The American Cinematheque’s AC Book Club presents: Michael Curtiz – A Life In Film
Online discussion with author Alan K. Rode at 5:00 PM PDT on Sunday, August 2nd.
. . . to receive a link to the Zoom discussion. Your link will be sent earlier on the day of the discussion.
About the Book
Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962) – whose best-known films include CASABLANCA (1942), YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942), MILDRED PIERCE(1945) and WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954) – was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his unprecedented 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., he directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies and film noir masterpieces. The director’s staggering output of 180 films surpasses that of the legendary John Ford and exceeds the combined total of films directed by George Cukor, Victor Fleming, and Howard Hawks.
In the first biography of this colorful, instinctual artist, Alan K. Rode illuminates the life and work of one of the film industry’s most complex figures. A native of Hungary, Curtiz immigrated to the United States in 1926. In Hollywood, Curtiz earned a reputation for his explosive tantrums, but few directors elicited more memorable portrayals from their casts. In addition to his study of the director’s remarkable legacy, Rode investigates Curtiz’s dramatic personal life, discussing his enduring creative partnership with his wife, screenwriter Bess Meredyth. This meticulously researched biography provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most talented filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age.
About the AC Book Club
The relationship between books and movies goes back to the dawn of cinema. As the medium matured, the written word grew beyond source material to include scholarship on film. Part of the American Cinematheque’s mission is to shed light on Hollywood history and the filmmaking process, so we spotlight authors with relevant books whenever possible – often partnering with our friends down the boulevard, Larry Edmunds Bookshop.
During these days of virtual cinema, the American Cinematheque AC Book Club will continue that initiative with webinar presentations from authors who will shed light on various corners of the movie industry. Join us for the AC Book Club!
Alan K. Rode will appear virtually for a 30-minute post-screening Q&A of GILDA (1946). Approx time: 2:45pm PST — Link to be announced.
The screening happens In Real Life at:
Marco Island Center for the Arts
1010 Winterberry Drive
Marco Island, Florida 34145
1946 – Running Time: 1:45
Just arrived in Argentina, small-time crooked gambler Johnny Farrell is saved from a gunman by sinister Ballin Mundson, who later makes Johnny his right-hand man. But their friendship based on mutual lack of scruples is strained when Mundson returns from a trip with a wife: the supremely desirable Gilda, whom Johnny once knew and learned to hate. The relationship of Johnny and Gilda, a battlefield of warring emotions, becomes even more bizarre after Mundson disappears…
Gilda is a 1946 American film noir directed by Charles Vidor and starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. The film is known for cinematographer Rudolph Maté‘s lush photography, costume designer Jean Louis‘s wardrobe for Hayworth (particularly for the dance numbers), and choreographer Jack Cole‘s staging of “Put the Blame on Mame” and “Amado Mio“, sung by Anita Ellis. Over the years Gilda has gained cult classic status In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.
This feature film will be followed by 30-minute Q&A with Alan K. Rode (author, TCM contributor, and one of the founders of the Film Noir Foundation)
Alan K. Rode is a writer, historian, actor and producer. A cinematic Renaissance man, he has written acclaimed biographies of legendary director Michael Curtiz and tough guy actor Charles McGraw while creating essays and profiles for a variety of cinema based publications.
Alan is a charter director of the Film Noir Foundation and the producer-host of the annual Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs, California. He has programmed and hosted classic cinema events across the country while providing commentary tracks for DVD/blu-ray vintage film releases.
He frequently appears as an expert commentator in a variety of films, documentaries and special features including TCM’s Filmstruck streaming site and has progressed into producing documentary featurettes.