TRIBUTES FROM SAM IRVIN, NANCY ALLEN, MORE
Kirk Douglas turns 100 today. Yesterday, Sam Irvin posted the following on his Facebook page:
"KIRK DOUGLAS' 100th BIRTHDAY! Friday, December 9, 2016! Thirty-nine years ago in 1977, I had the great privilege of working as a production assistant and extra on Kirk's supernatural thriller THE FURY directed by Brian De Palma. I was also lucky enough to interview him for CINEFANTASTIQUE magazine as part of my journal on the making of that film. Then, the following year, I associate produced and production managed De Palma's HOME MOVIES starring Kirk who was also an investor on the film. He was a powerhouse -- full of ideas, excited by the entire process of film-making. He made it a point to learn every name of every actor and crew member by Day 2, a respectful tradition that I adopted and religiously practice to this day on my own films. CONGRATULATIONS, KIRK!!!!"
Nancy Allen then posted a comment on Irvin's post: "We sure had some fun making Home Movies. Kirk was wonderful! How fortunate we were to work with him."
Meanwhile, this past Sunday, Live Mint's Uday Bhatia posted a tribute looking at five of Kirk Douglas' most memorable scenes, and included one from The Fury:
Last action hero
Along with George Miller’s The Man from Snowy River (1982), The Fury represents the best of late-period Douglas.
In this 1978 film by Brian De Palma, he plays Peter Sandza, an ex-CIA agent who survives an assassination attempt and resurfaces years later in search of his telekinetic son, who has been kidnapped by a shadowy intelligence organization.
Pursued by his son’s captors, he takes two bumbling beat cops (one of whom is played, hilariously, by Dennis Franz, the future NYPD Blue star) hostage and commandeers their vehicle. De Palma, master of the elaborate chase, wasn’t fond of cars, a possible reason why the sequence is played mostly for laughs.
De Palma gave impetus to several fledgling actors—John Travolta, Robert De Niro, Margot Kidder—in his early films, but this was the first time he worked with a huge star.
Douglas is very much the old-school pro in the film, and in this scene. He deadpans through most of it, which only serves to make the panic of his co-passengers more hilarious; his sideways glance when one of them says, belatedly, “Somebody’s after you, is that it?” is a minor classic. Few actors over 60 would have consented to ending a big action sequence with their pants around their ankles. That Douglas does this without looking ridiculous is testament to his willingness to subvert his own virile image, and belief in his own star quality.