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Two at once


Arturo
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THNx showing of TOO MANY HUSBANDS and MY FAVORITE WIFE, back to back, got me thinking of other times when two competing movies with the same or similar stories were released close.to each other. The only ones that came to mind were the two versions of HARLOW, which starred Carroll Baker and Carol Lynsey ,from 1965. Can anyone think of other examples of this?

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THNx showing of TOO MANY HUSBANDS and MY FAVORITE WIFE, back to back, got me thinking of other times when two competing movies with the same or similar stories were released close.to each other. The only ones that came to mind were the two versions of HARLOW, which starred Carroll Baker and Carol Lynsey ,from 1965. Can anyone think of other examples of this?

There was SUPPOSED to be another rendering of the Spartacus story produced in 1959-1960 (starring Yul Brynner---the proposed title escapes me at the moment---I believe it was THE GLADIATORS), but it died in the wake of Douglas' energetic onslaught.

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There was SUPPOSED to be another rendering of the Spartacus story produced in 1959-1960 (starring Yul Brynner---the proposed title escapes me at the moment---I believe it was THE GLADIATORS), but it died in the wake of Douglas' energetic onslaught.

 

The Gladiators, based on a 1930 novel by Arthur Koestler (Spartacus was published in 1951). The script for the former was by the blacklisted Abe Polonsky, (while the latter was scripted by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo). Martin Ritt was to have been the director.

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And then there was always "Dr. Strangelove" and "Fail-Safe".

 

(...yep, '64 was GREAT year for The Bomb)

 

I believe they were both ready for release in late '63, but were delayed due to the Kennedy assassination.

 

The fascinating thing is that Kubrick was somehow able to talk Columbia (studio of both films) into releasing Strangelove first. From an overall  commercial perspective, this seems completely illogical to me -- release the drama first, then let people laugh at the subject later. But Kubrick somehow got his way, dooming the commercial prospects of Fail-Safe. I mean who would want to watch Henry Fond grimly negotiating on the hot line after hearing Peter Sellers as Presidet Merkin Muffley?

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Perhaps only semi-relevant, but it's always intrigued me that in 1964 James Garner made not one but two films whose plots hinge on the fact that D-Day was postponed by 24 hours.

 

Yep, and with it taking only 12 MORE hours than THAT for Garner to figure out that he's being had! ;)

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Well, dark, it seems we're on the same page as far as those two movies go.  You're a daisy!

 

And even though I like DENNID QUAID as an actor, I thought VAL KILMER'S "Doc Holiday" was a lot better. ( "I have TWO guns.  One for EACH of you.")

 

Sepiatone

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Dishonored starring Marlene Dietrich and Mata Hari starring Greta Garbo came out around the same time and both had more or less the same plot--seductive femme fatale/spy brought low by love and executed. 

 

The Scarlet Empress with Dietrich and The Rise of Catherine the Great  with Elisabeth Bergnerboth fictionalized accounts of the life of the Russian Queen Catherine II (in the case of Empress, extremely fictionalized), also came out pretty close together.

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1950's CRISIS with Cary Grant and STATE SECRET with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. both concern surgeons whose life hangs in the balance depending on the outcome of an operation upon a dictator.

 

 

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VOLCANO and DANTE'S PEAK came out within two months of each other in 1997.

 

OK, there were 17 months between the 1994 release of TRIAL BY JURY and the 1996 release of THE JUROR - hardly long enough for anyone to forget the similarities.

 

THE ABYSS, LEVIATHAN and DEEPSTAR SIX all came out in short order in 1989.

 

There were two chain gang movies within two months of each other in 1932 - HELL'S HIGHWAY and I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG. You can spot Charles Middleton in both of them.

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And what about 1984, when there were three at once?

 

First, we had PLACES IN THE HEART starring Sally Field, which hit screens on September 21st. A week later on September 28th, it was Jessica Lange's turn in COUNTRY.  Then, it was Sissy Spacek in THE RIVER, released on December 19th. 

 

According to an article on wiki, all three films "shared the themes of a family's devotion to their farm, the destructive force of nature, an unsympathetic bureaucracy and a determined woman who binds her family together."

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I don't know if TV movies count, but there were two Liberace movies in 1988: "Liberace" with Andrew Robinson and Rue McClanahan and "Liberace: Behind the Music" with Victor Garber and Maureen Stapleton. At one time there were two Janis Joplin biopics in the works, one with rights to the music and one without, but neither got made. Someone already mentioned "Capote" and "Infamous"; I just want to add that "Infamous" really suffered in that case by being second because Toby Jones totally nailed it, but the movie is mostly unknown now. And Toby Jones just reminded me that there were the two Hitchcock films recently, "The Girl" for HBO and the theatrical "Hitchcock" with Anthony Hopkins, one dealing with the making of "The Birds" and one the making of "Psycho".

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I don't know if TV movies count, but

 

... if they do, that will bring us to the all time champ:

 

Amy Fisher: My Story -- 28 December 1992

 

The Amy Fisher Story -- 3 January 1993

 

Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story -- 3 January 1993

 

Yes, there were not two but three TV-movies about the same now-forgotten tabloid scandal, all broadcast within one week, including two shown opposite each other.

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... if they do, that will bring us to the all time champ:

 

Amy Fisher: My Story -- 28 December 1992

 

The Amy Fisher Story -- 3 January 1993

 

Casualties of Love: The Long Island Lolita Story -- 3 January 1993

 

Yes, there were not two but three TV-movies about the same now-forgotten tabloid scandal, all broadcast within one week, including two shown opposite each other.

Well, I still remember the name "Joey Buttafucco". I may have forgotten how to spell it.

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Well, I still remember the name "Joey Buttafucco". I may have forgotten how to spell it.

 

Yeah, well, what I find truly amazing here is that this new word filter around here didn't do THIS ---->**********  to Joey's last name!!!!

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