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James Agee | The Nation

James Agee

Author Bios

James Agee

James Agee, author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (with photographer Walker Evans) and the screenwriter of The African Queen and Night of the Hunter was The Nation's film critic from 1942 to 1948.

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News and Features

In his review of Taylor's first major role, The Nation's James Agee summed up his thoughts: "I think that she and the picture are wonderful, and I hardly know or care whether she can act or not."

The death of pioneer filmmaker D.W. Griffith in 1948 prompted this appreciation from The Nation's film critic James Agee.

"Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges." Who said one of the most famous lines in film history? As it turns out, nobody.

Three World War II veterans return home to their families to recover from the worst years of their lives.

Billy Wilder didn't have it in him to tell the story behind Don Binam's alcoholic binge as it appeared in the novel--that he'd had a homosexual affair in college.

Hollywood turns a novel about a gay murder into a call to action
against anti-Semitism. Homophobia would have to wait.

Before he was the perfect TV dad, Fred MacMurray was Billy Wilder's favorite movie heavy.

Some feared a film of Hemingway's novel about the Spanish Civil War would take too strong a stance against fascism. They didn't know Hollywood.

Hail Preston Sturges, the king of screwball comedy, whose string of subversive films from 1939 to 1943 rank among Hollywood's funniest ever.

A town would be in rough shape without its good-hearted banker. That's what many people would call a fantasy.