Sunday, January 10, 2016

Michael Curtiz - Film Director!

Today I started watching the classic Bogart film WE'RE NO ANGELS (1955) and, although I had (sadly) never seen the film before, I knew I was in good hands as soon as the Directed By Michael Curtiz credit flashed onto the screen. I've been aware of Mr. Curtiz for most of my life because he directed several of my favorite films of all time. He made CASABLANCA, CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE SEA HAWK, DOCTOR X, THE MYSTERY IN THE WAX MUSEUM, DODGE CITY and about 90 other English language movies. Remembering how impressed I alway am by his work I decided to look up his list of credits with a joking eye toward seeing how difficult it would be to try to watch everything he ever made. Damn! I knew he had emigrated here from Hungry in the 1920's but the length of his credits both before moving to Hollywood and after is astounding. He made around fifty films in Europe and another hundred in the US. Wow! His first film stateside appears to be the 1926 silent Biblical epic SODOM & GOMORRAH and his was the John Wayne western THE COMANCHEROS in 1962. I need to see both of those to start!

Closer examination of his output shows that he was often directing as many as five films in a single year with the count for 1933 being seven! Clearly, any viewer that sets out to see his entire filmography has their work cut out for them. I'm not going to claim that I'll find a way see all of them or even most of them, but I think that in 2016 I'm going to try to watch more of Curtiz's work. Many more. I've lined up copies of SODOM & GOMORRAH and his 1931 John Barrymore horror film THE MAD GENIUS to begin this project and I'll try to check in here with my thoughts as I watch them.

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