62 Great Directors: Michael Curtiz

“Bring on the empty horses.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Casablanca.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Casablanca.

What Did I Watch: Mildred Pierce.

Where Does He Fit: Michael Curtiz is not quite hitting the peaks of Casablanca and Robin Hood with Mildred Pierce, but Mildred Pierce’s best parts make it look awfully tempting to call this his best. Most of those occur early on, with Joan Crawford inspiring a man in his dying minutes before she nearly jumps and gets Wally arrested. Her and Ann Blyth and the glorious Eve Arden are turning in top-notch work, but you do have to wonder about some of the slightly jarring transitions in emotion (why would she focus so much on the restaurant as a result of her daughter dying) even if the textures are delicious. Crocodile tears are always fun.


Most Valuable Asset: Journeyman work.
Most Excited For: The Breaking Point.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Crazy Westerner Sam Peckinpah.


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