Director Michael Curtiz

13 Jan

Director Michael Curtiz!
(December 24, 1886 – April 10, 1962)


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Michael Curtiz
began his career as an actor and director in his native country, Hungary in
1912.  He arrive in Hollywood
in 1926 and became one of Hollywood’s most
prominent film director   After WWI, he
continued his filmmaking career in Austria
and Germany and into the
early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe.  He started making films for Warner
Brothers.  His films during the 1930s and
'40s encompassed nearly every genre imaginable. 
Today a very large amount of his films are classics!  He directed his last film in 1961, a year
before his death at 74.


Interred at
Forest Lawn, Glendale, California in the Whispering Pines section.




Bess Meredyth,
December 7, 1929 – April 10, (to his death) 1962

Lili Damita:
1925 – 1926 (divorced)

Lucy Doraine
1918 – 1923 (divorced)

He had a
stepson, John Meredyth Lukas whom he adopted in 1929 when the boy was ten years


His two most
fruitful collaborations with stars were with Errol Flynn (they did 12 films
together) and Humphrey Bogart (they did 8 films together).  Was assigned to direct “The Adventures of Don
Juan” (1948), in 1947; however, Errol Flynn had a falling-out with him.




John Meredyth
Lukas said he spoke five languages, all of them badly.  His thick Hungarian accent often made it
difficult for cast and crew members to understand his English.  During the filming of “Casablanca” (1942), for instance, he asked a
set dresser for a “poodle” later it was discovered that, in fact, he
wanted a “poodle” (puddle) of water! 


On the set of
“The Cabin in the Cotton” (1932), Curtiz made a speech on how he wanted the
actors to act like “woodpeckers” when the script described them as


He could be
intensely absorbed, to the point of distraction.  Once he was hurt falling out of a moving car
because he wanted to write down an idea. 
He was driving at the time.


As known for his
trouble with the English language it is said that during filming of ”The Charge
of the Light Brigade” (1936), he wanted many horses without riders in the
background during the final charge.  His
instructions were, “Bring on the empty horses,” later the title of the
autobiography of one of the stars of the film, David Niven.


Another time he
was chewing out an assistant for neglecting to do a job assigned to him, and
yelled, “The next time I want an idiot to do this, I'll do it


His grasp of the
English language made him the subject of many long-standing Hollywood He once
berated David Niven on set declaring: “You think you know f*ck everything
and I know f*ck nothing.  Well let me
tell you, I know f*ck all!!!” anecdotes.


Nevertheless the
trivia, he was one of the great directors of Hollywood
and the greatest stars of Hollywood
owe him a lot!

— Tina


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