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  • #16
    [QUOTE=wadsy;n72174]The production of "Cleopatra" was famously shut down in 1961 because Elizabeth Taylor became seriously ill.
    The two male leads Peter Finch & Stephen Boyd left because of prior commitments & were eventually replaced
    by Rex Harrison & Richard Burton & so began one of the worlds greatest romances![/QUOTE]

    Between Harrison and Burton? :eek:

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    • #17
      [QUOTE=zabadak;n72202]

      Between Harrison and Burton? :eek:[/QUOTE]

      The film will never seem the same to me now!:eek:

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      • Bonekicker
        Bonekicker commented
        Editing a comment
        The BBC4 drama - Burton and Taylor, is available on Iplayer at the moment. I must try to catch it, because I didnt have digital TV the first time it was broadcast.

    • #18
      If you want to see that sort of thing, track down Harrison and Burton in Staircase (1969)!

      To change the subject, another mega-production which was shut down was Erich Von Stroheim's Queen Kelly (1928), starring Gloria Swanson An ending was tacked on and the film was released in Europe, but not the USA

      [url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Kelly#Production[/url]

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      • agutterfan
        agutterfan commented
        Editing a comment
        Although you can see clips of it in "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). It's the film Max (played by the real life director of that film Erich Von Stroheim) projects for Gloria Swanson & William Holden.

    • #19
      There was supposed to be a Hollywood Revues of 1930.Musicals were now out of fashion.So production was halted.The musical numbers,in two colour technicolour,were cannibalised.So three of them turned up in a short titled Nertserey Rhymes starring Ted Healey and The Three Stooges.
      A production number,The Lock Step,was featured in That's Entertaininmentioned 3

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      • #20
        Fox got lucky with The Sound of Music a couple of years later, but Hollywood did carry on making big films, which didnt make their money back, on the grounds that it seemed like a good idea at the time.

        The lessons from Cleopatra is not to think you can make serious money by putting on a large scale historical epic with a character that had been a flop less than twenty years before. Instead, do a quick potboiler, which might, if you are lucky, get denounced by a church figure.

        Dont just offer a $1m on a whim - because someone might accept. And always have a plan B, especially for casting, especially when that actress has a history of illness and will only do the film based on her tax status. And then dont have someone try to shoot the thing thousands of miles away with no script. And dont throw money at the screen - it doesnt help.

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        • #21
          Hollywood is, and has always been , the world capital of film. They make fact and fiction. Even though most of the fact they turn out is full of fiction. This includes their accountancy. Most Directors, Producers, Actors and Studios have sued each other over money. Sean Connery has sued every studio he has worked for. TV too. James Garner had to fight Universal over the Rockford Files. According to Universals accountants, The Rockford files Never made a profit, Ever! in six years and after 120 episodes. Mannix, Another long running popular series that never made a profit, this had 194 episodes over 8 years at Paramount. Makes you wonder why, or even how, they kept making them for so long not making any money. Quote from The Man who Shot Liberty Valance:"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend". In Hollywood I think that also means the balance sheets.

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          • #22
            Joe Mankiewicz wrote a marvellous book MyLifeWithCleopatra,in paperback uk but now difficult to locate a copy...

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            • #23
              A Bryan Forbes movie in the seventies with his wife Nanette and Edward Woodward was shutdown over finance...an Oliver Reed Susan George movie was cancelled just prior to shooting in the 70s, no, nothing to do with Ollie's antics...and a Lawrence of Arabia movie with Dirk Bogarde was cancelled shortly before filming,to be made by Herbert Wilcox,I believe

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              • #24
                Orson Welles turned on/off movies into a fine art, specially in the later decades of his life. I watched [I]The Other Side of the Wind[/I] recently, which he shot sporadically throughout the early 1970s and was finally finished, or at least ‘assembled’ from 100 hours of footage, in 2018.

                It wasn’t worth the wait.

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                • #25
                  That reminds me of Welles.It "It's All True"which he was making in Rio for RKO. However it all got out of hand and was closed down.Some of the footage was restored,the rest was alledgedly dumped in the Pacific.

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                  • #26
                    [QUOTE]If you want to see that sort of thing, track down Harrison and Burton in Staircase (1969)![/QUOTE]

                    I'd never heard of Staircase, or certainly missed it when reading one of Burtons biographies. And it sort of has the curse of Cleopatra - shooting in Paris (even though its set in London) because the two leading actors tax status. And Taylor insisting that the film she was shooting at the time (which was set in Las Vegas) also had to be shot in Paris, so that she could be near to Burton. Which in turn made that film much more expensive than it need have been.

                    Add to that poor marketing, and there you go. It actually sounds quite interesting, and on a tight budget with good marketing, might have been less of a flop.

                    [QUOTE]Joe Mankiewicz wrote a marvellous book MyLifeWithCleopatra,in paperback uk but now difficult to locate a copy...[/QUOTE]

                    It was actually Wanger, who was the first producer of the film. Its been [URL="https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Life-Cleopatra-Hollywood-Classic/dp/0345804058"]reissued[/URL], and is on my list!

                    What you notice from this thread is a pattern to unfinished or abandoned films. Films that dont actually start tend to be because the money fell through at the last moment, or sometimes the star just was no longer available, etc. Once they are in production (and the money is being spent), it more likely to be bustups between directors and or actors. And if they are shot but then never released, its because they are so awful that nobody wants to release it, or that the legal chaos is such that nobody can.

                    And then there is Orson Wells, where its seems to be lack of cash and his inability to actually follow through an idea until its completion. And his ego...his huge ego.

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                    • #27
                      I heard a story quoted on a Sky Arts show about Cleopatra. The Budget was going out of control and two of Fox's top brass were leaving the Hollywood studios late after a long day. One said to the other "Right now our Representative in the Honk Kong office is sitting down to lunch with two hookers on the Cleopatra budget"

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                      • #28
                        [QUOTE=Bonekicker;n72380]

                        I'd never heard of Staircase, or certainly missed it when reading one of Burtons biographies. And it sort of has the curse of Cleopatra - shooting in Paris (even though its set in London) because the two leading actors tax status. And Taylor insisting that the film she was shooting at the time (which was set in Las Vegas) also had to be shot in Paris, so that she could be near to Burton. Which in turn made that film much more expensive than it need have been.

                        Add to that poor marketing, and there you go. It actually sounds quite interesting, and on a tight budget with good marketing, might have been less of a flop.

                        [/QUOTE]

                        Ah, that would be [I]The Only Game in Town[/I], with Liz and Warren Beatty, which made a huge loss for 20th Century-Fox. The box office for the film wasn't actually that bad, and if the budget hadn't been so needlessly elephantine it would be better remembered today. There is a DVD (Spanish language, but playable in all regions with an English option) and a Twilight Time BluRay for anyone curious - I've never seen it turn up on TV in the UK.

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                        • #29
                          [QUOTE=Ian Fryer;n72146]Jerry Lewis's 1970 holocaust picture The Day the Clown Cried was apparently completed but never released. Lewis left a copy with the Library of Congress on his desth with the condition that it not be screebed until 2024.

                          The clock is ticking and many of us have wanted to see this legendary oddity of bad taste for a long time.[/QUOTE]

                          That's Life (1979). Jerry Lewis was only directing this one with Red Buttons and Ruth Gordon as stars. Production in Florida was stopped when the financing dried up and the producer skipped. Lewis had to read a letter to the cast and crew explaining it.

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                          • #30
                            Wasn't Ghost in the Noonday Sun under Peter Medak, abandoned mid shoot because of Peter Seller's histrionics?

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