Adolphe Menjou

  1. Ricardo Cortez, Hat, Coat and Glove, 1933.       The New York Times review stated John Barrymore declined the leading role. Rubbish! The Barrymore vehicle crashed into his alcoholism, he could no longer remember his lines and was dumped after three days. Menjou and Paul  Lukas were contacted but only Cortez answered the phone!   And took over the lawyer defending his wife’s lover on a murder charge… when it was the lawyer whodunnit. Oh, you hadda be there!
  2. Guy Kibbee, Wonder Bar, 1933.         Another of the  Warner musicals that broke every rule in  the book –  before the book, the Will  Hays Production Code, was writ.  From a Busby Berkeley S&M (and murder) dance routine to ‘Going To Heaven On A Mule’ with Al Jolson, St Peter and angels in black-face.
  3. Edmund Lowe, Thunder in the Night, 1934.      First Menjou, then Warner Baxter and finally Lowe were set for the Budapest Police Captain Karl Torok investigating a murder in some rather muddy, high society waters.
  4. Warren William, Cleopatra, 1934.   Producer-director CB De Mille decided to bring Cleo to the massses – and not just the fancy-pants theatregoers who went to the Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw versions.  Way too highbrow, said CB.  And highbrow, CB was not. (Pompous, sure, but never highbrow). John Gilbert and Adolphe Menjou (!) were first Caesar notions until seeing William’s powerhouse showing as The Mouthpiece, 1932.  Cleo, of course, was Claudette Colbert. She had already been CB’s Empress Poppaea in The Sign of the Cross, 1932.
  5. Frank Craven, Barbary Coast, 1935.      Director Howard Hughes won Edward G Robinson but producer Sam Goldwyn wouldn’t let me have Menjou as the journalist Colonel Marcus Aurelius Cobb.
  6. Peter Lorre, Nancy Steele Is Missing, 1936.   Two Barrymores sharing the same jail cell…. Whatever next! Menjou and John Barrymore were in the loop for the bespectacled convict Sturm. John was an odd chice as Lionel was in the mix for his cellmate, Nancy’s kidnapper.
  7. Thomas Mitchell,  It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946.
  8. George Sanders, All About Eve, 1950.
  9. Chill Wills, Giant, 1955.



 Birth year: 1890Death year: 1963Other name: Casting Calls:  9