…ame normal for Kubrick’s films. It has been reported that sometimes he would do close to 100 takes. He didn’t like to reuse actors very often (Kirk Douglas is one of the few who comes to mind for his main roles in Paths of Glory and Spartacus), and all his films stand on their own, partly for this reason.
Kirk Douglas produced both Paths & Spartacus. He hired Anthony Mann to direct the latter, but differences occured, Mann was fired & Kubrick brought in at the last minute. From what I understand the salt mine sequences were directed by Mann.
Kubrick disavowed Spartacus from his filmography because he didn't have creative control. The film is really more a collaboration between Douglas & writer Dalton Trumbo. But of course Kubrick deserves credit for keeping the massive epic coherent, fast-paced & quite beautiful. Interestingly, there are glitches for such a detailed director: e.g. Douglas's costume shifts between cuts in the scene where he talks to Jean Simmons as she wades in a pool.
I do find Kubrick's choices of material rather fascinating. He goes from collaborating with Arthur C. Clark on 2001: to Thackery, to a best-seller by Stephen King (also using a A list actor, very unusual for him) to something as obscure as Traumnovelle. What ever inspired him to film a book like that?
I have my own choices for all-time greatest directors (I mean, David Lynch, anyone?), but no one, no one, filmed rituals the way Kubrick did: the duel in Barry Lyndon, the execution in Paths, the strange orgy in Eyes Wide Shut. All magnificent.
Final note on 'Brick: Whenever I see The Shining & Scatman Crothers reacting to Danny's psychic summons I recall that one shot supposed took a hundred or so takes (doesn't the film hold the record for the largest amount of film exposed to film in final cut?), only to have him walk into the lobby & get killed. What a waste!
Hitch, too. Unquestionably great.
I have a question, what do you suppose was behind Frenzy? The film is so, so damned British. The actors, from what I gather, were all well known in the UK, but not in the US, or I presume, worldwide. Was it an experiment in casting, just as Psycho was an experiment using TV methods to film a motion picture? Either way it was quite a departure from his usual casting habits (aside from the women being blonde).