Manny P. here…
This year marks the centennial of one of Hollywood’s most legendary figures: Kirk Douglas (right), who as both an actor and a producer, has enlivened cinema with an unparalleled body of work, and delivered the highest ideals of popular entertainment. The UCLA Film & Television Archive and Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program present: Kirk Douglas: A Centennial Celebration.
Born the child of Russian Jewish immigrants, he’s come to represent a vital, indispensable presence within American public life since the dawn of his career in the post-World War II era. His shaded portrayals of embattled individuals, striving for survival and transcendence, have enriched public discourse about manhood, citizenship, and the human spirit. Rather than representing a single type, and certainly not an impervious masculine type, his characters variously shine with enthusiasm and mirth, or brood with disillusionment or suffering, imbuing his work with authenticity. This has made him a relatable figure for generations of film-goers.
His moral stands have been widely noted; particularly, his opposition to the Hollywood Blacklist, and a champion of Dalton Trumbo as the credited writer of Spartacus, and striking a decisive blow for free speech. For this contribution, and many others, the UCLA Film and Television Archive is pleased to present part of Kirk Douglas’ (below) lasting cinematic legacy.
Beginning July 8th at the Billy Wilder Theatre, the Summer lineup includes: Champion, Lust for Life, Ace in the Hole, Detective Story, Paths of Glory, Young Man with a Horn, Out of the Past, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Lonely are the Brave, and The Bad and the Beautiful.
Each evening begins at 7:30p. For complete information on the 25-film salute, click (or cut-and-paste) the link below:
Born on the outskirts of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Billy Wilder fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s to become a master of Hollywood productions, and a shrewd comic observer of the Americana. Among the classics Wilder co-wrote and directed were Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot, and The Apartment.
The Billy Wilder Theatre is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles at the Courtyard Level of the Hammer Museum. It’s among a handful of venues nationwide able to exhibit an entire century’s worth of moving images in their original formats. From the earliest silent films requiring variable speed projection to cutting-edge digital cinema, the Wilder can accommodate an astonishing array of screen technologies.
This is the perfect locale for a motion picture retrospective to honor Kirk Douglas; one of finest actors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. By the way, the thespian turns 100 in December.
My apologies for burying the lead…
Until next time> “never forget”