(1916 – 2020)
Born Issur Danielovitch Demsky, his new name suited him down to the ground: he was one of the post-war film types who looked like businessmen (like Burt Lancaster). He formed his own production company in the 1950s and was instrumental in bringing works and talents to the fore (he gambled in giving script work to blacklisted Dalton Trumbo; he saw the potential in Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and took it to Broadway in 1963).
As an actor, he was a strong presence; at times, he was almost too intense. That drive worked very well in films such as Ace in the Hole, Lust for Life and Paths of Glory. If many of his films over the course of a long career lacked interest, he was always interesting. And he could be pretty nasty, too!
His best films, in our view, were:
Paths of Glory (1957)
Ace in the Hole (1951)
Out of the Past (1947)
The Glass Menagerie (1950)
Lust for Life (1956)
Gunfight at OK Corral (1957)
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
The Arrangement (1968)
Seven Days in May (1964)
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