George Cukor

"He is often perceived more as a polished entertainer than as an artist, but Cukor stamped his work with a critical yet affectionate look at humankind. He loved to explore the gap between illusion and reality, and his characters are often forced between cherished dreams and sober reality. Yet it is as a director of actors - especially women - that he has earned a place in film history." - Ian Freer (Movie Makers, 2009)

George Cukor

Director
(1899-1983) Born July 7, New York City, New York, USA
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Comedy, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Melodrama, Sophisticated Comedy, Comedy Drama, Period Film, Musical, Ensemble Film, Coming-of-Age, Musical Comedy
Key Collaborators: Cedric Gibbons (Production Designer), Katharine Hepburn (Leading Actress), Bronislau Kaper (Composer), Gene Allen (Production Designer), Spencer Tracy (Leading Actor), Garson Kanin (Screenwriter), Donald Ogden Stewart (Screenwriter), Ruth Gordon (Screenwriter), Judy Holliday (Leading Actress), Joseph Ruttenberg (Cinematographer), William Daniels (Cinematographer), George Boemler (Editor)

"While Cukor’s cinema work embraces a variety of genres, he is probably best remembered for sophisticated comedies like Adam’s Rib (1949) and Born Yesterday (1950), with their trademark quirky, and very modern, heroines. Cukor worked with many of Hollywood’s finest actresses (among them, most memorably, Katharine Hepburn and Judy Holliday) and female scriptwriters. This earned him a reputation as a "women’s director." Cukor’s independent, acerbic, intelligent heroines are never less than interesting, and his films characteristically proffer a kind of feminine angle on the world. Yet they rarely identify fully with the woman’s point of view, nor as a rule do they address themselves exclusively to a female audience. In this regard, Cukor has been likened to the American novelist Henry James." - Annette Kuhn (Schirmer Encyclopedia of Film, 2007)
"Stylistically, his films are defined by their unshowy sophistication, with the discreetly fluid camera focused firmly on the dazzling performances; he was particularly adept with and sympathetic to actresses, and made numerous films with women centre-stage. Fittingly, the secret of Cukor's eminently civilised artistry lies in its deceptive ease." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)
"Although most of Cukor's films are adaptations of preexisting novels and plays, he has always chosen material that has been consistent with his view of reality. Most often he has explored the conflict between illusion and reality in peoples' lives. The chief characters in his films are frequently actors and actresses, for they, more than anyone, run the risk of allowing the world of illusion with which they are constantly involved to become their reality." - Gene D. Phillips (The St. James Film Directors Encyclopedia, 1998)
"George Cukor's filmography is his most eloquent defense. When a director has provided tasteful entertainment of a high order consistently over a period of more than thirty years, it is clear that said director is much more than a mere entertainer. Mere entertainers seldom entertain for more than five years, and then only intermittently... He is a genuine artist" - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"One of Hollywood's best directors of women and women's films (Little Women, 33; The Women, 39). His comedies (Adam's Rib, 49; Born Yesterday, 50) are generally rich in the real humor of life." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"Alas, I am not an auteur, but damn few directors can write. They're very clever and they can go through the paces. As a director, you've got to think of your own limitations. There are certain things you're sympathetic with, and there are certain things you say to yourself. "Well, I can do it because I'm perfectly competent, but there's so many people who can do it much better than I can." I've been sent a script I think is charming and I said, "I think you ought to get an Italian director; it's madness to ask me to do it." - George Cukor (Directing the Film, 1976)
"Cukor is one of my favourite directors. He was a master at directing women." - Pedro Almodóvar
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Holiday (1938) , The Women (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940) , Adam's Rib (1949), A Star is Born (1954) , Bhowani Junction (1956), My Fair Lady (1964)
Recommended
Little Women (1933), Dinner at Eight (1933), Sylvia Scarlett (1935), David Copperfield (1935), Camille (1936), A Woman's Face (1941), Gaslight (1944), Born Yesterday (1950), The Marrying Kind (1952), The Actress (1953), It Should Happen to You (1954), Heller in Pink Tights (1960)
Worth a Look
Keeper of the Flame (1942), A Double Life (1947), Edward, My Son (1949), A Life of Her Own (1950), Pat and Mike (1952), Let's Make Love (1960), The Chapman Report (1962), Travels with My Aunt (1972)
Approach with Caution
Two-Faced Woman (1941), Les Girls (1957)
Not Recommended
Rich and Famous (1981)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Women
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