Payday Loans
Miriam Hopkins (1902-1972)

  1. Carole Lombard, No Man Of Her Own, 1931.     Hopkins fled, complaining  the role did not suit her. Or, was it the title?  (No,  she was furious at losing top billing to Clark Gable). So, she fell "ill" - innaugurating the one and only film of Gable and his Carole.  And… no sparks whatsoever.  Indeed, her wrap party gift to him was a ham…  with his picture on it! Their celebrated love affair began much years later and they wed in 1939. 
  2. Joan Crawford, Forsaking All Others, 1933.    As if the mighty MGM didn’t have more stars than were in the heavens, the studio tried to borrow Hopkins from Paramount as Clark Gable’s new partner. No, said Par. So did the Hays Office censors about such injurious words as tramp, sex appeal and - oh no, cover your ears! - “nudist wedding.”
  3. Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night, 1933.      A Frank Capra pal passed her the script.  She passed it back - in high dudgeon. "Not if I never play another part! To me it was just another silly comedy…"  Also in the Ellie loop were Constance Bennett, Myrna Loy, Margaret Sullavan.
  4. Carole Lombard, Twentieth Century, 1934.       "… I'm a bad judge of a play or film," said Miriam.
  5. Carole Lombard, Bolero, 1934.      One of the few films in this survey that George Raft did make... He also made Rumba with Lombard the following year - but stalked out of their Princess Comes Across, 1935,  because cinematographer Ted Tetziaff had made her look better than Raft in Rumba.   (Easiest job Ted ever had!)   The film’s highlight  was a dance routine on a circular stage to Ravel's Bolero - just not as well a sspectacularly staged as  by réalisateur Claude  Lelouch in Les uns et les autres (US: Bolero) in 1980.
  6. Ann Harding, Peter Ibbetson, 1934.   Gary Cooper as the titular architevct hired by the Duke of Towers only to find that the Duchess is his childhood sweetheart. Due for Hopkins, scorned by Lombard, won  by Harding. 
  7. Carole Lombard, Hands Across The Table, 1935.     When he couldn’t land Hopkins, producer Samuel Goldwyn gave up and sold the comedy to Paramount.
  8. Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey, 1935.   Hopkins at age 33, ,Constance Bennett, 31, and Marion Davies, 38,   were hot contenders for teenage Irene Bullkock. But the butler, William Powell, scuppered their boats by insisting on his ex-wife!  (She was youngest on the list - 27). For the first time, one movie collected all four Oscar acting nods for Powell, Lombard, Mischa Auer and Alice Brady. It remains one of the best comedies of all time.
  9. Frances Farmer, Come And Get It, 1936.     Just as she began Howard Hawks’ Barbary Coast, 1935, producer Sam Goldwyn decided Hopkins should also be Hawks’ next leading ladies: mother and daughter Lotta Morgan and Lotta Bostrom. Hawks didn’t agree. He checked through producer Goldwyn’s tests, thought about Virginia Bruce and Andrea Leeds - relegated to support once Hawks fell heavily for Farmer. "Fabulous. She was a blonde, a natural, but she just used a dark wig, that's all she put on, no change in make-up. Just her face... her whole attitude changed, her whole method of talking.”And then  It could be said to be the directing credit, a big battle between  Hawks who started the film and William Wyler who wrapped it.  . Farmer was not the only issue fought over by the director and  his producer Sam Goldwyn. (Hawks was not really filming the Edna Ferber book!)  Finally, The Silver Fox  was sacked. Or quit. Depending on who you talked to.
  10. Vivien Leigh, Dark Journey, 1936. Victor Saville revealed Hopkins was first offered the-not-yet-Scarlett’s WW1 French spy -  falling head over helmet for Conrad Veidt’s German spy.   And they fall for each other. According Saville - and he should know, he was the director.

  11. Bette Davis, Jezebel, 1937.   
    Arch enemies from their George Cukor stage days when the bisexual Miriam fancied Davis but, as always,  Bette stole scenes - "even from extras!" Miriam then hated how Bette became the biggest star in Hollywood - "stealing" her Jezebel stage role and, for the duration of The Sisters, Miriam's husband, director Anatole Litvak.Warner’s chief, Jack Warner, persuaded Hopkins not to name Davis in the divorce and Miriam could only retaliate by using all her up-staging tricks to put Bette off-kilter when they made The Old Maid, 1939.

