Kirk Douglas was born on the 9th December 1916 in New York, he may no longer be with us but his work has brought so much joy to my screen over the years and will continue to do so : to name four of his best movies is near impossible as like most great actors he has numerous films to choose from dependent on the mood you find yourself in…. for example if your looking for a bit of fun the Douglas way then look no further than Tough Guys a 1986 gem that sees two gangsters released from prison into a world that has vastly changed since they were put away, Burt Lancaster and Eli Wallach share the screen in this sweet, emotional and hilarious turn by the maestro, or if your looking for something more sombre, a bit more dramatic then take a peek at the 1951 Billy Wilder movie Ace in the Hole, one of his very best and a good old fashioned nail biter, that sees Chuck Tatum a reporter who slows down a rescue attempt of a man trapped in a cave so his career can flourish, it’s one of my favorites and Kirk is dynamite but if you want a night in and your after excitement, gun fights and the old west then jump onboard The War Wagon that sees Kirk team up with John Wayne in one of my favorite guilty pleasure westerns directed by Burt Kennedy : so if over the next few weeks you find yourself looking for some movie inspiration, you fancy a revisit or maybe you’ve never seen the likes of Lust for Life, The Vikings or The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral well take it from me there’s a Kirk Douglas movie for each & every mood, let that chin dimple, enormous heart and big smile fill your screen, you’ll thank me later…..
One of my favorite Kirk Douglas quotes : I was not a tough guy. I just acted like one.
So last week I was luck enough to revisit one of my favorite horror movies of all time Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece The Shining on the big screen and today I visited my local cinema to watch Doctor Sleep and let me tell you something IT is nothing short of EXCEPTIONAL !! This is director Mike Flanagan’s love letter to the Torrance family & all things that shine, how he managed to recreate such iconic sets such as the spine chilling blood from the elevator scene, Danny exploring the hotel on his tricycle, the room to room interior of the Overlook, those scary twins and of course the overheard camera following Danny’s car up towards the Overlook accompanied by that haunting score God Only Knows – Ewan McGregor is terrific as Danny Torrence, Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose the Hat & her power draining cult known as the True Knot are so bloody scary, reminding me slightly of the roaming blood suckers in Bigelow’s Near Dark – some of their scenes especially the one that involved No.19 the young baseball player scared the hell out of me whilst the incredible Alex Essoe literally sent shivers down my spine with her remarkable performance as Wendy Torrence – Overall Doctor Sleep is a cinematic triumph that pays homage to it’s predecessor whilst creating a creepy atmosphere & super scary horror of it’s own !! ★★★★★
In my lifetime The Movies have consumed my life they have become hobby, my passion and at times my infatuation and along that journey of countless films collected, hundreds of books read and the endless number of movies watched there has been one constant that stands above all others an actor by the name of Issur Danielovitch aka: Kirk Douglas a giant of a man not in height but in the way he has conducted himself, his film career is nothing short of remarkable, I’m not talking awards, box office success or personal gain I am talking of the many varied roles he has portrayed in his career from being the hero to villain, colonel to slave for me Kirk’s dedication to his craft, his granite stature & movie presence is unequaled, an actor not afraid to take chances on a role & make that role his own whether it be a boxing hero in Champion, the troubled artist Van Gogh in Lust for Life, a slave who goes up against the might of Rome in Spartacus, a cunning self centered reporter in Ace in the Hole and a cowboy just doing his job in Lonely are the Brave Kirk Douglas is without question a living breathing bona fide Movie Legend and although first & foremost I will always think of Kirk Douglas as an actor he has also inspired millions with his writing penning numerous novels and blogging into the 21st Century some of this work has been equally as stirring as some of his most famous pictures and in 1964 showing the measure of the man along with his wife Anne, Kirk established The Douglas Foundation that not only donates countless millions but work tirelessly in helping the less fortunate in building a better future for those in most need – Happy 100th Birthday Kirk Douglas your quite simply a LEGEND…..