I had read the novel and I had heard David Lean was going to direct it - and it came as a surprise to me because American actors, if given the chance, can do style as well as anybody and speak as well as anybody.
I was very pleased you know, and I was afraid that I might stick out, but I didn't. My happiest thing about that picture is that I proved that American actors can speak as well and also fit in with an ensemble like that.
If he didn't fall in love he would have never come back near the end of the film. Because, what man is going to dishonor himself so that he comes back in front of the man that took a woman away from him... and warns her to save her life?
Now that was one thing, but from an actor's point of view, this poor young man, crying from the moment I opened the door to the moment he left. Now if an actor did that they would say he's over-acting.
And despite the passage of time, the award has divided the industry. With Kazan, ... I'm angry because this man was very well off in the theater financially. I could understand -- even though I wouldn't like it -- a man panicking because he doesn't have the money to educate or feed his kids and in a moment of animalistic fear said, 'Him, John or Bill.'
Only after awhile. After it came out and people began to engage in discussions about the social reflections of the film that I realized it had an importance I hadn't thought of.
Sometimes it's great, sometimes it's bad. I think the film could have been a lot better.
I'm not so sure that younger people today really appreciate the enormous bravery that went into the creation and production of that film, or how important a film at the time it really was.
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