The 10 Kirk Douglas movies you need to see
Hollywood lost one of the few remaining links to its Golden Age this week with the death of Kirk Douglas at 103, but the iconic actor and producer leaves behind a legacy of memorable performances.
Here are 10 of his best.
1. CHAMPION (1949)
Martin Scorsese cites this bruising boxing flick as a major influence on his classic Raging Bull. Douglas scored his first Oscar nomination as a hard-hitting pug who goes from homeless nobody to belt-winning somebody.
2. YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1950)
Douglas is utterly convincing as Rick Martin, a gifted star jazz trumpeter who has it all, then blows it all. One of Douglas' first 'method' performances, going hard on learning key horn techniques.
3. ACE IN THE HOLE (1951)
The all-consuming, non-caring antics of the American media machine are exposed by Douglas' witheringly cynical performance. Thematically, this finger-pointing drama could have been made today.
4. BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952)
Another movie where Douglas stoops as low as he can go to play an absolute heel. This time he is a merciless movie producer with a kink for making and breaking careers on a whim.
5. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
A rare lighter work for Douglas during his heavy-hitting prime. Disney paid a hefty sum to get the star on board as Captain Nemo in this fun adaptation of the Jules Verne-penned adventure.
6. LUST FOR LIFE (1956)
Douglas pushed himself harder than ever before to get inside the malfunctioning mind of trouble artist Vincent van Gogh. "It was frightening," he recalls, "because I could feel the character overtaking me."
7. PATHS OF GLORY (1957)
In the mind of many, this superb anti-war picture is the crowning achievement of Douglas' career. He played a conscientious military officer defending three of his soldiers against false accusations of cowardice in battle.
8. GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL (1957)
Douglas could never resist a western of highfalutin' pedigree. He plays Doc Holliday, Burt Lancaster plays Wyatt Earp, and all dirty, dusty roads head towards a heck of a shootout at Tombstone.
9. SPARTACUS (1960)
Douglas also produced this hypnotically strange sword-and-sandals epic, fatefully bringing Stanley Kubrick aboard as director when his first choice wasn't cutting it. Some big scenes, and some bonkers ones, too.
10. LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (1962)
One great western deserves another. This moody, broody one makes the cut because Douglas regularly referred to it as his fave movie, period. He plays a drifter trying to get by on a frontier fading fast.