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jakeem

Actor-producer-author Kirk Douglas (1916-2020)

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16 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Kirk will no doubt get a TCM tribute, but unfortunately, we'll have to wait until at least March.  I doubt they'd preempt 31 Days of Oscar.  I will also guess that Kirk will get a 24 hour tribute.

He's no doubt got a large enough filmography.  I'd like to see some of his noir like I Walk Alone and Ace in a Hole.  I'd also like to see his boxing movie, Champion. It would be nice too if maybe Michael Douglas could host an evening of his dad's films.

Nope! NOTHING preempts Oscar month!

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15 hours ago, MusicalsGalore said:

He was a great actor and was one of our last connections to that magical era in Hollywood where glamor ruled. It saddens me deeply. 

Yes, I think Olivia is the last living link left (big star category) She'll be 104 in June or July.

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29 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

As a rule of thumb, not just in re: to a famous person, but in life as a whole, it's good to ignore most things written on Twitter.

Me say Twitter what make all the time Wikipedia more better then.

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For my money, the following are the key films in Kirk Douglas's career. I know I will undoubtedly leave out some favourites of other's but these films, for me, are why Kirk should not be forgotten.

Champion (1949)

The film that made Douglas a star as Midge Kelly, a boxer ruthlessly trampling over others as he shoots for the top in the fight game. Douglas put on an impressive athletic demonstration, one of the highlights being when he jumped rope, including impressive cross overs. Fine support from Arthur Kennedy, Marilyn Maxwell, Ruth Roman. Kirk's first Oscar nomination.

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Young Man With A Horn (1950)

Douglas in a memorable portrait of a jazz trumpet player, based on the life of Bix Beiderbecke. Harry James played the horn behind the scenes to which Kirk impressively lip synched. Great jazz club feel, with an impressive cast including Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Juano Hernandez and Hoagy Carmichael, who knew Beiderbecke.

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Ace in the Hole (1951)

Billy Wilder's memorable corrosive portrait of media ruthlessness, with Douglas in great fantastic form as an unscrupulous reporter who delays rescue plans on a man trapped in a mine to milk the story for all its worth. As cynical a film as you could ever see, with one of my favourite lines Jan Sterling's reaction to going to church: "I don't pray. Kneeling bags my nylons."

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Detective Story (1951)

William Wyler's impressive adaption of the stage success, with Kirk mesmerizing as a detective obsessed with cracking down on criminals. Great supporting cast making strong contributions including Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, George Macready, Joseph Wiseman and Lee Grant.

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Lust For Life (1956)

Douglas got his third Oscar nomination for his vivid portrait of the tortured Vincent Van Gogh. Memorably filmed by Vincent Minnelli at the actual locations of the artist's life. Anthony Quinn won a supporting Oscar for his portrayal of Paul Gaugain.

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Paths of Glory (1957)

Damning anti-war film dealing with French military corruption during WW1. Douglas in one of his best roles, his character representing the conscience of the film as an officer assigned as defence council for three soldiers charged with cowardice. One of Stanley Kubrick's earliest directorial efforts. One of the great films, with outstanding work, aside from Kirk, coming from George Macready, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Meeker, Timothy Carey.

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Spartacus (1960)

One of the most intelligent of the Roman Empire epics, with Douglas as star and producer, and delivering a sensitive, as well as physically imposing performance. One of the great casts of all film epics, all doing impressive work: Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Peter Ustinov (who won his first Oscar), Charles Laughton. Douglas was producer, as well as star, helping to end the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo screenwriting credit. Kubrick directed most of the film (along with Anthony Mann). Ironically Kubrick later disowned the film which ranks as one of the best of its kind.

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Lonely Are The Brave (1962)

Douglas's favourite film as a loner modern day cowboy on the run from the law. One of the actor's most humane portrayals, this is also Kirk at his most relaxed on screen as a performer. I shake my head that he didn't get an Oscar nomination for this one. Strong support from Walter Matthau and Gena Rowlands.

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Seven Days In May (1964)

One of the great political thrillers directed by John Frankenheimer. Kirk is impressive in a less showy role as a military man who suspects that his commanding officer is involved in plotting a military coup on the American government. Great cast in great form, including Burt Lancaster, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien and George Macready.

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1 minute ago, Roy Cronin said:

Twitter make Wikipedia look like the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Well, sure did nothing to sharpen your grammar any Roy.  ;) 

At his age, Kirk Douglas' death should come as no big surprise.  Of course, that doesn't make it any less sad.  Rough week.

