A Tribute by Karen Sharpe Kramer


Stanley Kramer was the original pioneer of independent filmmaking. With his thirty five feature films, he garnered eighty-five Academy Award nominations, holding the record for the most nominations of any filmmaker. He personally received countless awards throughout his distinguished career and he was the most proud of receiving the esteemed Irving Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1961, bestowed to him for his body of work in recognition for his consistent high quality of filmmaking.

Stanley was a maverick, a fearless courageous filmmaker of socially conscious motion pictures. He took on subject matters at a time when it was dangerous and life threatening to have a socially conscious thought. Actually, it was Stanley Kramer who originally broke the "Black List" in 1957 by hiring Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith, two "Black listed" writers for the film "The Defiant Ones" and used their real names and brought them onto the Studio lot and placed them in the office next to his. He did not cut their salary as many other filmmakers did, but, paid them top dollar for their writing. Stanley Kramer then turned around and hired them as the two acting truck drivers over the credits. When it came to screen play written by, he zoomed in and placed their names directly underneath their close up. He was admired, also viciously attacked. His films were provocative because they dealt with issues that had been neglected because filmmakers not only feared the loss financial security, but the loss of their own valued careers. Yet Stanley stood firm, his pioneering courage paved the way for many of the creative thought provoking filmmakers of today. He paid the price for us and pushed forth the acceptability of social themes in the art of cinema.

Stanley Kramer discovered many stars who have become legends today. Some of his first discoveries are Glenn Ford, Kirk Douglas, Marlon Brando, Jose Ferrer, Grace Kelly, Katy Jurado, Julie Harris, Ethel Waters, Brandon de Wilde, Sophia Loren, Maximilian Schell, Oskar Werner, Katharine Houghton, Isabell Sanford, Giancarlo Giannini, and Harrison Ford.

Karen Sharpe Kramer

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