Gene Callahan (November 7, 1923—December 26, 1990) was an American art director as well as set and production designer who contributed to over fifty films and more than a thousand TV episodes. He received nominations for the British Academy Film Award and four Oscars, including two wins (in 1962 and 1964).
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
In film and television, a production designer (PD) is the person responsible for the overall visual look of the production. Production designers have a key creative role in the creation of motion pictures and television. Working directly with the director, cinematographer, and producer, they must select the settings and style to visually tell the story. The term production designer was coined by William Cameron Menzies while he was working on the film Gone with the Wind. Previously the people with the same responsibilities were called art directors. It is sometimes also described as scenic design or set design.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".
A native of Louisiana, Eugene F. Callahan had a lifelong association with the state. He kept a home in the capital, Baton Rouge, where he began his designing career in the 1940s as a student at Louisiana State University, and his penultimate film assignment was as production designer on Steel Magnolias , lensed in Natchitoches in 1989.
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.
Louisiana State University is a public research university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy. The current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and occupies a 650-acre (2.6 km²) plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Natchitoches is a small city and the parish seat of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. Established in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis as part of French Louisiana, the community was named after the indigenous Natchitoches people.
Callahan was a prolific contributor to early television, starting with the first full-schedule broadcast season in 1948–49. He worked on numerous live shows during TV's Golden Age and continued with filmed episodes through the late 1950s and early 60s. His first film as set decorator was 1959's The Fugitive Kind , and his fourth assignment, 1961's black-and-white The Hustler brought him his first Academy Award. 1964 was a banner year for him with two Oscar nominations— The Cardinal in the color category and America America in the category of black-and-white films, with the latter winning him his second Oscar. Unlike the 1962 win for The Hustler, which he shared with production designer Harry Horner or his shared nomination for The Cardinal with production designer Lyle R. Wheeler, the award for America America, was his alone. Elia Kazan's acclaimed epic set in turn-of-the-century Greece and Turkey was nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, but it was Callahan's epic production values that won the film's only Oscar.
The first Golden Age of Television is the era of live television production in the United States, roughly from the late 1940s through the late 1950s. According to The Television Industry: A Historical Dictionary, "the Golden Age opened with Kraft Television Theatre on May 7, 1947, and ended with the last live show in the Playhouse 90 series in 1957;" the Golden Age is universally recognized to have ended by 1960, as the television audience and programming had shifted to less critically acclaimed fare, almost all of it taped or filmed.
The Fugitive Kind is a 1960 American drama film starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani, and directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay by Meade Roberts and Tennessee Williams was based on the latter's 1957 play Orpheus Descending, itself a revision of his unproduced 1940 work Battle of Angels.
The Hustler is a 1961 American CinemaScope drama film directed by Robert Rossen from Walter Tevis's 1959 novel of the same name, adapted for the screen by Rossen and Sidney Carroll. It tells the story of small-time pool hustler "Fast Eddie" Felson and his desire to break into the "major league" of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He throws his raw talent and ambition up against the best player in the country, seeking to best the legendary pool player "Minnesota Fats". After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to try again, but only after paying a terrible personal price.
Gene Callahan's professional relationship with Elia Kazan began two years before America America and extended to four of Kazan's final five films. The first title, 1961's Splendor in the Grass , which introduced Warren Beatty to the screen and won an Oscar for William Inge's screenplay, credited Callahan as the set decorator. Eight years later, he was the production designer for Kazan's next film after America, America, 1969's The Arrangement , which received almost entirely negative reviews and no Oscar nominations. He did not work on Kazan's next production, 1972's The Visitors , another poorly accepted title, but five years later, in 1977, there was one more Oscar nomination for Gene Callahan. The Last Tycoon , Elia Kazan's final directorial effort assigned him the task of recreating 1920s Hollywood as it was portrayed in F. Scott Fitzgerald's last, unfinished novel which reimagined the period setting and its driven, doomed protagonist, an Irving Thalberg-like movie producer, portrayed by Robert De Niro. The nomination (shared with art director Jack T. Collis and set decorator Jerry Wunderlich) was the only one given by the Academy to the film, which in addition to a mixture of good, tepid and negative reviews, was burdened by weak publicity and box office returns.
Splendor in the Grass is a 1961 American Technicolor drama film that tells a story of a teenage girl navigating her feelings of sexual repression, love, and heartbreak. Written by William Inge, who appears briefly as a Protestant clergyman and who won an Oscar for his screenplay, the film was directed by Elia Kazan and features a score by jazz composer David Amram.
Henry Warren Beatty is an American actor and filmmaker. He has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards – four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best Director, three for Original Screenplay, and one for Adapted Screenplay – winning Best Director for Reds (1981). Beatty is the only person to have been nominated for acting in, directing, writing, and producing the same film, and he did so twice: first for Heaven Can Wait, and again with Reds.
