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Lewis Milestone
Milestone during the filming of All Quiet on the Western Front, 1930
Born
Leib Milstein

(1895-09-30)September 30, 1895
DiedSeptember 25, 1980(1980-09-25) (aged 84)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Citizenship
  • Russian (1895–1919)
  • American (1919–1980)
Occupations
  • Film director
  • film producer
  • screenwriter
Years active1915–1964
Spouse
Kendall Lee
(m. 1935; died 1978)

Lewis Milestone (born Leib Milstein (Russian: Лейб Мильштейн);[1] September 30, 1895 – September 25, 1980) was an American film director. Milestone directed Two Arabian Knights (1927) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), both of which received the Academy Award for Best Director. He also directed The Front Page (1931), The General Died at Dawn (1936), Of Mice and Men (1939), Ocean's 11 (1960), and received the directing credit for Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), though Marlon Brando largely appropriated his responsibilities during its production.[2]

Early life

Lev or Leib Milstein was born in Kishinev, capital of Bessarabia, Russian Empire (now Chișinău, Moldova), into a wealthy, distinguished family of Jewish heritage.[3] Milstein received his primary education at Jewish schools, reflecting his parents' liberal social and political orientation, and including a study of several languages. Milstein's family discouraged his early love of theater and his desire to follow the dramatic arts, and dispatched him to Mittweida, Saxony, to study engineering.[4]

After neglecting his classes to attend local theater productions, Milstein failed his coursework. He was intent on pursuing a theatrical career and bought a one-way ticket to the United States. Milstein arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, on November 14, 1913, shortly after his eighteenth birthday.[5][6][7]

Milstein, who found difficulty supporting himself in New York City, worked as a janitor, door-to-door salesman and lace-machine operator before finding a position as portrait-and-theater photographer in 1915. In 1917, shortly after the US entered World War I, he enlisted in the Army Signal Corps. Milstein was stationed in New York City and Washington, D.C., and was assigned to the corps' photography unit, where he trained in aerial photography, assisted on training films and edited documentary combat footage. His cohorts in the Signal Corps included future Hollywood directors Josef von Sternberg and Victor Fleming.[8][9] In February 1919, Milstein was discharged from the army, immediately obtained US citizenship, and legally changed his surname to Milestone. An acquaintance from the Signal Corps Jesse D. Hampton, now an independent film producer, secured Milestone an entry-level position as an assistant editor in Hollywood.[10][11]

Hollywood apprenticeship 1919–1924

When Milestone arrived in Hollywood, he was still in financial difficulties. He later said to sustain himself until his studio job commenced, he briefly worked as a card dealer at a Los Angeles City Oil Field gambling venue.[12][13]

Milestone accepted mundane assignments from Hampton[who?] at $20 per week, and progressed from assistant editor toward director. In 1920 he was chosen as general assistant to director Henry King at Pathé Exchange. Milestone's first credited work was as assistant on King's film Dice of Destiny (1920).[14][15][16]

During the next six years, Milestone "took on jobs in any capacity available" in the Hollywood film industry, working as editor for director-producer Thomas Ince, as general assistant and co-author on film scripts by William A. Seiter and as a gag writer for comedian Harold Lloyd. In 1923, Milestone followed Seiter[who?] to Warner Brothers studios as assistant director on Little Church Around the Corner (1923), completing most of the film-making tasks on the production.[17][18] Milestone's reputation as an effective "film doctor" who was skilled at salvaging movies led Warner to began offering Milestone's services to other studios at inflated rates.[19]

Director: Silent era, 1925–1929

By 1925, Milestone was writing screen treatments for films at Universal and Warner studios, among them The Mad Whirl, Dangerous Innocence, The Teaser and Bobbed Hair. The same year, Milestone approached Jack L. Warner with a proposal: Milestone would provide the producer with a story free of charge if he was allowed to direct it. Warner agreed to sponsor Milestone's directorial debut Seven Sinners (1925).[20]

Seven Sinners is one of three films Milestone directed with Marie Prevost, Mack Sennett and a former female comedian. Jack Warner appointed Darryl F. Zanuck as screenwriter. The film is a "semi-sophisticated" comedy incorporating elements of slapstick, and was sufficiently successful with critics and the public to allow Milestone, now 29 years old, additional directing assignments.[21][22]

Milestone's second Prevost comedy was The Caveman (1926), which quickly earned him praise for its "adroit direction". During production, Milestone broke his contract with the studio over his exploitation as a "film doctor": Warners sued for damages and won, forcing Milestone to file for bankruptcy. The Caveman was his last film for Warner Bros. until Edge of Darkness (1943). Undeterred, Paramount Pictures quickly acquired Milestone.[23]

The New Klondike (1926), a sports-themed drama based on a Ring Lardner story, was filmed on location in Florida. Despite a "lukewarm" response from critics, Paramount was enthusiastic regarding Milestone's prospects, showcasing him with other young studio talent in the promotional film Fascinating Youth (1926). An argument with screen star Gloria Swanson on the set of Fine Manners (1926) led Milestone to walk off the project, leaving director Richard Rosson to complete it.[24]

Two Arabian Knights (1927), which is considered Milestones most outstanding work during the silent era, was inspired by the AndersonStallings stage play What Price Glory? (1924), and director Raoul Walsh's 1924 screen adaptation of it. It was the first film in a four-year contract with Howard Hughes' The Caddo Company and is Milestone's only film of 1927. The film garnered Milestone an Academy Award for best comedy direction in 1927, prevailing over Charlie Chaplin's The Circus (1927). During World War I, doughboys William Boyd and Louis Wolheim, and love-object Mary Astor form a comic triangle.[25][26]

The Garden of Eden (1927) was made under a Caddo releasing agreement with Universal Pictures. The film is "a variation on the Cinderella story ... of acidic sophistication", and was adapted by screenwriter Hans Kraly; it resembles, in both script and visual production, the works of Ernst Lubitsch. The project benefited from the lavish sets William Cameron Menzies designed and the cinematography of John Arnold. The film stars Corinne Griffith.[27][28] Milestone's cinematic rendering of Two Arabian Knights and The Garden of Eden established him as a skilled practitioner of "rough and sophisticated" comedy.[29]

Milestone was wary of being stereotyped as a comedy director, and he shifted to an emerging genre director Josef von Sternberg popularized with his gangland fantasy Underworld (1927).[30] The Racket, a "taut and realistic" depiction of a mobster-controlled police department, distinguished Milestone as a capable director of the genre but its reception was lessened by a flood of inferior gangster films in the late 1920s. The Racket was nominated for Best Picture at the 1928 Academy Awards.[31]

Early sound era: 1929–1936

New York Nights (1929)

Milestone's first sound production New York Nights proved inauspicious. The film was a vehicle for silent screen icon Norma Talmadge—whose spouse was producer Joseph Schenck. Milestone attempted to accommodate United Artists' desire to blend the "show-biz" and gangster genres in an adaptation of "the justly forgotten" Broadway production Tin Pan Alley.[32] According to Chanham, New York Nights "gave little indication of Milestone's ability in adapting to sound techniques".[33] According to film historian Joseph Millichap:

In several ways New York Nights is best considered with Milestone's silent efforts, as it seems an obviously unimportant transitional piece. Like many early sound films it is shot from a few camera settings, and it is full of static scenes in which the cast is all too obviously speaking into hidden microphones. Milestone was so displeased with the final cut that he asked to have his name removed from the credits ... the film is not worth considering as Milestone's first sound work.[32]

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

Milestone's anti-war picture All Quiet on the Western Front is widely recognized as his directorial masterpiece, and as one of the most-compelling dramatizations of soldiers in combat during the Great War.[34] The film was adapted from Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 eponymous novel. Milestone cinematically conveyed the "grim realism and anti-war themes" that characterize the novel. Universal Studio's head of production Carl Laemmle Jr., purchased the film rights to capitalize on the international success of Remarque's book.[35][36] According to Strago (2017):

When he was preparing to shoot his wrenching anti-war film All Quiet on the Western Front from the point of view of German schoolboys who become soldiers, Universal co-founder and president Carl Laemmle pleaded with him for a "happy ending." Milestone replied, "I've got your happy ending. We'll let the Germans win the war."[37]

All Quiet on the Western Front presents the war from the perspective of a unit of patriotic, young, German soldiers who become disillusioned with the horrors of trench warfare. Actor Lew Ayres portrays the naïve, sensitive youth Paul Baumer. According to Thompson (2015), Milestone—who was uncredited—together with screenwriters Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews and George Abbott, wrote a script that "reproduces the terse, tough dialogue" of Remarque's novel to "expose war for what it is, and not glorify it".[38] Originally conceived as a silent film, Milestone filmed both a silent and a talkie version, shooting them together in sequence.[39]

The most significant technical innovation of All Quiet on the Western Front is Milestone's integration of the era's rudimentary sound technology with the advanced visual effects developed during the late silent era. Applying post-synchronization of the sound recordings, Milestone was at liberty to "shoot the way we've always shot ... it was that simple. All the tracking shots were done with a silent camera".[40] In one of the film's most-disturbing sequences, Milestone used tracking shots and sound effects to graphically show the effects of artillery and machine guns on advancing troops.[40][41][42]

The movie met with critical and popular approval, and earned Milestone Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director.[43][44] All Quiet on the Western Front established Milestone as a talent in the film industry; Howard Hughes rewarded him with an adaptation of Ben Hecht's and Charles MacArthur's 1928 play The Front Page.[45]

The Front Page (1931)

The Front Page (1931), in which Milestone depicted backroom denizens of Chicago newspaper tabloids, is considered one of the most influential films of 1931 and introduced the Hollywood archetype of the experienced, fast-talking reporter. The film's script retains the "sparkling dialogue [and] hard, fast and ruthless pace" of Ben Hecht's and Charles MacArthur's 1928 stage production.[46] The Front Page began the 1930s journalism genre, which other studios imitated, and a number of remakes—including Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940) and Billy Wilder's The Front Page (1974)—appeared.[47]

Milestone was disappointed with the casting of Pat O'Brien as reporter "Hildy" Johnson; he wanted to cast James Cagney or Clark Gable in the role but producer Howard Hughes vetoed this choice in favor of O'Brien, who had performed in the Chicago stage production of The Front Page.[48]

According to Biographer Charles Higham (1973), "The Front Page surpasses All Quiet on the Western Front in being wholly a masterpiece, and one of the greatest pictures of the period. Milestone achieved a perfect marriage of film and theater. The picture has a vividness not matched in a newspaper subject until Citizen Kane"[49]

According to Joseph Millichap:

Milestone employs "several framing devices, a quick cross-cutting between scenes, a moving camera intercut with close-ups, juxtaposition of angles and distances, and a number of trick shots ... Overall, the deft combination of Realistic mise-en-scene with an Expressionistic camera draws the best out of the realistic, melodramatic and comedic elements of the original [play] ... creating the most cinematically interesting, if not the most entertaining, version of The Front Page.[50][51][52]

Milestone's technique is demonstrated in the opening tracking shots of the newspaper's printing plant, and the confrontation between Molly Malloy (Mae Clarke) and a throng of reporters.[53][54] The Front Page received a Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards and a Film Daily poll of 300 movie critics listed Milestone among "The Ten Best Directors".[55]

1932–1936

Milestone was troubled by film directors' declining control within the studio system and supported King Vidor's proposal to organize a filmmakers' cooperative. Supporters for a Screen Directors Guild included Frank Borzage, Howard Hawks, Ernst Lubitsch, Rouben Mamoulian and William Wellman, among others. By 1938, the guild was incorporated, representing 600 directors and assistant directors.[56][57]

In the mid-1930s, Paramount Pictures was experiencing a financial crisis that inhibited their commitments to their European film stylists such as Josef von Sternberg, Ernst Lubitsch and Milestone.[58] Under these conditions, Milestone experienced difficulty in locating compelling literary material, production support and proper casting. The first among these films is Rain (1932).[59][60][61]

Allied Artists assigned Milestone rising star Joan Crawford, who was known for her silent film roles as a flapper, to play prostitute Sadie Thompson. Crawford expressed disappointment with her interpretation of the role.[62][63] Milestone was not yet affected by the Production Code, and his portrayal of the overwrought Puritan missionary Reverend Davidson (Walter Huston); his rape of Thompson blends violence with sexual and religious symbolism using swift cutting.[64] The film was termed "slow and stage-bound"[65] and "stiff and stagey".[66] Milestone said of Rain:

I thought [audiences] were ready for a dramatic form; that now we could present a three-act play on the screen. But I was wrong. People will not listen to narrative dialogue. They will not accept the kind of exposition you use on the stage. I started the picture slowly, too slowly, I'm afraid. You can't start a picture slowly. You must show things happening.[67]

Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933), which was released during the Great Depression, was an attempt by United Artists to reintroduce singer Al Jolson after his three-year hiatus from film roles.[68] The film is based on a Ben Hecht story, with a score by Rodgers and Hart featuring "rhythmic dialogue" delivered in song-song; its sentimental, romantic theme of a New York City tramp was received with indifference and dismay by moviegoers.[69] Film historian Joseph Millichap observed that "the problem of this entertainment fantasy was that it brushed aside just enough reality to confuse its audience. Americans in the winter of 1933 were not in the mood to be advised that the life of a hobo was the road to true happiness, especially by a star earning $25,000 a week."[70] Milestone's effort to make a "socially conscious" musical was generally ill-received at its New York opening and he had difficulty finding a more serious film project.[71]

Milestone attempted to make a film about the Russian Revolution (working title: Red Square) based on Stalinist Ilya Ehrenburg's work The Life and Death of Nikolai Kourbov (1923), and an adaptation of H. G. Wells's The Shape of Things to Come (1933) proposed by Alexander Korda, but neither project materialized.[72][73] In lieu of these unrealized films, Milestone directed "a string of three insignificant studio pieces" from 1934 to 1936.[74]

Milestone accepted a lucrative deal to direct a film starring John Gilbert and left United Artists for Harry Cohn's Columbia Pictures.[75] The Captain Hates the Sea (1934) is a spoof of the 1932 movie Grand Hotel, which stars Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford and John Barrymore. Milestone's largely improvised film stars an ensemble of Columbia's character actors, among them Victor McLaglen and The Three Stooges. Joseph Millichap described The Captain Hates the Sea as "a very uneven, disconnected, rambling piece". Cost overruns on The Captain Hates the Sea, which were complicated by heavy drinking by the cast members—soured relations between Milestone and Cohen. The movie is notable as the final film of Gilbert's career.[76][77]

Milestone's next two films for Paramount Paris in Spring (1935) and Anything Goes (1936), are his only musicals of his career, but are relatively undistinguished in their execution. Milestone described them as "insignificant".[78] Milestone was assigned Paris in Spring, a romantic musical farce. Leading man Tullio Carminati had just completed the operetta-like One Night of Love (1934) with Grace Moore at Columbia Studios. Paramount paired Mary Ellis with Carminati, and it was Milestone's task to direct a film to rival Columbia's success.[79][80] Aside from a credible replica of Paris created by art directors Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté, Milestone's directing failed to overcome "the essential flatness of the tale".[81][82][83] Anything Goes, a musical starring Bing Crosby and Ethel Merman, and adapted from Cole Porter's 1934 Broadway musical, includes some enduring songs, including "I Get a Kick Out of You", "You're the Top", and the title song. According to Canham, Milestone's directing is conscientious but he showed little enthusiasm for the genre.[84][85]

