Michael Curtiz was one of Hollywood’s most prolific and colorful directors. Born to a well-to-do Jewish family in Budapest, he ran away from home at age 17 to join a circus, then trained for an acting career at the Royal Academy for Theater and Art. He worked as a leading man at the Hungarian Theatre before directing stage plays and then films. His first cinematic effort was Az Utolsó Bohém (1912), which was also the first feature-length film ever made in Hungary. Curtiz soon moved on to the more progressive Danish film industry, returning to his homeland in 1914 and serving a year in the Austro-Hungarian infantry before resuming his film career. While it may be arguable that Curtiz was Hungary’s finest director, he was certainly its busiest, making no fewer than 14 films in 1917, most of which starred his first wife, actress Lucy Dorraine. When the Hungarian film industry was nationalized by the new communist government in 1919, Curtiz packed his bags and headed for Sweden… read more
Lloyd Francis Bacon (December 4, 1889 – November 15, 1955) was a screen, stage, and vaudeville actor and film director. Bacon was born in San Jose California, the son of actor Frank Bacon, later the co-author and star of the long running Broadway show ‘Lightnin’ (1918), and Jennie (Weidman) Bacon. He was not related to actor Irving Bacon whom he directed in a number of his films.
Bacon started in films with Charlie Chaplin and Bronco Billy Anderson and appeared in more than 40 total. As an actor he is best known for supporting Chaplin in such films as 1915’s The Tramp, The Champion and 1917’s Easy Street.
He also directed over a hundred films between 1920 and 1955. He is best known as director of such classics as 1933’s 42nd Street, 1937’s Ever Since Eve from a screenplay by the playwright Lawrence Riley et al., 1938’s A Slight Case of Murder with Edward G. Robinson, 1939’s Invisible Stripes with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart, 1939’s The Oklahoma Kid with James Cagney… read more