Randolph Scott

  1. Joel McCrea, Dynamite, 1929.    As arranged with tycoon Howard Hughes,  assistant director Mitchell Leisen made  screen tests for Cecil B DeMille’s first all sitalkie – on December 18, 1928.  For the leading man he filmed Dean Jagger, Jason Robards Sr and future B-Western stars Bob Custer, Buck Jones, Randolph Scott, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams. To no avail.  CB played safe with theatre actors:  Charles Bickford opposite Kay Johnson’s debut. Bickford called the script a mess of corn with terrible dialogue. True enough – it flopped.  Not Scott – he  became one of Hollywood’s greatest and most popular Western stars: John Ford had John Wayne, Budd Boetticher had Scott.  And in  his 103rd   and final  film Sam Peckinpah’s Ride The High Country, 1962, Scott shared top billing with another old-timer, Joel McCrea. By then, they  were  two of the richest men in Hollywood.
    m Peckinpah’s Ride The High Country, 1962, Scott shared top billing with… McCrea. By then, they were two of the richest men in Hollywood.
  2. Richard Arlen, Island of Lost Souls, 1931.     Paramount’s Plan A: Scott and Nancy Carroll as Ruth and Edward. Plan B: Arlen and Leila Hyams. The thinking being that the film belonged to Charles Laughton as Dr Moreau (oh, that island). Except it was stolen (like the poster) by Kathleen Burke in her one and only screen role. Like how do you follow being… The Panther Woman!
  3. Johnny Weissmuller, Tarzan The Ape Man,1931.
  4. Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Old Man Rhythm, 1934. Rogers battled Scott, John Beal and Gene Raymond for the RKO froth – remembered only for Buddy becoming America’s Boyfriend upon marrying America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford in 1937 (until her 1979 death).
  5. Fred MacMurray, Alice Adams, 1934.      Scott was shooting So Red The Rose andtherefore missed the RKO film that changed the public hatred of Katharine Hepburn – thanks, she always said, to director George Stevens.He also directed the first of the nine Tracy-Hepburns, Woman of the Year.
  6. Fred MacMurray, Men With Wings, 1937.   Scott and pal Cary Grant were first pegged as the fly boy heroes in an aviation thriller (from Kitty Hawk to WW1) from one of the titular kind – the 1928 Wings director and WW1 daredevil, Wild Bill Wellman.
  7. Bob Burns, Wells Fargo, 1937.     In the kind of sprawling saga that had Paramount putting the Western back on the A List, Bing Crosby sidekick Bb Burns was hardly a suitable substitute for the great Scott. Also missing from the original line-up: Fred MacMurray and Frances Farmer.
  8. Henry Fonda, Spawn of the North, 1938.    Cary Grant and his house-mate  Randolph Scott churned into George Raft and Henry Fonda as the rivals in -wait for it – an Alaskan  salmon fishing war!  Brian Keith had the Fonda role in the 1953 re-make, Alaska Seas.
  9. George Montgomery, Last of the Duanes, 1940.     Scott, Dean Jagger and Eve Arden passed their saddles to George Montgomery, William Farnum (from the 1919 version !) and Eve Arden. In all, Fox made the Zane Grey story four times starring Farnum, 1919; Tom Mix, 1924; George O’Brien, 1930, and a Spanish-language version also in 1939 with George Lewis.
  10. Dana Andrews, Belle Star, 1941.     When Henry Fonda quit as Confederate guerilla leader Sam Starr, Scott was promoted from support ranks to marry title star Gene Tierney. An improvement on previous teamings with… Shirley Temple.

  11. George Montgomery, Ten Gentlemen From West Point, 1941.     West Point – The Early Years. (Far from historically accurate). Fonda was the early birds for the principled Kentuckian frontiersman as keen on Maureen O’Hara as Tyrone Power – before Ty became Scott and finally, John Sutton.
  12. Laird Cregar, Ten Gentlemen From West Point, 1941.     A month after being chosen for Joe Dawson, poor Scott was switched – for another wee while – to Major Sam Carter, opposite Henry Fonda and John Payne.
  13. Dana Andrews, Crash Dive, 1942.   The submarine officers falling for the same gal (Anne Baxter) were switched from Scott and John Payne to Andrews and  Tyrone Power – his last movie before joining the US Marines as a private for  WWII service. He was off-screen for three years until The Razor’s Edge.
  14. Don Ameche,Wing and a Prayer, 1943.   Or Torpedo Squadron 8 when Ameche succeeded Randolph Scott as Flight Commander Bingo Harper.  Hardnose 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.
  15. William Gargan, Behind Green Lights, 1945.      “This is the story of one night in a big city police station – your city or mine – where anything can happen, and very often does -where all kinds of people in every kind of trouble rub shoulders while John Law sorts them out.” Fine but that did not explain why Scott never played, as planned, the cop called Carson.
  16. James Cagney, 13 Rue Madeleine, 1946.     Ya cain’t always get wot ya wanna…  Not even if you were head Fox Darryl  F Zanuck. For his US Amy Intelligence thriller,  the head Fox wanted  Scott – or Rex Harrison – as spy chief Bob Sharkey… plus William Eythe, Glenn Langan, John Payne for O’Connell and Mark Stevens as Lassiter. DFZ lost ’em all!  
  17. Robert Ryan, Best of the Badmen, 1950.    Change of Union Major Jeff Clanton in the plot-heavy Western set at the end of the US Civil War… with Jesse James and Cole Young rising with Quantrill’s Raiders!
  18. Joel McCrea, Ride The High Country, 1962.     The old-timers swopped roles at the eleventh hour – enabling Scott to play a baddy for about the only time in his career. He then retired on his oil and real estate wealth. An estimated $100m.
  19. Chuck Connors, Move Over Darling, 1963.    Scott retired – a multi-millionaireat 64 – feeling he could never top his work in Sam Peckinpah’s Ride The High Country.   Therefore, he passed on repeating his 1940 My Favourite Wife role in the once-Marilyn Monroe and finally Doris Day re-tread.


 Birth year: 1903Death year: 1987Other name: Casting Calls:  19