The General Died at Dawn (1936)

Following his two lackluster musicals, Milestone returned to form in 1936 with The General Died at Dawn, which is reminiscent in theme, setting and style of director Josef von Sternberg's The Shanghai Express (1932).[86][87]

The screenplay was written by Leftist playwright Clifford Odets and is derived from an obscure pulp-influenced manuscript by Charles G. Booth. It is set in the Far East, and has a sociopolitical theme: the "tension between democracy and authoritarianism".[88] In the opening few minutes, Milestone establishes the American mercenary O'Hara (Gary Cooper), who has republican commitments.[89] His adversary is the complex, Chinese warlord General Yang (Akim Tamiroff). Madeleine Carroll is cast as the young missionary Judy Perrie, who is "trapped between divided social forces" and struggles to overcome her diffidence, and ultimately joins O"Hara in supporting a peasant revolt against Yang.[90]

Milestone's brings to the adventure-melodrama a "bravura" exposition of his cinematic style and technical skills; an impressive use of tracking, a five-way split screen and a widely noted use of a match dissolve that transitions from a billiard table to a white door handle leading to an adjoining room; it is "one of the most expert match shots on record" according to historian John Baxter.[91]

Though disparaged by Milestone in retrospect, The General Died at Dawn is considered one of the "masterpieces" of 1930s Hollywood cinema. Milestone was served by cinematographer Victor Milner, art directors Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté, and composer Werner Janssen in, according to Baxter (1970), creating "his most exquisite and exciting if not most meaningful examination of social friction in a human context".[92][93]

Directorial hiatus: 1936–1939

After completing The General Died at Dawn, Milestone experienced a series of professional setbacks, including lawsuits, failed projects and broken contracts, that stalled his film career for three years.[94][95]

During this period, Milestone pursued a number of serious projects, including direction of a film version of Vincent Sheean's memoir Personal History (1935), which Alfred Hitchcock later directed as Foreign Correspondent (1940), went unfulfilled. Another failed project was a screenplay Milestone and Clifford Odets wrote for an adaptation of the Sidney Kingsley Broadway hit Dead End (1935) for Sam Goldwyn that went to William Wyler, a director of literary texts, like Milestone.[96][97]

To remain employed, Milestone accepted Paramount's offer to direct Pat O'Brien in show-business drama The Night of Nights (1939), a "second-line" studio production. According to Millichap (1981), the film's best feature is its sets, which Hans Dreier designed.[98][99]

After signing a contract with Hal Roach in late 1937 to direct an adaptation of Eric S. Hatch's novel Road Show (1934), the producer dismissed Milestone for straying from the novel's comedic elements. Litigation ensued, and the matter was resolved when Roach presented Milestone with another project: to adapt to film John Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men (1937).[100][101]

Of Mice and Men (1939)

Main article: Of Mice and Men (1939 film)

Milestone had been impressed with Steinbeck's novella Of Mice and Men and its 1938 stage production, a morality play set during the Dust Bowl, and he was enthusiastic about the film project.[102] Producer Hal Roach hoped to emulate the anticipated success of director John Ford's adaptation of another Steinbeck work The Grapes of Wrath (1940). Both films drew upon the political and creative developments that emerged in the Great Depression rather than the approaching 1940s and the impending conflict in Europe.[103][104] Milestone solicited Steinbeck's support for the film; Steinbeck "essentially approved the script", as did the Hays Office, which made only "minor" changes to the scenario.[105]

According to Millichap (1981), Milestone maintains the "anti-omniscient" detachment Steinbeck applied to his novella with a cinematic viewpoint that matches the author's literary realism.[106] Milestone placed great emphasis on visual and sound motifs that develop the characters and themes. As such, he carefully conferred on image motifs with art director Nicolai Remisoff and cameraman Norbert Brodine, and persuaded composer Aaron Copland to provide the musical score.[107] Critic Kingley Canham noted the importance Milestone placed on his sound motifs:

the [musical] score, one of several scored for Milestone by Aaron Copland, played a decisive role in the form of the film: natural sounds and dialogue sequences were interpolated with the music to act as complementary motifs to the visual and narrative development.[108]

The film was a critical success and garnered Copland Academy Award nominations for Best Musical Score and Best Original Score.[109]

Milestone, who preferred to cast "relative unknowns"—in this case influenced by budgetary restraints—cast Lon Chaney Jr. to play the childlike Lennie Small and Burgess Meredith as his keeper George Milton. Betty Field, in her first important feature, plays Mae, the faithless spouse of straw boss Curly (Bob Steele).[110][111]

Of Mice and Men was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1939 but competing with the year's other major films, including The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming), Stagecoach (John Ford), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Sam Wood), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra), Wuthering Heights (William Wyler), and the winner, Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming).[112]

Despite critical accolades for Of Mice and Men, the tragic narrative that ends in the mercy-killing of the doomed Lennie at the hands of his comrade George was less than gratifying to audiences, and it failed at the box office.[113]

Early 1940s

Milestone's reputation as a director was undiminished among Hollywood executives after Of Mice and Men, and RKO signed him to direct two light comedies, both of which star Ronald Colman.[114] Milestone was provided with his own production unit, and quickly satisfied his contractual obligations, directing Ginger Rogers in Lucky Partners (1940) and Anna Lee in the "totally disarming frolic" My Life with Caroline (1941).[115] According to Milestone:

This particular pair of comedies [Lucky Partner (1940) and My Life with Caroline (1941)] were of the kind you did if you hoped to stay in motion pictures, in the expectation that the next film might give you a chance to redeem yourself.[116]

World War II Hollywood propaganda: 1942–1945

Milestone's reputation as the director of All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), though an emphatically pacifist and anti-war film, positioned him as an asset in Hollywood's "patriotic and profitable" production of anti-fascist war films.[117] Film curator Charles Silver noted Milestone's "facility for capturing battle's intrinsic spectacle ... there is an inevitable pageantry to cinematic warfare that works against whatever pacifist intentions the filmmaker may have". Milestone said, "how can you make a pacifist film without showing the violence of war?"[118] Responding to the "general climate of opinion in wartime Hollywood", Milestone abandoned any reservations about his commitments to the US war effort and offered his services to the film industry's propaganda units.[119]

Our Russian Front (1942)

Our Russian Front is a 1942 war documentary assembled from 15,000 ft (4,600 m) of newsreel footage taken on the Russian front by Soviet citizen-journalists during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. In collaboration with Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, working with The Government Film Service in 1940, Milestone depicted the struggle of Russian villagers to resist the German invasion. Actor Walter Huston narrated the documentary and composer Dimitri Tiomkin provided the film score.[120][121]

Edge of Darkness (1943)

Seventeen years after directing The Caveman (1926) for Warner Brothers, Milestone returned to Warner in a one-film contract.[122] Edge of Darkness is the first of three successful films he made in collaboration with screenwriter Robert Rossen. The film stars Errol Flynn and Ann Sheridan as Norwegian freedom fighters, and Helmut Dantine as a sociopathic Nazi commandant;[123] it signals a change in Milestone's professional and personal attitude toward his war films.[124] Milestone said:

Edge of Darkness has done away with disillusionment. We know the enemy we are fighting and we are facing the stern realities of the present war. The moral of Edge of Darkness is "United we stand, divided we fall." That is the great lesson of our time and the keystone for victory for the democratic cause.[125]

Edge of Darkness, a melodramatic film fantasy, is set in a remote Norwegian village whose inhabitants are brutalized by Nazi occupiers, inspiring resistance among the townspeople, who rebel and eliminate the Nazi occupiers. Milestone employs an "anti-suspense" device that shows the carnage suffered by the inhabitants then reveals the story in flashback. Milestone's "thematic oversimplification" reflected Hollywood's penchant for melodramatic propaganda.[126]

The North Star (1943)

Milestone's next project was the propaganda film The North Star, which dramatizes the damage caused by the German invasion of the Soviet Union to the inhabitants of a Ukrainian farming collective. US President Franklin D. Roosevelt dispatched Lowell Mellett, chief of the Bureau of Motion Pictures of the Office of War Information to enlist producer Sam Goldwyn to make a film celebrating America's wartime alliance with Russia. Milestone's production staff included playwright-screenwriter Lillian Hellman, cinematographer James Wong Howe, set designer William Cameron Menzies, composer Aaron Copland, lyricist Ira Gershwin and a competent cast.[127][128]

Hellman's script and Milestone's cinematic compositions establish the bucolic settings and social unity that characterize the collective's inhabitants. Milestone uses a tracking shot to follow the aged comic figure Karp (Walter Brennan) as he rides his cart through the village, a device Milestone used to introduce the film's key characters. An extended sequence portrays the villagers celebrating the harvest with food, song and dance, resembling an ethnic operetta. Milestone used an overhead camera to record the circular symmetry of the happy revelers.[129][130][131] Milestone displays his "technical mastery" as villagers discern the approach of German bombers. Portions of this sequence resemble documentary war footage, recalling Milestone's work in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and Joris Ivens The Spanish Earth (1937).[132]

The North Star received positive reviews from the mainstream press, and only Hearst-owned papers interpreted the film's pro-Russian themes as pro-Communist propaganda. The Academy of Arts and Sciences nominated The North Star for Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects, Best Musical Score, Best Sound and Best Original Screenplay. The film was largely ignored at the box office.[133][134]

In the post-war years, Sam Goldwyn's The North Star, Warner Brothers' Mission to Moscow (1943) and M-G-M's Song of Russia (1944) came under scrutiny by the anti-communist House Un-American Activities Committee.[135][136]

In 1957, The North Star was reissued as Armored Attack in a heavily edited form; sequences that celebrate life under the Stalinist regime were removed. The setting is represented as Hungary during its 1956 uprising with a voice-over condemning communism.[137]

The Purple Heart (1944)

The Purple Heart (1944), which is set in the Pacific War, is about captured American airmen who are prosecuted by Imperial Japan with violating the Geneva Conventions by participating in the July 18, 1942, Doolittle Raid over Japan by B-25 bombers.[138]

The film is based on a real-life incident. Milestone's technical skill in presenting the airmen's ordeal was potent propaganda but it risked rationalizing the US bombing and anti-Japanese jingoism. The Purple Heart award which the captured men are ultimately bestowed is earned through wounds inflicted by torture to extract military secrets and not through combat.[139] According to Millichap (1981), it is a cinematically superior war film; Milestone said of his commitment to supply propaganda for the American war effort: "We didn't hesitate to make this kind of film during the war".[140]

Guest in the House (1944)

Milestone's next project, the United Artists production Guest in the House, is a psychological thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock. Milestone was removed from the project when he underwent an emergency appendectomy during filming. Milestone contributed some scenes but John Brahm was credited with directing the film, which prepared Anne Baxter for her starring role in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1950 feature All About Eve.[141][142]

A Walk in the Sun (1945)

Milestone's second collaboration with screenwriter Robert Rossen A Walk in the Sun (1945) is based on Harry Joe Brown's 1944 eponymous novel. Milestone invested $30,000 of his own savings, a measure of his enthusiasm for the novel and its cinematic potential.[143] A Walk in the Sun takes place during the 1943 Allied invasion of Italy; a platoon of American soldiers are tasked with advancing inland six miles (9.7 km) from Salerno to take a German-held bridge and farmhouse.[144] Milestone's perspective on war as depicted in A Walk in the Sun differs with that of All Quiet on the Western Front, a moving indictment of war.[145] According to biographer Joseph Millichap:

All Quiet on the Western Front, both the novel and the film, used the microcosm of one platoon to make a major thematic statement about the macrocosm of war. A Walk in the Sun's thematic statement is muted by the demands of propaganda and the studio system in the film.[146]

According to Millichap (1981), despite these limitations, Milestone avoided the "set hero and mock heroics" typical of Hollywood war movies, allowing for a measure of genuine realism reminiscent of his 1930 masterwork [All Quiet on the Western Front]. Milestone's trademark handling of tracking shots is evident in the action scenes.[147]

Red Scare and the Hollywood blacklist

At the onset of the Cold War, Hollywood studios, in alliance with the US Congress, sought to expose communist-inspired content in American films. Milestone's pro-Soviet Union film The North Star (1943), which was made at the behest of the US government to encourage American support for its wartime alliance with the USSR against the Axis powers, became a target. Other pro-Soviet Union wartime films, such as Michael Curtiz's Mission to Moscow (1943), Gregory Ratoff's Song of Russia (1944) and Jacques Tourneur's Days of Glory (1944), were "to haunt their creators in the McCarthy era" when any hint of sympathy for the Soviet Union was considered subversive to American ideals.[148][149]

Milestone's alignment with liberal causes such as the Committee for the First Amendment compounded suspicions he harbored pro-communist sentiments during the Red Scare. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) summoned Milestone and other filmmakers for questioning. According to Joseph Millichap:

The Russian-born Milestone, always a liberal intellectual with Leftist inclinations, was a natural target for the witch hunters of the HUAC. As early as November of 1946, Milestone appeared before the committee as an 'unfriendly witness'; in other words, he claimed his constitutional right not to testify. In 1948, the anti-communist writer Myron Fagan implied that Milestone was a Red sympathizer, [a claim made explicit] by Hedda Hopper in her nationally syndicated Hollywood column. Unlike the Hollywood Ten and many others, Milestone was able to keep working.[clarification needed][150][151]

The effect of the Hollywood blacklist on Milestone's creative output is unclear. Unlike many of his colleagues, he continued to find work but, according to film critic Michael Barson, the quantity and quality of his work may have been limited through industry "greylisting". Millichap said, "Milestone refused to comment on this side of his life: evidently he found it very painful".[152][153][154]

Post-war films: 1946–1951

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

The movies Milestone directed in the late 1940s represent "the last distinctive period" in his creative output. His first post-war project was the Hal B. Wallis production The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), which is based on the story "Love Lies Bleeding" by John Patrick.[155] The film, which was made In collaboration with screenwriter Robert Rossen, is, according to Higham and Greenberg (1968), a "striking addition" to the post-war Hollywood film genre film noir, combining a grim, 19th-century romanticism with the cinematic methods of German Expressionism.[156]

Rossen's and Milestone's script provided the cast, which features Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin and Kirk Douglas in his first screen appearance with a "taut, harsh" narrative that critiques post-war, urban America as corrupt and irredeemable.[157] Cinematographer Victor Milner supplied the film noir effects and musical director Miklós Rózsa integrated sound motifs with Milestone's visual elements.[158][159]

Arch of Triumph (1948)

Following The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, Milestone left Paramount and moved to the independent The Enterprise Studios. His first film for Enterprise was Arch of Triumph, which is based on Erich Maria Remarque's 1945 eponymous novel.[160]

Arch of Triumph was highly anticipated by moviegoers, and by Enterprise Studios, which committed huge capital investments to the project.[161] The novel is set in Paris in 1939; Remarque's autobiographical work examines the personal devastation of two displaced persons: surgeon Dr. Ravic (Charles Boyer), who is fleeing Nazis persecution, and the demimonde courtesan Joan Modau (Ingrid Bergman); the pair fall in love and suffer a tragic fate.[162]

