Payday Loans
Ann Harding (1901-1981)

  1. Constance Bennett, This Thing Called Love, 1928.   Change of Ann, the new bride insisting on celibacy for three months. Funnier than it sounds. Rosalind Russell was Ann in the 1939 re-tread. The poor husbands were Edmund Lowe and Melvyn Douglas.
  2. Carole Lombard,  I Take This Woman, 1930.    Or another one! 
  3. Jean Harlow,  Hell's Angels,  1930.     Howard Hughes saw a bevy of beauties when sound meant dropping the Norwegian (over)tones of silent star Greta Nissen. And he preferred Harlow's "bombs." However, it was  Ann among the  Oscar nominations that year  - for  Holiday.
  4. Katharine Hepburn, Christopher Strong, 1933.     All began well between bisexual Hepburn and her lesbian director Dorothy Arzner until finding out that Harding had been Dorothy's original choice for the aviatrix based on Amy Johnson. The atmosphere was not helped by Kate's screen mother, lesbian Billie Burke, making overtures to her in front of  her lover, Arzner. RKO tried to save the reputation  of what was being called  "that lez movie" by finding another title for...  A Strange Desire.
  5. Miriam Hopkins, The Richest Girl in the World, 1933. RKO beat MGM to buying Norman Krasna’s original script - for $4,000. With Harding in mind for the wealthiest heiress., Dorothy Hunter. RKO then changed key and borrowed Paramount’s Hopkins. And, for good measure, Fox’s Fay Wray as her secretary
  6. Katharine Hepburn, A Woman Rebels, 1936.     "Several of my parts in those days," said Kate, "I fought for... just to take them from someone who needed them." Kate should have left it alone, it was her third consecutive flop and had exhibitors dubbing her "box office poison".
  7. Annabella, Under The Red Robe, 1936.  The robe was Cardinal  Richlieu’s. Nothing to do with Annabella’s Lady Marguerite of Fiox (which resembles  one of my infamous typos.  But isn’t). 
  8. Claudette Colbert, Since You Went Away, 1943.   Once he secured a part for his lady, Jennifer Jones, and Shirley Temple’s comeback, Gone With The Wind producer David O Selznick worked hard on gaining the perfect Mrs Anne Hilton. He saw Harding, Irene Dunne,  Helen Hayes, Rosalind Russell.  Ultimately Colbert ruled the “story of the Unconquerable Fortress: the American Home... ” Helped by four directors, DOS included!
  9. Greer Garson, Madame Curie, 1943.   It was the biopic season… and as usual, MGM was thinking big. Greta Garbo and Spencer Tracy discovering radium as Marie and Pierre Curie. That was in 1938. Next, Katharine Hepburn or Harding opposite Alan Baxter. Finally, increduously, the Curies became the Minivers! Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon in the third of their eight teamings.
  10. Mercedes McCambridge, Giant, 1955.
  11. Ava Gardner, The Sun Also Rises, 1956.   The novel was published 30 years earlier  and Harding won  the film rights  in April 1934. But could never get the instant  Hemingway classic off  her bookshelf.  (Hollywood censors insisted that impotence and nymphomania were “not proper for screen presentation.”) At 33 (like Ava) she was too old for Lady Brett Ashley of the post-WW1 Lost Generation. Harding sold out to Howard Hawks in 1949 and he to Head Fox Darryl Zanuck in ’55. He  had to promise not to  use the word impotent - but did, anyway! 
  12. Mildred Natwick, Tammy and the Bachelor, 1956.   Change of Aunt Renie  in the big success for Debbie Reynolds.  In the hit parade, too, where Debbie’s title song ruled for 23 weeks, five at #1.


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