My wife's older sister getting another surgery on her neck after a bad fall down her stairs and hopefully the surgery will  meke her able to move her arms again.  And my Mother in law passing at 93.  

I can't recall the first Kirk Douglas movie I ever saw.  But the first one I ever saw in a theater(albeit a drive-in) was SPARTACUS.  And reading his obit in this morning's paper I learned it was LAUREN BACALL that helped and encouraged him towards his career.  

If asked for  a favorite Douglas movie, I'd be too hard pressed.  He's done some memorable roles, and some just great performances in memorable movies.  And who recalls his long haired Matthew Brady in a TV presentation of INHERIT THE WIND in '88?    And what was up with that CHIN?

I've heard it was natural, and other stories that he "created" it somehow.  Regardless, he was 'bout as famous for IT as he was his acting.  ;)

Rest In Peace, Kirk

Sepiatone

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15 hours ago, MerryPickford said:

I honestly thought this guy was going to live forever but we are human beings that ultimately pass away someday. I'm happy to say I appreciated his contribution to classic Hollywood but I also didn't like him as a person at the same time. I don't know if everyone knows this story but supposedly he raped Natalie Wood and ended up getting away with it, without consequence. 

I say, respect the talent and say that the movies were great, but the man himself needed to go on record and apologize for everything he did, and I don't believe he ever did that. 

Oh, aren't you so "woke" !  Bet you're proud of yourself, making an accusation like that about someone who's now gone and will never be able to defend himself.

If you really feel the need to bring this nasty allegation up, at least have the grace to do it on a different thread, not one that has been started to honour this great actor.

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 I hate how this trend of armchair activism has to arise where people cannot just feel grief about someone's passing, without some "woke" person coming in trying to  tell everyone why they shouldn't grieve for someone's loss.  I bet Kirk's family are grieving.  We weren't there.  We don't know if something allegedly happened between Kirk and Natalie.   Nobody here was there.  Nobody regurgitating the story on the internet was there. The original sources of the rumor weren't there. At this point, both parties are dead.  It doesn't matter anymore.  I don't need to know what may or may not have happened.  Just like with Errol Flynn, I don't need to know what happened on his yacht.  Though unlike Douglas, Flynn was actually tried (and acquitted) for his alleged crime. We can just grieve for people based on the contributions made and how they affected us individually. 

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Not to take away from Kirk.

I just watched The Bad and the Beautiful last night.  This was a movie that I'd seen, but only as background noise.  I'd never actually sat and watched the film intently.  I loved it.

First, I didn't recognize Barry Sullivan with the mustache at all. I must have looked away when the credits were on because I didn't realize that Sullivan was in this film.  I did see Gilbert Roland's name and I was staring at Sullivan thinking "well that doesn't look like Gilbert Roland."  It was only when I was reading the trivia on imdb about the film that I realized that that was Sullivan.  With that information in mind, as soon as he spoke again, I thought "duh. Of course that's Barry Sullivan."

Anyway.  Sometimes Kirk is too intense in his films to me.  However, in this film, I thought he walked the lines between manipulative, charming, bombastic, and vulnerable very well.  His character by himself, didn't have any actual talent when it came to the actual production of the film.  He had the ideas.  Which being an "idea man" isn't a bad thing.  But he had to surround himself with persons who were good at directing  (Barry Sullivan), acting (Lana Turner), and writing (Dick Powell).  I liked how Walter Pidgeon started as the studio head and throughout the film, Kirk very subtly took over all the decision making. I loved how the story line was laid out, with each of his former associates explaining how Kirk essentially screwed them over. I thought Dick Powell's character really suffered the most at the hands of Kirk.

I liked Gloria Grahame in this film, but I wasn't sure if her performance was worthy of an Oscar.  I also liked how she played a prim and proper Southern Belle, but then there was still this underlying level of floozy that only Grahame can bring to her portrayals. 

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Philanthropy

Here is some information about some of the charitable organizations Kirk and his wife Anne gave so much of their fortune to. Kirk was a GREAT humanitarian.

