- Etchika Choureau, I Vinti (The Vanquished), Italy-France, 1953. For his third film, Italian maestro-to-be Michelangelo Antonioni collated three shorts based on true murders committed by post-war youth in France, Italy and the UK. For the French yarn, he wanted Moreau (or Brigitte Bardot) but his producers refused an unknown. Hah! The blonde Choureau had made one film only (to BB’s five) and was four years away from her brief Hollywood sojourn: Darby’s Rangers and Layfayette Escadrille. After 15 more films, her career was over by 1965; BB retired in 1973. Antonioni got his way about Moreau in 1960 for La Notte.
- Anouk Aimée, Le Rideau cramoisi, France, 1952. Hearing about his plans to film the Barbey D'Aurevilly novella, the fairly unknown Moreau (just five films under her belt) waited six hours to meet Paris critic turned auteur Alexandre Astruc at his producer’s office. Only to learn - the producer could have told the poor girl ! - that Albertine had had already been given to Anouk. Five years later, Moreau helped kick off la nouvelle vague with Louis Malle’s Ascenseur pour l'échafaud and Les amants. Jean-Luc Godard called Astruc, “le tonton de la Nouvelle Vague”… the Uncle of the New Wave.
- Jean Simmons, Spartacus, 1960. Having filmed in France (in French) and having a French wife, Kirk Douglas knew who he wanted for his slave girl wife -"she exuded sexuality without trying." Mais non! "She was in the middle of a love affair. French actresses fall in love and that takes precedence over everything. I admire that."
- Annie Giradot, Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco And His Brothers, Italy, 1960. So no go in Rome where love was also in the air.Annie married her co-star Renato Salvatori.
- Annie Giradot, La proie pour l'ombre (US: Shadows of Adultery), France, 1960. For his third feature, Alexandre Astruc debated over Moreau or Brigitte Bardot for Anna - snared between two former BB co-stars, Daniel Gelin and Christian Marquand. Mais non! Moreau was too intellectual, BB too young. They would, of course, co-star in Louis Malle’s Viva Maria in 1964 - and BB and Giradot wee co-nuns in Les novices, 1970.
- Sophia Loren, El Cid, 1961. Love affairs do drag on so.
- Elsa Martinelli, Le Procès/The Trial,France-Italy-West Germany-Yugoslavia, 1962. Orson Welles’ casting was suitably Kafkaian…
- Romy Schneider, Le Procès/The Trial, France-Italy-West Germany-Yugoslavia, 1962. …inasmuch as Welleshad no idea who would be playing which female role.
- Ava Gardner, 55 Days At Peking, 1962. There has to be a better Russian countess than all-American Gardner, insisted Charlton Heston. He suggested Deborah Kerr, Melina Mercouri or Moreau.
- Yori Bertin, La dame aux camélias, France, TV, 1962. There was a lot of buzz about a new Marguerite Gauthier in the early 60s. The producing Hakim brothers had French cinema legend Marcel Carné extremely keen on adapting the book rather than the stage play. La Cardinale declined, ruining a co-production with Italy. La Moreau was suggested. Then, Fox legend Darryl Zanuck even decided it was perfect for his latest Paris mistress, Irina Demich, who was to acting what Rocky was to lacrosse Finally, the ’62 Marguerite was made for TV - with Bertin, who had debuted in Ascenseur pour l’échafaud with Moreau in 1957.
- Annie Giradot, Trois chambres à Manhattan, France, 1965. Italian maestro Federico Fellini talked to Moreau about the Simeneon tale - eventually made by veteran realisateur Marcel Carné - with Robert De Niro making his movie debut as (the uncredited) " Client at the diner."
- Julie Christie, Doctor Zhivago, 1965. Epic director David Lean's first thought for Lara was vociferously attacked by scenarist Robert Bolt.
- Siobhan McKenna, Doctor Zhivago, 1965. Lean then asked her to be Lara'smother. "Not old enough," she snapped - at 37 to Julie's 24.
- Pier Angeli, The Battle of the Bulge, 1965. Not a good title for any female star -even if the guys (Roberts Ryan and Shaw, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas) ruled the Ardennes WWII epic.
