Classic Film : Miscastings in classic films

Miscastings in classic films

There are quite a few ones, of course.

I have four nominations:

1. José Ferrer as Major Geoffrey Stringer, Royal Marines, in The Cockleshell Heroes (1955). Not British at all. Fortunately, Trevor Howard as Captain Hugh Thompson, RM, was there to help him... and save the film!




Major Stringer: Well, now, it's time for me to listen to you for a change.

Captain Thompson: What do you mean by that?

Major Stringer: I mean, let me have it. What did I do wrong?

Captain Thompson: You did everything wrong.


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2. Omar Sharif as Major Grau in The Night of the Generals (1967). Too Egyptian (for a German Army officer in the Second World War).

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3. The Greatest Classic Ever Seen: John Wayne as the Roman Centurion at the Crucifixion in The Greatest Story Ever Told(1965).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj8wDtqbiYs

Too American. (And he didn't even speak good Latin).

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4. Alain Delon as Gotch 'Gauche' Kink (sic) in Soleil Rouge ('Red Sun') (1971). Too cute and too handsome. Anyway, he wouldn't have been a good Roman centurion either, saying in French or in English with a French accent: "Truly, this man was the son of God".

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067770/mediaviewer/rm3164741376

Your nominations??



🔺


Re: Miscastings in classic films

Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel in The Duellists. Too American. Yet Stacy Keach did the narration and he was one Yankee not out of place in a British cast - i.e. Conduct Unbecoming.


"He was a poet, a scholar and a mighty warrior."

Miscastings in classic films

Gary Cooper in THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO (1938)

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Keach had studied under a couple of British theatrical actors back in the day, probably helped him to pull it off better.


Susan Hayward as a red-haired 'Tartar' princess in The Conqueror. I don't want to belabor the obvious in that film, and Aloysius has already given Marion his due in the post above.


50 Is The New Cutoff Age.

Re: Miscastings in classic films


Susan Hayward as a red-haired 'Tartar' princess in The Conqueror


Matching The Duke as Temujin/Genghis Khan, no less.

Miscast, I agree, but I still find Susan very attractive as a "Tartar" princess, especially when she dances and kisses!

And poor woman: she was systematicaly abused and mistreated by everyone. A very macho and Mongol movie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nazoHcrlic

Loved and desired as well: she was a Tartar princess after all: Lady Bo (Bortai)


Anyway, God and the USAF punished all of them very cruelly for their sins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHt0Pb8rkXU
Look at the sky and those mountains. Can you smell the radioactivity? Poor people.

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I would have liked to include Marion as German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich in 'The Sea Chase' (1955), but I didnt want to exceed four "nominations" on the OP.




Re: Miscastings in classic films


Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel in The Duellists.

I agree. The film has such wonderful cinematography, sets, and costumes. But Carradine and Keitel simply can't play the parts. I looked forward to seeing it for many years and came away keenly disappointed.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Tony Curtis as a Cossack in Taras Bulba (1962).

jj

Re: Miscastings in classic films


Tony Curtis as a Cossack in Taras Bulba (1962).


Yes. Too cute. Four years earlier he was a half-English half-Viking slave (but a Royal slave, after all) in 'The Vikings' . Too cute again, even with Janet Leigh.


Re: Miscastings in classic films

First National's "The Hatchet Man" (1931-2) was typical pre-code Warner's gritty fare.

But, starring and casting Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young as native Chinese was a real stretch.

It was directed by William A. Wellman, so you know he did the best with what he had to work with.

E pluribus unum

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Leslie Howard in GONE WITH THE WIND.

Edward G. Robinson in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

I agree that Leslie Howard wasn't a good fit in GWTW, but I don't think EG Robinson was miscast in The Ten Commandments.

The wealthy Hebrew Dathan was the definition of slimy and smarmy, and Robinson could do slimy and smarmy with the best of them. I think he was perfect for the role.


Most of my friends who have inferiority complexes are absolutely right.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Robinson's Lower East Side accent was out of place in ancient Egypt, though. Billy Crystal used to do a funny parody of E. G. in this movie.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Is it possible to see that on YouTube?

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Thank you.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Agreed. In the first rushes C.B De Mille was confused by what Robinson was doing with the role, but as the black Humor Robinson was injecting into Dathan emerged De Mille was delighted.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Brando in "The Missouri Breaks". If this movie is meant to be a satire, then Brando is well cast and everyone else is miscast. Brando is supposed to be a regulator, which is a fancy word for a hitman. Brando's character isn't the typical hired gun who kills his targets face to face. He's supposed to be undercover, killing people from a distance. You'd think that an obese man dressed like a granny and speaking with an Irish accent would attract attention, but no one ever asks what this fat cross dresser is doing here. Mind you this was a time and place when Theodore Roosevelt was called four eyes merely for wearing eyeglasses.

