May 26, 2008
The Louis Hayward Memorial Day Double Feature
Fortunes of Captain Blood
Gordon Douglas - 1950
Columbia Pictures Region 1 DVD
Ralph Murphy - 1952
Columbia Pictures Region 1 DVD
Several months ago, I was reading a biography about Ida Lupino. That in itself was interesting in learning about her theatrical heritage as well as her life and career. One section affected me unexpected. Lupino was married to Louis Hayward, an actor I had seen in a few films, but generally shrugged off as a low budget Errol Flynn, based on his starring in several movies featuring swordfights. What I didn't know about Hayward is that, a British citizen, he enlisted in the Marines the day after Pearl Harbor. As a Marine in the photographic unit he was on the ground directing the filming of the war including the battle at Tarawa, one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific Theater. A portion of the footage from Tarawa considered palatable for public viewing was edited for theatrical release. That 18 minute film, With the Marines at Tarawa won the 1945 Oscar for Best Documentary short subject. Two marines in the photographic unit died filming the battle, while Captain Hayward, who was on the beach as well, was awarded the Bronze Star. For me, it seems more appropriate to remember Louis Hayward on Memorial Day, than to watch war films starring actors who chose to stay at home.
As for the movies, they represent the waning years of a era when pirate movies were considered a viable genre. What would have been a major film from Warner Brothers in the Thirties, with Flynn, or from Fox in the Forties with Tyrone Power, was now a B picture from Columbia. Of the two films, Fortunes of Captain Blood is the better. There is nothing unexpected about the story of the physician turned pirate who proves his honor and honesty, winning the love of a lady of high station. What there is to enjoy about Fortunes of Captain Blood is the craftsmanship of Gordon Douglas. What I liked about the first film is that Douglas demonstrates how to film a scene in a single deftly composed shot. Early in the film, Blood goes to the house of a man who may hold important information. Inside, he discovers the man hanging from the ceiling. Blood hears some men entering from another part of the building. Douglas films the shot so that we see Blood on the right, in close up, next to the open door to the room which is on the left side of the screen. Within that same shot we see the two men enter the room to take down their dead victim and search for a missing item. It's only a small part of the film, but it is the kind of scene that a filmmaker with less visual imagination would do with multiple shots.
Gordon's visual panache is missed in Captain Pirate. The film, shot in Technicolor that seems fairly well reproduced on DVD, is prettier to look at, but the energy of the first film is missing. An fake Captain Blood is on the loose, sullying the reputation of the real Captain Blood. The second film has some of the actors from the first film, as well as scenes that attempt to duplicate some of those from from that film, including the discovery by Blood of an incriminating item found clasped by a dead person. Footage from the first film is also included, placed in a different context while Patricia Medina narrates the background story about about the pirate hero for the new set of villains, and presumably those audience members who never saw Fortunes of Captain Blood.
What is certain is that the on screen adventures of Louis Hayward pale compared to his own life. A more complete documentation of Hayward's life may be in order, as well as the opportunity to re-see With the Marines at Tarawa. If Louis Hayward made being a movie hero look easy, it may have been because he experienced the struggle of true heroism when the camera was focused on others.
Posted by peter at May 26, 2008 12:17 AM
I've read your comments and agree with them, but there was more to Louis Hayward then these lightweight films. Earlier in his career, he gave a performance in Man In The Iron Mask (1939) that would be hard to match, and I believe impossible to better. In any case, I have some interest in pursuing this dialogue as I was his personal manager in the latter half of his career, and he was as fine a man as he was an actor. I am always pleased to see some written appreciation .
Look forward to hearing from you.
Posted by: Barry Lane at July 9, 2008 05:46 PM
I have been a huge fan of Louis Hayward since the 1950's when I discovered his films on TV. I agree that The Man in the Iron Mask was his best performance. Would be interested in more personal inside info from Barry Lane. I still haven't forgiven Ida Lupino for divorcing him when he returned from the war.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at July 14, 2008 07:01 PM
The Lupino-Hayward divorce was, among other things, a product of separation and war. Not at all unusual for that time. Louis and Ida remained on good terms for the remainder of their lives. There is a biographical entry on IMDB that has numerous error and omissions.
1. The Noel Coward play was Point Valaine, not Point Verlaine.
2. He did not appear, nor was he scheduled to appear in The Magnificent Ambersons. Not only did he not have a contract with RKO at that time, but was headed to Quantico, Virginia and military service.
