Hollywood Screen Tests
Here's a wonderful reel of Gone With The Wind screen tests.
While some of the actresses auditioning to play Scarlett O'Hara were clearly all wrong for the part, others, like Paulette Goddard, were quite good.
Included are (silent) tests of Leslie Howard and Clark Gable, who melts the screen.
Please add any of your favorite screen tests, or related commentary.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||20 hours ago|
Not only did Coppola have to fight for Al Pacino to play Michael Corleone, but the part was very nearly played by James Caan, Robert Redford, even Martin Sheen. Caan's screen test is pretty bad.
Diane Keaton's audition is also here, towards the end.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||Last Thursday at 7:00 AM|
Paulette Goddard is an underrated actress who lost out on the part because she refused to confirm she and Chaplin were married. (they were)
oddly enough, Vivian Leigh was having an affair with Olivier, both were married to others and had small children, but that didn't stop her from playing Scarlett.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||Last Thursday at 7:06 AM|
Help me out, R2. Why would it matter that Goddard was married to Chaplin? Was he in trouble at the time?
|by Anonymous||reply 3||Last Thursday at 7:11 AM|
James Dean and Paul Newman audition for East of Eden. Their attraction to each other here is palpable.
Dean: Kiss me.
Newman: Can't right here.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||Last Thursday at 7:58 AM|
R3, being unmarried and living together could ruin a screen career in 1938.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||Last Thursday at 8:03 AM|
Why is Paulette Goddard auditioning with Nicholas Cage?
|by Anonymous||reply 6||Last Thursday at 8:08 AM|
R4, omg! They had to have ripped each others clothes off minutes later. I'm gonna watch it again.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||Last Thursday at 9:50 AM|
I found one of actresses testing for Lois Lane.
There's Anne Archer, Lesley Ann Warren, Debra Raffin, Margot Kidder, a very butch Stockard Channing, and Susan Blakely.
Lesley Ann comes in at 1:56 and I must say I truly missngi seeing her on the screen. She may be a little over the top here, but God I love her.
(Christopher Reeve has the presence of paste.)
|by Anonymous||reply 8||Last Thursday at 1:35 PM|
James Dean, the anti-paste.
This screen test is super-charged with homo eroticism. Who's the other actor? Holy shit.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||Last Thursday at 1:45 PM|
R9 At any moment it seemed they could kiss and make out.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||Last Thursday at 1:55 PM|
Goddard and Chaplin claimed to be married but they couldn't produce a marriage certificate. They claimed to have been married at sea on an ocean liner by the Captain but couldn't prove it.
The tests of Gable and Howard aren't screen tests. Neither had to audition. The tests are for their costumes and makeup, to see how they would photograph.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||Last Thursday at 2:02 PM|
Chaplin and Goddard were never married. A grandniece of Goddard told me such.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||Last Thursday at 2:07 PM|
Hmm. I don't believe I've ever seen a Goddard film. What does the DL recommend? She is captivating.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||Last Thursday at 2:11 PM|
The first preview of GWTW ran nearly five hours. Many or most of the cut scenes and trims allegedly exist in the hands of a private collector but they've never been seen publicly if they do.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||Last Thursday at 2:17 PM|
R14 You've never seen Modern Times? The Great Dictator? THE WOMEN???!!!
|by Anonymous||reply 16||Last Thursday at 2:24 PM|
You're right, R16, I have! Back in the 80's... Fucking Geritol is a goddamn snake oil scam.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||Last Thursday at 2:28 PM|
The ones that have always fascinated me the most are the screen tests for the lead tole in "Rebecca." Selznick had another GIANT talent search for the part, and many of the best actresses in Hollywood tried for it.
Laurence Olivier (who was cast beforehand) desperately wanted Vivien Leigh for the part, but she was completely wrong for the part--she was much too kittenish and self-possessed.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||Last Thursday at 2:29 PM|
Tallulah Bankhead tried out of the part of Scarlett? That's pretty funny. At the beginning of the novel Scarlett is 16. Bankhead looked at least 40.
Leslie Howard was handsome but miscast as Ashley. Ashley was 19 or 20 at the time of the barbecue; Leslie Howard was in his 40s. Actually, all the young men at the barbecue were supposed to be in the 19-20 age range, and they all looked much older than that.
Clark Gable was perfect as Rhett. Perfect! As was Vivien Leigh as Scarlett and Hattie McDaniel as Mammy and Olivia De Havilland as Melanie.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||Last Thursday at 2:34 PM|
I wish i could find the other "Rebecca" screen tests on youtube, but I could only find Leigh's and Fontaine's. Fontaine is aboslutely perfect for the part from the get-go. She was so great and conveying insecurity and nervousness (but with great charm all the same).