Even if Brando's character dressed and spoke like a westerner, his huge bulk would draw attention at a time when obesity was mostly reserved for the rich or politicians.

I wonder if everyone making the movie was too intimidated by Brando's aura to ask him where he was going with this bizarre characterization.

The only saving grace was that it was funny to watch Brando goof on Hollywood.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Even Bette herself would disagree with me, but I always disliked Paul Henreid as the leading man in "Now, Voyager". I just can't see anything attractive nor romantic about him.

I'm aware that Bette wasn't the conventional leading lady, either, but there was poetry and so much expression in her unconventionally gorgeous face.


Animal crackers in my soup
Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop


Re: Miscastings in classic films

Hmmm. I always thought Henreid was dreamy but Bette would NOT necessarily disagree with you; she said on The Dick Cavett Show that she felt her character should have ended up with Claude Raines' Dr. Jaqauith, that the Henreid character was too weak. But that is more to do with the character and not the actor.

I told you a million times not to talk to me when I'm doing my lashes!

Two for Bogie

As an Irish horse trainer in Dark Victory
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKcifDB80nA

As a Mexican bad guy in Virginia City
I'd love to show him changing his "accent" from faux-Mexican to New York heavy, literally in mid-sentence, but I can't find a video of that.

.
Mr Smith: Like the rose trampled on the ground, you took the fall

Re: Two for Bogie

"I'd love to show him changing his "accent" from faux-Mexican to New York heavy, literally in mid-sentence, but I can't find a video of that."

With as talented an actor as Bogart, it's surprising that the director, film editor, or somebody would not have ordered a re-filming of that scene.

I don't know how effective post-production was at time of filming. Possibly a re-read of dialogue in post was considered "too expensive" for the budget by the studio.

E pluribus unum

My guess

> With as talented an actor as Bogart, it's surprising that the director,
> film editor, or somebody would not have ordered a re-filming of that scene

It wasn't just "that scene" -- Bogart used this "accent" in pretty much all of his scenes. It was ludicrous, as the character he portrayed could just as easily have been an eastern bad guy as a Mexican one. It seems as if the studio was deliberately putting him into an embarrassing role in order to keep him in his place. It's no wonder that stars like Bogie eventually rebelled against the studio system.

.
Mr Smith: Like the rose trampled on the ground, you took the fall

Re: Two for Bogie


As a Mexican bad guy in Virginia City


Neither Bogart nor James Cagney, two modern urban NYC guys, had any business going anywhere near a western. I like to think that they had no choice when they were assigned those roles.

Here's Cagney AND Bogie (as Whip McCord) from "The Oklahoma Kid." 'Nuff said.

https://crackedrearviewer.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/ok3.jpg

mf

“I know that, in spite of the poets, youth is not the happiest season"

Here's more

> Here's Cagney AND Bogie (as Whip McCord) from "The Oklahoma Kid."

If you've ever wanted to know what Cagney would look like if he dressed up as a cowboy for a costume party, watch this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1ofLwwsfOo
Bogart doesn't even attempt a western accent, but at least he LOOKS like a shady character. Cagney is a joke.

.
Mr Smith: Like the rose trampled on the ground, you took the fall

Re: Here's more

LOL, I've never seen the film, but that clip tells it all. Even if you didn't know either Bogie or Cagney from their other, indelible, roles these two look about as 'Western' as a bagel and lox. Cagney even looks as if he's obviously wearing makeup!

50 Is The New Cutoff Age.

Re: Two for Bogie


As an Irish horse trainer in Dark Victory


Interestingly though, bad as his accent was, I've always found him at his sexiest in that role (as was Davis, as well).

50 Is The New Cutoff Age.

"THE FIFTY WORST FILMS EVER MADE"

One of the entries in this book by Michael and Harry Medved is 1938's SWING YOUR LADY, a B movie starring Humphrey Bogart.
This book says the the best thing about this film was "it did no permanent damage to Bogie's career."

Thank goodness for that!

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Robert Taylor in Billy the Kid--too old, although Taylor was at home in the saddle.

Lon Chaney Jr. in Son of Dracula--never seemed like a European vampire

Spencer Tracy as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--way too American and also too old for the part as scripted.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Visiting the set of DJ&MH, author Somerset Maughm watched Tracy play a scene, and then asked someone, "Who is he now: Jekyll or Hyde?"

Re: Miscastings in classic films

The "someone" was Maugham's close friend, George Cukor.

Re: Miscastings in classic films


Robert Taylor in Billy the Kid--too old, although Taylor was at home in the saddle.


