George Cukor
American film director
George Cukor
George Dewey Cukor was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO when David O. Selznick, the studio's Head of Production, assigned Cukor to direct several of RKO's major films including What Price Hollywood?, A Bill of Divorcement, "Our Betters" (1933), and Little Women (1933).
Biography
George Cukor's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of George Cukor
News
News abour George Cukor from around the web
Dear Italy, Sorry about the Snooki thing (and other stuff) - Tallahassee Democrat (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The commercials all have topless women in them; the talk shows are surreal; the music videos appear to be directed by George Cukor on hallucinogens; the newscasters speak an Italian that is so rapid that even the Italians don't understand it
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My Fair Lady - Chicago Reader
Google News - over 5 years
Lerner and Loewe's musical masterwork, reimagined for film by director George Cukor. Cukor doesn't try to hide the stage origins of his material; rather, he celebrates the falseness of his sets, placing his characters in a perfectly designed artificial
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The Irish Times - Friday, August 26, 2011 - Irish Times
Google News - over 5 years
You have to go back to Hollywood masters such as George Cukor and William Wyler to uncover a film-maker who has created so many fleshy, nuanced female characters. It is, therefore, not altogether surprising that Elena Anaya blew a fuse when the great
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The Spotlight: She channels an icon in 'Vivien' - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
George Cukor, the film's original director, loved her. Clark Gable apparently had Cukor fired. Vivien struggled to keep Scarlett's character at the center of the movie. She was smoking four packs of cigarettes a day, probably from stress and to fit
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Anthony Lane: “Higher Ground” and “One Day.” - New Yorker
Google News - over 5 years
but “How bright would the gleam have been in George Cukor's gaze, behind his spectacles, if he had seen this woman's screen test, in 1940?” He would surely have knelt before the resplendent, if faintly forbidding, pantheon of stars now in their sixties
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The 100 Essential Directors Part 3: George Cukor - John Ford - PopMatters
Google News - over 5 years
Today we look at George Cukor through John Ford. Who falls in the middle might surprise you… Underrated: Love Among the Ruins (1975) This made-for-TV movie starred Laurence Olivier and Katherine Hepburn in their only pairing, as an aging lawyer and
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My five… - The Hindu
Google News - over 5 years
My Fair Lady George Cukor Originally adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, this musical is one of Hollywood's finest. Intelligent lyrics and witty script blend perfectly in a humorous and romantic tale of a confirmed-bachelor who loves the
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Paulette Goddard Movie Schedule: AN IDEAL HUSBAND, THE WOMEN - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
George Cukor's film version of Clare Boothe Luce's hilarious The Women ("officially" adapted by Anita Loos and Jane Murfin) is definitely worth numerous looks; once or twice or even three times isn't/aren't enough to catch the machine-gun dialogue
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Michael Cacoyannis, Director of ‘Zorba the Greek,’ Dies at 90
NYTimes - over 5 years
Michael Cacoyannis, a Greek filmmaker whose art-house films and adaptations of Euripides for stage and screen were critically acclaimed, but who was best known as the director of the 1964 Hollywood hit “Zorba the Greek,” died on Monday in Athens. He was 90. His death was confirmed by the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation , an
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Codebreakers at Film Forum - The L Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
More sensitive is George Cukor's 1931 rarity Girls About Town, in which two high-priced escorts make their living entertaining visiting businessmen, getting them too drunk to be troublesome about trying to come up for a nightcap
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Westport Community Theatre Hosts Auditions For Moonlight & Magnolias - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
George Cukor has been fired as director and the umpteenth draft of a script has proven to be unworkable. While fending off the film's stars, gossip columnists, and his own father-in-law, Selznick sends for famed screenwriter Ben Hecht and pulls