Remarque's depictions of the Paris underworld, which describe a revenge murder and a mercy killing, was at odds with the strictures of the Production Code Administration. Milestone excised "the bars, brothels and operating rooms", and the sordid ending from the screenplay. Enterprise Studios executives, who wanted a film that would rival Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's recently re-released Gone with the Wind (1939), had procured Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.[163] The miscasting of screen stars Boyer and Bergman as Dr. Ravic and Joan Madou, respectively, impaired Milestone's development of these characters with respect to the literary source.[164] Milestone said:

One thing wrong was that it was supposed to be a realistic piece, but it had two major stars in the lead. If you have two major stars like that, then half your reality goes out the window.[165]

Milestone delivered a four-hour version of Arch of Triumph Enterprise Studios had approved. Executives reversed that decision shortly before its release, cutting the movie to the more usual two hours. Entire scenes and characters were removed, undermining the clarity and continuity of Milestone's work.[166] Milestone's overall disaffection for the project is evident in his indifferent application of cinematic technique, contributing to the failure of his film adaptation. According to Millichap (1981):

Milestone cannot be completely absolved of responsibility for the disaster ... Even given the fragmentary state of the final print, the film seems strangely inert and lifeless. Mainly studio shot, the careful mise-en-scène of earlier films is missing. Aside from two or three sequences, the compositions are dull, the camera is static, the editing predictable ... Milestone seems to have almost given up[167]

Millichap added: "Wherever the blame is placed, Arch of Triumph is a clear failure, a bad film made from a good book".[168]

Arch of Triumph was a failure at the box office and Enterprise Studios took a significant loss. Milestone continued working with the studio, accepting an offer to produce and direct a Dana Andrews and Lilli Palmer comedy, No Minor Vices (1948). [169][170][171]No Minor Vices, a "semi-sophisticated" film that is reminiscent of Milestone's 1941 comedy My Life with Caroline, added little to Milestone's oeuvre.[172][173] After this film, Milestone departed Enterprise Studios.[174]

The Red Pony (1949)

Milestone's next project, in collaboration with novelist John Steinbeck at Republic Pictures, was to direct a film version of The Red Pony (1937),[174] a short story cycle set in California's rural Salinas Valley in the early 20th century. Milestone and Steinbeck had considered adapting these coming-of-age stories about a boy and his pony since 1940. In 1946, they partnered with Republic Pictures, an amalgamation of "Poverty Row" studios known for low-budget westerns but now prepared to invest in a major production.[175]

Steinbeck served as sole screenwriter on The Red Pony. His novella, composed of four short stories, is "unified only by continuities of character, setting theme".[176] Identifying a market for the film was a key concern for Republic, which insisted on a movie aimed at young audiences.[177] In the interests of crafting a sequential, coherent narrative, Steinbeck mostly limited the film adaptation to the stories "The Gift" and "The Leader of the People", omitting some of the novella's harsher episodes. Steinbeck willingly provided a more upbeat ending to the film, an accommodation that according to Millichap (1981), "completely distorts ... the thematic thrust of Steinbeck's story sequence".[178]

Casting for The Red Pony presented for Milestone difficulties developing Steinbeck's characters and themes, which explore a child's "initiation into the realities of adult life".[179] The aging ranch hand Billy Buck is portrayed by the youthful and virile Robert Mitchum, whose character effectively displaces the father Fred Tiflin (Shepperd Strudwick) as male mentor to the nine-year-old Tom Tiflin (Peter Miles). The boy's mother is played by Myrna Loy.[180] According to Millichap, "The major casting problem is the [young] protagonist. Perhaps no child star could capture the complexity of this role, as it is much easier for an adult to write about sensitive children than for a child to play one."[181]

According to Millichap (1981), Milestone's cinematic effort fails to do justice to the literary source but several of the visual and aural elements are impressive. The opening sequence resembles the prologue of his 1939 adaptation of Steinbeck's novel Of Mice and Men, introducing the natural world that will dominate and inform the characters' lives.[182]

The Red Pony is Milestone's first technicolor film; according to Canham (1974), his "graceful visual touch" is enhanced by cameraman Tony Gaudio's painterly renderings of the rural landscape.[183] According to Barson (2020), composer Aaron Copland's highly regarded film score perhaps surpasses Milestone's visual rendering of Steinbeck's story.[184]

The Red Pony provided Enterprise Studios with a satisfactory "prestige" property, generating critical praise and respectable box office returns.[185]

Move to 20th Century Fox

Milestone moved to 20th Century Fox where he made three films: Halls of Montezuma (1951), Kangaroo (1952) and Les Misérables (1952).[186]

Halls of Montezuma, which was released in January 1951, reflects the Cold War imperatives that informed Hollywood films during the Korean War. The story, which was written by Michael Blankfort with Milestone as uncredited co-screenwriter,[187] concerns an attack by US Marines on a Japanese-held island during World War II, and focuses on the heroic suffering experienced by one patrol in its effort to locate a Japanese rocket-launching bunker.[188] Milestone's dual themes celebrate both Marine combat heroics, juxtaposed with an examination of psychological damage to the soldiers who participate in the "horrors" of modern warfare, including the torture of enemy combatants.[189] Milestone denied Halls of Montezuma addressed his "personal beliefs" on the nature of war; he agreed to direct the movie as a financial expedient.[190]

Halls of Montezuma recalls some elements of Milestone's 1930 anti-war classic All Quiet on the Western Front. The film's cast, like the earlier film, was selected from relatively unknown actors, their "complex and believable" characterizations revealing the contrasts between hardened veterans and green recruits. The cinematic handling of battle scenes is also reminiscent of the 1930 movie, where Marines deploy from their landing crafts and advance on open terrain under enemy fire.[191] Milestone reverts to the formulaic war movie with a standard "Give 'em Hell" climax, accompanied by the strains of the Marine Hymn.[192] The film is commonly cited as representing the onset of a purported decline in his talents or his exploitation by the studios.[193]

After completing Halls of Montezuma, 20th Century Fox, the studio sent Milestone to Australia to use funds limited to reinvestment in that country. Based on this consideration, Milestone filmed Kangaroo (1952),[194][195] which film critic Bosley Crowther termed an "antipodal Western". According to film critic Joseph Millichap (1981), Milestone struggled with the studio was over "the utterly ridiculous script, a collection of Western clichés transposed from the American plains to the Australian outback".[196] Milestone attempted to evade the poor literary vehicle by concentrating on "the landscape, flora and fauna" of the Australian outback at the expense of dialogue. The Technicolor cinematography by Charles G. Clarke achieved a documentary-like quality, incorporating Milestone's hallmark panning and tracking methods.[197][198]

For the last of his three pictures at 20th Century Fox, Milestone delivered Les Misérables (1952), a 104-minute version of Victor Hugo's eponymous romance novel (1862). Fox producers provided the project with their contracted actors including Michael Rennie, Debra Paget, Robert Newton and Sylvia Sidney, and lavish production support. According to Canham (1974), the script by Richard Murphy "telescopes all the novel's famous set-pieces into this cliché-ridden" abbreviated adaptation.[199][200] In a 1968 interview with film historians Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg, Milestone said of his approach during the filming of Les Miserables, "Oh, for Chrissake, it was just a job; I'll do it and get it over with". According to Millichap (1981), "that he did little with [Hugo's] literary classic ... seems to indicate the waning of Milestone's creative energies".[201]

Late career, 1952–1962

Milestone's final years as a filmmaker correspond to the decline of the Hollywood movie empire; his final eight films reflect these historic developments.[202] By 1962, shortly before the release of his last Hollywood film Mutiny on the Bounty, Films and Filming (December 1962) wrote: "In common with so many of the Old Guard directors, Lewis Milestone's reputation has somewhat tarnished over the last decade. His films no longer have that stamp of individuality which distinguished his early work."[203]

During the last stage of his career, Milestone's films are, according to Joseph Millichap (1981), "less a reprise of the director's earlier achievements than several desperate efforts to keep working. Even more markedly than in his earlier career, Milestone moved frenetically between pictures which varied widely in setting, style and accomplishment."[204][205]

Sojourn in Europe, 1953–1954

In the early 1950s, Milestone traveled to England and Italy seeking work. He directed a biography of a diva, a World War II action drama and an international romance-melodrama.[206]

Melba (1953), which was filmed at Horizon Pictures, is a biopic of Australian coloratura soprano singer Dame Nellie Melba. The film was an effort by producer Sam Spiegel to capitalize on the popularity of contemporaneous film biographies of Enrico Caruso and Gilbert and Sullivan. Metropolitan Opera star Patrice Munsel made her screen debut playing Melba. Aside from Munsel's performance, Milestone was forced to work with a "worthless script" and an "insipid cast", and failed to deliver a compelling rendering of Melba's life. According to Kingsley Canham, Melba "turned out to be a disastrous flop" at the box office.[207][208] Milestone remained in England during 1953 to film They Who Dare, a wartime adventure, for Mayflower PicturesBritish Lion Films, starring Dirk Bogarde.[209] The film is a dramatization of an account of a British-and-Greek commando unit that was assigned to destroy a German airfield on Rhodes. The film is based on a script by Robert Westerby; Milestone delivered an action-packed climax in the final minutes of the film that recalls his early work in this genre but the film had a poor reception from critics and audiences. According to Canham (1974), Milestone's consecutive box-office failures "was not a good omen for an established director, especially in the Fifties".[210][211]

Milestones next movie The Widow (La Vedova) (1955) was filmed in Italy for Ventruini/Express in 1954, and adapted by Milestone from a novel by Susan York. The film is a "soap opera-ish love triangle", and stars Patricia Roc, Massimo Serato and Anna Maria Ferrero. According to Canham (1974), "The triangle and its consequences are predictable, and Milestone's part in the proceedings seems simply to record the inevitable tragedy on film".[212][213]

Pork Chop Hill (1959)

According to Millichap (1981), Pork Chop Hill (1959), which was produced by Sy Bartlett for the Melville Company, represents the third work in "an informal war trilogy", along with All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and A Walk in the Sun (1945).[214][215] The film is based on a recounting a Korean War battle by combat veteran S. L. A. Marshall and a screenplay by James R. Webb. According to Millichap (1981), Milestone was provided with a realistic literary platform from which to develop his final cinematic treatment of men at war.[216]

The film's plot involves a strategically pointless assault by a company of U.S. infantrymen to secure and defend a nondescript hill against a much larger Chinese battalion.[217] According to Canham (1974), the plot involves "The story of a battle for a strategic point of little military value, but of great moral value, during the last days of the Korean War".[218]

Milestone, and actor and financial investor in the project Gregory Peck, who plays company commander Lieutenant Joe Clemons, argued over the presentation of the film's themes. Rather than emphasize the pointlessness of the military operation, Peck favored a more politicized message, equating the taking of Pork Chop Hill as an equivalent to the battles of Bunker Hill and Gettysburg.[219][220] According to McGee (2003) the studio's final edit of the director's cut blunted Milestone message concerning the futility of war, perhaps his most anti-war statement since All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).[221][222] According to Millichap (1981):[223]

It was Peck's conception of the part which doomed Milestone's vision; Peck converted the role into a more or less standard superman of World War II vintage ... and also cut much of Milestone's careful development of other characters, his artistic counterpointing of the opposing forces, and his bitterly ironic conclusion.[clarification needed][224][225]

Milestone distanced himself from the final cut of the film, saying, "Pork Chop Hill became a film I am not proud of ... [merely] one more war movie".[226] In addition to Peck, Milestone cast primarily unknown actors as the officers and the rank-and-file characters, among them Woody Strode, Harry Guardino, Robert Blake in his first adult role, George Peppard, Norman Fell, Abel Fernandez, Gavin MacLeod, Harry Dean Stanton, and Clarence Williams III.[227][228]

Ocean's 11 (1960)

Milestone accepted an offer from Warner Bros. to produce and direct comedy-heist film Ocean's 11 (1960) for Dorchester Studios. The story by George Clayton Johnson concerns of group of ex-military comrades who orchestrate an elaborate burglary of Las Vegas's biggest casinos. The movie stars the Rat Pack led by Frank Sinatra, who like the director, had been a supporter of the Committee for the First Amendment during the Red Scare. Milestone's earlier success with comedy films and combat sagas may have influenced Warner's decision to choose Milestone for the film.[229]

The film's screenplay, which Millichap (1981) called "preposterous", was written by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer.[230] Millichap (1981) said Milestone delivered a film that equivocates between a pure satire of American acquisitiveness or its celebration.[231] The film was a box-office success but critics have widely dismissed it as unworthy of Milestone's talents.[232] According to film critic David Walsh:

[H]owever history had contrived to drop the somewhat improbable project in his lap, Milestone no doubt worked away conscientiously on Ocean's 11. He probably had little choice in the matter. Even in the last days of the studio system, directors were more or less at the beck and call of the studio chiefs. The more talented, working within an institutional strait jacket, struggled to imbue their genre projects with personal and social meaning, with varying degrees of success.[233]

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's remake of Frank Lloyd's 1935 film Mutiny on the Bounty starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton was consistent with Hollywood's resort to blockbuster productions during the late Fifties. The studio risked over $20 million on the "ill-starred" 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty and recovered less than half of it.[234]

In February 1961, the 65-year-old Milestone took over directorial duties from Carol Reed, who became disillusioned with the project due to inadequate scripting, inclement weather on location in Tahiti and disputes with leading man Marlon Brando. Milestone was tasked with bringing good order and discipline to the production, and with curbing Brando. Rather than inheriting a largely completed film, Milestone discovered only a few scenes had been filmed.[235]

According to Miller (2010), the production history of the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty is a record of personal and professional recriminations registered by Milestone and Brando rather than a coherent cinematic endeavor. To assert creative control over his character mutineer Fletcher Christian, Brando collaborated with screenwriters and off the set, independently of Milestone, leading Milestone to withdraw from some scenes and sequences, and effectively relinquish control to Brando.[236] Millichap refers to the film as "the Brando-Milestone" Mutiny on the Bounty, noting "the story of this Hollywood disaster is long and complex, but the central figure in every sense is Marlon Brando, not Lewis Milestone".[237]

Mutiny on the Bounty is the final completed film for which Milestone was credited but according to Canham (1974), it is not considered representative of Milestone's oeuvre.[238]

Television and unrealized film projects: 1955–1965

After completing The Widow (La Vedova) (1955), Milestone returned to the United States in search of film projects. With the Hollywood studio system in decline, Milestone resorted to television to keep working. Five years elapsed before he completed another feature film.[239][240] In 1956–1957, Milestone partnered with actor-producer Kirk Douglas, who had debuted in Milestone's The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), to make a movie about a Citizen Kane-like tycoon but the project, which was titled King Kelly, was abandoned after a year.[241]

