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Michael Curtiz

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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ken123
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Michael Curtiz

Postby ken123 » April 18th, 2007, 4:41 pm

Was there ever a better studio bound director ? :wink:

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Ayres
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Postby Ayres » April 19th, 2007, 11:49 am

Great stuff. Ever heard David Niven's hilarious stories about him? He had a temper and in his broken English he was given to some malapropisms.

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movieman1957
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Postby movieman1957 » April 19th, 2007, 12:00 pm

I've read Niven's book "Bring On The Empty Horses" which is a Curtiz quote. With "The Moon's A Balloon" you will have a fine time reading both of these fine books. You'd probably have to check a used book store.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Raining cats and...dogs?

Postby benwhowell » April 23rd, 2007, 2:27 pm

I love the story of Curtiz asking a prop man for a "poodle" to appear in a scene in "Casablanca." The prop man searched for a poodle-while the entire crew waited. He found one and presented it to Curtiz, who screamed, "A poodle! A poodle of water!."

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Postby pktrekgirl » April 23rd, 2007, 4:08 pm

movieman1957 wrote:I've read Niven's book "Bring On The Empty Horses" which is a Curtiz quote.


Yep. Right out of The Charge of the Light Brigade lore. :D

Curtiz could be a pretty brutal guy - certainly Errol Flynn had his stories to tell about that.

But the fact is that my favorite Flynn films are the ones he did with Curtiz.

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Ayres
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Postby Ayres » April 24th, 2007, 9:13 am

My favorite was Niven's demonstation of Curtiz's equally inaccurate grasp of profanity. He once got furious at Niven and another actor for seeming supercilious toward him and bellowed, "You think you know f--- all, but you know f--- nothing!" That one made me fall off my chair!

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Postby SSO Admins » April 24th, 2007, 10:22 am

I love that story.

Incidentally, I posted a review of an early Curtiz film in the Silents and Precodes forum yesterday.

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Postby MissGoddess » April 26th, 2007, 10:02 am

This man was so versatile! I keep seeing his name pop up after "directed by" on the most surprising films: musicals, drawing room comedies, westerns, exoticly set dramas and of course, the adventure films.

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Postby benwhowell » April 26th, 2007, 12:05 pm

He did run the gamut! Is there another director who worked with Bette Davis and Elvis Presley?
Another one I love is "The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn" from 1960...with a fantastic supporting cast-Buster Keaton, Judy Canova, John Carradine,Josephine Hutchinson, Sterling Holloway, Harry Dean Stanton. Andy Devine, et al.

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Postby MissGoddess » April 26th, 2007, 12:29 pm

There you go, I didn't even know he did Huck Finn.

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Postby MikeBSG » May 4th, 2007, 11:24 am

I really like "Dr. X" and "The Walking Dead," two of his horror movies from Warners in the Thirties.

Look at all the actors he directed. Boris Karloff was in "Walking Dead." Curtiz would later direct Elvis, as someone mentioned. He led John Wayne through "The Commancheros" and Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye through "White Christmas."

Karloff, Elvis, the Duke, Bing, Danny Kaye, plus the traditional Warner Brothers stock company. It might be easier to list those actors who didn't appear in a Curtiz film.

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Postby Dewey1960 » May 4th, 2007, 12:56 pm

I really do love so many of Curtiz' films (although, admittedly, he's had his share of clunkers). As has been pointed out, he worked in many genres and with many great stars. My basic problem with him is that he doesn't (didn't) seem to possess a personal style, like Lang or Hitchcock or Tourneur, Hawks, Ford, Welles and the rest. Rather, he seemed to take a journeyman's approach (detatched, efficient) to directing, which isn't a bad thing at all. It just doesn't allow the viewer to connect emotionally (beyond the immediate content of the film in question) to his work as a whole. One generally doesn't hear "in the Curtiz style" uttered in film conversations as a rule.


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