Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas earned a standing ovation from a packed Los Angeles theater as he introduced a screening of the 1960 classicSpartacus that included a previously censored scene.
When you’re 95 years old, you don’t look forward. You look backwards, you take inventory, Douglas said, as he sat on stage to talk about the film that immortalized him as a movie legend.
Douglas said that Spartacus challenged censorship during an era when Hollywood actors and screenwriters were blacklisted due to their alleged communist sympathies.
Douglas hired Dalton Trumbo, a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter, who wrote the script under a pen name. Douglas however put Trumbo’s name in the film credits. You have no idea how terrible those years were when we had the blacklist, said Douglas.
The complete Spartacus, which was restored in 1991, includes a homoerotic scene that censors cut out when the movie first screened. In the scene, Laurence Olivier’s character, a wealthy Roman, comes to his slave, a young, half-naked Curtis and asks him to enter the tub and help bathe him.