Kim Novak

  1. Dianne Foster, The Kentuckian, 1954.     Producer-director (and star) Burt Lancaster and Harold Hecht mused over Novak for Hannah Bolen. Except Lancaster did not want anyone taking the shine off him.
  2. Shirley MacLaine, The Trouble With Harry, 1955.     When Alfred Hitchcock couldn’t land Grace Kelly,Paramount pushed him towards Kim. Not this year! She had to wait three years for…Vertigo.
  3. Jean Seberg, Saint Joan, 1957.     Although a trifle old at 24 for the 19-year-old Maid of Orleans, the tyrannical producer-director Otto Preminger washigh onKim after her working on his previous drama, TheMan With The Golden Arm, 1956., opposite Frank Sinatra. She was working againwith The Voice in Pal Joey when Preminger also considered such unlikely Joans as Ursula Andress, Julie Andrews, Anne Bancroft, Claire Bloom, Carol Burnett, Joan Collins, Angie Dickinson, Shirley MacLaine, Mary Tyler Moore, Debbie Reynolds, Maggie Smith, Liz Taylor and…Mamie Van Doren!
  4. Eva Marie Saint, North By Northwest, 1958.     Alfred Hitchcock  wanted Grace Kelly.  Of course. But by now he had lost her to the principality of Monaco…  which  as Metro boss Dore Schary pointed out to His Serene Highness  Prince Rainier, was a country smaller than the MGM back lot. Metro wanted Cyd Charisse, Hitch preferred Elizabeth Taylor, but stuck with another signature blonde. The svelte EMS rather than Virginia McKenna, Psycho’s dull Vera Miles or Kim Novak from his Vertigo.
  5. Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1960.  Author Truman Capote wanted Marilyn Monroe, 34, as his American geisha, Holly Golightly, aged 19. S She backed off when her drama coach, Paula Strasberg, said playing a callgirl wasn’t good for her image. Next up: Jean Seberg, 22; Shirley MacLaine, 26; Kim Novak, 27… but hey, hasn’t Audrey, 31, had her baby?
  6. Carroll Baker, Bridge To The Sun, 1961.     MGMconsidered French realisateur Etienne Pérrier’s subject too expensive until Carroll said oui.
  7. Delphine Seyrig, L’Année dernière à Marienbad/Last Year In Marienbad,France,1961.    And Kim never knew – until, being quizzed by the French Press inthe 80s about how she had the gall to turn down the national treasures,the two Alains:cineaste Resnais and scenarist Robbe-Grillet.
  8. Piper Laurie, The Hustler, 1961.    She knew about his one. And told Larry King.
  9. Joanne Woodward, The Stripper, 1962.  With such a lousy  new title, Marilyn Monroe fled the film of William Inge’s 1959 Broadway play, A Loss of Roses She was more keen on trying to join Freud, than being the washed-up showgirl falling for a college boy (refused by Pat Bonne… on his squeaky clean moral high ground at age 28!) was also offered to Kim Novak and Natalie Wood… who, a month earlier,  had just finished playing America’s best known ecdysiast, Gypsy Rose Lee, in Gypsy. Woodward  took over … in a Marilyn  wig.
  10. Doris Day, Move Over Darling,1963. The obvious blonde refused to rescue Marilyn Monroe’s aborted Something’s Got To Give.
  11. Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1963.
  12. Brigitte Bardot, Le Mépris (US: Contempt), France, 1963.    
    France tried again…   Rome producer Carlo Ponti  desired  a film by Jean-Luc Godard. (Why?) French New Wave auteur chose Alberto Moravia’s English-titled novel, A Ghost at Noon… for Frank Sinatra and Kim Novak. Hey, this is a Ponti product, so it has to be his missus, Sophia Loren, and her best partner, Marcello Mastroianni. Jamais, said Godard. Ponti suggested  Monica Vitti. + Raf Vallone.  But he was shooting The Cardinal and, according to Godard’s then wife, Anna Karina, Vitti “ turned up more than an hour late, staring out of the window like she wasn’t interested at all, so he went back to his original idea.” He’d long been looking for a Bardot subject.  So, BB + Sinatra? Non, she preferred  + Michel Piccoli. They  first worked together   eight years earlier in René Clair’s Les Grandes Manoeuvres, 1955.“She’s a  loyal girl,” agreed  Godard.  “Without her OK,  the film would never have happened – it’s the first time she acted her real age, 29.  She was extraordinaire.”  Hence, Le mépris remains  her most frequently seen movie on French TV. Martin Scorsese still loves it. It has grown increasingly, almost unbearably, moving to me,” he told Criterion. “It’s a shattering portrait of a marriage going wrongalso a lament for a kind of cinema that was disappearing one of the most frightening great films ever made.

