Michael Curtiz


One of the most creative directors in the history of movie business, born in Hungarian was Michael Curtiz . Curtiz thrived in the studio as the top helmsman at Warner Brothers. Started in the Studio in the 1930s and the 1940s. Diligently knocking out four or five movies films a year, Curiz relentlessly tackled both low and more admired Oscar-bating fare, but always providing amazing and creative results on minimal budgets on a wide variety of genres. Being extremely bossy, Curtiz clashed heads constantly with his actors, and his most famous player, Errol Flynn, not long after Flynn refused to work for him after 12 pictures, including swashbuckler classics like “Captain Blood ” (1935) and “The Adventures of Robin Hood ” (1938). Yet for his insensitive treatment of performers, Curtiz had an ability for noticing and fostering unknown talents, including Flynn, John Garfield whom he introduced in “Four Daughters” (1938) and Doris Day. Three of his finest films “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942), “Casablanca” (1942) and “Mildred Pierce” (1945) made a quality of drama and sloppiness. Even though Curtiz reached the height of his creative powers with “The Breaking Point” (1950), Curtiz entered a financially successful period; he had more crowd-pleasing films including “White Christmas” (1954) and “King Creole” (1958). However Curtiz was a relentless director who left behind a big legacy, some of which revealed the very best Hollywood had to offer.    


            Born on Dec. 24, 1888 in Budapest, Hungary, Curtiz was raised in a middle class home. His father was an architect and his mother was opera singer. After his first entrance on the stage at one of his mothers opera shows, Curtiz ran away from home at 17 to join the circus, here he performed as a juggler, acrobat and mime. Later Curtiz attended Markoszy University and the Royal Academy of Theater and art in Budapest. After completing his studies, he joined the Hungarian National Theatre , where he eventually worked as an actor and director. In 1913, he spent six months skill in Denmark; here he was the assistant director on August Blom’s “Atlantis” (1913), he returned to Hungary where he served in the army for a brief period during World War 1. He decided to go back to filmmaking in 1915 and Hungary four years later after the industry became nationalized, he eventually decided to settle in Vienna. He directed many movies for Sascha Films , including the biblical “Sodom and Gomoorha” (1922) and “Moon of Israel” (1924). He also made “Red Heels” (1925) and “The Golden Butterfly” (1926), because his movies were having such good success. It caught the attention of Warner Brothers studio head, Jack Warner, who then brought Curtiz over to the United States.


       The first movie Curtiz filmed in the U.S. was “The Third Degree ” (1926), the movie was a romantic drama that opened a mastery of the moving camera in its flashy expressionistic sequences, at one point showing the action from the viewpoint.

Here's Looking At You, Kid - Casablanca (5 6) Movie CLIP (1942) HD-0

Here's Looking At You, Kid - Casablanca (5 6) Movie CLIP (1942) HD-0

Work Cited

Robertson., James C.. " Director Michael Curtiz ." Director Michael Curtiz . N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. 

"TSPDT - Michael Curtiz." They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. 

"Overview for Michael Curtiz." TCM Turner Classic Movies. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013. 

Category. "Michael Curtiz - Michael Curtiz Films - Classic Michael Curtiz Movies." Classic Movies. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.