Tag Archives: Kirk Douglas

Howard Hawks – The Big Sky (1952)

Red River is the most legendary of Howard Hawks’ western epics. Less well known is The Big Sky, a Kirk Douglas vehicle which evokes the Western frontier of the 1830s.

In Red River, John Wayne leads the first big cattle drive, thousands of miles north to the railroad. In The Big Sky, French merchant Jourdonnais (Steven Geray) becomes the first keelboat captain to journey up the wild, unexplored Missouri river, to trade for furs with the Blackfeet Indians.
Hawks takes his time, with even a musical number or two helping to develop his characters. Read More »

John Frankenheimer – Seven Days in May [+Extra] (1964)

From Wikipedia:
Seven Days in May is an American political thriller motion picture directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, and Ava Gardner, and released in February 1964 with a screenplay by Rod Serling based on the novel of the same name by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II, which was published in 1962. Read More »

Billy Wilder – Ace in the Hole (1951)

Review:
All Movie
A movie truly ahead of its time, Ace in the Hole (also known as The Big Carnival) turned out to be too bitter and cynical for moviegoers in 1951. An unrelenting portrait of media sensationalism and the human obsession with tragedy that propels it, the film is based on a true story that also spawned Robert Penn Warren’s novel The Cave. Director, screenwriter, and producer Billy Wilder suffered perhaps the biggest commercial and critical failure of his career with Ace, losing much of his standing at Paramount, even though the movie was released between two of his most enduring and popular triumphs, Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Stalag 17 (1953). Ace was perhaps not up to the standard of those works, but it clearly stands as one of Wilder’s many achievements. It’s hardly surprising that this film failed to find a mainstream audience, despite the added attraction of emerging star Kirk Douglas in the lead. American culture wouldn’t be ready for such a large dose of pessimism until the 1970s; even then, a film such as 1976’s Network, which clearly paralleled the tone of Wilder’s effort, was dismissed by many viewers as too hysterical. – Brendon Hanley Read More »

Michael Curtiz – Young Man with a Horn (1950)

Aimless youth Rick Martin learns he has a gift for music and falls in love with the trumpet. Legendary trumpeter Art Hazzard takes Rick under his wing and teaches him all he knows about playing. To the exclusion of anything else in life, Rick becomes a star trumpeter, but his volatile personality and desire to play jazz rather than the restricted tunes of the bands he works for lands him in trouble. Read More »