Taylor was 30 when he played Bonney, who was just shy of 22 when he died. Not a terrible age difference, considering that almost all performers are always playing younger than their true age.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Chaney's somewhat miscast as Larry Talbot in The Wolfman, IMO--yes he's iconic in the part, but come on--this big lug, with his American accent, the son of soul-of-British-suavity Claude Rains? You have to admit that was a bit of a stretch.

50 Is The New Cutoff Age.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

I'm in the minority in liking Big Lon as Alucard. It was offbeat casting, fuh sure, and not for all tastes. Still, he was strong in the part and brought real physical menace to his scenes due to his size and strength. The film also has so much going for it as to make it easy for me to take Chaney in the lead.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Fred MacMurray and Joan Crawford as an Oxford don and his English wife in 1943s Above Suspicion.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Frances Myles was "an English wife" only in the source novel. In the screenplay, the character was changed to the Boston-born American bride of the Oxford don, but the casting is awkward, anyway.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

1, Henry Fonda in War and Peace. One of the quintessential American actors as a Russian literary hero? Add the fact that Fonda was 30 years older than Pierre was when the novel started.

2. John Wayne in The Conqueror. "You Khwarazmian hordes are dead where you stand, Pilgrims". This was like when you friend gets too drunk and starts throwing up in his refrigerator. Sure, its funny at first, but someone should have stepped in and put a stop to it.

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief

Re: Miscastings in classic films

I agree about Fonda, but at least I read somewhere that he was the only one who bothered to read the novel. Another advantage was that thoughtful and worried expression he had, especially those years—'The Wrong Man' (1956), '12 Angry Men' (1957). But he was miscast, no doubt.

As for John Wayne in 'The Conqueror', see a post on this thread, above.



Re: Miscastings in classic films

Yeah, I did miss The Conqueror. My bad. I wish I had missed the movie.

One role I've seen mentioned before is Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's, but that role was so bad it wouldn't have mattered who played it.


There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Not only was Mickey Rooney miscast, the Japanese Embassy might have complained...


Re: Miscastings in classic films


I wish I had missed the movie.


That's probably what Wayne, Hayward, Armendáriz and many others thought.

But don't worry, there isn't any radioactive danger just watching it...




Re: Miscastings in classic films

Glen Campbell as the Texas Ranger in True Grit.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

No doubt that we all love Jimmy Stewart, but I thought he was just too old to play Linus Rawlings in HOW THE WEST WAS WON, and he was even older than his future father-in-law, played by Karl Malden. I understand that part was originally intended for Gary Cooper (an even older actor), but Coop passed away shortly before filming began.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Claude Rains (as a New York police Detective) in They Made me a Criminal

I don't think there's anything extraordinary about me except this passion for the truth.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

My personal favorite, Mr. Smiley!

You could also say Rains was miscast as the shrewd Southern lawyer in They Won't Forget, but he was still damned great in that film.

50 Is The New Cutoff Age.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Add young Charles Lindbergh in Billy Wilder's misbegotten The Spirit of St. Louis to the list of roles in which Stewart was badly miscast.

Re: Miscastings in classic films

I actually like very much the Linus Rawlings character as played by James Stewart, and I don't think he was—or looked—so old. Stewart was 53 years old, a relatively old age in the 1820s, but certainly not in the 1960s. Besides, he looked much younger in the film. Maybe not the fictional and theoretical 28, but certainly much younger than 53.

He fell in love with Eve Prescott/Carroll Baker (no wonder!) and later married her. She was twenty-two years younger (in fiction, obviously much younger) and could have been Stewart's daughter, but no one was shocked or even surprised by it. Eve's father, Zebulon Prescott/Karl Malden, was only three years younger than Stewart, but certainly looked older.

I think that since this is a film, the important thing is fiction and what someone looks like, rather than their age in real life. A good make-up can also help a lot.


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Stewart was also way too old to play Lindberg in "Spirit of St Louis".

Re: Miscastings in classic films

Charlton Heston in Touch of Evil is one of those "shooting fish in a barrel" picks. It doesn't affect my enjoyment of the film at all, however if we're supposed to believe the character is Mexican, then he was miscast.



California Ãœber Alles

Re: Miscastings in classic films

In 1958, 10% to 20% of Mexican men were 100% white with a white skin, all of European, especially Spanish, descent. And they were the ruling class, which included most police officers, detectives and the like, especially the high-ranking ones. I never understood the excessive use of make-up to make Charlton Heston look dark and "Mexican". Ricardo Montalban, Gilbert Roland, Pedro Armendáriz and other American actors were Mexicans born in Mexico.


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