžela, pričom ho niekedy potrestala dňami ticha.

Podľa Margaret Brenman-Gibsonovej v skvelej biografii „Clifford Odets, americký dramatik“ bola rodinná atmosféra taká smrteľná, že sa deti „báli priniesť priateľov domov“. Po Genevieveovej chorobe, keď mal Odets štyri roky, „si nikto nedokázal spomenúť, ako ho Pearl bozkával“. "Chcela byť utešená," napísal Odets neskôr. "Ja tiež. Bola som osamelá, utrápená a zarmútená rovnako ako ja. Ako dieťa som očakával, že ma budú hladkať, privádzať (nie vyhadzovať), utešovať a utešovať, a ona s nevôľou neurobí pre mňa nič z toho." Koniec koncov, bola sama dieťaťom. “ Dodal: "Príde každá jeseň a súmrak, a keď budem mať sto jedna, bude ma bolieť srdce, že keď sú ulice studené a tmavé, že keď som vstúpila do domu, moja matka ma nevzala do náručia."

Lou, „obchodný pes“, ako ho Odets nazýval, sa už nedal ponúknuť. Lou-go Lou odstránil všetky náznaky starého sveta z jeho reči a príbehu a trval na tom, že sa „narodil ako Američan“. Zmenil si meno z Gorodetsky-„mestský muž“ v ruštine-a pridal stredný iniciál, ktorý pozýval ľudí, aby ho oslovovali L.J., čo považoval za veliteľskejšie, celoamerické pomenovanie. L. J. začal svoju kariéru ako podávač v tlačiarni a čoskoro sa stal majiteľom série malých podnikov vo Philadelphii a New Yorku. Bol tiež autorom knihy s názvom „Ako vyhladiť predajnú cestu“. Učeník „teológie rýchleho zarobenia peňazí“, ako to vyjadril Odets v „Sladkej vôni úspechu“, L. J. nikdy necítil potrebu ospravedlniť sa za svoju dravosť. Chcel byť, povedal, „veľkým mužom - číslom jeden.“ Pre jeho syna to bol „dvojbitový cár“, blázon so „šialeným presvedčením, že musí odovzdať (schváliť alebo zmeniť) všetko, čo druhá osoba robí“. "Musel som s ním bojovať každým centimetrom, aby som nebol zaplavený a zaplavený, aby som zostal nažive," napísal Odets.

Aj keď bol Odets dospelý, L. J. ho naďalej znevažoval ako „veľkého chlapca“. "Môj otec [zatĺka] klince do mojej hlavy," napísal Odets priateľovi. Napriek tomu, že L. J. ponúkol značnú finančnú pomoc - v rokoch 1935 až 1950 mu dal viac ako stotisíc dolárov - obťažovanie pokračovalo. V roku 1935 sa L. J. pokúšal presvedčiť Odetsa, aby ho zamestnal ako vedúceho, a napísal: „Povedz mi, mladý muž, kam si sa dostal? všetky skúsenosti vo svete, čo si myslíte, že máte? Videl som mužov, ktorí boli vychovávaní vyššie ako vy, a potom som ich videl klesať nižšie. . . . Áno, stále si „Biela nádej“, ale klesáš. ” Keď sa v roku 1937 L. J. dozvedel, že Odets sa odlúčil od Luise Rainerovej, dvojnásobnej herečky ocenenej Akadémiou, s ktorou mal búrlivé trojročné manželstvo, znelo to so všetkou svojou brutalitou: „Hanbím sa za teba. Si kus dummu ľudstva, s ktorým som kedy prišiel do styku. . . . Celým zadkom dozadu a sedením na mozgu. “ Odets toto neustále vyhladzovanie zvnútraňoval a vo svojom denníku sa nadával ako „prasa“, „pissant“, „idiot“, „flákač“ a „dvakrát zadok“. Napísal: „To je otec, ktorého máš začlenené, jeho vlastnosti a nenávidené prvky -že má sa otec báť! “ Toxický hlas LJ si našiel cestu aj k niektorým z najodvodnejších Odetových javiskových darebákov - gangstrom Eddiemu Fuselim („Zlatý chlapec“), Kewpie („Stratený raj“) a Moe Axelrod („Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“), sukničkár pán Prince („Raketa na Mesiac“) a hollywoodsky magnát Marcus Hoff („Veľký nôž“).

Odets ako dieťa hľadal útočisko pred svojim ponížením v snoch o verejnom hrdinstve. "Celé moje chlapčenstvo a mladosť som myslel na to slovo." šľachta a čo to znamenalo, “napísal. Autodidakt, ktorý čítal dvanásť kníh týždenne, Odetsa dojal najmä Victora Huga, ktorého nazval „matkou môjho literárneho srdca“. Hugo „inšpiroval ma a prinútil ma aspirovať“, poznamenal. "Ja." . . túžil robiť hrdinské činy holými rukami, túžil byť láskavý k ľuďom, najmä voči slabým a pokorným a utláčaným. Od Huga som mal prvý pocit sociálneho vedomia. “ Odets spočiatku, a možno nevyhnutne, ako dieťa histriónskych rodičov, gravitoval k účinkovaniu. Spomínal si, že bol „divoký. . . aby sa moje meno dostalo pred verejnosť “,„ aby som sa dostal do lásky ľudí “. Medzi jeho prvé zamestnania po škole patrilo otáčanie záznamov o newyorskom WBNY, ponúkanie „komentárov na mieru“ a používanie expozície na fináganie bezplatných lístkov do divadla, ktoré z neho podľa Winchella urobili „najmladšieho kritika mesta“. V sedemnástich rokoch Odets dostal svoju prvú profesionálnu hereckú prácu.

