It’s not out till November, but I’m already looking forward to Alan K. Rode’s new  book on Michael Curtiz. 

This great director is finally going to have  a long overdue biography by a writer many of us  know from his involvement in the Film Noir Foundation (Alan is a charter director), and from the many interviews he has conducted with classic Hollywood people over the years.


Alan K Rode

Michael Curtiz (1886 – 1962) directed 180 film in many different genres. He was one of Warner Brothers’ top directors.

He won an Oscar for CASABLANCA. He directed James Cagney to an Oscar in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY, and Joan Crawford in MILDRED PIERCE. And he made a star of Errol Flynn in CAPTAIN BLOOD and  THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD.

He took on Bette Davis in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, and 20 years after Captain Blood, he made one of my favorite musicals, THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE.

Ingrid Bergman and Michael Curtiz on the set of CASABLANCA


Alan Rode has done research in Europe where Curtiz’s career began, and he has interviewed family members and colleagues. The new book has 630 pages and 76 photos. (It should be some read!)

Curtiz with Rosalind Russell and Errol Flynn


Curtiz with Joan Crawford. MILDRED PIERCE.






Alan K. Rode is also the author of the excellent biography of Charles McGraw.

Mr. Rode also produces and hosts the annual ARTHUR LYONS FILM NOIR FESTIVAL in Palm Springs. The latest festival (May 11 – 14,2017) featured HOLLOW TRIUMPH, SIDE STREET,BLACK ANGEL, SPLIT SECOND, MEET DANNY WILSON  and DESPERATE.

You can check out Alan Rode’s schedule at Alankrode.com . He’ll be at NOIR CITY CHICAGO in August. Wish I could follow him around and see all these great movies!

5 responses »

  1. There is another biography of Curtiz called “The Casablanca Man” (original title, eh?) written by James C. Robertson and published in paperback in 1994 by Routledge but it doesn’t look as though it’s going to hold a candle to this new one – it seems well-written enough, but doesn’t excite me as much as I think this new one will! I think of the word “pedestrian” when I think of the Robertson one (sorry!) I would insert a photo of the cover and back, but there doesn’t seem to be an option here – maybe if I email it to Vienna it might get posted?

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