Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1998.3.C87 R63 1993
This book distinguishes itself by giving a through biography of Casablanca’s often forgotten director, Michael Curtiz. Usually considered to be nothing more than a studio workhorse, Curtiz and his work have often been ignored as merely the cookie cutter products of the enormous studio factories. In the Casablanca Man, Robertson tries to rebuff this image of Curtiz and investigate the unique elements of Curtiz’s work. During this investigation, Robertson outlines Curtiz’s life-story and the influence that it had on his films. Robertson also attempts to discover the man behind Curtiz’s films by researching the director’s view of film auteurism. In 1917, Curtiz stated that the director’s place in a film could be described as a kind of supreme behind the scenes coordinator. Throughout his life, Curtiz favored a hidden approach regarding the influence he had on his own films. Unfortunately, this method has led critics and viewers alike to forget his existence or see his many successful films as merely happy studio systems accidents. This book is highly relevant to the analysis of Casablanca because it reminds its audience to not forget the work of a director who seems to have put a great deal of effort into being forgotten. Curtiz’s influence on Casablanca is significant and (as this book reminds us) should not be forgotten.