Favorite Photo of the Week #21
Director George Stevens.
Oakland, California native (Bay Area Proud!), Stevens started his career as a cameraman, notably for Hal Roach and some Laurel and Hardy shorts (including the riotous Two Tars and Big Business). He moved up the ladder to directing, while he may have gotten a slop start, by the mid to late 1930's he was churning out some terrific films..
His career was forever changed with the U.S. entry into WWII. His unit shot footage documenting the D-Day landing and the liberation of Dachau. A changed man with his wartime experiences, Stevens' films in the postwar era have a depth, sensitivity and heart that was only hinted at before.
He is one of my favorites and I cannot recommend Mark Harris' book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War highly enough. It chronicles the experiences of Frank Capra, John Huston, John Ford, William Wyler and George Stevens before during and after WWII. You can order it here, it's a fabulous book.
I have never made it a secret my admiration for Stevens and his films. Check them out, you won't be sorry.