- Anne Bancroft, The Graduate, 1967. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me… aren't you?" Like various US film-makers at that time (after her 1965 Time cover), Mike Nichols thought about the sultry Moreau. “It became apparent that Mrs Robinson had to be American or it was all over.” Exit: Ingrid Bergman and Deborah Kerr as the first $1m director ploughed on through Page, Doris Day, Ava Gardner, Judy Garland, Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Patricia Neal, Eva Maria Saint, Lana Turner, Shelley Winters. And the prerequisite outsider: Grayson Hall, of the 1966-1972 supernatural soap, Dark Shadows.
- Elizabeth Taylor, Reflections In A Golden Eye, 1967. UK director Tony Richardson's plan - Brando-Moreau - begat John Huston's Brando-Taylor.
- Annie Giradot, Vivre pour vivre, France, 1967. Flashy realisateur Claude Lelouch wanted an Yves Montand-Moreau couple, torn apart by his affair with Candice Bergen. Rather too close to home for Montand, after his affair with Marilyn Monroe. (One affair among many). Even so, his wife, Simone Signoret, advised him to accept the role. Not so Jeanne: "I could cheat on him, but he could never cheat on me. No one would believe it." Modesty, French style.
- Vanessa Redgrave, Red, White and Zero (episode: Red and Blue), 1967. Part of a film-trio, first called Red, White and Blue, director Tony Richardson’s 35 minute offering is only memorable in that Moreau quit when Vanessa named her as corespondent when divorcing Richardson. Moreau’s replacement was… Vanessa. And you thought French films were complicated!
- Yvette Mimieux, The Picasso Summer, 1968. While awaiting financing for their second film, La mariée était en noir, the French nouvelle vague icon François Truffaut searched for other vehicles for his lover, Jeanne Moreau. Having already made Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the auteur was attracted by this shorter Bradbury tale. Just not pleased with the author’s script: “fails to capture the inventive originality of your short story.” The version by latest French Oscar-winning director, Serge Bourguignon - “so bad,” said Bradbury - has only even been seen on TV, and then credited to US film-maker Robert Salin, hired by Warner-7 Arts to re-shoot much if not all of it. Bourguignon did not make another film (a documentary) for ten years. His eight-film career was over by 1985.
- Susan Anspach, Five Easy Pieces, 1969. Screenwriter Carol Eastman voted Moreau. Bob Rafelson won. And Susan had Nicholson's son, Caleb.
- Shirley MacLaine, Two Mules For Sister Sara, 1969. When Budd Boetticher was set to make it…Then, ElizabethTaylor pounced and wanted, from the start, Clint Eastwood. She left, he remained… with Shirl. (Finally, it was directiort William A Fraker who won Moreau for a (weak) Western, Monte Walsh, opposite Lee Marvin andd Jack Palance in 1969).
- Geraldine Page, The Beguiled, 1970. "The Bette Davis of her time," director Don Siegel called his first choice. "I felt she and Clint would make great chemistry. I never understood why [Universal chief Lew] Wasserman turned her down."It’s called: ignorance.
- Nathalie Delon, Le Moine/The Monk,France, 1972. After Le Journal d'une femme de chambre/The Diary of a Chambemaid, Moreau and Spanish film-making icon Luis Buñuel planned a second meeting - and Peter O'Toole, then Omar Sharifwere eager to join her. Interest fell away until Buñuel disciple Ado Kyrou made a mess of it with Madame Alain Delon and Franco Nero.
- Dorothy Tutin, Savage Messiah, 1972. UK firebrand Ken Rusell's initial hope for Sophie Brzeska, the 20 yearsolder and unconsumated lover of French sculptor Henri Gaudier - killed at 23 in WW1.
- Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1974.
- Isabelle Adjani, L’Histoire d’Adele H, France, 1975. An early 60s’ notion... when realisateur François Truffaut and Jeanne were lovers. (Same notion occurred in late 60s when Truffaut shared Catherine Deneuve’s bed).
- Delphine Seyrig, Le jardin qui bascule, France, 1975. Her protégé Guy Gilles wrote it for her, but her packed diary meantall she could do was write and sing a song for the film, accompanied by jazz violinist Stephane Grapelli.
- Karen Black, Chanel Solitaire, 1981. "It was total shit. I said I was too tired. One has to be polite." Urgently called upon a Monday while finishing The Grass Is Singing in Zambia, Black was in Paris by Friday and shooting on the following Monday.
