alan Marshall


    1. Henry Fonda, Blockade, 1937.    Difficulty in finding a suitable lading man for Madeleine Carrroll – Marshal, Willy Costello and Elia Kazan – yes, the Elia Kazan! – shelved the film for a full year.
    2. Richard Carlson, The Young in Heart, 1937.     Marshall was suddenly dropped as Duncan, giving a film debut to Carlson. Two years later he was Thomas Jefferson opposite Cary Grant in The Howards of Virginia, 1939, and the sf star of the 50s, due to It Came From Outer Space, The Magnetic Monster, The Creature from The Black Lagoon.
    3. Clark Gable, Gone With The Wind, 1938.
    4. Henry Fonda, Blockade, 1938.     What nearly began as The River Is Blue with Marshal, Willy Costello or Elia Kazan as as our hero was postponed for a year and respun with Fonda as the most American of Spanish peasants joining the civil war to defend the proletariat. Ho hum!
    5. -George Brent, The Old Maid, 1939.     Some actors remain best known for the one role they never got… Bette Davis and director Edmund Goulding liked Marshal’s test. The young Aussie was “the perfect Clem” – the man both Bette and Miriam Hopkins fell in love with before his early death. Producer Hal Wallis pushed for someone better – but dropped Humphrey Bogart after two days for Brent.
    6. -Orson Welles, Jane Eyre, 1942.     After testing for Rhett Butler, the George Brent-ish Marshall was seen again by producer David O Selznick to replace his first choice, Ronald Colman, as the byronic Mr Rochester. By November, DOS had sold it all to 20th Century-Fox. Plus Claudia and Keys of the Kingdom.
    7. -Robert Young, The Enchanted Cottage, 1944.    The play was on Broadway soon after WWI. A film was made in 1923. And re-make plans started as early as ’29, again in ’39, and encore in ’43.   Young and Joseph Cotten were up for the literally war-torn GI back from WWII after first choice Marshal suffered “a nervous collapse.” He must have read the script – put down by New York Times critic Bosley Crowther as “more of a horror film than a psychological romance.”
    8. – Gregory Peck, The Paradine Case, 1946.   Producer David O Selznick never did much with or for his Australian pactee. However, he did list him for the lawyer defending murder suspect Alida Valli – alongside Shakesperians as Maurice Evans, James Mason and Laurence Olivier. Alfred Hitchcock wanted Ronald Colman or Joseph Cotton. Finally, they inexplicably went with Mr Cardboard. Marshal (one l) returned to the theatre and died there – on stage in Chicago when co-starring with Mae West in Sextet.

 Birth year: 1909Death year: 1961Other name: Casting Calls:  0