10 May 2015

Ustinov on Spartacus

Following tonight's superb expedition to the Embassy for the screening of Kirk Douglas' 1960 epic Spartacus, here's a typically erudite, witty and insightful interview from Peter Ustinov, talking about his role in the film, how it was made, and working with young director Stanley Kubrick, stars Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, and the obstreperous Charles Laughton ("You're just as good as Burl Ives"), meeting the formerly blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, and run-ins with the waspish columnists Hedda Hopper and Jimmie Fidler. Ustinov says that the the scenes between he and Laughton were written by Ustinov himself, to better fit Laughton's style, and that he was credited as 'Stonewall Ustinov' for the work. And there's a small tale about his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the Spartacus role at the end.

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