Movies: Great Second Choices

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Haydnseek
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Movies: Great Second Choices

Post by Haydnseek » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:13 pm

Sometimes the first choice for a movie role isn't available or can’t finish the job and must be replaced. Now and then this works for the best. Filming of the 1950 MGM version of Annie Get Your Gun began with Judy Garland before her personal problems caused her removal. There is some footage of a somewhat stoned Garland filming a musical number for Annie and without a doubt, if she had been clear-headed, she would have given one her typically fine performances, but she doesn’t seem right for the part to be honest. MGM considered other actresses before asking Paramount to loan them Betty Hutton. Hutton seems born for the role and is brilliant – a classic performance. Another personnel change didn’t work out so well. Frank Morgan began filming the role of Buffalo Bill Cody but passed away and was replaced by Louis Calhern who was quite competent but lacked Morgan’s comic ingenuity.

Do you know of other second choices for roles that were most likely better than the first choice?
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:23 pm

Well, there's the old story that they wanted Shirley Temple and W.C. Fields for the Wizard of Oz.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Haydnseek
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Post by Haydnseek » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:23 pm

jbuck919 wrote:Well, there's the old story that they wanted Shirley Temple and W.C. Fields for the Wizard of Oz.
I can imagine Fields as the Wizard. His Mr. Micawber demonstrated that he could be an actor as well as a comic, and that he could play a lovable character. I'm a Temple fan but she was the wrong choice.
"The law isn't justice. It's a very imperfect mechanism. If you press exactly the right buttons and are also lucky, justice may show up in the answer. A mechanism is all the law was ever intended to be." - Raymond Chandler

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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:33 pm

Another disaster barely averted: Frank Sinatra in Carousel. He actuallly showed up on the set (I believe) but beat a quicke retreat when he found out they were filmng two versions of i.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Madame » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:18 am

Streetcar Named Desire:
Elia Kazan's 1st choice was John Garfield, who turned it down for fear of being overpowered by whoever played Blanche; 2nd choice was Burt Lancaster. The rest is history.

Some Like It Hot:
Mitzi Gaynor was Billy Wilder's 1st choice to play "Sugar".
I can't even imagine anyone else than Marilyn Monroe doing that role.

The Graduate:
Charles Grodin turned down the role of Benjamin Braddock because of $$$; thank God!!!!
Earlier choices to play Mrs. Robinson: Doris Day (wouldn't do the nude scene); Judy Garland <ewww>; Jeanne Moreau (1st choice); Patricia Neal (suffered her stroke around that time. Not a one of them could have held a candle to Anne Bancroft.

Moonstruck:
Sally Field turned down the role of Loretta. (why she was even offered it is beyond me); Cher hit that one out of the park.

I had to save the best for last --
Schindler's List:
Mel Gibson was interested in the role, but Spielberg felt a major star would be too distracting :lol: :lol: :lol:
Alan Thicke was Spielberg's 1st choice :shock: :shock: :shock:
Liam was the man!!!!!!

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Post by living_stradivarius » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:32 pm

Madame wrote: Schindler's List:
Mel Gibson was interested in the role, but Spielberg felt a major star would be too distracting :lol: :lol: :lol:
Alan Thicke was Spielberg's 1st choice :shock: :shock: :shock:
Liam was the man!!!!!!
LOL!!!
Image

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:50 pm

Speaking of Streetcar, the first intention was to cast Jessica Tandy, who had just played it on Broadway. Then it was decided she wasn't a big enough star, so they offered it to Olivia De Haviland. She asked for too much money, and you know what happened. (Viven Leigh had played the role in the London production.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Oct 22, 2006 3:57 pm

Not quite in the vein of John's question, but Billy Wilder recounts how he bought the rights to Oxbow Incident from a producer that had owned them for a while but never got around to producing it. He tells how the producer had outlined to Wilder his intention to make it as a comedy with Mae West. Talk about a transmogrification!
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:22 pm

In Midnight Cowboy, Dusstin Hoffmann was the first choice to play Ratso Rizzo, but only after (having just played in The Graduate) he made himself up like a street bum and tried to hustle the director on a New York street. He was not recognized.

But John Voight really was the second choice. Another actor, an equal unknown, I think, had already started filming and had to quit.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by moldyoldie » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:21 am

I've read that James Caan was the first choice to play Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, what turned out to be an Oscar-winning and signature performance for Jack Nicholson.

Of course, all Trekkies know that Jeffrey Hunter played the captain of the Enterprise in the original Star Trek pilot episode that never made it to air. The pilot was eventually integrated into the fine two-part episode "The Menagerie".

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:51 am

Buck wrote
Another disaster barely averted: Frank Sinatra in Carousel.
John, you’re not hard of hearing are ya?
I only ask because if you’ve ever heard FAS sing (for example) “Soliloquy” (a number of versions) you’d have to be hearing impaired to make that ridiculous statement.
Not only was Sinatra Henry King’s first choice, Gene Kelly was his second…Gordon MacRae was finally offered the role after Kelly backed out because he refused to have his voice dubbed over.
Of course MacRae (as was the case in Oklahoma did a marvelous job)

But..Anyone familiar with the Character of Billy Bigelow would realize in heartbeat that Sinatra was a natural for the part

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Post by jbuck919 » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:26 am

Ted wrote:Buck wrote
Another disaster barely averted: Frank Sinatra in Carousel.
John, you’re not hard of hearing are ya?
I only ask because if you’ve ever heard FAS sing (for example) “Soliloquy” (a number of versions) you’d have to be hearing impaired to make that ridiculous statement.
Not only was Sinatra Henry King’s first choice, Gene Kelly was his second…Gordon MacRae was finally offered the role after Kelly backed out because he refused to have his voice dubbed over.
Of course MacRae (as was the case in Oklahoma did a marvelous job)

But..Anyone familiar with the Character of Billy Bigelow would realize in heartbeat that Sinatra was a natural for the part
We'll have to agree to disagree.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Ted

Post by Ted » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:09 am

We'll have to agree to disagree.
Spoken like a true gentleman John---Too bad we can't post Audio Files

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