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Michael CurtizA Life in Film$
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Alan K. Rode

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813173917

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813173917.001.0001

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(p.44) 7 Monumental-Filme
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Count Kolowrat was inspired to produce Sodom undGomorrha after viewing D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance.Doraine was cast as the lead, but after a series of arguments, she left Kertész and the picture before production wrapped. The extras numbered 80,000, and huge, ornate sets were built for the most expensive film of the period. Filming went on for two years,as the mammoth temple sets were destroyed and had to be rebuilt.A detailed account of the film’s production is bolstered by the recollections of the actor Walter Slezak, who made his screen debut after being discovered by Kertész in a Viennese café. Although severely cut before general release, the film was profitable and boosted Kertész’s reputation. He endured a messy divorce from Doraine and would sire two more children with two different women. He went on to make The Young Medardus, a Napoleonic love story based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler. It was another acclaimed spectacle, but post–WWI hyperinflation afflicted the Austrian economy, casting doubt on Kertész’s future as a European filmmaker.

Keywords:   Sodom und Gomorrha, Walter Slezak, Arthur Schnitzler, The Young Medardus, Gustav Ucicky

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