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Old 21-11-2005, 11:48   #1
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Classic Films that Never Were ...

After watching the King Kong DVD doc, I was really intrigued about the aborted production Creation, shut down to make way for Kong (though from the story outline, it seems that The Land that Time Forgot is Creation in all but name). It got me thinking about films that never saw the light of day, whether they were abandoned during shooting, fell apart at the pre-production stage, or only ever existed as a story concept. A few I thought of:
John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King, supposedly first planned back in the 40s with Bogart and Gable;
Errol Flynn's doomed William Tell, abandoned during filming;
possibly the most famous "never was" - Something's Gotta Give, left half-finished when Marilyn Monroe died;
And one that I read of in a Bogart biography recently: that Jack Warner tried to get Dashiell Hammett to write a Maltese Falcon sequel, but the idea crumbled when Warner wouldn't agree to the ailing author's demand for a guaranteed paycheck whether he finished the story or not.

What other aborted films do you wish had made it to the big screen?
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Old 21-11-2005, 11:59   #2
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An interesting question, Mr Calthrop, and the first titles I'd think of in this regard would be Orson Welles's Heart of Darkness, Josef Von Sternberg's I Claudius with Laughton, Lean's two-part Bounty project, Kubrick's Napoleon, Cimino's Fountainhead and Zinnemann's Man's Fate, all of which were either cancelled at the last minute or shortly after shooting had begun. The world is sinking in creative effluent.
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Old 21-11-2005, 12:00   #3
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Laughton's I, Claudius, Leone's Stalingrad, Orson Welles (how much time have we got ) Don Quixote, King Lear, Kubrick's Napolean, Hitchcock's Kaleidoscope.
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Old 21-11-2005, 12:28   #4
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Laughton's directing follow up to The Night of the Hunter would have been an adaptation of Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead.

Hitchcock's Mary Rose, an adaptation of JM Barrie's play which would have been his only film about the supernatural and the project he was developing for Audrey Hepburn called No Bail for the Judge.

Alexandro Jodorowsky's Dune starring Salvador Dali and Charlotte Rampling with designs by HR Giger.

Last edited by Reno; 21-11-2005 at 12:36.
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Old 21-11-2005, 12:37   #5
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the final Phantasm movie.

I read about it in the new Anchor Bay set and thought it sounded quite good.

It was like a cross between Escape From New York and Land of the Dead with Bruce Campbell playing a sidekick role. Everything was there but they couldn't find anyone to back it, which is sad considering the previous movies seemed quite profitable.
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Old 21-11-2005, 12:42   #6
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Jodorowsky's Dune in the '70s, administered an abortifact when a loose mesh of Gallic venture capitalists lost their nerve.

I. Would. Merrily. Kill. To. See. This.

EDIT: Damn your retroactively editing eyes, Reno!

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Old 21-11-2005, 12:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
Jodorowsky's Dune in the '70s, administered an abortifact when a loose mesh of Gallic venture capitalists lost their nerve.

I. Would. Merrily. Kill. To. See. This.

EDIT: Damn your retroactively editing eyes, Reno!
Wrote that at the same times as you did, me swears. (there I did it again)

I'll help you get rid of the body to make up for it.

Last edited by Reno; 21-11-2005 at 12:49.
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Old 21-11-2005, 13:23   #8
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Ooh; can I add Sam Peckinpah's The Hi-Lo Country (eventually filmed by Stephen Frears), a lifelong project that didn't come to fruition.
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Old 21-11-2005, 15:55   #9
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Surely the most famous unfinished/unreleased film of all time is Jerry Lewis' "The Clown That Cried"?

Not neccessarily a classic of course, although the script to be found online suggests it had potential.

Aside from that, I'll just be the third person to mention Jadorowsky's Dune. ;-)
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:03   #10
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We could add Ridley Scott's Dune too, considering he carried most of the design team from his/Jodorowsky's versions over to Alien.
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:14   #11
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Ridley Scott also failed to remake "I am Legend" with Arnie playing the Heston/Price role, which from what is available looked to be great (and a virus film, the hot zone or something like that, with Jodie Foster, which excites slightly less).
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:16   #12
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Crisis in the Hot Zone, based on the best-selling book. It would've been better than Outbreak, 'cept nobody dies, iirc.
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:21   #13
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I would have liked to have seen the rejected script for Alien 3 that involved monks living on a wooden planet.
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:25   #14
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I vaguely recall a script that was about an alien in human form coming to earth (similar to 'The Man Who Fell To Earth') - thought to be an astonishing screenplay but was never made (perhaps in the '70's?)

anyone have any idea?
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boink!
I would have liked to have seen the rejected script for Alien 3 that involved monks living on a wooden planet.
Me too. The Alien 3 "making of" on the Alien Quadrilogy set made it look quite interesting.
Somebody back there mentioned Jodie Foster, which reminds me (I'm getting out of the classic era here; apologies) - wasn't she originally set to play Michael Douglas' daughter/sister in The Game, but it all ended up in a messy lawsuit?
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:36   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandaboy
Surely the most famous unfinished/unreleased film of all time is Jerry Lewis' "The Clown That Cried"?
The Day the Clown Cried is finished, but is tied up in litigation because the producer failed to secure the rights to the story it's based on. The writers of the film and the book declared the finished product to be such a disaster that they will never allow for it to be released. Most of the people who saw the film found it incredibly tasteless, so I doubt this is a lost classic. Here a quote from a review:

"This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. Oh My God!—that's all you can say."

I find the premise and the casting of Lewis such a staggeringly bad idea that I'd be quite curious to actually see it.

Last edited by Reno; 21-11-2005 at 16:56.
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:47   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigH
I vaguely recall a script that was about an alien in human form coming to earth (similar to 'The Man Who Fell To Earth') - thought to be an astonishing screenplay but was never made (perhaps in the '70's?)

anyone have any idea?
I know Bowie was down to play Valentine Michael Smith in an adaptation of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (and apparently he was very eager to do it) but it fell apart... and he did TMWFTE instead.

Good thing too, because the novel is an unfilmable, right-wing anarchic, didactic windbag of a thing.
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:55   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
I know Bowie was down to play Valentine Michael Smith in an adaptation of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (and apparently he was very eager to do it) but it fell apart... and he did TMWFTE instead.

Good thing too, because the novel is an unfilmable, right-wing anarchic, didactic windbag of a thing.
yep - pretty sure that's the one

just checked Amazon - get's some OK reviews - not worth a look?
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Old 21-11-2005, 16:58   #19
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It's worth reading - just don't expect it to be vaguely "novel"-like - it's a hugely swollen (especially in the unexpurgated version) old-man Heinlein rant.
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Old 21-11-2005, 17:23   #20
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There is a book called The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made by David Hughes which was about a lot of interesting projects that never happened. Among them are the John Sayles script for Steven Spielberg's Night Skies which later became the basis for both E.T. and Poltergeist, the long in development adaptation of Childhood's End and the acclaimed screenplay of The Tourist, another project which had HR Giger involved which fell through. http://www.hrgiger.com/tourist.htm

Last edited by Reno; 21-11-2005 at 17:26.
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