Payday Loans
Woody Allen

  1. Gianni Ridolfi, Ieri, oggi, domani/Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Italy-France, 1963.     While musing on what to do about movies, Woody received the vague promise of a support role in the fourth of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroiani’s eleven films. Oddly, in the third and final episode, Umberto was so enamoured of his neighbour, Mara, that he was willing to give up his priesthood ambitions for her.  Director Vittorio De Sica then decided on a more conventionally handsome seminarian
  2. Wally Cox, The Bedford Incident, 1965.     Preferring a deal for writing and starring in What's New Pussycat? co-manager Charles Joffe turned down Allen's first acting offer - wisely, as the role went to Brando's closest buddy,longtime lover and Hollywood's resident bespectacled nerd.
  3. Phil Silvers, Follow That Camel (US: Carry On In the Legion), 1967.      Carry On Legend... Sid James was ill and Silvers was a mess, needing idiot-boards around the set... Prompting the legend that producer Peter Rogers asked Woody to take over his Sergeant Nocker when he finished Casino Royale in London.  Not Woody at all.  His screen persona, according to biographer John Baxter, was a cocktail, of The Graduate, Charlie Brown and Jules Feiffer’s cartooncreation of Bernard Mergendeiler
  4. George Burns, The Sunshine Boys, 1975.
  5. John Denver, Oh, God! 1977.      Scenarist Larry Gelbart wanted Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, his fellow writers for Sid Ceasar’s TV shows. If Woody had agreed when George Burns was to beGod, this would have been a new Burns & Allen.  “He has the Chaplin disease,” was  Orson Welles’s opinion of Woody. “That particular combination of arrogance and timidity sets my teeth on edge.”  Not to mention his success.
  6. Burt Reynolds, The End, 1977.    While shooting Love and War in Paris, Woody’s producers kept sending him any decent scripts they could find. They thought this slapstick black comedy about a guy facing six months to live was up his alley. He didn’t. Reynolds proved him right by buying it and directing himself in it. The film died! Like the character said: “I'm talking about dying. I mean lying in the ground with dirt on your face and holding your breath forever.” Woody much preferred The Front. Until he actually made it for director Martin Ritt.
  7. Michael Ontkean, Willie and Phil, 1980.     Writer-director Paul Mazursky’s take on Jules et Jim, 1962, was always intended for Woody - and Al Pacino!  Took eleven years, but Mazursky finally netted Woody for Scenes From A Mall, 1991.
  8. John Hurt, Partners, 1981.  Now this is a hard one to believe…  A rotten gay script aimed at Woody and Clint Eastwood.  No, really! Clint even said he was interested. if Woody was. Woody wasn’t! Hurt became investigating gay murders by going undercover as a gay couple, with his hetero partner went to Ryan O’Neal. The critic Rex Reed went apoplectic. "A dumb creepshow …stupid, tasteless and homophobic, sleazy, superficial.  The script came from the French comedy king, Francis Veber, admitting he had no knowledge of the US homosexual scene. Asked if he had any backlash from gay men, Hurt said they didn't like his lilac-colored track suit. “And the person who's saying this is sitting there in a pink track suit, It's a crazy world we live in.”
  9. Jean-Luc Godard, King Lear, 1987.      Godard’s famous Cannon Group deal never matched the Cannes hotel serviette it was signed on. Godard played The Fool, himself - with key-rings hanging from his glasses.  Woody's guest shot  became cuts from Godard's TV documentary on him.As meaningless as the rest of the enterprise.
  10. Ron Silver, Reversal of Fortune, 1989.    Hot shot New York lawyer Alan Dershowitz asked Woody to play him in Barbet Schroder’s film - defending New York socialite Claus von Bulow on two charges of the attempted murder of his wealthy wife.  Such casting would have ruined the drama  .Ironically, five years later, Dershowitz  was Mia Farrow’s lawyer in the 1992 fall out of Woody’s affair with her adopted daughter, Soon -Yi Previn.

  11. Jeff Daniels, The Purple Rose of Cairo, 1984.    When Woody let Michael Keaton go - “too contemporary” - from the double role of screen hero Tom Baxter and the actor playing him, the Orion suits wanted Woody to take over. Woody in jodphurs?  Aw c’mon!  That’s not comedy, that’s farce. He suggested  Kevin Kline - finally, Daniels saved the day.  And the enchanting film.
  12. Richard Dreyfuss, What About Bob? 1990.      Disney suits tried (too!) hard to persuade Woody to join Frank Oz’s comedy… as Bill Murray’s shrink, with kids named Sigmund and Anna, ho ho!   Woody wouldn’t agree to be Bill Murray’s anything! (Dreyfuss and Murray didn’t get along any better).
  13. Mike Myers, So I Married an Ax Murderer, 1992.   Charlie, a bookstore clerk, who wans to be a poet - and a bachelor - was designed for Chevy Chase,. When he passed, so did Woody, Albert Brooks, Martin Short.   Myers, however, wanted the switch from Saturday Night Live. He learned a lesson. “Juggling mirth, romance and murder requires a deft touch - think of Hitchcock's Trouble With Harry,” commented Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers. “Axe is a blunt instrument.”
  14. Tom Cruise,  Eyes Wide Shut, 1996.    This, I think, has to remain… a legend. Posted here as I figures some of you may be looking for it… Stanley Kubriockck is said  to have had serious thoughts about Woody as his central character – a New York Jewish doctor (as per Austrian playwright Arthur Scvhnitzier’s Traumnovelle) - before he became the WASP Cruise. Woody says Kubrick never contacted him.  Maybe not, but - allegedly - he thought about him. Apparently, Kubrick was impressed by Woody in Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex.. .  Now if he’d cited  The Front, Shadows and Fog, or Zelig,  I’d believe the whole story.  Anyway, Woody never had the time to work for Kubrick.  In the time it took Stanley  to make his film - November  4,  1996 to June 3, 1998 - Woody shot  two films, Deconstructing Harry, Celebrity, and prepped aJust not the right period in which to play a pervert… 
  15. Greg Kennear, Stuck On You, 2003.    The Farrelly brothers, Bobby and Peter,  hit rock bottom - as if they knew their comedy antics  were about to be sided-swiped by Judd Apatow’s reign as comedy king  - with a comedy about... conjoined twins. And  the age difference, guys? Allen was 68 to Carrey’s  41. As mad a notion as Jung And Freud,  with Woody and Schwarzenegger! Allen  told them. “I’ll do it, I want to be in your movie, but one request -  no toilets, please.”  (He knew all about their humour). Oh, and more money than was on the table.



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