Michael Curtiz


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(1888–1962). Film director. The prolific Hollywood director who filmed everything and anything, he found time to helm fifteen musicals with everyone from Al Jolson to Elvis Presley. Curtiz was born in Budapest, the son of an architect and an opera singer, and educated at Markoszy University and Hungary's Royal Academy of Theatre and Art. He worked in a circus before entering films as an actor and by 1912 was directing Hungarian movies. After serving in World War I, Curtiz was a political refugee who directed films in Austria and then Germany, getting the attention of Hollywood studios who were impressed by his epic silent features. Warner Brothers brought him to California in 1926 and he stayed to direct well over 100 movies during the next thirty years. Curtiz's variety was as impressive as his quantity of output, helming film classics as different as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Casablanca (1943). His musicals are similarly varied and include Mammy (1930), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), This Is the Army (1943), Night and Day (1946), Romance on the High Seas (1948), Young Man With a Horn (1950), The Jazz Singer (1953), White Christmas (1954), The Vagabond King (1956), The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956), The Helen Morgan Story (1957), and King Creole (1958).

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

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