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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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(p.510) 32 Dégringolade
Michael Curtiz

Alan K. Rode

University Press of Kentucky

Curtiz returned to Warner Bros. for The Helen Morgan Story (1957).The film, starring Paul Newman and Ann Blyth,wasa flop and turned out to be the director’s final picture for Jack Warner. He fathered a daughter with Jill Gerrard, whom he maintainedat arm’s length to prevent any interference with his film career, which was entering twilight. Sam Goldwyn Jr. hired him to film The Proud Rebel. The film was delayed because of Curtiz’s appendectomy, but it became a heartwarming success starring Alan Ladd and Olivia de Havilland.Hal Wallis tapped him to direct Elvis Presley in King Creole (1958).Taking a conciliatory approach, Curtiz coaxed a superior performance from Presley that the pop music star came to regard as his best in any film. Curtiz directed a pair of desultory pictures,The Man in the Net and A Breath of Scandal, as age and illness began to impair his ability to work effectively.A handsome but antiseptic version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn for Sam Goldwyn Jr. closed out Curtiz’s films during the 1950s.

Keywords:   The Helen Morgan Story, Ann Blyth, Paul Newman, The Proud Rebel, Sam Goldwyn Jr., Olivia de Havilland, Alan Ladd, King Creole, Elvis Presley, Dolores Hart

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