Julie Christie


  1. June Ritchie, A Kind of Loving, 1962.       UK director John Schlesinger and producer Joseph Janni agreed:  “She’s not right for it – too exciting.”  Perfect, then, for their Billy Liar and Darling.  Julie was described by Diane Keaton (another of Warren Beatty’s lovers) as: “the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”
  2. Ursula Andress, Dr No, 1962.
  3. Daniela Bianchi, From Russia With Love, 1963.

  4. Kathleen Breck, West 11, 1963.
    “The producer, Danny Angel, didn’t even want to test her,” director Michael Winner related to me in London, “because she’d been tested and rejected for a great many films, including Billy Liar which she later made when the girl who was chosen became ill.  We tested her and Iimmediately said: ‘Marvellous,we’ve discovered a very,very big star.’    The producer said: You’re  absolutely mad!   Just a B-movie actress.   She’ll never be anything!   Who would want to fuck Julie Christie?’  To which I said: I would.   To which the producer responded in front of a large number of people at the screening room in Associated British Studios, Elstree: ‘Well you’re a homosexual.’  That’s how it was in the early 60’s…!!  That’s one of the reasons I soon became my own producer. Some months later, I rang Angel: Hollywood’s made a huge mistake. They’ve given your B-actress an Oscar!” As for the Rhodesian girl who got the part,  “I haven’t been so excited about anyone since Audrey Hepburn,” claimed casting director Robert Leonard.  Unlike his other finds (Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Syms, Richard Todd), this one never made a second film.

  5. Julia Foster, The System (US: The Girl Getters), 1964.      Michael Winner changed his producer from Danny Angel, who disliked Christie, to Kenneth Shipman who did.   Except her dance card was full for what AIP sold to the US public as “an adult film for teenagers and a teenage film for adults.”
  6. Jennie Linden, Nightmare, 1964.         A last minute substitution when Julie quit her one (and only) Hammer Films date… in order to make a little something called  Darling. (Hello:  Oscar).
  7. Samantha Eggar, The Collector, 1964.    Hollywood icon William Wyler saw Julie Christie, Sarah Miles, Suzanne Pleshette and Natalie Wood for the girl kidnapped by a deranged Terence Stamp. But Sam won Miranda. Until Wyler fired her. He then  asked Weld to take over. “But after a long meeting during which she disagreed with the legendary director on absolutely everything,” recounted her later lover, Bond and Superman writer Tom Mankiewicz – Wyler decided to re-hire Sam. And kept her on-set all day, made her lunch alone and told Stamp to stop trying to bed her (like the whole crew). “I know this looks cruel,” said Wyler, “but we’re going to get a great performance out of her.”  . Robert Berdella said the movie inspired his serial killing  of, at least,  six men during 1984-1987. The Missouri media dubbed him The Kansas City Butcher  and… The Collector.  He died from a heart attack in jail in 1992. The Missouri media dubbed him The Kansas City Butcher  and… The Collector.
  8. Susan Hampshire, Paris au mois d’aôut, France, 1965.       I introduced  Susan to her first husband. Without meeting either of them…   In 1965, when working as the London correspondent for the French movie magazine, Cinémonde, I was asked to reccommend some British blondes for Paris au mois d’aout –  about Charles Aznavour falling for a lovely Brit visiting Paris in August, when the city is (almost) empty of French and packed with holiday-makers and tourists.  I sent over some photos., adding one of Susan at the last second, although she was no favourite of mine. The rest is obvious. Naturally, she beat Julie, Veronica Carlson, Justine Lord, Edina Ronay and  Carol White and won the film! Plus the heart of realisateur Pierre Granier-Deferre.  (Well, she had learned French – or enough of it – in one week to play Patricia Seagrave). They married in 1967, had two children and divorced in 1974.   Without ever knowing I had a hand in their destiny. 
  9. Rosemary Forsythe, The War Lord, 1965.       Charlton Heston saw Julie in Billy Liar“She has a natural quality, she’s very striking and she can act… Since she shortly became an international star of considerable importance, this would’ve been bargain”at $35,000.  Excessive, said Universal – paying her considerably more within a twelvemonth for Fahrenheit 451.
  10. Kim Novak,The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, 1965.     First choice of director Terence Young once the Connerys proved unavailable.  He next chased Julie Andrews!!!

