Spartacus - 1960

Happy 100th Birthday to Kirk Douglas!

One of the original leading men, Kirk Douglas came along in the final days of the major studio system, and he was one of the first box office stars to take charge of his own destiny by  becoming involved in the production and marketing of the films in which he appeared.

He was a vital force in such classics as Out of the Past (1947), Champion (1949), Detective Story (1951), Ace in the Hole (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), and Lust for Life (1956). He formed his own company, Bryna, and made such major films as Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lonely Are the Brave (1962), and Seven Days in May (1964).

Along the way, he distinguished himself in a number of westerns, including The Big Sky (1952), Man without a Star (1955), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), and The War Wagon (1967), while also tackling several action roles in historical period pictures like 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954), Ulysses (1955), and The Vikings (1958).

conversations_with_classic_film_stars_coverRenowned for his support of liberal causes, Douglas is often credited with helping break down the dreaded Hollywood anti-Communist “blacklist” by hiring blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (who also celebrates a birthday today!) to write the screenplay for Spartacus.
In a conversation with Douglas in conjunction with Draw!, a 1984 HBO TV western, Ronald Miller asked the iconic actor about his work with other leading actors and actresses, antiheroes, and working within the studio system. You can find a full transcript of their conversation in Conversations with Classic Film Stars—a perfect gift for the film buff this holiday season.

In the excerpt below, Miller and Douglas discuss the unique art of filmmaking, and its pitfalls, as well as Douglas’s involvement in the Oscar-winning, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Excerpted from Conversations with Classic Film Stars:

Miller: You’ve worked with every kind of movie director and you don’t have a reputation for getting into disputes with them, but you are known for demanding a collaborative atmosphere on the set. Explain that.

Douglas: I’ve worked with [Joseph] Mankiewicz, [Howard] Hawks, [Elia] Kazan, [William] Wyler, [Billy] Wilder. I’ve been very fortunate. All of them work differently. I’ve even directed a couple of pictures, so I have respect for the work. But no matter what anyone says, it’s a collaborative art form. No matter how much one person is a binding force, it’s still a collaboration.

I think the problem today is that we’ve been contaminated by the European concept of the auteur system. I’ve had movies where I bought the book, developed the script, and cast the whole picture, but then the director walks in and says, “It must be a John Smith film!” I think sometimes we emphasize that too much.

Miller: Though you’ve avoided big hassles with your directors, you’ve had a few disputes with studio managements, haven’t you?

Douglas: Let me give you an example of that: Lonely Are the Brave. You need the proper selling of a picture like that. I thought Universal just threw it away. They didn’t give it a chance. They took it out of circulation. Then there were all those great reviews and people said, “Where’s the picture?” Their ego prevented them from making a different campaign for the picture. The longer I’m in this business, the more amazed I am that a movie can be made, good or bad.

Miller: You’ve taken lots of chances in your career, but I imagine one of your greatest frustrations was not being able to play McMurphy on the big screen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest after acquiring the rights to the book from Ken Kesey and playing the part on the stage in New York.

douglas-kirk_03Douglas: It was way ahead of its time. When I took it to Broadway, the critics didn’t know what to make of it. The audience loved it, but it didn’t do very well. I tried for nearly twelve years to make it as a movie. I took it to every studio. But they wouldn’t do it, even with a limited budget. Finally, I went into partnership with my son, Michael, and we were able to find somebody outside of the industry to put up the money and we made a little picture that I never predicted would be a hit. So it did over $200 million! Nobody knows what will really be successful.

Miller: What do you think of Michael as a producer?

Douglas: I told him, “Michael, you’re the kind of producer I’d like to work with because you give everything to the other person even when you’re in the movie.” He did that in Romancing the Stone [1984]. He focused all the attention on the girl [Kathleen Turner]. I haven’t been that generous. I’ve been a producer, but I find a product like Spartacus or The Vikings or Seven Days in May or Paths of Glory and somehow there always seems to be a good part for me.

Horace Holley Subject of New Biography, Talk at Transylvania University

holleyHistorian James P. Cousins, author of a new biography on controversial Transylvania University president Horace Holley, will discuss Holley’s legacy and impact in a talk sponsored by the Humanities Division of Transylvania University starting at 3 pm in Room 102 of Cowgill Hall on Wednesday, December 7, and sign copies of the book afterward. Cousins will also be at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington on Friday, December 9, from 4 to 6 pm signing copies of the book.

