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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, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Regime Change

Regime Change

Chapter:
(p.130) 15 Regime Change
Source:
Michael Curtiz
Author(s):

Alan K. Rode

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813173917.003.0015

As the Depression deepened, all the studios laid off workers and closed theaters. The Warners reduced all their employees’ salaries. Zanuck was fed up and quit after a confrontation with Harry Warner. Hal Wallis was appointed head of production. Wallis’s life and deportment are outlined, as is the beginnings of his tumultuous relationship with Curtiz. The Mystery of the Wax Museum was an artistic tour de force, a horror film directed by Curtiz. He explained the camera technique that he used,as his ruthless work ethic alienated Fay Wray and others in the cast. He ceased paying child support toMathildeFoerster for his son Michael, so she traveled to the United States and sued him in court.He finally settled the case just before it went to trial.Excerpts from Michael’s diary underscore the director’s indifference to his namesake son.Curtiz sent for his daughter Kitty. She was a troubled and rebellious, and he proved to be an ineffectual parent. His career continued with The Kennel Murder Case, Female,and Goodbye Again. Curtiz believed that he needed much better material to emerge as a director of consequence.

Keywords:   Depression-era Hollywood, Darryl Zanuck, Hal Wallis, The Mystery of the Wax Museum, early Technicolor, Glenda Farrell, Fay Wray, Curtiz paternity suit, William Powell, The Kennel Murder Case

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