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America America (Warner Brothers, 1963)

America America (known in Britain as The Anatolian Smile) was a 1963 dramatic film directed, produced and written by Elia Kazan. It was adapted from Kazan’s own novel of the same name. America America was inspired by the life of Kazan’s uncle Avraam Elia Kazantzoglou’s emigration to America.

Kazan used little known actors. The standout performance was, of course, Greek actor Stathis Giallelis, playing Stravros Topouzoglou. Frank Wolff, Elena Karam and Estelle Hemsley also starred. America America won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction, two Golden Globes for Best Director and Giallelis won for Most Promising Newcomer. It won a Directors Guild of America Award and in 2001 was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry.

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