Payday Loans
Dean Martin (1917-1996)

 

  1. Tony Martin, Till The Clouds Rolls By, 1946.    Eight months before officially becoming Martin & Lewis, the "engaging  Frank Sing-at-yuh croonster" (Chicago Daily News) was looked over by producer Joe Pasternak. MGM passed, having a good enough second-string Italian crooner in the other Martin  - really the Jewish Alvin Morris.  In his next Metro test,  Dino was with Jerry Lewis and studio chief  LB Mayer said: "The guinea's not bad but what do I do with the monkey?"
  2. Darren McGavin, The Delicate Delinquent, 1957.    The Monkey was by now "the second Chaplin." (Oh, Hollywood!) After Three Ring Circus, 1954, Jerry Lewis asked Don McGuire to pen something else for Martin & Lewis. Knowing his paymaster, McGuire  underwrote  Martin's role. Worse, it was a cop. Dino wasn't playing no cop!  "Then we'll have to get  somebody else," said Jer. "Start looking," said Dino, knocking the final nails into their coffin.
  3. Marlon Brando, Guys and Dolls, 1955.    In an extraordinary flash of stupidity (after losing Gene Kelly), producer Samuel Goldwyn desperately suggested hiring Martin &  Lewis as Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit! The wisdom of director Joseph Mankiewicz  prevailed.
  4. Ralph Meeker, The Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, 1956.  The producers -  Jane Russell and her husband -  applauded director Norman Taurog’s idea. Having made several Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis farces, Taurog suggested plucking Martin from the farces. Then again, Meeker was cheaper.  And producer Hal B Wallis was hardly inclined to split up  the comedy duo.  Not until he had to. "Dean never said  anything," said Jane, "but every  time I was  offered to his TV show, I was turned down."
  5. John Rait, Pajama Game, 1957.      Nearly Dino's  solo debut, again!   A far better idea than 10,000  Bedrooms.
  6. Glenn Ford, Pocketful of Miracles, 1960.      Despite the collapse of a Frank Sinatra-Dean Martin-Bing Crosby script about Jimmy Durante - too many superego corporations - director Frank Capra still offered his next one to Frank - and then Dino. After suffering Ford (who insisted on his lover, Hope Lange, co-starring), Capra wished he given the lead to Lassie... 
  7. David Niven, The Guns of Navarone, 1960.    Despite his roots, Dino did not like  Europe - and hated the British press. He even refused to shoot his second Matt Helm farce, Murderers' Row, 1966, in Cannes, as  per script, forcing the studio to build a (very) mock Riviera on the back lot.
  8. Dirk Bogarde, The Angel Wore Red, 1961.    All the A List refused The Fair Bride (aka Temptation). Such a disaster that now it was writer Nunnally Johnson who never directed another film.
  9. Stephen Boyd, Billy Rose's Jumbo, 1962.    Two years earlier, MGM took out  a Variety ad to announce Martin as Doris Day's leading man. (In the 40s, it had been reserved for Sinatra and Esther Williams).
  10. James  Garner,  Move Over, Darling, 1963.    He had been there (re-treading Cary Grant's 1940  My Favourite Wife role) when it started as Something's Got To  Give.  Something  did  - Marilyn Monroe.  Dino refused to continue when she  was sacked and replaced by Lee Remick. Martin had signed to work with Marilyn - "and no one else."  He was never keen on it, "but  Marilyn wanted me." Remick quit,  after  Monroe's mystery death. Filming eventually re-started with Garner and Doris Day. Empty!

  11. Guy Stockwell,  Beau  Geste, 1966.    After flirting with an all-British team,  Universal nearly flew the flag with Dino,  Tony Curtis - and Heston as the brutal Dagineau - until making do with a B with its  contract players.
  12. George Segal, California Split, 1974.    Writer-producer Joseph Walsh's Slide script interested  MGM - if a Mafia twist could be added. Walsh refused and moved from new director Steven Spielberg to the new but rising  Robert Altman  - and Joe's old school chum,  Elliot Gould.
  13. Jerry Lewis, The King Of Comedy, 1982.    Ironic!Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett were not keen on playing themselves - a TV chat-show host having his show heisted by a star wannabe.   Director Martin Scorsese pondered about the Clan, " I just love that crowd and their clothes!" Thoughts of Sinatra begat Dino and he begat... Jerry. (Thirty years later, Scorsese tried to set up a Dino biopic).
  14. Jack Lemmon, Grumpy Old Men, 1993.     Surprise, surprise… but it would never have worked as well. The old firm of Martin & Lewis were an early notion for old-timers John Gustafson and Max Goldman. Martin’s health was too fragile. He died in 1995, three days after the sequel, Grumpier Old Men, also passed away. The original was the sixth of ten films pairing Lemmon and Walter Matthau.

 

 

 

 





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