Michael Curtiz: A Retrospective

Sat, Jun 9th, 2018 to Sun, Aug 5th, 2018

Although he is best known for the immortal CASABLANCA, Michael Curtiz directed over 150 films in a career that spanned half a century. He operated at peak efficient at Warner Bros. where he turned out between two and seven features ever year from 1926 to 1952, making film noirs, swashbucklers, melodramas, comedies, westerns, horror films, musicals, and patriotic paeans to his adopted country.

NOIR CITY maestro Alan K. Rode will joining the Music Box on June 9th & 10th to screen several Curtiz landmarks and discuss his new book, Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film. Additional matinees will continue throughout the summer.

Movies & Showtimes for
Michael Curtiz: A Retrospective

Sat, Jun 9th
The Mad Genius

11:30AM
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Sat, Jun 9th
The Adventures of Robin Hood

1:30PM
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Sun, Jun 10th
Casablanca

11:30AM
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Sun, Jun 10th
The Breaking Point

2:00PM
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Sun, Jun 17th
Virginia City

11:30AM
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Sat, Jun 23rd
Doctor X

11:30AM
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Sat, Jun 30th
Mildred Pierce

11:30AM
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Sun, Jul 1st
Mildred Pierce

11:30AM
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Sat, Jul 7th
The Sea Hawk

11:30AM
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Sun, Jul 8th
The Sea Hawk

11:30AM
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Sun, Jul 22nd
The Kennel Murder Case

11:30AM
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Sun, Jul 29th
Noah's Ark

11:30AM
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Sat, Aug 4th
Flamingo Road

11:30AM
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Sun, Aug 5th
Flamingo Road

11:30AM
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The Adventures of Robin Hood

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
WRITTEN BY: Norman Reilly Raine, Seton I. Miller
STARRING: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone

***Introduced by Alan Rode | Playing as a double feature with The Mad Genius | One ticket admits to both films***

Errol Flynn brings the New Deal to the dispossessed of Sherwood Forest in this all-time classic swashbuckler. The beautifully-paced action sequences and elaborate costume design are rendered in eye-popping three-strip Technicolor, with first-rate symphonic support from Erich Korngold. Perfectly cast with Alan Hale as Little John, Eugene Palette as Friar Tuck, Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marion, and Claude Rains as Prince John.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1938
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 102 mins
Format: 35mm

The Breaking Point

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Ranald MacDougall (screen play by), Ernest Hemingway (based on the story by)
STARRING: John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter

***Introduced by Alan Rode | Playing as a double feature with Casablanca | One ticket admits to both films***

An adaptation of the same Ernest Hemingway story that served as the basis for TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, THE BREAKING POINT casts John Garfield as a beleaguered fishing boat captain forced into unchartered moral waters in this exemplary working-class noir. New 35MM print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Preservation funding provided by Warner Bros. in association with The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1950
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 97 mins
Format: 35mm

Casablanca

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Julius J. Epstein (screenplay), Philip G. Epstein (screenplay)
STARRING: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

***Introduced by Alan Rode | Playing as a double feature with The Breaking Point | One ticket admits to both films***

There is no greater tribute to Curtiz's narrative mastery than CASABLANCA, his roving camera deftly catching a dozen memorable and quotable performances (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Dooley Wilson, et al.) in Rick's Cafe Americain. A World War II propaganda film that remains a beloved touchstone as time goes by, this Best Picture Academy Award winner represents golden age Hollywood filmmaking at its height.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1942
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 102 mins
Format: 35mm

Doctor X

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Robert Tasker (screen play), Earl Baldwin (screen play)
STARRING: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy

Rare 35mm Screening | A part of Cinepocalypse 2018

The great granddaddy of body horror movies, DOCTOR X is a 1932 genre mash-up that may as well have been grafted together on the operating table with a healthy dollop of synthetic flesh. Simultaneously a gruesome moonlight murder mystery and a saucy pre-Code newspaper comedy, DOCTOR X was photographed in the two-strip Technicolor process, which renders the morgue visits and grisly medical experiments in an eerily unreal color palette. Starring Fay Wray (KING KONG) and Lionell Atwill (MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM). "There is something for everyone in this picture: cannibalism, dismemberment, rape, and necrophilia -- and a piquant kinky bonus when Atwill displays erotic arousal at the sight of Preston Foster unscrewing his artificial arm." - Kenneth Anger, Hollywood Babylon

