David Carradine

  1. Dean Stockwell, The Dunwich Horror, 1969.     
    “People seldom visit Dunwich,” said HP Lovecraft. “The town is ruined, decadent and its annals reek of overt viciousness, murder, crime and violent deed, un-nameable.”   The film, not so much… Carradine, Keir Dullea and Peter Fonda all managed to escape being Wilbur in this utter mess. Pity, because Italian horror ace Mario Bava had been due to make it  with his old mates, Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee. AIP took it back from following the failure (what else?) of it’s stupid Dr Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, 1966. 
    Director Curtis Harrington was prepared it for Peter  Fonda when “there was this commotion going on out front.  We all went outside. AIP had loaned Fonda a Lincoln convertible, as their star. He’d left this car sitting there with the engine running, with a note stuck on the windshield that read: ‘You can take this car and The Dunwich Horror and shove them up your ass! Columbia has more guts than you’ll ever have!’ Columbia had just agreed to finance Easy Rider.”

  2. Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, 1975.
  3. Richard Burton,  The Exorcist II: The Heretic, 1976.                                                       
  4. Louise Fletcher,  The Exorcist II: The Heretic, 1976.  
  5. Michael York, The Island of Dr Moreau, 1976.    He thought about it. but continually refused the role of Andrew Braddock opposite Dr Burt Lancaster. But York’s refusals were refused by the suits! So he gave in… “If only for the opportunity it provided of having York and Lancaster on the same bill.”
  6. William Devane, Rolling Thunder, 1977.    Quentin Tarantino adores it! “It’s a character study and an action film. The first half is getting to know Charlie Rane.How he was a POW ,tortured, malnourished, beaten for seven years, thinking that once he got back home everything would be OK.  But… his wife is going to marry another man, his son doesn’t even know him. Then, they’re both killed and he loses his hand.  “The second half was pure revenge.”

  7. Michael York,The Island of Dr Moreau,1977.  
     “I’ve been turning things down all my life – many, many things…  See, I don’t like unhappy endings for one thing.  If a movie presents in a positive way things I feel negative about,I  don’t do it.  And vice-versa.”

  8. Jeff Cooper, Circle of Iron, 1978.   Asked to be the lead in the old James Coburn-Bruce Lee scenario, David elected to play the role(s) intended for Lee.
  9. Donald Pleasence, Halloween, 1978.  Hitchcock fan auteur John Carpenter searched high and low for his shrink, Dr Sam Loomis. Peter O’Toole and the Hammer horrors, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee versus Charles Napier, Lawrence Tierney, Abe Vigoda. The $300,00 shoestring budget couldn’t afford any of them! Same for Lloyd Bridges, David Carradine, Kirk Douglas, Steven Hill, Walter Matthau… even such off-the-wall surprises as John Belushi, Mel Brooks, Yul Brynner, Edward Bunker, Sterling Hayden, Dennis Hopper, Kris Kristofferson… and Dick’s brother, Jerry Van Dyke. Pleasence said he only made the film bercause his daughter told him to! She’d loved Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13… He also told Carpenter he’d never read the scrip, nor Loomis. “Only later,” said Carpenter, “after [we] became close friends, did I realise he was finding out how much I loved the movie I was making.” Incidentally, Loomis was named after John Gavin’s Psycho character; his screen lover was Janet Leigh, mother of Carpenter’s heroine, Jamie Lee Curtis. So it flows.
  10. James Woods, Split Image, 1983. How many movies can you make?  I’d like to do a thousand but they’d all have to be great. You have to keep turning things down until something comes along that you can’t stand to turndown.”  Like Bound For Glory.

  11. Jürgen Prochnow, Dune, 1984.
  12. Willem Dafoe, The Last Temptation of Christ, 1988   .It was David’s then-lady, Barbara Hershey, who gave director Martin Scorsese the Nikos Kazantzakis novel, while all three  were making Boxcar Bertha, 1972   .Immediately, Scorsese started prepping a film with David as Jesus and Barbara as Mary Magdalene – the role she ultimately played.  Sixteen  years later.
  13. Raul Julia,The Threepenny Opera, 1989.   When Swedish god Ingemar Bergman planned it in Munich after their Serpent’s Egg, in 1977. Bergman,  Scorsese and Tarantino: that’s one helluva record!
  14. Edward Singletary, Portland, 2009.   Writer-director Matthew Mishory’s choice to take over as Father Jerry that Carradine was due to start after completing a thriller in Bangkok, where he was found dead, hanging in his hotel room in June 2009.



 Birth year: 1936Death year: 2009Other name: Casting Calls:  14