Tony Curtis Movies

Want to know the best Tony Curtis movies?  How about the worst Tony Curtis movies?  Curious about Tony Curtis box office grosses or which Tony Curtis movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Tony Curtis 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.

Tony Curtis (1925-2010) was an Oscar®-nominated American actor whose career spanned over 7 decades.  His IMDb page shows 128 acting credits from 1949-2008. This page will rank 61 Tony Curtis movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.  This page was requested many moons ago by Dan and many other people.

Tony Curtis in 1959’s Some Like It Hot

Tony Curtis 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 Tony Curtis movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Tony Curtis movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Tony Curtis movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Tony Curtis movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Tony Curtis movie received and how many Oscar® wins each Tony Curtis movie won.
  • Sort Tony Curtis 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 Tony Curtis Table

  1. Sixteen Tony Curtis movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 26.23% of his movies listed. Spartacus (1960) was easily his biggest box office hit when looking at adjusted domestic box office gross.
  2. An average Tony Curtis movie grosses $85.80 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  31 of Tony Curtis movies are rated as good movies…or 50.81% of his movies. Some Like It Hot (1959) is his highest rated movie while Sextette (1978) was his lowest rated movie.
  4. Eight Tony Curtis movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 13.11% of his movies.
  5. Four Tony Curtis movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 6.55% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00. 25 Tony Curtis movies scored higher than that average….or 40.98% of his movies. Spartacus (1960) got the the highest UMR Score (just barely over Some Like It Hot)  while Sextette (1978) got the lowest UMR Score.

Tony Curtis in 1958’s The Vikings

Ten Possibly Interesting Facts About Tony Curtis

1. Bernard Schwartz was born in the Bronx, New York in 1925.

2. How Bernard Schwartz became Tony Curtis?  The first name was from the novel Anthony Adverse and “Curtis” was from Kurtz. a surname in his mother’s family. In Curtis’ first film roles, he was credited as “Anthony Curtis”….which was quickly shortened to “Tony Curtis”.

3. Tony Curtis joined the United States Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He joined the Pacific submarine force after he was inspired by Cary Grant in Destination Tokyo and Tyrone Power in Crash Dive.   Curtis witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay from his ship’s (USS Proteus) signal bridge about a mile away.

4. After World War 2 ended, Tony Curtis attended City College of New York and studied acting at The New School.  His contemporaries included Elaine Stritch, Harry Belafonte, Walter Matthau, Beatrice Arthur, and Rod Steiger.

5. Tony Curtis was quickly discovered by talent agent Joyce Selznick (niece of David O. Selznick)He arrived in Hollywood at the age of 23.

6. Tony Curtis was voted as a Top 25 Box Office star 5 times on Quigley Publications’ annual poll: 1954 (23rd), 1959 (18th), 1960 (6th), 1961 (9th) and 1962 (18th).

7. Tony Curtis broke a Hollywood taboo in the 1950s by insisting that an African-American actor, Sidney Poitier, have co-starring billing next to him in the movie 1958’s The Defiant Ones.

8. Tony Curtis was married six times…..he had six children.  One of his children is Jamie Lee Curtis.

9. Tony Curtis’ favorite actor was Cary Grant.  His favorite movie was Grant’s Gunga Din.

10. Tony Curtis was buried with some of his favorite possessions – a Stetson hat, an Armani scarf, driving gloves, an iPhone and a copy of his favorite novel, Anthony Adverse.

Check out Tony Curtis’ career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.

Editor’s note:  Calculating adjusted is not an exact science.  Most of our calculations are based on solid sources that we have collected over the years.  A few of his early 1950s low budget movies required us to use biographies, movie books, articles and other sources that do not provide the best statistics.   So please keep that in mind when you are looking at the grosses of some of his low budget B movies.

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49 thoughts on “Tony Curtis Movies

  1. STEVE
    1 The Lensman and Cogerson sites must be great harbingers of things to come in the movies because being given a rerun on TV at present is the Black Shield of Falworth that we have discussed in recent posts following your Curtis video and Bruce’s new page on him with the then B movie actor Tony jumping about in tights as Myles of Crisby Dale and winning the hand of the fair Janet on screen as well as off. I will watch it again tonight

    2 Some people claim that it was in that one that Curtis uttered his iconic line “Yonda lies de castle of my Faddah!” whilst others say it was in Prince Who was a Thief or Son of Ali Baba. Do you have the answer or was it one of those fabled utterances like apparently Cagney’s “You dirty rat” that may never actually have been said in movies?

