Elizabeth Allan

  1. Rosalind Russell, The Citadel, 1938.   After three years contracted to MGM, Allan returned to the UK with a special Metro deal to be “on call” for two films a year.  Handily enough, she was home  when Russell couldn’t make the AJ Cronin  drama – only to be and rudely dismissed when Roz became free to be Dr  Robert Donat’s wife.
  2. Helen Chandler, Long Lost Father, 1933.  RKO put Hepburn on suspension (ie. no pay) for refusing to be the daughter of profligate father John Barrymore. The UK’sa Allan agreed to be Lindsey, then fell ill. Enter: Chandler. “Her presence is always welcome,”said New York Times  critic Moredaunt Hall, “and it is astonishing that she does not receive more attention from Hollywood.” Indeed.  After a paltry 27 features, she was toast by 1938. Except on-stage.
  3. Greer Garson, Goodbye Mr Chips, 1938.     The studio dropped Allan again so that Garson could be another Robert Donat wife.  Two much!  And Allan did what few others  had ever dared and sued Metro for breach of contract.  She  won the suit, then MGM sued her and won, shredded her contract and  then blacklisted her. Ironically, Garson had refused all offers of a Metro contract until given Allan’s role of Kathy Ellis. Allan returned to the UK and continued in films and  TV for the next 30 years.
  4. Fay Wray, Shanghai Madness, 1933.   Musical chairs at Fox for Spencer Tracy’s next co-star. First choice Claire Trevor was suddenly switched to a second consecutive George O’Brien vehicle.MGM loaned Allen – who simply walked out on the usually mild-mannered director John G Blystone. Enter (for just a few days) Marion Burns. Finally, with less than a week’s notice, King Kong’s girlfriend became the wild girl called Wildeth.


 Birth year: 1908Death year: 1990Other name: Casting Calls:  4