In 1957, Milestone directed episodes of television drama series, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (two episodes), Schlitz Playhouse (two episodes) and Suspicion (one episode). In 1958, Milestone directed actor Richard Boone, who debuted in Milestone'sKangaroo (1952), in two episodes of the television western Have Gun – Will Travel.[242] Milestone embarked upon the filming of Warner Bros.'s PT 109 (1963), a biography of John F. Kennedy's experiences as a torpedo boat commander in the Pacific War. After several weeks of filming, Jack L. Warner removed Milestone from the project and replaced him with director Leslie H. Martinson, who received the screen credit.[243]

Milestone found television productions unappealing but returned to that medium after completing Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), directing one episode of the series Arrest and Trial and one episode of The Richard Boone Show, both in 1963.[244] Milestone's final film work was for a multinational joint venture with American International Pictures' La Guea Seno- The Dirty Game (1965), for which he directed one episode before being replaced by Terence Young due to failing health.[245]

Several of Milestone's films—Seven Sinners, The Front Page, The Racket, and Two Arabian Knights—were preserved by the Academy Film Archive in 2016 and 2017.[246]

Personal life and death

In 1935, Milestone and actor Kendall Lee, whose full name was Kendall Lee Glaezner, were married. Lee and Milestone had met on the set of his 1932 film Rain, in which Lee had played Mrs. MacPhail. They had no children and remained married until Lee's death in 1978. According to biographer Joseph Millichap; "over the years the Milestones were the most gracious of Hollywood hosts, giving parties that attracted the cream of the film community".[74]

Milestone experienced declining health in the 1960s and suffered a stroke in 1978, shortly after the death of Kendall Lee, his wife of 43 years.[247]

After further illnesses, Milestone died on September 25, 1980, at UCLA Medical Center, five days before his 85th birthday.[248] Milestone's final request before he died was for Universal Studios to restore All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) to its original length. This request was granted nearly twenty years later by Universal and other film preservation companies, and this restored version is widely seen today on television and home video. Milestone is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

Critical appraisal

2003 stamp

Lewis Milestone's oeuvre spans thirty-seven years (1925–1962) and consists of 38 feature films. As such, according to Millichap (1981), he was one of the major contributors to screen art and entertainment during the Hollywood Golden Age.[249] Like most of his contemporary American filmmakers, Milestone's work includes the silent and sound eras, which is evident in his style, which blends the visual elements of Expressionism with the Realism that evolved with naturalistic sound.[250] According to Sarris in American Cinema (1968) quoted in Walsh (2001), Milestone was "a formalist of the Left" who was "hailed as the American [Sergei] Eisenstein after All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and The Front Page (1931)".[233]

At the outset of talking pictures, the 29-year-old Milestone used his skill for an adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front, which is regarded as Milestone's magnum opus and the peak of his career; according to Baxter (1970), Milestone's subsequent work never achieved the same artistic or critical success.[251] Biographer Kingsley Canham wrote: "The problem of making a classic film early in a career is that it sets a standard of comparison for all future work that is in some instances unfair".[252] Milestone's films occasionally exhibit the technical inventiveness and bravura of All Quiet on the Western Front but lack Milestone's commitments to a literary source or screenplay that informed that film.[253]

According to Millichap (1981), Milestone's subsequent work in Hollywood includes outstanding and mediocre films that are characterized by their eclecticism but often lack any clear artistic purpose. The most predictable feature may have been an application of his technical talents.[254] Film critic Andrew Sarris said: "Milestone's fluid camera style has always been dissociated from any personal viewpoint. He is almost the classic example of the uncommitted director ... his professionalism is as unyielding as it is meaningless."[255] Kingsley Canham said, "time and again Milestone's career has been written off because of his lack of commitment or to involvement in his work".[256] Millichap links Milestone's "profuse, eclectic, and uneven body of work" to the imperatives of the Hollywood film industry, saying:

Milestone's creativity was rooted in the studio system. Both his best and worst movies resulted from his pragmatic commitment to the cinematic transformation of literary properties presented by the production system ... both his strong points and his limitations were generated by that Hollywood system. When he applied his cinematic style to "strong literary matter" memorable films resulted; but when he was assigned weak, trivial material, the results were usually mediocre.[257]

Film critic and biographer Richard Koszarski considers Milestone "one of the [1930s] more independent spirits ... but like many of the pioneer directors ... his relation to the studio system at the height of its [executive] powers was not a productive one".[258] Koszarski offers a metaphor Milestone had applied to his own final works: "the latter part of [Milestone]'s career was marked by only sporadic flashes of creativity, a veritable forest of saplings graced by only one or two solitary oaks".[259]

Academy Awards

Year Award Film Result
1927–28 Academy Award for Best Director (Comedy) Two Arabian Knights Won
1929–30 Academy Award for Best Director All Quiet on the Western Front Won
1930–31 Academy Award for Best Director The Front Page Nominated
1939 Academy Award for Best Picture Of Mice and Men Nominated

