Michael Curtiz Movies

Want to know the best Michael Curtiz movies?  How about the worst Michael Curtiz movies?  Curious about Michael Curtiz box office grosses or which Michael Curtiz movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Michael Curtiz movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

We recently read an internet article that proclaimed Michael Curtiz as the greatest, most productive director that time has forgotten.   After reading that article we began taking an informal poll of some knowledgeable movie friends….we asked the question…..”Ever heard of Michael Curtiz?”  After getting 5 answers of “no”….we figured it was time to give Mr. Curtiz some UMR sunshine.

Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) was an Oscar® winning Hungarian-born American film director. His IMDb page shows an incredible 178 directing credits from 1912-1967.  This page will rank 90 Michael Curtiz movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.  Many of his silent movies, some early 1930s movies, shorts and uncredited directing jobs were not included in the rankings.

Michael Curtiz filming the little known Casablanca (1942)

Michael Curtiz Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Michael Curtiz movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Michael Curtiz movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Michael Curtiz movies by adjusted worldwide box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Michael Curtiz movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Michael Curtiz movie received.
  • Sort Michael Curtiz movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Michael Curtiz Table

  1. Forty-one Michael Curtiz movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 45.05% of his movies listed.  This Is The Army  (1943) was his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Michael Curtiz movie grosses $112.80 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  58 Michael Curtiz movies are rated as good movies…or 63.73% of his movies.  Casablanca  (1942) is his highest rated movie while A Soldier’s Plaything (1930) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty Michael Curtiz movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 21.97% of his movies.
  5. Six Michael Curtiz movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 6.59% of his movies.
  6. A “good movie” Ultimate Movie Rankings Score is 60.00.  61 Michael Curtiz movies scored higher that average….or 67.03% of his movies.  Casablanca  (1942) got the the highest UMR Score while A Soldier’s Plaything (1930) got the lowest UMR Score.

Michael Curtiz directing another little known movie…1938’s The Adventures of Robin Hood

Possibly Interesting Facts About Michael Curtiz

1. Manó Kaminer was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary in 1886.  In 1905 he Hungaricised his name to Mihály Kertész.

2. Michael Curtiz became attracted to the theater when he was a child in Hungary.  He built a little theater in the cellar of his house when he was 8 years old, where he and five of his friends reenacted plays

3.  In 1912, Michael Curtiz directed Hungary’s first feature film, Ma és holnap (Today and Tomorrow).

4.  Also in 1912, Michael Curtiz was on the Hungarian fencing team at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm

5.  After directing almost 70 movies in Europe, Curtiz arrived in the United States in 1926.  He began directing at Warner Bros. under the anglicised name “Michael Curtiz”. This marked the beginning of his 28-year career at Warners, where he directed 86 films

6.  Michael Curtiz could be intensely absorbed, to the point of distraction. Once was hurt falling out of a moving car because he wanted to write down an idea. He was driving at the time.

7.  Michael Curtiz directed Errol Flynn 12 times and Humphrey Bogart 8 times.

8.  Michael Curtiz is credited with “discovering” Doris Day, whom he heard sing at a Hollywood party. At the time he was about to direct 1948’s  Romance on the High Seas   and was seeking a singer/actress to replace Betty Hutton, who had become pregnant and had to back out of the film.

9.  Michael Curtiz was married three times in his life and had one son.

10.  Michael Curtiz directed close to an average of 3 movies a year from 1930 to 1961.  He did slow up when he reached 60…..as he only directed 2 movies a year from 1947 to 1961.

Check out Michael Curtiz’s career compared to current and classic actors and directors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

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28 thoughts on “Michael Curtiz Movies

  1. The story of Curtiz being an Olympic fencer was press a office invention. I Deal with that, among other things in my “The Man Who Ate Films – the Life and work of Michael Curtiz” put out by by Lulu books.

    The most interesting question is why the director whose films were the most widely watched of all time (See the Fame Magazine surveys) and the maker of CASABLANCA, the film which edged out CITIZEN KANE and GONE WITH THE WIND FOR THE as the key piece of classic Hollywood, remains an unknown name.

