Sparticus

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Sheldon's picture
Sparticus

Kirk Douglas has died at 103. Sparticus has gone. I grew up watching his films, and he is one of the last cinema icons from the "golden age" of cinema.

Not a bad innings by any standard. Born to illiterate jewish parents from Belaruse, he didn't do too badly.

Ok a quick anecdote then. When he was holding his mother's hand on her deathbed, a terrified Douglas looked into his mother's eyes, and she said, "don't worry son, it happens to everyone."

He had a prolific career, but some of my all time favourites, Paths Of Glory, Lonely Are The Brave, and Sparticus.

RIP Issur Danielovitch Demsky

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
a giant of the screen...

a giant of the screen...

David Killens's picture
A giant in the movie industry

A giant in the movie industry is gone. He had a powerful influence, and his career was amazing. I enjoy many of his movies, and he covered many roles.

Cognostic's picture
Well, I gotta admit watching

Well, I gotta admit watching him as a kid and really enjoying his movies. War Wagon, Man With a Star, Ulysses, Posse, The Way West.... I was a sucker for action adventure or a good western then and still am today. Like mom said, "It happens to us all." Or as Douglas Adams put it, "Good bye and thanks for all the fish."

Sheldon's picture
I liked Christopher Hitchens

I liked Christopher Hitchens quote when asked what he thought happened after we die, "hello darkness my old friend."

cranky47's picture
A giant? I don't know about

A giant? I don't know about that. I am aware he had a reputation of being a diva in his later years. Made some good films though.

Loved Spartacus, seeing it on the big screen when it came out. About as violent as they could get away with at that time (1960)

Bought Spartacus on VHS and watched it many times and loved it. . As an adult I was rather disappointed to discover how much the times and historical persons were sanitised and romanticised. Eg The English patrician Lawrence Olivier as Marcus Licinius Crassus, richest man in the world at that time .

Far more realistic to have a Steve Buscemi or a Stanley Tucci play Crassus (most definitely an Italian)
Perhaps a Joe Pesci type for the lanista Lentulus Batiatus.

Many of my concerns were addressed in the TV series "Spartacus" . Eg John Hanna was wonderful as Batiatus imo..

The Kirk Douglas Spartacus was unusual for a couple of things; Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo to write the screen play,.Trumbo had been blacklisted by the McCarthy witch hunt . Hiring Trumbo marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood black list. (and showed the clout Douglas had )

The film was shot in 70- mm, but released in 35mm. This gave it an unusually crisp finish and depth of field.

Below a clip with pretty good impression of Kirk Douglas (and other stars of the era)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI9gJU4k6Y0

Sheldon's picture
"The Kirk Douglas Spartacus

"The Kirk Douglas Spartacus was unusual for a couple of things; Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo to write the screen play,.Trumbo had been blacklisted by the McCarthy witch hunt . Hiring Trumbo marked the beginning of the end of the Hollywood black list. (and showed the clout Douglas had )"

He also insisted he was named in the credits, not using a pseudonym. It was courageously moral thing to do. Though of course he was not the only Hollywood star to stand up to that scumbag McCarthy.

David Killens's picture
Stanley Kubrick's first two

Stanley Kubrick's first two major films were collaborations with Kirk Douglas.

Sheldon's picture
"Stanley Kubrick's first two

"Stanley Kubrick's first two major films were collaborations with Kirk Douglas."

Paths of Glory is one of my favourite (anti) war films. A must see in that genre.

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