Sunday, May 08, 2016

together! at last!

Janice Rule and Kim Novak (with Jimmy Stewart and Pyewacket) - Two "Picnic" leading ladies who later joined forces in "Bell, Book and Candle" (1958)

Here's a new parlor game - a connect-the-movie-dots, along the lines of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

My version deals with two actresses who played the same role - one on stage, one in the film version - and who subsequently appeared opposite one another in another film. OK, admittedly it's the kind of useless information that lurks in the mind of someone who has spent way too much time in the dark watching way too many movies, but it's fun.

Here goes...

Kathy Bates caused something of a sensation when she starred on Broadway in Terrence McNally's "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune." But when Garry Marshall adapted McNally's piece into a film, he shortened the title to "Frankie and Johnny" and passed on Bates. He hired Michele Pfieffer to play the role created so indelibly by Bates.

Flashforward 15 years and Stephen Frears' makes a film called "Chéri" starring ... Michele Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates. Hmmm. Makes one wonder how they got along on the set of "Chéri," what they talked about, right? Well, they apparently liked each other because Bates and Pfeiffer subsquently teamed on David Hollander's "Personal Effects."

And then there's...

Janis Paige starred in "The Pajama Game" on Broadway, Doris Day played in the movie version and they subsequently appeared together in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies." (To complicate matters here, Day made her film debut as the second female lead in Michael Curtiz's "Romance on the High Seas." The film's female lead was ... Paige.)
   
Janice Rule starred in "Picnic" on Broadway, Kim Novak played in the movie version and they subsequently appeared together in "Bell, Book and Candle" on screen.

Anne Bancroft starred in "Two for the Seesaw" on Broadway, Shirley MacLaine played in the movie version and they subsequently appeared together in "The Turning Point" on screen.

Lauren Bacall starred in "Cactus Flower" on Broadway, Ingrid Bergman played in the movie version and they subsequently appeared together in "Murder on the Orient Express" on screen.

Oddly enough, this game seems restricted to women exclusively. The only two actors who seem to have stage-to-film link are David Wayne, who created Ensign Pulver in "Mister Roberts" on stage, and Jack Lemmon, who won the Oscar for the film version. Some 20 years later, the two teamed in Billy Wilder's remake of "The Front Page."

Can you think of any others?

18 comments:

jon said...

This is fabulous! I wonder how the actresses got along when they finally met and worked together - if the stage actresses resented the movie stars who played their roles on film. Give us more of this. Love the blog.

Melissa said...

That's some history between Doris Day and Janis Paige. First, one's the star. Then the other one becomes an even bigger star. And then they're cast as rivals in "Please Don't Eat the Daisies." Makes one wonder if they were rivals in real life.

Lynn said...

Just found your blog! We read you religiously when you were in the Sacramento Bee. As I'm sure in many households, you have shared a special place in our movie experience. We anxiously waited for the Friday "Ticket" ....."What did Joe say about it?" "Did Joe like it?" "I'll bet Joe liked this one." Or, sometimes, shocked that "Joe DIDN'T like it!!" We came to depend on you to share your insightful thoughts that helped us to enjoy the great movies, understand the complicated ones, and avoid the stinkers. Glad to see you're back!

janetgsmith said...

Funny idea. I guess when Anne Bancroft walloped Shirley MacLaine in their big showdown scene in "The Turning Point," there might have been some personal agenda in there.

BenJones said...

Jack Lemmon had Peter Falk's role in the film of "Prisoner of Second Avenue," after the two had appeared in at least two films by my count - "The Great Race" and "Luv." Does that count?

joe baltake said...

Ben: Why not? -J

Brian Lucas said...

Oh! I've got one! Lee J. Cobb was the original Willy Loman in DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Fredric March got the movie. Couple years later they were both in THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT.

joe baltake said...

A belated thanks to Lynn. Wish we had met when I was in Northern California, which I miss very, very much. Thanks again!

bill m. said...

OK, Pat Hingle played Rubin Flood in "Dark at the Top of the Stairs" on Broadway in 1957, a part played by Robert Preston in the 1960 film version. Both appeared in the 1963 film "All the Way Home".

joe baltake said...

Thanks for the additions, Bill and Brian!

Sam L said...

FUN!

Bill Miller said...

I've got another one, a few months late. Kenneth Haigh created the role of Jimmy Porter in the original London and Broadway productions of "Look Back in Anger." Richard Burton played Jimmy Porter in the 1959 film. Both were in "Cleopatra."

Bill Miller said...

I've got another one--Arthur Kennedy created the role of Chris Keller in the original Broadway production of 'All My Sons," and Burt Lancaster played the role in the 1948 film. Both were in "Elmer Gantry."

joe baltake said...

Bill! Thanks - two times over. Great additions. -J

Bill Miller said...

Joe, I must have too much time on my hands but I love this parlor game. Two more:
Eli Wallach created the role of Alvaro in "The Rose Tattoo" on Broadway, and Burt Lancaster played the role in the 1955 movie. Both were in "Tough Guys." Hal Halbrook created the role of Gene Garrison on Broadway in "I Never Sang for My Father" and Gene Hackman played the role in the 1970 film. Both were in "The Firm."

joe baltake said...

Bill! This is great stuff. I'm impressed. Thanks! -J

Bill Miller said...

Joe, I've got to stop this, but this game is an escape from the grim news in Washington. Here are three more:
Roddy McDowell created the role of Arthur Strauss in "Compulsion" on Broadway, a role played by Bradford Dillman in the 1959 film. Both were in "Escape from the Planet of the Apes."
Robert Duvall created the role of Harry Roat, the villain, on Broadway in "Wait Until Dark," a role played by Alan Arkin in the 1967 film. Both were in "The Seven Percent Solution."
Alan Arkin created the role of Harry Berlin on Broadway in "Luv," a role played by Jack Lemmon in the 1967 film. Both were in "Glengarry Glen Ross."

I'm sure there are many more, but this game yields far more actors than actresses, because actors get more movie roles and their careers last much longer.






joe baltake said...

Bill! You're remarkable. Keep them coming! -J