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
That name may sound familiar to some of us, but today it's less recognized than (certainly) John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock, and perhaps even Howard Hawks and George Cukor. Both Wyler's quiet, unobtrusive style and our own inability to associate him
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'Grey Gardens' & 'The Vow' Helmer Michael Sucsy To Direct 'Romeo & Juliet ... - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
There is George Cukor's 1936 production that won four Academy Awards, Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation which earned two Academy Awards, Renato Castellani's 1954 version and Baz Luhrmann's 1996 “Romeo+Juliet” (starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio)
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The almanac - UPI.com
Google News - over 5 years
They include composer Gustav Mahler in 1860; painter Marc Chagall in 1887; film director George Cukor in 1899; film director Vittorio De Sica in 1901; baseball pitcher Leroy "Satchel" Paige and zither player Anton Karas ("The Third Man") in 1906;
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How novelist Daphne du Maurier wrote off 'banal' film version of book - George ... - Camden New Journal newspapers website
Google News - over 5 years
In a handwritten note to George Cukor, the legendary Hollywood film-maker who wanted to turn her book My Cousin Rachel into a movie, du Maurier spelled out her concerns – albeit apologising for her tone while doing so. “I am so sorry to be harsh about
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It Should Happen to You - Indie Wire (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
With the meaning of celebrity becoming ever more ambiguous, and Andy Warhol's notorious prediction coming true that eventually everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes, the touching and delightful 1954 George Cukor-Garson Kanin-Judy Holliday-Jack
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of George Cukor
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1983
    Age 83
    Cukor died of a heart attack on January 24, 1983, and was interred in an unmarked grave at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California.
    More Details Hide Details Records in probate court indicated his net worth at the time of his death was $2,377,720. In 2013, The Film Society of Lincoln Center presented a comprehensive weeks-long retrospective of his work entitled "The Discreet Charm of George Cukor."
  • 1967
    Age 67
    He financed his education at the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences and the University of Southern California, from which Towers graduated with a law degree in 1967.
    More Details Hide Details That fall Towers married, and his relationship with Cukor evolved into one of father and son, and for the remainder of Cukor's life the two remained very close. By the mid-1930s, Cukor was not only established as a prominent director but, socially, as an unofficial head of Hollywood's gay subculture. His home, redecorated in 1935 by gay actor-turned interior designer William Haines with gardens designed by Florence Yoch & Lucile Council, was the scene of many gatherings for the industry's homosexuals. The close-knit group reputedly included Haines and his partner Jimmie Shields, Alan Ladd, writer Somerset Maugham, director James Vincent, screenwriter Rowland Leigh, costume designers Orry-Kelly and Robert Le Maire, and actors John Darrow, Anderson Lawler, Grady Sutton, Robert Seiter and Tom Douglas. Frank Horn, secretary to Cary Grant, was also a frequent guest. Cukor's friends were of paramount importance to him and he kept his home filled with their photographs. Regular attendees at his famed soirées included Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich, Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, actor Richard Cromwell, Stanley Holloway, Judy Garland, Gene Tierney, Noël Coward, Cole Porter, director James Whale, costume designer Edith Head, and Norma Shearer, especially after the death of her first husband, Irving Thalberg. He often entertained literary figures like Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser, Hugh Walpole, Aldous Huxley, Lesley Blanch, Ferenc Molnár, and close friend Somerset Maugham, as well.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1954
    Age 54
    The reviews were the best of Cukor's career, but Warner executives, concerned the running time would limit the number of daily showings, made drastic cuts without Cukor, who had departed for Pakistan to scout locations for the epic Bhowani Junction in 1954-55.
