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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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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Hollywood’s Great Deluge

Hollywood’s Great Deluge

(p.90) 12 Hollywood’s Great Deluge
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter provides a detailed account about the making of Noah’s Ark (1928). Jack Warner threw out Curtiz’s scenario,which was paired with the biblical flood saga.Curtiz ended up directing a script written by his future wife, Bess Meredyth, and Anthony Coldeway; the entire production was overseen by Darryl Zanuck. Curtiz’s penchant for realism resulted in the infamous flooding sequence that caused multiple injuries and the alleged fatalities of several extras, which remain unproven to this day. Archival interviews with the stars, Dolores Costello and George O’Brien, and the cameraman Byron Haskin add heft to a detailed account of one of Hollywood’s most notorious productions. Although historically categorized as a flop, Noah’s Ark was a financial success that was Hollywood’s last silent epic, despite the mawkish Vitaphone talking sequences.Curtiz was shielded from any repercussions from the flooding debacle by the brothers Warner, and after an opulent post-premiere party at Bess Meredyth’s house, he looked forward to making more films at Warner Bros.

Keywords:   Noah’s Ark, Dolores Costello, George O’Brien, Hal Mohr, flood sequence, drowned extras, Anthony Coldeway

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