3. He did not play twins in And Then There Were None.
4. He did not play twins in The Son of Dr. Jekyll.
5. The Son of Monte Cristo, while not as well received as Man In The Iron Mask was a considerable commericial success.
Finally, Seafield Grant was not a persons name, but rather a property, The (land) grant of Seafield in Cornwall that Louis inherited, and subsequently sold.
Louis, and his third wife, the lovely June, had a son, Dana, who died suddenly two years ago.
Hope that some of this informs and entertains you.
Posted by: Barry Lane at July 17, 2008 05:23 PM
Thanks, Barry. The Seafield Grant name is in a number of web biographies. Sorry to hear about the death of his son. I have seen And Then There Were None and Son of Monte Cristo along with most of his other films.
My questions are: what was Louis Hayward really like? Was he happy? Was he healthy? How did he spend his leisure time? The Find-a-grave website says there was no funeral. Do you know why?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at July 18, 2008 09:58 AM
In the late 1950's, Louis came to Houston (where I live), probably to promote The Search for Bridey Murphy. He was interviewed by the local newspaper and the reporter wrote that Louis was a linguist and a gourmet. He could order a steak in 21 languages. (This is Texas where steak is considered gourmet fare.)
To paraphrase Elton John, I wish I could have known him better, but I was just a kid. But I can still enjoy his films.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at July 22, 2008 10:04 AM
If you have any specific questions, I will do my best to fill you in. In any case, I like your Houston story. It was propably Bridey Murphy, and Louis did have a degree of erudition quite unusual for todays world.
Posted by: Barry Lane at August 7, 2008 11:16 AM
I have purchased (on EBAY) a Chicago Playbill from the Opera House for a performance of Camelot in Dec. 1963, starring Louis Hayward as Arthur. Is this document authentic? Did he do any other stage work in the US other than the Broadway show that brought him here?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at August 9, 2008 10:33 PM
Other than Point Valaine, Camelot was the only theatrical engagement Louis accepted after the start of his film career. He was offered The Pleasure of His Company, My Fair Lady, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and The Deer Park. Louis Hayward and I met just as he was beginning Camelot. Alan Jay Lerner, in his autobiography The Street Where I Live writes movingly about Louis, the Chicago company and the assasination of President Kennedy. If you can find a copy, it might be worthwhile.
Posted by: Barry Lane at August 11, 2008 03:20 PM
Thanks, Barry, I'll look for that book. I bought the program for the biography of Louis, which included details I have not seen in any other source.
Just one more question: is there any significance to the pinky ring Louis wears in a lot of his screen roles?
And a request: as one of Louis's last surviving friends, it would be great if you would write a biography of this interesting and courageous man. As you know, information in print and online sources is sketchy and unreliable.
As a devoted admirer, it has been great having a dialogue with someone who actually knew Louis Hayward.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at August 12, 2008 11:10 AM
According to DVD Talk Man In The Iron Mask will be availabe in a remastered special edition in early September. It came as news to me, but welcome. Let's hope they've done their due diligence.
By the way, you're obviously a real fan. Noticing the ring matters. Good going.
Posted by: Barry Lane at August 21, 2008 02:33 PM
Maybe you can explain the ring in that biography you're going to write.
Thanks, Barry. It's been fun.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at August 22, 2008 04:53 PM
Interesting information. Is Louis widow still alive? I found June Hayward's name in a Palm Springs phone book about 10 years ago. Yes, the pinkie ring is quite noticeable in his films. I knew he had a son from the Palm Springs newspaper obit and would have liked to have met him.
I appreciate the information about the Lerner biography. I remember when Louis toured in Camelot. Here is a quote from another site about the play. "Another company came to our fair city (San Francisco) in 1964 with Louis Hayward as the King and Kathryn Grayson as Guenevere. It was one of the only Broadway musicals to play in the San Francisco Opera House since the Curran Theatre could not accept the large sets." I had just returned from the Peace Corps having spent two years in Chile. I can't remember why I did not see the play but I believe it was finances. I was also ready to enlist in the Coast Guard that August (the draft board was breathing down my neck) so I missed the chance to see Louis.
Jane Russell's autobiography mentions Louis with affection. She developed a crush on him during the filming of Young Widow. According to Jane, his personality was not the brash outgoing man he often portrayed in films but quiet and friendly. She remembered he socialized with most of the people on the set but kept his distance from her. This time was probably after his divorce from Lupino and no doubt he was wary of another romance.
