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rainingviolets21

Roles They Were Born To Play...But Didn't

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I can think of a couple....

 

Beatrice Lily in Mary Poppins instead of Julie Andrews

 

Doris Day in South Pacific instead of Mitzi Gayner

 

Carol Channing in Hello,Dolly instead of Barbara Streisand

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Yes Bill, I meant roles they were meant to play in the movies--I just thought of another one

how about Betty Grable as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls instead of Vivien Blaine?

why I chose Bea Lillie for Mary Poppins she looks like the illustrations in the book and wasn't meant to be pretty, and Miss Lillie had that fey quality that the book was all about. And how about the movie Anastasia, I would rather have seen Martita Hunt play the Dowager role instead of Helen Hayes.

 

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Monroe as Lola in "Damn Yankees"- yes Gwen Verdon is terrific- but if the devil was going to seduced men he would have used Monroe.

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Right on the money Marilyn would have been a perfect Lola--another role Miss Monroe woud have been perfect in I saw on the IMDb blog about All About Eve--I had the Idea that Marilyn would have been terrific in the part of Phoebe instead of Miss Casswell -at the end of the movie the girl who sneaks into Eve's hotel room and says she is a fan. At the time of this film Marilyn was one year younger than Barbara Bates, who played Phoebe,and could easily have played the part--this way she would have the fabulous multiple mirror shot ending all to herself ~

 

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I certainly agree with Canadian Ken's choice for Mrs. Anna In the King and I ---Maureen O'Hara

would have been perfect--she had a clear soprano voice and didn't have to be dubbed by Marni Nixon the way Deborah Kerr was. And I always thought Natalie Wood wrong for West Side Story

again dubbed by Marni Nixon--I always think a visitor from the future listening to the sound track from The King And I then West Side Story then My Fair Lady would wonder why all three ladies sound so much alike { they are all three leads dubbed by Marni Nixon}.

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Gene Kelly should've played Pal Joey, especially since he created the role on Broadway. Columbia, which owned the rights to the Rodgers & Hart musical wanted him years before the Sinatra version was made in the fifties, but MGM wouldn't loan him out after Cover Girl. Though I like Frank Sinatra's beautiful singing, his appeal on screen can sometimes be quite elusive, as it was in this film. I just thought that Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak could definitely have done better than this guy. Kelly, however, could play a user who was also an appealing weasel quite convincingly.

 

I know it goes beyond the bounds of this thread, but it would have been lovely to see Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters recreate the Broadway show composed by Jerry Herman, Mack and Mabel on screen, though by that time, Hollywood had apparently forgotten how to make a musical.

 

I know it probably won't happen, but Hugh Jackman, really should do a movie musical. Jackman, of course, is probably best known for the X-Men movies, but as Curley in the British production of "Oklahoma" and the biographical show about Peter Allen, "The Boy From Oz", the guy was dazzling. Dazzling, but born about 50 years too late.

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I have the Mack and Mabel album from years ago - love Bernadette Peters - Ilove the lines from the song---SO WHO NEEDS ROSES, AND STUFF LIKE THAT? SO WHO WANTS CHOCOLATES? THEY MAKE ME FAT.

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Martita Hunt would have been superb in the Hayes role. I love Martita in anything. I've also read that one Hedy Lamarr was considered for the Bergman lead role but refused to audition. Sad face here.

 

I would have loved to see Ethel Merman play Mama Rose in the movie Gypsy as i heard she was terrific on broadway.

 

Betty Grable in Guys And Dolls was a great idea. Betty was only the top female box office star in 1942, 1944, and 1946 through 1952 until Norma Jean came along.

 

And how about a musical with both Grable and Hayworth in it fighting over Tyrone Power. Betty and Rita were the top pin-ups during WW2.

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Deanna Durbin as Christine DuBois in The Phantom of the Opera (1943.) Deanna would have been simply gorgeous in this high budget Technicolor film, and her glorious singing voice and sparkling personality...

Well, it's a real shame it didn't happen.

By 1943, Miss Durbin was no longer a little girl with a remarkable voice, but a young woman with a voice that was remarkable, maturing and trained. Although I've read that Deanna refused the role of Christine, I think "Phantom" would have been a better vehicle for her than some of her other Universal clunkers.

I also regret that we were deprived of hearing Deanna sing with Nelson Eddy in "Phantom."

I cannot understand why Universal failed to pair the adult Deanna with leading men who could sing. I believe that, had she been employed at any other studio, she would during her career have been made part of a singing "team" or -- at the very least -- paired with a musical male co-star (How 'bout a pianist?) who could have played off and complemented her tremendous talent. The synergy might have been awesome.

