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Diana Dors (1931-1984)

  1. Jean Simmons, Give Us The Moon, 1944.    Di tested for Margaret Lockwood's sister.
  2. Dora Bryan, The Cure For Love, 1950.    She was among the few tested for the role that Robert Donat (in his first and last outing as writer-producer-director) had reserved for Dora- hardly a DD-style sexpot.
  3. Dora Bryan, The Quiet Woman, 1951.   DD has a barney with director John Gilling on her first day as the barmaid and was swiftly replaced, -  again by Dora, who was still no pin-up. Like replacing Marilyn  Monroe with Thelma Ritter. 
  4. Virginia McKenna, Carve Her Name With Pride, 1958.   Virginia was the perfect English Rose (and under Rank contract),so it was obvious shewould play theBritish heroine of the French Resistance, Violette Szabo.Except Violette was a Cockney from Brixton and director Lewis Gilbert really wanted the "much rougher" Di, who had already proved herself in drama with Yield To The Night, 1956.
  5. Vera Miles, Beyond This Place (US: Web of Evidence), 1958.    Major changes - and none for the better - as the initial leads, Di Dors and Hollywood’s Robert Wagnet, were superceded by Miles and… Van Johnson at 42, replacing Wagner, who was his character’s actual age - 28.
  6. Rachel Roberts, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, 1960.   She had too much glamour queen baggage by now to be accepted as a low, adulteroushousewife.
  7. Gloria Jean, The Ladies' Man, 1961. “Because I played a part in Danny Kaye’s On The Double for less money, I find myself out of Jerry’s picture. I can dislike him for that, can't I?” Lewis left Di’s name in the credits - and in trade paper stories. I kept expecting her to turn up.
  8. Barbara Windsor, Crooks In Cloisters, 1963.    Typically asinine UK farce - forgers hiding out as monks. “I didn’t care about being second choice,” said Windsor, “it won me the Carry On films.”You know: same film, different titles."
  9. Kim Novak, The Legend of Lylah Clare, 1967.    The film that broke the legend of Kim Novak.  Producer-director Robert Aldrich blamed her for the flop, then admitted the fault was his. Either way, Novak never made another film.  Aldrich has first wanted Andress, the UK-Marilyn Diana Dors or the French Jeanne Moreau as the movie icon. When Tuesday Weld played her on TV, May 19, 1963, Lylah seemed based on Marilyn (or even Weld). The Aldrich take  came adrift by making Novak and Peter Finch more like Marlene Dietrich and  her director Josef von Sternberg.




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