I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist

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Open Road Media, Jun 12, 2012 - Performing Arts - 220 pages
A “lively” memoir by the Hollywood legend about the making of Spartacus, with a foreword by George Clooney (Los Angeles Times).
 One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Kirk Douglas has distinguished himself as a producer, philanthropist, and author of ten works of fiction and memoir. Now, more than fifty years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. Douglas began producing the movie in the midst of the politically charged era when Hollywood’s moguls refused to hire anyone accused of Communist sympathies. In a risky move, Douglas chose Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted screenwriter, to write Spartacus. Trumbo was one of the “Unfriendly Ten,” men who had gone to prison rather than testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about their political affiliations. Douglas’s source material was already a hot property, as the novel Spartacus was written by Howard Fast while he was in jail for defying HUAC. With the financial future of his young family at stake, Douglas plunged into a tumultuous production both on- and off-screen. As both producer and star of the film, he faced explosive moments with young director Stanley Kubrick, struggles with a leading lady, and negotiations with giant personalities, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Lew Wasserman. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at ninety-five, looks back at his audacious decisions. He made the most expensive film of its era—but more importantly, his moral courage in giving public credit to Trumbo effectively ended the notorious Hollywood blacklist. A master storyteller, Douglas paints a vivid and often humorous portrait in I Am Spartacus! The book is enhanced by newly discovered period photography of the stars and filmmakers both on and off the set.
 

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Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Kirk Douglas was a renowned actor who appeared in almost ninety movies before retiring from film acting in 2004. His work on and off the screen was rewarded with three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Medal of Freedom. Through his production company, Bryna, he produced acclaimed films such as The Vikings, Lonely Are the Brave, Paths of Glory, and Seven Days in May. A master storyteller, Douglas also penned ten novels and memoirs. In 2009, he starred in an autobiographical one-man show called Before I Forget at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. For many years, Douglas maintained an active life in Beverly Hills and Montecito, where he lived with his beloved wife Anne. He passed away on February 5, 2020, in Los Angeles. He was 103 years old.

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