Lloyd Nolan

  1. George Raft, Souls At Sea, 1937.     Raft hated his characters dying. Nolan took over and took ill. Anthony Quinn moved in – and his agent insisted on too much moolah. He turned up for work… to find Raft in his  costume. 
  2. Buster Crabbe, Murder Goes To College, 1936.     Nolan was suggested for gangster Strike Belno, when George Raft left Paramount. Neither one had Crabbe’s special assets. He was four years younger. He was Flash Gordon. And he shot out his name in bullet-holes. For real.
  3. J Carrol Naish, Illegal Traffic, 1937.   The police drop an undercover plant into the crooked transportation operation of the crime boss – first up for Nolan, then Naish – in the latest Paramount crime programmer. Based on “actual gleanings from insurance company records.” Gleanings!
  4.  Barton MacLaine, You and Me, 1937.   Once MacLaine took over Mickey from Nolan, everyone knew their place. Well, except You. She went from Helen Burgess to Carole Lombard to, finally, Sylvia Sidney. And she brought director Fritz Lang with her! Not everyone was pleased.
  5. John Wayne, Stagecoach, 1939.      Director John Ford showed Wayne the “little, short story,” Stage To Lordsburg, in 1936.  “Who the hell in this business could play that part?”  Wayne said: ”Lloyd Nolan. He played in Two For Texas – seen that?” “No,” rasped Ford.  “For Chrissakes couldn’t you play it?”  “Jesus, that knocked me out,” recalled Wayne,  “Now I was afraid he’d go see the Nolan picture.”  Duke played The Ringo  Kid like Ford, “obviously this was a character Jack liked… what he would have wanted [to be as]  a young man. So it’s him…  Turned out terrific for me.” 
  6. Murray Alper, Wing and a Prayer, 1943.  Or Torpedo Squadron 8when Alper succeeded Nolan as Benny O’Neill. Hardnosed director Henry Hathaway short 50,000 ft of film aboard the USS Yorktown II flat-top (aircraft carrier) and also used real WWII combat footage. Yet the finished film was a wholly fictional account of the 1942 Battle of Midway…  when all but one of the Squadron 8 “flyboys” were killed.
  7. Richard Conte, Call Northside 777, 1947.      It was a toss-up between the two pals – Henry Fonda and James Stewart – for crusading journo PJ McNeal, trying to prove a man innocent of a murder he’s serving life for. And he was a toss-up between Conte and Nolan. A classic noir yet strangely… barren.
  8. Lee Tracy, Martin Kane, Private Detective, TV, 1952-1953.    When William Gargan quit after two years, Lloyd Nolan inherited the shamus for one season of six episodes, 1951-1952,  before passing the duties to Lee Tracy for  six episodes, and he did likewise  for Mark Stevens to make  four shows, 1953-1954.  And then guess what… Gargan returned for one season of The New Adventures of Martin Kane, 1957-1958, shot on Europe’s mean streets. 
  9. Raymond Massey, The Naked and the Dead, 1957.  Change of General Cummings from Noland (and Spencer Tracy) to Massey when finallly, Raoul Walsh  picked up the 300-page script, ultimately dropped by Charles Laughton after the flop of his now-classic Night of the Hunter.  Walsh botched up the pasteurised ’57 version while Laughton, alas,  never helmed a second film. The Naked reviews were way better for the novel…  For Variety, the film was a disappointment. “It catches neither the spirit nor the intent of the original yarn…  and becomes just another war picture.”

 Birth year: 1902Death year: 1985Other name: Casting Calls:  9