Classic Hollywood #33

James Stewart & Orson Welles Visit James Cagney On The Set Of His New Movie – 1957

James Stewart James Cagney Orson Welles August 20 1957

STEWART AND WELLES HELP CAGNEY “GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD”

Jimmy Stewart, left, and Orson Welles, right, paid a surprise visit to the famed Phantom Stage at Universal-International Studio to extend best wishes to Jimmy Cagney at the start of production on “Man Of A Thousand Faces,” the life story of Lon Chaney, Hollywood’s famed man of mystery. Stewart was filming “Night Passage” on an adjoining stage at the studio and Welles was on the lot starring with Jeff Chandler and Colleen Miller in “Pay The Devil.” “Man Of A Thousand Faces,” also starring Dorothy Malone, “Oscar” winner for her portrayal in “Written On The Wind,” and Jane Greer. Joseph Pevney directed for Producer Robert Arthur. (credit: Universal-International Photos August 20, 1957)

Lon Chaney and his makeup kitMan Of A Thousand Faces was not one of Jimmy Cagney’s better films. As good as Cagney was, he was miscast as Lon Chaney who he did not even remotely resemble. Here is a rare photograph of Lon Chaney with his famed make-up kit.

Lon Chaney was considered one of the greatest actors of the 1920’s making hit film after hit film such as The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Chaney died of bronchial cancer in 1930 at the age of 47. Chaney is mostly forgotten by modern film audiences because he made only one sound film, The Unholy Three.

Had Chaney lived, that might not have been the case. He was director Tod Browning’s first choice for the lead in Dracula (1931). Instead, the starring role led to eternal fame for Bela Lugosi who had earlier played Count Dracula in the 1927-28 Broadway production.

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