    1. Hey Barrie…..I wonder why he is pretty much a forgotten director. His legacy of 🎥 is stunning. The man achieved so many accomplishments and his movies are remembered and loved. Just makes no sense.

      1. One clue is that Casablanca (and PASSAGE TO MARSEILLE) were banned in France after WW2 when the assessment of film that we still have was being made largely by their writers. B.P.

        1. Hey Barrie….good point…..that might be part of the problem……thanks for the return visit and comment….it is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey Kleenig…..glad our page has opened your eyes to the awesomeness of Michael Curtiz’s movie career…..comments like that motivate us to keep on churning out these pages. Good stuff!


      What’s your secret? My own Curtiz now joins the long list of my posts that are not even seen by “Kirk Douglas’ family” to again quote Burt Lancaster about the level of attendances at one of Burt’s own flops.

      1. Hey Bob….I will go back and find your Curtiz comment…sorry about that….sadly I just do not have the time to keep up with the comments like I used to….but I am trying…..I think I have spent about 4 hours today doing comments today…..working 8 hours a day….fixing dinner…..doing 4 hours of comments….does not leave much time to finish up our Janet Leigh page…..but I will get her done before going to sleep tonight….as I am getting older…having more of an issue with only sleeping 2 to 3 hours a day.

  2. HI BRUCE 1. Thanks for your explanation about “held for moderation” and Flora’s old poetic mates The Spammers. Knowing your workload and pressures I have been holding back on my posts direct to you and am lucky that Steve has been keeping me occupied with The Duke and now Dorothy Malone. Also I now have your Novak stats to commit to my database, a labour of love as her career although not the longest at the top is one that I admire – despite Joel’s negativity!

    2 I was surprised that you were on vacation and not still at the grindstone in your paid profession earning more money for that family that you obviously adore! To paraphrase Gordon Gecko “Money never sleeps, does lunch or takes vacations – Sport!”

    3 This Michael Curtiz page has been very enlightening. Whilst I had not “forgotten” Michael and was conscious in a piece-meal fashion that I was watching classics when I viewed a number of Michael’s movies I never fully realised that he had made SO MANY classics until I saw them set out in a row as you have commendably done.

    4 I had also not even guessed that [assuming the ready reckoner is correct] Michael’s overall adjusted domestic grosses would amount to a whopping almost $10.3 billion which would put his box office success on a par with actors such as the Duke and Clark and possibly means that Michael is the most commercially successful director of all time [eat your heart out Myrna!] For example according to this site’s recent updates Michael just shades DeMille at the box office and leaves John Ford well behind.

    5 Please accept my very best wishes for your Friday procedure and I am sure everyone of your regulars will be keeping their fingers crossed for you. At 76 I have “been there” several times and can feel for you but am glad to hear that your appointment is about something “minor”..

    1. Hey Bob
      1. Glad to be able to clarify why your comment disappeared…..gotta blame the Spammers….they seem to love trying to get on the comment boxes.
      2. Time has become even more of a challenge…picked up some more responsibilites at work….then trying to add in lots of trailers….plus keep the new material flowing….on top of being a good husband and father…has made responding to comments and watching movies very very challenging.
      3. Recently….Google….has finally agreed to add ads to the website….maybe after 7 years of doing this…we could get some monetary reward….so far…..we have earned a Hub Page notebook, 2 Hub Page T-Shirts and a Hub Page bumper sticker for our work.
      4. Glad our Curtiz page has been “very enligtening”….the best stat…for us at least…..is that over 80 of these movies were already in our database….so it was actually a very easy page to put together.
      5. Friday went awesome….this is of course on Monday….and I am feeling much better…this weekend sucked…..the nicest way I can put it…lol.
      Thanks for all the feedback….it is greatly appreciated.

      1. HI BRUCE

        1 Thanks. Was just kidding of course as was well aware of what you were going through last week in particular though “all’ well that ends well” and hope the good health continues.

        2 Flora will really have to find ways to keep those spammers under control as reading poetry to them clearly has not done the trick!

