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Kirk Douglas Visits The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 07/26/2011 5:15 pm Updated: 09/25/2011 5:12 am

By Jennifer Raiser for Drew Altizer

Once a heartthrob, always a heartthrob. That was the sentiment amongst the "Spartacus"-fans who lined up at the Castro Theatre when 94-year-old Kirk Douglas took to the stage at the Jewish Film Festival. (Yes, the Kirk Douglas--the silver screen idol with the dimpled chin and chiseled cheekbones from way back when.) Douglas received the Freedom of Expression Award and chatted onstage with JFF Executive Director Peter Stein before 1400 fans.

(SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS)

The afternoon opened with a montage of Douglas’ performances, which can viewed on his website. As he mounted the stage from the audience, Douglas climbed two stairs, made a Hollywood half-turn to wave, and continued upstairs. The crowd went wild.

Over brief prepared remarks, he championed those who “fight for our democracy, just like Spartacus.”

“Our country is so divisive,” he said. “People are expressing what is good for their group instead of what is good for their country.” Washington, take note.

Douglas went on to talk about his lifelong adventure with Judaism, his 57-year marriage, and his experience making “Spartacus” before introducing the movie for a three-hour screening. He politely excused himself from the stage before the film began, explaining, “I would stay here but I’ve already seen the picture. It’s very good. You will like it!”

Check out our slideshow from the event below:

Kirk Douglas at Jewish Film Festival

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Filed by Robin Wilkey  |