I agree with the earlier comments about the two pirate films; the black and white film was the better of the two. I would guess both were a package deal and enough footage was shot with the same cast to make two movies. I don't understand why one was in black and white and the second in color. If shooting in color in more expensive and if a different film stock was necessary than my theory is full of holes. Perhaps Barry can enlighten me. Anyway, it was fun to see them both. Given Patricia Medina's long association with Louis, it would be interesting to get her thoughts.
My interest in Louis goes back to the Duke of West Point. I saw the film in re-release in, I think, 1948. I had earlier seen And Then There Were None. Louis was the nominal "hero" of that film and he impressed me. This notion of the outsider in "Duke" who eventually becomes the toast of the Academy was very appealing to me. My self esteem in those days must not have been very good and Louis set an example of how one can come out of top, despite obstacles. I know Louis had an addiction to cigarettes and the Palm Springs obit mentions his strong advice to never develop the habit. I am delighted to find this site and read the comments of Barry Lane.
Posted by: Nelson W. Black at September 1, 2008 08:36 AM
The following is for your information.
June Hayward passed away November 1998 in Palm Springs. There had been problems for some time, but none of us were aware of the extent, so that her appeared to come suddenly to friends and family.
Louis always spoke with warmth, affection and respect relative to Jane Russell. As I understand it, and this may not be wholly accurate, the Young Widow was to have Louis and Ida together, but for reasons probably relative to the break up of their marriage, Ida pulled out. Louis remained with the project, as you know, and I believe the result was at least somewhat disappointing to all concerned.
The Pirate films: these were part of a four picture deal set up with Columbia. Harry Joe Brown was the producer of three. Fortunes, Captain Pirate and Lady and the Bandit. Son of Dr. Jekyll was a straight on studio production. Of these, only Fortunes of Captain Blood opened on a first run basis. Captain Pirate was shot some 18 months later. Probably because of the color and increased budget, Louis thought this film was slightly better than the first one. The idea of coming together with Harry Joe Brown was to create a marketable series of costume pictures at a more or less similar level to the westerns Brown and Randoph Scott had been doing.
The Duke of West Point, I think, has a soul of its own. No excuses necessary for treasuring its memory. I remember when Richard Carlson passed, Louis, though they had not been in touch, was quite upset.
Louis Hayward, as many people of his time, did indeed smoke, and though he had given up the habit five or six years prior to his passing, that unfortunately was not good enough.
I enjoyed reading your comments.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 5, 2008 12:33 PM
Another Louis Hayward fan has surfaced Barry. How wonderful to have comments from someone around that actually worked with and got to know Louis.
I discovered him very yountg seeing Captain Pirate; and then preceeded to find him in those wonderful; `30s and `40s films on TV. I think `Man in the Iron Mask` is his finest performance. And it seems as fresh today as in 1939.
I am curious about somw things that maybe you can enlighten.
Years ago IO saw a bleep in one of the trade papers that ouis traded his Malibu house with Adam West`s Palm Springs home. Is that how it came about?
I was sorry to hear of his third wife`s passing. It seemed to be his happiest marriage. I read wife Nr. 2 sued him for desertion in their divorce. She seemed all wrong for him.
I always liked Ida and he together. In her bio. it is said she was crushed over the breakup; and he didn`t appear in court so it would be smooth going for the divorce True? It seems they remained friends throughout their lives.
I was disturbed in reading Noel Coward`s bio. that Louis was one of his `boys`, in the very early days. And the breakup crushed Noel so much that he wouldn`t speak to Louis when they were on the same lot filming in later years,.
Louis seemed such an honorable and personable man throughout his life. Not alot of such credible people exist today. I am happey to be a fan; and to find yu to ask questions. of. Thankyou, Donna
Posted by: donna albertsen at September 9, 2008 03:02 PM
Louis and June did sell their Mailbu home to Adam West. I've never heard the story of a straight swap until now.
Noel Coward and Louis Hayward never spoke again after the release of Man In The Iron Mask. Next time you watch, close your eyes when Louis Hayward is prancing around as Louis IV and you will hear a scathing burlesque of Noel. As far as Louis being one of Noel's boy--this was an unrealized fantasy of Coward.
Louis remained on good or civil terms with both Ida Lupino and Peggy Morrow. From what I understand, Peggy had a difficult time in her last few years. Louis was one of the few attendees at her funeral.
