Skip to main content
Roll with Art. Kirk Douglas, the last star of old Hollywood, passed away

Roll with Art. Kirk Douglas, the last star of old Hollywood, passed away

When Kirk Douglas played the role of the racing driver Gino Borgesa, in the movie The Racers (1955), he entered the Motor World faster than his character in the Montecarlo Rally. And although it is a romantic drama, it adds lovers to the Motor for taking in the film, the car of the consecrated pilot Stirling Moss.

Issur Danielovitch Demsky (Kirk Douglas) was born in New York, he was the son of immigrant Russian Jews. His childhood was complex, his father left the family (mother and 7 children, Issur the only male) and had to work. From primary school he was interested in the arts and unable to enter the University, since he did not have funds, he spoke with the Dean, who admitted him as a “gardener-student”.

Called to the Army in 1941, he participated and was wounded in World War II, in 1946 he debuted in Hollywood and quickly reached the sky. He was always characterized by choosing the scripts and with whom he worked, but not each of his characters. In 1960, directed by Stanley Kubrick, he made Spartacus. And that cry of "I am Spartacus", stayed recorded in the memory of all who saw the movie.

His attitude to the so-called witch hunt in Hollywood, promoted by the Committee on Anti-American Activities, produced more admiration than condemnation (he was included in the blacklist), as the script by Spartacus was by Dalton Trumbo, expelled from the industry. Maybe that was why he was nominated for an Oscar three times without winning. Finally, they gave him an honorary Oscar.


Kirk Douglas


Kirk Douglas was always very active, he invested part of his fortune in charities, wrote books and even his own biography (The Ragman's Son). And he was a car lover. In his film The Racers (Hombres Temerarios, in Spanish), he drives the car in which, the famous English Formula 1 racer, Stirling Moss, started.


Kirk Douglas. The Racers


Stirling Moss was the biggest rival of Argentine ten times champion Juan Manuel Fangio. Both ran in Havana, Fangio won the Cuba GP in 1957 and Moss did it in 1960. The car with which Moss debuted in the Swiss GP, in 1951, the black HMW Stovebolt, with a 4-cylinder, two-liter Alta engine. (2000 cc) and 4 speeds, it was restored in 1955 by Tom Carstens, they put a Chevrolet V-8 engine and painted it red. Then it was taking to Hollywood to be used in the film.

The film tells how the runner Gino Borgesa (Kirk Douglas), in his practices to compete in the Montecarlo Rally, has an accident for not running over a dog, in which his car is destroyed along with his illusion of running. And Nicole (Bella Darvi), owner of the dog, who promises Gino another car appears. And looking for the right vehicle, love flourishes.


Poster The Racers


I saw The Racers again (it is on the internet), which has other excellent cinema figures of that time, such as César Romero and Katy Jurado, of Latin roots. And to finish this simple tribute to the last star of old Hollywood, the "mecca of cinema" in the 50s, I invite you to enjoy some of the 80 films of Kirk Douglas. There is something for everyone.