Mysterious Goings On

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episode 28: A Hollywood Legend's Place in the Sun with George Stevens Jr.

We meet so many accomplished and delightful guests on Mysterious Goings On. However, it is rare we get to meet a living legend such as our guest, Oscar and Emmy Winner George Stevens, Jr.

His father directed incredible films, including GIANT, PENNY SERENADE, SHANE, A PLACE IN THE SUN, and perhaps most importantly, was there to film the liberation of Dachau.

George Stevens, Jr. is the founder of the American Film Institute, creator of the AFI Life Achievement Award, co-creator of the Kennedy Center Honors, and a director in his own right. He has also served as Co-Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. He has won eight awards from the Writers Guild of America. In 1992, Stevens won the WGA's Paul Selvin Award for his screenplay SEPARATE BUT EQUAL. He also won a Humanitas Prize in 2012 for THURGOOD. In 2012, Stevens was awarded an honorary Oscar for his lifelong contributions to the film industry. He was presented the award by his friend and colleague Sidney Poitier.

We're talking with Stevens about his new memoir, My Place in the Sun, which is chock full of anecdotes, little-known facts about celebrities, and the power of quality filmmaking. The book chronicles his family's history in show business, his father's work during World War II, and how it shaped his upbringing. Young Stevens was asked to help his father with two assignments when he graduated from high school: breaking down Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy into two notebooks and reading other books from the studio to look for potential films. His father also gave him the opportunity to tell him the story of Jack Shaffer's Shane, which led to his involvement in the film.

Stevens was then recruited by Edward R. Murrow to join the United States Information Agency and later founded the American Film Institute.

My Place in the Sun is chockablock of stories with his encounters with names you’d know, including Elizabeth Taylor, Sidney Poitier, Alfred Hitchcock, Maya Angelou, Fred Astaire, Robert and Ethel Kennedy, Yo-Yo Ma, Cary Grant, James Dean, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Springsteen, Barack Obama, and many more. It is available in hardback, paperback, ebook, and audiobook.

This is truly a special episode, friends and film fanatics. You do not want to miss it!

Website: Click to buy: My Place in the Sun


“As a deeply patriotic and proactive American, everything he has touched seems to have found a place in our collective history.” --Steven Spielberg
“George Stevens’ new book is a fascinating journey through his amazing life. He has been at the center of Hollywood for longer than he cares to admit and has the stories to prove it. You will even find out why I’ve always called him ‘Kingfish.’ Movies, family, the arts, and politics – My Place in the Sun is quite a ride.” -- Quincy Jones

“Elegant and engaging…this memoir delivers.” --Wall Street Journal

“Once you start, you simply cannot stop reading this book. George Stevens, Jr.’s life has been a marvelous journey, as gripping and immersive as his father’s films. Throughout his life, George Stevens, Jr. repeatedly encounters greatness, and finds his own greatness along the way.” --J. Alexander Greenwood, Mysterious Goings On podcast

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This Mysterious Goings On Podcast episode was recorded and mixed at Green Shebeen Studios in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. Copyright 2023, all rights reserved. No reproduction, excerpting, or other use without written permission.

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 2023-04-13  44m