In the nobody asked me department: my favorite films, more or less in order are--
1. And Then There Were None
2. Man In The Iron Mask
3. Duke of West Point
4. The Saint in New York
5. Son of Monte Cristo
6. A Feather In Her Hat
7. The Woman I Love
8. The Pirates of Capri
9. Anthony Adverse (the prologue)
10. My Son, My Son
Thanks for responding. I hope it continues.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 10, 2008 09:35 PM
That, of course, should be Louis XIV not Louis IV. And I suppose Ladies In Retirement should be on that list. Louis mentioned, on more than one occasion, that it was his personal favorite.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 11, 2008 11:09 AM
Thanks for your candor, Barry.
I would add The Black Arrow as one of my favorite Hayward films.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 11, 2008 04:03 PM
Barry: I have to watch Pirates of Capri again. I have the film and I guess the dubbing put me off. Also, it's obvious that much of the swashbuckling of the Hayward character is done by a double. I have not seen Return of Monte Cristo, Lady In The Iron Mask, the last Saint movie and a few others but by and large I agree with your list. "Feather" is pretty obscure. I see that Leonard Maltin does not include it in his T.V.Movie Key. or at least not in my edition. Given that you were working with Louis at the time of his Camelot role, do you have any reviews of his performance? I do have the program. My memory of the review in either the S.F.Chronicle or Examiner is hazy but I don't remember it as being particularly positive. Is there any truth to the following reference on the internet about Kathryn Grayson being a bit unhappy with Louis in one scene from Camelot? ..."1963 would bring another critical success as Kathryn took over the role of Queen Guinevere in the national touring production of Lerner and Loewe's lovely musical, Camelot. Kathryn did, however, suffer from her success. Her Camelot co-star, Louis Hayward, wasn't a very strong man, and when he had to jump out of a tree in the play, he had to hold on to Kathryn!"...I can't lay my hooks on that program now but my memory of the Grayson photo shows that by 1963 she was no longer the svelte young thing she was in 1951 when she made Show Boat.
Posted by: Nelson W. Black at September 11, 2008 07:50 PM
Sure, The Black Arrow has plenty of value and was a success. I suppose you could include Ruthless and The Strange Woman, as well. Most of these post-war films did not have the same importance as the pre-war pictures. If he was here he might disagree since his fees had risen considerably, but I have, with the exception of And Then There Were None, thought the films in the 1945 - 1950 era to be either less ambitious and/or less successful. In other words, from a career perspective he was looking for another important project. In the fifties, he thought Peter Finch's part in Elephant Walk might be it, but obviously, this did not work out.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 12, 2008 11:38 AM
A Feather In Her Hat opened at Radio City Music Hall, which was a pretty big deal at the time.
The Pirates of Capri was the first Italian-American co-production. All Day Entertainment brought out an excellent remastered edition 7 or 8 years ago, with interesting special features. You might still be able to locate a copy on Amazon. In any case, Louis did indeed do all, or most of his stunts. This is confirmed by Ariane Ulmer, the director's daughter on the disc.
Camelot: This is a play in which the parts work better individually than the whole piece. It is almost never well received by critics, although clearly the score, and certain dramatic moments are effective. Louis was actually quite a strong guy, but during the run he had a heart attack, and left the play. He did return a year later to fill out the final month of his contract. As for Kathryn Grayson, I only met her once, and I thought her quite attractive.
Back to Pirates, it has many outstanding elements, including an absolutely great score by Nino Rota. Give it another chance.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 12, 2008 11:53 AM
Thankyou,Barry for such wonderful insight into Luis` character.
I read that he and Edgar Ulmer formed a production co. Louis seemed a very inovative man, looking into other businesses. Was this production co. successful? Also he owned Chanticlair restaurant???. Can you tell me where it was located, as I have always lived in the LA area?
What is your opinion of Repeat Performance? He did a wonderful despicable character. It was a big adult hicture for Joan Leslie. Recently I went to the Academy theater for an evening celebrating Bette Davis; and Joan was there sharing her memories. She was as sweet and delightful now as she appeared on screen so many years ago---but but tinier.
I always liked the chemisty between Joan Bennett and Louis on screen. She always seemed so staid and frosty in her films; but in my opinioin he could melt an icecube with charm.
I also had read that `Ladies in Retirement` was Ida`s favorite also. I really enjoyed seeing them togther on screen. And we got a preview of Louis singing.
Barry I really appreciate your taking the time to answer the questions and lend your own first hand expertise.