  11. Brigitte Bardot,  Viva Maria, 1965.        With both BB and Moreau and their agents being “very difficult,” auteur Louis Malle thought he would lose one or the other.   “I got fed up and suggested we switch to English and do it with…
  12. Jeanne Moeau,  Viva Maria, 1965.      “… with Shirley MacLaine and Julie Christie [as Maria 2/Moreau]. Or Julie [as Maria 1/BB] and Sarah Mile as aria 2. . I think it would’ve worked better. UA didn’t want to hear about it.

  13. Claudine Auger, Thunderball, 1965.
  14. Candice Bergen, The Group, 1966.           And so, a US demi-Christie was born…  Julie bypassed joining Sidney Lumet’s fine take on novelist Mary McCarthy’s group of  Vassar graduates.  In the alphabetical credits, Bergen won top billing over: Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman, Shirley Knight, Joanna Pettet, Mary-Robin Redd, Jessica Walter,. Kathleen Widdoes.  A first film for all except Knight and Walter.
  15. Candice Bergen, The Sand Pebbles, 1966.       Julie passed.   It was a guy’s picture. And the guy was Steve McQueen.
  16. Elvis Presley, Double Trouble, 1966.  Yes, you heard… In 1966, Julie Christie won an Oscar for Darling- and a Hollywood rôle  eventually playewd  by Elvis!  After a necessary re-spin, he  was a pelvisian singer touring a UK that was really Belgian footage with Joe Clauwers trotting around as Elvis, who stayed in Culver City. Two Elvises on the poster, but he was not the titular double (a  reprise of his 1963 Kissin’ Cousins), and the trouble was the  under-age heiress he fancied and the people trying to kill her as The King  sang such hot rock as Old McDonald Had A Farm…  Yes the utter rot had long since set in. Norman Rossington scored his own  double: the only actor to make films wih Elvis and…  The Beatles. 

  17. Barbara Parkins, The Valley of the Dolls, 1966. 
  18. Sharon Tate, The Valley of the Dolls, 1966.

  19. Susannah York, Man Of All Seasons, 1966.      Gentleman director Fred Zinnemann called – obviously. Julie was too busy – obviously.

  20. Vanessa Redgrave, Camelot, 1966. 
    For his last hurrah after 45 years running Warner Bros, head bro Jack L Warner – having learned his lesson the hard way by ruining My Fair Lady – wanted the original Broadway stars to reprise their 1960 roles of King Arthur and Guenevere. Richard Burton was not keen (or not for the money on offer).  Nor was Julie Andrews, certainly not after the way Jack Warner dumped her from My Fair Lady (even though that led to her Mary Poppins Oscar).  ).  “OK, we’ll take Liz, as well,” said Warner.  And why not their mate, Peter O’Toole, as Lancelot.  However, Elizabeth Taylor was not going where Burton was not going…  Julie refused  to work with Burton’s replacement, Richard Harris. They had not got on during Hawaii  which is where he first heard about the film and started pushing to be the king.  Top candidates to succeed Julie were  Julie Christie, Petula Clark, Marianne Faithfull, Audrey Hepburn(part of her My Fair Lady deal), Liza Minnelli, Elizabeth Taylor Jan Waters. Jack Warner separately considered the way cheaper Ann-Margret, Polly Bergen, Cher, Mitzi Gaynor and  Shirley Jones. Vanessa and  Franco Nero (as Lancelot) were lovers on and off the screen. They finally wed in  2006.

