Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hooray for Hwood sort of

David Rensin has spent decades in Hollywood. He set many of his memories to paper in the excellent The Mailroom. Freddie Fields, one of the two or three most powerful agents in Hwood history, asked Rensin to help him write his memoirs. While they spent a good number of hours together--they were long time friends--Fields didn't live to complete the book. Now Rensin has a blog and is recounting some of the stories Fields told him.

The url below will lead you to a long and complicated story about the many many blind alleys that somehow led to the making of Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. There are only two constants in the story--scripter William Goldman and star Paul Newman. Finding a Sundance made for many tangled troubles.

Originally Jack Lemon was suggested as Sundance but the studio didn't want him. Then names such as Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen began buzzing around the project. The McQueen episode is the most interesting part of the piece. My interpretation of the tale is that McQueen felt he wouldn't get enough attention if he co-starred with a luminary like Newman. He presented this as a difficulty with the billing. Who's name would be first?

Fascinating stuff.

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