Payday Loans
Barabara Bel Geddes (1922-2005)

  1. Anne Baxter, Guest in the House, 1944.    After Broadway and USO tours (in Junior Miss),  Barbara tested for her first movie.  And lost. She also  lost films of her Broadway hits to Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds, Liz Taylor.
  2. Alida Valli, The Miracle of the Bells, 1947.  The bizarre journey of a Polish girl to  Hollywood -  where she dies after her only film_ about Joan of Arc) - and back home to Pennsylvania  by burial by her Press agent,   our narrator.  Who should be our heroine? Bel Geddes, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Fontaine, Greer Garson,  Jennifer Jones or ballerina Ricky Soma?  Plus the unknown Jane Garth, who played Joan on-stage No, no, for a Polish girl,  you need…an Italian
  3. Betsy Drake, Every Girl Should Be Married, 1948.    Poor Barabra…  She was chosen for a Cary Grant film at the worse possible time. During a London visit, he’d fallen for a French-born American actress in a West End play,  Deep Are the Roots. And again when both were sailing to New York the Queen Elizabeth liner. He thought Betsy Drake would make  a better Arabella than Barbara- b ut he had to build Mr Blandings’ dream house first. He arranged for her to be tested, and the RKO suits - Dore Schary, David O Selznick -   wanted to keep him happy. Grant had the script altered to suit her and directed many of her scenes – “like a young Kate Hepburn.” Critics loved the “gangling, effervescent lass” (Newsweek), a "refreshingly natural comic spirit" (New York Times). They moved in together  and obeyed the titular edict, during 1949-1961, sharing one  more of her eleven screen roles,  Room for One More, 1951. She wrote Houseboat  for them, but by 1957, he’d fallen for Sophia Loren. Poor Betsy.
  4. Shirley Temple, Adventure in Baltimore, 1948.  The (tres) Bel Geddes was  not keen on another period piece I Remember Mama, so Temple was borrowed from David O Selznick - and hubby John Agar as her co-star. They  divorced soon after this second  film, together.
  5. Evelyn Keyes, Mrs Mike, 1949.   Mrs Dick was offered  Ms Mike…  Well, of course she was.  June Allyson was wed to the star.  And producer!   (Dick Powell).  Also considered for his Mountie’s Bostonian wife: Barbara Bates, Peggy  Cummins,  Betsy Drake, Joanne Dru,  Diana Lynn. 
  6. Celeste Holm, All About Eve, 1950.
  7. Joan Fontaine, Born To Be Bad, 1950.    RKO tried to make Anne Parrish’snoveltwice before. With Fontaine in 1946 and Bel Geddes two years later(as Bed of Roses) when the RKO boss Howard Hughes was not sufficiently aroused by Bel Geddes. “Too plain.”
  8. Eleanor Parker, The Man With The Golden Arm, 1955.   Buying the rights from John Garfield’s estate, producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger defied the Production Code and made a film - not only daring to mention the word “drugs” but dealing with addiction. BBG and Joanne Woodward were early choises for Zosh, wed to Frank Sinatra’s heroin-addled card dealer.
  9. Joan Collins, The Wayward Bus, 1957.  When Marilyn Monroe , so  cruelly scorned by her studio, astounded us in Bus Stop, Fox dusted down John Steinbeck’s busload of Chaucerian passengers to do the same for Jayne Mansfield. (Hah!).  The main couple of the bus driver and his alcoholic wife, Alice, running a pitstop diner, went from Charles Boyer-Gertrude Lawrnce (!) to Marlon Brando-Jennifer Jones to Robert Mitchum-Susan Hayward to Richard Widmark-Gene Tierney to, finally, Rick Jason-Joan Collins.  Others announced for Alice, as producers  kept changing, were Bel Geddes (in 1947), , Geraldine Page and  Shelley Winters  Incidentally,  Marilyn’s bus driver, Robert Bray, turned up here as a chopper pilot hovering  around  Joan Collins. (He then blew his career by refusing South Pacific).
  10. Elizabeth Taylor, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 1958.  The toast of Broadway - Bel Geddes and Ben Gazzara - were thumb-downed bv MGM for their glossy and expurgated version of the Tennessee Williams play.  Taylor and Paul Newman did not mesh at first, until realising they were fruit from the same tree. Not great actors, yet knowing, instinctively, how to play to a camera - rarely over-egging it.
  11. Catherine Denueve, Mayerling, 1968.     Director Anatole Litvak chose her for his 1944 re-make of his 1936 movie.  However, all rights were vaulted until 007-maker Terence Young freed them two decades later.


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