THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936): Separating Fact from Fiction

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936): Separating Fact from Fiction

Over the years, there have been numerous stories published or otherwise repeated about the production of Warner Bros, action film THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (1936).

These anecdotal accounts received additional heft in 1975 with the publication of David Niven’s memoir BRING ON THE EMPTY HORSES.

Among other recollections, Niven wrote about director Michael Curtiz’s “carnage” of injured and dead horses caused by his ordering the use of a “Running W” or trip wire during action scenes that were supposedly filmed in Mexico.

Other versions included a fight between Errol Flynn and Curtiz that never occurred (There was a physical confrontation between both men that occurred six years later during DIVE BOMBER) reportedly caused by Flynn’s rage over the director’s alleged indifference to the welfare of animals with the number of horses crippled or killed during the making of the picture ranging from 20 to 100 or many more.

My research, based on studio production records, correspondence and legal files( including sworn affidavits and photographs) and other sources, revealed an accurate and less fabulist account of what occurred during production of the film.

Hollywood’s Great Deluge

Hollywood’s Great Deluge

TCM will be broadcasting NOAH’S ARK on April 4, 2018 that will commence a month long spotlight on the films of director Michael Curtiz. Here is some background on the making of the film adapted from MICHAEL CURTIZ A LIFE in FILM   Michael Curtiz signed a contract with...
Top Ten Film Noirs

Top Ten Film Noirs

Ten of My Favorite Film Noirs Ten isn’t nearly enough, but there you have it. Here are some of my faves that are seminal genre entries, a classic that can’t be denied or, I just plain dug the hell out of the picture. The order of these films is not hierarchical.  Like...
Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film

Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film

“In 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 work- ing methods. It is di cult 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

Look Under the H for the Money!

Look Under the H for the Money!

By 1954, the venerable HOLLYWOOD sign had been the symbol of Tinseltown for over three decades. The fifty foot high milestone on Mount Lee was emblematic of the aspirations of those worthies who appear everyday in Hollywood in pursuit of their respective holy grail....
Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy

Charles McGraw: Biography of a Film Noir Tough Guy

Books Blu-ray Discs Alan contributed numerous commentaries and special feature appearances for a variety of Blu-ray© and DVD classic film releases. Several recent releases include documentary featurettes produced by TVP Enterprises, Alan’s production company that...