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MinM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-06-12 11:04 AM
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How 'Spartacus' broke the blacklist
Wednesday, August 1,2012

How 'Spartacus' broke the blacklist
Kirk Douglas recalls a watershed epic
by Lawrence Cosentino

One morning in junior high school, I walked into class and saw a film-noir scene chalked in painful detail on the blackboard. I was stumbling down an alley, bleeding and clutching my stomach, with a huge smile on my face. The caption read:

Ive just been shot by Kirk Douglas sigh!

So Im not an impartial critic when it comes to I Am Spartacus, Douglas new book about the most conflict-ridden, talent-heavy, controversial films to come out of mid-20th-century Hollywood.

For decades, Ive tried to persuade condescending friends that Douglas is much more than a chiseled chin and a vehement voice. In the most transcendent moments of Spartacus, he gazes abstractedly, even tenderly, beyond his brutal world. Hes a poet with biceps, the only actor who could embody both the muscle and metaphor of Spartacus.

At 95, Douglas is still helping me make my case. This taut little book is full of humor, frankness and class.

The subtitle Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist refers to producer-star Douglas decision to give the writer of Spartacus, Dalton Trumbo, on-screen credit, breaking the insidious Hollywood ban on openly hiring alleged Communist sympathizers.

In 2012, Douglas feels a new urgency to set the record straight about Trumbo and other victims of the McCarthy era. Right-wing revisionists have recast the blacklist as a self-pitying Hollywood melodrama fabricated over martinis at poolside. Douglas counters with first-hand testimony of colleagues who lost jobs and committed suicide over the blacklist. He describes what it was like to live and work on a daily diet of corrosive lies, half-truths and silences...

Kirk & Kubrick
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-07-12 04:20 AM
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1. I watched Kirk on a TV program.
He was speaking about this issue and his book. He was very passionate about this.
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