Posted by: donna albertsen at September 12, 2008 03:51 PM
Repeat Performance was quite successful and worked well in its time. I think the treatment might seemed dated today, but that over theatricality was, and probably still is, the element that makes the film so memorable. I think the cast was better than well assembled, and from top to bottom performed their assignments with intelligence and style. Basehart, Joan Leslie and Louis are often singled out, but Tom Conway was, I thought espcecially effective.
AFA: Associated Film Artists was the name of Louis' production company. And if you squint at the title cards for Pirates of Capri you might be able to make at the AFA logo. Royal African Rifles also provided the services and Louis Hayward as star and Executive Producer through AFA but no credit exists on the completed film.
In the late sixties, I initiated a project with the CBS owned and operated stations for a series of 13 feature films to fill the late night window in opposition to the Carson show. Louis was to be the producer of all and an occasional star; Edgar Ulmer would have directed the entire group. This story was treated on the front pages of both The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety. For a number of reasons, not least that the network ultimately opted to bring Merv Griffin on board to go up against The Tonight Show, these projects, while developed, at least to some degree, were never filmed.
Louis was also one of the producing partners in The Lone Wolf, and The Pursuers. There were some other unrealized projects as well.
I am unable to offer much about The Chanticlair other than what you probably already know.
And I liked Joan Bennett, too. Wish we had seen more of her with him.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 14, 2008 01:21 PM
On eBay, there is an issue of Canal TV from 1965 for sale that is described as an Argentine TV guide. It contains a double-page photo of Louis with the Police Dog from The Pursuers. Apparently The Pursuers was on TV in Argentina. Why was it never shown in the U.S.?
Louis had a beautiful and distinctive voice. Did he ever to any voice work: voice-overs, animated films, etc?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 18, 2008 09:36 AM
Re: The Pursuers
This was broadcast in New York over the Teleprompter Cable Network in the early 1970's. The object was to create interest in other markets. That didn't happen. But, here is a story that Louis told...in 1961 the President of the William Morris Agency, Abe Lastfogel flew into London and screened the first four episodes. He proposed that if the other thirty-five were produced in color he would guarantee a sale to NBC. Louis responded positively at once, but his partners, after some financial consideration, decided against going ahead. The Saint, ultimately filled that spot. Now bear in mind Mr. Lastfogel did not guarantee a time slot, only that the network would pick it up because of its comparatively early conversion to color broadcasting.
As far as voice over work is concerned, I know of only two instances, both commercials in which Louis worked. He replaced Richard Basehart as the radio voice of Time Magazine for a week or two when Basehart was unavailable, and he did the voice on the Mobil Oil commerical..."Dirt has an enemy..."
Stay in touch.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 18, 2008 05:07 PM
Hello Barry, I really appreciated your insightful answers to my questions, thankyou. I noticed that Zackery Scott stood up with Louis at his wedding to Peggy, were they good friends? And did their friendship have anything to do with them teaming up for `Ruthless?` How was `Ruthless` received? I really enjoyed it.
Like yu, the earlier films `And then their were None` and back was my favorite period. However I wasn`t sure `Dance Girl Dance` worked for me. I thought it was a very good showcase for Lucille Ball. Did it do well?
Did Louis ever talk much about the war and his Bronze MEdal? And being connected with an Oscar for the doc. `With the Marines at Tarawa?`
You are so kind to induldge his fans now that we found you.
Thankyou so much, Donna
Posted by: donna albertsen at September 18, 2008 06:01 PM
First, and foremost, it is my pleasure to share this interest with all of you. I think it gratifying.
Ruthless was fairly well received, but did not live up to the producers' expectations. Arthur Lyons was a prominent agent, who numbered Louis among his clients. Louis loved him and essentially did Ruthless as a favor. The director, Edgar Ulmer, was Louis closest friend at the time.
Dance, Girl, Dance was a failure that in our time has been reevaluated. Louis owed RKO a picture, and this was it.
As far as his military service is concerned, he thought these were the happiest days of his life. That doesn't mean the fighting on Tarawa, but service life, the institution, the guys.
Louis also received, in addition to the Bronze Star, a Presidential Unit Citation. There is an absolutely terrific book, Tarawa--A Hell of a Way to Die by Derrick Wright, published about ten years ago. My wife and I flew over and met Derrick in the spring of 1999. He was as a great a guy as one could hope to meet.
And, by the way, so was Louis Hayward, which is the subtext of everything.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 18, 2008 07:10 PM
If you go to Tarawa On The Web, there is an interesting article by Sgt. Lee Miller.
