"I'm Spartacus!" Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Legend, dead at 103 years of age ...

owedtojoy

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Hollywood legends of his era would not be expected to be still around. Douglas' hey-day was the 1950s, but he lived to do the voice of Chester J. Lampwick (maverick inventor of Itchy and Scratchy) in The Simpsons.(1996).

Douglas was born the son of poor immigrant Russian Jews in 1916. His given name was Issur Danielovitch - absolutely not a name for a movie star in the era of Joe McCarthy.

His craggy good looks (definitely Daniel Craig-ish) marked him out to star as a male lead in crime dramas, action movies and westerns. His most famous role was as the rebellious slave's leader in Spartacus (1960). This is his most famous scene. [Note: Ninth man on his feet - George Kennedy!]


Spartacus was directed by Stanley Kubrick (Dr Strangelove, 2001 Space Odyssey), and he also directed Douglas in his finest acting role - as Colonel Dax in the World War I drama Paths of Glory (1957). I recently saw it listed as one of the Top Ten war movies of all time, so perhaps it might be worth a watch, and a comparison to the current 1917.


Douglas was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Kirk was the father of Michael Douglas, who may be better known today, but is not a patch on his dad. RIP.

 
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wombat

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He made some great movies. I saw Spartacus when I was 13 or 14, thought it was a great hack & slash spectacle. Years later, I bought the DVD and watched a completely different movie, brilliant dialogue, cynical, full of inuendos, all of which was beyond a 13 year old - quite faithful to the book which was written by an American communist as a satire on the capitalist system.
 

owedtojoy

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He made some great movies. I saw Spartacus when I was 13 or 14, thought it was a great hack & slash spectacle. Years later, I bought the DVD and watched a completely different movie, brilliant dialogue, cynical, full of inuendos, all of which was beyond a 13 year old - quite faithful to the book which was written by an American communist as a satire on the capitalist system.
Apparently, Douglas was a quite liberal - the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had been blacklisted in the McCarthy era for "Un-Americanism". Douglas got Trumbo work on the screenplay of Spartacus, but his name could not be included in the credits.

He also spent years trying to get another satire, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest filmed, but was disappointed when he was too old for the lead role. His son, Michael, was one of the producers.
 
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owedtojoy

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Douglas drifted away from Judaism, but came back to it later in life.

Before that happened, he was once at a party and got chatting to a woman who told him how much she hated Jews. He proceeded to seduce her, and, in bed as she orgasmed, he whispered in her ear "How does it feel, to be f**ked by a Jew?".
 

Clanrickard

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He was a big supporter of Israel. (y)
 

amsterdemmetje

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an
Apparently, Douglas was a quite liberal - the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had been blacklisted in the McCarthy era for "Un-Americanism". Douglas got Trumbo work on the screenplay, but his name could not be included in the credits.

He also spent years trying to get One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest filmed, but was disappointed when he was too old for the lead role.
and during those years one John Wayne "American hero " led some of those accusations that destroyed lives .
 

Clanrickard

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and during those years one John Wayne "American hero " led some of those accusations that destroyed lives .
Yep a thoroughly odious individual .
 

owedtojoy

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an

and during those years one John Wayne "American hero " led some of those accusations that destroyed lives .
Wayne was horrified when Douglas let himself be cast against type as the tortured artist Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life.

He said "We should be playing real men, not queers!".
 

owedtojoy

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Does this thread have to be activated every time a Spartacus dies? It'll never end! Could we not just say RIP now to the lot of them and be done with it?
But this guy was the real Spactacus!
 

AhNowStop

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Douglas drifted away from Judaism, but came back to it later in life.

Before that happened, he was once at a party and got chatting to a woman who told him how much she hated Jews. He proceeded to seduce her, and, in bed as she orgasmed, he whispered in her ear "How does it feel, to be f**ked by a Jew?".
Yes I remember reading that years ago ...

He made some great films and what a tough nut he was .. they really dont make em like that anymore
 

fat finger

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Douglas drifted away from Judaism, but came back to it later in life.

Before that happened, he was once at a party and got chatting to a woman who told him how much she hated Jews. He proceeded to seduce her, and, in bed as she orgasmed, he whispered in her ear "How does it feel, to be f**ked by a Jew?".
The woman was said to be a well known actress. Her reply? "Same as it does every time I fake it, I guess"
 

owedtojoy

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The woman was said to be a well known actress. Her reply? "Same as it does every time I fake it, I guess"
I am sure that is the way they tell it on anti-semitic dreck websites.

But they are lying to you.

One of the more interesting anecdotes in the book takes place when Douglas is just out of high school. He has trouble finding work at resorts in upstate New York because he’s Jewish. So at one resort he introduces himself as “Don Dempsey,” passing himself off as a WASP, and gets the job.

The woman who ran the resort was extremely anti-Semitic, and in a scene worthy of a Philip Roth novel, she comes on to him at the end of the summer, and as Douglas has sex with her he says in her ear, “I am a Jew. You are being ****ed by a Jew!” (p.37)
 

fat finger

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I am sure that is the way they tell it on anti-semitic dreck websites.

But they are lying to you.



A book boasting about Douglas the superstud?
Wouldn't be an autobiography by any chance...?
Oh gosh it is, well there's a surprise.
 

artfoley56

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A book boasting about Douglas the superstud?
Wouldn't be an autobiography by any chance...?
Oh gosh it is, well there's a surprise.
so youre saying everyone that bought that book was ****ed by a jew?
 

bob3344

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Have a feeling there will be some unsavory revelations about Kirk now he's gone.

Definitely not the hero some see him as.

All that breaking the blacklist stuff - he got great writers really, really, really cheap.
 

Betson

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Yep a thoroughly odious individual .
Seen an interesting program on him(Wayne) on Sky Arts one night , he avoiding serving in the war when a lot of leading actors of the time signed up , that is sort of when he got his big break an got really noticed doing loads of movies during that time. He said that decision not to serve haunted him throughout his life.

He tried to overcompensate later by playing all the patriotic army roles and doing PR , recruitment videos for the army etc but never served when he had the chance.
 

bob3344

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"it makes sense that Douglas wants to claim credit for breaking the blacklist—it makes him look like a hero, ahead of his time. He's worked hard to keep that story alive. But it wasn't always like this. As described in a 1977 biography of Trumbo and a 2008 memoir by producer Walter Mirisch, the year after Spartacus, Douglas worked to distance himself from Dalton Trumbo. When the screenwriter said that he wanted credit for re-writing Douglas's next picture, Town Without Pity, Douglas feared continued association with Trumbo might hurt his career. Douglas objected to Trumbo having his name on the screen. "I have yielded to Kirk's wishes in this matter," Trumbo wrote to Edward Lewis in 1961 "



"Douglas was using blacklisted writers, too, even before Spartacus. In our conversation with him, he recounted this era to us and said Trumbo was already on the payroll of his production company at the time of the Spartacus project. What he didn't disclose in our interview or his book is that his company was employing blacklisted writers exclusively, benefiting from their discounted rates. Records for Douglas's company, now housed in archives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, show that in March 1959 he was paying at least four communist writers. "Kirk Douglas was paying my father only a small fraction of what his salary would have been had he not been blacklisted," said Melissa Trumbo. "Producers got terrific deals back then when they hired blacklisted writers—great scripts for very little money."




 


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