Keď Odets vstúpil do Skupinového divadla, o osem rokov neskôr, v roku 1931, to považoval za kreatívne znovuzrodenie - „z popola Fénixa“, napísal. Minulé roky strávil ako cestovateľský herec v americkom divadle, ktoré bolo ešte len v počiatočných fázach - zlé scenáre, zlý tréning, zlé podmienky. "Žijem nízko. . . nízky nízky nízky, hlboký v zápachu a hliene, “napísal v„ 910 Eden Street “(1931), ranom, autobiografickom bodnutí hry. Boli časy, keď existoval, ako povedal, za desať centov za deň sa zahol do chátrajúcich hotelov, zavalených hmyzom, pričom mesiace prežil na diéte zo strúhanej pšenice a plechoviek sleďa. Jeho umelecké ambície väčšinou ďaleko presahovali jeho možnosti. "Je to veľmi hrozné, mať energie a žiadny vagón, s ktorým by sme ich mohli zapriahnuť," napísal priateľovi.

Skupina bola tým vagónom. Spoločnosť založili traja divadelní idealisti - Clurman, režisér Lee Strasberg a producentka Cheryl Crawford - a pokúsila sa predefinovať povahu amerického divadla a prinavrátiť dôstojnosť hereckej profesii. Svojím dôrazom na Stanislavského metódu a na pojem interpretujúceho kolektívu odpovedala na Odetovu umeleckú túžbu splynúť s niečím väčším, ako je on sám. („Začal som jesť mäso a krv Skupiny,“ napísal do denníka prvého letného programu Skupiny. „Som pre túto vec zanietený.“ Skupinové objatie Odetov však bolo predbežné. "Nikto si o ňom ako o hercovi nemyslel veľa, okrem samotného Clifforda," napísal Kazan vo svojich pamätiach "Elia Kazan: Život." Clurman a Strasberg určite neboli preťažení. Nakoniec však Clurman predvídal. "Dajme si ho," povedal. "S tým mužom sa niečo varí." Neviem, či sú to zemiakové placky alebo čo, ale to, čo je varenie, má bohatú vôňu. “

Odets bol najatý za tridsaťpäť dolárov týždenne, ale vzhľadom na jeho rastúcu nevôľu sa nikdy nedostal do dobrej role: v prvých štyroch rokoch pôsobenia v skupine hral farmára s jednou líniou a zadkom na lavičke v parku. chrbtom k publiku a bol záskokom. Aj keď bol spočiatku nadšený z možnosti, že ho bude režírovať Lee Strasberg, čoskoro zistil, že „tí herci, ktorí mali dobré časti, získali skutočné a najlepšie výhody Strasbergovho školenia, a ostatní nie“. „Cítili ste sa ako malé dieťa s nosom pritlačeným k oknu, ktoré hovorí:„ Prial by som si, aby som sa mohol dostať dovnútra, aby som mohol dostať ešte nejaké tie „geegaws“ z vianočného stromčeka, ”povedal profesor divadla Arthur Wagner. (Z tejto nevôle vyplynula následná Odetova prax písania pre súbor vo všetkých jeho raných hrách, namiesto jednej alebo dvoch hlavných rolí je tu sedem alebo osem rovnako dôležitých postáv.)

Podľa vlastného priznania by sa však bez skupinového divadla Odets nestal dramatikom. Jeho herecká práca vzbudila dôveru vo vlastné vnútorné zdroje. "Takzvaná 'metóda' vás prinútila postaviť sa tvárou v tvár sebe a skutočne fungovať z toho, akým človekom ste,“ povedal. Naučilo ho to tiež nebojácnosti a emocionálnej poctivosti. V roku 1931 začal experimentovať s hrami. Napísal dielo o živote vo Philadelphii a ďalšie o hudobnom géniovi odrody Beethoven. Požiadal o spätnú väzbu ostatných v skupine, najmä Clurmana, ktorý bol vtedy Odetovou „obľúbenou postavou mimo fikcie“. Clurman o hudobnej hre napísal: „Neukázalo to žiadne stopy talentu. Namiesto toho som mu navrhol, aby napísal o ľuďoch, ktorých stretol a pozoroval za posledných niekoľko rokov. “ Návrh vzal. „Teraz som si tým istý, viem, aký je jasný pocit, čo a ako robiť,“ napísal Odets vo veku dvadsaťšesť rokov, keď začal pracovať na hre, ktorá sa zmení na „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ "Som plný materiálov."

5. januára 1935, do dvoch minút od zapnutia svetiel „Čakanie na ľaváka“ v Občianskom repertoárovom divadle na štrnástej ulici, obecenstvo začalo tlieskať. "Riadok za riadkom prinášal potlesk, píšťalky, chválospevy a srdečné výkriky príbuzenstva," napísal Clurman. Odets a Kazan, ktorí boli súčasťou obsadenia, sedeli spolu ako rastliny v publiku. "Po prvýkrát ste videli divadlo ako kultúrnu silu," pripomenul Odets. "S publikom a hercami došlo k takej súhre, že herci nevedeli, či konajú, a publikum nevedelo, či sedí a pozerá sa, alebo zmenilo polohy." Pokračoval: „Ocitol som sa na nohách a kričal som‚ Bravo! ‘. . . Zabudol som, že som hru napísal, zabudol som, že som v hre bol. . . . Oblúk proscénia zmizol. “ Kazan - ktorý neskôr režíroval premiéry filmov „Tramvaj do stanice s názvom Túžba“ a „Smrť predavača“ - povedal: „Bolo to najpôsobivejšie prijatie, aké som kedy v divadle počul.“

„Čakanie na ľaváka“, ktorý Odets napísal za tri dni, bol prierezom stretnutia odborov so scénami po depresii, v dôsledku ktorej bol viac ako každý štvrtý robotník nezamestnaný. Odets videl život marxistickou optikou, ale jeho hra nebola ideologická. „Lefty“ so svojimi poznámkami o bolesti a nádeji prvýkrát na javisku účinne vykreslil svet so zlomeným srdcom, ktorý Odets tak dobre poznal, kde, ako povedal, „existuje iba hanba a ľútosť, rezignácia a úzkosť“. Agate, jeden z organizátorov odborov, hovorí pracovníkom:

