Michael Curtiz

Happy birthday to MichaelCurtizdirector Michael Curtiz, born Dec. 24, 1886 in Budapest, Hungary. After studying at the Royal Academy of Theater and Art in Budapest, Curtiz went to work in the National Hungarian Theater as an actor and director. In 1923, he moved to Vienna where he directed movies for Sascha Films. Jack L. Warner took an interest in Curtiz after seeing one of his films, and hired him as a director. Curtiz moved to the United States in 1926, and embarked on a prolific and successful career directing over 100 Hollywood films. While Curtiz was a talented director, he was often arrogant and insulting on the set, quickly losing patience with members of the film crew and generally having a low opinion of actors. But his caustic attitude didn’t prevent him from crafting many memorable film classics, such as Captain Blood (1935) and The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) with Errol Flynn, Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) with James Cagney, Casablanca (1942) with Humphrey Bogart, Life with Father (1947) with William Powell, and Young Man with a Horn (1950) with Kirk Douglas. Of course, our interest in Curtiz lies in his notable contributions to film noir: Mildred Pierce (1945) with Joan Crawford, The Unsuspected (1947) with Claude Rains, Flamingo Road (1949) with Joan Crawford, The Breaking Point (1950) with John Garfield, The Scarlet Hour (1956) with Carol Ohmart, and The Man in the Net (1959) with Alan Ladd. Curtiz died of cancer in 1962 at age 75.

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