Hope you go to the site.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 18, 2008 07:45 PM
I read the article by Sgt. Miller. We're sure glad he didn't shoot Louis!
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 19, 2008 12:56 PM
Also: if you find anyone who is offering the complete season of The Pursuers, would appreciate it if you would let us know.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 19, 2008 01:15 PM
I'll make a call on this.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 19, 2008 10:51 PM
I found the Sgt. Miller article and really enjoyed it. The telling was so graphic, and also being compared to the opening of `Saving Private Ryan`, that I don`t wonder Louis had a mental breakdown when he returned. In many, after the war, articles that I read he always seemed so supportive of the guys and what they go through. This really was a turning point in his life.
Did Dana ever marry? And if so have a family? How old was he when he died? June seemed like the right marriage. Can you tell me a little about how they met and what their life was like from Palm Springs?
You know one of his best performances , a small one, was the scene in `Strange Woman` when Sanders goes to see him in the shack and Louis breaks down. Excellent.
How did you meet?
Wasn`t Arthur Lyons one of the producing partners also? He was Louis agent for a long time. In Ida`s bio., Louis asked Lyons to also represent Ida, when her career had stalled.
I`m enjoying all the info, Barry. Thanks
Posted by: donna albertsen at September 20, 2008 04:43 PM
None of the bios mention Louis's relationship with his mother after he moved to this country. Did he ever go to see her (England or wherever she lived later)? Did she ever come to this country to visit him?
I am also enjoying this dialogue very much.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 21, 2008 02:11 PM
Producing Artists was the company Arthur Lyons set up. To the best of my knowledge, and this may be incomplete, this had nothing to do with any other project or individual. It is likely there were other scripts in various stages of development, but no other film or television program was realized.
Louis contracted malaria while serving in South Pacific, and he was severely affected by both his illness and experience. He did not, however, have a breakdown. This is reported in several places, and like other errors or interpretation of fact, it is what it is. Not much. The war did affect most people. There really was a different kind of person, pre and post war. As for Louis Hayward, he remained a part of the Marine Corps for some time after the conflicts conclusion. When it was all over he had attained the rank of Colonel in the reserve.
Dana did indeed marry, to a lovely girl and for an extended period of time.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 22, 2008 02:03 PM
The Pursuers is being looked after. More to come on this in the next few weeks.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 23, 2008 02:42 PM
Thank yu for clearing up Louis` mental status after the war. In the A&E bio. vhs on Ida, his mental instability is brought up; and per Ida`s daughter, he asked Ida to divorce him. It is also mentioned in the bio book on Ida of a long mental breakdown. It is wonderful to have yu to help clear up these misconceptions.
A while back, I encountered a relative of Louis` Cameron Little, whose grandfather was the brother of Louis` mother. He said his mother was the historian of the family; and they called him Uncle Louis. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org if yu were so inclined to communicate with him.
What is your opinion of Louis` first hollywood film? `The Flame Within`. He certainly was in a worthy cast for his first. And was he not happy at MGM? Was an
Edward Small longterm contract a big deal back then? Thankyu, Barry
Posted by: donna albersen at September 23, 2008 03:30 PM
I purchased the complete set of The Lone Wolf TV series and have been watching one episode per day. Michael Lanyard's soft-spoken, quiet and friendly personality seems to match the description of Louis's off-screen personality from the Jane Russell bio. Was the Lone Wolf West Corporation (in the credits) Louis's company? The Lone Wolf got great reviews when it was first broadcast. Do you know why there was no second season?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 23, 2008 06:01 PM
I thought The Flame Within was pretty effective in the style of that time. The cast was first rate. As for MGM, I did ask Louis about that. He said the following: the contract for fifty weeks was excellent. Not only was the money good, but he had script approval, within certain bounds, i.e., he had an obligation to appear on screen a certain number of weeks. I don't know the details beyond that. On a personal basis, he simply did not like Mr. Mayer. Just oil and water, I suppose. In any case, that's all I ever got out of it. As for Edward Small...he was a successful independent producer. Louis like him on a personal basis, but he also liked Small's film taste, and his ideas for presenting Louis. I presume you know the number and names of the films they made together. When their agreement expired in 1948, they remained on excellent terms. In some ways, it was unfortunate that they parted professionally. Small's personal productions in the early fifties were somewhat less ambitious than they had been, but by the end of that decade Edward Small produced, or co-produced Witness For The Prosecution and Solomon and Sheba. Both, at least, somewhat important.
