A Portrait of Tony Curtis

Continued (page 5 of 5)

Even the B-pictures, the lower budget pictures, they used to make are better than most of the films being made today. 

I think so. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie like Spartacus (1960) or Some Like it Hot. [Someday] they are going to make a picture with a lot of emotional attachments.

Do you have one movie of yours you like more than others?

The Great Race (1965). I loved that. I played honor and goodness and Jack [Lemmon] played the devil. It was the most amusing movie. I liked Sweet Smell of Success (1957), too. Burt Lancaster was the finest actor, the most genuine man I ever knew.

You did a lot of your own stunts in Trapeze (1956).

Yes. I had an inclination for it. As I kid, I would climb up the chain links that led to the El in New York City and hitch on the back of cabs and cars and trolley cars. You see I was doing that already to prepare myself for the movies. It was hard, but I was a good athlete. I never did anything that I felt was beyond what I could do. 

A lot of Trapeze is nerve-wracking because you can see it’s really me and Burt Lancaster doing the high-wire work. Yes. Well, I did that. They showed me what to do if you fell. There was a big net underneath. I trained for about six months. I became part of the circus and it worked. I’ve had a good life. A really good life.

Have you ever been to Sedona?

I’m not sure. When I was making movies as a kid with Universal, they’d send us out on location and we had locations all over Arizona.

Do you have a message for the people of Sedona before you arrive?
Each environment I go [to] is different than the one before and the one after. The weather, the politics, attitudes, what hits the newspapers. It all has effects on the people. With that in mind, I like to make myself part of the environment. Before I come to Sedona, I’ll get some Sedona news to get a feel of what’s going on. Then I’ll be prepared and be able to answer questions like an intelligent person.

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Want more Hollywood history? Go to www.arizonaslittlehollywood.com

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