** <: .break one> ** No, možno o ničom neviem, možno som vypadol z kolísky, keď som bol dieťa, a odvtedy nemám pravdu. . . . Možno som dostal a sklenené oko, ale pochádza z práce v továrni v jedenástich rokoch. Pripojili to, pretože nemali štít na dielach. Ale nosím to ako medailu, pretože hovorí svetu, kam patrím - hlboko v robotníckej triede! . . . Toto je váš a môj život! Je to lebka a kosti každú cestu! Kriste, farbíme sa o palce! Prečo? Aby sa debutanti mohli zúčastniť večierkov v Ritz! Poppa má dcéru a musí dostať svoj obrázok do novín. Kriste, robia ich našou krvou. . . . Pomalá smrť alebo boj. Je vojna! **

„Čakanie na Leftyho“ sa stalo, ako Odets neskôr povedal, „akýmsi ľahkým guľometom, ktorý ste použili pri každom probléme so štrajkom.“ Na konci premiéry zaznelo dvadsaťosem opon a po dvadsiatich minútach omráčení diváci neopustili divadlo, niektorí vystúpili na pódium a čakali, kým sa herci vrátia. Bol to „pôrodný krik tridsiatych rokov“, povedal Clurman. "Naša mládež našla svoj hlas." Kazan napísal: „Nikto z nás už nikdy nemal byť taký istý a predpokladám, že sme to všetci vedeli. Netušili sme však, ako ďaleko a ako rýchlo táto zmena pôjde. Cliff sa mal stať bohom. “

"Keď spomínam slovo" Američan ", myslím tým seba," povedal Odets a zopakoval tak Walta Whitmana, po ktorom pomenoval svojho syna. Rovnako ako Whitman, aj Odets podľa Clurmana cítil „pokrvné puto s priemerným mužom na ulici“, ale zatiaľ čo Whitman spieval elektrické telo, Odets spieval telesné telo. Jeho vnútorná krajina - „vec bez domova“ - sa presne vyrovnala s pocitom vyvlastnenia národa. A pri pitve americkej choroby priniesol na pódium celý rad doposiaľ neramatizovaných duší. „Čakanie na ľavákov“ je literárnym materiálom odborových zbabelcov. "Zobuď sa a spievaj!" bolo jedným z prvých pozorovaní židovsko-americkej rodiny na broadwayskom pódiu. "Všetci sme boli zaujímaví, akí živí a silní v rytme tohto štýlu," napísal o hre Alfred Kazin. "Slová, vždy skutočné, ale nikdy nie ploché, brilantne autentické ako žiadna iná divadelná reč na Broadwayi, vzbudili publikum v takej radosti, že bolo cítiť, ako sa ohýba a spája s mysľou spisovateľa."

Idiomatická reč bola kľúčom k tempu Odetových hier, ktoré rozšírili hranice javiskového naturalizmu. Odets ako podzákladník hlavnej úlohy v „Príbehu úspechu Johna Howarda Lawsona“ spoznal poetickú silu hovorovej vety. "Ukázalo mi to poéziu, ktorá bola súčasťou plevy na ulici," povedal Wagner. "Bolo tu niečo celkom vyvýšené." . . spôsobom, akým ľudia hovorili. “ Odets veril, že „nové umelecké dielo by malo strieľať guľky“. Jeho múdre tresky siahali po svetlách reflektorov tak, ako to dovtedy žiadne americké písmo na javisku nedosiahlo: „Som v tebe ako pásomnica“ „Ja som oproti tebe! Úplne proti! “ "Záškrt má väčší rešpekt ako ja!" "Podrezaj si hrdlo, miláčik." Ušetriť čas." Jeho veľkomestský idiom, ktorý bol súčasne komický a uhrančivý, odhalil brutálne úpravy osobnosti brutálnym časom, epigrammatické tvrdé reči, ktoré sa vlnili v hrách, a vytvárali znepokojujúci lyrický podtón. "Tu bez dolára sa nepozeráte svetu do očí," hovorí matriarcha Bessie v "Prebuďte sa a spievajte!" "Rozhovor odteraz do budúceho roka - taký je život v Amerike."

Odets považoval jeho hry za piesne. "Možno som jediný." . . kto si uvedomuje, ako úzko súvisí môj talent s talentom skladateľov, “uviedol vo svojom denníku z roku 1940. "Začíname spolu z jadra textu. Každá z mojich hier. . . Mohol by som nazvať cyklus piesní na danú tému. “ Podľa filmového režiséra Alexandra Mackendricka, s ktorým spolupracoval na filme „Sladká vôňa úspechu“, Odets vniesol svoju vášeň pre hudbu aj do inštinktu. Zdá sa, že „vždy bolo vymyslieť vzorce troch, štyroch alebo päť interagujúcich postáv. “ V rýchlosti ricochetingových línií Odets vytvoril tematickú a harmonickú hustotu. Niekoľko prvých poznámok výraznej sťažnosti v „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ Napríklad vykúzli zastavený život Bergerovej domácnosti:

__ <: .break one> ** ** R_ALPH_: Kde je pokrok na mieste? Pracujte ako blázon! Myslíte si, že to vidia? Najprv by si padol mŕtvy. MYRON*: Nevadí, syn, zásluhy nikdy neostanú bez odmeny. Teddy Roosevelt hovoril - HENNIE: Odmenilo vás to - tridsať rokov galantského úradníka! (Jacob sa smeje) R.ALPH: Všetko, čo chcem, je šanca dostať sa na prvú základňu. HENNIE: To je všetko? ***