        1. Hey Bob…I can handle the “picking”….so keep it up. FYI. I was reading another of my favorite movie authors….and he got to talking about Brando. He (Danny Peary) gives Marlon much more credit than Joel…..I will have to put his thoughts on the website soon…..maybe that will help ease some of the pain Joel has delivered…..lol.

  3. A truly wonderful director, his films will probably be more well known than he ever was. Although I would imagine that most modern day directors would give their right arm to have the same amount of success. I think besides John Ford he must be the most bankable director of the 30s and 40s. Strange that his most famous movie Casablanca was a movie practically thrown together where nobody seemed to know what was happening and yet by magic it turned out to be a classic.
    Errol Flynn hated him. While filming The Charge of the Life Brigade, many horses were injured and had to be put down. Curtiz didn’t seem to see the problem but Flynn was furious and thought it was totally cruel. The actor David Nivin wrote in his biography that when he was really mad and shouting at the crew, because of his broken English it Curtiz was quite funny and so some people didn’t take him very seriously when he was angry. I think the same point was made about Billy Wilder.
    While making White Christmas, the King and Queen of Greece made a visit to the set. He couldn’t contain his excitement for he had a thing about royalty. Crosby on the other hand couldn’t care less and walked off the set when his bit was done, leaving Curtiz fuming.
    I’ve seen about half his movies and my favourites would be Mildred Pierce, Casablanca and Angels with Dirty Faces.
    PS. I was amazed at the box office returns for This Is The Army. What ticket sales would that represent?

    1. Hey Chris….thanks for checking out our Michael Curtiz movie page. I agree with your comment (his films more famous than him and directors would trade careers for that success). Interesting behind the scenes stories about Flynn and Curtiz. The Charge of the Light Brigade was one of their first of 12 movies together……I imagine they had to be an interesting work relationship. I had read the Crosby story before….hard to get excited about royalty when you are Bing freaking Crosby….lol. I like all of your favorites. As for This Is The Army….currently away from my database….but I will check that stat out and post it when I get home. Thanks for the great feedback.

  4. One of my favorite directors – Michael Curtiz – fully deserving of UMR attention.

    I’ve seen – 28 of the 91 films listed, I was expecting a few more. Lots of favorites including – Casablanca, Robin Hood, Dodge City, Yankee Doodle Dandy, King Creole, The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, Doctor X, Mystery of the Wax Museum and Angels With Dirty Faces.

    Some mega classics at the top of the charts and ‘Casablanca’ topping them all ‘here’s looking at you kid’. ‘This is the Army’ number 1 on the box office chart with nearly $900m worldwide adjusted. Whoa!

    Michael Curtiz would often mangle the English language with his heavy Hungarian accent, at one point during filming of Casablanca he told the film crew he wanted a poodle to appear in one shot, the crew searched high and low for a poodle finally finding one and presenting it to the director, “No no!” He shouted, “A poodle. A poodle of water!”

    A nice tribute to a great director Bruce. Vote Up!

    1. Hey Steve
      1. Thanks for checking out our latest page.
      2. Tally counts….Flora 35, you 28, me 21 and Laurent 13.
      3. I have seen all of your favorites with the exception of Dr. X. King Creole might be the most surprising inclusion….for those that do not know you like Elvis…..but it is one of Elvis’ best movies. It is a shame that Curtiz did not work with Elvis more….apparently….he was supposed to make a few more movies with The King….but they fell apart….or another director got the job.
      4. This Is The Army was a Top 10 box office hit in the 1940s…..which was the pinnacle of the movie business…..so it’s almost billion is not too surprising. Poor Ronnie Reagan….he stars in the biggest movie of his career, then joins the war force, returns 4 years later….when all the fan buzz was gone.
      5. Casablanca is one of the few 100 score movies in our UMR database…..amazingly Claude Rains has a movie higher ranked than Casablanca. That information is available on our Casablanca link that is included.
      6. I looked for stories like the “poodle” story you wrote…..but could not find any….I think some like the poodle/puddle story would fall under the “Intersesting Facts”. Thanks for sharing that one.
      Thanks for the kind words about our Curtiz tribute.

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