Shalom Life | April 19, 2014

TJFF Review: 'Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom'

The documentary tells the story of the late movie star who rose to fame in the 1950s.

By: Ilan Mester

Published: May 1st, 2012 in Culture » Film » Reviews

TJFF Review: 'Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom'

Documentaries about people in the entertainment industry rely heavily on whether the person at hand is interesting. Luckily, Tony Curtis’ life story is quite fascinating.

Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom covers the entire life of the late silver screen star -- including his humble upbringing in New York and his decade-spanning career in Hollywood. Director Ian Ayres (who previously directed another documentary featuring Curtis called The Jill & Tony Curtis Story) delves deep into the life story of the famous actor with interviews featuring the late star along with many of his friends.

The documentary features many interesting facts that movie dwellers might not have known about Curtis, whose long list of credits include Some Like it Hot and The Defiant Ones. He was born to Jewish parents from Hungary and had a tough childhood; his younger brother died when he was a kid and Curtis’ parents struggled to make ends meet. He was also bullied at school.

“I was Jewish and that created a lot of problems for me,” he said during an interview in the documentary.

The movie theatre became an escape for him and after he served in the Navy, Curtis enrolled in an acting school. He was eventually discovered by a scout from Universal Studios, who offered him a contract in Los Angeles. But Curtis quickly learned that having a contract from a major studio didn’t mean he had made it in Hollywood.

As we all know, Curtis became a teen idol -- but that took a lot of work. The film explores his struggles and how he eventually became an internationally-recognized star whose style was admired and copied by thousands of people -- including Elvis Presley.

The documentary features interviews with a number of prominent figures who knew the Oscar-nominated actor, including Hugh Hefner, Debbie Reynolds and Piper Laurie. Some viewers might find the runtime a bit long, but there aren’t many dull moments -- if any at all.


Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom premieres at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival on May 8. Visit www.tjff.com for more information.

Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies TrendingBreakthrough Jew - Seth Kushner Breakthrough Jew - Seth Kushner TrendingSeth Rogen Calls Nancy Grace a “F*cking Dumbass” Over Anti-Marijuana Comments Seth Rogen Calls Nancy Grace a “F*cking Dumbass” Over Anti-Marijuana Comments Trending
 

James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

April 18, 2014 | By Sarah Bauder
James Franco’s Ex-Manager Sued for Embezzling Money From the Actor

James Levy is being sued by his former partners at James Levy Management

Read More

James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
James Franco and Idina Menzel Set For Easter Bonnet Competition

Franco and Menzel join Bryan Cranston, Fran Drescher and others at the event benefitting AIDS.

Read More

Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

April 18, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Spielberg’s Latest Project: A Film About a Jew Who Becomes a Priest

The 'Schindler's List' director joins 'The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara'

Read More

Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

April 18, 2014 | By Zak Edwards
Jewish Top 10s: Bible Movies

In honor of Passover, we look at some of the best feature films that reinterpret stories from the Bible

Read More

Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

April 18, 2014 | By Abigail Klein Leichman
Emotional Pain Isn't Just in Your Head

A new Israeli-US study provides breakthrough in understanding the brain mechanisms that cause physical pain resulting from depression

Read More

A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

April 18, 2014 | By Ynet News
A Children's Haggadah Made By Children [VIDEO]

Created by students of Rav Elio Toaff nursery school in Rome, 'cheerful Haggadah' is specially made for other children, not only Jewish

Read More

Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

April 18, 2014 | By Graham Sigurdson
Italian Politician Mocks Primo Levi Holocaust Poem

Beppe Grillo, head of an anti-establishment movement, released the parody on his blog that Jewish activists have labelled an 'obscenity'

Read More

Jeremy Diamond: The Most Harmless Stalker Around

April 18, 2014 | By Jordan Mazza
Jeremy Diamond: The Most Harmless Stalker Around

We talk to the famous personal injury lawyer about advertisements, that photo of him and Rob Ford, and more

Read More

More Headlines