A couple of weeks ago we told you of running into a copy of a 1949 Motion Picture Encyclopedia. It’s fun to leaf through and see what was going on in the industry 65 years ago.
Each of the major studios announced their product for the year. Paramount boasted of some twenty productions, including Cecil B. DeMille‘s upcoming blockbuster, Samson and Delilah. And while the critics didn’t rave the public flocked to see it.
There were films with stars past their prime (Bride of Vengeance, with Paulette Goddard), films with stars making their film debuts (My Friend Irma, with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis), and films with the stalwarts, Bob Hope (pictured above with Lucille Ball) and Bing Crosby.
Only one film announced, Bitter Victory, would have a title change before release. The Hal Wallis production starring Robert Cummings, Lizabeth Scott and Diana Lynn was renamed Paid in Full.
But, actually, of all the films Paramount released that year only one, The Heiress, would prove to be a classic.
What was even more interesting is that Paramount announced a few of its 1950 pictures in this ’49 yearbook. Barbara Stanwyck would star in three films for the studio, so would Alan Ladd.
For these movies, which were still in production, there was a small footnote that the titles were tentative. Ladd’s After Midnight became Captain Carey, U.S.A. and Stanwyck’s I Married a Dead Man (from a famous short story by Cornell Woolrich,) was retitled No Man of Her Own. Yes, yes, we know that was the title of a Gable/Lombard film back in the early 30s.
Ladd’s second feature, Postal Inspector became Appointment With Danger and he never made the third film. Who did the studio think he was? Stanwyck?
Besides Eagles of the Navy, which was supposed to re-team Ladd with William Bendix, two other of the announced features never made it to the screen — The Mack Sennett Story which was to star Betty Hutton and John Lund (who’d already done a fictional account of silent star Pearl White with The Perils of Pauline) and a film called Counter Intelligence which would have paired Ray Milland with Gene Tierney.
Hal Wallis had great hopes for September starring Joan Fontaine (it became September Affair), and the studio was banking on another big hit with Hope and Ball. They’d scored big with Sorrowful Jones so Paramount dusted off an old chestnut, The Ruggles of Red Gap and renamed it Where Men Are Men, but eventually called it Fancy Pants.
Once again, out of all the Paramount releases for 1950 one would prove an everlasting classic, Sunset Boulevard.