    More Details Hide Details At its final running time of 154 minutes, the film had lost musical numbers and crucial dramatic scenes, and Cukor called it "very painful." He was not included in the film's six Oscar nominations, all of which were lost. Over the next ten years, Cukor directed a handful of films with varying success. Les Girls (1957) won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Wild Is the Wind (1957) earned Oscar nominations for Anna Magnani and Anthony Quinn, but neither Heller in Pink Tights nor Let's Make Love (both 1960) were box office hits. Another project during this period was the ill-fated Something's Got to Give, an updated remake of the screwball comedy My Favorite Wife (1940). Cukor liked leading lady Marilyn Monroe but found it difficult to deal with her erratic work habits, frequent absences from the set, and the constant presence of her acting coach, Paula Strasberg. After thirty-two days of shooting, the director had only 7½ minutes of usable film. Then Monroe travelled to New York to appear at a birthday celebration for John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, where she serenaded the President. Studio documents released after Monroe's death confirmed that her appearance at the political fundraising event was approved by Fox executives. The production came to a halt when Cukor had filmed every scene not involving Monroe and the actress remained unavailable. 20th Century Fox executive Peter Levathes fired her and hired Lee Remick to replace her, prompting co-star Dean Martin to quit, since his contract guaranteed he would be playing opposite Monroe.
    When the last scene finally was filmed in the early morning hours of July 28, 1954, Cukor already had departed the production and was unwinding in Europe.
    More Details Hide Details The first preview the following month ran 210 minutes and, despite ecstatic feedback from the audience, Cukor and editor Folmar Blangsted trimmed it to 182 minutes for its New York premiere in October.
    In March 1954, a rough cut still missing several musical numbers was assembled, and Cukor had mixed feelings about it.
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  • 1952
    Age 52
    In December 1952, Cukor was approached by Sid Luft, who proposed the director helm a musical remake of A Star is Born (1937) with his then-wife Judy Garland in the lead role.
    More Details Hide Details Cukor had declined to direct the earlier film because it was too similar to his own What Price Hollywood? (1932), but the opportunity to direct his first Technicolor film, first musical, and work with screenwriter Moss Hart and especially Garland appealed to him, and he accepted. Getting the updated A Star Is Born (1954) to the screen proved to be a challenge. Cukor wanted Cary Grant for the male lead and went so far as to read the entire script with him, but Grant, while agreeing it was the role of a lifetime, steadfastly refused to do it, and Cukor never forgave him. The director then suggested either Humphrey Bogart or Frank Sinatra tackle the part, but Jack L. Warner rejected both. Stewart Granger was the front runner for a period of time, but he backed out when he was unable to adjust to Cukor's habit of acting out scenes as a form of direction. James Mason was eventually contracted, and filming began on October 12, 1953. As the months passed, Cukor was forced to deal not only with constant script changes but a very unstable Garland, who was plagued by chemical and alcohol dependencies, extreme weight fluctuations, and real and imagined illnesses.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1939
    Age 39
    During this era, Cukor forged an alliance with screenwriters Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, who had met in Cukor's home in 1939 and married three years later.
    More Details Hide Details Over the course of seven years, the trio collaborated on seven films, including A Double Life (1947) starring Ronald Colman, Adam's Rib (1949), Born Yesterday (1950), The Marrying Kind (1952), and It Should Happen to You (1954), all featuring another Cukor favorite, Judy Holliday, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Born Yesterday.
  • 1936
    Age 36
    Cukor was hired to direct Gone with the Wind by Selznick in 1936, even before the book was published.
    More Details Hide Details He spent the next two years involved with pre-production, including supervision of the numerous screen tests of actresses anxious to portray Scarlett O'Hara. Cukor favored Hepburn for the role, but Selznick, concerned about her reputation as 'box office poison', would not consider her without a screen test, and the actress refused to film one. Of those who did, Cukor preferred Paulette Goddard, but her supposedly illicit relationship with Charlie Chaplin (they were, in fact, secretly married) concerned Selznick. Between his Wind chores, the director assisted with other projects. He filmed the cave scene for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) and, following the firing of its original director Richard Thorpe, Cukor spent a week on the set of The Wizard of Oz (1939). Although he filmed no footage, he made crucial changes to the look of Dorothy by eliminating Judy Garland's blonde wig and adjusting her makeup and costume, encouraging her to act in a more natural manner that greatly contributed to the success of the final film. Additionally, Cukor softened the Scarecrow's makeup and gave Margaret Hamilton's Wicked Witch of the West a different hairstyle, as well as altering her makeup and other facial features. Cukor also suggested that the studio cast Jack Haley, on loan from 20th Century Fox, as the Tin Man.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1929
    Age 29
    He arrived in Hollywood in February 1929, and his first assignment was to coach the cast of River of Romance to speak with an acceptable Southern accent.
