Monday, July 25, 2005

A Look at Kirk and Michael Douglas

Kirk and Michael Douglas

Kirk Douglas and his son Michael Douglas have starred in some of the most memorable movies in Hollywood history. But the lives they have lived off-screen are even more compelling.

Debuting Saturday, August 13, 2005 (8:00-9:35 p.m. ET/PT), A Father...A Son...Once Upon A Time In Hollywood presents a fascinating look at these two charismatic Oscar(r)-winners who share, along with a last name, a passion for movies, women, family and taking big risks. This extraordinary glimpse into the private side of a Hollywood dynasty was directed by Michael Douglas' longtime friend, Academy Award(r)-winning actress and documentarian Lee Grant, who had unfettered access to the two legends. Grant's husband, Joseph Feury, produced the film with her; their previous collaborations include the Oscar(r)-winning HBO documentary "Down and Out in America."

Other HBO playdates: Aug. 17 (2:15 p.m., 12:30 a.m.), 19 (6:45 p.m.), 25 (10:00 a.m.) and 28 (1:15 p.m.).
HBO2 playdates: Aug. 16 (10:00 a.m., 10:30 p.m.) and 22 (5:25 a.m.).

Delving deeply and compassionately into the personal and professional journeys of both men, the documentary captures a conversation many people would like to have with their parents. Both men lay it all on the line, and ultimately forgive, as well as receiving forgiveness.

"I've known Kirk since we worked together in William Wyler's 'Detective Story'," says director and producer Grant. "I was honored that he and Michael agreed to let me record these conversations, which reveal a side of these two incredible men I don't think very many people know."

A Father...A Son...Once Upon A Time In Hollywood features a series of remarkably candid conversations between Kirk and Michael Douglas. These frank, poignant discussions touch on the highs and lows of both lives, as well as the twists and turns in their sometimes stormy relationship. Adding depth to the profile are clips from Kirk and Michael's film roles, as well as observations from those who know them best, including Anne Douglas, Kirk's wife of 50 years; Diana Douglas, Michael's mother; Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael's wife; and Hollywood heavyweights Jack Valenti, Kathleen Turner and Sherry Lansing.

Kirk and Michael's freewheeling conversations expose long-simmering rifts between these two ambitious, multi-talented entertainers, including a little-known dispute over the casting of 1975's Oscar(r)-winning Best Picture "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Kirk starred in the stage version and at one point even owned the film rights to Ken Kesey's groundbreaking novel, but after Michael took over as producer, Jack Nicholson landed the starring role, for which he won an Oscar(r). The film also takes an honest look at Kirk's legendary womanizing and Michael's alcohol use, and the toll they took on those closest to them.

In addition to acting in 86 films and being one of the most popular movie stars of his day, Kirk Douglas was the first actor to buck Hollywood's all-powerful studio system by producing his own films. He hired the young Stanley Kubrick to direct him in "Paths of Glory" and "Spartacus," further defying the establishment by tapping blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo to write "Spartacus" and crediting him on-screen. Nominated for acting Oscars(r) for "Champion," "The Bad and the Beautiful" and "Lust for Life," Kirk Douglas won an honorary Oscar(r) in 1996 as a tribute to his "50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community." His other films include "Gunfight at the OK Corral," "The Big Sky," "Young Man with a Horn," "The Glass Menagerie," "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" and "Tough Guys."

Michael Douglas began to forge his own career in the shadow of his father, first as a TV actor on "The Streets of San Francisco" and then as a producer, beginning with 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." He went on to produce and star in the prophetic action drama "The China Syndrome," and the box-office hits "Romancing the Stone" and "The Jewel of the Nile," as well as producing "Flatliners," "Face/Off" and "The Rainmaker." He won a Best Actor Academy Award(r) for his decade-defining role as Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's 1987 film "Wall Street," and has also starred in "Fatal Attraction," "Basic Instinct," "Falling Down," "Disclosure," "The American President" and "Wonder Boys."

Oscar(r)- and Emmy(r)-winner Lee Grant has directed nearly 60 TV movies and documentaries. She directed the 1986 Academy Award(r)-winning feature documentary "Down and Out in America" for HBO and won a DGA Award for the drama "Nobody's Child." Her other directing credits include "Tell Me a Riddle," "Following Her Heart," "Staying Together," "Seasons of the Heart" and American Masters presentation "Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light."

As an actress, Grant won a Supporting Actress Academy Award(r) for Hal Ashby's 1976 comedy "Shampoo" and was nominated for three other films, including "Voyage of the Damned," "The Landlord" and "Detective Story." Her other films include Robert Altman's "Dr. T & the Women" and David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive."

<> A Father...A Son...Once Upon A Time In Hollywood<> is directed by Lee Grant; produced by Lee Grant and Joseph Feury; co-produced by Roberta Morris Purdee; executive producer, Allen Burry; director of photography, Hart Perry; edited by Milton M. Ginsberg; original score by John Califra.
Posted by Picasa