Shalom Life | September 23, 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.

The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life TrendingSarah Silverman Upset Over Tabloid Marriage Rumors Sarah Silverman Upset Over Tabloid Marriage Rumors TrendingThe Nosh Pit - Kosher Autumn Recipes The Nosh Pit - Kosher Autumn Recipes Trending
 

How Did Leonard Cohen Celebrate His 80th Birthday? He Started Smoking

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
How Did Leonard Cohen Celebrate His 80th Birthday? He Started Smoking

"It's the right age to recommence," says Cohen

Read More

Intel to Make $6 Billion Investment in Israeli Tech

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Intel to Make $6 Billion Investment in Israeli Tech

The tech company is looking to produce its next generation of chips in Israel, which will create at least 1,000 new jobs in the hightech sector

Read More

Israel's Largest Craft Beer Producer Tastes Global Success

September 23, 2014 | By Rachel Dinh, NoCamels
Israel's Largest Craft Beer Producer Tastes Global Success

By combining eco-friendly processing techniques with top-of-the-line production, Alexander Brewery is quickly becoming the go-to brand for Israelis seeking craft beer

Read More

Yad Vashem Honored in World's Top Ten Museums

September 23, 2014 | By Ynet News
Yad Vashem Honored in World's Top Ten Museums

TripAdvisor places the Holocaust memorial at number 10 on their Top 25 list

Read More

"Justice Has Been Served," Says Families of Slain Teens

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
"Justice Has Been Served," Says Families of Slain Teens

PM Netanyahu says "our mission is complete" after Shin Bet and the IDF announced the suspects in murder of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach were killed

Read More

Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Join the Anti-BDS Movement Today

Over 620 academics (and counting) have signed a petition that condemns the BDS movement against Israel

Read More

The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life

September 23, 2014 | By Andria Kaplan
The Love Jewce (Rosh Hashanah Edition): 6 Ways to Sweeten Yourself & Your Love Life

As we reflect back on 5774 and build resolutions for 5775 why not use that leftover honey and sweeten up your love life?

Read More

Shimon Peres Goes Job Hunting [VIDEO]

September 23, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Shimon Peres Goes Job Hunting [VIDEO]

Watch the former Israeli President try his hand at a variety of professions, from comedian to cashier

Read More

More Headlines