Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film

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Product Details
University Press of Kentucky
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.3 X 2.1 inches | 2.4 pounds

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About the Author

Alan K. Rode is the author of Charles McGraw: Film Noir Tough Guy. A writer and film scholar, he is also the host and producer of the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival and director-treasurer of the Film Noir Foundation. He lives in Woodland Hills, California.


"A treat for classic film buffs who have waited a long time for a book-length biography on this director." -- Ann Blyth blog

"It's a serious, critically acclaimed survey of the director's long career. Some in Hollywood loved [Curtiz]; some hated him. But one thing's for sure -- without him, Hollywood would have been a much less interesting place." -- Beverly in Movieland blog

"Rode's evenhanded, impressively researched, engrossing book amply conveys its subject's "incandescent mania for filmmaking." -- Film Comment

" Michael Curtiz: A Life In Film is the definitive, comprehensive story of one of Hollywood's greatest filmmakers. This effortless read is full of rich details about Curtiz's career in Europe before Warner Brothers brought him to the US in the mid-1920s. There is never a dull moment in the 600-plus pages." -- Times Quotidian

"Rode's 600-page biography on Curtiz is a must-read for anyone who enjoys great books and Hollywood history.[This] book is a masterwork. Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film isn't just one of the best biographies, it's one of the best books about Old Hollywood." -- Journeys in Classic Film

"A superbly researched, highly compelling account of one of cinema's most gifted and underrated directors, Rode provides a vivid description of Curtiz's personality and working methods. It is difficult if not impossible to imagine a more complete account of his life." -- Steven C. Smith, author of A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann

"Rode's book is entertaining and informative as it takes measure of a director who has received less credit than he deserves." -- Milwaukee Express

"[The book is] spry and confident, pulsing with tasty quotes and catchy prose...anecdotes, side-shots, insights, ironies. An abundant, 698-page, six-course meal." -- Hollywood Elsewhere

"Michael Curtiz is the best director most people have never heard of. Yet until now nobody has taken up the case for Curtiz in a soup-to-nuts biography. The good news is that Alan Rode's massive book is exhaustively researched, well written and frequently witty.

[Curtiz] amassed a body of work without parallel at a great movie studio [Warner Bros.]. His films are his best advocate of that, but Alan Rode's book is a close second." -- Wall Street Journal

"In the impressive and entertaining new book Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film, author Alan K. Rode illustrates why Curtiz has been undervalued for so many years. I can't imagine a more thorough account of any director's life and work. I devoured this book and give it my highest recommendation." -- Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy

"Alan K. Rode's Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film is engaging from the start and doesn't let up. With a sure hand, good research and a knack for amusing ironies, author Rode really brings Curtiz to life.

Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film puts Alan K. Rode in with today's best writers on film. The book is a keeper that will go on the "read again soon" shelf." -- CineSavant

"This biography (the first about Curtiz) is thorough and vastly entertaining." -- Roundup Magazine

"After years of neglect and even scorn, [director] Michael Curtiz is finally getting some respect. Michael Curtiz: A Life in Films [is] a thoroughly researched biography by Alan K. Rode." -- Los Angeles Times

"With thorough knowledge of film history, telling anecdotes, and interviews, the author illuminates Curtiz's colorful career while also providing insightful portraits of actors, writers, and studio heads. Highly recommended." -- Library Journal

"Rode isn't here to bury Curtiz or to unconditionally praise him but to convey a fully rounded portrait of a highly complex -- even contradictory -- personality who made his mark. To that end, he has succeeded admirably. A Life in Film is so thoroughly, assiduously researched that it's hard to fathom a more comprehensive, or compelling, biography of Michael Curtiz than this." -- YES! Weekly

"Rode's research into the director's films is quite impressive." -- History News Network

"[A] magnificent biography." -- New York Review of Books

"I have never read a more interesting, thoroughly researched study of a director, ever. Never once does the author get bogged down by his meticulous research. Rode is such a good writer that his narrative flows and his very readable style makes all the information easy to absorb. He has written a terrific biography that should be a model for film historians. His impeccable research is coupled with fine knowledge and writing ability. He really sets the bar high and I am in awe of his achievement." -- Classic Images

"Film historian Alan K. Rode, in his massive and hugely enjoyable biography, describes the decisive role his subject played in a host of much-loved films -- Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) -- and lets Curtiz's work do most of the arguing." -- Sight & Sound