The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

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Phillyrich
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The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Phillyrich » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:06 am

I often wonder about great film projects that were never completed. I love to read
about them, too.

One of them surely is: "War Eagles," (late 1930's), meant as a great adventure in the style of
1933's "King Kong." I understand there is a book on this film project. Has anyone read it, and is
it recommended?

What about other film projects left on the drawing board, or incomplete. What are your favorites?
Has there ever been a good book that encompasses this subject, c1930--1960?

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by silentfilm » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:32 am



I, Claudius (1937) which was never completed.

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:46 am

Shouldn't this thread have a special sub-thread dedicated to the unrealized movies of Orson Welles? The list would take up too much space otherwise.

Jim

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by oldposterho » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:47 am

I think top of my list would be Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon pic. Seems like his temperament and technique would have been ideal for that particular topic.

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:48 am

There was a famous list of unproduced scripts in the 70s or early 80s, many of which were eventually made (Jacob's Ladder, Eight Men Out), but the one that most fascinated me was a version of Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year, to star George C. Scott.
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Ten Girls Ago + Grand Hotel Parody

Unread post by JFK » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:11 pm

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Re: Scenes Unseen

Unread post by Jim Roots » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:26 pm

JFK wrote:ImageImage
Well, that puts a quick end to this thread!

Jim

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by oldposterho » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:23 pm

Never!

James Whale's A Trip to Mars would have been quite interesting.

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Donald Binks » Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:51 pm

oldposterho wrote:I think top of my list would be Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon pic. Seems like his temperament and technique would have been ideal for that particular topic.
Wasn't Charlie Chaplin toying with the idea of making a picture about Napoleon at one time as well?
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Daniel Eagan » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:16 pm

I wrote up a short list for Smithsonian: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-cult ... ee-216976/" target="_blank

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by boblipton » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:41 pm

Somehow the movies we never get to see are always greater than the movies we do.

Bob
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Peg of the PreCodes » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:42 pm

After the 2016 presidential election I read Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here (1935). I was surprised to read in the afterword that there had been an attempt to make a movie version, and was utterly unsurprised that Joseph Breen's foot-dragging scared MGM into dropping the project. It would have been interesting to see Lionel Barrymore as Doremus. Is it wicked of me to imagine Will Rogers as Buzz Windrip, jokingly/not-jokingly whipping up the forces of nationalism and xenophobia?

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Somehow the movies we never get to see are always greater than the movies we do.
I found the AFI article, and about half the scripts wound up being made. They're mostly good movies, but none of them turned out to be great movies: Jacob's Ladder, Total Recall, Miracle Mile, At Close Range, and, perhaps the closest to a classic, The Princess Bride. (I was wrong about Eight Men Out being one of them; also Walter Newman's Harrow Alley is not based on Defoe.)
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:49 am

Donald Binks wrote:
oldposterho wrote:I think top of my list would be Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon pic. Seems like his temperament and technique would have been ideal for that particular topic.
Wasn't Charlie Chaplin toying with the idea of making a picture about Napoleon at one time as well?
Yes, it was a long-held dream project of his. Certainly, he had the right height for the lead role!

Jim

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by wich2 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:57 pm

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Dave Pitts » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:30 am

Echoing Jim Roots above, there have undoubtedly been more unproduced scripts than feature films in Hollywood history. A few of the stranger ones you can read about:
Hitchcock wanted to film a story about a sex murderer, to be called Frenzy (no relation to the '72 film.) He was going to use hand-held subjective camera and move away from the production style he'd used in the 40s, 50s, early 60s. I believe this was proposed around '66. He even had some footage shot to explain the look of the film. The studio involved -- Universal, I guess -- vetoed the proposal, because the material looked salacious and ultra violent. I don't think a full script was ever developed.
Cecil B. DeMille actually considered doing the life of Mary in the 30s, as a return to his Bible storytelling. This one was tentatively titled -- wait for it -- Queen of Queens!!!! Most writers who have gone into this claim that the idea was dropped when DeMille and his team realized how difficult it would be to gain approval from the Catholic church -- and how the box office would then be limited, largely, to Catholics -- who would boycott the thing if it offended the Legion of Decency in any way. Which of course leads to the all-important question: what actress would be big enough as a draw but also suitable for the lead role? Dorothea Wieck of Cradle Song had the artistic credentials but would have been a risky choice as a non-marquee name. Louise Dresser was much older but well-known to the audience and a beloved actress. Otherwise, run through the female stars of the 30s and just try to imagine them as Mary: Loretta Young (Oh!! The horror!!)....Norma Shearer (Very noble, dignified...nodding off here)...Joan Crawford (To the pharisees: 'Say, listen. This aint my first time on the camel train')....Helen Twelvetrees (weeping copiously in reels 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and in the extended fadeout, her weeping face superimposed on the sun breaking through the clouds)...Marie Dressler (but why not; she would bring a much needed physicality to the role, especially if Polly Moran was on board as Mary Magdalen -- they could douse each other with buckets of well water)...Carole Lombard (probably a no-go, as we know how she cursed in outtakes, and if those ever leaked.....) I guess I'd vote for Louise Dresser, as a mature Mary who would do the close-ups with unsurpassed skill.