Outspoken New England urbanite Horace Holley (1781–1827) was an unlikely choice to become the president of Transylvania University—the first college established west of the Allegheny Mountains—in 1819. Many Kentuckians doubted his leadership abilities, some questioned his Unitarian beliefs, and others simply found him arrogant and elitist. Nevertheless, Holley ushered in a period of sustained educational and cultural growth at Transylvania, and the university received national attention for its scientifically progressive and liberal curriculum. The resulting influx of wealthy students and celebrated faculty—including Constantine Samuel Rafinesque—lent Lexington, Kentucky, a distinguished atmosphere and gave rise to the city’s image as the “Athens of the West.”

In Horace Holley: Transylvania University and the Making of Liberal Education in the Early American Republic, Cousins offers fresh perspectives on a seminal yet contentious figure in American religious history and educational life. The son of a prosperous New England merchant family, Holley studied at Yale University before serving as a minister. He achieved national acclaim as an intellectual and self-appointed critic of higher education before accepting the position at Transylvania. His clashes with political and community leaders, however, ultimately led him to resign in 1827, and his untimely death later that year cut short a promising career.

Drawing upon a wealth of previously used and newly uncovered primary sources, Cousins analyzes the profound influence of westward expansion on social progress and education that transpired during Holley’s tenure. This engaging book not only illuminates the life and work of an important yet overlooked figure, but makes a valuable contribution to the history of education in the early American Republic.

Continue reading

sale

Ho-Ho-Holiday Sale!

If you’re in need of gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays, then look no further than the University Press of Kentucky. Whether you’re shopping for a history or military buff, local foodie, bourbon lover, or Wildcats fan, the UPK can help you find the perfect gift. You can save up to a whopping 80% on thousands of some of our most highly sought-after books, including new releases!

wowsa

Below is just a sampling of what we have to offer, but click here to peruse our complete listing of sale items. Snag a few of our great titles for friends, family, co-workers … or yourself! Order online and make sure to use code FHOL or FSNO at checkout to receive discounted prices. Place orders before December 9 to ensure holiday delivery.

books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering Two Classic Film Stars

Conversations_With_Classic_Film_Stars_Cover.jpg

November 29th marked the anniversary of two very influential and revolutionary actors’ deaths: Ralph Bellamy and Cary Grant.

Ralph Bellamy became a leading man in the 1930s.  He made more than one hundred films, and he even managed to squeeze in time to portray President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Broadway play, Sunrise at Campobello.  Bellamy later took on roles in television such as The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, and he managed to stay inclusive within the Hollywood scene.  He later went on to other television shows that continued to showcase Ralph Bellamy as an actor who could portray almost any role thrown his way.  He passed away in 1991 at the age of 87.

Cary Grant began his acting career in the 1930s.  The British-born, witty, and satirical Grant worked alongside of major Hollywood stars such as Audrey Hepburn (Charade, 1963), Doris Day (That Touch of Mink, 1962), and Ingrid Bergman (Indiscreet, 1958).  The former acrobat turned Hollywood star suddenly became an international symbol of style and grace.  Cary Grant passed away in 1986 at the age of 82.

In Conversations with Classic Film Stars, retired journalists James Bawden and Ron Miller present an astonishing collection of rare interviews with the greatest celebrities of Hollywood’s golden age. Conducted over the course of more than fifty years, they recount intimate conversations with some of the most famous leading men and women of the era, including Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joseph Cotten, Cary Grant, Gloria Swanson, Joan Fontaine, Loretta Young, Kirk Douglas, and many more.

Each interview takes readers behind the scenes with some of cinema’s most iconic stars. The actors convey unforgettable stories, from Maureen O’Hara discussing Charles Laughton’s request that she change her last name, to Bob Hope candidly commenting on the presidential honors bestowed upon him. Humorous, enlightening, and poignant, Conversations with Classic Film Stars is essential reading for anyone who loves classic movies.

duncan-hines

Don’t Forget Dessert!

