The recent awfulness of "Noah" (sorry, Darren Aronofsky) was not Hollywood's first attempt to film the story of the biblical flood. For that, we have to go back to 1928's "Noah's Ark", an epic that was supposed to usher in talkies. Epic failure, that is.
To helm the film, Warner Bros imported Mihaly Kertesz, a Hungarian Jew with numerous European credits. "Ark" was to be his first American film. The newly-minted Michael Curtiz wanted to go big, to make "the greatest picture ever made". So he decided to be as realistic as possible. What's a movie about a flood without a real... flood?
Curtiz got his real flood by dumping a giant tank with over a million gallons of water on his cast and crew. It took hours for people to get out. The leading lady got pneumonia. Accounts are not confirmed, but it supposedly led to amputations and even deaths. In fact, Curtiz's stunt was a driving force in Hollywood's unionization.
After all of that... "Noah's Ark" bombed.
So what happened to Curtiz? Did the disaster blacklist him out of Hollywood?
Not exactly. Curtiz went on to a prolific career, including a little film called "Casablanca".
There's still hope, Aronofsky!