Shalom Life | March 04, 2015

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.

Top 20 Under 40 - Adam Bledin Top 20 Under 40 - Adam Bledin TrendingMaroon 5 Hang Outs With 10-Year Old Superfan With Down Syndrome [VIDEO] Maroon 5 Hang Outs With 10-Year Old Superfan With Down Syndrome [VIDEO] TrendingDrake Ties The Beatles Billboard Record Drake Ties The Beatles Billboard Record Trending
 

Top 20 Under 40 - Adam Bledin

March 03, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Top 20 Under 40 - Adam Bledin

Bledin is the President and Creative Director of LAZYPANTS.

Read More

Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls For The U.S. To Pull Out Of The Muscat International Book Fair

March 03, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls For The U.S. To Pull Out Of The Muscat International Book Fair

The book fair, which promotes anti-semitic literature, has Jewish groups appalled by America's support.

Read More

New ‘Gaza Man’ Game Promotes War Between Israelis and Palestinians

March 03, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
New ‘Gaza Man’ Game Promotes War Between Israelis and Palestinians

The game, available for download in the Google play store, encourages Palestinians to fight against Israelis and "liberate" the land

Read More

Lauryn Hill Returning To Israel

March 03, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Lauryn Hill Returning To Israel

The singer/songwriter will be performing in the Holy Land for the first time since 2007

Read More

Steven Spielberg to Direct Jennifer Lawrence as War Photographer

March 03, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Steven Spielberg to Direct Jennifer Lawrence as War Photographer

Spielberg will direct the upcoming adaptation of 'It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War'.

Read More

Jay Baruchel’s ‘Man Seeking Women’ Gets Second Season

March 03, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Jay Baruchel’s ‘Man Seeking Women’ Gets Second Season

FXX announced that the comedy will be returning for atleast one more year.

Read More

Maroon 5 Hang Outs With 10-Year Old Superfan With Down Syndrome [VIDEO]

March 03, 2015 | By Ashley Baylen
Maroon 5 Hang Outs With 10-Year Old Superfan With Down Syndrome [VIDEO]

Adam Levine and his band made Christopher Warner's dreams come true.

Read More

Jews Top Forbes Annual List Of Billionaires

March 03, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Jews Top Forbes Annual List Of Billionaires

The list is out, and ten of the fifty wealthiest billionaires are members of the Tribe

Read More

More Headlines