Kent Mackenzie

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Kent Mackenzie
Kent Robert Mackenzie

(1930-04-06)6 April 1930
Hampstead, England
Died16 May 1980(1980-05-16) (aged 50)
OccupationDirector, producer, writer, cinematographer, editor
Years active1950s to 1970s

Kent Robert Mackenzie (6 April 1930 – 16 May 1980) was a film director and producer who is mainly remembered for his film The Exiles, which was about Native American young people in Los Angeles.[1] He also was involved with Dimension Films in making educational films such as Can a Parent Be Human?[2]


Mackenzie was born on April 6, 1930 in Hampstead, England. His mother was English, and his father was Dewitt Mackenzie, who was head of the London Bureau of the Associated Press. After finishing school, Kent Mackenzie enlisted in the air force and later end up in Hollywood, where, after gaining a scholarship, he made Bunker Hill, his first film. His next film The Exiles was released in 1961.[3][4]

In later years, he worked as an editor on television documentaries and medical and industrial films and shorts. During the 1960s and 1970s, he taught film-making to high school classes.[5] He also directed some films for Dimension Films.[6]

Since the mid 1970s, he suffered from seizures.[7] He died on 16 May 1980 in Marin County, California as a result of his medication and related complications.[5]


The Exiles[edit]

The setting for The Exiles was in Bunker Hill.[8] This was the second time Mackenzie had used the Hill in a film. The first instance was in 1956 when he made a film about the displacement of pensioners being moved because of high-rise buildings being built in their area.[9] The Exiles was an independent film[10] and took three-and-a-half years to make and had its share of issues. During the course of the film some of the cast were imprisoned and therefore never appeared in later scenes. He also lost two of his cameramen.[5] The film is about Native Americans who move from the reservation to the city and some of the issues they encounter.[11] Christina Rose of the Indian Country Today Media Network said in an article that it was the first film to give an accurate portrayal of urban natives.[12]


Before making The Exiles, Mackenzie made Bunker Hill in 1956. He was still a student at USC at the time. The film centered on elderly pensioners and their community and the displacement they experienced because of a block of high-rise offices that was to be built there.[13][14]

In 1965, he produced and directed The Teenage Revolution, which featured Barry Brown in an early role and was narrated by Van Heflin. It looked at six teenagers and their society and culture as well as their current lives while speculating about their futures.[15][16]

He directed and produced Saturday Morning, a film about teenagers, released in 1971 through Dimension Films, of which Gary Goldsmith was chief and producer.[17][7] It was a non-fiction film that involved a group of 20 teenagers being filmed over a period of a week.[18]


  • Bunker Hill – 1956 - Director [19][20]
  • The Exiles – 1961 – Screenplay, Producer, Director, Editor [20]
  • Story of a Test Pilot - 1962 - Editor[21]
  • Story of a Rodeo Cowboy - 1963 - Producer, Director, Writer, Editor [22]
  • The T.A.M.I. Show - 1964 - Editor [23]
  • A Skill For Molina - 1964 - Director, Producer [24][25]
  • The Way Out Men - 1965 - Editor[26]
  • Prelude to War: Beginning of World War II – Cinematographer, Editor [27]
  • Why Man Creates – 1968 – Editor[28]
  • Ivan And His Father - 1970 - Director[29]
  • Saturday Morning – 1971 – Producer, Director, Editor
  • Sunseed - 1973 – Editor
  • The Searching Years: Can a Parent Be Human? - 1978 - Director
  • The Searching Years: I Owe You Nothing - 1978 - Director
  • Wait until Your Father Gets Home - 1978 - Director
  • Mom, Why Don't You Listen? - 1978 - Director
  • The Searching Years: Mom, Why Won't You Listen? - 1978 - Director[30]


  1. ^ Phillips, Michael (November 21, 2008). "'The Exiles' stars Yvonne Wilson, Homer Nish, Tommy Reynolds, Rico Rodriguez". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ Can a Parent Be Human. OCLC 9941682.
  3. ^ "Kent MacKenzie, THE EXILES (1961, 72 min)" (PDF). The Center for Studies in American Culture. XXI (5). September 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Jackson, Benjamin (Spring 1962). "Film Reviews The Exiles". Film Quarterly. 15 (3): 59–62. doi:10.2307/1210630. JSTOR 1210630.
  5. ^ a b c Patterson, John (17 February 2010). "The Lure of Night". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "The Searching Years: Can a Parent Be Human? (1978)". British Film Institute.
  7. ^ a b Austerlitz, Saul (July 6, 2008). "A time capsule of Bunker Hill's Native Americans". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "Check out the great documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself – Wednesday and Thursday at Cinémathèque Québecoise". Montreal Gazette. May 28, 2014.
  9. ^ Woodward, Richard B. (December 10, 2014). "Art Review, A Tale of Three Cities". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Austerlitz, Saul (July 13, 2008). "Bunker Hill doesn't live here anymore". The Boston Globe.
  11. ^ Ridley, Jim (August 13, 2008). "Film, Soul and the City: Kent Mackenzie's The Exiles". LA Weekly.
  12. ^ Rose, Christina (December 15, 2014). "Still Here, in the Big City: Meet the Legacy of the Indian Relocation Act". Indian Country Today Media Network.
  13. ^ "LA's Grand Central: The Gentrification of the People's Market: Interview with director Dylan Valley Anthony Carfello". Archinet. August 27, 2014.
  14. ^ Toscano, Mark (Summer 2013). "This is the City: Bunker Hill 1956". Los Angeles Film Forum.
  15. ^ Wolters, Larry (October 29, 1965). "ABC Show to Air 'Teen Revolution'". Chicago Tribune.
  16. ^ Ides, Matthew Allan (2011). Cruising for Community: Youth Culture and Politics in Los Angeles, 1910—1970. p. 327. ISBN 978-1244009837.
  17. ^ Thompson, Howard (April 26, 1971). "Screen: 'Saturday Morning,' a Fugitive From TV". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Deutsch, Linda (August 28, 1971). "Moviegoers Don't Like Cinema Verite". The Day. p. 24.
  19. ^ Roderick, Kevin (July 31, 2010). "Weekend viewing: Bunker Hill, 1956". LA Observed.
  20. ^ a b "The Exiles". Oscilloscope.
  21. ^ "Story of a Test Pilot". David L. Wolper.
  22. ^ "The Story Of A Rodeo Cowboy Technical Specs". Close-Up.
  23. ^ "T.A.M.I. Show (2014)".
  24. ^ "A Skill For Molina Technical Specs". Close-Up.
  25. ^ Kent Mackenzie on IMDb
  26. ^ "The Way Out Men (1965)". David L. Wolper.
  27. ^ "Prelude to War: Beginning of World War II (1965)". David L. Wolper.
  28. ^ "The Exiles (1961) Directed by Kent Mackenzie. Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish, and Tommy Reynolds (72 min)". Movie Diva.
  29. ^ "Ivan And His Father Technical Specs". Close-Up.
  30. ^ "Kent Mackenzie". British Film Institute.

External links[edit]