Second Annual Kirk Douglas
Film Festival 2017
Why Kirk Douglas?
Kirk Douglas is the highest ranked actor still living on the American Film Institute’s list of Screen Legends. He was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, New York in 1916. In his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son, he describes a life of hardship as a son of a Jewish Russian immigrant reseller of used rags. His older sister read Issur Horatio Alger novels for inspiration. He hustled snacks to mill workers and held 40 jobs before he became an actor. Issur lived and grew up at the bottom of Eagle Street in the Amsterdam’s East End. He was a 1934 graduate of Amsterdam High School, and 1939 graduate of St. Lawrence University. He attended the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and after Pearl Harbor joined the Navy. He married Diana Dill in 1943 and had two sons Michael (also a Hollywood icon) and Joel ( a producer). They divorced in 1951. Kirk started on Broadway and in 1945 played the lead opposite Barbara Stanwyck in “The Strange Love of Martha Ivers”. His first Oscar nomination came in his eighth film “Champion” in 1949. In 1953, he married Anne Buydens and they had two sons, Peter (a producer) and Eric (an actor who died in 2004). Kirk suffered a stroke in 1996 and lost his voice. “Anne refused to let me wallow in self-pity when I was depressed and suicidal” he said “She gave me tough love to get out of bed and work with the speech therapist”. He maintains a program of walking every day to stay healthy. He spends an hour a week studying with his rabbi. “God….. He wants us to develop our talents and help others, as my mother taught me”, he said. Kirk Douglas has become what is called in Yiddish a mensch-a good man.
How did the Film Festival start?
Emil Suda, local movie aficionado, lives on Eagle Street. John Naple, library volunteer and trustee also grew up on Eagle Street. Emil and John decided to learn more about their famous former neighbor by sharing with the public, at the library, the films of Kirk Douglas. Emil has often been heard on the radio speaking about classic and modern movies. In this first year of the “Kirk Douglas Film Festival” it was decided to show some Kirk’s early and lesser known movies and John’s favorite movie.
Thursday, February 2, 2017 6 – 8 pm
Out of the Past
RKO Pictures, 1947 Directed by Jacques Tourner Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas A brooding example of Film Noir, as Jeff Bailey (Mitchum) is lured back to his old past, embroiled in murder and deceit through his old crime boss Whit Sterling (Douglas).
Thursday, February 9, 2017 6:00 – 8:00 pm
United Artists, 1949 Directed by Mark Robson Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Maxwell, Arthur Kenedy Douglas' brutal performance as boxer Midge Kelly, fighting his way through the ranks becoming a hero in public and a heel in private.
Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:00-8:00 pm
United Artists, 1958 Directed by Richard Fleischer Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh A band of Norse warriors lead by Einar (Douglas) had to compete with half brother Eric (Curtis)as they vie for the throne of Northumbria in Britain and the princess Morgana (Leigh).
Thursday, February 23, 2016 6:00-8:00 pm
For Love or Money
Universal Pictures, 1963 Directed by Michael Gordon Kirk Douglas, Mitzi Gaynor, Julie Newmar Lawyer Deke Gentry (Douglas) is hired to match three daughters with three prearranged husbands, while he himself becomes involved with one in this zany romantic comedy.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 6:00-8:00 pm
Gunfight at the OK Corral
Paramount Pictures, 1957 Directed by John Stuges Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming Lawman Wyatt Earp (Lancaster) and outlaw Doc Holiday (Douglas) team up in an alliance that culminates in this grand scale legendary gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona, Hollywood style.