WHV Press Release: TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Kirk Douglas Drama

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  1. Ronald Epstein

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    Burbank, Calif., May 29, 2012 – Actor, producer, author and philanthropist Kirk Douglas is the epitome of the best of Hollywood. He has been lauded and applauded throughout his outstanding career, having received the 1995 Honorary Award “for 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community” at the 68th Academy Awards® ceremony as well as AFI’s Life Achievement Award in 1991. He was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1994 and received the National Medal of Arts in 2001.

    Douglas will again be in the spotlight June 26 when WHV and TCM continue their popular TCM Greatest Classic Legends series with the Kirk Douglas Drama collection. The set will include three films: Lust for Life, The Bad and the Beautiful and Young Man with a Horn. Also included is the documentary Before I Forget, a 2009 sold out, one-man autobiographical play produced at the Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City – and written, and performed by the theatre’s namesake. TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Kirk Douglas Drama collection is affordably priced at $27.92 SRP. Orders are due May 22, 2012.

    Warner Home Video’s net proceeds from the sales of Before I Forget will be donated on behalf of Kirk Douglas to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, to which Douglas and his wife Anne have been major benefactors.

    Leading up to the DVD release, Douglas’s new book I Am Spartacus: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist, available on June 12, will be TCM’s Featured Book throughout the month of June. It is a highly touted memoir about filming the epic story, with its exceptional cast and a blacklisted writer who had to use the name Sam Jackson and be sneaked into the studio under cover of darkness to see the first cut. It was Douglas's courageous decision to put the name Dalton Trumbo in the final credits that broke the blacklist that had destroyed so many promising careers simply by being named as Communist sympathizers. TCM is devoting a day to Trumbo's films to salute him and his work on Spartacus.

    Kirk Douglas was born Issur Danielovitch in Amsterdam, NY of Russian Jewish immigrant parents who used the name Demsky in America. After a stint in the navy and on Broadway, Douglas made his movie debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Three years later, he appeared in Champion (1949), which in 1950 garnered the first of his three Oscar® nominations for Best Actor. The two others (included in this collection) were his 1953 nomination for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) and his 1957 nomination for Lust for Life (1956).

    Other memorable Douglas performances include I Walk Alone, Victory at Entebbe, The List of Adrian Messenger, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Devil's Disciple, Seven Days in May, Paths of Glory, Spartacus, The Man from Snowy River, and Tough Guys, the last of his seven films with Burt Lancaster. A noted author, Douglas’s non-fiction work includes the best-selling autobiography, The Ragman's Son; Climbing the Mountain: My Search for Meaning (penned after his 1995 life-altering stroke); My Stroke of Luck and Let's Face It: 90 Years of Living, Loving, and Learning. His works of fiction include Dance with the Devil and The Gift.

    In 1990, Douglas was appointed Officier de la Legion d’Honneur for distinguished services to France in arts and letters, one of his most valued international recognitions. He also received the Presidential Medal of the Arts from President George W. Bush and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Jimmy Carter (America's highest civilian honor) for his self-paid goodwill visits to some 40 countries to promote American values.

    YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN (1950) - Trumpeter Douglas’ talent carries him from honky-tonks to posh supper clubs, but his search for the elusive high note in his mind that’s impossible to play starts him on a boozy downward spiral. A feast of hot, cool, moody jazz co-starring Lauren Bacall, Doris Day and Hoagy Carmichael.

    THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) - Winner of five Academy Awards® (1953-Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Art Director-Set Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Writing-Screenplay) Douglas plays a magnetic Hollywood mogul who turns talent, charisma and ruthlessness into film success, stomping on careers and creating enemies along the way. Lana Turner, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell and Gloria Grahame costar.

    LUST FOR LIFE (1955) - Academy Award® Winner (1957-Best Actor in a Supporting Role-Anthony Quinn), Winner of Golden Globe® (1956-Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Drama - Kirk Douglas) and New York Film Critics (1956-Best Actor Award-Kirk Douglas). Douglas gives a fierce portrayal as artist Vincent van Gogh, torn between joyous inspiration and the dark desperation of his tormented mind. Anthony Quinn plays Paul Gauguin. Vincente Minnelli directs.

    BEFORE I FORGET (2009) – The filmed documentary of the one-man autobiographical play which Douglas wrote and performed onstage in 2009. Douglas recounts his remarkable life, augmented with rare film highlights. He shares memories of family, marriages, other Hollywood greats, breaking the blacklist and his life-altering stroke – all with honesty and humor.

    TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Kirk Douglas Drama

    MAT: 1000172516

    UPC: 883929161942

    Street Date: June 26, 2012

    Order Due Date: May 22, 2012

    SRP: $27.92

    Academy Award(s)® and Oscar(s)® are both registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    GOLDEN GLOBE(S)® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

    Copyright New York Film Critics Circle © 2008-2010. All Rights Reserved

    ©2012 American Film Institute. All Rights Reserved.

    About Warner Home Video
    With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, a division of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.

    About TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection
    TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection stands as the largest-ever partnership between Warner Home Video and Turner Classic Movies. The initiative combines the strengths of the companies in serving both serious film buffs and a new generation of movie lovers. The TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection builds on the success of previous joint initiatives between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video, including the TCM Archives series and the TCM Spotlight series.

    Warner Home Video, which owns the world’s largest film library, has more Best Picture Oscar® wins than any other studio and its films have garnered more than 300 Academy Awards®.

    Turner Classic Movies is currently seen in more than 85 million homes and will support Warner Home Video and the new collection with extensive marketing. TCM’s marketing plan includes print ads in TCM’s popular Now Playing guide, banners on tcm.com, and on-air mentions by the network’s renowned primetime host, Robert Osborne.

    About Turner Classic Movies
    Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its Web site, www.tcm.com. TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company.

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