Payday Loans
James Garner (1928-2014)

  1. Dick Simmons, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, TV, 1955-1958.    Garner told the Archive of American Television, that he and Simmons were the final actors up for joining the Mounties. Garner preferred movies but they did not happened until he began winning hearts as Maverick, 1957-1962.
  2. Marlon Brando, Sayonara, 1957.     “The idea was to go with either Brando and an unknown Japanese girl - or, Audrey Hepburn and an unknown guy.  They couldn’t afford both Brando and Hepburn.  If they went with her, I had a shot at the lead.  Well, they went with Brando.”  And Jim replaced John Smith as Brando's antagonist.
  3. Stuart Whitman, Darby’s Rangers, (UK: The Young Invaders), 1958.     When Charlton Heston quit director William A Wellman’s WWII army,  Jim was promoted from the ranks and his part taken over by Whitman.
  4. David Janssen, Lafayette Escadrille, 1958.      Wild Bill Wellman’s final film. Because Jack Warner - “one of the most despicable men I’ve known” - changed everything. “It was never called Lafayette Escadrille. It was C’est la Guerre, that was the story. He made that into a happy ending. I said: ‘Oh, the hell with it.’ I got out and never made another picture.”
  5. Ricky Nelson, Rio Bravo, 1958.
  6. Steve Forrest, Heller In Pink Tights, 1959.   First (and last) Western for Sophia Loren and director George Cukor.   They looked at Garner, John Gavin and Jack Lemmon (!) before settling on Forrest as the gun-slinger hiding put in her  Sophia’s acting troupe touring the Old West. Sophia actually voted for TV cowpoke Clint Walker (she loved tall leading men), but he was towering over another gig.
  7. Stuart Whitman, The Comancheros, 1960.   Written with Cary Grant in mind, but he was considred too old (56) in 1960.  Gary Cooper  was 59 when booked opposite Garner. However Coop was ill - he died the following year. And Garner was “blackballed” following a row with head Brother Jack Warner.  The stars became John Wayne and Whitman.  
  8. James Coburn, The Americanisation of Emily, 1964.    Coburn inherited Lieutenant Commander Bob Cummings when James Garner was promoted to the lead rôle after William Holden was sacked for rows over the script and the director. Film was based on William Bradford Hui’s second book about Lieutenant Commander James Monroe Madison, called Charlie here, and Jim Blair when played by Richard Egan, opposite Jane Russell, in The Revolt of Mamie Stover, 1955.
  9. Richard Burton, The Sandpiper, 1964.   John Huston’s 25th film - adapted from Tennessee Williams’ play - on location at Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta., Yet Garner still rejected defrocked priest Lawrence Shannon, opposite Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and Sue Lyon vying with each other for Oscars.
  10. Richard Harris, Hawaii, 1966.     As directors  changed  from Fred Zinnemann to George Roy Hill.

  11. George C Scott, Petulia, UK/US, 1967.   Julie Christie’ is the  arch-kook kook in this requiem for the  well swung 60s.    Director Richard  Lester wanted Lee Marvin as her  curmudgeonly lover, while the Warner suits voted James Garner or Paul Newman. The film has echoes  (and  theb editing) of Nicolas Roeg’s later Christie opus, Don’t Look Now  and, indeed,  Bad Timing… well, he was the cameraman here..

  12. Charlton Heston, Planet of the Apes, 1967.

  13. Omar Sharif, Funny Girl, 1967.  The Jewish Barbra Streisand preferred an Arab screen lover (on and off-screen) to the others  short-listed for her gambling man Nick Arnstein:  Marlon Brando, Sean Connery, Cary Grant, Paul Newman, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra.  Plus three TV stars, Robert Culp, James Garner, David Janssen, that she would have chewed up and spat out. She as an expert in cutting her co-stars’ roles to ribbons.  Asked whether she’d been difficult to work with, director William Wyler said:  "No, not too hard, considering it was the first movie she ever directed"!

  14. Donald Sutherland, M*A*S*H, 1969.   Director Robert Altman's first choice was told by his prospective partner, James Coburn: “Don’t do it - it’ll ruin your career.”  Producer Ingo Preminger had seen Sutherland among The Dirty Dozen - and he suggested Elliott Gould, instead of Coburn!
  15. Lee Marvin, The Great Scout and Cat-House Thursday, 1973.       First choice Elliott Gould was followed by James Garner who was followed by Marvin – who promptly retired after shooting. For a wee while. Jason Robards, Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1983.   Inbetween being written for Gene Kelly and bought by Kirk Douglas, various versions of the Ray Bradbury tale proposed Garner, Hal Holbrook, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau for Kirk’s favourite character, Charles Holloway.
  16. Brian Dennehy, First Blood (Rambo), 1981. 
  17. Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment, 1983.      “James Brooks is a great writer but it was his first directing job and he couldn’t tell me what he wanted to do with the film.  I don’t care if the movie's Gone With The Wind, if I didn’t think it was going to be fun I wouldn’t do it.”  This one was five Oscars full of fun - including a second for Jack..
  18. Robert Duval, Lonesome Dove, TV, 1989.      Too ill to be Gus Macre or Woodrow Call. Originally written by Larry McMurtry  in 1971 for John Wayne   (opposite Henry Fonda and  James Stewart).  Ten years on, McMurtry turned  the script into a book that bred the mini-series…
  19. Tommy Lee Jones, Lonesome Dove, TV, 1989.     … Soon as he was fit, ,Garner took over the introverted Captain Woodrow Call, retired Texas  ranger turned  bounty hunter,  in the 1995 sequel, Streets of Laredo - the name of the ’71 Peter Bogdanovich project - badly, sadly - rejected by Duke, Henry Fonda, James Stewart. (Wayne and, thereby the others were warned off by a jealous John Ford). But as with Jon Voight in Return to Lonesome Dove, 1993 (nothing to do the writer Larry McMurtry) the essential magic (Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones) was long gone.  

>>>>>>  Tribute

"My heart just broke," said Sally Field in a 2014 statement about Garner’s death.   Field co-starred with him in  Murphy's Romance, for which Garner won an Oscar nod. "There are few people on this planet I have adored as much as Jimmy Garner.   I cherish every moment I spent with him and relive them over and over in my head. He was a diamond." 





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