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Michael Curtiz, One of the Great Film Directors


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It is difficult to separate Curtiz from the Warner Brothers studio 'system' and top notch producers like Hal Wallis and Jerry Wald. 

Curtiz was the perfect under-contract studio director making the most from what he was given to 'use' (e.g. the WB working crews, and of course their stable of actors),  without the need to make films his own,  but instead to realize the vision of the producers.   

Here are my top 10 favorite Curtiz directed pictures (with the producers);

Mystery of the Wax Museum (Wallis \ Blanke).

Captain Blood (Brown \ Hollinghead)

Kid Galahad (Wallis \ Bischoff)

Adventures of Robin Hood (Wallis \ Blanke)

Angels with Dirty Faces (Bischoff)

Dodge City (Wallis)

The Sea Wolf  (Wallis \ Blanke)

Casablanca (Wallis)

Mildred Pierce (Wald)

The Breaking Point (Wald)   

All of these are Warner films.   Note that Wallis had a major dispute with Jack Warner over Casablanca's Best Picture Oscar (e.g. Jack running up to get the award instead of Wallis) and that is the reason Wallis didn't produce any more films with Curtiz as a director at WB.

Oh, and of course I left out some fine films like Yankee Doodle Dandy  (Wallis),  The Sea Hawk (Wallis \ Blanke) and Four Daughters (Wallis).

 

 

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