 

Message was edited by: Genevieveannabelle

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Deanna Durbin was Universal's biggest box office draw in the 1940's --they knew her name alone could carry a movie, so maybe thats why they never paired her with another major star. There

was a rumor ciculating around Hollywood in the forties, that after that short she did with Judy Garland when they played sisters singing in the bandstand in the park, there was a lack of communication and they signed the wrong girl, and the contract was meant for Durbin instead of Garland.~

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Hi Raining Violets,

 

Like you, it's always been my understanding that Universal believed Deanna was an important-enough star to stand on her own. I'm not in any way minimizing her talent or star power or her value to the studio. (Didn't she single-handedly save Universal from complete financial ruin?)

 

I'm just of the opinion that her film career would have been better served, and her movies more interesting, had she been paired -- at least some of the time -- with a leading man who complemented her musically.

 

The 1943 Phantom of the Opera was certainly not the greatest picture ever made, and even Deanna Durbin's presence could not overcome the weaknesses in the script, but I think both the film and Durbin's career would have been enriched had she taken on the role of Christine.

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Universal envisioned Deanna starring in a remake of Phantom of the Opera practically from the day she was signed by the studio. A Dec. 1936 New York Times article, published before Three Smart Girls was released (but already predicting superstardom for Deanna based on the film's previews) mentions it as a possible film project for her in the near future.

 

By 1942/43, Deanna was attempting to break away from her Girl Next Door image and trying to take on more mature roles. She spent several months in 1942 on suspension while this matter was being ironed out between her and Universal. There had also reportedly been a good deal of protest from her fans at the prospect of her being cast in a "horror" film, so, in addition to Deanna's decision not to take on the role of "Christine Dubois," Universal may have been reluctant to cast her in the part. Personally, I don't think it would have been her greatest role, though I would have enjoyed hearing her sing with Nelson Eddy.

 

Of roles Deanna was "born to play" but ultimately didn't some I think she would have been terrific in include: "Laurey" in Oklahoma!, "Eliza Doolittle" in My Fair Lady, "Fiona" in Brigadoon, "Venus" in One Touch of Venus and "Mimi" in a filmed version of Puccini's La Boheme. These were all projects for which she was under serious consideration at one time or another (in the case of Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady for the Original Broadway productions), but, regrettably, they didn't pan out.

 

Also, in reference to an earlier comment made about Deanna's appearance in MGM's Every Sunday short, Garland and Durbin did not play "sisters" but best friends. By the time the short was produced in July 1936, she was no longer under contract to MGM, having been signed by Universal in mid-June. There was, however, a clause in her MGM contract which allowed the studio to call on her services for up to 60 days following its' termination providing she wasn't making a film at her new studio (or in the middle of some other professional project such as a concert tour, stage production, etc.)

 

As production on Three Smart Girls was not scheduled to begin until September, Deanna found herself back on the MGM lot making this short with Judy. It is therefore a mistake to believe that the short was produced by MGM to help the studio decide which of its' two talented teen vocalists to retain under contract as Durbin was already employed by another studio. Moreover, in light of Deanna's bitter disappointment at being dropped by MGM, Universal casting director Rufus LeMaire saw to it that her Universal contract contained a clause forbidding Universal from dropping her until she had appeared in at least one feature film for the company.

 

This would also explain Judy's more prominent role in the short, as she was, by then, under contract to MGM, and it is unlikely Metro would have given greater screen footage to a contract player from a rival studio. Ironically, when Every Sunday went into general release in late 1936/early 1937, Deanna Durbin, with both her spectacular success on Eddie Cantor's Texaco Town radio show and star-making screen debut in Three Smart Girls behind her, was much more prominently featured in advertising for the short than the gifted but as yet unproven, Judy Garland.

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Other than Broadway stars recreating their roles in films, Michael Crawford in Phantom, Julie Andrews in My Fair Lady and Camelot, Patti LuPone in Evita, Carol Channing in Dolly, Angela Lansbury in Mame, Ethel Merman in Gypsy, etc., here are a few people who I would have liked to have seen in film versions, over those that did them -

 

 

Doris Day and Yves Montand in South Pacific

Cary Grant and Shirley Jones in My Fair Lady

Vic Damone and Jane Powell in Brigadoon

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BlueBonnie, glad to see I am not Vic Damone's only fan, he had the best pipes in the business

and his version of Stranger in Paradise, is so thrilling it sends chills down my spine, I have all his records...

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Hi,

 

They made four movies together : RICH,YOUNG, AND PRETTY, ATHENA, DEEP IN MY HEART, and HIT THE DECK.

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