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Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom

American Culture, Film & Film History, Jewish Film
Ian Ayres
55/96 minutes


See the Film




*Opening Night Film Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival

*Official Selection Toronto Jewish Film Festival

*Official Selection Jerusalem Jewish Film Festival

*Official Selection Rochester Jewish Film Festival

"Tony Curtis:Driven to Stardom", is a gem of the genre and traces the life of this mid century screen legend who was a driven man, driving himself up from rags to riches"


Trapeze, Spartacus, Sweet Smell of Success, The Boston Strangler, Some Like It Hot. Tony Curtis, the man who influenced Elvis Presley and James Dean, was one of the very first teen idols and one of the last real movie stars. From his difficult upbringing in the Bronx, where he was born Bernie Schwartz, to his unprecedented fame and infamous way with women, TONY CURTIS: DRIVEN TO STARDOM presents Mr. Curtis's life in all its rags to riches glory. Interviews with Tony's family, friends and co-stars (Hugh Hefner, Harry Belafonte, Debbie Reynolds, Mamie Van Doren, Piper Laurie, Theresa Russell, Jill Curtis among others!) along with exclusive footage and film clips are given deeper meaning and clarity by the most honest and intimate interview the actor may have ever given. Here, in the definitive film about Tony Curtis, filmmaker Ian Ayres forms this incredible material into a revealing portrait of one of the greatest Hollywood celebrities of all time.

TONY CURTIS: DRIVEN TO STARDOM explores the man's rebellious demeanor, his struggle as a Jew in Hollywood, his difficult childhood, the brief love affair with Marilyn Monroe and his failed marriages to actresses Janet Leigh and Christine Kaufman, his courageous stance to break the color barrier with The Defiant Ones (the film that earned him an Oscar Nomination), and his entire six-decade career. A sex symbol, a matinee idol, a powerful and magnetic actor, Tony Curtis was the original movie star.


Ian Ayres

Ian Ayres is an American filmmaker from Los Angeles, California who has been living and working in France for the past 20 years. Co-founder of French Connection Films in Paris, Ayres has been associate with the productions of several films such as The Universe of Keith Haring, I Remember Better When I Paint, Five Roads to Freedoms, and also directed a documentary about the American Church in Paris in 2006 called A Glimpse of Heaven. His second film, The Jill and Tony Curtis Story, was a 2008 documentary about the efforts of the celebrity couple to rescue horses from slaughterhouses and finding something much more rewarding than fame or fortune. After filming, the Curtis family suggested Ayres to take on another feature this time focusing on Tony's life and career.


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