Payday Loans
Anthony Quinn (1915-2001)

  1. George Raft, Souls At Sea, 1936.       Quinn's famous row during The Plainsman (when director Cecil B DeMille didn't even know this "Indian" could speak English), impressed Carole Lombard. "I heard you told CB   to go fuck himself." She got him into her next film and had director Henry Hathaway test him to replace the ill Lloyd Nolan, who was already replacing Raft. Agent Charles Feldman then shocked the young Quinn by asking for Raft's fee - $2,000 a   week. Paramount boss Adolph Zukor said $750. Feldman counter-offered - nothing! "But if you pick up his option, you pay $2,000 a week." Zukor agreed, then reneged: $1,000 a week.   Feldman made him stick to the original deal, Quinn was costumed,   turned up for work -   and found Raft on the set!   Feldman would not answer his phone. Lombard took over as his agent and called DeMille about his nextfilm...
  2. Frederic March, The Buccaneer, 1938.       He lost that, too. DeMille liked his tests and gave him a smaller role. Quinn wed DeMille's adopted daughter. Katherine,   before the film opened. And directed a weak, studio-bound re-make 20 years later.
  3. John Garfield, Juarez, 1938.     Or Maximilian and Carlotta before Davis was suspended by Warners and the project was retooled, putting Paul Muni front centre as the titular Mexican revolutionary leader kicking the French out of his country. Brian Aherne as the emperor Maximilian did the impossible and stole a Muni vehicle. Davis was allowed back in as the unstable Empress Carlotta, but Garfield bowed out as the future dictator Porfirio Diaz.
  4. Richard Whorf, Blues in the Night, 1941.  Usually Humphrey Bogart picked up the roles (stupidly) dropped by George Raft.  This time, they both refused the same part - pianist Jigger Lane, forming a jazz band with musicians he found himself in jail with. (Including a clarinetist played by…  Elia Kazan! )   Also passing on Jigger were John Garfield and Anthony Quinn.  Head brother Jack Warner wanted Quinn, showed him the script. Whaddyer think? ‘Well, Jack,” began Quinn.  Warner stopped him right there with a curt “Forget it!”  Moral: You don’t call the boss, Jack – even if you are Cecil B DeMille’s son-in-law!  
  5. Marlon Brando, Viva Zapata, 1952.       Fox chief Darryl Zanuck planned a real Hollywood style biopic: Tyrone Power as Zapata. Or, maybe, The Mighty Quinn.   Director Elia Kazan always wanted Brando with Quinn (his stage successor in A Streetcar Named Desire)  as his  brother.   And Quinn got an Oscar in his 5lst film.
  6. John Garfield, Tortilla Flat, 1941.      When he could not obtain Quinn for the John Steinebck tale, producer Sam Zimbalist managed to loan Garfield from  Warner Bros. 
  7. Vincent Price, The Mad Magician, 1953.   Quinn was first choice for Gallico The Great, a magic star turning when most of his secrets (and his wife) are stolen for John Emery as The Great Rinaldo. As a 3D follow up to Price’s House of Wax, this was a 3D no-no.
  8. James Dean,  Giant, 1955.
  9. Tony Curtis, The Defiant Ones, 1957.    Two convicts on the run…  chained together.  “Just isn’t true,” complained Mitchum.  “I was on a chain gang in Georgia.  I know what it's like - black and white are never chained together.”  Brando liked the integration message, he didn’t like the way Kramer had produced their film, The Wild One.  Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and Frank Sinatra all refused to co-star with Poitier.  So much for liberal Hollywood.   Billy Wilder explained them this way: Brando wanted to play the black convict, Mitchum would refuse to film “with a nigger” and Kirk Douglas wanted both roles…
  10. Laurence Olivier, Spartacus, 1959.       After Quinn directed (a bewigged) Yul Brynner as The Buccanneer the year before, they were due to partner up again as Spartacus and the fiery bisexual senator, Marcus Licinius Crassus, in Brynner’s production of Arthur Koestler’s Gladiators. But the Kirk Douglas version (from Howard Fast’s novel) was greenlit first. Quinn played an Olivier role the following year, as the two stars often swopped roles during the Broadway run of Becket.

  11. Yul Brynner, The  Magnificent Seven, 1960.     Lou Morheim - from TV’s Big Valley and Outer Limits - was the first producer to suggest transferring Japanese master-director Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai classic to the West.   He obtained the rights, talked to Quinn, who took them over. Brynner  pounced. Quinn rushed to court, suing Brynner's Alciona Productions  and United Artists for $630,000 damages.   He lost... every which way.
  12. Yul Brynner, Tarus Bulba, 1962.     Robert Aldrich went through five scripts,  United Artists pulled the plug,   leaving the producer-director close to   bankruptcy. In fact,   the   tax man was putting For Sale on his house when a deal was finally signed.

