Famed director Stanley Kramer‘s first film, 1955’s Not as a Stranger, was an adaptation of a very successful potboiler of a novel of the same name by Morton Thomas.
And it’s often cited as the worst film ever made with the best cast.
It’s a romantic melodrama and, like the novel, it was tremendously popular. It grossed millions. And much of it’s success was due to the box office power of its star cast.
Two time Oscar winner Olivia deHavilland played the dowdy nurse who’d married the dashing, and younger, med student, Robert Mitchum, and put him through school.
Best Supporting Oscar winners Frank Sinatra and Gloria Grahame and Best Actor Oscar winner Broderick Crawford were also on hand. And some of the top character actors of the day, such as Lee Marvin, Charles Bickford, Harry Morgan, Jesse White, Myron McCormack and Lon Chaney, Jr. rounded out the cast.
It proves even the best director and actors can’t save a turkey of a script. That’s Kramer and his leads (photo above) hamming it up on the set.