Payday Loans
Joan Leslie (1918-1973)

  1. Betty Field, Kings Row, 1941.     Ida Lupino (and Olivia de Havilland rejected the neurotic Cassandra that Bette Davis craved.  (She suggested Field for the part). Leslie, Laraine Day, Katharine Hepburn, Marsha Hunt, Priscilla Lane, Adele Longmire, Susan Peters, Gene Tierney were also seen for "the town they talk of in whispers," full of murder, sadism, depravity  And worse that had to be axed from Henry Bellamann’s 1940 novel: sex (premarital), sex (gay), incest, suicide...  Peyton Place 16 years before Peyton Place!
  2. Joan Fontaine, The Constant Nymph, 1942.       Arriving for lunch at Romanoff’s,  director Edmund Goulding  stopped by Brian Aherne’s table to chat with his pal.  (He had starred in  the UK version, circa 1933), Goulding said it was impossible to find the lead girl. He’d tried Wendy Barrie, Jennifer Jones, Eve March. Lynn. At one point, Leslie was announced with Errol Flynn.  Head brother Jack Warner craved A Star. “She has to be consumptive, flat-chested, anemic, and 14!” “How about me?” said the the freckled miss sitting with Aherne.  “Who are you?” asked Goulding, somehow not recognising his friend’s wife in her leather flight suit and  pigtails (they had just flown into LA from their  Indio ranch). “Joan Fontaine.”  “You’re perfect!”  She was 25. So what! She signed next day and called it “the happiest motion-picture assignment of my career.”  Oscar nomination, included.
  3. Michele Morgan, The Chase, 1946.     The brothers Warner refused to allow their contract player make the Paramunt thriller - and won a restraining order to prevent her from making movies outside of Warner Bros. Leslie retaliated, saying she was signed when a minor. Having reached the age of consentt in February 1946. she had the right to “disaffirm” the contract. And a court of appeals freed her… She then made 36 more screen roles, double her Warner output.
  4. Coleen Gray, Riding High, 1949.    Director Frank Capra was sorely disappointed by his 1934 film, Broadway Bill. He was right. It really did not work because Warner Baxter (as the trainer of the titular race horse) was scared of horses!  Which explains why he re-spun it 15 years later with Bing Crosby. His love interest was Coleen. And not Geraldine Brooks, Mona Freeman or Joan Leslie.
  5. Ellen Drew, Man In the Saddle, 1951.    Her first movie after the birth of twin daughters was a Randolph Scott Western. “Such a gentleman, and so devastatingly good looking, ”  she told Mike Fitzgerald.  “A charmer with beautiful eyes. I compare him to Gary Cooper, but Cooper had more versatility. Randy was so at ease on the set.” So was Joan when the producer let her  choose her role. “We thought it more interesting if I played against type and portrayed the heavy, giving Ellen the good girl” - in her final film.


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