"Chcel som len dve čisté miestnosti na bývanie, fonograf, niekoľko záznamov," povedal Odets. V skutočnosti dostal oveľa viac, ako očakával. Jeho meteorický výstup z nižších radov znamenal posun síl v bojujúcom skupinovom divadle. V roku 1934 Odets a ostatní herci začali preberať kontrolu nad umeleckým vedením skupiny. Odets a Strasberg boli, ako si Odets pripomenul, „vždy vonku“. Strasberg súkromne odmietol „Čakanie na ľaváka“, ktoré bolo nacvičené bez toho, aby diskutoval o „Prebuďte sa a spievajte!“ pred spoločnosťou ponížil Odeta. („Zdá sa, že nerozumieš, Clifford. Nie Páči sa mi to tvoja hra, “povedal.) Odetov vzostup signalizoval Strasbergov pokles. "Rozhodli sme sa, že Lee hercom bráni a mali by sme si dávať pozor na jeho vplyv," pripomenul Kazan. "Myslím, že ho to stálo kreatívny život," povedal Odets. "Pretože sa nikdy nezotavil." Odets mal do roka štyri hry na Broadwayi.

"Na hru Odets sa čakalo ako na novinky horúce z novín, ako keby sme prostredníctvom neho vedeli, čo si o sebe máme myslieť," napísal Arthur Miller vo svojich spomienkach na „Timebends“. "V marxizme bola mágia a Odets mal prútik." Samotný Odets cítil kúzlo. "Teraz som nielenže bol muž s desaťmiliónovou rukou, ale teraz som mohol loptu skutočne nasmerovať tam, kam chcela," povedal. Táto nová zodpovednosť ho inšpirovala aj ťažila. Bol dojnou kravou Skupiny a zdá sa mu, že každú sezónu musel zabezpečiť teľa. “I dropped this calf and some people would rush up and grab it, wipe it off and take it away and I would be left there bellowing,” he said. “I would let them do it but with a great deal of resentment. They had to have those veal chops on the table.”

Walking into the show-biz hangout Lindy’s one day, in 1940, Odets was stopped by the actor Lionel Stander. “You are a first-class man,” Stander said. “What are you doing with these nitwits?” It was a question that haunted Odets, who by then had grabbed fame’s live wire and couldn’t let go. He travelled back and forth between New York and Hollywood he was a habitué of café society he was living in a Village penthouse he had a Cadillac and was building a treasure trove of modern art. At the same time, he needed calm and isolation in order to write. “I was not the same young man I used to be but trying to hold on to him,” he said. The monk and the winking courtier were perpetually at war inside him. Odets saw his voluptuary itch as a legacy from his mother. “When the child needs consolation . . . and the mother will not give it,” he wrote, “the child will later . . . move towards a series of consolations. . . . Sex, self-sex, distractions, arts, gourmandizing, . . . rich clothes, etc.” And it was his need both to win his father’s approval and to triumph over him that kept Odets forever in thrall to Hollywood’s big bucks—money being L.J.’s only measure of achievement. “I want to be a poor poet and a powerful businessman, a sensational young man and a modest artist with a secret life,” Odets wrote in 1940. “There are contradictory pulls—one to live with tightened discipline, sharp, hard and cold the other to go hotly and passionately to hell as fast and as fully as possible.”

His plays charted his struggle for equilibrium, “the aching balance,” as he called it. The heroes of “Golden Boy” and “The Big Knife” are both torn between commercial success and artistic fulfillment, driven crazy by their decision to live against their natures both murder themselves out of nostalgia for their lost integrity. Unlike his characters, however, Odets killed himself not sensationally but by degrees. “I see so plainly what you are trying to do!” he wrote to himself with weird prescience in his 1940 journal. “You will never conquer the MORAL MAN within you! You are trying to kill him, but he will not permit it he will murder you with regret and anguish first.” Still, in his unflinching struggle between heart and appetite, Odets saw honor and perhaps some kind of redemption. “Inner contradictions are not solved by throwing out half of the personality, but by keeping both sides tearing and pulling . . . until an AMALGAM ON A HIGH LEVEL OF LIFE AND EXPERIENCE IS ACHIEVED,” he wrote. “Wrestle, Bernie . . . you may win a blessing,” the heroine of “The Country Girl” advises the would-be lover she rejects, in the play’s last lines. “But stay unregenerate. Life knocks the sauciness out of us soon enough.”

Hollywood and the House Un-American Activities Committee were a one-two punch to Odets’s reputation. In the thirties, he used much of the proceeds of his lucrative screenplay work to support the Group Theatre. When, after the dissolution of the Group, in 1941, he continued to devote himself primarily to screenplays—among them “Humoresque,” the first draft of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “None but the Lonely Heart,” which he also directed—Odets was perceived as a sellout to the high art of the theatre. “But to what theatre was he supposed to remain faithful?” Miller asked. “There was nothing to return to, no theatre or theatre culture, only show business and some theatrical real estate.”

In 1947, the committee listed Odets as one of seventy-nine members of the film community affiliated with the Communist Party. By the time he appeared before HUAC as a “friendly witness,” in May, 1952, he had married and divorced his second wife, the actress Bette Grayson, and was the father of two children, Nora and Walt. According to Walt Odets, who is now a clinical psychologist in Berkeley, Nora had “serious developmental disabilities. She was going to psychologists, neurologists, endocrinologists her whole childhood. . . . My father was supporting all that.” In other words, Odets could not afford to lose his Hollywood income. (In 1954, when Grayson died suddenly, of pneumonia, Odets became a single parent and those paydays became even more important.) According to Victor Navasky, who wrote a history of the era, Odets both “read the Committee the riot act and, in the vocabulary of the day, ‘named names.’ ” His testimony cost him friends and, according to some, his talent. “He was never the same after he testified,” Kazan wrote. “He was no longer the hero-rebel, the fearless prophet of a new world. It choked off the voice he’d had.”