There are many other screen tests on the Criterion disc set. Surprisingly some excellent actresses lie Margaret Sullavan are completely wrong for the part--Sullavan comes across as deeply neurotic, which is not right for the role.
Surprisngly the most affecting reading comes from Loretta Young, who is deeply poignant--but she was far too beautiful to be believable as the self-deprecating second Mrs. de Winter.
Anne Baxter read for the part at age 16 (!), and she was actually Hithcock's first choice... but Selznick wanted Fontaine, and got his way. Baxter's reading for her screen test is actually excellent (she had not yet picked up the mannerisms that render her so bizarrely artificial in "the Razor's Edge" and "All About Eve"), but having a 16 year-old American girl in the part would have changed the movie very drastically from what we know of it today.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||Last Thursday at 2:36 PM|
And Butterfly McQueen, R19, don't forget that.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||Last Thursday at 2:36 PM|
Bankhead's test was the first, in 1936. It was, short, silent and in black and white, just a photography test. Bankhead would have been great. She born into Southern aristocracy and was even more more wild and independent than Scarlett.
At any rate, Selznick didn't like the way she photographed but instructed his assistant to offer her the part of Belle Watling. Neither she nor anyone else on the staff had the balls to contact Bankhead and tell her that Selznick thought she was a good fit to play the town madame and the offer was never passed on.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||Last Thursday at 3:11 PM|
Bankhead was almost 40 when GWTW was filming.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||Last Thursday at 3:41 PM|
Gwyneth Paltrow and Helen Hunt audition for "Jurassic Park" (1992)
|by Anonymous||reply 26||Last Thursday at 3:50 PM|
Tallulah Bankhead as a fresh young 16 year old Southern belle? That would have made Gone With The Wind a science fiction movie.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||Last Thursday at 5:16 PM|
Ugh. Paltrow and her diffident, bubble headed upspeak. Scientist my ass. She's about as convincing as a woman of science as Tanya Roberts was in "A View to A Kill".
Helen would have worked just fine.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||Last Thursday at 5:33 PM|
R19 - actually Ashley was about 25-26 at the time of the barbecue. He had graduated college, spent 3 years on his "Grand Tour" and spent 2 years squiring Scarlett around the county. So Scarlett was 16 and Ashley 25 or so when the ook and movie begins. The Tarleton twins were supposed to be 19 and the other boys around 20 - but you are right, they look around 30.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||Last Thursday at 5:57 PM|
I've always thought Clark Gable was less than perfect as Rhett because he doesn't sound anything like someone out of Charleston, SC.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||Last Thursday at 7:42 PM|
[quote] Bankhead would have been great. She born into Southern aristocracy and was even more more wild and independent than Scarlett.
George Cukor once said about Tallulah Bankhead, "She had beautiful bones, but her eyes were not eyes for movies. They looked somehow hooded and dead.... Her smile did not illuminate."
|by Anonymous||reply 31||Last Thursday at 7:48 PM|
'Tippi' Hedren's screen test depicted in the HBO film "The Girl". Watching Sienna Miller attempt to re-create Miss Hedren's beauty, elan and effortless elegance was excruciatingly painful to watch. It literally looked like a 6yo prancing around in mommy's high heels.
Hedren was actually ONE of three actresses Hitchcock tested(the others being Claire Griswold and Joanna Moore) and were reportedly the most expensive tests in Hollywood history.
It's easy to see why she was selected. Wonderful, mid-Atlantic inflections, refined posture and body line and bitch knew how to wear and manipulate her Edith Head created costumes. I especially love how at 00:35 she gracefully removes the wrap, catches it behind her back and subtly "presents" the gown all while deftly emasculating Martin Balsam.
She breezily fends off the creepy boorishness of Hitch and Balsam and is stylized to the point of pantomime....which was precisely the aesthetic Hitchcock was going for.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||Last Thursday at 7:54 PM|
Great thread, OP.
r26 wasn't Spielberg Gwenyth's godfather? Glad he and the casting director didn't let that connection compromise their casting decision.
As much as I like Laura Dern, I think Helen Hunt would have been a great choice. Within ten seconds, I totally believed her, unlike Gwenyth's disastrous audition.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||Last Thursday at 7:55 PM|
Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct.
