1. - Franco Fabrizi, I Vitelloni, Italy-France, 1953. When he couldn’t get Fausto Tozzi for the chief stud among Rimini’s “overgrown calves” - youngbloods, idlers, drones, wastrels - Federico Fellini brushed aside all usual suspects (Vallone, Walter Chiari, Alberto Sordi) and hired the Elvis-looking Fabrizi - and then had him dubbed by Nino Manfredi. Fellini’s first global triumph was the major influence on such US treasures as American Graffiti, Bye Bye Braverman, Diner, Mean Streets, even Seinfeld.
2. - Jack Palance, Le Mépris, (US: Contempt), France-Italy, 1963. Delays on director Otto Preminger's The Cardinal ruled him out of Brigitte Bardot's best critical success - and added a fine Hollywood touch to the film of the French New Wave icon, Jean-Luc Godard... and his film-within-the film. Because, to paraphrase Hamlet: The best is Palance.
3. - Marlon Brando, The Godfather, 1971.
4. - François Cluzet, L’Enfer, France, 1994. The Italian was second choice after Burt Lancaster in 1964 - before the role of Romy Schneider’s jealous husband finished at the opposite end of virility with French chanteur Serge Reggiani. He was about to be replaced by Jean-Louis Trintignant when realisateur Henri-George Clouzot’s heart attack cancelled any more shooting. (He had already shot 15 hours of the film and tests, including footage of himself in the role). Claude Chabrol helmed the 90s’ version.