Filmography

Footnotes

  1. ^ Leib Milstein at RootsWeb'sConnect Project
  2. ^ "Behind the Camera - Mutiny on the Bounty ('62)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  3. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 26: "born in Odessa [into] a clan of prominent Russian Jews ... his father a well-off manufacturer" and "until 1919, Milestone retained his surname, Milstein".
    Silver, 2010: "Lewis Milestone (1895–1980) was born Lev Milstein near Odessa, Ukraine."
    Barson, 2020: "Lewis Milestone, original name Lev Milstein, born September 30, 1895 in Kishinyov, Russia [now Chișinău, Moldova]."
    Robinson, 1970 pp. 141–142: "Lewis Milestone was born in Kishmev, Ukraine"
    Canham, 1974 p. 72: "born in the Ukraine, near Odessa."
  4. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: "His formal education took place in Russia [then] his parents sent him to a German engineering school in Mittweida, Saxony"
  5. ^ Robinson, 1970 p. 141: "after commercial studies in Europe reached America, apparently as an illegal immigrant, just before the First World War."
  6. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: Milestone abandoned his academic studies and "used his return fare home at the end of the [school] term to emigrate to New York ... on arrival he was [temporarily] financed by an aunt but ran out of funds." His appeal for financial support from his father in Russia was rejected.
  7. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 26–27: See section The Director's Early Life And p. 27: ".free of family restrictions [in the United States], he felt he might realize his dream of a theatrical career."
  8. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 26–27: he held a series of odd jobs, including janitor, door-to-door salesman and machine operation in a lace factory .... In 1915 [he secured a job] as a photographer's assistant ... more to his liking ... [then became] a theatrical photographer" and p. 27: In 1917, upon America's entry into WWI "he enlisted in the photography section of the Signal Corps [performing] aerial photography [and shooting] training films ... also edited combat footage" and Sternberg and Fleming mentioned.
  9. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: "He began work as a factory sweeper, then became a salesman and finally a photographic assistant. The latter job stood him in good stead when he enlisted in the Signal Corps in 1917" where he worked as "an assistant in the making of army training films."
    Barson, 2020: "During World War I he served as an assistant director on training films for the U.S. Army."
    Whiteley, 2020: Milestone "received a thorough grounding in all aspects of filmmaking [with the Signal Corps], which would prove invaluable in the years to come."
  10. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 27–28: Upon discharge from the Army in 1919 "Milestone became a [US] citizen and changed his name [from Milstein to Milestone] at the suggestion of the [immigration] judge" and "Jesse D. Hampton, an independent film producer .... Milestone asked for a job in [Hollywood] movies; the only thing available was assistant editor."
  11. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: "he left the army in 1919 and headed for Hollywood, where he found employment as a cutter with Jesse Hampton" a former army comrade, now 'independent producer"
  12. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 28: An unpublished interview with Mark Lambert, see Millichap footnote. And See p. 28 for comparison to 1913 arrival in America.
    Silver, 2010: Silver describes Milestone as "émigré, not "immigrant"
    Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: "Milestone was a Russian émigré."
  13. ^ Strago, 2017: "Like most great pioneer filmmakers, Milestone led an adventurous life before he hit the soundstage."
  14. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 28: For Hampton he performed "a multitude of off jobs ... sweeping floors and running errands ... editing work consisted merely of splicing films ... [but] "personal contacts would prove valuable in his steady advancement ... became King's general assistant" in 1920
  15. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: Began work as "a cutter"And "promoted to the role of general assistant" for Henry King.
  16. ^ Barson, 2020: "He launched his Hollywood career in 1920, working for Henry King."
  17. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 28
  18. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: "For the next six years [1921–1926] Milestone took on jobs in any capacity available: he assisted William A. Seiter, wrote scenarios and treatments and did some editing."
  19. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 28–29: "Warners often lent out the young editor to other studios at several times his salary".
  20. ^ Robinson, 1970 pp. 141–142: "After varied work in Hollywood, he emerged as a writer on Alan Crosland's Bobbed Hair (1925) and a director on Seven Sinners, made later the same year."
    Barson, 2020: "In 1925 Milestone made his directorial debut with Seven Sinners; he also wrote the screenplay."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 30: "Milestone offered Warner a story idea he had created himself if he could direct it himself. Warner took the bait."
    Rhodes, 2020: "Milestone had honed his career in comedies, writing the scripts for The Mad Whirl (1925), The Teaser (1925), and Bobbed Hair (1925), all of which humorously depicted the jazz-crazed youth of the Roaring Twenties."
  21. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 72: " ... he was given a chance to direct a Marie Prevost vehicle, Seven Sinners (1925)."
  22. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 30: "Milestone's career as a director was launched."
    Strago, 2017: "The New York Times critic called Milestone's first feature, Seven Sinners (1925), made for Warner Bros., the best recent picture he'd seen at Warner's flagship theater, but Milestone chafed at studio demands. Happily, Hughes soon formed his own company and, in 1927, the young director went to work for him."
  23. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 30–31: "By 1926 [Warners] was paying Milestone $400 a week [but] loaning him out as a film doctor at the rate of $1000 a week and more .... Milestone demanded the difference" and broke his contract when Warners refused.
    Canham, 1974 pp. 72–73: "Warners and Milestone capitalized [on the success of Seven Sinners by finishing a second comedy vehicle two months later ... The Caveman (1926) ... contemporary reviewers lavished praise on Milestone's adroit direction, and his ability to switch from sophisticated comedy through slapstick to suspense."
  24. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 31: Milestone "a rising talent"and one of "the years graduates of Paramount 'School of Stars" "And "he quarreled with [Swanson] and left the film."
    Canham, 1974 p. 73: Critics were less pleased with Milestone's The New Klondike (1926) "[but] the fact that it was filmed on location in Florida gives some indication of Milestone's rising status as a director."
  25. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 73: "He made only one film during 1927, but it proved to be his most important silent work [Two Arabian Knights]" and "He left Warners after the Prevost pictures, working under several banners over the next few years [among them] the Caddo Company ... owned by Howard Hughes" and "his first war film ... the comical adventures of two American doughboys" and pp. 73–74: Two Arabian Knights "was made to cash in on the popularity of director Raoul Walsh's What Price Glory (1926), for the relationships between the central characters are identical, and the two films shared one of the writers, James T. O'Donahue. Whereas Walsh's film won plaudits for an earthy, rugged humor, Milestone's relied on intelligent acting at the expense of any slapstick comedy, a quality which helped win him the Academy Award for best direction."
  26. ^ Silver, 2010: "he had won a "Best Comedy Direction" statuette for Two Arabian Knights (1927), beating out Charles Chaplin's The Circus.
    Barson, 2020: Barson notes that "In 1930 the comedy and drama categories were merged" by the Academy of Arts and Sciences.
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 31–32: "Milestone's talents were recognized when he signed a four-year contract [with] Caddo" and p. 32: "triangle"
    Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: "his silent films were hailed for their freshness and vigor ... the best of them The Caveman, Two Arabian Knights, The Racket"
  27. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 74–75: Written by "one of Lubitsch's favorite writers ... The Garden of Eden was a comedy-drama ... written by Hans Kraly, and once more Milestone's deft direction of players enhanced the often acidic sophistication of his material."
  28. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 32: "Milestone's visual production obviously recalls the work of Lubitsch" and "impressive production included lavish sets [by] Menzies and excellent camera work by John Arnold."
  29. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 32
  30. ^ Robinson, 1970 p. 43: "The most distinguished early gangster films were unquestionably the von Sternberg series (Underworld, The Drag Net, The Docks of New York) and Lewis Milestone's The Racket. Gangster films were however to reach their notable peak in the next decade."
    Canham, 1974 p. 75: "Possibly to avoid type-casting as a comedy director, he change pace with his third picture for Hughes, The Racket (1928), a gutty drama of gang-war and political corruption."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 32: "The Racket ... influenced by Josef von Sternberg's Underworld (1927)."
    Cady, 2004 TCM: "The Racket (1928) was one of the movies that started the cycle of gangster pictures that led to Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931) and Scarface (1932)."
  31. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 75: Reception was "marred by a release date among a plethora of similar gangster films of variable quality."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 34: Best Picture nomination.
  32. ^ a b Millichap, 1981 pp. 34–35: Millichap notes that "for some reason" Milestone was credited for the film and that Tin Pan Alley was "justly forgotten".
  33. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 75: Milestone's "first talkie, New York Lights (1929) ... a highly dramatic gangster film, scripted by Jules Furthman and photographed by Ray June, but it gave little indication of Milestone's ability in adapting to sound techniques."
  34. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 38: "generally regarded as ... his masterpiece ... in terms of both subject and style" and p. 53: "remains Lewis Milestone's most important film."
    Baxter, 1970 pp. 132–133: "All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) is still one of the most eloquent of anti-war documents ... one of the acknowledged classics of the American cinema."
    Thomson, 2015: "It is still one of the best films about the Great War."
  35. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 38: "the director had his first chance to translate a powerful literary statement into cinematic language ... perhaps the best war film ever made". Editor's Forward: Milestone: "Throughout my career I've tried, not so much to express a philosophy, as to restate in filmic terms ... my agreement with the author of a story I like is trying to say." From Preface: "like William Wyler, a cinematic interpreter of literary texts."
  36. ^ Thomson, 2015: "The novel sold 2.5 million copies in twenty-two languages ... it was purchased for pictures by Carl Laemmle Jr., head of production at Universal and son of the studio's founder."
    Silver, 2010: "On top of the worldwide success of Remarque's novel, the film made lots of money."
  37. ^ Strago, 2017
  38. ^ Thomson, 2015: "For English and American audiences (it was banned for years in France), a part of the novelty in All Quiet is watching 'enemy' soldiers and realizing they are just like our own."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 38: quoting Milestone, from an interview with Charles Higham and Joel Greenberg, See footnotes. And p. 39: "terse, tough" is Millichap's appraisal. And "the horrors ... of the trenches."
    Canham, 1974 p. 80: "the script wisely chose to concentrate upon the effects of war on individual characters, instead of making wordy statements about the nature of war."
  39. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 78: "shot on location at the Irving Ranch ... almost unique in that they were largely shot in sequence." (italics in original)
    Thomson, 2015: "Except that All Quiet on the Western Front was shot with two cameras, one for a sound film, and the other for a film that has music and sound effects, but no dialogue."
  40. ^ a b Canham, 1974 p. 81: "Above all it was the technique of Milestone's film that rightly led to his fame [overcoming] the problems of adapting photographic needs to the demands of [early] sound recordings" and "crane shots of soldiers being mowed down as they try to cross a field." And "above all it was the technique of Milestone's film that rightly led to his fame. The [camera] movement became the message at a time when talkies were reputed to be static and stage bound because of the problems of adapting photograph needs to the demands of sound recording" suggesting that the limitation of early sound technology "may have been exaggerated by early sound historians and that "certainly Milestone's work is one those exceptions."
  41. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 37–38: "Milestone was able to combine the Realism of sound in both dialogue and effects with the Expressionistic visual techniques he had learned as a silent editor and director." (Capitalization of keywords in original) And see these pages for Milestone quotations.
  42. ^ Thomson, 2015: "The film was a triumph and you feel its sophisticated vision ... with a feeling for depth and striking compositions that were new in 1930. Milestone became famous for aerial tracking shots of troops crossing no man's land."
  43. ^ Silver, 2010: "In addition to Milestone's directing Oscar, it won for Best Picture was nominated for screenplay and cinematography.
  44. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 38
    Thomson, 2015: "The film was a triumph ... as much of a sensation as the novel ... audiences came in huge numbers. All Quiet took an Academy Award for best picture and Milestone won for director. It is still one of the best films about the Great War"
    Whitely, 2020: "This magnificent movie remains a powerful indictment of war. It was adapted from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque, and won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director for Milestone, and received a special commendation from the Nobel Peace Prize committee."
  45. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 82: "The high quality of Milestone's directorial abilities [after All Quiet on the Western Front] had opened up a broad spectrum of opportunity for him, but the pitfalls of fame and the studio system were not to be forgotten."
  46. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 82: "Probably the most famous of all newspaper dramas ... backed by sparkling dialogue [and] hard, fast, and ruthless pace ... Milestone's control of dialogue and performances set a new "house standard" at Warner Brothers [and] sparked off a cycle of newspaper films"
    Wood, 2003: "The definitive fever-pitch newspaper comedy, [the] 1928 play The Front Page is a cornerstone of the screwball [film] genre."
    Strago, 2017: Hughes and Milestone "stuck close to the original play ... a trendsetter when it first hit the screen in 1931. It became famous, sometimes infamous, for its frankness about sleazy backroom politics and reckless, sensationalist newspapers ... it made rapid-fire, overlapping dialogue fashionable."
  47. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 60: "The success of The Front Page created a spate of newspaper films, so that the type became almost a genre during the 1930s." p. 54: "Milestone's The Front Page remains the finest film, the best artistic success of the three." p. 53: On Hawks' and Wilder's remakes
    Wood, 2003: "serving as the foundation for several big-screen classics ... innumerable imitations that followed in its wake, transforming the fast-talking, conniving reporter into a bona fide cinematic icon."
  48. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 53: "Hughes considered Cagney 'a little runt' while Gable's ears reminded him "of a taxi-cab with both doors open'" And O'Brien's film debut. And "Casting became the major production difficulty in the Milestone filming of The Front Page ... [leading man] Pat O'Brien was too clean-cut and sincere [for the part of] Hildy Johnson, but his antagonist, the ruthless editor Walter Burns, was toned down considerably by the dapper Adolph Menjou, who had played only sophisticated ladies men"
  49. ^ Higham, 1973 p. 127
  50. ^ Millichap, 1981 Composite quote from pp. 53, 55 and 60. Note: capitalized words in the original.
  51. ^ Strago, 2017: Milestone "maintains a cinematic style even when the setups are utterly theatrical."
  52. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 133: "Howard Hawks' remake His Girl Friday (1940) succeeded far better because of his skill with fast conversation and the Hawks-invented idea of making the reporter character a woman Rosalind Russell."
  53. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 82: "The visual signature of [Milestone's] long tracking shots is there at the opening, with a stunning track through the newspaper machine room."
  54. ^ Strago, 2017: Milestone "achieves some spectacular effects, like the camera traveling with Molly as she confronts a row of reporters—it's as if she were a prisoner facing down a firing line [and] when Milestone takes you on a tour of the Morning Post, the camera follows Menjou's Burns as he strides through the printing plant, with the heavy machinery of a thriving industry rumbling behind him."
  55. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 54: Milestone "at the height of his creative powers" with The Front Page. And p. 60: Section on Rain (1932), listed as top director with Film Daily.
    Strago, 2017: The Front Page "augmented Lewis Milestone's stature as a director and Howard Hughes's as a producer."
    Strago, 2017: "Dwight Macdonald said it was 'widely considered to be the best movie of 1931'."
    Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: ".his most important films were from the early talkie period, All Quiet on the Western Front and The Front Page."
  56. ^ Baxter, 1970 pp. 48–49: "Frank Borzage, Lewis Milestone and King Vidor [had attempted to creat with DeMille] an independent production group called The Director's Guild."
  57. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 60: "Milestone [sought] to form a small independent production unit under the creative control of the directors themselves."
    Durgnat and Simmon 1988 pp. 172–173: "The colleagues most actively committed to the plan [The Screen Directors Guild] were Lewis Milestone and director Gregory La Cava." And Milestone "among its founding members." Other directors who favored a guild were Herbert Biberman and Henry King.
    Whitely, 2020: "Milestone was a founding member of the Directors Guild and was one of the few major directors of the Golden Age to work as a freelance, refusing every opportunity to sign long-term contracts with the big studios."
  58. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 85: "the strong European influence at Paramount was on the wane, a factor that might be very relevant in accessing Milestone's apparent decline in the mid-Thirties."
  59. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 82: "The high quality of Milestone's directorial abilities opened up a broad spectrum of opportunity to him, but the pitfalls of fame and the studio system were not to be forgotten."
  60. ^ Millichap, 1981 Preface: "When Milestone combined strong literary matter with his cinematic style, the result was memorable cinema. When stuck with a weak literary vehicle, an indifferent production team, or studio miscasting, he often produced mediocre results. "
    Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: "by the late 30s the innovative flair that had marked his earlier work had dampened."
  61. ^ Baxter, 1971 p. 135: Regarding Paramount finances, bankruptcy.
  62. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 63: "Crawford's "performance in Rain, like the film, has been generally panned, and almost every comment on the film insists she was miscast ... [v]iewed today, Crawford's interpretation generates considerable power ... it seems hard to discover a screen actress who could have done better with the role."
  63. ^ Miller, 2007: Crawford: "I don't understand to this day how I could have given such an unpardonable bad performance. All my fault, too -- Milestone's direction was so feeble I took the bull by the horns and did my own Sadie Thompson. I was wrong every scene of the way."
  64. ^ Miller, 2007: "Although the Rev. Davidson was made a reformer rather than a missionary and references to his sexless marriage were dropped, it was still quite clear that he raped her and then committed suicide."
    Canham, 1974 p. 84: "subjects involving the Church had to be handled with kid gloves" even in the Pre-Code period.
    Millichap, 1981 p. 63: Huston's "characterization of the maniacal missionary Davidson has also received scant approval." p. 67: On the rape of Thompson.
  65. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 84: "The resulting film was slow and stage-bound, enlivened only by the fervor of Walter Houston's bigot."
  66. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 133: Rain (1932) with Joan Crawford as Sadie Thomson and Walter Houston as the minister, was stiff and stagey."
  67. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 84: "Milestone was definitely courting fate when he took the material completely seriously since the language had to be toned down considerably" whereas as a silent film treatment could eliminate explicit verbal passages through "visual suggestion ... but the talkies had to talk."
