Arthur Penn


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  • Arthur Penn amassed a critically acclaimed body of work though the 1960s and 1970s.

    After making a name for himself as a director of quality television dramas, Penn made his feature debut with a Western, The Left Handed Gun (1958). A re-telling of the Billy the Kid legend, it was notable for its sharp portrayal of the outlaw (played by Paul Newman) as a psychologically troubled youth (the role was originally intended for the archetypal troubled teen James Dean). Penn's next film was The Miracle Worker (1962), the story of Anne Sullivan struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate. It garnered two Academy Awards. Throughout the years, Penn has maintained an affiliation with Yale University, occasionally teaching classes there.