Payday Loans
Warren William (1894-1948)

  1. Warner Baxter, 42nd Street, 1932.       Richard Barthelmess was also considered for  Broadway producer Julian Marsh. A clever inventor and right royal bastard of a villain in numerous pre-Production Code movies, William was also the first screen Perry Mason, 1934.
  2. Adolphe Menjou, Convention City, 1933.      According the film’s  file in the Warner Bros collection at USC, William had been first choice for Ted Kent… among much of  the same cast as Footlight Parade, 1932: Joan Blondell,  Ruth Donnelly,  Dick Powell, and  James Cagney’s lead was also a Kent. The plot joked about everything from rape to bestiality… leading to Hollywood censoring itself with the Production Code. All prints were destroyed on Jack Warner’s orders… in 1995.
  3. Paul Lukas, The Casino Murder Case, 1934.       Four films as SS Van Dine’s (actually, Willard Huntington Wright’s) snobbish, cynical, bored, supercilious, dilettante detective Philo Vance was enough for William Powell. He refused this one, planned by MGM for him and Myrna Loy (much better as The Thin Man and his wife). This news put Metro into a panic. Did they have another Philo? Otto Kruger topped the list, followed by Columbia’s magician-actor (!) Fred Keating, Warren William (he had Vanced the previous year), Ricardo Cortez and, finally, Lukas - with Ted Healy succeeding Eugene Pallette as Sergeant Heath of the NYPD. Raymond Chandler was no fan of “the most asinine character in detective fiction.” And fun poet Ogden Nash added: “Philo Vance/
Needs a kick in the pance.”
  4. Ricardo Cortez, The Case of the Black Cat, 1937.   William had enough of lawyer-detective Perry Mason after four quickies and passed the next case to Cortez.  He had been the first Sam Spade, after all.  However, Gardner said he was totally wrong and  had him axed from the the next investigation, The Case of the Stuttering Bishop,1937. His successor, Donald Woods, was so bad, he killed the franchise. Gardner took greater care when transfering his gold mine to TV (choosing Raymond Burr over Fred MacMurray) in Hale in 271 TV episodes, 1957-1966, and 30 tele-films during 1985-1995.
  5. Pat O’Brien, Bureau of  Missing Persons, 1938.   William was due as the cop Butch Saunders cop falling for  a very pretty Bette Davis, who happens to be  a murder suspect. She had top billing and didn’t bother to show up until 32 minutes into the 72 minute mayhem.
  6. Gerald Mohr, The Notorious Lone Wolf, 1946.      William passed. He’d had enough of the Lone Wolf movies after his ninth, One Dangerous Night, 1942. His gentleman thief turned private eye, Michael Lanyard (a foreunner of The Saint) went to Gerald Mohr for three more of the 25 chapter series during 1917-1955.


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