Douglas and his wife donated to various non-profit causes during his career, and planned on donating most of their $80 million net worth.[113] Among the donations have been those to his former high school and college. In September 2001, he helped fund his high school's musical, Amsterdam Oratorio, composed by Maria Riccio Bryce, who won the school Thespian Society's Kirk Douglas Award in 1968.[114] In 2012 he donated $5 million to St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. The college used the donation for the scholarship fund he began in 1999.[115][116]

He donated to various schools, medical facilities and other non-profit organizations in southern California. These have included the rebuilding of over 400 Los Angeles Unified School District playgrounds that were aged and in need of restoration. They established the Anne Douglas Center for Homeless Women at the Los Angeles Mission, which has helped hundreds of women turn their lives around. In Culver City, they opened the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2004.[104] They supported the Anne Douglas Childhood Center at the Sinai Temple of Westwood.[116] In March 2015, Kirk and his wife donated $2.3 million to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[117]

Since the early 1990s Kirk and Anne Douglas donated up to $40 million to Harry's Haven, an Alzheimer's treatment facility in Woodland Hills, to care for patients at the Motion Picture Home.[74] To celebrate his 99th birthday in December 2015, they donated another $15 million to help expand the facility with a new two-story Kirk Douglas Care Pavilion.[118]

Douglas donated a number of playgrounds in Jerusalem, and donated the Kirk Douglas Theater at the Aish Center across from the Western Wall.[119]

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With the passing of Kirk Douglas at 103 years, classic Hollywood's last great star who is still alive is Olivia de Havilland, who, God willing, will be 104 years on July 1, 2020.

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3 hours ago, Roy Cronin said:

I love, love, love the scene in Letter to Three Wives when Kirk explains the difference between "feel bad" and "feel badly" to Florence Bates.

Lolly, the old adverb, here.

My very favorite Kirk scene is in THE BAD & THE BEAUTIFUL when he sneers, "Maybe I LIKE being cheap....get out-GET OUT!"

Kirk was the best male screamer of all time.

Similar scream at the 2:40 mark:

 

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

 

 

I liked Gloria Grahame in this film, but I wasn't sure if her performance was worthy of an Oscar.  I also liked how she played a prim and proper Southern Belle, but then there was still this underlying level of floozy that only Grahame can bring to her portrayals. 

As good as Gloria Grahame is in The Bad and the Beautiful, I thought she was even better in another 1952 movie, playing Irene Neves in the film noir Sudden Fear.

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1 minute ago, hamradio said:

News of his death just broke in Off Topics. :blink:

Jakeem started this thread last night. His post in the Off-Topics that apparently confused you is about the top news stories of the day. It was not intended as "breaking news".

I know it's tough, but try to keep up.

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2 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Lolly, the old adverb, here.

My very favorite Kirk scene is in THE BAD & THE BEAUTIFUL when he sneers, "Maybe I LIKE being cheap....get out-GET OUT!"

Kirk was the best male screamer of all time.

Similar scream at the 2:40 mark:

I loved that scene.  I also loved Lana Turner's breakdown in the car afterward. I thought for sure she'd crash the car, because usually they do when there's drama in the car.  But she managed to stay on the road. 

I also liked when Lana Turner drunkenly proposes to Kirk:

LANA: Will you marry me?

KIRK: Not even a little bit. 

 

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3 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

As good as Gloria Grahame is in The Bad and the Beautiful, I thought she was even better in another 1952 movie, playing Irene Neves in the film noir Sudden Fear.

I also thought she was fantastic  in The Big Heat

I don't want this to turn into a Gloria Grahame thread though. Lol. 

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I actually saw The Villain (1979) in the theater. Simpler times.

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Jakeem started this thread last night. His post in the Off-Topics that apparently confused you is about the top news stories of the day. It was not intended as "breaking news".

I know it's tough, but try to keep up.

Keep up?  I mentioned "The Final Countdown"  last night. :lol:

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2 minutes ago, hamradio said:

Keep up?  I mentioned "The Final Countdown"  last night. :lol:

Well then that makes it doubly stupid for you to claim that Jakeem was posting it as breaking news today in the Off-Topics.

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18 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

As good as Gloria Grahame is in The Bad and the Beautiful, I thought she was even better in another 1952 movie, playing Irene Neves in the film noir Sudden Fear.

Blink and you miss her. I've never understood her win for that film. She gave far better performances in other films.

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58 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

With the passing of Kirk Douglas at 103 years, classic Hollywood's last great star who is still alive is Olivia de Havilland, who, God willing, will be 104 years on July 1, 2020.

what about doris day?

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1 minute ago, NipkowDisc said:

what about doris day?

Uh,  sadly Doris Day died on May 13th 2019.

 

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I hope that tcm will not beat us over the head with The Bad and the Beautiful too much. they might consider Draw! even though it was cable TV fare.

good comedic performances by kirk and James Coburn and Alexandra Bastedo is hot.

:)

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I concur; I hope TCM is able to get hold of some of Kirk's lesser-seen/lesser-known movies. 

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