    More Details Hide Details In October, the studio lent him to Universal Pictures to conduct the screen tests and work as a dialogue director for All Quiet on the Western Front which was released in 1930. That year he co-directed three films at Paramount, and his weekly salary was increased to $1500. He made his solo directorial debut with Tarnished Lady (1931) starring Tallulah Bankhead. Cukor was then assigned to One Hour with You (1932), an operetta with Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, when original director Ernst Lubitsch opted to concentrate on producing the film instead. At first the two men worked well together, but two weeks into filming Lubitsch began arriving on the set on a regular basis, and he soon began directing scenes with Cukor's consent. Upon the film's completion, Lubitsch approached Paramount general manager B. P. Schulberg and threatened to leave the studio if Cukor's name wasn't removed from the credits. When Schulberg asked him to cooperate, Cukor filed suit. He eventually settled for being billed as assistant director and then left Paramount to work with David O. Selznick at RKO Studios.
  • 1928
    Age 28
    When Hollywood began to recruit New York theater talent for sound films, Cukor immediately answered the call. In December 1928, Paramount Pictures signed him to a contract that reimbursed him for his airfare and initially paid him $600 per week with no screen credit during a six-month apprenticeship.
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  • 1926
    Age 26
    For the next few years, Cukor alternated between Rochester in the summer months and Broadway in the winter. His direction of a 1926 stage adaptation of The Great Gatsby by Owen Davis brought him to the attention of the New York critics.
    More Details Hide Details Writing in the Brooklyn Eagle, drama critic Arthur Pollock called it "an unusual piece of work by a director not nearly so well known as he should be." Cukor directed six more Broadway productions before departing for Hollywood in 1929.
  • 1925
    Age 25
    In 1925 he formed the C.F. and Z. Production Company with Walter Folmer and John Zwicki, which gave him his first opportunity to direct.
    More Details Hide Details Following their first season, he made his Broadway directorial debut with Antonia by Hungarian playwright Melchior Lengyel, then returned to Rochester, where C.F. and Z. evolved into the Cukor-Kondolf Stock Company, a troupe that included Louis Calhern, Ilka Chase, Phyllis Povah, Frank Morgan, Reginald Owen, Elizabeth Patterson and Douglass Montgomery, all of whom would work with Cukor in later years in Hollywood. Lasting only one season with the company was Bette Davis. Cukor later recalled, "Her talent was apparent, but she did buck at direction. She had her own ideas, and though she only did bits and ingenue roles, she didn't hesitate to express them." For the next several decades, Davis claimed she was fired, and although Cukor never understood why she placed so much importance on an incident he considered so minor, he never worked with her again.
  • 1920
    Age 20
    In 1920, he became the stage manager for the Knickerbocker Players, a troupe that shuttled between Syracuse and Rochester, New York, and the following year he was hired as general manager of the newly formed Lyceum Players, an upstate summer stock company.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1918
    Age 18
    He halfheartedly enrolled in the City College of New York, where he entered the Students Army Training Corps in October 1918.
    More Details Hide Details His military experience was limited; Germany surrendered in early November, and Cukor's duty ended after only two months. Shortly after, he left school. Cukor obtained a job as an assistant stage manager and bit player with a touring production of The Better 'Ole, a popular British musical based on Old Bill, a cartoon character created by Bruce Bairnsfather.
  • 1917
    Age 17
    Following his graduation in 1917, Cukor was expected to follow in his father's footsteps and pursue a career in law.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1899
    Born
    Born on July 7, 1899.
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