Director Michael Curtiz: An Appreciation

While looking for an interview of Director Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) I found this wonderful video of “Gus And Travis Talk Film” spending 15 minutes going over his very underrated career. Gus calls him one of his heroes and they are very well informed about his films.

This is one of the best things I could find about him online.

“Who cares about character? I make it go so fast nobody notices” – Michael Curtiz

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Interview With Film Noir Director Anthony Mann

Anthony Mann the director best known for his film noirs: T-Men (1947), Raw Deal (1948), Border Incident (1949), Side Street (1950) and the westerns he made with Jimmy Stewart: Winchester ’73 (1950), Bend of the River (1952), The Naked Spur (1953), The Far Country (1955), The Man from Laramie (1955) is interviewed in 1967 for a BBC series called “The Movies”. It is an excellent interview where Mann goes into detail about why movies are loved by audiences around the world, why it is such a powerful medium and why he likes shooting on location and not on soundstages.

A WW 2 Comedy, Spy Thriller: To Be Or Not To Be

“To Be Or Not To Be” the 1942 movie directed by Ernst Lubitsch starring Carole Lombard, Jack Benny and Robert Stack is a very unique film about an acting troupe in Poland just before and after the conquest of the country by Nazi Germany. The skills of all the actors to both act and use disguises to fool the occupiers comes into play in very real, dangerous and life threatening situations. It has a very interesting tone and it is not surprising that the film did not go over well at the time of the release with critics or audiences. Lombard and Benny are wonderful in it.

Vigilante Western: The Ox-Bow Incident

After posting about “Johnny Guitar” the other day it made me think of this movie which should be considered a classic by anyone who has seen it.

The 1943 Western “The Ox-Bow Incident” directed by William Wellman and starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn and Harry Morgan is similar in theme to the previously posted Western ”Johnny Guitar”. Both concern mob rule and vigilante justice, but “The Ox-Bow Incident” is a much more realistically staged film, and is much more powerful for it compared to the McCarthy era paranoia, homosexually repressed and theatrical “Johnny Guitar”. Orson Welles was at a an early screening of the movie and after it was over he is quoted as saying about the audience – “They don’t know what they just saw”.