- Fanny Ardant, Vivement dimanche, France, 1983. French film-making legend François Truffaut first obtained the rights of Charles Williams' The Long Saturday Night in 1964 with his then-lover, Jeanne, in mind. (She later played the Truffaut-Williams heroine of The Bride Wore Black, 1967). This, alas, proved his final film, his second with his final mistress, Fanny Ardant, in the role that fascinated him, a female investigator, not a cop or a detective, but a secretary. Fanny gave birth to their daughter, Josephine, on September 28, 1983. On her first birthday he was re-admitted to hospital where he died, October 21, 1984.
- Jacqueline Bisset, Under The Volcano, 1984. The iconic Spanish director Luis Buñuel's plan was to team Moreau with Laurence Olivier in 1965 - when she was making Viva Maria with Buñuel's son, Jean-Louis, as Louis Malle's assistant director.
- Catherine Deneuve, Agent Trouble, France, 1986. Yes, they’d met, and exchanged the usual pleasantries. When are you going to work with me?/ When you’re ready… Even so, auteur Jean-Pierre Mocky didn’t think La Deneuve meant it until his frequent star, Michel Serrault, passed on her “well, what about it?” message. And so, instead of Serrault and Moreau in the thriller, it became Deneuve and Richard Bohringer.
- Shirley MacLaine, Madame Sousatzka,1988. Once Vanessa Redgrave left, UK director John Schlesinger thought of Jeanne "She was not free." Or, just being polite, again.
- Mathilda May,Le cri duhibou,France 1987. When being developed by realisateur Robert Enrico in the 70s.
- Nicole Kidman, Dead Calm, 1989. Another unfinished Orson Welles project, The Deep (as he called it) was killed by lack of finance and the death of its star Laurence Harvey in 1973. Most of the film was shot but part of Jeanne's dialogue was lost and she was never asked to post-synch it.
- Ellen Barkin, Man Trouble, 1991. Back in 1971, Moreau had a second invite from the Five Easy Pieces team: writer Carole Eastman, director Bob Rafelson, and star Jack Nichoson. Mais non… In the ensuing years, they also tried to win over Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep. Barkin was not in the same ballpark, yet Nicholson agreed to help his pals.
- Annette Bening, Richard III, 1995. The Queen camefrom Anjou and Sir Ian McKellan wanted her played by "the greatest French acreen actress alive." She fell out as the project into -on-off doldrums.
- Judy Parfitt, ER, TV, 2002-2002. The now gravel-voiced star was due for a greatly hyped US TV debut - five episodes as the maman of Alex Kingston’s Dr Elizabeth Corday. The French icon stomped out, however, after a few hours of her first day, unprepared, so she said, for how she was treated (likejust another guest-star?) and by the speedy shooting.
- Annie Girardot, La Pianiste, Austrria-France-Germany, 2000. Isabelle Huppert had the title role, Moreau was her mother. Two weeks before shooting started, she quit after testing her costumes for Austrian director Michael Haneke - “which,” said Paris producteur Marin Karmitzx, “ended badly.” Girardot won the supporting actress César award.
- Nathalie Baye, Catch Me If You Can, 2002. Although old enough to be his grandmother La Moreau headed Steven Spielberg’s shortlist (Baye, Carole Bouquet, Catherine Deneuve, Maria Schneider) for DiCaprio’s mother. A bizarre list as Judith Godreche was 30 to Moreau’s… 74! When Baye had to miss the tests because of filming, Spielberg (who’d loved her since Truffaut’s Une chambre verte 21 years earlier) sent his mate, Brian De Palma, to Paris to test her as soon as she became available. Baye also beat Bouquet to the role, six years after she pushed Nathalie out of La Rouge et le Noir because she was “almost a has-been.”
- Claude Sarraute, Une vieille maîtresse (US: The Last Mistress), France-Italy, 2007. For the old marquise arranging her grand-daughter’s life and calling it her masterpiece. Chicago critic Roger Ebert said much the same about the performance of Sarraute - part-time actress and full-time journalist.
- Françoise Fabian, Dix pour cent (10%), TV, France, 2015. Created by Paris agent turned producer Dominique Besnehard, this Player-style series about a showbiz talent agency (based on Artmedia) invited various local stars to play “themselves.” The tales were all true, just not those of the stars involved. Moreau agreed to participate, then withdrew. (Well, Josée Dayan was not directing!). Ironically, Liliane Rovere, another ex-agent playing a veteran agent, was quite a Moreau clone.