Screenwriter and artist Tom Benedek reviews Kirk Douglas’s memoir I Am Spartacus:
“In the room” — in Hollywood meetings — creatives trade in fantasy. The execs, the writers, directors, and producers lubricate the business process with their fanciful concepts. Nobody calls them lies “in the room,” but in show biz meetings people make things up to move a project forward even an inch. Kirk Douglas, Hollywood fixture and veteran of the dream factory, uses this same methodology in his memoir to questionable effect and carries that ethos to historical events — to real-world matters — which doesn’t work as well.
Burnished dimple forward, Douglas sets forth a version of events placing himself at the center of the story as both star and protagonist in the breaking of the blacklist and promoting himself to a somewhat undeserved place there when in fact his role in these matters may actually have been less than central. Nevertheless, he has accepted standing ovations in media appearances, on television and in motion picture theaters, “humbly” taking credit for acts of political valor, treating the world as his “room” while on tour with the book since its publication this year.