This point, however, is debatable: Odets wrote both “Sweet Smell of Success” and “The Flowering Peach” after his testimony the former is one of the era’s classic films, and the latter, produced on Broadway in 1954, was originally selected by the judges of the Pulitzer Prize, only to be overruled by the Pulitzer committee, which instead gave the award to “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Odets didn’t lose his talent he lost the attention of his audience. His “ringing tone” was pitch-perfect for the floundering nation in the mid-thirties, but as early as “Night Music,” which was written in 1939, when the country was mobilizing for war, his bursts of passion had begun to sound forced, even to him. “Your fight is here, not across the water,” a police detective says to an aspiring soldier in the play. “You love this girl? And you mean it? Then fight for love! You want a home? Do you?—then fight for homes!”

Different times required a different way of speaking. The postwar boom brought abundance to the Republic, and a shift in the cultural ethos, from self-sacrifice to self-aggrandizement. The nation had calmed down and turned inward so had Odets’s idiom, which turned from sociology to psychology. Sometimes judged “dated,” because of their schematic construction, Odets’s later plays, with their study of bad faith, bear witness to a certain kind of American emptiness that is evergreen. “Half-idealism is the peritonitis of the soul,” he wrote in “The Big Knife” it was an epitaph both for his own self-deception and for what he called “the strange dry country” around him, which had fought a war for freedom abroad only to begin a witch hunt at home.

After the commercial failure of “The Flowering Peach”—he netted only four thousand dollars for two years of work—Odets settled his motherless ménage in Beverly Hills, where he remained until his death, in a series of cluttered rented dwellings. In these chaotic accommodations, according to his son, Odets could usually be found lying on the sofa “in a terry-cloth bathrobe, listening to Beethoven and smoking cigarettes.” He was an affectionate but erratic father. “He was like a furious machine,” Walt told me. “He lived in a kind of intensity that was constant and relentless.” Nora continued to absorb much of Odets’s time and energy. As a rebellious teen-ager, Walt asked to be sent away to boarding school, but Odets refused, saying, “I can’t let you go away and leave me alone with Nora.” “To I couldn’t forgive him for,” Walt said.

In the five years before he decamped for California, Odets wrote seven plays in the twenty-two years he lived after the demise of the Group Theatre, he wrote three. “I am seething and swollen, lumpy, disordered and baffled, as if I were a woman fifteen months pregnant and unable to sleep or turn, crying aloud, ‘Oh, God, out, out, out!’ ” he wrote to Brenman-Gibson in the early sixties, by which time even the film work was drying up. To make ends meet, he had to sell some of the paintings off his walls. Odets, who had always been adrift, now was just swamped. “Hapless and helpless,” he wrote. “The Jewish prophet is being eaten alive by the Jewish father in me, and if somewhere it doesn’t stop soon, I shall be indeed dead.”

On the cheap maple kitchen table where he wrote, Odets, at the time of his death, had placed two Čas articles, both with photographs showing him at his typewriter: one was a 1938 story with the renegade battle cry “Down with the general Fraud!” as a caption the other was a 1962 clipping headlined “Credo of a Wrong-Living Man,” snidely reporting the news of Odets’s appointment as a script supervisor and writer for the NBC TV series “The Richard Boone Show.” “I may well be not only the foremost playwright manqué of our time but of all time,” Odets wrote in 1961. “I do not believe a dozen playwrights in history had my natural endowment.”

It’s possible that Odets’s narrative of decline is what has kept him from claiming the privileged place in the theatrical discussion that he deserves. Odets’s plays showed a way for the next generation of playwrights to combine linear movement with psychological complexity and depth. He brought a new demotic music to stage speech. His subject was always the struggle of the heartbroken American soul under capitalism. “I will reveal America to itself by revealing myself to myself,” Odets wrote. His plays and his life, full of unique lament and liveliness, eloquently fulfill his prophecy. ♦


Rocket to the Moon: Clifford Odets' Forgotten Masterpiece?

Walt Odets vividly remembers riding in a car with his father, Clifford Odets, on the way home from a UCLA production of the elder Odets' 1938 drama Rocket to the Moon. The legendary author of Waiting for Lefty a Golden Boy leaned over to his teenage son and asked him what he thought of the play. "I told him I thought it was corny," he recalled, speaking from his office in Berkeley, California. Now 68, an experienced psychologist, and the executor of his father's literary estate, Odets has developed a far more nuanced view of the play. In fact, he makes a very good case for Raketa being Clifford Odets' magnum opus.

The story revolves around New York City dentist Dr. Ben Stark. Approaching middle age, Stark worries that his talents are being wasted in an unrewarding private practice. His father-in-law wants him to uproot to a ritzier neighborhood, but his wife, Belle, wants him to maintain a holding pattern. The arrival of an alluring and willful young receptionist, Cleo Singer, threatens to disrupt Stark's dismal status quo. He begins to wonder if his life could be different with her.

When I first mentioned the play to Odets, he was quick to pull out a quote from an interview his father gave to Herman Harvey near the end of his life, in which he was asked about his "irreversible commitment" as a writer:

I would like to make a statement about what in our American world develops the inherent possibilities of each man and woman and what holds them back, what stymies them. We pick up the techniques (conciliation, ingratiation) of selling ourselves. Such experience shrivels our souls.

"That's what Raketa is really about," Odets said. The play was right at the heart of everything his father cared about as an artist.

Now Rocket to the Moon is getting a rare revival from the Peccadillo Theater Company at the Theatre at St. Clement's. "It has essentially not been produced in New York for decades," said Peccadillo's artistic director Dan Wackerman, who is also helming this production. "There aren't too many plays of this quality or importance that haven't been revived in such a long time." For twenty years, Peccadillo's mission has been to produce lost gems of the American theater, so Raketa seemed like the ideal play.

Walt Odets also feels like his father's work is particularly timely in 2015 America. "We're back in the same situation we were in during the depression," he contended. The kind of social and economic imbalances that my father wrote about are back."

