BEVERLY HILLS -- There is only one Spartacus.
But at Monday night's screening of this 1960 historical epic, the entire sold-out Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences audience jumped to its feet as the film's star and executive producer, Kirk Douglas, took the stage.
Many raised their fists in the air, shouting the iconic line from the film: "I am Spartacus."
Douglas, 95, who played the slave who led a revolt against the corrupt Roman Empire in the Oscar-winning film, said he had never seen a greeting like that before. "But I like it," he said, beaming.
The academy event, part of "The Last 70mm Film Festival," was centered on a new print of the Stanley Kubrick-directed film, which also starred Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis and Peter Ustinov.
But when Douglas sauntered onto the stage under his own power wearing a casual suit and Vans sneakers, the event turned into a tribute to the legendary actor.
"When you're 95, you don't look forward," said Douglas, still a nimble interview despite the speech effects of a severe stroke in 1996. "You look backward and take inventory."
Most of the inventory Douglas covered on Monday - and during a lively interview at his Beverly Hills home before the event - concerned the making of the film covered in his 10th book, I Am Spartacus: Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist (Open Road, 2012).
Douglas, who owned his own movie production company at the time, worked with Dalton Trumbo, a writer who had spent a year in jail and had been blacklisted during the McCarthy era. At first, Trumbo wrote by his stage name, Sam Jackson.
But Douglas and the filmmakers ensured that Trumbo received a screenwriting credit for his role in the movie.
"I was young enough to be impulsive, so I used his name on the credits," Douglas said. "The sky didn't fall, but the blacklist was over."
"The blacklist was a terrible time," he added. "It wrecked the lives of so many people."
Though critics have said Douglas' role in Trumbo's return from the blacklist was overstated, it earned him a special award from the Writers Guild of America in 1991. More recently, George Clooney praised the actor in the foreword to Douglas' book.
"Kirk Douglas is many things," Clooney wrote. "But he is, first and foremost, a man of extraordinary character. The kind that's formed when the stakes are high."
Douglas warned that the McCarthy days are not too far gone.
"It was more divisive during that time," he said. "Fear is a terrible thing. It makes you do awful things. Now it's not communists, but fear of terrorists."
But on Monday, he was able to laugh about some of the old times, even how studio executives were concerned about the length of the loincloths in the movie. He also laughed about asking his son Michael Douglas to help out with his latest book.
"When I asked Michael to do the audio version, he said, 'You mean you couldn't get George Clooney?' "
Douglas left before the movie started to catch a celebratory dinner with Michael and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones. "I've seen it," Kirk Douglas told the crowd. "It's a good picture."