Shalom Life | May 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.

Lauryn Hill Succumbs to BDS Pressure, Cancels Israel Show Lauryn Hill Succumbs to BDS Pressure, Cancels Israel Show TrendingIsraeli Restaurant in London Named Best in the United Kingdom Israeli Restaurant in London Named Best in the United Kingdom TrendingJames Corden Wants to Host YOUR Bar or Bat Mitzvah [VIDEO] James Corden Wants to Host YOUR Bar or Bat Mitzvah [VIDEO] Trending
 

Lauryn Hill Succumbs to BDS Pressure, Cancels Israel Show

May 04, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
Lauryn Hill Succumbs to BDS Pressure, Cancels Israel Show

#KillingMeSoftly social media campaign likely reason Ms. Hill has decided to cancel her Thursday performance in Rishon Lezion

Read More

Baltimore ‘Riot Mom’ Needed in Jerusalem

May 04, 2015 | By Rafael Medoff, JNS.org
Baltimore ‘Riot Mom’ Needed in Jerusalem

The contrast between the famous Baltimore mother and relatives of young Palestinian rock throwers in Jerusalem could not be more striking

Read More

FBI Identifies One Gunman in Muhammad Cartoon Event Shooting in Texas

May 04, 2015 | By JNS.org
FBI Identifies One Gunman in Muhammad Cartoon Event Shooting in Texas

The gunman, one of two who were shot dead after opening fire at a free speech event, has ties to radical Islam

Read More

Israeli Restaurant in London Named Best in the United Kingdom

May 04, 2015 | By Roy Yerushalmi
Israeli Restaurant in London Named Best in the United Kingdom

GQ says The Palomar has 'the most chutzpah of any food and drink establishment operating in the country right now'

Read More

Jewish Toronto Honours Community Leaders Ted and Elizabeth Sokolsky

May 04, 2015 | By Dan Horowitz
Jewish Toronto Honours Community Leaders Ted and Elizabeth Sokolsky

Some 250 people, including politicians, community leaders and philanthropists, arrived to pay tribute to the Jewish power couple

Read More

WATCH: Ten Times Steve Ballmer's Gone Absolutely Crazy

May 01, 2015 | By Daniel Koren
WATCH: Ten Times Steve Ballmer's Gone Absolutely Crazy

With Game 7 of the Clippers-Spurs series taking place tomorrow, expect the business mogul and Clippers owner to be in full spirits

Read More

Former Staff Member Suing Al-Jazeera for Sexism & Both anti-American, and anti-Semitic, Statements

May 01, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Former Staff Member Suing Al-Jazeera for Sexism & Both anti-American, and anti-Semitic, Statements

The former employee claims his boss would exclude women, and said that "whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell"

Read More

French Muslim Teen Sent Home For Wearing Modest Skirt

May 01, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
French Muslim Teen Sent Home For Wearing Modest Skirt

In an attempt to preserve secularism, a Muslim girl was sent home for wearing a skirt deemed too modest and a sign of her faith

Read More

More Headlines