Kirk Douglas ‘went berserk’ on set of Rock Hudson’s The Last Sunset | Films | Entertainment

3207


Having worked with formerly blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo to great success on Spartacus, Kirk Douglas hired the scribe to adapt Howard Rigsby’s 1957 novel Sundown at Crazy Horse.

The 1961 movie, retitled The Last Sunset, would see the Hollywood star play fugitive Brendan O’Malley, who crosses the Mexican border and seeks refuge at the farm of his former lover Belle, played by Dorothy Malone.

Meanwhile, US Marshall Dana Stripling, portrayed by Rock Hudson, arrives out of his jurisdiction to keep a close watch of O’Malley.

Douglas hired Robert Aldrich to direct the movie, but the filmmaker does not look back fondly on the experience at all.

Years later, the director said of filming The Last Sunset: “That was a toughie. I found it extremely difficult personally to do the film. But in this business, you have to stay alive. You have to take subjects like this to make money to eat, to buy more properties and float another project.”

Aldrich and Douglas clashed when the actor discovered that the director was hosting several writers on the Mexico set to work on different projects. The filmmaker revealed that the actor lost his cool because he felt Aldrich wasn’t pouring as much attention into The Last Sunset as he’d have liked.

Aldrich said how his star was upset that he wasn’t as focused on The Last Sunset as he wanted him to be, claiming: “He went berserk, he just went crazy.” As a result, the writers were dispatched away to Mexico City. The filmmaker was particularly irritated that Trumbo had written the script, but then left to go and work on Otto Preminger’s Exodus. When he came back “it was too late to save it.” 

He said: “Kirk was impossible. He knew the screenplay wasn’t right. The whole thing started badly, went on badly, ended badly.” But Aldrich didn’t have a problem with Trumbo leaving to work on Exodus, saying he was “2000 per cent right” to take that course of action. After all, the Communist screenwriters had been blacklisted by Hollywood for over a decade and needed to get back to work in the movie business.

After all, the Communist screenwriters had been blacklisted by Hollywood for over a decade and needed to get back to work in the movie business.

Despite his problems with Douglas, Aldrich was impressed with his co-star, saying: “Rock Hudson of all people emerged from it more creditably than anyone.”

“Most people don’t consider him a very accomplished actor but I found him terribly hardworking and dedicated and very serious… if everybody on that picture, from producer to writer to other actors, had approached it with the same dedication it would have been a lot better.”



Source link