  12. Kay Francis, Comet Over Broadway, 1937.  “Weak tea.”  Snorted Bette, still on a high from Jezebel. She was immediately suspended and the movie was handed the starstruck Eve  to Miriam Hopkins. She fell ill - or was it “ill”? -  making room for Francis plus  off-cuts from her 1934 film, I Found Stella Parish.  Davis was right, hence directors Edmund Goulding and William Keighley refused the gig. Busby Berkeley took over until he fell ill (actually he was in a  divorce court, being named, by Irving Wheeler as the lover of his wife Caroile Landis). John Farrow made the film.  
  13. Bette Davis, Dark Victory, 1938.    Gloria Swanson found the story, The Second Mrs Draper, about a socialite going blind with a brain tumour. "Can't be any good if Selznick wants to sell it," said the Columbia czar Harry Cohn.  Swanson quit Tinseltown for New York.  Garbo was keen, sniffing Oscar on the horizon.  Idem for Stanwyck and Merle Oberon. Warner Bros bought it for Miriam Hopkins or Kay Francis.  But Davis made sure it was her’s - it was herfavourite role and third Oscar  nomination in five years. Although the head Brother Jack Warner had insisted  “no one wanted to see someone go blind.”  Hah! Warner built three new sound stages with the profits.
  14. Bette Davis, All This,  and Heaven Too, 1939.   Head Brother Jack Warner first wanted Hopkins or Helen Hayes as the virtuous governess Henriette. Although (or because) she found him heavy-handed and inflexible as a director, Davis had an affair with Anatole Litvak - while he was wed to Hopkins! Workedwonders for their necessary 20emnity in The Old Maid and Old Acquaintance!
  15. Constance Bennett, Law of the Tropics, 1940. Followed by The Law of the Hopkins... Not many actresses were as honest as she was. She passed, explaining she felt too old at 38 to playing footsy with Jeffrey Lynn, 31.
  16. Carole Lombard, To Be Or Not To Be, 1941.  The Legend: Miriam just could not get on with co-star  Jack Benny. The Truth: ’Twas the role she didn’t like.  Lombard loved it and simply Iago-ed Hopkins into quitting - the fifth film that Lombard took a away from Hopkins. And the last. As, alas,  this proved to be Lombard's finale.  Once shooting was completed, she embarked on  her US War Bonds tour.  She never came back - killed in a plane crash on January 16 1942. Variety praised her “effortless and highly effective performance that provides memorable finale to a brilliant screen career.” Scant consolation for her husband, Clark Gable. So distraught he ran away to WWII. 
  17. Bette Davis, The Little Foxes, 1941.     This once, Miriam s came close to replacing Bette - on the verge of a breakdown when directed anew by her ex- lover, William Wyler. He insisted she stay in the film, but he never chose her for another. When old friends (!) in Old Acquaintance, 1943, Miriam tried every trick to make Davis quit - from insisting on double her salary to autonomy over make-up and costuming. It was Miriam who was nearly replaced... while Bette cheerfully bedded co-star Gig Young.
  18. Ann Rutherford, Badlands of Dakota, 1941.   Even with her fame on the slide, Miriamrefused the "unsuitable" B-Western.Other sliders involved: Richard Dix as Wild Bill Hickock, Frances Farmer as Calamity Jane.
  19. Joan Blondell, Lady For A Night, 1941.   Early that June, Republic was chasing Hopkins (and Judith Anderson) for the John Wayne film (almost called Memphis Belle!). Director Leigh Jason (who?) settled for Blondell and Blanche Yurka.
  20. Hedy Lamarr, Samson and Delilah, 1949.    When producer-director Cecil B DeMille first planned it in 1935 - opposite Henry Wilcoxon, of course. He was CB’s Mark Antony in the  1934 Cleopatra. Apart from such inevitables as Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner, pompous director CB DeMille had some bizarre notions for his Delilah: veteran Larraine Day, Ava Gardnder, Jane Greer, Miriam Hopkins (in 1935),  song ’n’ dancer Betty Hutton, Maria Montez (perfect !), Maureen O’Hara, Nancy Olson (too demure),  Jean Peters, Ruth Roman, Ann Sheridan, Jean Simmons (too young at 19), Gene Tierney, Italian Alida Valli., pllus two Swedes: Viveca Lindfors and Marta Toren.  Here’s a review signed Groucho Marx: “No picture can hold my interest where the leading man's bust is larger than the leading lady's!"

  21. Gertrude Lawrence, The Glass Menagerie, 1950.    Miriam made a less troublesome - ie less drunken - test for Irving Rapper than Tallulah Bankhead. By 1964, Hopkins was a madame in Fanny Hilldirected by... Russ Meyer. Bette Davis’ comments remain unprintable.
  22. Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1951.    Fifteen years after Dark Journey- the result is the same… Producer Irene Selznickseriously considered Hopkins, who felt Blanche DuBois would be her perfectcomeback. "It's almosta foregoneconclusion that I'll win the Oscar... It would make up for not getting Scarlett O’Hara, a part I was destined to play."Or not... She hated British women playing Southern belles - Jessica Tandy in Streetcar and, especially, Vivien as Scarlett- "I could have done that role better than anyone."In 1966, Marlon Brando was sad to see her in a small role in "this turkey"- The Chase.




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