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

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

by Kirk Douglas

Other authors: George Clooney (Foreword)

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Showing 4 of 4
Until a few years ago I knew nothing about the "Blacklist" or the "Hollywood 10". The House Un-American Activities Committee had something to do with McCarthy and the "Red Scare", but what exactly I didn't have a clue. Then I saw the movie , Trumbo with Bryan Cranston and my eyes were opened. Trumbo's career resurrection by Kirk Douglas is a big part of the final act of the movie, and the righting of a great wrong. I've read with great interest everything I can find about that whole dark chapter of our history as I sense that we've entered a very similar time. Loved this book , and I love the heroism demonstrated by Kirk Douglas, Dalton Trumbo, etc. We need to live by their fine example whenever the First Amendment is endangered! ( )
  5hrdrive | May 2, 2018 |
Kirk Douglas gives us a fascinating memoir on the making of an epic movie during the shameful era of Hollywood blacklists. Spartacus had some of the biggest stars of the day Kirk, Lawrence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis and Jeanne Simmons. Listening to the interplay among this outsized egos was fascinating.

But more importantly, the book reminds us of the damage the blacklists had on the careers of those who stood up for their rights in the face of the House on Unamerican Activities and Kirk Douglas's courage in helping to break the blacklist. Recommended! ( )
  bg853 | Oct 8, 2014 |
I'm doing my own personal Kirk Douglas film festival and I thought it would be interesting to read this book before watching the movie again. Spartacus is a movie that's on my personal top ten list. The first time I saw Spartacus, it was on a bad TV in crummy hotel room, because my family was trapped by a snow storm in Vega Texas. However even under those circumstances, Spartacus still enthralled me.

Finding out about how the film was made and the problems the blacklist caused for people like Dalton Trumbo was a real eyeopener. Sitting here today it's hard to believe it could have happen, we are currently so protective of our freedom of speech, but it is a lesson. I enjoyed the book, it was Kirk Douglas regaling me with stories of making Spartacus, just what I wanted. ( )
  arning | Jan 1, 2014 |
This is a fascinating look at the making of Spartacus, the sword-and-sandals epic film. Kirk Douglas was the producer and star, and was singlehandedly responsible breaking the infamous Hollywood blacklist by insisting that Dalton Trumbo write the screenplay. Trumbo was a famous screenwriter who had been blacklisted for refusing to name names. Almost until the opening of the movie, he had to use a pseudonym or risk having the studio shut the film down. Kirk Douglas is a true American hero for defying the powers that be and defeating the bigots and hypocrites in the movie business. ( )
  Jamie638 | Jan 18, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kirk Douglasprimary authorall editionscalculated
Clooney, GeorgeForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Kirk Douglas reveals the drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film Spartacus. 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 men who had gone to prison rather than testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The source novel was written by Howard Fast while he too was in jail for defying HUAC. With the future of his young family at stake, Douglas plunged into a tumultuous production. As both producer and star, he faced explosive moments with young director Stanley Kubrick, struggles with a leading lady, and negotiations with giant personalities, Now, at 95, Douglas 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 Hollywood blacklist.--From publisher description.… (more)

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