Paul Henreid

  1. Peter Lorre, The Beast With Five Fingers 1934.     For their remake of Austria’s 1924 Orlac Hnde (US: The Hands of Orlac), MGM warned its audiences about “one of the strangest tales ever told… It may shock you… horrify you. So if any of you do not care to subject yourselves to such a strain, now is your chance to…” Charlie Chaplin stayed and hailed Lorre as cinema’s best actor. Although scenarist Curt Siodmak had wanted the more handsome Henreid – feeling the public would automatically consider Lorre as being bonkers!
  2. Dennis Morgan, One More Tomorrow, 1943. One plan for The Couple – a ladies’ man and a photographer – was lighting two cigarettes at once. Again… As in a reunion of the 1942 Now Voyager stars, Henreid and Bette Davis. Neither one fancied the script. Neither one was suspended by Warner Bros, Unlike Olivia De Havilland when she refused to be Christie Sage.  She beat the studio in  court, giving birth to what is still known (and used) as The  De Havilland Law. Or, more officially, California Labor Code Section 2855.  Shot  in 1934, the mo vie was so good it wasn’t released until 1946.
  3. Claude Rains, Mr. Skeffington, 1944.     Henreid didn’t want to play a softy again after Casablanca. Hedda Hopper, at her sweetest, accused him of refusing the role for anti-Semitic reasons. Paul Lukas, John Loder,   James Stephenson and Richard Waring were also on the titular short-list. Loveless marriage or not, Bette Davis wanted her older screen husband to be her favourite male partner. And at Warner Bros, whatever Bette wanted, Bette got. For a while.
  4. Randolph Scott, China Sky, 1944.      Henried was first up for author Pearl Buck’s good US doctor working in a China fighting Japan while Ruth Warrick and Ellen Drew fight over him.
  5. Humphrey Bogart, The Two Mrs Carrolls, 1945.      Succeeding Henreid, Bogie joined Barabra Stanwyck in playing – just the once – against type. He is the psychotic wife-killer, and she the latest damsel in distress. Didn’t wholly work and was so close to 1945’s Gaslight that Warner Bros put it on ice for two years.   Mainly remembered for Bogie winking at Casablanca with: “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful hatred.” (Funnier if Henreid had said it).


 Birth year: 1908Death year: 1992Other name: Casting Calls:  5