Shalom Life | August 29, 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.

Joan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery Joan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery TrendingShia LaBeouf Calls Police On Crazed, Stalking Fan Shia LaBeouf Calls Police On Crazed, Stalking Fan TrendingSarah Silverman is Returning to 'Masters of Sex' Sarah Silverman is Returning to 'Masters of Sex' Trending
 

Startup Club: Yevvo

August 28, 2014 | By Caitlin Marceau
Startup Club: Yevvo

The Israel-based startup has found a way to successfully merge livestreaming with social media

Read More

London Imam Anjem Choudary: Sharia Law is Coming to a Place Near You [VIDEO]

August 28, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
London Imam Anjem Choudary: Sharia Law is Coming to a Place Near You [VIDEO]

In a hostile interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, Choudary says the world will soon "be liberated from the shackles of man-made law"

Read More

Arsenio Hall Compares Mac Miller to Maya Angelou [VIDEO]

August 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Arsenio Hall Compares Mac Miller to Maya Angelou [VIDEO]

The late night talk show host tells the Pittsburgh rapper that he's similar to Angelou, minus the breasts.

Read More

Lea Michele is Returning For ‘Glee’s’ Final Season

August 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lea Michele is Returning For ‘Glee’s’ Final Season

Michele will reprise her role as Rachel Berry in the sixth season of 'Glee'.

Read More

Joan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery

August 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Joan Rivers Stopped Breathing, Rushed to Hospital During Surgery

The 81-year-old comedian stopped breathing and suffered from cardiac arrest

Read More

Zach Galifianakis to Star in New Louis C.K. Comedy

August 28, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Zach Galifianakis to Star in New Louis C.K. Comedy

FX has ordered a half-hour comedy called 'Baskets'

Read More

Analysis: Applying International Law to the Israel-Hamas Conflict

August 28, 2014 | By Eli Wishnivetski
Analysis: Applying International Law to the Israel-Hamas Conflict

How should a scrupulous application of international law treat Israel's Operation Protective Edge and Hamas's actions in the conflict?

Read More

Israeli Is Runner-Up in Judo World Championship

August 28, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Israeli Is Runner-Up in Judo World Championship

World champion Yarden Gerbi, 25, wins silver after losing to France's Clariss Agvenino

Read More

More Headlines