Payday Loans
Don Murray


  1. Montgomery Clift,  The Young Lions, 1957.       Fox contract players were set for a low budget version  until director  Edward Dmytryk  felt  Irwin Shaw's novel was strong enough for stars. (Likewise Fred Zinnemann when optioning the book as early as 1952 - he also desired Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift). Brando might have preferred Murray, said Clift. Certainly, Brando felt that Clift “always seemed like he’s got a  Mixmaster up his ass.”
  2. Paul Newman, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, 1957.     For some reason, poor Ben Gazarra was never asked to reprise his Broadway triumph as Brick. MGM looked at everyone else: Murray, who “always liked to do something just the opposite of the last thing I did,” Montgomery Clift, William Shatner. Even the way too old Robert Mitchum. Plus Elvis Presley. His manager, Colonel Parker, went mad. “Mah boy ain’t no fruit!”  
  3. Tab Hunter, Damn Yankees! 1958.  The veteran Broadway king, director George Abbott, said Hunter was “too gay” for a baseball hero.  He obviously preferred his Broadway original,  Stephen Douglass - or Don Murray. Studio boss Jack Warner reminded Abbott who ruled in Hollywood.  And Douglass’ entire LA career was two TV guest slots. Neither one for Warners.
  4. Tab Hunter, That Kind of Woman, 1958.       To help make his wife a global superstar, Italian producer Carlo  shoved Sophia Loren into much drek Americana.  This was the worst! With Hunter as her leading man? Tab effin’ Hunter!!  Ponti was wary of Murray - he  had stolen scenes from Marilyn in Bus Stop, 1955!  This was called Protecting Mya Sophia - from any one who might bury her. Sidney Lumet directed. By phone? No, Lumet blamed the flop on Ponti interference. “The best scenes were cut out,”  he told the New York Times in 1960, “and the weak ones were left in.”


    Don Murray (Marilyn’s spirited co-star in Bus Stop) was the first Hollywood star I interviewed at my first visit to Cannes  -  in 1961.   When I found him strolling along the beach.  I asked to join  him - “Sure, be glad of some company” - and quizzed him about his festival entry, The Hoodlum Priest, which he also wrote under the credit Don Deer…. to avoid  any harmful criticism about an actor writing his own movie.  Our stroll lasted around 25 minutes…   without the help, knowledge  or interference  of any publicist.  That never happened again!!




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