In Brooklyn circa 1900, the Nolans manage to enjoy life on pennies despite great poverty and Papa’s alcoholism. We come to know these people well through big and little troubles: Aunt Sissy’s scandalous succession of “husbands”; the removal of the one tree visible from their tenement; and young Francie’s desire to transfer to a better school…if irresponsible Papa can get his act together. –IMDb
Kazan was born Elias Kazancoglu in Istanbul to a Greek father from Kayseri, Turkey and a Greek mother from Istanbul, where her family were cotton merchants who imported cotton from Manchester, England, and sold it wholesale in Istanbul to various merchants, both Greek and Turkish, who took the goods out to the provinces. His family emigrated to the United States in 1913 and settled in New York City, where his father, George Kazanjoglu, became a rug merchant. Kazan’s father expected that his son would go into the family business, but his mother, Athena (née Sismanoglou), encouraged Kazan to make his own decisions. His family name ‘Kazanjoglou’ (an alternate spelling is Kazantzoglou) is Turkish, meaning “The son of a cauldron maker”, where the root word ‘kazan’ means cauldron or boiler. It was and still is common to find people of Greek, Jewish, Assyrian, Armenian, and Kurdish lineage with Turkish family names or where the root words in the names are uniquely Turkish.
Kazan attended… read more
I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. Wasn't too enthralled at first but as the film went on I became more and more engrossed with just how emotional and beautifully shot this film is. A wonderful first effort from Kazan. James Dunn is also absolutely captivating on screen.
This is a truly great coming of age film that effectively draws the audience in and makes them care for everyone in it. Kudos to Peggy Ann Garner, who gives one of the most credible child performances in recent memory and to Kazan who made his directorial debut with this film.