  13. Burt Lancaster, Il Gattopardo/The Leopard, Italy-France, 1962.        
    For Prince Don Fabrizio Salina, the Italian maestro Luchino Visconti wanted Brando, Olivier or Russia’s Ivan The Terrible: Nikolai Cherkasov. Hollywood wanted a Hollywoodian: Anthony Quinn or Spencer Tracy. No, no, growled the Fox suits.  But you can have your choice of Gregpry Peck, Anthony Quinn or Spencer Tracy.  “They wanted a Russian, but he was too old,” Lancaster told critic Roger Ebert. “They wanted Olivier, but he was too busy. When I was suggested, Visconti said, ‘Oh, no! A cowboy!’ But I had just finished Judgment at Nuremberg, which he saw, and he needed $3 million, which 20th Century-Fox would give them if they used an American star, and so the inevitable occurred. And it turned out to be a wonderful marriage.”  Visconti chose Burt again for Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (Conversation Piece), 1974. “Each time I was  playing Visconti,” said the cowboy.

  14. Richard Harris, Major Dundee, 1963.        There was enough Irish in his bloodfrom his father, Frank Quinn, to play Tyreen.
  15. Gregory Peck, Behold A Pale Horse, 1963.    Tony suggested he was perfect for the anti-Franco hero, deceptively gentle, yet capable of ice-cold ferocity. That, said director Fred Zinnemann, was type-casting. He gave it to Peck (!) and paradoxically, made Quinn the frightening Guardia Civil bully. That, Fred, was typecasting!
  16. George Chakiris, Kings of the Sun, 1963.  The working title had been a real grabber.  The  Mound Builders...  Producer Walter Mirisch intended Quinn to co-star with Yul Brynner. Instead, he decided upon  the 19-year younger Chakiris. The two actors were Oscar-winners with their first films - musicals both - The King and I and West Side Story. They stayed together in Flight From Ashiya that year.
  17. Gilbert Roland, Cheyenne Autumn, 1964.     Richard Boone and Quinn were pushed on to Western ikon John Ford as Little Wolf and Dull Knife because of their   Natve American ancestry. Ford preferred Mexicans Roland and Ricardo Montalban.|
  18. Chuck Connors, Ride Beyond Vengeance, 1965.   Or Night of the Tiger when  Quinn was offered the Western in 1964. The A project fast became a B  with Frank Gorshin, Gloria Grahame, Michael Rennie - and Connors (TV’s The Rifleman, 1958-1963) as the hunter, Tiger Trapp.  (Not true that he had a bro' called Shutya  andf kid sister called Mouse).
  19. José Ferrer, Cervantes (US: Young Rebel), France, Italy-Spain, 1967.  Two years earlier  producer  Ely Landau had booked   Alain Delon, Quinn or Yul Brynner and Ava Gardner for his peek at the early life of the Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra.. But the bad bio-pic was finally produced by the Salkinds, Michael and his son Alexander, with Horst Buchholz, José Ferrer and Gina Lollobrigida.  Oh, and Spanish star Soledad Miranda – except her role  was all  but shredded on the alleged orders of  a jealous La Lollo!  Michael, Salkind had  made  the 1932 Don Quixote film in Spain.
  20. Groucho Marx, Skidoo, 1968. “It takes two to Skidoo,” said the poster for the bowel-movement of producer-director-ogre Otto Preminger after dropping acid and shooting a “writing sample” rather than a script about the generation he had no idea about - that of his son, Erik Lee Preminger.  Otto then disgustingly berated 78-year-old Groucho after choosing him to play God (in his painted moustache). Presumably, Groucho needed the money.  Alfred Hitchcock (!), Zero Mostel, Anthony Quinn, Frank Sinatra, Rod Steiger did not. Nor the former US Senate Minority Leader from Pekin, Illinois, Senator Everett Dirksen.

