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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

A Michael Curtiz Production

A Michael Curtiz Production

(p.389) 27 A Michael Curtiz Production
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Curtiz pressed Jack Warner to support the start-up of hisproduction company while directing Life with Father, his longest production at Warner Bros. Life with Father was complicated by the contractual power of Clarence Day Jr.’s widow as well as Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, who exercised creative control over the entire production. The back story of the movie is supplemented by a firsthand account from the actor Jimmy Lydon. After Life with Father became another box-office hit,and a mini-scandal involving one of his Hungarian assistants and his daughter Kitty was covered up by the studio, Curtiz got the go-ahead to set up his production company on the Warner lot.After selling the Canoga Ranch and moving to a smaller spread in Encino, he produced his first independent film, The Unsuspected. Curtiz sought stars—including Orson Welles, Ava Gardner, and Dana Andrews—but ended up with Claude Rains, Audrey Totter, and a newcomer, Michael North. The picture was a visual delight, but it didn’t fare well at the box office. Curtiz needed another picture with a new star in order to keep his new company running.

Keywords:   Life with Father, Katherine Day, Howard Lindsay, Russel Crouse, Irene Dunne, William Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Jimmy Lydon, Conference of Studio Unions (CSU), The Unsuspected, Michael Curtiz Productions

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