Academy to salute George Stevens centennial

May 05, 2004 by Ian Evans

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a centennial tribute saluting Oscar®-winning director George Stevens on Thursday, September 30, 2004.

The presentation will pay tribute to his life and career and will feature clips from many of his classic films including the 1951 drama A Place in the Sun and the 1956 film Giant, both of which earned him Academy Awards® for directing.

The evening will also feature never before screened clips from interviews shot for the 1985 documentary George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey, which was directed by George Stevens Jr.

Stevens, who also headed a combat motion picture unit under General Eisenhower during World War II, was born on December 18, 1904, in Oakland, California. He began working in the film industry as a cameraman during the 1920s, shooting comedies, including Laurel and Hardy films, at the Hal Roach studio. Stevens went on to direct Katharine Hepburn in the 1935 film Alice Adams, which proved he had a wider range than strictly comedic films. Stevens enjoyed continued success and four of his films, Swing Time, Gunga Din, Woman of the Year and Shane, have come to be regarded as classic examples of their respective genres.

Stevens received five Academy Award® nominations for directing. As a producer Stevens was nominated for four Oscars® when A Place in the Sun, Giant, Shane and The Diary of Anne Frank were named Best Picture nominees in their respective years. Stevens also received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1953 and served as president of the Academy from 1958 to 1959.

The George Stevens Centennial Tribute will kick off an eight-week screening series at the Academy featuring some of Stevens’ most notable films.

The complete schedule for the Stevens Film Retrospective is as follows:

  • October 4 – Alice Adams and Annie Oakley
  • October 11 – Swing Time and Vivacious Lady
  • October 18 – Gunga Din
  • October 25 – Woman of the Year
  • November 1 – I Remember Mama
  • November 8 – A Place in the Sun
  • November 15 – Shane
  • November 22 – The Only Game in Town
Series passes for the Retrospective and tickets for the George Stevens Centennial Tribute will go on sale later this fall. Additional ticket information will be announced closer to the date of the event.