I do not know Cameron Little, but will be happy to write him.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 23, 2008 06:56 PM
The original intention was for 78 episodes. As you know, only 39 were produced. The production values were quite high, I think, for the time, and the supporting players were uniformly strong. What did not seem as consistently strong were the stories.
The Lone Wolf West Corporation was created for The Lone Wolf television series. The Principals were Louis Hayward, Donald Hyde, Jack Gross and Phil Krane.
MCA Universal subsequently acquired syndication rights which expired sometime in the late sixties.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 23, 2008 07:07 PM
Who wrote the biography for the Camelot program? There was one version in the Chicago Playbill, then it was polished for the program that included pictures. Did Louis write the original bio himself or did he have a publicist at that time who wrote it?
Was Louis politically active in Palm Springs?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 24, 2008 07:22 PM
I appreciate your efforts to find a complete set of The Pursuers. I did find the four episodes on Nostalgia Family Videos. And I found David Moore's site CTVA UK that summarizes the plots of classic British TV series, including The Pursuers. David is also a Louis Hayward fan and he told me he plans to add The Lone Wolf to his site. I also found Louis's name in the cast for one episode of The Four Just Men. Do you know anything about that performance?
David says the rights to The Pursuers is owned by a UK company and individual episodes are 'very expensive'. I'm hoping you can find an affordable set.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 26, 2008 08:56 AM
The people, lifelong friends of mine, who imported The Pursuers originally, and still retain an interest in it , are looking into this for you, and for me. Should the episodes become available, as they are not to be a wide commercial release, but rather duplicated individually, more or less a a favor, they will probably pass the costs on to us. Not more. I have no idea what the amount will be....
The Four Just men...I saw that on IMDB. I don't think it is there any longer, and to the best of my knowledge appears inaccurate. A guest part in a syndicated series seems at odds with something he would do, but he may have done it for whatever reason. I had never heard of this until reading what is probably the same thing you've read.
As for Palm Springs politics...? Why would you ask such a question? But, for your information, Louis usually came down on the side of sanity. He was generally liberal, but lived a quiet and conservative life.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 26, 2008 10:25 AM
I saw the cast list of the Panic Button episode of The Four Just Men on the CTVA UK web site. I asked David Moore about it and he couldn't figure out why 'our' Louis would even be in England at that time.
Politics: 'tis the season. Sounds like his politics agree with mine: socially liberal, personally conservative.
If it would facilitate the Pursuers transaction, Peter (who runs this web site) can give you my direct email address.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 26, 2008 03:25 PM
That may be a way to go, but at this point is premature.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 26, 2008 08:10 PM
What did Louis think of Fritz Lang? Did he enjoy working with the director? I thought he did a great job playing a charming murderer in House by the River.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 27, 2008 02:26 PM
I don't know anything about their working relationship. But, I do know that Louis had several options,and on these included remaining in Italy and putting together another project with Edgar after Pirates of Capri. Nonetheless, Lang wanted him, and House By The River was the result. I never encountered Jane Wyatt, but I did know Lee Bowman, who thought of it, more or less, as a career killer.
As for the completed picture, Louis thought it allright, but over the top near the end. My father saw House By The River and asked me why in the world would he take such a part. The answer was Lang...my father had another cup of coffee, and we went on to other things.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 27, 2008 05:36 PM
You have mentioned a couple of times what a fine man Louis was, and we agree based on the limited information we have been able to find out about him. We would like to know the Louis Hayward you knew. Do you have any favorite memory/anecdote about Louis that you could share with us that you think particularly reveals his character and the kind of man he was?
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 28, 2008 01:04 PM
I love your dad`s thoughts on `House by the River`. I tend to agree with him; and also Louis` comments re. the ending. It did tend to do Lee Bowman in.
I had heard, in the industry, that Fritz Lang was very hard on his actors in his projects???
I so enjoyed Louis in swashbucklers. What were his feelings re. these kind of pictures. They, of course. were very physical. Did he practice his fencing skills continually? HE seemed very athletic.
It was interesting seeing Alan Curtis reunite with Louis in `Pirates of Capri`. Had they remained friends since `Duke of Westpoint`.
