Tag Archives: Spartacus

RIP Kirk Douglas

There is nothing like a movie made during the Golden Age of Hollywood. There is just something about the movies that were made back then that feel different than the movies made today.

We lost one of the last icons of the Golden Age of Hollywood today. Kirk Douglas died at the age of 103.

Born to Jewish immigrants from Russia, Douglas grew up poor and did what he had to do to get by.

He was known for playing tough guys. That tough guy persona was not just for the screen. Off screen, while the Hollywood blacklist was destroying lives and careers, Douglas put his name and and his career on the line. He hired blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo to write the screenplay for Oscar nominated film Spartacus.

Though he was raised Jewish, he stepped away from his faith as an adult. In the early 90’s, after he survived a helicopter crash, he returned to the faith.

He is survived by his second wife, his surviving sons and their families.

In Judaism, when we bless someone, one of the blessings is the following:

“May you live to 120.”

He lived to see 103, which is not something to sneeze at. In the words of our mutual ancestors, may his memory be a blessing. Z”l.

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History And Movies

We all remember the history books from our school days. The text was often bland, flat and devoid of the real story behind the facts.

Sometimes we learn more about our history not from a school history book, but from a fictionalized telling of that history.

Two movies are coming out soon that will bring history to life.

The upcoming movie Race (2016) is about Jesse Owens. In 1936, Jesse Owens, an African-American won four Olympic medals for track and field. The games were held in Nazi controlled Germany. He is still remembered today as one of the greatest athletes in Track and Field.

The other movie is Trumbo (2015). Dalton Trumbo was one most respected writers in the 1940’s. Then he was accused of being a communist. Blacklisted because of the accusation, he wrote under a pen name. Two of his films that he wrote while he was blacklisted, Exodus and Spartacus, are still remembered today as timeless classics.

Whether or not these films will be successful, only time will tell. But if the audience learns something, regardless of the box office receipts, then these films have succeeded.

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