    3 I couldn’t say myself as I can’t recollect but I suppose that wouldn’t stop John from arguing the point. One thing I will give WH to paraphrase Baby’s father in Dirty Dancing “When the Work Horse doesn’t know he SAYS he doesn’t know!” By the way that movie too is being given a rerun so I’ll be watching it as well this weekend. I’m on my own all weekend my wife being visiting our son in your neck of the wood so I’ll also be watching for the umpteenth time While the City Sleeps starring the [on screen] adulterous Rhonda and Dana Andrews as reporter Edward Mobley, though a new Lensman video would significantly add to the party! Anyway ave a good one yourself.

    1. Hi Bob, I remember ages ago when my Halliwell Movie Guide was quoting that line for Black Shield of Falworth and than I finally saw the movie (especially to hear Tony Curtis utter that immortal line of dialogue) and… it wasn’t there! I was bitterly disappointed. 🙂

      According to IMDB it was in fact “Son of Ali Baba” that contains that line, and as so often happens it was misquoted, from what I’ve read it’s actually – “This is the palace of my father, and yonder lies the Valley of the Sun” delivered by Curtis in that famous Bronx accent of his.

      1. STEVE
        1 Thanks for the clarification Curtis blamed the line on his never getting an Oscar, that and his claim that there was prejudice against him for being Jewish. I could never understand his latter complaint because many of the most respected and honoured figures in Hollywood were of the Jewish faith such as I think Cecil B.D.

        2 Anyway I have a great weekend’s entertainment coming up with the movies that I have mentioned to you and of course I will also be keeping an eye on the link you gave me to your video catalogue. In addition I don’t know if you have noticed but ITV 4 over here have been running a series of profiles on Great stars of the Hollywood Classic Era called Discovering. For example Discovering Audrey Hepburn and Discovering Chuck Tweedie. As luck and good timing would have it tomorrow morning’s topic is Discovering Mr Mumbles.

        3 I love movie biographical series such as that one and my only gripe is that they never seem to include my great idols of the early British cinema such as Dirk Bogarde, JohnMills, Jack Hawkins Kenneth More and Richard Attenborough. I suppose that we Cogerson followers are lucky that the Work Horse idolises one of the modern Brit Greats or your fellow countrymen might not get a look in on even this site. As I say have a good weekend yourself and thanks again for all your art AND chat BOB

        1. Bob, it would be nice if Bruce does a few pages on those British greats but I suspect the problem may be in finding box office info for their British films, unless Bruce concentrates only on their US output which wouldn’t be really fair.

          Since I don’t work with grosses any more I could easily produce videos on those actors using ratings and some lovely movie posters. I’ll add them to my expanding list of potential video subjects. When I eventually run out of golden oldies I’ll have to start on the more recent movie stars and I’ve already produced videos on many of them using box office grosses.

          My next video should be uploaded later this evening and there is a strong Hitchcock connection. 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday to Coger and son. Hope your day is awesome. Don’t worry I am not good at match so I will not be able to figure out that Cogerson is 50. 🙂

  3. Hey Bob…..thanks for the comment on Tony Curtis. Ah….the year 1954….the archive Variety magazines do not have the Top Grossers page…which is a shame….I remember being all excited…but when I got to the proper page it was missing… about disappointment….an e-mail to Variety did not help at all. I bring this up…because…when it comes to The Black Shield of Falworth….it is possible it earned a little bit more money….as my records go down to 2.00 million in rentals….but I am missing many movies that had rental numbers of 1 million…which Falworth falls in that category. Another source says Falworth was one of Universal’s bigger hits…..and mention one of their hits being 1.60 million in rentals and that Falworth did better… face with a minimum of $1.61 and a maximum of $1.99 million….I split the difference..and put rentals of $1.80 million…..if in fact it was closer to $1.99 million…then Falworth would have been a $100 million adjusted hit. Maybe one day those missing Variety pages will show up.

    His early 1950s movies were low budget movies that did not do too well at the box office…all the while he was a very popular face in fan magazines….as girls all over the country fell in love with him. Good information on Arrowhead and Houdini. I think you mentioned in comments that not having a Curtis page was diminishing the website……hopefully the website has bounced back in your eyes…now that we have a Curtis page….lol.

    As always…thanks for the feedback.