  21. Susannah York, Sebastian, 1967.      Partnering UK director Michael Powell, American TV producer Herb Brodkin knew what he wanted: “Get O’Toole.  Or that boy with the glasses [Michael Caine]. And get  Julie Christie.”  Impossible. She was stuck, Far From the Madding Crowd.
  22. Candice Bergen, The Day The Fish Came Out, Greece-UK-US, 1967.        Greek film-maker Michel Cacoyannis landed Bergen for $6,000 – her agent was unhappy  with the casting of Tom Courtenay.  Not to mention the, er, ’script’?
  23. Candice   Bergen, Vivre  pour  vivre/Live  For  Life, France-Italy,  1967.      Now it was Frenchman Claude Lelouch chasing her…   But Christie’s schedule interferred.   Candice got  $12,000  – and Yves Montand.
  24. Jane Fonda, Barefoot in the Park, 1967.      “It kinda turned me on when they mentioned Julie for my wife in the film, ” said Robert Redford, a great fan of Darling .  “I would have loved working with her.  But I see the wisdom of her refusal.  She just felt she couldn’t capture the right mood of a New York girl.” The Broadway version was directed by Mike Nicbhols, who thought about Julie for his first film...
  25. Katharine Ross, The  Graduate, 1967.
  26. Elaine May, Luv, 1967.      And guess who Elaine May  was  – Mike Nichols’ comedy partner!  Juiie passed for much the same reason as Barefoot. “I don’t  think I should try and play such  a girl – a real New Yorker  – when I’ve never lived there.  It’s a matter of the right attitude.” Not to mention that the girl was third banana to Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk.
  27. Audrey Hepburn, Two For The Road, 1967.    Asked to take over due to  Audrey’s  pregnancy. She then suffered a tragic miscarriage and  returned to the set.
  28. Faye Dunaway, The Thomas Crown Affair, 1967.     For the insurance agent investigating Tommy Crown, director Norman Jewison wanted Eva Marie Saint.  Too old, screamed the suits. OK, the director drew up a dreamy wish list:  Christier, Anouk Aimé,  Brigitte Bardot, Candice Bergen, Leslie Caron, Suzanne Pleshette, Vanessa Redgrave, Sharon Tate,  Raquel Welch… and his star, Steve McQueen, suggested testing Camilla Sparv.  “Yeah, well, I’ve just seen an early print of Bonnie and Clyde… and you’re gonna spend eight hours kissing her!”
  29. Candice  Bergen, The Magus, 1968.       Once again Candice took  over a Euro-pudding declined (with reason) by Julie.
  30. Mia Farrow, Rosemary’s Baby, 1968.    Sharon Tate’s director-husband. Roman Polanski  wanted the woman who Al Pacino called “the most poetic of all actresses.”

  31. Petula Clark, Goodbye Mr. Chips, 1969.       Announced as Burton’s co-star in 1966.  “If ever a movie star existed for whom stardom meant nothing, it was Julie,” commented Hollywood scenarist Robert Towne.   
  32. Jane Fonda, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, 1968.       A tough gig.  All that dancing.  Marathon, dance-until-you-drop dancing to earn some Depression era dollars. Even so, it was a helluva role and surprising that Christie – and Barbra Streisand – turned away from Gloria. In Julie’s case, Gloria’s surname explained all : Beatty. Julie was too busy with Warren Beatty. The film won an Oscar nod for Jane. Charlie Chaplin, Joseph Losey and two French auteurs Jean-Pierre Mocky (with Brigitte Bardot) and François Truffaut had all tried to film Horace McCoy’s book during ts 35 year long journey to the screen.
  33. Geneviève Bujold, Anne of a Thousand Days, 1968.     But why would Lara want Anne Boleyn…? Idem for Bonnie, Juliet, Cleopatra…? Faye Dunaway, Olivia Hussey, were equally disinterested. Plus Geraldine Chaplin and Charlotte Rampling. And, frankly, my dear, Elizabeth Taylor was too old (even when Richard Burton became  Henry VIII).. The BBC had offered the role to Jean Simmons in 1957 when trying to mount a TVersion in of Maxwell Anderson’s 1948 Broadway play.  
  34. Susannah York, The Killing of Sister George, 1968.     Julie wisely turned down Childie and the rare opportunity of having her naked left breast kissed by Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury or, as things turned out, Coral Browne. As the New York Times critic Renata Adler reported: “Miss Browne approaches the breast with a kind of scholarly interest, like an icthyologist finding something ambivalent that has drifted up on the beach.… It is the longest most unerotic, cash-conscious scene between a person and a breast there has ever been on screen, and outside a surgeon’s office.”
  35. Judy Geeson, Three Into Two Won’t Go, 1969.        Too old, really, for   the hitch-hiking teen  coming between  Rod Steiger and his  (real) wife, Claire Bloom.
  36. Sarah Miles, Ryan’s Daughter, 1969.  Vengeanece is mine!  Sarah had lost Lara to Julie in  David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago. Robert Bolt, who wrote both Lean films, advised him  against the “North country slut.”  Then he married her. Twice!).  This time she won when Juilie passed on  the wayward Rosey Ryan.
  37. Jennie Linden, A Severed Head, 1969.  More like a severed script. Novelist Iris Murdoch’s game of musical beds among London’s bourgeoisie had a weak script killing an impressive cast. (Brando had been invited to join). Ian Holm’s wine expert has a wife, Lee Remick, cheating with his best friend, Richard Attenborough’s shrink (already involved with Claire Bloom), plus a mistress (Jennie Linden) being stolen by his brother Clive Revill. It just might have worked better with producer Elliot Kastner’s dream team (in above order): Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor (of course), Marlon Brando (the psychologist was originally American), Anouk Aimée, Julie Christie, Robert Shaw. (He alsoconsidered Laurence Harvey and Leslie Caron as the shrink and his friend’s wife).
  38. Laura Antonelli, Les Mariés de l’an II (UK: The Scoundrel), France-Italy-Roumania, 1970.       By chance, realisateur Jean-Paul Rappeneau met Julie at a dinner. She was taken by the story, her French was “quasi impeccable,” they agreed to meet a fortnight later. She duly turned  up -with her lover. “Excellent script,” said Warren Beatty. “Forget Gaumont and  I’ll help you set it up in  Hollywood.” The hidden message, said Rappeneau, was obvious:. If you want Julie Christie, you have to take me, as well.
  39. Janet Suzman, Nicholas and Alexandra, 1971.   Janet Who?  Exactly.  And that was the problem with  Sam Spiegel’s latest epic.  Despite his track record, Columbia wouldn’t  give him enough money  to hire Julie Christie, Audrey Hepburn,  Grace Kelly or Liv Ullmann as the wife of Tsar Nicholas II, Russia’s last monarch… . not, though,  the last despot. Sam  finished up with almost a TVersion  with  co-dullards, Michael Jayston and Janet Suzman.  . No wonder Lindsay Anderson, Joseph L Mankiewicz and George Stevens (to name but three  dtrectors) refused the gig.