  68. ^ Arnold, 2009 TCM: "Al Jolson vanished from movie screens for nearly three years. When he finally did reappear, it was in perhaps the most offbeat and innovative film of his career ... it proved to be the biggest nail in his professional coffin. Hollywood producers no longer considered him a star of the first magnitude."
  69. ^ Millchap, 1981 p. 69: Milestone engaged Rogers and Hart "to liven the script through the device of rhythmic dialogue" which they had used to good effect in Rouben Mamoulian's Love Me Tonight (1932). (Milestone specifically denies the influence of Mamoulian Lubitsch" on his 1933 film.
  70. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 69: ".the public chose not to be diverted." p. 70: "sing-song fashion" in delivery. And "The 1930s seemed a strange time to be sentimentalizing tramps." Also see p. 77: ".the film's ambiguity about economic issues ... shattered any artistic unity Milestone might have created."
    Arnold, 2009 TCM: "he songwriters not only penned several new songs ... but they wrote sections of rhythmic, rhyming dialogue - much as they had for their recent pictures Love Me Tonight (1932) and The Phantom President (1932). This is where much of the film's innovative effect lies."
  71. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 133: "an attempt at a socially conscious Depression [era] musical ... seemed like half-baked Rouben Mamoulian."
    Canham, 1974 pp. 84–85: Milestone "struck out again [after Rain] with Hallelujah, I'm a Bum at this point in his career, Milestone seemed to be faltering."
    Arnold, 2009: ".n February 8, 1933, the picture finally opened in New York City. Most of the reviews were poor."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 69:"only interesting as a rather bizarre failure." p. 77: "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum is not so much as bad film as it is a strange one." p. 79: "After completing Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, Milestone began work late in 1933 on a more serious project."
  72. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 79
  73. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 85
  74. ^ a b Millichap, 1981 p. 82
  75. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 79–80: "promised 50% of the profits"
  76. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 79–80: See p. 80 for use of alcohol by the cast on set. And "in all the film has a sort of improvised air" and "ill feelings" between Milestone and Cohen.
    Canham, 1974 p. 85: "a ship-board fairy tale starring John Gilbert and Victor McLaglen, The Captain Hates the Sea ended Gilbert's career"
    Baxter, 1970 pp. 133–134: "the last picture of a declining John Gilbert, ulcer-ridden and alcoholic, lurching through his last screen appearance."
  77. ^ Steffen, 2010 TCM: "It didn't help that the cast was full of legendary drinkers .... According to Milestone, at one point Cohn wired him: HURRY UP. THE COSTS ARE STAGGERING. To which Milestone wired back: SO IS THE CAST." (Capitals in original)
  78. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 81: "His first two efforts [in sound] for Paramount were musical Programmers ... might have shot by almost anyone in the studio." p. 82: "his only work in the genre"
  79. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 110: Filmograph section: "designed to boost the careers of the two leads; Carminati had just made a similar, highly successful film with Grace Moore, and Mary Ellis was being launched as Paramount's answer to Moore."
  80. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 81: "Paramount was using Mary Ellis ... in the same type of role" as Grace Moore.
  81. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 81: "the proceedings are pretty even Milestone's tries to liven things up with some fancy camera work." Dreier creates "a reasonable facsimile of Paris"
  82. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 134: "Paris in Spring and Anything Goes were innocuous"
  83. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 85: "Paris in Spring ... did little for Milestone"
  84. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 85: "Anything Goes ... did little for Milestone"
  85. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 134: "Paris in Spring and Anything Goes were innocuous"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 82: "It seems that Milestone has little feel for the musical genre .... [Anything Goes] might have been created by any studio workhorse."
  86. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 134: Paris in Spring (1935) and Anything Goes (1936) were innocuous, but then, late in 1936, Milestone gave a film which, for style and content, is one of the Thirties undoubted masterpieces" and "Milestone considered the film of little consequence, having adapted it from a pulp magazine story to keep himself occupied between pictures."
    Canham, 1974 p. 85: "The General Died at Dawn displayed a marked return to form, and heralded a European revival continued by Lubitsch and Billy Wilder"
  87. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 83-84: His three previous films "insignificant" An:[clarification needed] Josef von Sternberg "an old friend ... [Milestone] might have been influenced in [his] choice of materials and ... styles of handling them"
    Canham, 1974 p. 86: "It was a stylized drama, visually as well as thematically reminiscent of Josef von Sternberg's The Shanghai Express (1932)."
  88. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 82-83: Millichap refers to Odets as "Leftist" and the film's "pulpy background" source
  89. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 134: Baxter provides a detailed description of the opening Cooper/O'Hara sketch.
  90. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 82: "the film holds up well both as entertainment and art"
    Baxter, 1970 pp. 134–135: Carroll's Judy Perrie characterization is "perfectly realized"
    Canham, 1974 p. 87: "the skill of the script ... and the acting itself combine to lift it out of the mainstream of adventure pictures that used the inscrutable Orient as a backdrop". p. 86: "The effortless ease with which [Milestone] sketches the Gary Cooper character". p. 87: "The biggest impact is in Madeline Carroll's portrayal of Judy Perrie as a frightened lost girl"
  91. ^ Higham p. 130: " ... extraordinary use of dissolves" in the billiard ball/doorknob. And "In many ways, the film was as technically exacting as anything in the oeuvre of Orson Welles."
    Canham, 1974 p. 87: "bravura camera techniques such as split screen images or a dissolve match cut from a billiard ball to a white door knob"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 83: "The General Died at Dawn remains bravura effort of split screens and match dissolves, almost a compendium of things a camera could do to tell a story." p. 87: See here for description of "billiard ball" match cut.
    Baxter, 1970 pp. 134–135: "Milestone engineers one of the most ... expert match shots on record, dissolving from a billiard ball to a round white door knob, which then turns to take us into the bar next door. And "In terms of cinematic invention, The General Died at Dawn is a fascinating technical exercise [and] shows the breadth of that technique." On a 4-way split screen. And "The [film's] finale.. is a bravura piece of direction"
  92. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 134: "for style and content, one of the Thirties' undoubted masterpieces." p. 135: "The finale, with Victor Milner's camera tracking sinuously through the Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegte Chinese junk sets, is a bravura piece of direction, a fitting finale to this, Milestone's most exquisite and exciting if not most meaningful examination of social friction in a human context." p. 134: "Milestone considered the film of little consequence". p. 136: See here for final quote "human context."
  93. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 82: Millichap considers Baxter's "masterpiece" designation "somewhat lavish" but he agrees that "the film holds up very well both as entertainment and art.
    Canham, 1974 p. 87: "The first symphonic musical score composed for a film by Werner Janssen"
  94. ^ Millichap, 181 p. 92: "three-year hiatus ... at the height of his career."
  95. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 87–88: "The success of The General Died at Dawn should have revitalized Milestone's career; instead he found himself involved in a series of unfulfilled projects that kept his work off the screen for three years"
  96. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 88: Censorship prevented [Milestone] from filming Vincent Sheean's Personal History (1935) for Walter Wanger". p. 88: "Sam Goldwyn commissioned [Milestone] and Clifford Odets to write a screenplay for Dead End, but then turned the project over the William Wyler"
  97. ^ Millichap, 1981: from Preface: "like William Wyler, a cinematic interpreter of literary texts."
  98. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 88: "the film is very infrequently shown today, and was merely a stand-by piece that Milestone filmed solely to keep working."
  99. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. "Hans Dreier's sets are the best feature of the film."
  100. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 88: "in 1938 Hal Roach asked him to film a project entitled Road Show ... after some initial work on the screenplay, Roach shelved the project ... then directed it himself.
    Millichap, 1981 p. 93: Details of Milestone/Roach litigation and resolution.
  101. ^ Criterion Collection, 2014: "Director Lewis Milestone took on the project to fulfill a contractual obligation to producer Hal Roach as part of a lawsuit's settlement."
  102. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 94: Milestone work "almost completely a personal project, a labor of love" and "immediately concluding that the story would make an excellent film."
    Tatara, 2009 TCM: "this adaptation of John Steinbeck's grim but strangely humanistic novel is a bit dated in its moralizing"
    Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 77-78: "the film's acting is more stylized than naturalistic ... this is perfectly in keeping with its essential character as a morality play, a bit contrived perhaps, but nonetheless sincere and affecting."
  103. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 75: "Although belonging technically to the succeeding decade [1940s], films like ... Of Mice and Men were really 1930s projects, deriving their intellectual and emotional sustenance from the era of the New Deal and the Group Theatre." and "takes place against a background of economic misery"
  104. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 95: "Of Mice and Men ... presents a topic that was common in the 1930s- the lives and deaths of little people disoriented and dispossessed by the conditions of the modern world."
    Canham, 1974 p. 88: Hal Roach insisted upon "a small budget and a rapid shooting schedule ... the timing and haste of the project [may have] stemmed from [Roach's] desire to cash in the on the possible success of John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath, a film with similar themes"
  105. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 94: See here for remarks in quotations.
    Criterion, 2014: "Steinbeck, so often ambivalent to adaptations of his work and having had little to do with the successful adaptation of Of Mice and Men to the stage in 1937 (much to the chagrin of play's producer), approved of Milestone's film most of all."
  106. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 96: "Milestone's film version Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in its anti-omniscient viewpoint ... increasing the complexity and the ambiguity of the work because of the lack of editorial judgement" and p. 104: "Milestone's version Of Mice and Men [is] as powerful as Steinbeck's ... one which demonstrates the convergence of realistic fictional and cinematic styles."
  107. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 94: As such, Milestone "conferred carefully on image motifs" with art director Nicolai Remisoff, and cameraman Norbert Brodine] competently filmed the piece ... and Milestone "was much concerned with sound motifs" enlisting Aaron Copland to do the musical score."
  108. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 89–90
  109. ^ Criterion, 2014: "Lewis Milestone's Of Mice and Men (1939) was a critical success and the film garnered four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Sound Recording (Elmer A. Raguse), Best Musical Score (Aaron Copland), and Best Original Score (Aaron Copland).
  110. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 88: Roach insisted on "a small budget and a rapid shooting schedule". p. 89: "the stylized acting (in this] morality play) ... was well-served by the ... talents of Lon Chaney, Jr. in his only major roles in an "A" film"
  111. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 94: "Milestone cast very carefully ... Lon Chaney, Jr. played Lennie in a Los Angeles production of the play, and the film offered this ill-used actor a chance to escape monster roles ... the supporting cast ... are uniformly excellent."
    Tatara, 2009 TCM: "Milestone saw something in [Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr.] and both men deliver arguably the best work of their respective careers in the film."
  112. ^ Criterion, 2014: "Lewis Milestone's Of Mice and Men (1939) was a critical success and the film garnered four Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Sound Recording (Elmer A. Raguse), Best Musical Score (Aaron Copland), and Best Original Score (Aaron Copland). While this achievement might sound reasonably impressive alone, it's downright stellar when one considers that the film received these recognition in 1939, Hollywood's greatest year."
  113. ^ Tatara, 2009 TCM: "The film's tragic, violent ending is one of the most memorable in all of movie history. Audiences at the time were so troubled by this narrative of slowly-rising defeat, the film failed miserably at the box office. Apparently, it was one thing to read such a thing, but another altogether to watch it unfold onscreen" and "the film failed miserably at the box office."
    Higham and Greenberg, 1968 pp. 77–78: "George's (Burgess Merideth) mercy-killing of Lennie (Lon Chaney, Jr.) takes place against a background of economic misery [and] as a morality play, a bit contrived perhaps, but nonetheless sincere and affecting."
  114. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 104: "Milestone's Hollywood reputation took another upward turn after Of Mice and Men [when] he signed a contract with RKO, where he was given his own production unit."
    Canham, 1974 p. 90: "A two picture deal with RKO offered Milestone a double comedy package with Ronald Colman as star"
  115. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 90–91
    Millichap, 1981 p. 104: "In quick succession he ground out two light comedies with the aging Ronald Coleman as the lead" and "Either film might have been directed by any dozen of studios regulars ... overall they are simply uninspired fare ... once again Milestone's career seemed in the doldrums."
    Barson, 2020: "the forgettable comedies Lucky Partners (1940) and My Life with Caroline (1941),..
    Tartara, 2011. TCM: "Milestone was more of a technical innovator than anything else, and never showed much flair for comedy. His movies were hardly light on their feet."
  116. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 104, quoting a Charles Higham source; see Millichap footnotes.
  117. ^ Silver, 2010: "World War II provided the opportunity to rejuvenate the reputation he had established with All Quiet."
  118. ^ Silver, 2010: Silver quotes Sarris's observation that in Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front "the orgasmic violence of war is celebrated as much as it is condemned."
    Canham, 1974 p. 104: "
    All Quiet on the Western Front contains as many scenes of violence as any of his other war films; as Milestone said in an interview in Action (July–August 1972): 'How can you make a pacifist film without showing the violence of war?'"
  119. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 96: "Although the U.S. did not officially enter WWII until 1941, Hollywood was well aware of what was happening in Europe"
    Silver, 2010: "casting a cold eye on warfare ... was a problem for Lewis Milestone [in 1930 and All Quiet on the Western Front], and it remains a problem today [for filmmakers]."
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 107–108: "climate of opinion". See here for "the transformation of his attitude toward war". And during the Second World War "Milestone's efforts [during WWII] tend more toward propaganda than art" and re: Hollywood's and Milestone's shift to anti-Nazi war films. And Milestone "a liberal intellectual ... viewed the rise of totalitarian Fascism with considerable alarm ... after Pearl Harbor ... [Milestone] became convinced that armed resistance to Fascism was the only course of action ... [and] he placed his art at the service of an [anti-fascist] ideal"
  120. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 108–109
    Canham, 1974 p. 91
    Barson, 2020: "Milestone collaborated with Dutch director Joris Ivens on Our Russian Front (1942), a documentary (narrated by Walter Huston)"
  121. ^ Silver, 2010: "World War II provided the opportunity to rejuvenate the reputation he had established with All Quiet, but Edge of Darkness, The North Star, The Purple Heart, A Walk in the Sun, Arch of Triumph (another adaptation of a novel by All Quiet author Erich Maria Remarque), and, later, Halls of Montezuma only intermittently tipped the scales in Milestone's favor."
  122. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 30–31
  123. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 100: "Bronx accented [European] patriots" and p. 104: "the too frequent casting of Americans as Europeans"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 109: Milestone described the cast as "extremely mixed" and p. 110: Millichap reports "difficulties of characterization and casting" and other than Walter Huston "the rest of the cast is eminently forgettable" and "severe personal problems" that plagued cast members. And "New York accents"
    Erickson, 2010 TCM: "The movie would probably have been better without any recognizable stars.
    Millichap, 1981 p. 115: "weighed down by its single-minded theme"
  124. ^ Erickson, 2010. TCM: "Edge of Darkness adopts an entirely different approach to laud the fierce resistance of proud Norwegian patriots. Robert Rossen's unsubtle, humorless screenplay takes every Nazi-imposed hardship in deadly earnest"
  125. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 109: See footnote, quoted from an interview with Ezra Goodman in Theatre Arts Magazine, February, 1943.
  126. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 104
    Erickson, 2010. TCM: "The intent of Edge of Darkness is to shock the audience with oppressive Nazi measures .... Stoic solidarity is the only response; as the screenplay emphasizes the need for a communal vengeance" and '"The revolt of the townspeople is very much a fantasy."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 109
    Canham, 1974 p. 91: The film uses "a formula of the Hollywood propaganda movie"
  127. ^ Passafiume, 2009. TCM: "Celebrated cinematographer James Wong Howe would be behind the camera, and Aaron Copland and Ira Gershwin would contribute the music and lyrics to several folk songs for the film ... Lillian Hellman went to work on the screenplay" and "Goldwyn received a message from President Roosevelt through Lowell Mellett, the chief of the Bureau of Motion Pictures of the Office of War Information ... It would be a portrayal designed to gather sympathy for the Russian people and strengthen American support for the U.S. government's alliance with the Soviet Union"
    Hoberman, 2014: "lavish Samuel Goldwyn production"
    Cojoc, 2013 pp. 93–95: "the American's perceptions of the Soviet Union had to be shaped overnight so that FDR could receive popular support for entering the war on the Soviet Union's side. a responsibility for such a task was [placed on] The Office of War‚ Information."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 115: "the production credits of The North Star are impressive". And p. 124: Millichap list James Wong Howe, William Cameron Menzies, and Aaron Copland. And "the cast does well enough with what it has [in terms of script]" and "Goldwyn bankrolled a lavish production"
  128. ^ Murphy, 1999. p. 16: The North Star was made "at the request of President Roosevelt with the conscious aim winning the support of the American public for its wartime ally, the Soviet Union."
  129. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 118–119: "lovable old coot [Brennan's Karp]" and "Here the operetta analogy takes hold ... singing and dancing ... reduces the major characters to fugitives from a musical comedy [and] makes no sense in terms of plot ... does much to create the inanity that finally destroys the film."
  130. ^ Hoberman, 2014: "The peasants were played, without [adopting Russian] accents, by ... all-American types: Dana Andrews, Anne Baxter, Dean Jagger ... Walter Brennan ... appeared as semi-comic stock characters with Walter Huston, as the village doctor, supplying the sort of moral authority .... The chief villains were Erich von Stroheim (once billed as The Man You Love to Hate) and Martin Kosleck"
  131. ^ Hoberman, 2014: "its idealization of Soviet life, notably the lengthy village celebration choreographed by the Russian ballet master David Lichine, that suggests [the Hollywood musical] Oklahoma."
  132. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 119–120: Milestone exhibits "admirable technical mastery" in the first bombing sequence ... momentarily recalls the power of All Quiet" and p. 120: "the power of documentary [as in] Joris Ivens's The Spanish Earth"
    Canham, 1974 p. 93: "Milestone's professionalism transcends his material"
  133. ^ Hoberman, 2014: The North Star "received near universal acclaim when it opened in New York at two Broadway theaters, less than a month after the Red Army liberated Kiev ... [numerous dailies including] Life magazine named The North Star the movie of the year ... only the two Hearst papers were critical, denouncing the movie as pro-Soviet propaganda."
