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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

Home on the Range

Home on the Range

(p.146) 16 Home on the Range
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Curtiz and Bess purchased a huge estate in the San Fernando Valley.The hillside Tudor house would expand to include a pair of Curtiz’s lesser passions, a polo field and a skeet range. Curtiz became addicted to polo, playing with Zanuck, Walt Disney, Will Rogers, and other Hollywood luminaries. Curtiz directed the daring pre-Code film Mandalay with Kay Francis starring as a prostitute. This film also beganthe strife between Wallis and Curtiz. Curtiz directed the picture as he saw fit, and Wallis peppered him with memos telling him he was shooting too much footage or providing specific production guidance that Curtiz ignored.Hollywood’s pre-Code films generated so much controversy that the studios were forced to appoint Joseph Breen to administer the Production Code in July 1934. Breen zealously censored films, so thatWarners and the other studios were forced to adjust the content of pictures. Curtiz began his relationship with James Cagney with Jimmy the Gent (1933). Cagney respected Curtiz’s abilities but didn’t like his treatment of actors. Curtiz’s films of this period, most notably British Agent and Black Fury, raised his profile; he was poised to direct a major picture that would create one of Warner Bros.’ biggest stars.

Keywords:   San Fernando Valley, polo, Mandalay, Jimmy the Gent, James Cagney, William Powell, The Key, British Agent, Leslie Howard, Kay Francis

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