A magnetically intense presence who practically exploded off the screen, Kirk Douglas was one of the last living giants of Hollywood’s golden age when he passed away last year at age 103. Embodying the cynical flip side of the postwar era, the vigorous, chin-dimpled actor rose to fame playing tightly wound, often defiantly unlikable characters: a backstabbing boxer in the hard-hitting noir CHAMPION, an unscrupulous reporter in Billy Wilder’s venomous media exposé ACE IN THE HOLE, and a ruthless Hollywood producer in Vincente Minnelli’s Tinseltown melodrama THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. Cementing his tough-guy image with his towering turn in Stanley Kubrick’s SPARTACUS and the numerous westerns (including LONELY ARE THE BRAVE) he made throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Douglas harnessed a bold and expressive performance style to become one of American cinema’s most indelible stars.
Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1950 • United States
Starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day
Based on the tragic life of legendary jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke, this music-driven drama stars Kirk Douglas as Rick Martin, a young trumpeter who finds success as a white musician in the largel...
Directed by Billy Wilder • 1951 • United States
Starring Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Bob Arthur
Billy Wilder’s ACE IN THE HOLE is one of the most scathing indictments of American culture ever produced by a Hollywood filmmaker. Kirk Douglas gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Ta...
Directed by Martin Ritt • 1968 • United States
Starring Kirk Douglas, Irene Papas, Alex Cord
In many ways prefiguring THE GODFATHER, Martin Ritt’s gritty mafia drama traces the rift that develops in a mob family between two brothers: tradition-minded Frank Ginetta (Kirk Douglas), who clings to t...
Directed by Kirk Douglas • 1975 • United States
Starring Kirk Douglas, Bruce Dern, Bo Hopkins
Publicity-hungry U.S. Marshal Howard Nightingale (Kirk Douglas) doesn’t just hunt down and capture fugitives—he makes sure a photographer is around to record his crime-fighting exploits in order to bols...
A Father . . . A Son . . . Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Directed by Lee Grant • 2005 • United States
Academy Award–winning actor and filmmaker Lee Grant’s candid, complex portrait of father-son screen icons Kirk and Michael Douglas—and the Hollywood dynasty that they built—is alternately a celebration, an indictment, and a fabulous dinner party. Exam...