Technical Information

Production Year: 1932
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 76 mins
Format: 35mm

Flamingo Road

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Robert Wilder (screenplay), Edmund H. North (additional dialogue)
STARRING: Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet

Joan Crawford re-teams with Curtiz for this downmarket MILDRED PIERCE, which asks whether a carnival dancer can rise to posh confines of Flamingo Road. Crawford must beat a gauntlet of corrupt sheriffs, scheming politicos, and bordello whispers in this landmark of soap opera camp.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1949
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 94 mins
Format: 35mm

The Kennel Murder Case

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: S.S. Van Dine (by), Robert N. Lee (screen play)
STARRING: William Powell, Mary Astor, Eugene Pallette

Widely regarded as the best screen adaptation of S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance mystery novels, THE KENNEL MURDER CASE cast William Powell as the suave detective a year before he soft-shoed his way into the not dissimilar Nick Charles role in THE THIN MAN. A B-movie tricked out with A+ technique and impressive forward momentum, THE KENNEL MURDER CASE secured Curtiz's reputation as a studio craftsman who could enliven any script.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1933
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 73 mins
Format: 35mm

The Mad Genius

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Martin Brown (play), J. Grubb Alexander (screenplay)
STARRING: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Charles Butterworth

***Introduced by Alan Rode | Playing as a double feature with The Adventures of Robin Hood | One ticket admits to both films***

One of Curtiz's finest and most neglected pre-Code films, THE MAD GENIUS is an elaborately daft vision of the director's European roots. John Barrymore stars as frustrated puppeteer Vladimir Ivan Tsarakov, who vows to turn a boy he derides as "a disjointed bag of bones" into a first-rate dancer. A psychological horror film that finds room for extended ballet sequences, THE MAD GENIUS was the BLACK SWAN of its day.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1931
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 81 mins
Format: 35mm

Mildred Pierce

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
STARRING: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott

Joan Crawford provides the last word in motherly sacrifice in this perverse noir melodrama of spoiled teenagers, loutish husbands, and chain restaurants. Later re-made as a Todd Haynes miniseries with Kate Winslet, the Curtiz original is a concentrated powerhouse with an excellent grasp of the minute gradations of Southern California social hierarchy.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1945
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 111 mins
Format: 35mm

Noah's Ark

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Darryl F. Zanuck (story), Anthony Coldeway (adaptation)
STARRING: Dolores Costello, George O'Brien, Noah Beery

Curtiz's answer to Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 telling of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, NOAH'S ARK mixes its Old Testament parable with a modern tale of civilizational catastrophe with a World War I backdrop. The cast has dual roles, including Noah Beery as Noah's nemesis King Nephiliu and lecherous Russian spymaster Nickoloff. Shot as a silent film but released with Vitaphone music and effects track and several dialogue sequences, NOAH'S ARK confirmed Curtiz's command of spectacle. 35MM restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1928
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 100 mins
Format: 35mm

The Sea Hawk

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Howard Koch (screen play), Seton I. Miller (screen play)
STARRING: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains

High-seas privateers plunder across the screen in this fleet pirate saga with a timely interventionist message. Queen Elizabeth is counseled to appease Spain and ignore its growing Armada, but Captain Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) knows better and recognizes a military threat when he sees one. Building upon the spectacle of their earlier CAPTAIN BLOOD, Curtiz and Flynn achieve the zenith of the seafaring genre.

Technical Information

Production Year: 1940
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 127 mins
Format: 35mm

Virginia City

A FILM BY: Michael Curtiz
WRITTEN BY: Robert Buckner (original screen play)
STARRING: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott

Chiefly known as the movie that preposterously cast Humphrey Bogart as a Mexican bandido with a pencil mustache, VIRGINIA CITY remains one of Curtiz's most entertaining Westerns, with terrific stunt work and sultry Painted Desert vistas. In the waning days of the Civil War, Union officer Errol Flynn learns of a conspiracy to prop up the Confederacy by diverting a gold shipment to Jefferson Davis himself. Can he trust showgirl Miriam Hopkins to smash the Rebs? 35MM preservation from the Library of Congress

Technical Information

Production Year: 1940
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Run Time: 121 mins
Format: 35mm

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