  134. ^ Cojoc, 2013 pp. 93–95: "Life magazine (1943) called it 'an eloquent tone poem ... a document showing how the people fight and die" [while] the Hearst Press condemned it as communist propaganda"
    Passafiume, 2009. TCM: Hearst papers "made the outrageous suggestion that the film was not only Red propaganda but Nazi propaganda" and "positive reviews did little to help The North Star, which ultimately fizzled at the box office"
  135. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 116–117: Films produced after the Hitler–Stalin pact and Russia joined the Allied Powers "were to haunt their creators in the McCarthy era, when various witch hunters would try to sniff out any sympathy with Communism. In most cases, this romanticizing of the Eastern Front seems more commercially than politically motivated. The mass media, somewhat in response to government pressure, portrayed all our allies as good guys, the Soviets included."
  136. ^ Barson, 2020: "Lillian Hellman's script gave the picture a political tone that would land the filmmakers in trouble with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) just a few years later."
  137. ^ Passafiume, 2009. TCM: "Later in 1957 with the burgeoning of the cold war and McCarthyism, The North Star was completely re-cut to air on television after being singled out by the House Un-American Activities Committee as being pro-Communist. All sympathetic Soviet references were completely removed, a narrator was added warning against the 'menace of Communism,' the location was changed from Russia to Hungary, and a new title was given to the film: Armored Attack"
  138. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 93: "another studio property ... marred by jingoistic propaganda inserts" and "The film demonstrates "Milestone's attitude toward war as it indicates a change in heart from his pacifist position of All Quiet on the Western Front."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 124
  139. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 93: "another studio property ... marred by jingoistic propaganda inserts" and "the ever prowling camera increases the tension while the men wait and discuss their situation, and personal reaction to torture."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 128: "the simplistic identification of all good with America, all evil with Japan, ultimate rendered the film both false and dangerous"
  140. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 125: "The emotional overkill proves to be the film's major fault" and p. 128: "The Purple Heart remains the most successful of Milestone's World War II in a purely technical sense; it is both effective entertainment and propaganda, but it is finally bad art" and "we didn't hesitate"
    Canham, 1974 p. 94: See here for cameraman Arthur Miller's "crisp, clearly defined, high-key images for court scenes [and] low-key imagery for flashbacks"
  141. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 97, 113: "Milestone shared credit for some work on Guest in the House (1944), credited to director John Brahm which dealt with the evil influence of an apparently innocent but sick young lady (Anne Baxter in a dress rehearsal for her outstanding performance in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's All About Eve (year)."
  142. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 128–129: "his appendix ruptured" during filming and had it removed.
  143. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 130: "the film was another labor of love" and "the book was my script" and pp. 130–131: "Rossen and Milestone relied heavily on [Brown's] novel" and "Milestone realized the work in strong visual terms"
  144. ^ Barson, 2020: "A Walk in the Sun (1945) was a stylistically adventurous war drama, adapted by Robert Rossen from the novel by Harry Brown. The film focuses almost entirely on the states of mind of several soldiers (Andrews, Conte, and John Ireland) as they try to take a Nazi-held farmhouse in Italy."
  145. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 96: The moral outlook of the soldiers "imply a structural and moral change by [the characters] tacit acceptance of the conditions of war."
  146. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 131
  147. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 130: "realistically portrays the effects of war" on combat soldiers. And p. 132: Milestone "avoids melodramatic and cliches" and All Quiet "his earlier masterpiece"
    Canham, 1974 pp. 95–96: The film "synthesized his reappraisal of men in war. The plot was sparse, but tightly constructed in a series of episodes (all containing underlying melancholia). The dialogue was deliberately stylized: repetition, catch phrases and obsessional figures produced as effect of blank verse, the rhythm of which heightened the sense of fear and isolation"
    Barson, 2020: "The effect is closer to the antiwar message of All Quiet on the Western Front than to the gung-ho heroics of most World War II pictures."
    Steffen, 2007 TCM: "the cinematographer Russell Harlan handles A Walk in the Sun with great skill ... Also striking is Milestone's frequent use of lateral tracking shots during the combat scenes, directly recalling All Quiet on the Western Front.
  148. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 116–117: Films produced after the Hitler–Stalin pact was broken and Russia joined the Allied Powers were to haunt their creators in the McCarthy era, when various witch hunters would try to sniff out any sympathy with Communism. In most cases, this romanticizing of the Eastern Front seems more commercially than politically motivated.
  149. ^ Cojoc, 2013 pp. 93–95: "in the wake of the Cold War the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee), the Catholic League of Decency, the Motion Picture Alliance and the Alliance for Preservation American Values put up together the infamous blacklists of people presumed to be members of the Communist Party, or have communist beliefs. Hearings regarding Communist infiltration of the Motion Pictures were held by HUAC in 1947, and the main targets were the contributors to wartime [Hollywood] pro-Soviet pictures"
  150. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 142: Quoted from a 1979 interview with Milestone conducted by Millichap. See footnote in Millichap.
  151. ^ Cojoc, 2013 pp. 93–95: "Director Lewis Milestone was part of the group of the Hollywood directors (who invoked the first [fifth] amendment) to be summoned by the [Committee] for their [suspected] involvement with the Communist Party. He together with another seven directors and screenwriters finally managed to avoid testifying. As for the rest of the Hollywood Ten, they remained the main victims of the Hollywood Purges, each of them being tried and sentenced for contempt of the Court"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 142: "Unlike The Hollywood Ten, he was able to keep working through these tense times."
  152. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 142
    Barson, 2020: "Although suspected of having communist leanings, Milestone was never called to testify before the HUAC, and he was never officially blacklisted. However, for much of the 1950s, he struggled to find film assignments .... Milestone worked in television for a few years .... Toward the end of the 1950s, Milestone's "greylisting" was lifted.
    Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 17: "a period of fear, betrayal and witch-hunting hysteria ... the ranks of key contributors to the movie-making process were appreciably thinned."
  153. ^ Walsh, 2001: "According to some, Milestone was a victim of the blacklist"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 142: "did guilt by association block the financial backing necessary for truly creative projects, or did pressure make him opt for 'safe' subjects in Arch of Triumph, The Red Pony and Halls of Montezuma?. Milestone refused to comment of this side of his life: evidently his always found it very painful." (Millichap footnote indicates his 1979 interview with the director as source.)
  154. ^ Whiteley, 2020: "In the postwar period his career was undoubtedly affected by the McCarthy Communist witch-hunts. In 1949, he was blacklisted for his left wing associations of the 1930's and for the apparent pro-Communist leanings shown in his movie 'The North Star' of 1943."
  155. ^ Arnold, 2003 TCM
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 142–143: "Between them the writer and director created a taut, harsh tale of American moral corruption which became a classic example of the post-war Hollywood style known as film noir"
  156. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 pp. 20–21: See here for definitions of film noir, re: "Romanticism" and German/Austrian directors, "reaching its fullest realization in the Forties" and p. 27: "Lewis Milestone, in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), also created a striking addition to film noir .... Replete with impressive images of cruelty and destructiveness, this chef d'oeuvre could not have been more persuasively directed"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 154: "Milestone's The Strange Love of Martha Ivers proves a perfect example of film noir, a dark revelation of a corrupt and corrupting urban America ... not only one of the best of its type [it] remains one Milestone's best films, a dramatic confirmation of the director's diverse and generous gifts" and p. 154: "Robert Rossen's literate and intelligent screenplay, a work which recalls literary sources a diverse as Eugene O'Neill and John O'Hara" and p. 144: "Milestone assisted ... by an excellent cast"
    Arnold, 2003 TCM: "a classic film noir which introduced Kirk Douglas to the movie-going world .... Dark, twisted and gripping, the picture was an all-around triumph."
  157. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 142–143: "Between them the writer and director created a taut, harsh tale of American moral corruption which became a classic example of film noir."
    Barson, 2020: "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) was a departure for Milestone, an effective film noir starring Barbara Stanwyck, Lizabeth Scott, and (in his film debut) Kirk Douglas."
    Canham, 1974 p. 97: "the viciousness of dialogue and character reflected a cynical approach to modern society" and pp. 97–98: "a powerful demonstration of the destructive distortion of identify ... which stemmed from an obsessive devotion to money and power."
    Millichap, 1981 p. "Kirk Douglas, in his screen debut"
  158. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 144: "Victor Milner's cinematography renders the requisite stylistic effects of film noir" and "the sound track is enhanced by Miklos Rozsa's brilliant original score [which] presents themes for each of the characters and then skillfully intertwines and contrasts them in an almost perfect counterpoint to the visual images."
  159. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 pp. 20–21: "the minatory score of ... Miklos Rozs." The final cut was marred by Wallis's post-production insertion of close-ups to promote his rising Paramount property Lizabeth Scott.
    Millichap, 1981 p. 144: "Only one member of the production staff really hindered Milestone: producer Hal B. Wallis [who insisted] on inserting a number of pointless close-ups of his latest starlet, Lizabeth Scott, in Milestone's finished director's print. The inserts [of Scott] stand out like sore thumbs ... the rest of the film is as faultless in its visual rhythms as everything Milestone ever did."
  160. ^ Erickson, 2014 TCM: "One of several independent film companies attempting to establish a foothold in Hollywood was Enterprise Productions, which generated a string of quality pictures in the late 1940s ... Enterprise's biggest production is director Lewis Milestone's Arch of Triumph, from a novel by the noted Erich Maria Remarque, who had earlier written the source novel for Milestone"
  161. ^ Erickson, 2014 TCM: "Enterprise Productions put everything it had into Arch of Triumph, with production values the equal of any big studio film ... the highly anticipated movie seemed a guaranteed hit."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 155: "Producers [at Enterprise Studios] saw the adaptation of the best-selling novel as a blockbuster on the scale of Gone with the Wind (1939)."
  162. ^ Hoberman, 2014: "Adapted from a novel by Erich Remarque, Arch of Triumph is set on the eve of World War II in the Paris of desperate anti-Nazi refugees. Charles Boyer is one, an idealistic doctor, who falls in love with a professional courtesan and chanteuse of mystery (Ingrid Bergman)"
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 154–155: See here for story sketch
  163. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 156: The first problem was that Enterprise "pushed [the production] toward glamorous romance" and "bars, brothels ... [and the film's] conclusion is changed" to conform to Code.
  164. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 155–156: Boyer and Bergman were badly miscast. Boyer, a matinee idol [is unconvincing as] a refugee doctor, while Bergman ... portrayed as[clarification needed] international tart about as convincingly as Boyer would have played an All-American fullback."
  165. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 155–156: "Arch of Triumph fails almost completely. A great part of the failure was beyond Milestone's control."
  166. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99: "certain studio executives did not like the long version that Milestone turned in, so it was drastically pruned and re-edited, and today Milestone practically disowns Arch of Triumph."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 156: A "major difficulty was that [producers cut Milestone's long version] from about four hours to a more conventional two ... such drastic cutting destroyed the continuity of the work. Major characters were completely eliminated, loose ends of plot abound and the movie romance of Boyer and Bergman becomes even more central."
    Hoberman, 2014: "The script, which Milestone helped write, is hopeless—disjointed and rich with pointless enigmas, although not enough to be truly surreal."
  167. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 156
  168. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 156. And p. 154: "The Arch of Triumph should have been a much better film than it turned out to be ... based [as it was] on a solid literary property"
  169. ^ Erickson, 2014 TCM:"audiences didn't [appreciate] the film and it earned back less than a third of its budget."
  170. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 156: "both an artistic and financial disaster. It grossed $1,5 million, while it cost almost $4 million to make."And p. 157: "in later years he has practically disowned the film"
  171. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99
  172. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 156–157: "After he completed Arch of Triumph, Milestone reverted to the weak, semi-sophisticated comedy of his Paramount and RKO pictures of the 1930s in No Minor Vices (1949) ... the movie seems to reprise My Life with Caroline (year)[clarification needed] ... Milestone labored to make the film interesting with stream-of-consciousness soliloquies and deft pans ... but most reviewers found it dull stuff ... it seems the kind of programmer that the director might have better avoided."
  173. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99: Milestone "continued to work prolifically, turning our a rarely seen comedy, No Minor Vices"
  174. ^ a b Millichap, 1981 p. 157
  175. ^ Barson, 2020: "The Red Pony (1949) was an adaptation by Steinbeck of his book of four related stories. The coming-of-age film centers on a boy who bonds with his pony."
    Arnold, 2008 TCM: "Formed as a union of half a dozen poverty-row film studios, Republic Pictures in its early years didn't carry much prestige. This view changed in the late 1940s when the studio made a concerted effort to propel itself to more respectable ranks by producing 'serious' dramas with renowned filmmakers ... [their] most expensive picture to date"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 157: Milestone and Steinbeck "became good friends" while working on Of Mice and Men (1939). And "Republic, essentially a studio devoted to westerns" and p. 158: The story set "about 1910."
    Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 155: "Shot mainly on location, the film was part of Republic Studio's bid for 'prestige' that had also resulted in Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948). Its score by Aaron Copland, its attractive restrained color ... fully realized the studio's prestigious aspirations."
  176. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 157 : "Steinbeck served as screenwriter, his only adaptation of one of his own works, while Milestone took credit as both producer and director" and p. 159 and p. 168: The quote on "distorts" is a composite quote used for clarity. And p. 158: "The four separate tales [of the story sequence] are connected by common characters, settings and themes."
    Arnold, 2008 TCM: "For The Red Pony, Steinbeck actually adapted his own work to the screen ... the screenplay was based not on a single novel but on several of his short stories [and] blending them into one complete tale must have been an intriguing challenge and an appealing chance to create something wholly original.
  177. ^ Higham and Greenberg, 1968 p. 155: "A film of [high] caliber was Lewis Milestone's version of John Steinbeck's The Red Pony (1949), from a screenplay by Steinbeck. This entered with sensitivity and imagination into the world of childhood"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 157: Republic "pigeonholed" the film as a "children's picture, a kind of kid's western" and p. 162: Some of the scenes possess "a kid's picture undertone ... right out of a Disney production"
  178. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 157: "The film's conclusion, altered to a stock happy ending represents the transformation of the plot character and theme in the screen version" of "one of Steinbeck's finest works of [literary] fiction" and p. 159 and p. 164 re: focus on "The Gift" and "The Leader of the People" with "The Great Mountains" expunged and "The Promise" severely cut. And on "willingly" See p. 168: "the author himself included [the happy ending] in the screenplay ... [altering] the thematic thrust of the story sequence"
  179. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 162: "the film quickly loses much of the power promised by the literary source and anticipated in the strong opening sequence."
  180. ^ Arnold, 2008 TCM: "Myrna Loy plays against type here, and film historian Lawrence Quirk has wondered "why [she] took this role, merely a ranch housewife and mother who is very much on the periphery of this bucolic mood piece."
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 159–160: "Louis Calhern ... seems a strange amalgamation of Will Geer's Grandpa Walton and Joel McCrea's Buffalo Bill."
    Barson, 2020: "Myrna Loy and Robert Mitchum gave fine performances"
  181. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 160: "Miles sensitivity often seems rather sugary and his anger at the world is more or less a tantrum."
  182. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 161: "Like many Milestone films, it opens quite well [but] does not sustain the artistic intensity" and p. 168: "Although Milestone's The Red Pony is not as artistically successful as Steinbeck's story sequence it remains a sincere film adaptation" and pp. 160–161: "Milestone opens the film with a pre-title sequence which clearly recalls Of Mice and Men in both visual and aural imagery ... establishing a complex relationship between the human characters and the natural world"
  183. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99: "his first technicolor film"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 157: "the film is notable as Milestone's first color effort" and p. 160: "Tony Gaudio's cinematography" in technicolor "suggests the best of American regional painting [in his use of] natural, muted tones."
  184. ^ Barson, 2020 TCM: "Aaron Copland wrote the acclaimed film score."
    Arnold, 2008 TCM: "Aaron Copland's wistful and haunting score was one of just six the famed composer wrote for American feature films."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 160: "Perhaps the best single feature of the film is the powerful score by Aaron Copland, who had also scored [Milestone's] Of Mice and Men (1939); both scores became concert favorites, among the finest pieces of music created for Hollywood. As in his earlier work with Milestone, Copland's script perfectly matches the mood of the visuals, and this case often surpasses them in invoking the lyric naturalism of Steinbeck's original work."
  185. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 157: "the movie proved a moderate success, both critically and financially."
    Arnold, 2008 TCM: In its effort to make "prestige" productions ... the studio made a concerted effort to propel itself to more respectable ranks by producing 'serious' dramas with renowned filmmakers such as Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948), Frank Borzage's Moonrise (1948), and Lewis Milestone's The Red Pony (1949)."
  186. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 99–100
  187. ^ Arnold, 2003 TCM: Milestone on taking screenwriting credits: "'I seldom did' he said."
  188. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 171: "Milestone ... worked with [Blankfort on the screenplay], and it seems likely [Milestone's] own brand of liberal realism influenced the work ... there are many interesting correspondences with [his 1930 film] All Quiet on the Western Front" and "it concerns a Marine landing on a [Japanese held] Pacific island" that resembles the Okinawa attack in 1945 "but it was produced during the Korean War."
  189. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 170: "the marines fight because they are on the side of right, 'On God's side' [reflecting] the Cold War vision of the American position ... [the film's] ultimate thematic thrust ... obviously resembles many of the mindlessly self-congratulatory war films of the 1950s" and "for all its disconcerting patriotic entertainment values, [the film] also has moments of real insight into the horrors of war" and p. 170: The letter of a dead Marine is discovered by his comrades: "'war is too horrible for human beings' ... the letter itself contains the film's thematic core"