Say what you will about Stone, but she is completely magnetic in this screen test. And just watching her, there's no doubt she knew she had that part in the bag.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||Last Thursday at 7:58 PM|
Jeanne Tripplehorn's "Basic Instinct" test was pretty much "in the bag, too".
I actually found her character more compelling than Stone's.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||Last Thursday at 8:12 PM|
Leslie Ann Warren was a cutie but too neurotic, pop eyed and high strung for Lois Lane. She always gives off a dirty sex vibe. I wasn't even born in 1977 but it's easy to see why Kidder won that role. She's layered and charming, flinty and sweet. Not pretty, but ironic. She would never be cast today.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||Last Thursday at 8:24 PM|
R9, that's Dick Davalos, Dean's co-star in "East of Eden."
|by Anonymous||reply 37||Last Thursday at 8:55 PM|
R37, thanks alot for that. What an electric pairing they are.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||Last Thursday at 8:59 PM|
That delicious eye roll when he mentions Tallulah Bankhead.....the sexiest man alive. Marlon Brando in his Rebel Without a Cause screen test and "interview."
|by Anonymous||reply 39||Last Thursday at 9:06 PM|
[quote]Leslie Ann Warren was a cutie but too neurotic, pop eyed and high strung for Lois Lane
As long as we're discussing "Superman" related screen tests here are some of the other actresses who auditioned for the role of "Ursa".
Sarah Douglas was ideal but if you ever wanted to see Alexis Carrington with super powers then I think Dana Gillespie could have been great as well. And she could do stunts.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||Last Friday at 12:40 AM|
Here's Audrey Hepburn's famous screen test for Roman Holiday. They told her the camera was turned off when she started talking about surviving WWII as a teen. Apparently this part of the screen test won William Wyler over and he gave her the role of Princess Anna:
|by Anonymous||reply 41||Last Friday at 12:54 AM|
Chris Klein's screen test for Mamma Mia has to be seen (or should I say heard) to be believed.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||Last Friday at 12:59 AM|
Hard to believe a man so handsome, so jaunty and so cool was just a B-list television actor. He even makes talking with a cigarette in your mouth look sexy.
He's every inch the star everyone thinks George Clooney is.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||Last Friday at 1:14 AM|
r43 he screamed desperate and his acting is terrible. what's hard to believe?
|by Anonymous||reply 44||Last Friday at 1:51 AM|
a very butch Stockard Channing,
Is there any other kind?
|by Anonymous||reply 45||Last Friday at 8:09 AM|
Can I stop this thread for a moment to implore everyone to watch R42 's submission?
I almost didn't click, thinking who is this guy?
R42, I am giving you kudos. I created this thread hoping for revelation, and you delivered.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||Last Friday at 8:24 AM|
R42 is better than Pierce Brosnan.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||Last Friday at 9:00 AM|
R42 Currently wins this thread. By a wide margin.
But oh how sweet it would be to find competitors for the throne!
|by Anonymous||reply 48||Last Friday at 11:28 AM|
What ever happened to her, anyway? She is not very good here.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||Last Friday at 12:49 PM|
Blonde god William Katt and Kurt Russell test for Star Wars
|by Anonymous||reply 51||Last Friday at 12:54 PM|
R20 wouldn't Hedy Lamarr have made a great Mrs. DeWinter. I realize we never see her but still, she was exactly the type.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||Last Friday at 1:06 PM|
Where the hell is Liza's test for Russell's EVITA?!
|by Anonymous||reply 53||Last Friday at 1:25 PM|
R50 NO ONE was particularly good. They didn't know what the fuck was going on! Nowadays its less forgivable because this genre has been around long enough that this goobledygook should be more familiar by acclimatization.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||Last Friday at 1:26 PM|
R54 what are you talking about, have you been drinking? Am I gonna have to go all Rhoda Young on your ass? Put down the PBR before you burn your damn house down.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||Last Friday at 2:10 PM|
PBR?! I'm more likely to have a PBJ!
I was referring to the technobabble and heightened language that is rife in Sci-Fi. American actors in particular don't comprehend it or internalize it, esp in '76. Now, its more common.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||Last Friday at 2:20 PM|
I agreed to narrate this piece as the work originated on the legitimate stage.
|by Anonymous||reply 57||Last Friday at 2:35 PM|
[quote][R43] he screamed desperate and his acting is terrible. what's hard to believe?
I would say that assessment would apply more to R42.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||Last Friday at 2:41 PM|
Funny Girl would have been so much better with someone other than Streisand.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||Last Friday at 3:08 PM|
[quote]Funny Girl would have been so much better with someone other than Streisand.
