George Montgomery


  1. Robert Taylor, Small Town Girl, 1935.       Montgomery and Jean Harlow and suddenly became Taylor  and Janet Gaynor in the MGM rom-com from William A Wellman and an uncredited Robert Z Leonard.  Z is right. 
  2. Victor Mature, My Gal Sal, 1941.      Fox stars Montgomery and Don Ameche were shunted aside by new boy Mature as novelist Theodore Dreiser’s brother, Paul Dresser.  (Yes, their surnames are different). He penned more than 400 songs. What worried the censors was his love of “sex affairs.”  Is there any other kind worth having? 
  3. John Kimbrough, Lone Star Ranger, 1941.     Montgomery was due to reprise his Zane Grey creation from Last of the Duanes, 1940, when he was promoted to a higher level at Fox – Roxie Hart, Orchestra Wives, Philip Marlowe in The Brasher Doubloon.   Kimbrough took over the Texas Ranger’s gun and saddle for his first film. The next one, Sundown Jim, was his last. He joined WWII and turned pro ball player with the Los Angeles Dons.
  4. Henry Fonda, The Magnificent Dope, 1941.  Or The Beautiful Dope when Montgomery and the Diana Dors-ish Mary Beth Hughes (The Cowboy and the Lady of 1940) were announced for what went on to be Lazy GalahadStrictly DynamiteThe Magnificent Jerk and The Magnificent Stupe… before co-starring Henry Fonda and Lynn Bari.
  5. Paul Henreid, Pirates of Tripoli, 1954,   Sudden change of Patricia Medina’s handsome hero, leading the battle to  rescue herkingdom of Misurata. She was a princess, of course, She always was.  Karjan here, Jasmine in Aladdin and his Lamp, 1951, and Zendi in  Siren of Bagad, 1952, where Henreid (again)  lights two ciggies at once (again). With a twin-hose hookah, this time.
  6. Hugh O’Brian, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, TV, 1955-1961.    Having played the similar Bat Masterson, Montgomery was an obvious choice for Earp.  However, the husband of singer Dinah Shore’ (1943-1963) had numerouscontractsfor actual cinema Westerns… Seminole Uprising, Canyon River, Gun Duel In Durango, Pawnee, Black Patch, etc. He later won his own (short-lived) cowpoke series as the mayor of Cimarron City,1958-1959.  O’Brian was the faster draw. Indeed, the fastest of all the TV cowpokes – at .08 of a second.
  7. Larry Blyden, Kiss Them For Me, 1956.    Cary Grant and  the busty Jayne Mansfield in a film  with a title like that… !!!  Or, indeed, a lousy film like that.  Grant’s career survived, Jayne’s became terminal. After the New York Times critic Bosley Crowther said the movie  was nonsense and Jayne was grotesque, artificial, noisy, distasteful.  That was not all. “And dull.”  (Suzy Parker was even worse – narcoleptic.   Jayne had made better. Suzy, not so much).
  8. Richard Egan, The Day of the Wolves, 1971.   When first announced for Vancouver locations in 1967, the revisionist Western was headed by Montgomery and New York ventriloquist  Paul Winchell (the voice of Tigger in 47 Winnie the Pooh toons).   Egan and Rick Jason saddled up… in Arizona.

 Birth year: 1916Death year: 2000Other name: Casting Calls:  8