Posted by: donna albertsen at September 28, 2008 09:23 PM
There is no one memory. This guy was kind and generous, and good company. It was just a pleasure to know him. I absoluely loved him, and by extension, the whole family. And I am no different than you are. I'm probably a little older and saw some of these films in the cinema, as well, quite a few others on early television. By intuition and inclination, I prepared myself for a place in the industry. In fact, I thought of myself as a suave detective or pirate captain. Meanwhile, I needed a job, and after some work in television news and theatrical public relations, I landed at GAC (General Artists Corporation) at the time of Camelot. It happened they represented Kathryn Grayson, Louis Hayward, Arthur Treacher, and I think Lerner & Lowe. I was certainly low man on the totem pole, but we did get to a performance and I had the great pleasure of meeting Louis Hayward. And believe me, I was a bag of emotion and concern. I took a young woman from the office with me, and one moment while Louis was mixing a scotch highball with his index finger, she asked why he wasn't doing films any longer. He answered that he hadn't been asked. And after the appropriate pause, we said goodnight. I went back on my own a week or ten days later, and had a little more productive meeting with him.
More to come on this.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 29, 2008 01:24 PM
My father, who is the same age as Louis, only saw House By The River a few years ago, and while he thought it somewhat interesting, he could not believe Louis was accept such a part. In other words, not fun, such as Repeat Performance. And while I am an elderly gentleman at this point, my father is alive and well, and still watching old movies.
As far as Bowman is concerned, I didn't know Lee well, but the little that I did, I thought him a terrific guy. The context in evaluating the trajectory of a career is really clear in his case. After House By The River, he worked almost exclusively in television (excluding theatre) the next fourteen years, until he landed in Youngblood Hawke. Television, then and now, is for people who either have lost their job in the movies, or are building up to that kind of career. Now, I'm thinking of series television, not one offs, or late night talk shows. Louis muttered once, that going into television was a big mistake. I am not so certain it is that simple, but there is a track to be followed there.
As for the swashbucklers, Louis had concern relative to typecasting. On the other hand, he was very much aware that he was bankable in this type of project. If you go back to the Iron Mask, he had strong positive feelings. As the projects declined into medium budget star vehicles, his comfort level declined as well.
Louis did keep a horse, big black gelding, whose name I have forgotten, but I am not aware of work out regimen relative to fencing and other things.
Regarding Alan Curtis: they did maintain a friendship over the years. Louis used his influence to have Curtis cast in Pirates of Capri. In Duke of West Point, relative to stunt work, Louis could skate, but did't know much about hockey. On some of the shots, a wire, invisible on screen, ran from the puck to Louis' stick.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 29, 2008 01:51 PM
You are NOT elderly. I think you are only a few years older than I am. My father was a few months older than Louis, but he died a long time ago.
I look forward to the rest of your story about how you and Louis met and started working together.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 29, 2008 03:45 PM
Hello Louis Hayward fans:
I'm glad you have found each other. I would like to suggest that instead of using my comment section as a message board, that one of you create a site, perhaps at MySpace. I don't mean to sound hospitable but it would be a better situation for those of you exchanges thought on Mr. Hayward, and it would be more accessible for his other fans.
Posted by: Peter Nellhaus at September 29, 2008 09:16 PM
I was thinking along similar lines. Hope someone has an idea of how to go about it.
You have been a great host.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 30, 2008 12:09 AM
I have created a new MySpaces page as www.myspace.com/louishayward. I put Louis's picture on the page instead of my own. I don't know the first thing about MySpace, so feel free to make suggestions.
Donna: I sent you an invitation.
Barry: if you would let me have your email address, I would send you one too.
Donna: please feel free to pass along to Nelson.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at September 30, 2008 06:05 PM
Pat, Donna, Nelson:
I've been thinking about the same thing. The dialogue we've had has suited me, and I hope it has you. I would like to continue, and I have no problem providing my personal coordinates. Additionally, if one of you has the ability and interest in setting up a new forum designed to continue and add on to what has transpired so far, I'm game to cooperate within the limits of my available time and ability.
In any case, I'v enjoyed the conversation.
Posted by: Barry Lane at September 30, 2008 11:08 PM
Peter: we need time to set this up. Please post messages for awhile longer so we can communicate a new site and each other's email addresses.
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at October 1, 2008 01:36 PM
Thanks to Peter for providing us a grace period.
Barry: I would really like to hear the rest of your story about how you and Louis came to work together and become friends. My email address is email@example.com.
Also, see above for a MySpace page I have created. We can use the broadcast facility in MySpace to exchange messages to the group. Or if you know another/better way to communicate, we are open to suggestions.
Hoping to hear from you,
Posted by: Patricia Roberts at October 1, 2008 04:36 PM
Please, if you can, give Pat my personal email address. Thanks.
Posted by: Barry Lane at October 1, 2008 06:38 PM