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Margaret Sheridan (1926-1982)

  1. Joanne Dru, Red River, 1946.   One of his best films but not Howard Hawks’ best year for romance. The Grey Fox had lost one potential lover in Jana Garth (who wanted the leading lady or nothing) and then another when, having found Sheridanin Vogue (like his wife found Lauren Bacall in Harper’s Bazaar) and groomed her for Tess, she wed a pilot and was three months pregnant by the time shooting began in Arizona. (She reccommended her pal, Dru). And to top it all, Leland Hayward, agent of his star, Montgomery Clift,had an affair with Hawks’ legendary wife, Slim.Hawks remembered Sheridan forThe Thing, 1950, and Man’s Favourite Sport, 1962. “She wasn’t the same girl,” he said. “Ifshe’d only done Red River, she’d have been a big star.”
  2. Danik Patisson, The Sun Also Rises, 1956.     Producer Darryl F Zanuck selected Patisson, of course, with his usual, er, interest in young French actresses.     Ann Harding was first to buy rights to Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 classic in 1934. Nothing caught fire when Hollywood censors stipulated that impotence and nyphomania were “not proper for screen presentation.” She sold out to director Howard Hawks in 1949 - musing on Montgomery Clift as the impotent (sssh!) Jake Barnes opposite Harding (discovered by Hawks for Red River, 1946) as Lady Brett Ashley and Sheridan as Marie. It took Fox 25 years to finally make the film and even then Zanuck had to promise not to use the word impotent. But, of course, he did!  

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