  40. Liza Minnelli, Cabaret, 1971.     
    First thought: Lovers  Julie Christie  as Sally  and  Warren Beatty as her gay friend, Brian..! Confirming the fact that director Bob Fosse was here to stay (alas not for long enough), Cabaret stems from the Weimar Berlin stories by Christopher Isherwood who based his main character (he is the other one!) Sally Bowles on the often naked British teenage libertine flapper-actress-singer-writer Jean Ross – later Communist, Spanish civil war correspondent and lover of jazz pianist (later actor) Peter van Eyck. On her father’s advice, Minnelli (rejected for the Broadway production!) channeled Louise Brooks as Sally.  Isherwood said Liza was too talented such a “mediocre” singer.  Never said what he thought of her ten rivals: Ursula Andress, Julie Andrews, Ann-Margret, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Jill Ireland (!), Glenda Jackson, Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand, Brenda Vaccaro and Natalie Wood.

  41. Susannah York, Images, 1972.       Over a decade, director Robert Altman attempted to set up his own Persona with Sandy Dennis in Vancouver, Julie in London or  Sophia in Milan.  He wound up   with a pregnant  Susannah in Dublin.  Julie made two other films for Altman who called her ”my incandescent, melancholy, strong, gold-hearted, sphinx-like, stainless steel little soldier.”

