Payday Loans
Dana Andrews (1909-1992)

  1. George Montgmery, Roxie Hart, 1941.   During a Fox conference with exec producer Darryl F. Zanuck on September 4, Andrews and John Shepperd were discussed for Homer Howard. Working titles included Chicago - used for Rob Marshall’s vigorous 2001 rendition.
  2. Van Johnson, Dr Gillespie’s New Assistant, 1942.    MGM dropped Lew Ayres as Dr Kildare when he  announced he was a conscientious objector to WWII. The studio - and Lionel Barrymore’s Dr Gillespie - immediately started hunting a new assistant… from Andrews, Rod Cameron, Charles Drake, Cornel Wilde. Oh, plus Larry Parks - a future blacklist victim. In all,  Johnson made four films as Dr Red Adams - but the much trumpeted Dr Gillespie's Lady Doctor never happened. 
  3. Preston Foster, Thunder Birds: Soldiers of the Air, 1942.     Two years before their classic teaming in Laura, Andrews and Gene Tiernery were due for romantics in what Fox first called A Tommy in the USA… as a companion piece to A Yank in the RAF. (It wasn’t).
  4. Dennis O’Keefe, The Story of Dr Wassell, 1943.     When first choices Alan Ladd and Robert Preston joined the real WWII… Andrews, Alan Baxter, James Brown, Michael O’Shea, Walter Reed, Barry Sullivan, Richard Whorf were also seen for Hoppy Hopkins, the sailor inspired to live by the love of Carol Thurston’s native nurse, Tremartini, inevitably nicknamed Three Martini.
  5. John Hodiak, A Bell from Adano, 1944.    Fox house-star Andrews and bigger A stars - James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy - jockeyed to be Major Joppolo (in reality, Lieutenant Colonel Frank E Toscani) running a WWII damaged Italian town requiring a new town bell. In John Hersey’s book, Joppolo supplied a modest ship’s bell. In Hollywood, it was a full blown carillon.
  6. Gregory Peck, The Keys of the Kingdom, 1944.      In  June 1943 the Hollywood Reporter had  Andrews  “under consideration”  for the pious Father Francis Chisholm.  By July, Peck signed on - and won his first Oscar nomination in his second (yawn) outing.  Rivals for the role included Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, Gene Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Orson Welles… plus the most unlikely Catholic missionaries of all: Alan Ladd and Edward G Robinson!
  7. Robert Young, Those Endearing Young Charms, 1944.     Producer Sam Goldwyn bought the Jerome Chodorov play for Andrews and Teresa Wright… or Joan Fontaine. He then sold it RKO, where director Lewis Allen chose Young and Laraine Day.
  8. George Montgomery, The Brasher Doubloon, 1946.    Andrews, Fred MacMurray. Victor Mature and John Payne were in the frame when Fox gave the case back to Philip Marlowe - having first adapted Raymond Chandler’s The High Window in 1941 as Lloyd Nolan’s seventh and final outing as Brett Halliday’s shamus, Michael Shayne. Akin to Batman borrowing a Superman story.
  9. Richard Widmark, Slattery’s Hurrricane, 1948. Fox mused over house boys Andrews and Tyrone Power for US Navy Lieutenant Willard Francis Slattery, monitoring hurricanes for the US Weather Bureau by flying his Grumman Mallard into their very epicentre. Good. Now add a dash of crime and what have you got? Nothing really.
  10. Robert Preston, Tulsa, 1948.    When he couldn’t afford Andrews or Robert Mitchum, producer Walter Wanger searched for someone fitting his pocket. 
  11. Richard Conte, Thieves’ Highway, 1948.    As titles switched from The Red of My Blood (for the manuscript) to Hard Bargain, Collision and Thieves’ Market (for the published novel), so did the hero - vengeful trucker Nick Garcos. From Mature (who did not want another hood) and Andrews to Conte.
  12. Gregory Peck, Twelve O'Clock High, 1948.      "Duke told me he'd turned it down," said Peck. "And I seized it!"   Just not that fast… Clark Gable was extremely keen on General Frank Savage. At first, Peck thought it was too similar to Command Decision (which Gable made). He read it again. "A fine film, much honoured and respected, about the psychological stress of total involvement of these men with the bombing of a ball-bearing works in Frankfurt." Just too honest for such a gung-ho movie-hero as Duke. This was Peck's finest hour (frget To Kill A Mockingbird). Also in the Brigadier General Savage loop:  Andrews, Ralph Bellamy, James Cagney, Van Heflin, Burt Lancaster, Edmond O’Brien and Roberts Montgomery, Preston and Young. I saw it at age 11 and it marked me for life.
  13. Glenn Ford, Secret of Convict Lake, 1950.    Director Michael Gordon changed his escaped con from Andrews to Ford in the Western. Who cares. All eyes - particularly Ford’s and his enemy Zachary Scott’s - were on Gene Tierney.  She, of course, was Andrews’ celebrated co-star, Laura, in 1943. 
  14. Richard Widmark, Halls of Montezuma, 1950.     Change of top brass, from Andrews and Paul Douglas to Widmark and Reginald Gardiner, as director Lewis Milestone goes to WWII - again. Try as he mght - Our Russian Front, Edge of Darkness, The North Star, The Purple Heart, Arch of Truth - nothing could match his 1929 classic: All Quiet on the Western Front.
  15. Victor Mature, Androcles and the Lion, 1951.     Changes were made after Andrews had been shooting for about three weeks.
  16. Victor Mature, Song of the Islands,  1941.    Once Joan Davis and Alice Faye were bypassed (in ’37 and ’38), it was always going to be Betty Grable as Eileen.  But who for her Irish beau on the tropical isle of Ahmi-Oni? Ameche, Robert Cummings, John Payne - or Mature, the new kid on the Fox block, who looked and sounded as Irish as Cheetah. Victor Mature, My Gal Sal, 1941. Fox stars Ameche and George Montgomery were shunted aside by new boy Mature as novelist Theodore Dreiser’s songwriter brother Paul Dresser. (Yes, their surnames are different). Fox suits felt it  bad for  Ameche (ie for Fox) to play another composer after being Stephen Foster in 1939’s Swanee River. The censors fretted more over Dresser’s “sex affairs.”   Is there any other kind worth having? 

 

 





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