Odets developed a reputation for infusing his plays with fiery political rhetoric and passionate calls for social justice, illustrated in his hit shows Waiting for Lefty a Awake and Sing! Outwardly, Raketa seems to be a world apart from those earlier works, disconnected from politics and more concerned with the inner lives of its characters. Wackerman begs to differ. "It's actually quite political," he asserted, adding, "It's just that the politics are embedded in a highly complex emotional drama."

Odets biographer Beth Phillips concurred: "It's very political. It's about being trapped in the capitalist system. The individual is destroyed. That's what capitalism does. We settle." She added, "Arthur Miller felt this was Odets' best play." According to Phillips, the author of Death of a Salesman (winner of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for drama) was tremendously influenced by Odets, and considering their shared interest in middle-class disappointment and middle-aged disillusionment, it's easy to see why.

Everyone in Raketa seems to be settling for something less than happiness, including Belle's wealthy father Mr. Prince. "He's not happy with his life, but he knows you have to blunder forward," said Jonathan Hadary, who plays Prince in the Peccadillo production. He's starring alongside Ned Eisenberg, who plays Dr. Stark. The two men have appeared in the last two major Odets productions in the city, both produced by Lincoln Center Theater: Awake and Sing! (2006) and Golden Boy (2012). They are seasoned veterans when it comes to finding the language and tone of Odets.

Still, Eisenberg showed some trepidation in approaching the role of Dr. Stark, arguably one of the more inscrutable characters in the Odets canon. "He's an enigmatic character," Eisenberg admitted. "I'm still finding out where exactly he stands." But where he stands is something of an open question in the script. The play's infamously inconclusive ending has been a subject of debate among critics for years, with some citing it as one of the play's major flaws.

"Ben Stark is literally dumbfounded, unable to make a major decision about his life," Phillips noted about the ambiguous ending. Rather than seeing this as a structural detriment, Phillips views it as one of Raketa's great strengths. "He's stuck between a rock and a hard place. Most people can identify with that. It's also Odets' life story."

Like most people, Odets was forced to take work out of financial consideration. Starting in the 1930s, he began working in Hollywood, even though by all accounts he was incredibly ill-suited to screenwriting. "Screenplays are usually around a hundred pages long, but he would come in six months late with an eight-hundred-page script," Walt Odets remembered, adding, "and he couldn't have someone kill himself at the end of every movie, like he did with his plays. It wasn't what they did in Hollywood."

But Hollywood is where he would remain until his death in 1963. Walt Odets' older sister Nora was born with brain damage in 1945. In order to care for her in the manner he wanted, Clifford Odets continued to work for major film studios, which was far more lucrative than the stage. This led many to label the wayward dramatist a "sellout."

"A few years before he died at the age of fifty-seven, I remember him saying to his secretary, 'I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up,'" Walt Odets recalled. "Like Ben Stark in Raketa, I don't think he ever felt quite like he belonged anywhere.


Clifford Odets - History

At the Belasco Theatre in New York City through January 20, directed by Bartlett Sher, produced by the Lincoln Center.

A revival of American playwright Clifford Odets’ 1937 play Golden Boy is currently running at the Belasco Theater in New York City, presented by Lincoln Center Theater. The play was famously adapted for the screen in 1939, with William Holden (in his first movie role), Barbara Stanwyck and Adolphe Menjou, directed by Rouben Mamoulian.

Odets (1906-1963) was born in Philadelphia to Russian- and Romanian-Jewish immigrants, and raised in that city and in the Bronx. After dropping out of high school, he became a founding member, as an actor, of the left-wing Group Theater in New York in 1931.

Other leading members included Lee Strasberg, Cheryl Crawford and Harold Clurman. The company emphasized a psychologically naturalistic acting technique that Strasberg was developing, influenced by the work of such figures as the great Russian theater director Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), which would later be referred to as “method” acting.

This approach had a powerful influence on the young Odets as he made the transition from performer to dramatist.

Undoubtedly impelled by the Russian Revolution, the social misery produced by the Great Depression and the resulting popular radicalization in America, Odets joined the Stalinized Communist Party in 1934 and began writing plays with strong left-wing and working class themes. His first play, Waiting for Lefty (1935), concerned a group of New York taxicab drivers organizing a strike. This piece was well received on Broadway, which paved the way for later successes, most notably Awake and Sing (1935), about a Jewish family in the Bronx.

In 1936 Odets was persuaded to apply his talents to the Hollywood film The General Died at Dawn (directed by Lewis Milestone). Odets agreed to work on the script with the intention of using his salary to help fund the Group Theater. And it was this struggle between art and selfish, material concerns that became the central theme of Golden Boy, which premiered at the same theater that is home to the current production, the Belasco, on November 4, 1937.

Odets would follow up with plays such as Rocket to the Moon, Clash by Night, The Big Knife a Country Girl (the last three also being made into films), along with contributing directly to various Hollywood productions, most significantly perhaps, Sladká vôňa úspechu (directed by Alexander Mackendrick, 1957). However, Odets’ shameful decision to inform against his former comrades when called to testify before the House Committee of Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1952 would drastically affect his relationship with many of his peers and his artistic output in the final years of his life.

At the center of Golden Boy is Joe Bonaparte (Seth Numrich), a gifted violinist. Bonaparte is equally adept as a boxer, however, and therein lies the play’s drama. Our protagonist is torn between the attraction of fame and fortune as a professional prize fighter and the pursuit of his first love, music.

The play opens with Joe pleading with promoter Tom Moody (Danny Mastrogiorgio) for a shot in the ring. Moody is reluctant at first, but it is left with no choice when one of his leading fighters suffers an injury. Joe seizes his opportunity and his name appears in the newspaper the following day, much to the surprise of his family and to the chagrin of his father.

Bonaparte’s Italian-immigrant father (Tony Shalhoub) warns him of the strong possibility of injuring his hands in the boxing game, thereby destroying any hopes Joe might have of succeeding as a violinist. Initially, it appears as if Joe is heeding these warnings: we learn that in his early fights he defends himself ably, but is somewhat reluctant to inflict pain on his opponents.