DuncanHinesComps3.inddWrap up your Thanksgiving festivities with a delicious dessert selected from Duncan Hines’ The Dessert Book. While the turkey, stuffing, and football may be important parts of many Thanksgivings, the dessert that follows is essential for every celebration. Whether you’re looking for a more traditional pumpkin or apple pie, or want to mix things up this holiday season, The Dessert Book will not leave you disappointed.  In the words of the food connoisseur himself, “One of the most important courses in any meal is the dessert…and, like the final act in a good play, is long remembered with pleasure.”

In the 1940s and 50s, Hines was the most respected restaurant reviewer in America, known for reliable recommendations of eating places from coast to coast. Today, many shoppers may recognize his name as a dependable brand of cake mix.

First published in 1955, this work is more than just a collection of recipes.  In addition to the more than 500 desserts in every conceivable category, Hines includes a number of helpful additions to ensure a perfect result every time, including pages on equivalent measures and weights, food weights and measures, recommended temperatures, substitutes, baking and cooking terms, useful kitchen utensils for dessert preparation, how to freeze desserts, and reducing and increasing recipes.

Enjoy a selection of a few desserts to try this week!

 

appy-birthday

appy-birthday-1

appy-birthday-2

 

 

 

 

Open Access Week with UPK and UK Libraries

2012 OA week header CS5According to the Census Bureau, the costs of college textbooks have risen 812% from 1978 to 2012. Amid the concerns about the costs of higher education and to alleviate students’ financial burdens, some educators have switched to library resources and/or openly licensed peer-reviewed materials (open educational resources, OER) in place of traditional textbooks. Not only is OER free of charge to students, but it allows instructors to customize the content to suit their pedagogical needs and provide students with up-to-date information on the subject. The past few years have witnessed a rise in the use of OER in higher education, and studies demonstrate that OER has helped students save thousands of dollars in the course of their university careers.

To celebrate Open Access Week, which was held October 24-30, the University of Kentucky Libraries presented a panel discussion about the use and impact of OER. University Press of Kentucky director Leila Salisbury discussed the benefits of OER in a presentation: Open Educational Resources: Faculty, Libraries, Publishers, and Students Working Together. Salisbury also moderated an enlightening Q&A discussion with UK’s Allison Soult, and Jeff Gallant of Affordable Learning Georgia.

 

 

 

upw_2016-opt1

#ReadUP in the Community: Throwback to the Future

This week, we’re celebrating University Press Week, which highlights the extraordinary work of nonprofit scholarly publishers and their many contributions to culture, the academy, and an informed society.

The theme of 2016’s #UPWeek is COMMUNITY, and, for us, that means honoring the people we serve through our mission to publish academic books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields and to publish significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia.

Download your own UPK #ReadUP Bookmark!

University Presses have been around a long time—the oldest, continuously operated UP, Johns Hopkins University Press, was founded in 1878! When you include University Presses like Cambridge and Oxford, university press publishing has been influencing scholarship and society for more than 200 years. In all that time, UPs have had to adapt to changing ideas in academia, changes in the market, and changes in readership—both culturally and technologically.

In 2016, University Presses continue to accommodate new and emerging scholarship and sustain research and public knowledge through initiatives that benefit their community. Click through to explore a few forward-thinking endeavors from AAUP member presses.

Yale University Press

Yale explores the future of communities through their title, City of Tomorrow.

Indiana University Press

IU Press authors talk about their favorite Indiana books and authors in preparation for Indiana University’s upcoming bicentennial celebration.

Seminary Co-op Bookstores

Seminary Co-op Bookstores shares a Front Table newsletter from the 80s.

University of Michigan Press

Focusing on digital scholarship, UMP highlights their innovative Gabii project that allows users to engage with scholarship via a gaming platform, and the Fulcrum platform that they beta launched just a few weeks ago.

Columbia University Press

In order to look forward at possibilities for future collaboration between university presses, Columbia looks back at the history of their South Asia Across the Disciplines series, jointly published by the University of California Press, the University of Chicago Press, and Columbia University Press.

MIT Press

A look back at the MIT Press Bookstore and a look forward to their new location.

University of Toronto Press Journals

Throwing it back to the evolution of UTP Journals and the development of their online platforms.

University of Georgia Press

UGA Press shares their collaborative efforts to organize the Charleston Syllabus Symposium in September.

IPR License

IPR License shares how they are building a community of university presses on its onlight rights platform and helping them to increase their revenue stream from backlist rights sales.