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by boblipton » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:40 am

Dave Pitts wrote:Echoing Jim Roots above, there have undoubtedly been more unproduced scripts than feature films in Hollywood history. A few of the stranger ones you can read about:
Hitchcock wanted to film a story about a sex murderer, to be called Frenzy (no relation to the '72 film.) He was going to use hand-held subjective camera and move away from the production style he'd used in the 40s, 50s, early 60s. I believe this was proposed around '66. He even had some footage shot to explain the look of the film. The studio involved -- Universal, I guess -- vetoed the proposal, because the material looked salacious and ultra violent. I don't think a full script was ever developed.
Cecil B. DeMille actually considered doing the life of Mary in the 30s, as a return to his Bible storytelling. This one was tentatively titled -- wait for it -- Queen of Queens!!!! Most writers who have gone into this claim that the idea was dropped when DeMille and his team realized how difficult it would be to gain approval from the Catholic church -- and how the box office would then be limited, largely, to Catholics -- who would boycott the thing if it offended the Legion of Decency in any way. Which of course leads to the all-important question: what actress would be big enough as a draw but also suitable for the lead role? Dorothea Wieck of Cradle Song had the artistic credentials but would have been a risky choice as a non-marquee name. Louise Dresser was much older but well-known to the audience and a beloved actress. Otherwise, run through the female stars of the 30s and just try to imagine them as Mary: Loretta Young (Oh!! The horror!!)....Norma Shearer (Very noble, dignified...nodding off here)...Joan Crawford (To the pharisees: 'Say, listen. This aint my first time on the camel train')....Helen Twelvetrees (weeping copiously in reels 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and in the extended fadeout, her weeping face superimposed on the sun breaking through the clouds)...Marie Dressler (but why not; she would bring a much needed physicality to the role, especially if Polly Moran was on board as Mary Magdalen -- they could douse each other with buckets of well water)...Carole Lombard (probably a no-go, as we know how she cursed in outtakes, and if those ever leaked.....) I guess I'd vote for Louise Dresser, as a mature Mary who would do the close-ups with unsurpassed skill.
Sylvia Sidney!

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:59 am

Dave Pitts wrote:Echoing Jim Roots above, there have undoubtedly been more unproduced scripts than feature films in Hollywood history. A few of the stranger ones you can read about:
Hitchcock wanted to film a story about a sex murderer, to be called Frenzy (no relation to the '72 film.) He was going to use hand-held subjective camera and move away from the production style he'd used in the 40s, 50s, early 60s. I believe this was proposed around '66. He even had some footage shot to explain the look of the film. The studio involved -- Universal, I guess -- vetoed the proposal, because the material looked salacious and ultra violent. I don't think a full script was ever developed.
Cecil B. DeMille actually considered doing the life of Mary in the 30s, as a return to his Bible storytelling. This one was tentatively titled -- wait for it -- Queen of Queens!!!! Most writers who have gone into this claim that the idea was dropped when DeMille and his team realized how difficult it would be to gain approval from the Catholic church -- and how the box office would then be limited, largely, to Catholics -- who would boycott the thing if it offended the Legion of Decency in any way. Which of course leads to the all-important question: what actress would be big enough as a draw but also suitable for the lead role? Dorothea Wieck of Cradle Song had the artistic credentials but would have been a risky choice as a non-marquee name. Louise Dresser was much older but well-known to the audience and a beloved actress. Otherwise, run through the female stars of the 30s and just try to imagine them as Mary: Loretta Young (Oh!! The horror!!)....Norma Shearer (Very noble, dignified...nodding off here)...Joan Crawford (To the pharisees: 'Say, listen. This aint my first time on the camel train')....Helen Twelvetrees (weeping copiously in reels 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and in the extended fadeout, her weeping face superimposed on the sun breaking through the clouds)...Marie Dressler (but why not; she would bring a much needed physicality to the role, especially if Polly Moran was on board as Mary Magdalen -- they could douse each other with buckets of well water)...Carole Lombard (probably a no-go, as we know how she cursed in outtakes, and if those ever leaked.....) I guess I'd vote for Louise Dresser, as a mature Mary who would do the close-ups with unsurpassed skill.
Norma would have smiled radiantly all through the delivery of her baby, and smiled radiantly all through his trial, and smiled radiantly all through the crucifixion.

Personally, I vote for Terry Jones to play the role in drag. Can't wait for the Church and Legion of Decency to weigh in on the result.

