Payday Loans
Don Ameche (1908-1993)


  1. Jean Hersholt, Seventh Heaven, 1936.    Change of Father Chevillon when Ameche - like original lead Tyrone Power - was transferred to  Love Is News by Head Fox  Darryl Zanuck.  (John Carradine had been the replacement before Hersholt). 
  2. Tyrone Power, Lloyds of London, 1935.    Ameche tested as Jonathan Blake, then  director Henry King asked head Fox Darryl  Zanuck to  check a  test of the same scenes with Power - and a star was born. Even Variety agreed: “He’s okay. He's going places. He has looks and he has acting ability. The women ought to go for him in a big way.”    Right. 
  3. Henry Fonda,Drums Along The Mohawk, 1939.     For his first colour movie, John Ford kept changing people - four actors were dropped. Ameche, Warner Baxter, Linda Darnell, Nancy Kelly.
  4. Fred MacMurray, Sing You Sinners, 1937.      Just as Mickey Rooney has to pass Mike to Donald O’Connor, MacMurray took over Ameche’s Dave in the musical about the (unholy) singing Beebe brothers (Bing Crosby, etc).
  5. Tyrone Power, Second Fiddle, 1938.    Or as the  credits put it, Irving Berlin's Second Fiddle (despite such ideas as Love Is Tops). Ameche was committed to The Story of Alexander Graham Bell - the reason some people still call the telephone an Ameche. He left Sonja Henie to Power. Berlin made more than any of ’em : $75,000 plus 10% of the gross receipts over $1,125,0005.
  6. Robert Preston, The Night of January 16th, 1940.     Paramount spent much money buying Ayn Rand’s play, Woman on Trial - and sued Ameche for rejecting the script as non-Ameche material… thus losing Barbara Stanwyck as leading lady. Studio and Ameche kissed and made up when Ameche agreed to Kiss the Boys Goodbye. Er, if you see what I mean.
  7. John Sutton, A Yank in the RAF, 1940.    One of the Hollywood films preparing Americans for entering WWII - with, therefore,  a happy ending patched on instead of Tyrone Power’s  heroic death because “audiences would resent his dying… and not getting the girl.”   The UK government agreed, not wishing  to show  US audiences  how Americans helping the UK could die… over there.  Actually, head  Fox Darryl Zanuck (who wrote this story) had already decreed that Fox films would always have happy ends following public anger over Power’s Blood and Sand death. 
  8. George Montgomery, Cadet Girl, 1940.   Musical propaganda programmer from Fox with Montgomery taking over Tex from Ameche as the West Point cadet and falling for Carole Landis, the singer with his brother Shepperd Strudwick’s band. Cue: loud s(w)inging of “It won't be fun, But it's got to be done / It's a fight for the U.S.A., And the U.S. way!”
  9. Paul Muni, Hudson’s Bay, 1940. The birth of Canada, Hollywood style… A story about the Hudson Bay Company had been on head Fox Darryl Zanuck’s mind since 1936. He cancelled it in 1939 because “the feature would have a weak box-office pull at the present time.” His hero changed from Ameche, Henry Fonda, Dean Jagger, Fred MacMurray, Tyrone Power to Muni - his first gig since quitting Warner Bros.
  10. Cesar Romero, A Gentleman At Heart, 1941.     The treatment written for Ameche (as a Runyonesque bookmaker) had him opposite Annabella or Simone Simon. Next draft? Annabella’s ex-husband, Tyrone Power and Loretta Young. Finally, Romero had Carole Landis.
  11. Victor Mature, Song of the Islands,  1941. Once Joan Davis and Alice Faye were bypassed (in ’37 and ’38), it was always going to be Betty Grable as Eileen.  But who for her Irish beau on the tropical isle of Ahmi-Oni? Ameche, Robert Cummings, John Payne - or Mature, the new kid on the Fox block, who looked and sounded as Irish as Cheetah.
  12. Victor Mature, My Gal Sal, 1941. Fox stars Ameche and George Montgomery were shunted aside by new boy Mature as novelist Theodore Dreiser’s songwriter brother Paul Dresser. (Yes, their surnames are different). Fox suits felt it  bad for  Ameche (ie for Fox) to play another composer after being Stephen Foster in 1939’s Swanee River. The censors fretted more over Dresser’s “sex affairs.”   Is there any other kind worth having? 
  13. John Harvey, Pin Up Girl, 1943.   With that title and year, who else but Betty Grable…? Linda Darnell and Ameche made way for Betty Grable and Harvey in a surprisingly low key musical. Well, she was pregnant, Just as she’d been in her famous WWII pin-up. That was easier to disguise - back to camera, looking over her shoulder. Not so simple, just plain dangerous, in a filmusical. So not so much lukewarm as exceedingly careful.
  14. Robert Young, Claudia, 1943.   Finding her baffled husband was difficult. Don Ameche, 35, Cary Grant, 39, Franchot Tone, 38, were too old for a “child bride.”  How salacious! Not really. She wasn’t Lolita but an immature 20-something aimed at Joan Fontaine, 26, Katharine Hepburn, 36, and Jennifer Jones, 24. Dorothy McGuire repeated her Broadway role at 27, opposite an old Young, 36… showing “what a fine actor can do in a modest and unspectacular part,” said The New York Times. They were still together for the sequel, Claudia and David, 1946.  Snore!
  15. Eddie Albert, Green Acres,TV, 1965-1971.   The Ameche comeback had to wait until Trading Places, 1983.  Although the veteran had been the first thought for Oliver Wendell Douglas, the townie lawyer running a farm in... Hooterville! The series was cancelled during the 1971 “rural purge” when, it was said “CBS cancelled every show with a tree in it.”




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