James Garner, Jack Warner, and…

14 Apr

— Karl


Posted in Main Page


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  1. shangheinz

    April 19, 2022 at 5:32 am

    Great inside look onto the Warner’s lot. Garner had a Curtiz like nemesis. Any idea who that might have been, Karl?

  2. Karl

    April 21, 2022 at 1:26 am

    I thought the same thing Heinz!

    (Curtiz, btw, had escaped from the WB corral by ’54)

    As to who Garner is talking about, I too am stumped.

    Garner gives away the film (Cash McCall, 1960) by naming who the ultimate director was: “Joe Pevney”.

    “This (Cash McCall) was one of three theatrical films produced with Garner as leading man during the period in which he was still playing the lead in the Warner Bros. television series Maverick (the other two were Darby’s Rangers (1958), and Up Periscope (1959)).

    The 2 directors, respectively for these were William Wellman and Gordon Douglas.

    As to a contentious relationship with either of these men, I found this:

    “Garner later wrote in his memoirs that he did not feel Wellman ‘wanted me in the part… and I don’t blame him: I was too young for it and he deserved a bigger star. But we got along fine because we respected each other.’)”

    In the case of Douglas, it’s his career highlights that speak to the character of the man:

    “Starting out as a child actor, Gordon Douglas was eventually hired by Hal Roach as a gag writer. His first directorial assignments were for Roach’s “Our Gang” series. Graduating to features, Douglas stayed with comedies, directing Oliver Hardy in Zenobia (1939) and both Hardy and Stan Laurel in Saps at Sea (1940). Douglas left Roach for RKO, for which he directed about a dozen films from 1942-47, mostly routine programmers. He then went to Columbia for several years, but in 1950 he headed over to Warner Brothers, where he would stay for the next 15 years and where he would find his greatest successes. His westerns and crime dramas for Warners met with critical and financial success, and it was during this period that he made what is considered one of the classic sci-fi films of the era: Them! (1954). Although he had his share of clunkers, and has at times expressed dissatisfaction with his career (he once said, “Don’t try to watch all the films I’ve directed; it would turn you off movies forever”), he was responsible for some of the more enjoyable films of the 1950s and 1960s.”

    I could find no other mention of a director for the McCall film and so must leave this topic where it lays.

    JUST before his own passing Garner, like Flynn, wrote a VERY forthcoming autobiography; highlights of which can be found here:…

    • Karl

      April 21, 2022 at 1:44 am

      Heinz- I just RE-listened to Garner a little more carefully.

      “That director that drove me crazy- I had to go all the way up to Jack Warner- they had put him on a feature (film) that I was going to do- I can’t work with him more than a week…”

      I looked at the LIST of Maverick TV series directors and one name LEAPED out:

      “Anthony Slide in his 8/87 “Films in Review” article on de Toth: “On the set de Toth never sits, never uses a director’s chair. Said one actor, ‘When you’ve made a film with de Toth, you’ve served your time in Hell’. He added, ‘I bled for Henry Hathaway. I only sweated for Andre de Toth’.”

      • shangheinz

        April 21, 2022 at 10:33 am

        Great gum shoe sleuthing, Karl- as Ralph would put it.

    • shangheinz

      April 21, 2022 at 10:26 am

      Whattaman, what a life, what a biography worthy of Flynn. No wonder Machoman McQueen was jealous of Maverick, who comes across as the real raw deal. What surly fueled their anymosity was that Garner did get to make Grand Prix, while Steve`s Formula 1 vehicle can only be glimpsed at in the spectacular documentary “The Lost Movie”. As far as maritial infidelity and ensuing jealousy is concerned, Le Mans and James Bond stunt driver, Dr. Erich Glavitzka, told me in an interview (…), it actually was Austrian actor and Oscar winner Maxilian Schell who broke up Steve McQueen`s marriage with Neile Adams.