  42. Susan Anspach, Blume in Love, 1972.   Once again, the first thought for the divorce lawyer and his divorced wife was aimed at lovebirds Julie and Warren Beatty.  He pulled out and persuaded her to follow suit.  For good reasons. They were preparing their Shampoo, 1974, and Heaven Can Wait, 1977.  They missed a goodie, “what everybody is always hoping for fromm Neil Simon, “said critic Roger Ebert , a comedy that transcends its funny moments, that realises we laugh so we may not cry, and that finally is about real people with real desperations .” Title was a switcheroo of the old Bing Crosby song,  Love in Bloom
  43. Mia Farrow, The Great Gatsby, 1973.       Once he lost Ali MacGraw (to Steve McQueen), producer Robert Evans didn’t care who took over her Daisy Buchanan. Among the possibilities: Julie (with Warren Beatty as Gatz or directing or both),  Liza Minnelli, Cybill Shepherd, Tuesday Weld, Natalie Wood.  And The Final Five: Candice Bergen, Lois Chiles, Faye Dunaway, Katharine Ross and, of course, Farrow. (Lois, at least, won the other girl…  the “fast” Jordan Baker).
  44. Raquel Welch, The Three Musketeers, 1973.        If Raquel passed, Christie was director Richard Lester’s second choice for Constance Bonacieux. A bizarre idea for such an accident-prone comedy relief character (wed to Spike Milligan!). Plus a rollicking fight with Faye Dunaway. “Physical and brutal,” reported Faye.   Good for them.  But what a shame…  the idea of Juliie wed to Spike Milligan deserved to have been witnessed.
  45. Faye Dunaway, Chinatown, 1974.    The self-styled “fluke of our times” never did work for director Roman Polanski.  She was never happy about playing Americans.
  46. Candice Bergen, The Wind and The Lion, 1975.       For the second time only,  Candice got a  a good movie out of a Julie pass.
  47. Helen Morse, Caddie, 1975.       After open casting calls in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, six actresses were tested and Helen won her breakthrough.  Even though one distributor had made it clear: no deal unless the famous  Sydney barmaid, Catherine Beatrice “Caddie” Edmonds was portrayed by Christie… or Faye Dunaway.
  48. Laura Antonelli, L’Innocente, Italy-France, 1975.  Alain Delon rejected his beloved Luchino Visconti…  “I didn’t want to see Visconti diminished – in a wheelchair.  I loved and respected him too much for that.”  So no Delon and (ex-lover) Romy Schneider (a Visconti favourite… as, of course, was Delon).  No Ryan O’Neal and Julie Christie, either.  Nor Charlotte Rampling, another Visconti  favourite. He do with Giancarlo Giannini and Antonelli for what proved his 21st and final film. Folllowing a stroke, he died in 1976, ten months after the premiere at the ‘75 Cannes festival.
  49. Susannah York, The Rollicking Adventures of Eliza Fraser, Australia, 1976.        And another Aussie offer…  Just not rollicking enough – neither one!  Two version were planned and Julie (or Vanessa Redgrave)  was to be  the lead in Czech director  Jiri Weiss’ take on the aftermath of the  sinking of the Stirling Castle off Queensland  on  May 22, 1836. Aussie helmer Tim Burtsall rushed his version before the cameras… Too rushed, perhaps. One critic,Stephen Groenewegen   called it Carry On Convicts.
  50. Marthe Keller, Marathon Man, 1976.         Her Darling director John Scheslinger wanted a fourth movie together. Opposite a big fan called… Pacino.  She  wanted  to  escape the public eye.  “I’m beginning to feel like Lassie the wonder dog!”

  51. Susan Sarandon, Pretty Baby, 1977.     
    The plot sickens… A prostitute allows her 12-year-old  daughter’s virginity to be auctioned off in a brothel in the red-light Storyville district of  New Orleans, circa 1917. Elegant French director Louis Malle saw 29 possible pretty Violets – and another 19 actresses for her mother: Candice Bergen, Cher, Julie Christie, Glenn Close (passed), Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Farrah Fawcett (passed), Jane Fonda (with Jodie Foster as her daughter), Goldie Hawn (preferred Foul Play), Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Sylvia Kristel (Emmanuelle, herself),   Liza Minnelli, Cybil Shepherd, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver. Plus Joan Collins, who suggested Jasmine Maimone, her screen daughter in that year’s Magnum Cop, would  make a fine Violet. Louis  Malle and Sarandon became lovers and also made Atlantic City, 1980… the year he married Bergen until his 1995 death.  

  52. Sally Field, Heroes, 1977.       Phew! Julie did well to avoid what New York Times critic Vincent Canby would call “a frighteningly bad film because it could well be the definitive theatrical motion picture of the future” – ie, full of the TV “acting” of Field and Henry Winkler. “Television is creating a school of acting made up entirely of signals that evoke emotions less often than they label them,” added Canby, prophesying a day when actors are replaced by Disney-made robots. (You know it’s coming, except they’ll  be holograms). 

  53. Genevieve Bujold, Coma, 1977.   Both Julie and Farrah Fawcett were otherwise engaged and could not become Dr Susan Wheeler in the medical thriller.  The co-star and director were Michael Douglas and  the novelist Michael Crichton… who began  writing under the pseudonym of… Michael Douglas. 

