Harpo Marx

  1. Gary Cooper, Sergeant York, 1941.       Off-the-wall idea from  director Harry d’Abbadi d’Arrast long before  Cooper, scenarist John Huston and director Howard Hawks  helped out an  on-his-uppers producer Jesse Lasky. D’Abbadi d’Arrast,  Chaplin’s assistant on The Gold Rush, 1925, was born in Argentina, served with the French in WW1 and was invited  by a fellow patient in a field hospital  (US director George Fitzmaurice) to LA, where he made just seven (excellent) Hollywood movies.
  2. Alan Young, Androcles and Lion, 1951.      Gabriel Pascal was the favourite UK producer-director of Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw – filming Pygmalion, 1939, Major Barbara, 1941, Caesar and Cleopatra, 194), and now Androcles, the first to escape to Hollywood, where Howard Hughes joined the party. However, it took so long to happen that GBS (just Bernard Shaw in the credits) died before shooting started. On February 9, HC Potter began directing Donald, opposite James Simmons in their US debuts. After a few days, everything stopped. For seven months! Because Hughes could not find his Androcles, going from the sublime Harpo (in a first speaking role) and Charles Chaplin to the patently ridiculous Eddie Bracken… before borrowing Young from Paramount. Then, Hughes quit. And Pascal took over again.
  3. Peter Lorre, The Big Circus, 1958.      Harpo and Chico had made At The Circus in 1938, so why not join a new sawdust ring boss Victor Mature in this surprisingly better take on CB DeMille’s 1951 Greatest Show On Earth – train crash and all! They passed. Because no role for Groucho? 


 Birth year: 1888Death year: 1964Other name: Casting Calls:  3