Payday Loans
Constance Bennett (1904-1965)

  1. Katharine Hepburn, Morning Glory, 1933.    “I've already bought it for Connie,” said associate producer Pandro Berman. “Has she seen it?” asked Kate, who had swiped the script from his office  to read it. ”Not yet.” “Then, it's for me. I'm Eva Lovelace.  Me!  Me! ME!” Bennett turned  up during Little Women that year and slapped Hepburn's face “That's for stealing Morning Glory from  me.”  CUT to 1940:  Kate turns up on the set of her lover Garbo's  finale, Two-Faced Woman, and slaps Bennett off-balance. “Now that's a slap. Not a peck on the cheek like you gave me.”  
  2. Katharine Hepburn, Little Women, 1933.    Breaking salary records with $150,000 for Two Against The World, 1936, soothed her loss of Jo.  Her sister, Joan, played Amy.
  3. Carole Lombard, Twentieth Century, 1933.    Wise move. By Lombard! (Constance had made her film debut in The Valley of Decision, 1915, a real family affair co-starring her sisters Barbara and Joan and their parents, Richard Bennett and Adrienne Morrison).
  4. Claudette Colbert, It  Happened One Night,1933.    Wiser than most, she offered to buy it and restyle it for herself.  Director Frank Capra finally understood everyone's rejection.  He made the woman more sympathetic and Katharine Hepburn's longtime lover  agreed for $50,000, twice her usual fee. “Tough dame, that lovely frog,” said Capra of Colbert.   Also in  the Ellie loop were Miriam Hopkins, Myrna Loy, Margaret Sullavan.
  5. Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey, 1935.   Star wars… Gregory La Cava approved the suits’ choice of Bennett for Irene - as long as Universal borrowed MGM’s Powell for Godfrey. OK, said both studios. But Powell scuppered that plan by insisting on his ex-wife! . For the first time, one movie  collected  all four Oscar  acting nominations for Powell, Lombard, Mischa Auer and Alice Brady. 
  6. Bette Davis, That Certain Woman,  1936. According to Warner Bros records, Bennett pushed hard to be Mary Donnell, “a machine-gun widow,” noted the New York Times, “never permitted to forget she had been a gunman's moll.”   Davis pushed harder. One really wonders why… 
  7. Jean Harlow, Saratoga, 1937.     Plan A: RKO-Pathe bought the Anita Loos script for Bennett in 1929.  MGM was in three minds about a Plan B: Carole Lombard, Joan Crawford or Harlow v Cark Gable.  Shooting was all but over  when Harlow collapsed on-set and later died from suspected  uremic poisoning. For her final  scenes, a double, Mary Dees, was her body (shot from the rear), with Paula Winslow supplying the voice. 
  8. Miriam Hopkins, Old Acquaintance, 1943.   Frantic at working with Bette Davis, Miriam now demanded twice her salary, among other perks. A tentative search started for a replacement until the studio decided there was no better bitch available.
  9. Helen Walker, Nightmare Alley, 1947.  Ya cain’t always get wot ya wanna… In  handwritten  note dated February 1947, head  Fox Darryl Zanuck suggested Bennett, Luise Rainer  or even Marlene Dietrich as  Lilith. New York Sun critic  Gary Giddins said in 2005: “Considering the material - degradation, adultery, alcoholism, murder, larceny, spiritualism, high-stakes cons, and child abuse, set against the Depression scrim of anarchy, racism, desperation, and top-down corruption - we may marvel that the film was made at all.”
  10. Ava Gardner, The Sun Also Rises, 1956.     Bennett loved the Hemingway book about  the lost  generation of US expats in post-WW1 Europe.  She ached to be Lady Brett Ashley and came close to buying the rights from actress Ann Harding - except she her efforts were  blocked by Hollywood censors insisting that impotence and nyphomania were “not proper for screen presentation.”    Harding sold out to Howard Hawks in 1949 and he to Head Fox Darryl Zanuck in ’55. And he had to promise not to  use the word impotent.  He did, anyway!

 





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