A film has been made about the life of Hungarian film director Michael Curtiz (Mihály Kertész), famous for his greatest work, the world-famous “Casablanca.” The official premiere of the movie, “Curtiz – The Hungarian who subverted Hollywood,” can be watched on 12th September.
“Mihály Kertész realised such an international career that it is desired by the majority of film directors; however, regarding his personality, he was unable to ‘Americanise,’ which served as the basis of humorous situations. This was also intended to be shown in the film, apart from drawing attention to his memory that we can be proud of, despite his grumpy and grouchy personality,” said Yvan Tamás Topolánszky, the film’s director and screenwriter. He also added that Michael Curtiz is one of the few Hungarians whose life and personality are interesting on an international level as well.
As igenyesferfi.hu describes, the story starts in 1942 when the Hungarian-born filmmaker, Mihály Kertész, worked on his romantic film “Casablanca,” and the United States entered World War II. In order to support war propaganda, state leadership ordered officials for the supervision of filmmakers, as a result of which, the director had to overcome several barriers, in addition to the challenges in his private life.
“The film depicts reality in 85%, and only some differences can occur in timing. He added that the character of the officer, Johnson, who inspected Curtiz, is not real; however, film control really existed. Kertész had a daughter who wanted to get in touch with her father, but it is questionable whether this happened during the period of directing Casablanca,” reported Zsuzsanna Bak, the film’s screenwriter.
The main character of the black-and-white biographical movie is acted by Ferenc Lengyel. Curtiz’s daughter is played by Evelin Dobos. Apart from them, foreign actors can be seen, such as the American twins Yan and Rafael Feldman, Declan Hannigan, and Scott Alexander Young.
The film won the Award of the 42nd Montreal International Film Festival.
“When we were filming the movie, we got in contact with Curtiz’s family and received a personal relic, a belt with the director’s monogram on it,” recalled Claudia Sümeghy, the film’s producer.
In Hungary, the film is distributed by test screening before the official premiere on 12th September.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/CurtizFilm/