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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

Doomed Masterpiece

Doomed Masterpiece

(p.437) 29 Doomed Masterpiece
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

After making Bright Leaf, a drama set against the historical backdrop of the tobacco industry that starred Gary Cooper, Curtiz directedThe Breaking Point(1950), a faithful adaptation of Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. The picture reunited him with John Garfield and included his brother David Curtiz as the assistant director.Costarring Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter, and the Afro-Cuban actor Juano Hernandez, the picture was one of Curtiz’s greatest. The Breaking Point was doomed commercially after Red Channels, issued by the right-wing journal Counterattack, was published; it listed Garfield as a Communist sympathizer. Warner canceled a big publicity campaign as well as Garfield’s contract, and the film was buried.Faced with a changing environment at Warner Bros., Curtiz directed the credible Jim Thorpe—All American and Force of Arms. After celebrating his twenty-fifth anniversary at the studio, he wondered why he hadn’t received any of the profit percentages that were part of his 1948 contract.

Keywords:   Bright Leaf, Gary Cooper, The Breaking Point, John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Juano Hernandez, Jim Thorpe—All American, Burt Lancaster, Force of Arms, Nancy Olson

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