However, Moody quickly persuades Joe to develop a more aggressive boxing style. In this he is aided by a seasoned boxing trainer, Tokio (Danny Burstein), and Moody’s fiancée Lorna Moon (Yvonne Strahovski). Moody, in fact, encourages the attractive young woman to use her charms to persuade Joe to commit fully to his boxing career.

In a matter of months, Joe develops a fearsome reputation in the ring and is quickly catapulted to star status. Along the way, he inevitably falls in love with Lorna and success inevitably goes to his head, which alienates him from his father, whose hopes of seeing his son become a classical musician are dashed.

A turning point in the story is the arrival of Eddie Fuseli (Anthony Crivello). Fuseli is a mobster also masquerading as a boxing promoter, but obviously one with a far more ruthless streak than Moody. Naturally, being attracted to Joe’s talents, he consciously sets about winning over the naïve young fighter. This quickly takes place and from there onward Joe finds himself on a slippery slope.

In one of the play’s more harrowing and deeply humane scenes, Joe breaks down in front of his trainer Tokio on discovering that his knockout punch has ended the life of an opponent. This scene is played beautifully by both Numrich and Burstein. Joe finds an emotional support in an apparently unlikely source, his rigorously masculine boxing coach.

The cast is uniformly strong throughout, dealing well with what at times is an overly melodramatic text. Odets’ dialogue in many of the scenes feels stilted and somewhat contrived, but the nineteen actors succeed for the most part in making it as believable as they possibly can.

The talented Shalhoub is particularly moving as Joe’s father, ably coping with a seemingly one-dimensional Italian American character. Mr. Bonaparte refuses to budge from his dignified stance of disapproval at Joe’s career path. Even in a climatic scene where Joe—who has now reached the pinnacle of his boxing career—begs for his father’s acceptance, Mr. Bonaparte stands firm. This was arguably the most effective moment in the production and it clearly showed Odets’ own disgust at that time of his career with the profit system.

Joe’s love affair with Lorna Moon is played out sincerely. Yvonne Strahovski is convincing as Moon, a woman torn between her feelings for Tom Moody and Joe. Her decision to lean towards the latter proves fatal .

Despite the foreboding that pervades Odets script, one is genuinely engaged for almost the entire three hours. The playwright unquestionably had limitations as a dramatist, particularly his tendency to hit the audience over the head with didactic dialogue. Yet, that being said, Odets proved with Golden Boy that he had the ability to raise issues that were in the forefront of people’s minds during the Great Depression in a dramatic and largely entertaining manner.


Clifford Odets American Playwright

Clifford Odets was previously married to Betty Grayson (1943 - 1952) and Luise Rainer (1937 - 1940) .

Clifford Odets had encounters with Barbara Rush (1956) and Nancy Berg.

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American Playwright Clifford Odets was born on 18th July, 1906 in Philadelphia, PA,USA and passed away on 14th Aug 1963 Hollywood, CA,USA aged 57. He is most remembered for Wrote the screenplay to Sweet Smell of Success. His zodiac sign is Cancer.

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Relationship Statistics

NapíšteCelkomLongestPriemerShortest
Zoznamka7 1 month, 1 day 4 dni -
Married2 9 years 6 years, 8 months -
Stretnutie2 1 month, 1 day 15 days -
Celkom11 9 years 1 year, 2 months 1 month, 1 day

Podrobnosti

Krstné meno Clifford
Last Name Odets
Vek 57 (age at death) years
Narodeniny 18th July, 1906
Birthplace Philadelphia, PA,USA
Died 14th August, 1963
Miesto smrti Hollywood, CA,USA
Cause of Death Stomach Cancer
Buried Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale
Build Priemer
Farba očí Brown - Dark
Farba vlasov čierna
Distinctive Feature Curly Hair
Zodiac Sign Rakovina
Sexuality Rovno
Náboženstvo Židovský
Etnicita biely
Nationality Americký
High School Dropout
Occupation Text Playwright, Screenwriter, Director
Povolanie Playwright
Claim to Fame Wrote the screenplay to Sweet Smell of Success
Year(s) Active 1925�
Friend Katherine Ann Porter, Charlie Chaplin, Elia Kazan, Harry Cohn, Lee Strasberg, Luther Adler, Stella Adler, Harold Clurman, Orson Welles, Dolores Del Rio

Clifford Odets (July 18, 1906 – August 14, 1963) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. In the mid-1930s he was widely seen as the potential successor to Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, as O'Neill began to withdraw from Broadway's commercial pressures and increasing critical backlash. From January 1935 Odets' socially relevant dramas were extremely influential, particularly for the remainder of the Great Depression. His works inspired the next several generations of playwrights, including Arthur Miller, Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon, and David Mamet. After the production of his play Clash by Night in the 1941–'42 season, Odets focused his energies primarily on film projects, remaining in Hollywood for the next seven years. He returned to New York in 1948 for five and a half years, during which time he produced three more Broadway plays, only one of which was a success. His prominence was eventually eclipsed by Miller, Tennessee Williams, and in the early- to mid-1950s, by William Inge.


3-Historical Context

The Crucible remains charged in terms of its historical setting as well as the historical context in which it was written. During the 1950’s in America, McCarthyism arose as a judicial doctrine antagonizing any Americans suspected of sympathizing with Communist ideas. This doctrine led to the formation of the House Un-American Activities Committee, or HUAC, which questioned and scrutinized government officials, artists, activists, and all others suspected of liberal leaning ideas. Arthur Miller characterizes this political climate of fear in the United States by setting The Crucible during the frenzied witch trials of Salem Massachusetts. The play both mirrors the era of McCarthyism as a whole, and also shows how Miller was implicated and testified in hearings that sought to eradicate Communism without due process or constitutional rights. Miller’s contemporary, Elia Kazan, serves as another historical agent who shows just why The Crucible was written. The play must be understood in the context of its Twentieth Century premiere in order to understand from its Seventeenth Century setting and its place in the present day.

