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

( 6 )

Overview

From Kirk Douglas, Hollywood royalty and bestselling author of The Ragman’s Son and My Stroke of Luck, comes the candid story of the making of Spartacus, the blockbuster film that broke the blacklist

One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Kirk Douglas has distinguished himself as a producer, philanthropist, and author of ten works of fiction and memoir. Now, more than fifty years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas ...

See more details below
Paperback
$14.09
BN.com price
(Save 17%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (38) from $1.99   
  • New (19) from $4.43   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
I Am Spartacus!: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
(Save 12%)$7.99 List Price

Overview

From Kirk Douglas, Hollywood royalty and bestselling author of The Ragman’s Son and My Stroke of Luck, comes the candid story of the making of Spartacus, the blockbuster film that broke the blacklist

One of the world’s most iconic movie stars, Kirk Douglas has distinguished himself as a producer, philanthropist, and author of ten works of fiction and memoir. Now, more than fifty years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. 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 “Unfriendly Ten,” men who had gone to prison rather than testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee about their political affiliations. Douglas’s source material was already a hot property, as the novel Spartacus was written by Howard Fast while he was in jail for defying HUAC.
 
With the financial future of his young family at stake, Douglas plunged into a tumultuous production both on- and off-screen. As both producer and star of the film, he faced explosive moments with young director Stanley Kubrick, struggles with a leading lady, and negotiations with giant personalities, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, and Lew Wasserman. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at ninety-five, 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 notorious Hollywood blacklist.
 
A master storyteller, Douglas paints a vivid and often humorous portrait in I Am Spartacus! The book is enhanced by newly discovered period photography of the stars and filmmakers both on and off the set.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An entertaining and informative look at the troubled gestation of a film of both artistic and social significance.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Kirk Douglas is many things . . . But he is, first and foremost, a man of extraordinary character. The kind that’s formed when the stakes are high. The kind we always look for at our darkest hour.” —George Clooney

"A glorious book . . . Kirk Douglas is a wonderful writer and a courageous one, which should surprise no one. Courage has been his battle cry all his life." —Steven Spielberg

"The making of I Am Spartacus! is a remarkable story told with the wit and charm of a great entertainer. Kirk Douglas revisits the complex political and social context surrounding the production of a cinema classic." —Henry Kissinger

"Hugely entertaining." —Liz Smith, Chicago Tribune

"I Am Spartacus! is a great read." —Bill O'Reilly

"Kirk Douglas is a lion." —Bill Maher

"A lively new memoir about one of [Douglas'] greatest triumphs." —Los Angeles Times

"Carries the power of a self-made man who continues to meet life on his own terms but with grace and aplomb." —Associated Press

“An entertaining and informative look at the t

Kirkus Reviews
He is Spartacus…and here's how it happened. Douglas (Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning, 2008, etc.) famously helped break the Hollywood blacklist when he insisted Dalton Trumbo--previously jailed for contempt of Congress and made an unemployable industry pariah due to his membership in the "Hollywood Ten"--be given sole screenwriting credit under his own name for Spartacus, rather than employ a pseudonym, as was common practice at the time. That act of courage is at the heart of this memoir about the creation of the epic film. The author's evident pride in the matter is wholly justified, but the book's true appeal lies in the off-camera antics of the storied cast and the candidly described aggravation and terror the production's many complications engendered in Douglas, who, as the producer, had staked his reputation and financial well-being on the results. Among Douglas' many headaches were the childish rivalry between stars Laurence Olivier and Charles Laughton, who regarded each other with a curious combination of respect and utter hatred; the scene-stealing machinations of Peter Ustinov, whose efforts would net him an Academy Award; a scheduling standoff with a similarly themed sand-and-sandals epic starring Yul Brynner; and, most fascinatingly, Douglas' frustration with director Stanley Kubrick, a replacement for Anthony Mann who alienated Douglas and much of the cast and crew with his high-handedness and lack of social skills, while ultimately delivering a technically accomplished and viscerally emotional masterpiece. Douglas is a fine natural storyteller, unafraid to portray his quick temper and nasty outbursts when the going got rough. An entertaining and informative look at the troubled gestation of a film of both artistic and social significance.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453254806
  • Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 242
  • Sales rank: 270,533
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirk Douglas is a renowned actor whose work on and off the screen has been rewarded by three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and the Medal of Freedom. Through his production company, Bryna, Douglas has produced acclaimed films such as The Vikings, Lonely Are the Brave, Paths of Glory, and Seven Days in May. He has penned ten novels and memoirs, including The Ragman’s Son (1988). His 1960 epic, Spartacus, based on the Howard Fast novel of the same name, is credited with helping to end the practice of blacklisting film professionals who had refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Douglas appeared in some-ninety movies before retiring from film acting in 2004.  
 In 2009, he starred in an autobiographical one-man show called Before I Forget at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles. Douglas maintains an active life in Beverly Hills and Montecito, where he resides with his beloved wife Anne.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    When I ordered this book I just saw the title I AM SPARTACUS! and expected it to be just about the making of one of my favorite movies. However, Kirk Douglas also gives a good portion of the book to talking about the infamous Hollywood Blacklist of writers and pperformers in the 1950's, and how SPARTACUS openly broke that balcklist. The book is fast reading and consistently entertaining and informative about the era and this film. A must for film buffs and those interetested in how McCarthyism affected the entertainment industry.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Very readable & interesting

    Wonderful gimpse into film making & the blacklist's sodid history told by a fillm making legend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    This is a fascinating, very entertaining account of the making o

    This is a fascinating, very entertaining account of the making of a great film. There are two rather jarring misquotes (at least in the paperback edition). On page 87 there's a quote attributed to Laurence Olivier that was actually spoken by Charles Laughton, and on page 103 there's a quote attributed to Charles McGraw that was actually spoken in the film by Peter Ustinov.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    I give it five stars

    If you like Kirk Douglas you will love reading this book ,

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 25, 2012

    Great read- fast and fun

    Kirk Douglas writes in a wonderfully honest and easy way about his recollections of the people and time of the blacklist and brings back the Hollywood of my childhood.
    A really good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    Excellent book about one of my favorite films.

    Kirk Douglad gives us an incredible look back aone of the greatest films ever made and trials that went on behind the scenes. In many ways, the story of the making of the film is as grand as the film itself and would make a good movie like "RKO 281"?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)