Clifford Odets

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Clifford Odets
Birthday
BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died
NationalityAmerican
Occupation
Playwright, screenwriter, director

Odets, Clifford

(ōdĕts`), 1906–63, American dramatist, b. Philadelphia. After graduating from high school he became an actor and in 1931 joined the Group TheatreGroup Theatre,
organization formed in New York City in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, and Lee Strasberg. Its founders, who had worked earlier with the Provincetown Players, wished to revive and redefine American theater by establishing a permanent company to present
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. Turning his attention from acting to playwriting, Odets soon came to be regarded as the most gifted of the American naturalistic social-protest dramatists of the 1930s. His first work for the Group, Waiting for Lefty (1935), a vernacular, Marxian drama of the awakening and insurgency of the impoverished working classes, aroused immediate international attention. Awake and Sing (1935), his first full-length play and widely considered his best work, compassionately portrays the struggles and rebellion of a financially destitute Jewish-American family. Other plays include Till the Day I Die (1935), Paradise Lost (1935), Golden Boy (1937), Night Music (1939), and Clash by Night (1942). Odets spent many years in Hollywood writing film scripts, e.g., Sweet Smell of Success (1957). In his later plays he turned from social drama to self-conscious dramas of the individual, such as The Big Knife (1949), The Country Girl (1950), and The Flowering Peach (1954).

Bibliography

See The Time is Ripe: The 1940 Journal of Clifford Odets (1988); biographies by E. Murray (1968), G. C. Weales (1971), G. Miller (1989), and M. Brenman-Gibson (2002); studies by M. J. Mendelsohn (1969), H. Cantor (1978, repr. 2000), G. Miller, ed. (1991), and C. J. Herr (2003).

Odets, Clifford

(1906–63) playwright, film director, actor; born in Philadelphia. Leaving high school to be a poet, he took up acting, appearing on the radio and in repertory theater. In 1931 he helped found the Group Theatre, which in 1935 produced his Waiting for Lefty and Awake and Sing! These plays immediately established him as a major American social realist and spokesman for the downtrodden, but he himself was soon enjoying the good life in Hollywood where he wrote screenplays and eventually turned to directing films, including None But the Lonely Heart (1949) and Wild in the Country (1961). He also continued to write a series of realistic and increasingly disillusioned dramas such as Golden Boy (1937) and The Big Knife (1949).
References in periodicals archive ?
The tree stands in front of the picture window, where legend has it Rainer and Odets exchanged their vows.
Indeed, Steinbeck uses something like an austere sorrow, as opposed to the radical politics of John Howard Lawson, Clifford Odets, or his own novels In Dubious Battle (1936) and The Grapes of Wrath (1939), to suggest that none of America's "underprivileged" will ever reach the home they crave until they arrive at a greater social consciousness.
See this negative judgment of the play's ending in the treatments of it by Gabriel Miller, Clifford Odets [NY: Continuum, 1989]; Gerald Weales, Odets: The Playwright [NY: Methuen, 1985]; Malcolm Goldstein, The Political Stage: American Drama and the Theater of the Great Depression [NY: Oxford University Press, 1974]; Gerald Rabkin, Drama and Commitment: Politics in the American Theatre of the Thirties [Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1964]; R.
Her leading men included Cary Grant in None But the Lonely Heart (1944) directed by Clifford Odets, and Gary Cooper in Task Force (1948).
He landed in Los Angeles in the early 1940s working as a bookstore clerk for Stanley Rose, whose shop was something of a literary hangout for writers such as Nathanael West, Clifford Odets, Theodore Dreiser, William Saroyan, and John Steinbeck.
In addition to offering crisp explications and fact-filled stage histories of Kushner's varied canon, Fisher insightfully links Kushner and his work to a rich thematic heritage, including the works of Bertolt Brecht, Clifford Odets, and Tennessee Williams (lines from A Streetcar Named Desire are cited in Angels).
After getting passed over for the lead in Odets' Golden Boy--he was assigned a minor role even though Odets had written the Joe Bonaparte lead for him--Garfield jumped at the chance to sign a contract with Warner Bros.
Mackendrick, with writers Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets, paints Broadway as an open sewer of corruption, ego, tragedy and naked ambition.
Whitfield looks closely at Clifford Odets, Arthur Miller, David Mamet, and Wendy Wasserstein.
Radical drama, some of it put on by the New Deal's own Federal Theater, was producing a rich crop of future film talent, from Clifford Odets, Elia Kazan, and Jules Dassin to John Garfield and (among the child actors) Sidney Lumet.
Clifford Odets provides the acidic screenplay for a tale which takes a dim view of the media industry.