  21. Topol, Fiddler on the Roof, 1971.     Zorba the Jew...    When word got out that  that producer Walter Mirisch and director Norman Jewison didn’t want   Broadway’s  Zero Mostel - “too big for film!” - Danny Kaye expressed great interest in  becoming Tevye. So did such possibles as Herschel Bernardi (once blacklisted like Mostel and his  successor in the Broadway show),  Walter Matthau, Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, Danny Thomas. Plus such downright impossibles as Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Orson Welles (no roof was strong enough) and… and    Frank Sinatra… If I Were A Rich Man Dooby Dooby Doo!  None got to first base once Chaim Topol ended  his run of the West End  production; he’d  lost the Broadway role when called up for Israeli army duty during  and after the Six Day War. He was replaced by the excessively larger-than-life Mostel who remained  bitter .about losing the film.  So did his son. When offered the Delta House series in 1979, Josh Mostel rasped: ”Tell them to ask Topol’s son if he wants the job!"
  22. Marlon Brando, The Godfather, 1971.
  23. John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, 1974.    The idea was fair - a sequel  to True Grit.  But if Wayne proved too ill, what would be the point of someone else in his titular Oscar-winning rôle? Marlon Brando topped producer Hal Wallis’ eye-patch  list of Eastwood, Richard Burton, Gene Hackman, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, George C Scott and some of Duke’s old co-stars: Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Rock Hudson, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck.. Pus four of Katharine Kate’s previous co-stars - Charles Bronson, Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn - and as she continued trying to pick guys she’d never  worked with before… Warren Beatty, Henry Fonda, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Paul Scofield, Henry Winkler (!)… McQueen turned down her Grace Quigley in 1983.   Kate wrote that embracing Duke “was like leaning against a great tree."  This was director Stuart Miller’s second feature. The “6ft 6ins somafabitch no-talent, ” as Duke termed him, never made a third.
  24. Topol, Galileo, 1975.       "When you have somebody who you are sure will give a brilliant performance,    I will say Yes," said Helene Brecht, when exiled US director Joseph Losey had finally figured a way to film the play by her late husband Bertolt Brecht.   (Joe had directed it on Broadway in 1947 with Charles Laughton). Quinn was keen and had a spare $1m, if Losey could match it. Brecht’s daughter, Barbara, thought Quinn was wrong. "I don't know any ideal person," said Losey. Not Laughton - and certainly not Topol!
  25. Carl Weathers,  Force 10 From Navarone, 1978.     The original team was fine for a sequel back in 1967.   However, eleven years later, the old script by Carl Foreman (another blacklist exile in London)   was beyond them.
  26. Alan Arkin, The Magician of Lublin, 1979.     Israeli director Menahem Golan's second choice for the Isaac Bashevis Singer novel, after an earlier plan was cancelled by Laurence Harvey's 1973 death.
  27. Paul Newman, Harry & Son, 1983.     LA lawyer Ronald Buck tried to interest Quinn, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, even Telly Savalas in his script about a widowed, blue collar father and his ”bookish, sensistive” son.  They all passed. Buck gave a script to Joanne Woodward to interest her (oh, yeah, sure!) in the lady highly smitten by Harry.  She showed it to hubby and he called Buck: “Can I direct?”  It was another two years before Newman (who lost his own son, Scott, to drugs at age 28, in 1978) had the rewrite he wanted. But the studios didn’t care... “That pissed me off and I find I work very well when I’m pissed off.  So I finally agreed to act in it.”  Although he had sworn off the double chore since Sometimes A Great Notion, in 1971, when he likened actor-directing to  putting a gun in his mouth.
  28. Ned Beatty, The Last Days of Pompeii, TV, 1984.  Quinn had been first choice, indeed, first announcement, for Diomed, a common upstart merchant with ideas above his station. 
  29. John Stanton, Tai-Pan, 1986.   UK director John Guillermin's 1981 plan.
  30. Francisco Rabal, L'autre, France, 1989.     While still in acting school, French movie star Bernard Giraudeau told Andrée Chedid that he would film his novel some day. And he did as soon as Quinn loosened his grip   the rights.   CUT to a few   years later:   Quinn calls Giradueau   to buy the rights back. "Trop tard, monsieur. I've made the film."

  31. Sam Shepard, Homo Faber/Voyager, Germany, 1991.   Brechtian director Joseph Losey read Max Frisch's classic existentialist novel in the 50s   and was beaten to the rights by Quinn -   "a very bad choice for the role of Walter Faber." Volker Schlondorff found   the definitive Faber... 40 years on.
  32. Kirk Douglas, Greedy, 1993.   Quinn and Jack Lemmon were suggested for Uncle Joeafter Paul Newman refused the millionaire - far removed from the other Douglas’  Gordon Gekko’s “Greed is good.”
  33. Christopher Plummer, The Last Station, 2009.  Zorba wanted to play Tolstoy, he told novelist Joy Parini in 1990 when her novel about the writer’s death was published. “I want to write the script with you.” And they did over the next decade with them improvising scenes (often painfully) until his death. One of the movies inspiring the career of the film’s eventual director Michael Hoffman was Plummer’s The Sound of Music. The great Russian writer was 82, Quinn a mere 75.  Plummer was 80.  Quinn never let on who would by his screen wife, Sofya. Maybe he didn’t know.



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