As Kirk Douglas turns 100, here are eight of his best films

As Kirk Douglas turns 100, here is a look back at some of the highlights from his seven decades on film.

Champion (1949)

Kirk established his tough guy screen persona with his role as a boxer in this film, turning down an offer to star in The Great Sinner which would have paid three times as much.

It earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Ace In The Hole (1951)

Billy Wilder’s first film as writer and producer was a controversial tale about a newspaper reporter (Kirk) desperate to find a big story.

Woody Allen has named it as one of his favourite films and it was Oscar nominated for best story and screenplay.

The Bad And The Beautiful (1952)

Kirk starred as a manipulative movie producer in this film which won five out of its six Academy Award nominations.

The sixth Oscar which it missed out on was a nod for Kirk as Best Actor.

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)

The actor was Ned Land in this adaptation of Jules Verne’s book, where he showed off his skill at playing a lighter role.

It was one of Walt Disney’s most successful live action films.

Lust For Life, (1956)

Kirk played Vincent van Gogh in the film adapted from Irving Stone’s book about the painter’s life.

He was nominated for Best Actor for the role at the Oscars and won in the same category at the Golden Globes.

Paths Of Glory (1957)

This was one of director Stanley Kubrick’s first films, where Kirk starred as a French officer in World War I trying to save three men from the firing squad.

Recognised as one of the great anti-war dramas, it was banned in France until 1976.

Spartacus (1960)

Kubrick and Kirk teamed up again for this film about the Roman Republic, which also starred Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons and Peter Ustinov.

It also gained notoriety for helping to end the Hollywood Blacklist, which saw entertainment industry professionals with alleged Communist ties pushed out of work, when Kirk publicly acknowledged blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo for his work on the film.

In 2012, Kirk told The Jewish Chronicle: “I’ve made over 85 pictures, but the thing I’m most proud of is breaking the blacklist.”

Lonely Are The Brave (1962)

This Western was written by Dalton too and starred Kirk as a cowboy trying to live by his own code.

Although it was not a box office hit, Kirk told The Hollywood Reporter: “I love that character and his relationship with his horse. And I always consider that my best movie.”

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