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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

General Foreman

General Foreman

(p.103) 13 General Foreman
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Curtiz settled in as a contract director at Warner Bros. The Warners bought out First National while continuing to grow into one of Hollywood’s major film studios. Under Jack Warner and Zanuck, prices were reduced and picture output doubled. From 1929 to 1934 Curtiz directed a total of thirty feature films, or six per year—a superhuman output by any measure.Curtiz became friendly with Zanuck, and the pair worked together harmoniously. Curtiz’s initial films in 1929–30, including Glad Rag Doll,The Gamblers, and Madonna of Avenue A, were successful at the box office. He directed the great Al Jolson in Mammy (1930), followed by a series of mostly unsuccessful films starring the egomaniacal Frank Fay. The descriptions and production details of his films during this period are interspersed with an account of how Curtiz had to leave the country with Bess in August 1931 to restart his entry to the United Stares toward obtaining his American citizenship.At this point he was becoming frustrated with his film assignments at Warners and yearned to direct more important films to prove himself as an American director of consequence.

Keywords:   First National Pictures, Glad Rag Doll, The Madonna of Avenue A, Mammy, Al Jolson, River’s End, Charles Bickford, Dämon des Meeres, William Dieterle, Curtiz citizenship

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