Funny Girl wouldn't have been POSSIBLE without Streisand.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||Last Friday at 3:27 PM|
Gillian tests for Pathe in 1944.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||Last Friday at 3:35 PM|
And when our good housekeeper, poor Mrs. Cooper, finds out what you've been doing on these "supposed" fishing trips of ours......
I'm afraid the blow will kill her.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||Last Friday at 3:38 PM|
Maybe she's doing a screen test for a film on how not to do a screen test r63.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||Last Friday at 3:39 PM|
Any Tab Hunter or Tony Perkins screen tests out there?
|by Anonymous||reply 66||Last Friday at 4:57 PM|
Awesome link, OP.
I can't believe Joan Bennet was ever in the running. I am assuming Paulette knew how close she came to getting the role. She must have been heart broken.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||Last Friday at 5:42 PM|
Thanks, R67, glad you enjoyed it. Had I been Paulette Goddard I never would have gotten over the loss. Much like owning then losing a jackpot lotto ticket.
R66, I googled both Tab Hunter and Tony Perkins, came up with nothing. Maybe someone out there can help us out (a private collection,maybe?) Great suggestions.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||Last Friday at 6:03 PM|
[quote] Had I been Paulette Goddard I never would have gotten over the loss. Much like owning then losing a jackpot lotto ticket.
She got over it, all right - she was extremely rich by the time she died in her lakeside Swiss villa and left more than 20 million $ to NYU alone in her will.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||Last Friday at 6:15 PM|
Always fascinating Sandy Dennis' screen test for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. With Roddy McDowall.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||Last Friday at 6:16 PM|
I found this. I don't know what this is. But I'm leaving it here.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||Last Friday at 6:24 PM|
Sandy Dennis can do no wrong. Good one, R70.
She's another one I'd have loved to have over for dinner. Strange, peculiar lady with a fascinating brain.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||Last Friday at 6:29 PM|
Ann-Margret the enchantress.
Could anyone else have been a contender after this? Is there anyone who didn't fall immediately in love with her?
|by Anonymous||reply 73||Last Friday at 7:55 PM|
Bill Bailey, you're a fool for ever leaving in the first place.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||Last Friday at 7:58 PM|
Oh what the hell, let's make it a trifecta.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||Last Friday at 8:00 PM|
Wardrobe tests with Judy.
She seems to become a little wobbly. Maybe it's just me.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||Last Friday at 8:08 PM|
While not a screen test, this is rehearsal footage mixed in with Judy's actual performance.
It's extremely disturbing, and very sad.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||Last Friday at 8:21 PM|
Paulette as Scarlett is so fascinating to ponder. She would have been great but entirely different from Vivien Leigh.
Paulette is foxier, sexier, earthier but could never convince Rhett or the audience that she was a virginal well-brought up 16 year old. American vs British demeanor, and while you'd think the former would be preferable and more logical, I completely get why Selznick and Cukor went with the latter.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||Last Saturday at 4:40 AM|
Great thread for this snowy day. I may just binge on Ann-Margret movies til spring.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||Last Saturday at 8:03 AM|
Here's a lengthier companion piece to the Audrey Hepburnscreen test up-thread.
This one has fantastic commentary from wardrobe designer Edith Head!
|by Anonymous||reply 80||Last Saturday at 8:10 AM|
Edith Head gave good wardrobe
|by Anonymous||reply 81||Last Saturday at 8:22 AM|
I can see why they snatched Ann-Margret up.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||Last Saturday at 8:44 AM|
I don't think Edith was terribly loved or appreciated by Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly.
As soon as Roman Holiday made her a star, Audrey used that power to insist that her friend Hubert de Givenchy design her wardrobe for her next film Sabrina. Head still got the credit as Paramount's resident Costume Designer.
And Grace Kelly asked MGM's Helen Rose to design her wedding gown for her royal Monaco wedding in spite of Head's best efforts in several of Kelly's Hitchcock films.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||Last Saturday at 8:47 AM|
That Chris Klein clip is hilarious
|by Anonymous||reply 84||Last Saturday at 8:50 AM|
Audrey Hepburn was exquisite.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||Last Saturday at 8:54 AM|
I can’t watch at r42. I can’t stand 2nd hand embarrassment. Anyone want to sum it up?
|by Anonymous||reply 86||Last Saturday at 10:13 AM|
He acts like a chummy douchebro and then sings off-key, sometimes way off. You should watch it.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||Last Saturday at 10:39 AM|
R77 what was so sad and disturbing about that? Thrill us with your acumen. Judy was rehearsing that’s why they call it a rehearsal. When it was showtime she was polished, poised and at the top of her game. That’s what you call a professional. And I think it’s magnificent.
|by Anonymous||reply 88||Last Saturday at 12:02 PM|
I'm a bit surprised at the relative lack of comments on R4's Dean-Newman screen test.
