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Mischa Auer (1905-1967)

  1. Sam Savitsky, Professional Soldier, 1934.      Early versions of the script, contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, suggested that Picklepuss be re-named Mischa… and given to Mischa Auer. (I preferred the uncredited gypsy dancer. Rita Hayworth, no less).
  2. J Carroll Naish, The Charge of the Light Brigade, 1935.     Tested for the role of Singh in the film that killed more than 200 horses. He was too busy earning an Oscar nod for  hilarious work in My Man Godfrey.
  3. J Carrol Naish, A Gentleman At Heart, 1941.     Gigi, the art forger in the Fox programmer, went from Auer to Naish, as directors changed from Gregory Ratoff to Ray McCarey… who was not his big brother, Leo.
  4. Francisco Reiguera, Don Quijote de Orson Welles, 1992.     Or, what Orson wanted to call: When are you going to finish Don Quixote? His  extraordinary obsession with filming the Don started when he tested Mischa Auer as Quixote in 1955 - with the Welles regular Akim Tamiroff as the obvious Sancho Panza. He was still aboard when shooting really began in Mexico, 1957, with  Reiguera in the lead. Welles was, fortunately, long dead by the time his assistant, Jesus Franco,  cobbled together a far from Wellesian version from some rushes.




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