Jim

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:29 pm

boblipton wrote:
Dave Pitts wrote:Echoing Jim Roots above, there have undoubtedly been more unproduced scripts than feature films in Hollywood history.
Cecil B. DeMille actually considered doing the life of Mary in the 30s, as a return to his Bible storytelling. This one was tentatively titled -- wait for it -- Queen of Queens!!!! Most writers who have gone into this claim that the idea was dropped when DeMille and his team realized how difficult it would be to gain approval from the Catholic church -- and how the box office would then be limited, largely, to Catholics -- who would boycott the thing if it offended the Legion of Decency in any way. Which of course leads to the all-important question: what actress would be big enough as a draw but also suitable for the lead role? Dorothea Wieck of Cradle Song had the artistic credentials but would have been a risky choice as a non-marquee name. Louise Dresser was much older but well-known to the audience and a beloved actress. Otherwise, run through the female stars of the 30s and just try to imagine them as Mary: Loretta Young (Oh!! The horror!!)....Norma Shearer (Very noble, dignified...nodding off here)...Joan Crawford (To the pharisees: 'Say, listen. This aint my first time on the camel train')....Helen Twelvetrees (weeping copiously in reels 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, and in the extended fadeout, her weeping face superimposed on the sun breaking through the clouds)...Marie Dressler (but why not; she would bring a much needed physicality to the role, especially if Polly Moran was on board as Mary Magdalen -- they could douse each other with buckets of well water)...Carole Lombard (probably a no-go, as we know how she cursed in outtakes, and if those ever leaked.....) I guess I'd vote for Louise Dresser, as a mature Mary who would do the close-ups with unsurpassed skill.
Sylvia Sidney!

Bob
I just can't imagine the Virgin Mary with an unfiltered cigarette hanging out of her mouth at a sassy angle, or any angle. Tears, yes, but Sidney's chutzpah, naw...

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:16 pm

Marlene Dietrich would have given the role some edge.
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Danny Burk » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:38 pm

Just imagine Mae West.

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:41 pm

Others who have been auditioning for the role include, Billie Burke, Zazu Pitts, Jean Harlow, Carmen Miranda, Lupe Valez, Clara Bow and Pola Negri.
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:04 am

Donald Binks wrote:Marlene Dietrich would have given the role some edge.
Especially if she played it wearing a gorilla suit.

Jim

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:09 am

Jim Roots wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Marlene Dietrich would have given the role some edge.
Especially if she played it wearing a gorilla suit.

Jim

Too Jewish.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by R Michael Pyle » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:17 am

boblipton wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:
Donald Binks wrote:Marlene Dietrich would have given the role some edge.
Especially if she played it wearing a gorilla suit.

Jim

Too Jewish.

Bob
And what was Mary?...

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I Loved A Soldier

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I Loved A Soldier
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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by wingate » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:05 am

David Leans Nostromo
Fred Zinnemans Mans Fate

D

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Jay Salsberg » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:22 pm

Some unmade Universal horror/sci-fi/fantasy films:

RETURN OF THE PHANTOM, The (1929)
Starring Conrad Veidt
This project was abandoned after the Stock Market Crash, and Laemmle realized the cost would be prohibitive. The studio opted to re-release the original film (with new talking scenes) instead.

CAGLIOSTRO (1932)
Starring Boris Karloff
Centering around the mysterious 18th century Italian alchemist and magician, the film was in pre-production, only a few weeks before shooting began, when it was completely rewritten and became THE MUMMY.

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (1933)
Photographed by Karl Freund (who allegedly spent a full year developing new photographic processes specifically for this film).

PHANTOM OF THE DEEP (1933)
A serial based on the works of Jules Verne.

THE GOLDEN FLEECE (1934)
Written by Lawrence G. Bachman and Tom Reed
Starring Paul Lukas (!) as "Jason".

ROBINSON CRUSOE (1934)
Starring Henry Hull

TRIP TO MARS (1934/35 season)
Directed by James Whale
Written by R.C. Sherriff

THE SUICIDE CLUB (c. 1936)
Starring Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi

BLUEBEARD (1936)
Starring Boris Karloff
Written by Bayard Veiller
This was to have been Karloff's next project after THE INVISIBLE RAY. When Universal was sold in April 1936, new production head Charles R. Rogers stated that the studio would be going ahead with BLUEBEARD. And that was the last that anyone ever heard of the project.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1936)
Although it was previously announced in 1930, Universal never identified any specific director (or actor) for the project. The same year, MGM also announced they would make a film version with Peter Lorre as 'Quasimodo'.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1936)
Starring Boris Karloff
Directed by Anatole Litvak (was to have been his American film debut).
Written by W.P. Lipscomb

THE MONSTER OF ZOMBOR (1940)
Starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi

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Re: The Greatest Movies Never Made: (and) "War Eagles?"

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:32 pm

THE SUICIDE CLUB (c. 1936)
Starring Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi
That's curious, since MGM made their own version of it (Trouble For Two) that year.
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