Friday, April 23, 2010
John Payne: Was the first person in Hollywood interested in making the James Bond films.
John Payne, was offered a contract by Samuel Goldwyn in 1936 and moved to Hollywood. He worked for various studios until 1940, when he signed with 20th Century Fox. Payne performed in many 1940s musicals: Springtime in the Rockies, Sun Valley Serenade (1941) and Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943).
One of my favorite John Payne films was with, Gene Tierney and Tyrone Power in The Razor's Edge (1946). The Razor Edge(1946) movie review. Payne's, most popular performance was his final film, Miracle on 34th Street (1947).
Later, Payne changed his image and began playing tough-guy roles in Hollywood films noir and westerns: Kansas City Confidential (1952), 99 River Street (1953), Silver Lode (1954), Tennessee's Partner (1955) and Slightly Scarlet (1956).
Payne was a contract star with Pine-Thoma Productions where he insisted that the films he performed in would be filmed in color and that he had the rights to all his films. Payne, also performed in a television western series, The Restless Gun(1957-1959).
In 1955, he paid a $1,000-a-month option for nine months on the Ian Fleming James Bond novel, Moonraker (he eventually gave up the option when he learned he could not retain the rights for the entire book series).
In March 1961, Payne suffered life-threatening injuries when hit by a car in New York City. His recovery took two years. Payne directed one of his last films, They Ran for Their Lives (1968). His final role was in 1975 when he co-starred with Peter Falk and Janet Leigh in my favorite Columbo episode, Forgotten Lady.
Kansas City Confidential (1952) movie review.
Springtime in the Rockies(1942) movie review.
Dolly Sisters (1945) movie review.