Michael Curtiz - Rotten Tomatoes

Michael Curtiz

Highest Rated:   100% The Comancheros (1961)
Lowest Rated:   57% Noah's Ark (1928)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Michael Curtiz was one of Hollywood's most prolific and colorful directors. Born to a well-to-do Jewish family in Budapest, he ran away from home at age 17 to join a circus, then trained for an acting career at the Royal Academy for Theater and Art. He worked as a leading man at the Hungarian Theatre before directing stage plays and then films. His first cinematic effort was Az Utolsó Bohém (1912), which was also the first feature-length film ever made in Hungary. Curtiz soon moved on to the more progressive Danish film industry, returning to his homeland in 1914 and serving a year in the Austro-Hungarian infantry before resuming his film career. While it may be arguable that Curtiz was Hungary's finest director, he was certainly its busiest, making no fewer than 14 films in 1917, most of which starred his first wife, actress Lucy Dorraine. When the Hungarian film industry was nationalized by the new communist government in 1919, Curtiz packed his bags and headed for Sweden, France, Germany, and Austria. He directed 21 European pictures in a seven-year period, including the epic Sodom and Gomorrah (1923), which was also the film debut of Walter Slezak. In 1926, Curtiz was brought to Hollywood by Warner Bros.; going along for the ride was the director's second wife, actress Lili Damita, who later married Curtiz's frequent star Errol Flynn. (The director's third and final wife was screenwriter Bess Meredyth). Curtiz's first few American films were stylish but only moderately expensive. But not so 1929's Noah's Ark, a super-spectacular production which bombed at the box office but also firmly established Curtiz as a "prestige" director. It also set the standard for an utter lack of concern for the well-being of actors; several extras died during the climactic flood sequence, reportedly because Curtiz, hoping to incur genuine panic in his performers, had failed to inform them that they'd be deluged with tons of water. Most leading actors despised the dictatorial filmmaker, but were willing to work with him time and again due to his uncanny knack for turning out top-notch movies. While his detractors have noted that Curtiz's much-praised visual style was due more to Warner's team of cinematographers and art directors than to the director himself, few can deny that his films were among the best and most profitable that the studio ever turned out. Listing his greatest sound films would require a book, in itself, but a representative cross-section of Curtiz's creative contributions of the 1930s and '40s include: Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), Casablanca (1942, and for which he won an Oscar), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945), Night and Day (1946), and Life With Father (1947). Even in his professional dotage, he was responsible for one of the biggest box-office successes of the mid-'50s, White Christmas (1954). Curtiz died in 1962, one year after completing his final film, The Comancheros with John Wayne.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet White Christmas 60th Anniversary
  • Director
2014
No Score Yet The Perfect Specimen
  • Director
2014
No Score Yet Der Junge Medardus
  • Director
2013
No Score Yet Das Spielzeug von Paris
  • Director
2010
No Score Yet Der goldene Schmetterling (The Golden Butterfly)
  • Director
2010
No Score Yet Warner Bros. and the Homefront
  • Director
2008
100% The Comancheros
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet Francis of Assisi
  • Director
1961
No Score Yet A Breath of Scandal
  • Director
1960
No Score Yet The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Director
1960
No Score Yet The Hangman
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet The Man in the Net
  • Director
1959
No Score Yet The Proud Rebel
  • Director
1958
100% King Creole
  • Director
1958
No Score Yet The Helen Morgan Story
  • Director
1957
No Score Yet We're No Angels
  • Director
1955
No Score Yet The Egyptian
  • Director
1954
77% White Christmas
  • Director
1954
No Score Yet Trouble Along the Way
  • Director
1953
No Score Yet The Jazz Singer
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet The Story of Will Rogers
  • Director
1952
No Score Yet Jim Thorpe---All American
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet Force Of Arms
  • Director
1951
80% I'll See You In My Dreams
  • Director
1951
No Score Yet The Breaking Point
  • Director
1950
No Score Yet Young Man With a Horn
  • Director
1950
No Score Yet Bright Leaf
  • Director
1950
No Score Yet It's a Great Feeling
  • Himself
1949
No Score Yet The Lady Takes a Sailor
  • Director
1949
No Score Yet My Dream Is Yours
  • Director
  • Producer
1949
No Score Yet Flamingo Road
  • Director
1949
80% Romance on the High Seas
  • Producer
  • Director
1948
No Score Yet The Unsuspected
  • Director
  • Producer
1947
91% Life With Father
  • Director
1947
No Score Yet Night and Day
  • Director
1946
82% Mildred Pierce
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Roughly Speaking
  • Director
1945
No Score Yet Janie
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet Passage to Marseille
  • Director
1944
No Score Yet This Is the Army
  • Director
1943
No Score Yet Mission to Moscow
  • Director
1943
97% Casablanca
  • Director
1942
92% Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Director
  • Actor
1942
No Score Yet Captains of the Clouds
  • Director
1942
No Score Yet Dive Bomber
  • Director
1941
No Score Yet The Sea Wolf
  • Director
1941
100% The Sea Hawk
  • Director
1940
No Score Yet Santa Fe Trail
  • Director
1940
No Score Yet Virginia City
  • Director
1940
No Score Yet Four Wives
  • Director
1939
71% The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
  • Director
1939
100% Dodge City
  • Director
1939
No Score Yet Four's a Crowd
  • Director
1938
100% Four Daughters
  • Director
1938
100% The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Director
1938
No Score Yet Gold Is Where You Find It
  • Director
1938
100% Angels with Dirty Faces
  • Director
1938
No Score Yet Kid Galahad
  • Director
1937
No Score Yet The Walking Dead
  • Director
1936
83% Charge of the Light Brigade
  • Director
1936
No Score Yet The Cowboy Creed
  • Director
1936
100% Captain Blood
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Little Big Shot
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Bright Lights
  • Producer
1935
80% Front Page Woman
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet Black Fury
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet The Case of the Curious Bride
  • Director
1935
No Score Yet British Agent
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet The Key
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet Jimmy the Gent
  • Director
1934
No Score Yet Mandalay
  • Director
1934
80% The Kennel Murder Case
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Female
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet Man Killer
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet The Keyhole
  • Director
1933
90% The Mystery of the Wax Museum
  • Director
1933
No Score Yet 20,000 Years in Sing Sing
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet Cabin in the Cotton
  • Director
1932
75% Doctor X
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet Alias The Doctor
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet The Strange Love of Molly Louvain
  • Director
1932
No Score Yet The Mad Genius
  • Director
1931
No Score Yet God's Gift to Women
  • Director
1931
No Score Yet A Soldier's Plaything
  • Director
1930
No Score Yet Mammy
  • Director
1930
57% Noah's Ark
  • Director
1928
No Score Yet Fiaker Nr. 13
  • Director
1926

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