Payday Loans
Hedy Lamarr (1913-2000)

  1. Rosalind Russell, They Met In Bombay, 1940.     Actually, they met in Calabasas and the Malibu Hills. This proved the third and and final partnering of Clark Gable and Russell - the first title was Unholy Partners.  His next Russell was… Jane.  Lamarr, the most historic movie nude, was   all  but inventor of the mobile phone via her electronic expertise that helped create sophisticated WWII weapoons systems, such as relatively undetectable torpedoes. No wonder they called her... Lamarrvellous.
  2. Rita Hayworth, Blood and Sand, 1940.     Good thinking! Lamarr topped head Fox Darryl Zanuck’s list for the the manipulative socialite vamp, Doña Sol,  toying with Tyrone Power’s matador in the re-hash of Rudolph Valentino’s 1921 silent classic. However, MGM  refused to any loan deal with Fox.  Also considered:  Lynn Bari, Betty Grable, Dorothy Lamour, Carole Landis, Mona Maris, Maria Montez, Jane Russell and Gene Tierney.  And Ava Gardner?  Not synonymous with  bullfighters until the 50s!
  3. Dorothy Lamour, Chad Hanna, 1940.  Lamour, Lamarr and Ann Sheridan were all in the frame for Albany, the circus equestrian star Henry Fonda first falls for back in the 1870s.  Next, he fancies Linda Darnell‘s as an expert bare-back rider. No furher comment.
  4. Lana Turner, Somewhere I’ll Find You, 1941.     The MGM ploy was to cash in on the 1939 Boom Town pairing of Lamarr and Clark Gable. His heart wasn’t in it after the plane crash death of his wife, Carole Lombard, on  January 16, 1942.  On returning to work a week later, Gable insisted on a title change to avoid heearing Somewhere I’ll Find You yelled by  the clapper-boy before each take.  MGM  called it  Red Light… for a wee while. When shooting ended,  Gable went off to war, at age 41, in the Army Air Corps.  He  did not film again until Adventure in 1945.
  5. Norma Shearer, Her Cardboard Lover, 1941.    Robert Taylor sings…!  Shearer’s final film was lambasted as  "wasted celluloid" by New York critics. Might have worked better with any of the other potential Consuelo Croydens: Lamarr, Joan Crawford, Grace Moore.
  6. Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca, 1941.
  7. Susan Peters, Song of Russia, 1943.    The Hollywood Reporter stated that Garbo was a “cinch” for Nadya.  The fact that Peters, Lamarr, Kathryn Grayson, Signe Hasso, Barbara Pearson and Donna Reed were also seen, underlined the relative unimportance of the role while over-egging the  Russian (WW11) propaganda. “Distastefully Communistic,” charged headliner Robert Taylor. 
  8. Ann Sothern, Cry ‘Havoc’,  1943.     Hollywood didn’t make many WWI films about women. So they all wanted to be  in this female Bataan. And like Crawford, who wanted it called  The Women Go to War, Lamarr asked to be cast “in any role” among the US armed forces or civilians. So did June Allyson, Eve Arden, Bonita Granville, Marilyn Maxwell, Susan Peters, Donna Reed, Ann Sheridan, Lana Turner, Helene Reynolds -  but none were chosen. 
  9. Ingrid Bergman,  Gaslight,  1943.    The ex-Hedwig knew both script and helmer, Arthur Hornblow, but  "felt he wouldn't get much from the combination of me and the story. Wrong again!" Unlike Irene Dunne, June Duprez, Bergman was the only star who did not  care if Charles Boyer required top-billing... and a box to stand on. She was too tall for him and  collected the  first of her three Oscars on March 15, 1945.   
  10. Bette Davis, Mr Skeffington, 1943.  Thinking, like Bette Davis that they were too young for the the 50-year-old Mrs S, Lamarr, Tallulah Bankhead and Merle Oberon fled from the rôle. Inevitably, the 40-somethings felt the same: Irene Dunne, Norma Shearer and Gloria Swanson. Davis thought again - and won her eighth of 11 Oscar nominations.

