Kirk Douglas ‘it was impossible and he went crazy’ on the film set of Rock Hudson

Having worked with 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 title of the 1961 film The Last Sunset would see the Hollywood star play fugitive Brendan O’Malley, who crosses the Mexican border and seeks refuge on the farm of his ex-lover Belle de él, played by Dorothy Malone. Meanwhile, US Marshal Dana Stripling, played by Rock Hudson, goes out of his jurisdiction to keep an eye on O’Malley. Kirk hired Robert Aldrich to direct the film, but the filmmaker looked back with disdain to the time he worked on the project.

Aldrich was broke after having shot “two bad movies” in Europe and spent months trying to make a film about the Cossack Taras Bulba without success.

Years later, the director said of the filming of The Last Sunset: “That was difficult. It was extremely difficult for me personally to make the film. But in this business, you have to stay alive. You have to take issues like this to earn money to eat, buy more properties and launch another project.

The main catalyst for his feud with Kirk was after the star found out that Aldrich had several writers staying with him on the set in Mexico working on other projects.

Aldrich said that Kirk was upset that he wasn’t as focused on The Last Sunset as he wanted to be.

The director claimed, “He went crazy, he just went crazy.” As a result, he sent the writers to Mexico City. The filmmaker found it particularly frustrating that Trumbo had written the script, but then went to work on Otto. Preminger’s exodus And when he returned “it was too late to save him.”

He said: “Kirk was impossible. He knew that the script was not right. It all started badly, continued badly, ended badly.

READ MORE: James Stewart was ‘so upset’ by Rock Hudson they never spoke again

However, Aldrich did not blame Trumbo for leaving to work on Exodus, saying that he was “2000 percent right” in doing so. With the communist screenwriter coming off Hollywood’s blacklist after more than a decade, he needed to reestablish his career.

Despite his issues with Kirk, Aldrich was impressed with his co-star, saying, “Rock Hudson, of all people, came out of him more creditably than anyone. Most people don’t consider him a very accomplished actor, but I found him terribly hardworking, dedicated and very serious… if everyone on that movie, from the producer to the writer to other actors, had approached it with the same dedication, It would have been so much better.”

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