  13.  Elizabeth Taylor, The Sandpiper,  1964.    We’re at the start of the  “Burtons, gotta be the Burtons” decade…  So any notion of re-uniting From Here To Eternity’s Deborah Kerr-Burt Lancaster, much less the  fresher union of Kim Novak-Rock Hudson  were shoved aside. Hey, this was a story of illicit love, so… “Gotta be the Burtons!”  In the third of eleven films together.  Despite their mystifying lack of on-screen chemistry. When Liz looked great in long-shot Big Sur beach scenes, it was because her body-double was the unknown…  Raquel Welch. 
  14. Ursula Andress, La decima vittima (The 10th Victim), Italy-France, 1965. Two licensed hunter-killers of the 21st Century are each other’s target for their tenth kill, and the riches that go with it. With his short blond hair and her gun in her bra, they have a robotic sheen, He’s Marcello Mastroianni, she his real on-off lover, Ursula Andress…  after Ann-Margret, Sue Lyon and Kim Novak turned the other chic. . Two years later, Andress and  Novak  were both up for The Legend of Lylah Clare, and that time, Novak won. And lost. The film tbroke her  legend  Producer-director Robert Aldrich blamed her for the flop, then admitted the fault was his. Either way, Novak never made another important film.
  15. Jane Fonda, The Chase, 1965.  Brando’s On the Waterfront producer Sam Spiegel bought this vehicle for him. The project was delayed for so long that Marlon switched from young Jake Rogers to the older Sheriff Calder and is beaten up worse than in Waterfront.  So he lost a possible Jake-lover from  the  real and the UK Marilyn (Diana Dors), Faye Dunaway or Kim Novak –  but gained Angie Dickinson as the lawman’s missus!  He was paid $750,000.  Plus a role for his sister, Jocelyn.
  16. Angie Dickinson, Poppies Are Also Flowers, 1966.    007 director Terence Young chose his Moll Flanders couple, Kim and Richard Johnson. They wed after that film but neither joined the 20 stars in Ian Fleming’s drugs trade exposé as the marriage  began to flame out.
  17. Deborah Kerr, Eye of the Devil, 1967.  After eight weeks as David Niven’s wife, Kim fell victim to the bizarre film’s Satanism – she fell from a horse- and 90% of  Sharon Tate’s second film had to be re-shot.
  18. Gina Lollobrigida, The Young Rebel, Italy-Spain-France, 1968.     Final Hollywood title for a, rather than the life of Cervantes, as played by Horst Buchholz.
  19. Vanessa Redgrave, Isadora, 1968.     Outlandish idea before the biopic caught the attention of UK director Karel Reisz. OK, like Isadora, Kim was American but she she was no dancer. Then again, nor was Isadora.  More like a prancing naked hippy at Woodstock.
  20. Anouk Aimée, The Appointment, 1969.     The pitch? An Italianlawyer believeshis wife is the highest paid hooker in Rome…Mastroianni-Novakbecame Omah Sharif-Anouk.Boring!

  21. Anouk Aimée, The Appointment, 1968.  Joseph Losey and Dirk Bogarde passed the odd tale to Frank Perry for Marcello Mastroianni and Kim Novak. Then, Oskar Werner was Sydney Pollack’s idea for the Rome lawyer Federico Fendl… until Sidney Lumet took over (just to work, indeed study, with cinematographer Carlo Di Palma)  and Sharif lawyered up and killed  his marriage to Anouk Aimée by believing an Iago-ish friend’s story  that she was a callgirl.  Web critic Dennis Schwartz “found it a chore to sit through such claptrap.”  Right!

  22. Jean Seberg, Paint Your Wagon, 1968. Kim pounced when Julie Andrews (and her usual reserve: Sally Ann Howes), Faye Dunaway,  Lesley Ann Warren  passed and Diana Rigg proved unwell. But the only  US star of the French nouvelle vague  won Elizabeth and, for a while, her co-star: Clint Eastwood.  Just plain nuts about her.  

  23. Verna Bloom, Animal House, 1978.     Director John Landis wanted Dean and Mrs Wormer to be Jack Webb and Kim.



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  23