The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay not based upon previously published material. It was created in 1940 as a separate writing award from the Academy Award for Best Story. Beginning with the Oscars for 1957, the two categories were combined to honor only the screenplay. In 2002, the name of the award was changed from Writing to Writing .
Gene Callahan died of a heart attack at his home in Baton Rouge, seven weeks after his 67th birthday. His final film, The Man in the Moon , a touching coming-of-age story filmed, as in the case of Steel Magnolias, in Natchitoches as well as Louisiana's Kisatchie National Forest, was released in October 1991, nearly a year after his death.
The Man in the Moon is a 1991 American coming of age drama film directed by Robert Mulligan and is also Reese Witherspoon's film debut.
Kisatchie National Forest, the only National forest in Louisiana, United States, is located in the forested piney hills and hardwood bottoms of seven central and northern parishes. It is part of the Cenozoic uplands and has large areas of longleaf pine forests. It is one of the largest pieces of natural landscape in Louisiana, with some 604,000 acres (2,440 km2) of public land, more than half of which is vital longleaf pine and flatwoods vegetation. These support many rare plant and animal species. There are also rare habitats, such as hillside seepage bogs and calcareous prairies. The forest also contains and provides a buffer for the Kisatchie Hills Wilderness, a nationally designated wilderness area that contributes to protecting biodiversity of the coastal plain region of the United States.
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".
America America is a 1963 American dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan, adapted from his own book, published in 1962. The dust jacket of the novel has no comma in the title, nor does the title in the film itself. Many listings of the film include a comma.
Edwin Booth Willis was an American motion picture set designer and decorator.
Robert W. "Bo" Welch III is an American production designer and filmmaker.
Harry Horner was an Austro-Hungarian-born American art director who made a successful career in Hollywood as an Oscar-winning art director and as a feature film and television director.
Stephenie Lesley McMillan was an internationally recognised British set decorator.
Eugenio Caballero is a Mexican production designer. He is best known for his work on Guillermo del Toro's film Pan’s Labyrinth for which he earned an Academy Award, Ariel Award, Art Directors Guild Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award as well as Goya, Satellite, and BAFTA award nominations for Best Production Design.
Stathis Giallelis is a Greek actor. He won brief international renown in the early 1960s as the star of Elia Kazan's Academy Award-nominated epic America America, a role which brought him the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor, as well as a nomination for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.
Magnolia Cemetery is a 10-acre (4.0 ha) cemetery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Robert Buford DeBlieux, usually known as Bobby DeBlieux, was a historian, preservationist, painter, an author, businessman, and a former Democratic mayor of Natchitoches, the oldest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana.
Richard Sylbert was an American production designer and art director, primarily for feature films.
Brian Savegar was a production designer in the film and TV industry. He won an Academy Award in 1986 in the category Best Art Direction for the film A Room with a View.
Anna Hill Johnstone was an American costume designer who was born in Greenville, South Carolina on April 7, 1913, and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Johnstone designed costumes for more than sixty films and received two Academy Award nominations for her work on The Godfather and Ragtime. In 2006, she was posthumously awarded the Costume Designers Guild "Hall of Fame" award. Johnstone, whose married name was Robinson, chose to be credited under her maiden name, and was often referred to as "Johnnie." Johnstone worked with some of the most respected and idiosyncratic American film directors such as Elia Kazan, Sidney Lumet, Frank Perry, Miloš Forman, and Francis Ford Coppola. Some of Johnstone's film credits included Serpico, On the Waterfront, East of Eden, Baby Doll, Dog Day Afternoon, A Face in the Crowd, The Swimmer and The Godfather.
Lisa Thompson is an Australian set decorator and Academy Award winner.
Michael John Standish a British production designer and set decorator. Best known for his work as set decorator in 2016 The Danish Girl, which earned him his first Academy Award for Best Production Design nomination at 88th Academy Awards along with British production designer Eve Stewart.
David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco are an American husband and wife duo who are production designers and art directors. They are best known for their frequent collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino films, as production designers for Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004), and Inglourious Basterds (2009). They worked as production designer and set decorator, respectively, for La La Land (2016), for which they received numerous awards and nominations, including the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for a Contemporary Film and Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Art Direction, and won the Academy Award for Best Production Design at the 89th Academy Awards.
Alessandra Querzola is an Italian set decorator born in Trieste. She is best known for her work on the 2017 film Blade Runner 2049 for which she was co-nominated for the Academy Award for Best Production Design.
Jeff A. Melvin is a Canadian set decorator. Best known for his work on the 2017 film, The Shape of Water, for which he won Academy Award for Best Production Design, with production designer Paul Denham Austerberry, and set decorator, Shane Vieau. The trio also won the BAFTA award for Production Design on February 18.
Shane Vieau is a Canadian set decorator best known for his work on the 2017 film, The Shape of Water, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Production Design, with production designer, Paul Denham Austerberry and set decorator Jeff Melvin.