Ely Landau

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Ely Abraham Landau (January 20, 1920 - November 4, 1993) was an American producer and production executive best remembered for films of plays in the American Film Theatre series.

Landau started working in television as a director and producer for a number of companies in the late 1940s following WWII military service. Landau won a Peabody Award for Play of the Week a series of stage plays mounted for television from 1959 to 1961 by WNTA-TV in New York. The station was then owned by National Telefilm Associates, a New York-based television distribution company which he organized in 1953; he subsequently became the president and chairman of the board for the company. National Telefilm, which won praise for being innovative, distributed the series, for which Landau was primarily responsible. In a 1959 interview, he said: "With this I'm bucking the trend. But I don't think any independent station is going to succeed if it just does the Westerns and crime and situation comedy shows that we find everywhere else."[1]

In the 1960s, he turned to feature-film production. Landau was the co-producer of Long Day's Journey into Night (1962), a screen rendering of the play by Eugene O'Neill with Ralph Richardson and Katharine Hepburn.

In 1970, he compiled and produced the 185-minute television documentary King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis, an account of the public career of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The documentary was praised as achieving a density and shapeliness that would be rare in any movie, let alone a documentary committed to the sequence of actual events.

Always interested in adapting theatrical productions to film, he founded the American Film Theatre in 1972 to make movies of distinguished (mainly American and British) plays.

Other producing credits include:

The Pawnbroker -1965, The Chosen - 1981, The Man in the Glass Booth - 1975, Hopscotch - 1980, The Greek Tycoon -1978, Three Sisters - 1966, The Holcroft Covenant - 1985, Beatlemania, The Movie - 1981, In Celebration - 1975, Galileo - 1975, Luther - 1974, Rhinoceros - 1974, Lost in the Stars - 1974, Butley - 1974, The Iceman Cometh - 1974, The Maids - 1975, The Homecoming - 1973, A Delicate Balance - 1973, The Madwoman of Chaillot - 1969.


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