• Michael Curtiz

  • A Life in Film
  • By: Alan K. Rode
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 25 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Michael Curtiz  By  cover art

Michael Curtiz

By: Alan K. Rode
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
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Publisher's Summary

The first biography of the greatest filmmaker that nobody knows.

Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mildred Pierce, and White Christmas—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his unprecedented 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., he directed swashbuckling adventures, Westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The director's staggering output of 180 films surpasses that of the legendary John Ford and exceeds the combined total of films directed by George Cukor, Victor Fleming, and Howard Hawks.

In the first biography of this colorful, instinctual artist, Alan K. Rode illuminates the life and work of one of the film industry's most complex figures. He explores the director's little-known early life and career in his native Hungary, revealing how Curtiz shaped the earliest days of silent cinema in Europe before immigrating to the United States in 1926. In Hollywood, Curtiz earned a reputation for explosive tantrums, his difficulty with English, and disregard for the well-being of others. However, few directors elicited more memorable portrayals from their casts, and 10 different actors delivered Oscar-nominated performances under his direction.

In addition to his study of the director's remarkable legacy, Rode investigates Curtiz's dramatic personal life, discussing his enduring creative partnership with his wife, screenwriter Bess Meredyth, as well as his numerous affairs and children born of his extramarital relationships. This meticulously researched biography provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most talented filmmakers of Hollywood's golden age.

©2017 Alan K. Rode (P)2022 Blackstone Publishing

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Comprehensive

This is a comprehensive, well-written book about one of the most prolific directors in Hollywood history. A lot of Golden Age information and on the set stories. Recommended for anyone who loves the Hollywood of the 30s, 40s and 50s. He worked with virtually every star who worked at Warner Brothers during those decades. Great reading, as usual, by the wonderful Grover Gardner.

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Maybe more than Hitchcock?

What a difficult dictator on the set! Michael Curtiz was thin skinned and confrontational throughout his film career. He was in the shadows, despite his crafting of some of the greatest films over many decades.

Maybe he was explosive because some of his struggle with speaking English. But there is n doubt of his incredible skills, and a pretty honest exposure of his frailties.

Incredible for readers who like history of film in depth

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-20-22

If you're a classic film buff, don't hesitate!

Enjoyable, in-depth book about one of Hollywood's arguably, lesser-known, yet most prolific directors. A disservice, since Michael Curtiz directed many of Warners' well-loved, award-winning films, including Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Mildred Pierce, Yankee Doodle Dandy and White Christmas. He directed many stars (Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford among some of the names) to excellent performances. Lots of details belies the quality of research. The narrator did an excellent job.