Payday Loans

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Anthony Franciosa (1928-2006)

  1. John Kerr, The Vintage, 1956.   He threw away a well-paid screen debut because like every other young actor with a Brando itch, Franciosa  wanted to work with director Elia Kazan. 
  2. Paul Newman, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, 1957.   The toast of Broadway -  Ben Gazzara and Barbara Bel Geddes - were thumb-downed bv MGM for their glossy and expurgated version of the Tennessee Williams play.   Newman and Elizabeth Taylor did not mesh at first, until realising they were fruit from the same tree. Not great actors, yet knowing, instinctively, how to play to a camera - never over-egging it., MGM had also checked Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Anthony Franciosa, Don Murray, William Shatner.  Even the too old Robrt Miutchum – and Elvis Presley, whose manager, Colonel Parker, was furious. “Mah boy ain’t  no fruit!” Marlon Brando, The Fugitive Kind, 1959.   Since A Streetcar Named Desire made him, Brando steered clear of three other Tenneesee Williams projects - Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo,Sweet Bird of Youth - and only pushed Franciosa out of this one for the money. (He needed the first $1m salary after his Anna Kashfi divorce settlement).Franciosa, called away by producer Hal Wallis for Career, had been Anna Magnani’s lover during Wild Is The Wind, 1957, and they could havecaught fire again. Marlon-Magnani (first due in The Rose Tattoo) never sparked. He hated her “furry upper lip.” Mrs. Franciosa, Shelley Winters, was furious. She never saw it. She was right… There were many rotten ones to come, but this was Brando’s worst screen performance (ruining Magnani’s US career). gave the world’s worst impersonation of... Marlon Brando.
  3. Peter Falk,  Pocketful Of Miracles, 1960.    For what proved his last (and  unhappiest) gig, director Frank Capra tried to land a fellow Italian-American for Joy Boy.  Falk was a good sub. 
  4. Charles Bronson, The Magnificent Seven, 1960.     Hard to believe that the Western making new generation stars out of Bronson, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, etc, was originally aimed in 1959 at old hats: Clark Gable, Glenn Ford, Stewart Granger. And just two newer guys: Anthony Franciosa, Dean Jones. All to be directed by Yul Brynner, already in a bitter dispute with Anthony Quinn and producer Lou Morheim over the rights to the source material: Japanese maestro Akira Kurosawa’s Shichinin no samurai/Seven Samurai, 1953. Brynner’s title was The Magnificent Six. Like re-making Ben-Hur as Ben-Herbie.
  5. Sydney Chaplin, Follow That Man, 1961.   When Franciosa backed out, Chaplin rejoined one of his father’s discoveries for A King In New York, 1957 - the associate producer of which, Jerome Epstein, writer-directed this one.
  6. Richard Burton, Cleopatra, 1962.
  7. David Janssen, The Fugitive, TV, 1963-1967.   He lost this one but Franciosa won other series, including the small screen version of Dean Martin’s copy-Bond, Matt Helm, 1975-1976. After competingthe first episode, Janssen is supposed to have asked co-star Barry Morse: “D’think we’ll get couple of weeks work out of this?"
  8. Eddie Constantine, The Long Good Friday, 1979.   “I saw him in the terrific Across 110th Street,” recalled producer Barry Hanson. “I’d seen him as a kid in both A and B movies. He was a big star. And I wanted him to be Charlie, the Mafia boss. I talked to him, did the song and dance with his agent. He came over to London, we made his role bigger - and he freaked out and left. Because we’d increased his role. That’s most unusual for an actor.” Hanson sent for the most popular American in Paris…  And Constantine fell madly for co-star Helen Mirren - and expected her to reciprocate. “She’ll fall in seven,” he intoned a la Muhammad Ali. . She’d had affairs with co-stars before. Not this one. He was 63 and “followed her around like a lapdog but he never understood what she wanted,” said director John Mackenzie. “Hilarious.”
  9. Donald Sutherland, Ordinary People, 1980. Tim Hutton, who won an Oscar as the troubled son, reported his parents had once been set as Franciosa and Ann-Margret!

 

 





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