Kirk Douglas Special Guest
2011 TCM Classic Film Festival
Celebration of Actor’s Life and Career to
Include Conversation with Robert Osborne,
Clips from One-Man Show and Special
Screening of Spartacus (1960)
Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas will be a special guest at the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. During the festival, which takes place April 28-May 1, the three-time Oscar® nominee and honorary Academy Award® winner will join TCM host Robert Osborne for an interview on stage, leading into a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s epic film Spartacus (1960), which Douglas also produced. The evening’s festivities will include clips from Douglas’ biographical one-man show, Before I Forget (2009).
“Kirk Douglas is an American icon whose performances have struck an indelible chord with moviegoers for more than 60 years,” Osborne said. “At the age of 94, he retains the great vitality and enthusiasm which has always been the Douglas trademark. We couldn’t be more pleased that Spartacus himself will be joining us at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood in April.”
Prior to the festival’s screening of Spartacus, Douglas and Osborne will sit down for a conversation about the actor’s life and career. They will present fascinating clips from Douglas’ Before I Forget, which premiered at the Center Theater Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Calif., in May 2009.
Douglas’ powerful and intense performance in Spartacus is considered among the actor’s finest. Based on a historical novel by Howard Fast, the film centers on Douglas as a famed gladiator who leads a massive slave revolt against Roman authorities. Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton and Oscar winner Peter Ustinov co-star. Spartacus earned Oscars for its art direction-set decoration, cinematography and costume design, with additional nominations for film editing and Alex North’s score.
Although Spartacus is now considered one of the best examples of the epic genre, its reception in 1960 was not quite so welcoming, in large part because screenwriter Dalton Trumbo had been blacklisted as a communist sympathizer. Douglas insisted on giving Trumbo on-screen credit, which drew the ire of powerful columnists like Hedda Hopper and organizations such as the American Legion. Despite the naysayers, Spartacus effectively ended the blacklist, allowing banned filmmakers to work openly once again.
The archetypal Hollywood movie star of the post-war era, Douglas built a career with virile, masculine and often-intense performances in more than 80 films. He earned Oscar nominations for performances in Stanley Kramer’s Champion (1949) and Vincente Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and Lust for Life (1957). Among his other film credits are The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), Mourning Becomes Electra (1947), Out of the Past (1947), I Walk Alone (1948), Ace in the Hole (1951), Detective Story (1951), Big Sky (1952), The Story of Three Loves (1953), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Paths of Glory (1957), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), The Devil’s Disciple (1959), Lonely Are the Brave (1962), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), Is Paris Burning? (1966), The Arrangement (1969), The Fury (1978), The Man from Snowy River (1983), Tough Guys (1986), Greedy (1994), Diamonds (1999) and It Runs in the Family (2003), the latter co-starring his eldest son, Michael. Douglas earned his first of three Emmy® nominations for the television film Amos (1985), which led him to become active in the cause of elderly abuse.
Throughout his career, Douglas has been an innovator and a rebel. In addition to challenging the Hollywood blacklist, he was one of the first A-list talents to wrest control of his career by founding an independent production company. And in the 1970s, he began a second career as a writer, while also focusing his energies on the philanthropic efforts of The Douglas Foundation. Today, at the age of 94, Douglas remains extremely active. He is a regular blogger with more than 12,000 followers on his MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/kirkdouglas). In 2007, the social networking service named Douglas their oldest celebrity blogger.
The TCM Classic Film Festival’s tribute to Kirk Douglas is the latest major event to be added to the ever-expanding lineup. Other film luminaries scheduled to take part in the festival include Peter O’Toole, Leslie Caron, Mickey Rooney, Debbie Reynolds, Jane Powell, Warren Beatty, Alec Baldwin, Hayley Mills, Richard Roundtree and Roger Corman.
About the TCM Classic Film Festival
The multi-faceted TCM Classic Film Festival – which runs from April 28 – May 1, 2011, in Hollywood – will be packed with more than 70 screenings, as well as special introductions, guest appearances, panel discussions and more. Time Warner Cable joins as an official partner, and Vanity Fair once again joins TCM as a festival partner. The magazine will produce the exclusive, opening-night after-party that will follow the red-carpet gala screening of An American in Paris. TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will serve as official host of the festival.
Throughout the festival, TCM will celebrate movie music, with multi-film tributes to George and Ira Gershwin, composer Bernard Herrmann and singing cowboy Roy Rogers. In collaboration with D23, The Official Disney Fan Club, the festival will also celebrate the musical legacy of Walt Disney, including his Silly Symphonies and Laugh-O-Gram shorts.
Among the numerous films slated for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival are Reds (1981), Becket (1964), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), West Side Story (1961), The Parent Trap (1961), Whistle Down the Wind (1961), The Guns of Navarone (1961), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), La Dolce Vita (1960), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Cabin in the Sky (1943), Went the Day Well? (1942), Citizen Kane (1941), Fantasia (1940), Dodsworth (1936), Hoop-La (1933), The Cameraman (1928) and The Merry Widow (1925), to name a few. TCM is dedicated to showcasing the best possible projection, including digital, 35mm and 70mm prints. Most of the films presented during the TCM Classic Film Festival have been digitally restored and remastered.
Additional information, including a list of programming and events slated for the 2011 TCM Classic Film Festival, is available here.
The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony, will once again serve as the official hotel for the festival, as well as home to Club TCM, a central gathering point for attendees. The Hollywood Roosevelt will also offer special rates for festival goers. Screenings and events will be held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Multiplex and the Egyptian Theatre. Delta is the official airline partner.