  11. Katharine Hepburn, Dragon Seed,  1943.     When the MGM boss  chose Lamarr  to be a Mexican half-breed in Tortilla Flat,  Hepburn said LB Mayer had lost his mind. Exactly what Hollywood said now, when he made Hepburn into  a Chinese peasant girl! She did not care how much she was ridiculed, she had achieved her aim - beating Mayer’s first  choice. Lamarr, you see, was  an old flame of Kate’s more companion  than lover (not to say, patient) , Spencer Tracy. Pearl Buck’s book had a point - exposing Japanese atrocities in China.  MGM made it a farce, with the unlikeliest-looking Chinese family ever spawned by Hollywood. Taped eyelids for Hepburn, Walter Huston, Aline MacMahon, Akim Tamiroff.  Insulting!   Such whitewashing, was par for Hollywood racism when filming Pearl S Buck books in the 40s - such as Luise Rainer winning an Oscar (instead of Anna May Wong) in The Good Earth,1936, and Louise Thurston in China Sky, 1944 - until South Pacific’s France Nuyen  was Siu Lan in Satan Never Sleeps, when set visitors included myself…. In 1961.
  12. Gene Tierney, Laura, 1944.    "They sent me the script, not the score."
  Then, the six-times wed Lamarr added: "I was a good judge of people, but a poor judge of writing." She felt this was a mystery pot-boiler.  "Perhaps I couldn't imagine the plus that a good director [not to mention a memorable  musical theme] could add to the script." Not even when it was director Otto Preminger - who used to  let  her sneak into Max Reinhardt's drama school back in Berlin.
  13. Ingrid Bergman, Saratoga Trunk, 1945.     Hedy felt the story was good but "there were points that upset me and I felt if I played it I would be affected emotionally."
  14. Jennifer Jones, Duel in the Sun, 1946.     Niven Busch wrote it to help change  the dowdy image of his wife, Teresa Wright.  RKO wanted “the most beautiful  woman in the world.” RKO then contacted David  Selznick about turning Jones,  aka St  Bernadette, into a sinner - opposite John Wayne. Selznick jumped at  it, seeing his dowdy Jennifer in this sexual potage. Opposite a similarly miscast  Gregory Peck. One day, a  re-make will cast it correctly.
  15. Alida Valli, The Paradine Case, 1947.    Considered after Garbo and Ingrid Bergman(!) when  both refused to be a murderess.
  16. Judy Garland, The Pirate, 1947.    MGM snapped up SN Behrman’s play for… let’s see now, more stars than in the heavens above…    So how about them Minivers: Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon? Garson or Myrna Loy plus Cary Grant plus Charles Laughton…  Or, the Notorious Grant and Ingrid Bergman couple… or William Powell and Hedy Lamarr?  Hey, we’re MGM!  Why not a musical? With Judy Garland and… er… John Hodiak? They got on real swell in The Harvey Girls. He can’t really sing ‘n’ dance? No prob - Judy and Gene Kelly! And so it came to pass. Uneasily... The Minnellis (Judy and director Vincente) were at each other’s creative throats. A shrink was added to the budget to make sure Judy could get through it all.  LB Mayer ordered the Judy-Kelly Voodoo number burnt: it was too torrid. (Judy-Kelly were torrid?). In fact, LB hated it all, calling it high-brow and extremely pretentious. But that’’s Kelly  - and Minnelli - in a nutshell.
  17. Ava Gardner, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, 1951.    Early choices for Cynthia were Lamarr and Anne Francis. Author Ernest Hemingway, however, preferred Gardner, who was quickly borrowed from MGM.  The author hated the film, patchworked with chapters from  his other novels. But he loved Ava.  “And  the hyena!” 
  18. Betty Hutton, The Greatest Show On Earth, 1951.     After her hit in Samson and Delilah, epic director Cecil B DeMille dreaded another picture with "our clash of temperament."  He asked her all the same and to his fury, she refused. "He took too much out of me. I was entitled to cut my own pattern and let others cut theirs." CB ran back to  Hutton -  his bizarre,  original  choice as Delilah.
  19. Joan Collins, Esther and the King, 1960.     David and Bathsheba, The Ten Commandments, Solomon and Sheba - The Bible was big biz. Again!   Excited by her huge trtiumph in Samson and Delilah, 1948 (she stole the entire epic), Lamarr agreed to headline The Story of Esther for the Brits (with Glenn Ford, of all non-Biblical ilicfaces, as Ahasuerus. (Say that in a hurry and people say: Gusenheidt!). CB DeMille, who directed her Delilah, had wanted her as Esther opposite Robert Morley as Mordecai way back in… 1939!  Neither project happened until Joan Collins and Richard Egan were directed by Raoul Walsh (and Martin Ritt) in Rome. Fox changed the title as it was already shooting The Story of Ruth…
  20. Martha Hyer, Picture  Mommy  Dead,  1966.    By  now all  of Lamarr’s   bad publicity  - divorces, theft,  poverty -  had tainted her out of movies. She was still first selected for the (dead) mother of crazy kid Susan Gordon (daughter of the director Bert I Gordon). But Hedfy was under arrest for shop-lifting. Her quarry? A pair of slippers. Value: $85.

 





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