Richard Barthelmess

  1. Warner Baxter, 42nd Street, 1932.    Barthelmess, one of the 36 founding fathers  of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, was considered for the stage director delivering the famous (and much rewritten)  line:  “You’re going out there a youngster, but you’ve got to come back a star!”, Joan Blondell,  Ruth Chatterton, Glenda Farrell, Kay Francis , Frank McHugh, Warren William  and Loretta Young all missed the film that saved Warner  Bros from bankruptcy… and was still 13th on the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list 73 years later!

  2. Leslie Howard, Of Human Bondage, 1934.  When first deciding to film the W Somerset Maugham novlel, director John  Cromwell  thought about  Barthelmwess as the shy and disabled medical, student  abominably treated by a slattern waitress named Mildred. To help him make a decision, Michael Curtiz showed Cromwell his new Barthelmess film,  The Cabin in the Cotton – and Cromwell’s eyes moved from  the actor to  the support role played by, well, the perfect Mildred.. With one of her favourite signature lines: “Ah’d like t’ kiss ya, but ah just washed mah hair.” And that is how Bette Davis became a star.  Despite her boss, the head bro Jack Warner, insisting the role would harm, even destroy her career. But then he never knew how to makes the best use of Bette.


 Birth year: 1895Death year: 1963Other name: Casting Calls:  2