I actually said that out loud to a Lincoln Center bigshot a few years ago, begging them to do a Tony Curtis film festival, but that illustrious tribute never happened any more than an Oscar for Jerry Lewis.
I’ve always felt that Curtis was priceless in Some Like It Hot, keeping up with Jack Lemmon every flouncy step of the way and even inserting the best Cary Grant impression since Cary himself.
He was superb in the powerful race drama The Defiant Ones with Sidney Poitier, shone in the kinky biblical epic Spartacus, and gave the spineless publicist some humanity in the crackling Sweet Smell of Success.
And Curtis scored a whole other triumph in 1968’s The Boston Strangler, proving he was always a ladykiller (and a real actor).
But all people seem to remember about him actingwise, is the men-in-tights B-picture in which he allegedly said, “Yonder lies da castle of my fadder.”
The truth is, Tony could soar when given the right material.
It’s not too late, Lincoln Center. Bring on the festival.