Michael Curtiz, Hollywood, Jewish community
Being director in Hollywood in 1940, is a curious business, midway between the foreman and the artist. Led studios, artists who are appointed to this position must obey a number of injunctions while using their authority on teams assigned to them. They have a particularly drastic specifications to fulfill, led by the permanent threat of dismissal, or replacement: they are under contract, and will not be so easily dismissed, except for gross misconduct or termination of the contract, but the films that they will be assigned will depend on their ability to work: they demerit, they will now jobbers which fail the dirty work; if found to par, prestigious films will be entrusted to them: Casablanca, Captain Blood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mildred Pierce, Angels with dirty faces, The sea hawk, The Adventures of Robin Hood .... It is in this context that Michael Curtiz, the author of all these classics will work for Warner Bros. in 1926.
Mihàly born Kertész in 1886 in Budapest in the Jewish community in Hungary, leading stage director for the young Hungarian cinema from 1912 until his departure in 1919, the director was famous for lyrical films "artistic" (understood to mean a great pictorial beauty) that we can not see today only the latter survived a short film to the glory of the communist revolution: Jon Az öcsém, which could translate little John or Jean Cadet. After a complicated exile, largely due to repeated policy changes, it will make a part of his career in Vienna, and its associations with Sascha Kolowrat or exiled Hungarian director Alexander Korda will make him the most important Austrian filmmakers: his films, made between 1919 and 1926, will be by choice flamboyant productions financially risky, and close it in films made by the Russians in exile in Paris in the 1920s: films for the general public, apparently trading but treated with panache and grandeur.
[...] Is that the next generation is already that Curtiz is part of the old ones, and maybe he's tired of being a performer, luxury, but has yet after twenty years do what asked. Furthermore, if the success of Curtiz are numerous during these twenty years there has accumulated resentments, for example refusing to Erroll Flynn to turn to after Curtiz Dive Bomber (1942), the low esteem in which actors as Cagney or Bogart Hungarians left and hold it still speaking poor English, the studios dictator reputation Curtiz keeps barking after 20 years in broken English about the actors, all of this contributes to a certain weariness. [...]
[...] A smaller studio like WB can barely compete: it is competition that is when Warner Brothers undertake Mihàly Kertész: first, MGM has already attracted to her the directors Dmitri Buchowetzki scene, a Russian exile from Germany who made a costly Danton in Berlin, Mauritz Stiller, director of the Story of Gösta Berling, or the great Swedish director Victor Sjöström, whose presence at the MGM inherited from his contract with Goldwyn pictures. On the other hand, Paramount has established a tradition of prestige and quality, especially during the domination of Cecil B. DeMille on the firm, and impressive productions are still, in 1925, a coveted model not other studios. [...]
[...] Robinson, boat captain constantly exposed to the currents of the world, finding its place anywhere . The resonance of this theme omnipresent in the own life of the exiled twice Curtiz is very strong. Another half-tone theme is emerging with difficulty choosing his camp, an issue so crucial in times of war, which is the center of Casablanca (1943), Passage to Marseille (1944) with Humphrey Bogart, but also the more anecdotal Yankee Doodle Dandy (1941) or Captain of the clouds (1942), both starring James Cagney. [...]
[...] They have a particularly drastic specifications to fulfill, led by the permanent threat of dismissal, or replacement: they are under contract, and will not be so easily dismissed, except for gross misconduct or termination of the contract, but the films that they will be assigned will depend on their ability to work: they demerit, they will now jobbers which fail the dirty work; if found to par, prestigious films will be entrusted to them: Casablanca, Captain Blood, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mildred Pierce, Angels with dirty faces, The sea hawk, The Adventures of Robin Hood . It is in this context that Michael Curtiz, the author of all these classics will work for Warner Bros. in 1926. [...]
[...] Arriving in Hollywood, became Michael Curtiz French copy of the Slave Queen has already renamed Michael Courtice), the filmmaker will make his first classes before tackling the great work. Warner wants to take the time to prepare the production, all the attention of studio executives turned to the revolution of speaking, which WB is leading with The Jazz Singer, and it takes time to adapt to Curtiz rules studio, very different from those that were hers in Europe. It will therefore "make his classes" and make 5 films before Noah's ark: The third degree (released in December 1926), A million bid (May 1927), The Desired woman (August 1927), Good Time Charley (November 1927) and Tenderloin (March 1928). [...]
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