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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

Only in Hollywood

Only in Hollywood

(p.482) 31 Only in Hollywood
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Curtiz signed a term deal with Paramount and helmedWhite Christmas (1954), the initial picture with the wide-screen format of VistaVision. Boosted by the star power of Bing Crosby, it was his most financially successful picture and became a Yuletide staple despite a clichéd script. He began a relationship with a twenty-year-old model, Jill Gerrard, while continuing hislong-term affair with the actress Anitra Stevens (Ann Stuart).Darryl Zanuck hired Curtiz to direct his uber-epic The Egyptian. Marlon Brando dropped out in favor of Edmond Purdom, and Zanuck cast his foreign-born mistress, Bella Darvi, as one of the leads.Curtiz addedAnitra Stevens to the cast as Nefertiti. The Egyptian was a critical and financial flop. He directedWe’re No Angels(1955), with Humphrey Bogart, which was a qualified success, followed by The Vagabond King, a Rudolf Friml musical that was an unmitigated disaster.He attempted to recover withThe Scarlet Hour, a crime drama starring a pair of new actors that wasanother disappointment. Soon after finishing up on that film, Curtiz was arrested for “disorderly conduct” (hiring a couple to have sex while he watched) and was written up in Confidential magazine.Although he partially rebounded with the Fox musical The Best Things in Life Are Free(1956), his professional future at age seventy appeared problematical.

Keywords:   White Christmas, Bing Crosby, Barrie Chase, Darryl Zanuck, The Egyptian, Bella Darvi, We’re No Angels, The Vagabond King, The Scarlet Hour, The Best Things in Life Are Free

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