  54. Susan Penhaligon, Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange), Holland-Belgium, 1977.  Dutch director Paul Verhoeven needed a few Brits for his true WWII tale. Julie and Charlotte Rampling obviously studied the scenario and could have written this 1997 comment by the New York Times critic Janet Maslin. “The film’s two main English characters, an officer (Edward Fox) and his trampy, ridiculous assistant (Susan Penhaligon), are so weirdly caricatured that they may make a great comic impression on American viewers.”

  55. Isabelle Adjani, The Driver, 1978.        She took lover Warren Beatty’s  advice about what Adjani called “a sexy soldier.” His  counsel is not absolute. He  persuaded Adjani to make made Ishar with him, 1987.  But then love is blind.

  56. Jacqueline Bisset, The Greek Tycoon, 1978.         Spurned a huge cheque to be “Jackie Kennedy” in a bad-egg-rotten idea  about “Aristotle Onassis.

  57. Helen Morse, Agatha, 1979.     Broken wrist.  Rollerskating.  Tres LA!  

  58. Thérèse Liotard, La mort en direct (UK/US: Death Watch), France-West Germany-UK, 1979.       For his first English language film (as sottish as his French output), realisateur Bertrand Tavernier wanted Julie to play Harvey Keitel’s ex-wife. She refused,  yet still played the role – by agreeing to dub Liotard’s poor English.  

  59. Isabelle Adjani, Possession, France-West Germany, 1980.  And another French offer… Polish (now Ukrainian) born director Andrzej Zulawski set his sights on Julie Christie and Sam Waterson as rhe constantly fighting couple – shot in such an over-the-top manner that  way that mades Ken Russell look likle a Disney hack. Adjani said Zulawski “makes you sink into his world of darkness and his demons. It is OK when you are young, because you are excited to go there. His movies are very special, but they totally focus on women, as if they are lilies. It was quite an amazing film… but I got bruised, inside out. No bones broken, but it was like, ‘How or why did I do that?”

  60. Lauren  Hutton, American Gigolo, 1980.        “She seemed the perfect  one,”  said the then-star, Travolta.  But not him for her.  She was more keen on working  with  Richard Gere.  But when  he was back in the picture, she was not.  They did get together for Power, 1986.   Jessica Lange found the script too dark (which was the idea) and Meryl Streep did not approve of the tone, either. (One ‘70s rumour had Julie and Lauren as lovers. Yeah, sure, in ya dreams!).

  61. Diane Keaton, Reds, 1981.       Warren Beatty had penned the role for her.  She’d accompanied him on a Moscow research mission and he  dedicated his dream  ambition: “For Jools.” She  maintained an American should play Jack Reed’s lover, Louise Bryant.  And it just so happened Beatty had a new lover…  American, too.   Quelle coincidence!

  62. Susannah York, Loophole, 1981.      Working with Albert Finney – yes.   In a bank caper – no!   She preferred the smaller, $1.9m anti-nuclear Memoriesof a  Survivor – for Finney’s company.   Plus working for scale in Gold Diggers, by an all woman team.

  63. Blair Brown, Continental Divide, 1981.         Prospective co-star Elliott Gould did not like it.  “Wonderful for her, cliché for us.”

  64. Charlotte Rampling, The Verdict, 1982.  Julie Christie and Sally Field passed on  Laura Fischerto Charlotte in the spiffing  courtroom (and much else besides) drama, majestically  created by Paul Newman and director Sidney Lumet.
  65. – Patricia Hodge, Betrayal, 1982. When Meryl Streep left for Sophie’s Choice  and director Mike Nichols for his own sanity, Christie was suggested with the playwright Harold Pinter directing and Nichols staying aboard as associate producer.  But she wasn’t sure… “This can be as important as Brief Encounter, ” said producer Sam Spiegel, perhaps forgetting that had been a David Lean film and as proved by all his  films since The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia,  Spiegel was lost without Lean.
  66. Joanna  Cassidy, Under Fire, l983.       “A mistake!   I felt it didn’t do justice to  female war correspondents,  it seemed more about a woman in love. On the other hand, it made valuable points about Nicaragua. In retrospect, I realise you have to compromise endlessly.”

  67. Greta Sacchi, Camille, TV, 1984.        Greta first exploded the previous year as Julie’s great aunt in Merchant-Ivory’s Heat and Dust.