    1. HI BRUCE

      1 If I gave the impression that I regarded your site as “diminished” in any way at any time I apologise because that would be untrue and uncharitable as you have given us all so much valuable information and stats. Maybe I was winding you up or was so keen for a Curtis page that I phrased matters badly. Anyway all that’s academic now as I have my treasured Curtis page and your addition conjecture about Black Shield’s gross is very interesting.

      2 Your confirmation that Black Shield was likely a big hit is reinforced by para 6 of Your Possibly Interesting Facts which notes that Tony entered Quigley for the 1st time in 1954 the year of Black Shield of Falworth. Janet was never more lovely than in that movie in which her then real life husband played a peasant [wink, wink] called Myles of Crosbey- Dale who finds out that he is actually the son of a nobleman and can therefore marry in the movie the aristocratic Janet. They don’t make em like that anymore!

      3 And “do I dream or do I doubt, do mine eyes deceive me? Are things what they seem or are visions about?” Para 7 of Pos Interesting Facts appears to acknowledges that billing can be important. You will need to be careful that John doesn’t decide to shun your site !

      1. Hey Bob….I figured you would enjoy that “billing” fact….when I read it…I immediately thought of you. Tony Curtis had a very good year….but he was not able to maintain it….actually it took strong co-leads to propel to even greater glory.

        As for your earlier Curtis comments…I think they were along the lines of ….”Curtis is one of the last remaining stars not to have a page”…a truth…so it was hard to argue with it….I think I had been carrying around his IMDb page print out in my movie book for the last 13 months.

        I think John will be ok…with me adding in a billing fact…..especially with it being a racial hurdle that got taken down.

        As always….I appreciate your feedback….and now for the first time in weeks…I go to be with all the comments caught up on…..:)

        1. BRUCE
          1 “Curtis was one of the last remaining stars not to have a page” – was that not a compliment to how greatly prolific you have been? Years ago I partnered a guy in the office who kept long hours and produced volumes of work so we nicknamed him The Workhorse. Maybe instead of El Commandant I’ll call you The Workhorse! Actually when I first joined your site I got the impression that you stayed at home all day and had plenty of time on your hands. Now whilst it is obvious W of C wears the pants I realise that you are not a house husband and it’s a great credit to you that you can do the movies stuff on top of another job. That would be beyond me as once 7pm comes my batteries go flat and the most that I can tackle are these posts which are in fact a form of recreation for me.

          2 John quite likes reference to billing when the context suits him. I think he enjoyed my Richard Burton/Lee Marvin quotes from the time when they were making the Klansman. They had never met before and although being drunks they later got on like a house on fire the first day they were introduced on the set Marvin taunted “I suppose you know I get first billing.,” to which Richard snapped back in that Churchillian voice of his
          “I suppose you know I get more money.” After that the movie off-set became one big happy cocktail bar but strangely years later neither Lee nor Richard remembered ever having met each other !!

          1. Hey Bob
            1. Well after years of running grocery stores….I did become a stay at hoime dad…but with our youngest being in school full time…WoC made me go back to work. Last year I was working part time at one of the schools last year…..this year I am working full time at that school.
            2. My free time has been severely limited since going full time….but WoC got me an I-Phone so I can stay connected during work….some days….I can not comment during work….and the comments really pile up. Other days like this one…I get a little free time to stay on the comments.
            3. The Work Horse sounds like a good nickname….my batteries start getting low around midnight…lol.
            4. Funny behind the scenes from Klansman…..they might be the best thing that came out of that movie.

  4. BRUCE
    1 This page is a fine companion piece to Steve’s excellent Curtis video The Black Shield of Falworth particularly interests me because in 1954 Universal promoted it as a big budget production and its adjusted gross of nearly $95 million seems to justify the hype at the time because none of Curtis’ stand-alone films until then had made that kind of money as is illustrated with the figures for the likes of Son of Ali Baba and the Prince who Was a Thief Here in Belfast The Black Shield of Falworth had as its supporting feature Lex Barker’s Yellow Mountain which is included in Steve’s recent Barker video.

    2 Indeed Tony’s run of early 1950s stand-alone movies were on double bills with other flicks, with for example Houdini in 1953 sharing the bill with Chuck Heston’s Arrowhead. Two movies each lasting 1 and ¾ hours in the same programme at normal ticket prices – you don’t often get that kind of value for money nowadays!

    3 Anyway whilst I can not recall specifically requesting a Curtis page I think I dropped hints in the matter and although I have mentioned that I have seen just 32 of the films listed I HAVE watched all his classics and – nostalgically! – most of his early 1950s B movies for which I have long been seeking grosses so I greatly welcome this page.

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