Kirk, Michael, and Cameron Douglas
Michael Douglas’ first real movie work was in a film of his father’s, the aptly titled Cast a Giant Shadow. These days, Michael casts nearly as giant a shadow as Kirk, though Pop arguably has the edge as both a movie icon and a charismatic screen presence. This is true even after the stroke that has impaired Kirk’s speech. For proof, check out this movie, an apparent labor of love that features Kirk, Michael and Michael’s son Cameron playing father, son, and grandson. (Even Diana Douglas, Michael’s mom, who divorced Kirk decades ago, came back to play Kirk’s wife and Michael’s mother.)
The plot is standard-issue stuff about Oedipal anxiety among a family of Manhattan overachievers. (The family profession here is law, not showbiz, but it could just as easily have been plumbing or horticulture.) Kirk gets most of the big emotional moments here, with the others seemingly happy to cede the spotlight to him. Cameron, as the ne’er-do-well grandson, acquits himself as an actor among his more celebrated relatives. Watching the film may feel like eavesdropping on the Douglas family Passover seder, but then, that’s what a seder is, the umpteenth retelling of a very old and familiar story.
Next Honkytonk Man