  68. Meryl Streep, Out of Africa, 1985.
    “There were a whole mob of us in Hollywood that had thought about making this film for years,” recalled director Sydney Pollack.  “Originally,  it was going to be Orson Welles a hundred years ago, then  David Lean worked on it. Nicolas Roeg almost did it with Julie and Ryan O’Neal.  I couldn’t figure out how to get a screenplay out of it… It was the woman that attracted me. I was drawn to her whole African experience and how she’d been able to take all the tragedy in her life and digest it and use it in her writing. It transformed her into a real artist, and there was something very moving about that.”  Over the years, the role of Karen Blixen had been offered to everyone from Greta Garbo to Audrey Hepburn.  Lean and Roeg wanted their star – Julie from Lean’s 1964 Doctor Zhivagp and Roeg’s Don’t Look Now, 1973.  Pollack never imagined Streep could be sexy enough – until she turned up for their meet in a blouse cut low and a bra pushed-up. So she had “a farm in Off-rica.”   

  69. Glenda Jackson, The Rainbow, 1989.          A stage contract almost made Glenda unavailable to play the  mother of her Women In Love character in the DH  Lawrence prequel.  Julie said the part was too small.  “A  part’s  as  big as  you make  it,  lady,” snapped director Ken Russell.

  70. Willeke Van Amelrooy, Antonia’s Line, Holland-Belgium-UK, 1995.       Dutch auteur Marleen Gorris first planned to film her script twice  – in Dutch and English. The Dutch (only) version  won the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

  71. Diane Keaton, Town and Country, 1998.   Back in demand due to her Afterglow Oscar nomination, Julie spurned Warren Beatty. And so another of his exes joined another (Goldie Hawn) in what his pals called: Shampoo II.  So bad, he hasn’t made another film since.

  72. Nicole Kidman, Eyes Wide Shut, 1999.      First choice for Alice  when Stanley Kubrick first envisioned the Arthur Schnitzler novella to follow 2001 in 1968. Instead, it became his 13th and last feature: way out of touch with  the time it was made in. (Exactly like The Shining). And it killed him on March 7, 1999.

  73. Anne Reid, The Mother, 2002.      A granny falling for her daughter’s builder boyfriend!  The Money Men said Julie (or Charlotte Rampling) or no money.  Director Roger Michell, fuelled by the success of Notting Hill, said:  No. “The ‘fairy story’ of the film is of someone who is almost dead being brought back to life… She had to be a woman who not only didn’t have a sexual present but, for all intents and purposes, didn’t have a sexual past, either. If she was played by someone with the delicious baggage of Julie Christie, you’d think: ‘Well, I’d fuck her.  She’s 60-something but so what?  She’s Julie Christie!’ Whereas this is about someone who is almost invisible and she turns into a kind of 22-year-old.  We saw a few actresses but there was never any competition once we met Anne. Some part of her experience chimed particularly with this role and made her understand great chunks of it in a very intuitive and instinctive way.”

  74. Charlotte Rampling, I’ll Sleep When l’m Dead, 2002.  You could be forgiven for thinking it was the 60s when  you learn that Jacqueline  Bisset, Julie Christie and Vanessa Redgrave were up for what became Charlotte Rampling’s role of ex-gangster  Clive Owen’s main squeeze from back in the day.  

  75. Laura Morante, Across the River and Into the Trees, 2020.  
    It took almost 50 years to cross the river  and film the Ernest Hemjngway novelHis great pal, John Huston, scripted it in 1976  for another mate, Robert Mitchum, and Maria Schneider. Then, directors as diverse as Robert Altman, Martin Campbell, Joseph Losey and Valerio Zurlini promised us… Pierce Brosnan, Burt Lancaster or Roy Sheider as the veteran soldier suffering from two world wars… Audrey Hepburn, Greta Scacchi, Maria Valverde as his teenage inamorata, Renata (it means reborn)… and Julie Christie or Isabella Rossellini as her mother, the Contessa Contanini.   It took a woman, Spanish director Paula Ortiz, to finally get the job donewith Josh Hutcherson and The Undoing’sMatilda De Angelis. (And, to complete the circle, Danny Huston, John’s son, is Captain O’Neil). Based on his unconsummated infatuation for an 18-year-old, this was the first Hemingway novel to be derided by critics for repeating his usual themes: love, war, youth, age and facing death. Some called  it Death in Venice II.  Tennessee Williams championed it as “the saddest novel in the world about the saddest city… the best and most honest work that Hemingway has done.”


















 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  75