That had to have been buried for years, the sparks between them were so undeniable that I can't see a studio letting it see the light of day. Had it been in color I'd bet Newman's face and neck were bright red. I've watched it several times now. If you haven't watched yet I recommend you do.
Same goes for R9's post.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||Last Saturday at 1:56 PM|
Rebel without a Cause tests
|by Anonymous||reply 90||Last Saturday at 2:48 PM|
Head was NOTORIOUS for stealing design credits.
Only Givenchy dared to sue, however, and he won.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||Last Saturday at 3:54 PM|
R91, "The minx in mink, with a yen for men?"
Well done, indeed.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||Last Saturday at 4:15 PM|
Head made the first version of the mink dress with heavy lead beads. It was so heavy that Rogers could barely walk, much less dance. in it . Director Mitchell Liesen had to instruct Head to have her costume department rebuild it with sequins instead of heavy lead beads as the brilliants. Leisen, who had started his career as a costume designer for Cecil DeMille, had given Head a sketch of what he wanted and even a written description. She later claimed the dress as her own design and she and Leisen were enemies thereafter. All she really did basically was supervise the Paramount costume department in cutting the patterns and the dress's construction. Leisen was the real designer and it became a very minor Hollywood scandal.
It was only years later, when Givenchy finally sued her successfully for claiming credit for his designs for Audrey Hepburn, that people finally became aware of what she really was.
Don't get me started about her ruthless, vicious backstabbing of her former mentor Travis Banton in order to replace him as head of Paramount's costume department.
|by Anonymous||reply 94||Yesterday at 12:23 AM|
The Hollywood studios employed many brilliant designers over the years in the golden age but only Adrian at MGM and Banton at Paramount were true couturiers who could have been equally successful in Paris if they had so chosen. Banton was indeed a true mentor to Head, who repaid him by spreading awful rumors and lies about him that lead to his forced resignation from Paramount and her succeeding him as head of the costume department.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||Yesterday at 12:59 AM|
More dish about Edith Head, please. I had no idea she was such a gigantic cunt.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||Yesterday at 1:00 AM|
But, sadly, the studio heads loved Edith Head, who loyally stayed on budget and efficiently ran her department, rather than a true artist like Travis Banton. They hated that Banton had so much control over their leading ladies like Dietrich, Colbert, Lombard and Mae West. And Banton's unpredictable drunken binges didn't exactly help his case.
Similarly, after Adrian retired from MGM, LB Mayer never allowed a costume designer or head of wardrobe to gain the kind of power Adrian wielded. He was replaced by the more reliable and mundane Irene and eventually Helen Rose. The other Irene, the fabulously talented Irene Sharaff, was spunkier and not easy to control, but she was never interested in a long term and exclusive contract with any studio.
Was there also some kind of homophobia at play at the studios (never mind that some of those ladies were closeted lesbians)?
|by Anonymous||reply 97||Yesterday at 4:18 AM|
R97 et al, I'd like to single you out as a great raconteur and contributor to this thread.
Without becoming too invasive, may I ask how it is you've come too know so many details to so many stories of old Hollywood?
I thank you very much.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||Yesterday at 8:15 AM|
I've always been interested and curious about old Hollywood, ever since I was a little kid watching b&w vintage films on TV. My natural curiosity just led me to reading books and articles and interviews. I'm especially fascinated by all of the behind the scenes areas of the early film industry like costume design.
|by Anonymous||reply 99||Yesterday at 9:33 AM|
Julia Roberts with Alan Boyce in a test for Blue Heaven
|by Anonymous||reply 101||a day ago|
From another dimension, Lindsay Lohan, ten and a half years old, The Parent Trap.
She and Dennis Quaid engage in an unscripted chat at 2:06.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||a day ago|
Koko, testing for Red Dog.
|by Anonymous||reply 104||a day ago|
Tom Selleck, for Indiana Jones.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||a day ago|
Wow Sean Young and Tom Selleck? Sean sure missed out on a lot of good parts.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||a day ago|
Tom Selleck just screams TV star.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||20 hours ago|