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20th August

Posted by Rob Brady on

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The character of Maria Vargas is said to be based on Rita Hayworth, who was actually offered the part. Hayworth was a Latina who later married a prince, Prince Aly Khan. However, some elements were taken from Ava Gardner's life as well. The stormy relationship between Maria and tycoon movie producer Kirk Edwards (Warren Stevens) is based on Gardner's own relationship with billionaire film producer Howard Hughes.

Come Dance with Me! (1959)

According to her book "Initials B.B", Brigitte Bardot knew she was pregnant just before the filming began, but she did not tell it when questioned by the doctor of the insurance company avoiding the cancellation of the movie.

Fox considered Dean Jagger, Franchot Tone, Gene Kelly and Alan Ladd before settling on Gregory Peck for his breakthrough role.

The novel, published by Penguin Books, sold over a million copies by 1981. It's been translated into several languages. John Wyndham wrote the novel in 1951; by 1981 it had been reprinted 34 times.

Navajo Joe (1966)

Burt Reynolds only agreed to make this film because he was under the impression that Sergio Leone would be directing. When he found out it was Sergio Corbucci he tried to pull out, but the contracts had already been signed and it was too late.
One of Quentin Tarantino's Top Twenty favorite spaghetti westerns.

Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Not only does Kirk Douglas consider this his favorite picture, but his son Michael considers it his father's best work, too. Douglas also flouted convention, and caution, at the time, by performing his own stunts in the movie.

Taxi (1931)

James Cagney had to be taught how to drive for the movie Taxi! Since he was a New Yorker without much need to drive in the 1930s, he had not learned to drive up until that point.

Tap Roots (1948)

Loosely based on the true-life story of Newton Knight, a farmer who tried to secede Jones County from Mississippi.

Anthony Perkins had special contact lenses made that he could barely see through, so he'd actually be nearly blind while filming his scenes. He popped the lenses in just prior to filming and was led onto the set by a crew member.

Away All Boats (1956)

The studio got the U.S. Navy's permission to join two hundred ships and ten thousand men in the Virgin Islands to film a three-day assault on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Some of the footage was included in this movie. The cast and crew boarded in St. Thomas and filmed aboard the U.S.S. Randall (renamed the "Belinda" in this movie). The crew shot deck and aerial photography of the Navy's maneuvers. Director Joseph Pevney hired twenty-five Marines as extras for this movie.

Mara Maru (1952)

Every day during filming, Errol Flynn would drive on the Warner Bros. lot wearing a windbreaker with no shirt, slacks with no underwear and shoes with no socks. The wardrobe people would provide him with a shirt, underwear and socks, and at the end of the day's filming he would wear them home. The next day he would arrive on the lot, again with no shirt, underwear or socks, and again he would be supplied those items by wardrobe. Co-star Paul Picerni noticed it after several days, and asked Flynn what he did with all the shirts, socks and underwear he'd accumulated after several weeks of filming. Flynn replied that he threw them in a closet when he got home. Picerni asked, "But what do you do with them?" Flynn replied, "Nothing. It just gives me pleasure to steal from [Jack L. Warner].

Bedtime Story (1964)

Marlon Brando said that he found co-star David Niven so funny, he often broke into uncontrollable laughter during filming, thus ruining many takes. It was so bad that he would have to force himself not to look Niven in the eye during filming.

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Sir Sean Connery's favorite movie role.
Christopher Plummer (Rudyard Kipling) would have been dismissed early on by the producers, but for Sir Sean Connery's insistence that Plummer stay. Connery had even threatened to abandon the production if Plummer were not retained. The producers eventually relented.

Flame Over India (1959)

The old railway seen in this film was also used in Red Sun (1971), The Long Duel (1967) and Seven Guns for the MacGregors (1966).
It has been mentioned in a number of film critic publications that this was a British version of a Western.

49th Parallel (1941)

On a trip home to Wales, Niall MacGinnis was stopped and searched by police. He was arrested as a German spy when the police found a photo in his wallet of MacGinnis dressed in a German sailor's uniform, standing next to what appeared to be a U-boat. In fact, it was a publicity photo from MacGinnis' role in this movie. MacGinnis spent several days in jail before documents were sent from London verifying that he had been in the movie.

They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

In real life, Custer and Libby had an extremely passionate relationship. Their correspondence shows pages filled with double entendres written by both Custer and Libby. In one such letter, Libby wrote of wanting to "sit tomboy (astride) for a ride" and of "a soft place on somebody's carpet." Custer's letters were filled with promises of where he would kiss Libby if he were with her. He even mentioned how desperate he was to "for a ride" but that he wasn't "fond of strange horses" so would just have to wait til he got home. Custer eventually had to tell Libby to tone it down after some of his letters were stolen by the Confederate Army. Decorum for an officer was very important and he didn't want his wife to be seen as anything other than a lady.
Stewart wore the same hat in all the Westerns he made with director Anthony Mann and this was the last of James Stewart's Western collaborations with Director Anthony Mann

After the huge success of The Dirty Dozen (1967), MGM asked Robert Aldrich to make another movie for them, preferably along similar lines. Aldrich showed them a draft of the script for this movie, and the company came up with a provisional budget of 10.1 million dollars, which seemed to them a little steep. Aldrich, in the meantime, had become immensely rich from his percentage of the profits for The Dirty Dozen (1967), and had used the money to buy his own studio, and thus have more control over his movies. Rather than argue with MGM, he simply made this movie for his own company instead, and, as he was proud to tell interviewers, for the much smaller budget of six million dollars.

If Winter Comes (1947)

Twenty-two-year-old Dame Angela Lansbury wanted the sympathetic part of the waif-like village girl Effie, but was forced to play Mabel, the thirty-five-year-old, shrewish wife of fifty-year-old Walter Pidgeon. This brought home to Lansbury that she would never be a star player at MGM. The role of Effie went to Janet Leigh, Lansbury's future The Manchurian Candidate (1962) co-star. In that movie, Lansbury again played an unsympathetic older woman, but would cite the part of Mrs. Iselin as her favorite movie role.

Run of the Arrow (1957)

At the time of its release, many critics commented favorably on director Samuel Fuller's "artistic" decision to concentrate on the feet of the participants in the actual "run of the arrow" rather than showing them in their entirety. In an interview, Fuller said there was a very simple reason for his decision: star Rod Steiger had badly sprained his ankle just before the scene was to be shot and wasn't able to walk, let alone run, so Fuller got one of the Indian extras who was built somewhat like Steiger to run in his place, which is why he shot only feet instead of close-ups or medium shots.

The Ride Back (1957)

The film was based on a story originally written for the radio version of "Gunsmoke" in 1952, which also starred William Conrad at the time.
The Rains Came (1939)
This movie was a monumental undertaking for 20th Century-Fox. Of the 100 shooting days, almost half were spent filming the man-made rain and floods, for which 33 million gallons of water were used.

The Red Beret (1953)

The attack on the German radar station, "Operation Pegasus", is based on an actual event code named "Operation Biting", which took place on the night of 27th/28th February 1942 near the Northern French village of Bruneval.