Payday Loans
Sam Shepard (1943-2017)


  1. James Taylor, Two Lane Blacktop, 1971.    He turned down  director Monte Hellman   - "my wife was pregnant."
  2. Kris Kristofferson, Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, 1972.
  3. Richard Gere, Days of Heaven, 1978.    "Terrence Malick was looking for non-actors. I'd really admired Badlands and thought, well, this guy's a real director, not a Hollywood   director, but real, ya know? He realised I wasn't right... but called me up much later and asked if I wanted to be a dilapidated farmer. I said: Sure, sounds like me."
  4. Scott Glenn, Urban Cowboy, 1979.    "I'm interested in working with film-makers."
  5. Albert Finney, Shoot The Moon, 1981.   "Not interested in becoming an actor."
  6. Jack Nicholson, Reds, 1981. A playwright as a playwright…?   Sam declined  and, anyway,  Nicholson felt  Eugene O’Neill was closer to him...  “I’m not saying I’m as dark as he was... but I’m a writer, I’m Irish, I’ve had problems with my family.” Warren Beatty (en route to a best director Oscar) knew all this when he  asked Nicholson to nominate  “an actor the public believed capable of taking Diane Keaton away from me.”  “There’s only one person,” said Jack. “Me!” 
  7. Frederic Forrest, Hammett, 1981.   A writer as a writer…!   Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas marvel grew out of asking Shepard to write ("No!"), OK, star as Dashiell Hammett. “We went through this series of absurd screen tests because Coppola wasn't satisfied I was right...  So that didn’t work out like a lot of other ideas around that place. ”  Plus: Forrest had a contract at Coppola’s  Zoetrope combine… rapidly going under as, for instance, five years (40 script drafts!) went by on this biopic, and then Coppola re-shot the whole damn thing. Neither version was worth a nickel. The shoot lasted long enough for  co-stars Frederic Forest and Marlu Henner to fall in love, marry and divorce. 
  8. Ryan O’Neal,   Fever Pitch, 1985.     No to director Richard Brooks.
  9. Al Pacino, Revolution, 1986.     Pacino walked back in again. Silly man. (Silly film).

  10. Sam Waterson, September,1986.

      Shepard, Walker and Waterston  

    © Rollins-Joffe Productions, 1987


    A mess from start to finish.  Twice over... For his second slice of anything-Ingmar-Bergman-can-do-I-sure-can’t-and-wished-I-could, Woody Allen was rewriting at lunch and again after dinner, while dropping actors including his lady Mia Farrow’s mother, Maureen O’Sullivan. First to go was Annie Hall’s brother, Christopher Walken, “too nervous,” said Woody, “for the passive, complex Peter.” Shepard took over but he was gone when Woody decided revisions were no longer enough - he had to re-shoot the entire film! Shepard, a playwright, himself, was furious and said Allen, like Robert Altman, had no understanding of actors. Another Sam came to the rescue, as he had for Interiors, Woody’s first collision with Bergmania in 1977. Only Farrow (pregnantby the end) and Dianne Wiest stayed aboard. DenholmElliott, too, but in a different role. Result: Woody’s biggest flop - grossing a mere $486,484. That would havekilled other directors’ careers, not Woody’s. He just carried making new films -good, bad and otherwise - and in Europe when LA wouldn’t fund him - every… September.

  11. Jack Nicholson, Ironweed, 1987.     First choice for novelist William Kennedy’s hobo Francis Phelan
  12. John Lone, The Moderns, 1988.      Off for the   birth of his son:   Walker Samuel Shepard.

  13. Don Johnson, The Hot Spot, 1989.
    Robert Mitchum was the matrix for drifter Harry Madox - and first choice in 1962. Nearly 30 years later, it was to be Mickey Rourke and Debra Winger. Or Shepard, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Dennis Quaid, Tom Selleck, Patrick Swayze opposite Anne Archer, Jodie Foster, Jodie Foster, Melanie Griffith, Theresa Russell, Uma Thurman and ultimately, Virginia Madsen. Not necessarily for this movie… Replacing UK director Mike Figgis, Dennis Hopper totally changed the entire gig!  In a 2014 AV Club interview, Johnson explained how three days before shooting began Dennis “called a meeting. ‘OK, we’re not making that script. We’re making this one.’And he passed a script around the table that had been written for Robert Mitchum in the ’60s... based on a book called Hell Hath No Fury… Wow! The Figgis script was really slick and cool, and it was a heist movie. But this was real noir. The guy was an amoral drifter, and it was all about how women were going to take him down… And that was the movie that we ended up making. Hopper’s Last Tango In Texas was hailed by Chicago critic Roger Ebert as a superior work in an old tradition.” He wuz right!

  14. Kevin Costner, Revenge, 1990.      Making films like Annie, Beneath The Volcano, Prizzi’s Honour and, paradoxically, The Dead, helped keep John Huston alive. He was in a bad way when due to make Jim Harrison’s book with Shepard. Then, Costner got hold of the script. Huston didn’t want Costner. And vice-versa. While the ill Huston was laid up at Jack Nicholson’s Ventura ranch or Anjelica Huston’s Beverly Hills home, Costner - Mr Big since The Untouchable, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams - wanted to direct himself. Producer Ray Stark preferred Tony Scott. Costner directed himself, instead, in the seven-Oscar-winning Dances With Wolves. Huston died 1987.
  15. Keith Carradine,The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, 1991.     No to Edward Albee and actor Simon Callow’s debut as a director.
  16. Edward James Olmos,  Battlestar Galactica, TV, 2004-2009.      Sam (he of The Right Stuff), Harrison Ford, and Ed Harris were the somewhat lofty goals forthe 74 hours of Admiral William Adama.  Sam had the right stuff, not the right itch.Olmos (four years younger) was in by the fourth page of the scenario.




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