The era of McCarthyism brought an era of fear to America. The threat of communism seemed to be threatening the American way of life in the aftermath of World War II, and fear-mongering politicians responded with “enhanced surveillance, black-listing, and repression as part of the right-wing ideologues’ tactics against government employees, educators, entertainers,” and anyone else who may have had liberal sympathies. [1] During the preceding decades, liberal political ideology flourished in America as an opposition to the Fascism and Nazism that swept through Europe and led to such a devastating war. However, with the war’s end, communism became the new threat to democracy. The secretive nature of the American Communist Party enhanced the misunderstandings surrounding it, and this fear brought with it the idea that anything unknown must be “Un-American.” [2] These sentiments led numerous Congressional sub-committees to be reorganized and rebranded as the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC, shown in meeting left), led by a Junior Senator from the state of Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy. [3] McCarthy sought to find, question, and punish any American Citizens who had past or present associations with the Communist Party. This sweeping policy of fear and persecution offers the backdrop amidst which The Crucible would be written.

Arthur Miller avoided subpoena to HUAC until 1956, when he was forced to testify on June 21, three years after the premiere of his allegorical work, The Crucible. [4] While the play was written before Miller himself faced persecution, he was well aware of the encroaching environment of blame and accusation that had engulfed his country and profession. McCarthyism sought to bring every aspect of the world into the public light as a form of spectacle. The Salem witch trials showcase this spectacle because both McCarthyism (cartoon shown left) and the trials involved law and order where “failure to defend oneself against incrimination was considered proof of seditious activities against the state.” [5] All of the subtly and nuance of justice had been eradicated from both sets of proceedings. In the eyes of HUAC, the world existed merely as a binary set of responses, American or Communist, good or evil, and God or the devil. While the latter example plays much more prominently into the historical fiction Miller penned, this sentiment still served as the justification for the cruelty imposed by HUAC on so many Americans. In the same way that the witchcraft spread from the innocuous youth of the town to much more seriously culpable adults, affiliation with Communism was seen as a symptom of youthful naivety in the American population that required confession, retraction, and penance. [6] Despite the way these problems were presented to the public in this stage of history, the motivations for the trials were quite clear. V The Crucible, young white girls instinctively feel that a black slave has gained power through her accusation of another, and they use this realization to gain power for their advantage. [7] In HUAC, it was no different. Accusation served as a tool for political advancement, where the spectacle of the hearings lifted the accusers up while denigrating the accused down below.

Miller witnessed the alienation of himself and his peers while understanding that in effect, the state had supplanted all divine power through HUAC. McCarthy’s purification acted to suppress the fundamental liberties which the United State had been built upon. Miller saw through the hearings to legislation which gave a tenuous constitutional backing to legalize the new witch hunt that plagued the 1950’s. Of course, the Salem witch trials underwent the same cycle of persecution, but with far less need for justification. In the defense of God’s law, the judges portrayed in The Crucible had no qualms about executing anyone they chose at will. [8] In the era of McCarthyism, condemnation by HUAC was tantamount to the gallows of Salem, as condemnation could lead to loss of employment, friends, opportunity, and reputation, essentially ending one’s life. This was the context Miller faced when he went to testify in June of 1956. Miller cooperated almost fully, answering every question save two, both of which involved naming alleged Communist Party associates. “His refusal to pay symbolic tribute to the Committee’s theme of subversive conspiracy was paid for with a charge of contempt.” [9] Scholarship notes that in The Crucible comparisons can be drawn between Miller’s testimony to HUAC and the structure of his play. [10] John Proctor exclaims in the face of death, “How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul leave me my name!” [11] Miller refuted and rebuked all evidence offered against him, essentially playing the hero in his set of trials to foil John Proctor’s role in Salem. This was the historical nightmare that Miller and so many of his contemporaries lived in. The Crucible faced criticism because “while there were no witches in Salem, there were Communists in Washington.” [12] This reality would touch Miller in a very personal way through the testimony of his friend, Elia Kazan.

Elia Kazan (right) was a close collaborator and personal friend of Arthur Miller. Kazan had directed several of Miller’s plays to critical acclaim in their debuts, and he was a true master of his craft, stemming from the Group Theater. Kazan had joined the Communist Party during his time with the Group, but had eventually become disillusioned and left the political ideology. [13] This past led Kazan to face HUAC in 1952, during which he complied with all questioning and proceeded to name names of his suspected Communist associates. This direct affront to Arthur Miller destroyed the friendship between the pair and made the professional relationship between Miller and Kazan unworkable for ten years. Many scholars believe that “had it not been for the investigations and the finger pointing of his best friend Elia Kazan” in 1952, The Crucible would likely not have been written in 1953. [14] Despite the historical context of McCarthyism and HUAC, the betrayal of Elia Kazan may have been the most influential factor in Miller’s world that led to his allegorical play. Miller faced the reality that he did not share the same convictions as his esteemed colleague, and it would take over a decade for their relationship to recover. While Kazan folded under the pressure of condemnation as so many do in The Crucible, Miller chose to stand tall in the face of such persecution and protect his name. This historical reality plagued Miller through the era and led him to write such a poignant work about an equally destructive time in American history. Recognizing the relevance of these issues as Miller saw them allows a contemporary exposure to The Crucible to carry the implications it deserves.

[1] Aziz, Aamir. “Using the Past to Intervene in the Present: Spectacular Framing in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.” New Theatre Quarterly, zv. 32, č. 2, 2016, 171.

[3] Parry, Dale D. Exploring the Morality of Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan to Show How It Affected Their Work, Friendship and Society. MA Thesis, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 2002. 3.

[7] Miller, Quentin D. “The Signifying Poppet: Unseen Voodoo and Arthur Miller’s Tituba.” Forum for Modern Language Studies, zv. 43, no. 4, 2007, 443.


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