Curtiz began acting in and then directing films in his native Hungary in 1912. After WWI, he continued his filmmaking career in Austria and Germany and into the early 1920s when he directed films in other countries in Europe. Moving to the US in 1926, he started making films in Hollywood for Warner Bros. and became thoroughly entrenched in the studio system. His films during the 1930s and '40s encompassed nearly every genre imaginable and some, including Casablanca (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945), are considered to be film classics. His brilliance waned in the 1950s when he made a number of mediocre films for studios other than Warner. He directed his last film in 1961, a year before his death at 74.