    Crowther, 1951 NYT: "A remarkably real and agonizing demonstration of the horribleness of war, with particular reference to its impact upon the men who have to fight it on the ground" and "the passionate theme of the whole drama is cried out in a dead man's words toward the end: 'War is too horrible for human beings!'" and "Psychoses of fear and hate are mingled dramatically among the men, and their distaste for taking prisoners becomes a motivating factor in the plot"
    Canham, 1974 p. 99: "the film is marred by concessions to sentimentality, such as the reading of the Lord's Prayer by Karl Malden before the final battle."
  190. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 169: "Milestone dismisses the film as a potboiler" and Milestone: "'It was really just a job, not a true opportunity to state my personal beliefs about war ... I was collecting some money I needed very badly'"
  191. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99: "Flashbacks fill in the civilian lives and problems of the characters, and are quite well integrated"
    Millichap, 1981 p. 170: "For the most part the characters are complex and believable, not the cardboard cutouts of similar films" and pp. 171–172: "there are many interesting correspondences with All Quiet on the Western Front" and "the ploy also resembles Milestone's [1930] classic"
  192. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 173: "the final half-hour, the film deteriorates into a rather standard adventure movie"
  193. ^ Whitely, 2020: "After Halls of Montezuma (1950) Milestone's movie career began to trail off and he never again reached his earlier heights .... After Halls of Montezuma he did no work for a year" and "In the postwar period his career was undoubtedly affected by the McCarthy Communist witch-hunts. In 1949, he was blacklisted for his left wing associations of the 1930s.
    Millichap, 1981 pp. 168–169: "Halls of Montezuma is one of Milestone's most underrated efforts. The movie is rarely discussed, and when it is mentioned at all, it serves critics as an example of either the declining powers or the commercial co-option of the director during the 1950s."
  194. ^ Whitely, 2020: In the early 1950s he made "several low budget failures, such as 'They Who Dare' in 1954"
  195. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 175: "the director's development paralleled Hollywood history as he tried his hand at television, foreign productions and earlier [film] classics. None of these films really require close analysis"
  196. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 99: "the ploy resembled a routine Western format"
    Crowther, 1952 NYT: "antipodal", quoted in Millichap, 1981 p. 176
  197. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 100: "Milestone's handling of the material was interesting to the extent of carrying sound and lack of dialogue to extremes, but the standard of playing was below par."
  198. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 176: See here for camerawork, comparisons to John Ford and Howard Hawks depictions of the American West. And Burdened with a "hapless plot" Kangaroo "proves to be only another [of Milestone's] interesting failures."
    Higham, 1974 pp. 130–131: "first rate action scenes [including] a cattle stampede [that emulates] Harry Watt's The Overlanders [and] "once again demonstrated that, as a master of natural environments, Milestone was second to none".
  199. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 100: "Fox loaded his next film [Les Misérables] with contract players, but Milestone was dealing with an indifferent script ... lavish sets and model work helped capture the feeling of the piece"
  200. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 176–177: "Casting does not aid Milestone's effort" and see p. 176 for "cliche-ridden" comment.
  201. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 176–177: See p. 177 for quote And p. 176: "The final print bears every evidence of this attitude".
  202. ^ Silver, 2010: "many of his later films tend to be forgettable."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 175
    Whitely, 2020: Milestone's "career decline" in the 1950s.
  203. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 70: Excerpt quoted by Canham. And p. 104: Milestone once known for "his superlative craftsmanship [which had] earned his a place in film history" and "established professionals who had become more or less house directors at various studios suddenly [found themselves displaced] by new directors from television"
    Higham and Greenberg, 1968 pp. 17–18: "something vital seemed to be ebbing away ever more swiftly from the films of Hollywood, a process accelerating in the early Fifties and reaching a climax with CinemaScope. The Forties may now be seen as the apotheosis of the U.S. feature film, its last great show of confidence before it virtually succumbed artistically to the paralyzing effects of bigger and bigger screens, [and] the collapse of the star system."
  204. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 175
  205. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 69–70: "The later half of the Fifties proved to be a key era in the history of Hollywood. It was a significant turning point in that it marked the end of the 'golden years of Hollywood; the gigantic star factory ... had begun to crumble at the beginning of the decade under pressure from the spreading popularity of television,[as well as] the hysterical the publicity that arose from the investigation into Hollywood folk by the House Un-American Activities Committee [which] stopped many careers dead, and sent other into exile of "ghost" work. The studios began to tighten the purse strings ... [and the industry resorted to] gimmicks and technical modification such as 3-D, CinemaScope and Cinerama"
    Gow, 1971 p. 10: "the McCarthy method were so bull-dozing ... the many were unfairly victimized .... And Hollywood long accustomed to ... accumulating wealth with practiced ease, was suddenly battered in the Fifties by challenges to its security. Among these challenges, the greatest by far was television ... to compete with television, the obvious move was to offer in cinema an experience unavailable in the rival medium ... Color [and] CinemaScope"
  206. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 177: See Canham's film summaries in Filmography section.
  207. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 101–102: "Melba was an ill-fated attempt to cash in on the success of the recently filmed biography of Gilbert and Sullivan. Sam Spiegel produced the film for Milestone, but in spite of the presence of Patrice Munsel as Dame Nellie Melba, it turned out to be a disastrous flop."
  208. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 177: "the [Munsel] vehicle turned out to be another Hollywood travesty ... [Milestone's] ersatz biography."
  209. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 177
  210. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 101: "Milestone had little success with the two films he had made in England" and "failure at the box office [with Melba and They Who Dare] was not a good omen for an established director, especially in the Fifties"
  211. ^ Whitely, 2020: Milestone make "several low budget failures, such as They Who Dare in 1954"
    Whitely, 2020: "After several low budget failures, such as 'They Who Dare' in 1954, Milestone directed major Hollywood names in his last three movies"
  212. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 103: "an Italian/American co-production starring Patricia Roc" and p. 117: "A high-powered romantic melodrama, filmed in Italy with an international cast."
  213. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 178: "a joint British-Italian venture" and "soap opera-ish" and "The triangle and its consequences are predictable, and Milestone's part in the proceedings seems simply to record the inevitable tragedy on film."
  214. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 178: "might well rank with A Walk in the Sun" and p. 179: "perhaps recalls the antiwar attitudes in All Quiet on the Western Front"
  215. ^ McGee, 2003 TCM: "He would later turn his attention to the spectacle of war and the cohesiveness of men in battle in both A Walk in the Sun (1945) and Pork Chop Hill, which form an informal war trilogy with All Quiet on the Western Front."
  216. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 179
  217. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 179: "The general staff feels they must respond to this challenge or lose ground at the truce table."
  218. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 117
    McGee, 2003: "It takes place during the final hours of peace negotiations between Korea and the U.S. and recounts the capture of Pork Chop Hill by American troops, an action ordered only to demonstrate to Communist negotiators that the U.S. would continue to fight if an agreement was not reached."
    Millichap, 1981 p. 179: "Pork Chop Hill perhaps recalls the antiwar attitudes of [Milestone's] All Quiet on the Western Front more fully than any of his World War II movies."
  219. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 180: "Peck's voice-over at the film's conclusion the iconic battles, whereas Milestone had lacked this dimension, referring only to the troops: "the men who fought here know what they did and the meaning of it."
  220. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 103: "Gregory Peck ... played a major role in the production of the film"
  221. ^ McGee, 2003 TCM: "The release version of Pork Chop Hill differed from Milestone's original conception. The film originally was to cut between the peace talks and the action of holding the hill but that idea was scrapped."
  222. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 179: "Milestone seems to say that the lesson of Pork Chop Hill was the futility of war ... However, the changes made to the director's version [by the studio] weaken the harsh irony of this message."
  223. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 178: "Peck was one of the movie's [financial] backers and thus exercised a great deal of control over the production ... it seems that Peck, more than anyone else interfered with Milestone's artistic vision in Pork Chop Hill."
  224. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 178: "the strongest of Milestone's late films [and] without the studio interference ... make[clarification needed] rank well with A Walk in the Sun (1945)."
  225. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 103–104: "the released version differed from Milestone's original conception ... he had intended to include much more cross-cutting between the [battlefield] action of holding the hill and peace talks that were going on as the action played out ... [and] about men fighting blindly for objectives without being aware of the point of their actions or the strategy that lay behind it, but he was not able to have his own way."
  226. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 180: Millichap's footnote for this remark cites a 1959 interview with "Dale Mackey", publication undisclosed.
  227. ^ McGee, 2003 TCM: "Told with a hard-nosed style of harsh realism and fluid action, the film stars Gregory Peck and a bevy of up-and-coming actors, such as George Peppard, Martin Landau, Rip Torn, Harry Guardino, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Blake, and Woody Strode".
  228. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 179: The company of men "represent the various types found in American war films ... Harry Guardino, George Shibata, James Edwards, Woody Strode, Rip Torn, George Peppard, and Robert Blake in his first adult role."
  229. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 180: "The plot involves a gang of old army buddies out to heist the biggest casinos in Las Vegas ... perhaps Warner Brothers felt that Milestone could orchestrate both the military[-like] operation of the plot and the comic turns of the cast."
    Safford, 2008 TCM: "One of the first in a series of heist movies in the sixties, Ocean's Eleven (1960) ... audiences are treated to a glimpse of Sinatra and his favored cronies [The Rat Pack]."
    Walsh, 2001: "Sinatra had been a member of the Committee for the First Amendment, founded to oppose the HUAC attacks on Communists in Hollywood.
    Safford, 2008 TCM: "Lewis Milestone, the veteran director whose most famous film remains the anti-war saga, All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), seemed an unlikely choice to direct Ocean's 11. But his career had suffered during the communist purge of Hollywood due to Senator Joe McCarthy's influence in the fifties and Milestone needed the work."
  230. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 180–181: "Given what he had to work with- a preposterous screenplay by Harry Brown and Charles Lederer-and a cast including Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop and Buddy Lester- he did a fair job."
  231. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. "the movie never quite decides if it is being played straight or as a spoof,; if it is an amoral satire of American values or a silly television variety show" and "preposterous" also here.
    Silver, 2010: "A career 'climaxing' with the Rat Pack's version of Ocean's 11 ... doesn't lend much to the argument that Milestone had a coherent worldview."
    Canham, 1974 p. 103: "a pedestrian comedy-thriller [and not as impressive] as Henry Hathaway's Seven Thieves (1960) which was released at the beginning of the year."
  232. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 181: "As entertainment the movie made money, but it proves completely forgettable as a film."
    Walsh, 2001: "How much director Lewis Milestone had his heart in it is questionable."
    Silver, 2010: "A career 'climaxing' with the Rat Pack's version of Ocean's 11 ... doesn't lend much to the argument that Milestone had a coherent worldview."
    Canham, 1974 p. 105: "Milestone's experience with Ocean's Eleven was not the first time his career was affected by a poor decision on timing and distribution."
  233. ^ a b Walsh, 2001
  234. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 181: By the end of the Fifties Hollywood had decided it could only lure audiences away from television set with 'Big Name Stars' and 'Spectacular Productions.'" and "ill-starred" and p. 182; The film "proved a financial disaster, recouping less than half of its costs of $20 million plus"
    Miller, 2010 TCM: "unable to film due to weather ... as much as 17 inches [of rain] in one day ... Carol Reed began to clash with Brando and MGM studio management early in the production [over] interpretation [of characters]."
    Canham, 1974 p. 103: Canham calls the Milestone's Mutiny on the Bounty "this fiasco"
  235. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 182: "Reed quickly and sensibly abandoned ship". Milestone's reputation as a "film doctor", skilled at salvaging troublesome movies, may have earned him the job offer. And Milestone "careful craftsman and hard taskmaster to [control] the mercurial Brando." Brando "chafed" under the direction of Reed. And pp. 181–182: "Milestone expected to find the film near completion but instead discovered only a few usable scenes."
  236. ^ Miller, 2010 TCM: See article for Milestone's disengagement from his directing duties.
  237. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 183: "Milestone deserves his share of the blame for [the film's] ultimate failure. However, Brando is more culpable than the ageing director, as he became the actual auteur" and "the project never coheres into a film"
    Canham, 1974 p. 103: "The last film which bears Milestone's name as the director is the re-make of Mutiny on the Bounty is hardly representative of his work since the final film is reputed to contain scenes shot by George Seaton, Richard Thorpe, Andrew Marton, Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann and Marlon Brando among others" and a "fiasco"
    Whitely, 2020: The shoot was " not a happy experience as Milestone found himself more and more out of touch with the big egos he was directing. In 1962 Brando practically took over the directing duties from him."
    Barson, 2020: "Milestone's last film was the epic Mutiny on the Bounty (1962), which he took over from Carol Reed. A lavish remake of the 1935 film version ... Milestone's movie featured a polarizing performance by Marlon Brando as Fletcher Christian"
  238. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 103
  239. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 191: During the late Fifties "Hollywood was reeling from the collapse of the studio system" and "it would be five years before Milestone made another feature film, Pork Chop Hill (1959)."
  240. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 103: After making The Widow "Milestone turned to television for several years, working on a number of series including Have Gun Will Travel ... but he was tempted back [to Hollywood] at the end of the decade to direct Pork Chop Hill"
  241. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 178
  242. ^ Whitely, 2020: "As movie work dried up, Milestone reluctantly took on some television direction, which he did not enjoy, starting in 1958 with 'Schlitz Playhouse' and continuing with 'Have Gun-Will Travel' in the same year and ending with 'Arrest and Trial' in 1963."
    Canham, 1974 pp. 118–119: See here for short list on "unrealized projects" and "Kane-like" project
    Millichap, 1981 p. 178: See here for episodes directed by Milestone. And "Milestone ... characterized television direction ... as a form of wage slavery" in an interview with Higham and Greenberg (1969), see footnote.
  243. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 186: "controversial nature of the [film] project ... [President] Kennedy would have run for reelection in 1964" and Jack Warner complained that "satisfactory progress was not being made" under Milestone's direction.
    Barson, 2020: "Milestone began work on two more films, he was replaced on both productions: PT 109 (1963), a film about John F. Kennedy's wartime heroism in the Pacific"
  244. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 186
  245. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 119
    Millichap, 1981 p. 186
  246. ^ "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
  247. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 82: "in 1935 [Milestone] married Kendall Lee Glaezner" and p. 186: "In 1978, [Milestone] was shocked by the death of his wife"
  248. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 186: "Health problems plagued Milestone in later years ... one personal project was an uncompleted autobiography, tentatively entitled Milestones" and p. 186: "After a succession of illnesses Lewis Milestone died on September 25, 1980, at the UCLA Medical Center, five days before his eighty-fifth birthday."
    Whitely, 2020: "In 1963 he was scheduled to direct 'PT 109' ... he was replaced after suffering a stroke. He was forced into retirement by his ill health and spent the last decade of his life confined to a wheelchair."
  249. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 189
  250. ^ Millichap 1981 pp. 189–190
    Baxter, 1970 pp. 132–133: "All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) [noted for] the battle scenes, with their endless tracking shots and artfully designed soundtracks"
  251. ^ Baxter, 1970 p. 132 "Neither a consistent, nor a commercial director, he nevertheless began his Thirties career on a high point, with one of the acknowledged classics of the American cinema [All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)]" and p. 133: "Unfortunately, Milestone did not live up to the promise of his first major films"
    Silver, 2010: "Like his fellow Russian émigré Rouben Mamoulian, however, Milestone's early promise was never truly fulfilled."
    Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: "by the late 30s the innovative flair that had marked his earlier work had dampened"
  252. ^ Canham, 1974 pp. 104–105
  253. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 144: "Milestone always needed a strong literary vehicle to create a successful film"
    Barson, 2020: "An avid reader of literature, [Milestone] was especially known for his realistic dramas, many of which were literary adaptations."
    Canham, 1974 p. 81: "above all it was the technique of Milestone's film that rightly led to his fame. The [camera] movement became the message"
  254. ^ Millichap, 1981 p. 189: "the technical expertise he acquired from years of editing evolved into an eclectic cinema style which enlivened even his dullest efforts and made possible the artistry of his classic works."
    Canham, 1974 p. 71: "[Milestone] has perhaps over-used the lateral tracking shot"
  255. ^ Walsh, 2001
    Hoberman, 2014: Walsh and Hoberman forms a composite quote from Sarris in his American Cinema (1968).
    Silver, 2010: "Andrew Sarris had it right when he said that Milestone 'is almost the classic example of the uncommitted director.'"
    Millichap, 1981 Preface: "Milestone was somewhat overpraised in the early stages of his career, and a corresponding critical reaction set in during his later years ... the negative judgements of Andrew Sarris set the tone."
  256. ^ Canham, 1974 p. 71
  257. ^ Millichap, 1981 pp. 189–190 And:from author's Preface: "Milestone's ... uneven body of work that defies easy categorization, analysis or evaluation." and Millichap, 1981 Editor's Foreword (Warren French), re: "was notably uneven" passage.
  258. ^ Koszarski, 1976 p. 317
  259. ^ Koszarski, 1976 p. 317: Note that Koszarsk's analogy is based on an essay, "The Reign of the Director", carried in New Theatre and Film, March 1937, by Lewis Milestone, reprinted in the 1976 book. Milestone's theme concerns the decline of the artistic, independent and autonomous director (e.g. D. W. Griffith, James Cruze and Erich von Stroheim) and the rise of the Hollywood studio system. The saplings bend to the studio "storm"; the oaks resist and are uprooted.

References

Bibliography