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Shirley Jones

 

  1. Janet Leigh, Psycho,1960. "It was a big joke," Hitchcock told BBC’s Monitor in 1964."I was horrified to find some people took it seriously." Aided by his wife, Alma, Hitch took his time selecting his most famous murder victim, Marion Crane.   Angie Dickinson, Martha Hyer, Shirley Jones, Hope Lange, Piper Laurie, Lee Remick, Eva Marie Saint (from his previous North By North West) and Lana Turner all missed themost infamousshower scene of 78 camera angles and 52 cuts in its three minutes,shot during December 17-23, 1959, with Leigh and body double Marli Renfro. “Just 52 pieces of film stuck together,” said Hitchcock. Dickinson had her own big shower moment 19 years later in Dressed To Kill.  Of course she did - her director was the infernal Hitch copier, Brian De Palma.  Which is why he also also used a body double… and then made a film, called just that. Alexandre O Philippe made a better one, 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, 2016, telling us all we ever wanted to know about what made Jane Leigh take baths for the rest of her life. As to ace credits designer Saul Bass actually directing the sequence, that’s a whole other story.  Leigh said he didn’t.  He told me he did!

  2. Hope Lange, Pocketful of Miracles, 1960.  
    If he’d only known this was to be his final film… Veteran US director Frank Capra blamed his star and production partner Glenn Ford for (a) losing Helen Hayes and (b) insisting his lover, Lange, have Shirley’s role. When the William Morris agency boss, Abe Lastfogel, called with the news, Capra exploded: "Are you going to let some punk actor run your business?   Fuck Glenn Ford! Let's replace him! There must be a thousand actors in Holly---" "Name one that UA will lend money on," snapped the agent. "The fun's gone out of picture making, Frank. Let's face it. If I vote with you against using Hope Lange, Ford pulls out. And UA cancels the picture unless you replace Glenn with another star... And the new star will tell you how to cast your film." In his biography, Capra noted: "Ford, a garden-variety star, had accomplished what neither Mack Sennett, Harry Cohn, LB Mayer nor Jack Warner had ever once been able to do: Compel me to shoot a film not my way, but his." The film flopped. Quelle surprise.

  3. Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady, 1964.  Jack Warner’s biggest error - guarding his record $5.5m purchase by choosing non-singing Hepburn (at $1m) over Broadway’s Julie Andrews  (at $75,000), thereby allowing Walt Disney to give her a triumphant, Oscar-winning consolation prize: Mary Poppins.  Head Brother Jack had even thought of Oklahoma’s Jones as the London flower-seller…opposite Rock Hudson (!!) as Henry Higgins.
  4. Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music, 1964.     Anne Bancroft was an off-the-wall idea for Robert Wise’s second musical about a girl named Maria. More logical choices were Jones, Leslie Caron, Doris Day, and Audrey Hepburn. Except none of them glowed like Julie.
  5. Kathy Bates, About Schmidt, 2001.    Shirley was an early idea of director Alexander Payne for jumping naked into a hot tub with Jack Nicholson.

 

 





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