And now for a little bit of fun!
What is The Great Recasting Blogathon? To the uninitiated this bit of genius is based upon the following idea: Recast a film made after 1965 in a year with pre-1965 actors in the lead roles and a director that was popular at that time. Supporting cast is optional. Explain why you chose the actors and director.
Wall Street '33
If a 2010 sequel to Wall Street is timely then could there be any better time to set our re-imagining than the very depths of the Great Depression, one of my favorite landing spots, since thank goodness I'll never have to live through it, 1933?
And could there be any better Gordon Gekko in 1933 than Warren William? We're putting Warren to work on this based on his own stock manipulations in Skyscraper Souls (1932) but even more importantly his manipulation of people in other classic pre-code titles such as The Dark Horse, The Match King (1932), and Employees' Entrance (1933).
I think we'll keep Warren at his home studio for Wall Street and flip a coin to decide who we want to direct this project: Alfred E. Green recently impressed with Union Depot and got a lot out of Warren in The Dark Horse, but we'll stick with what's working right now and set Warren's director from Employees' Entrance and The Mind Reader to work on this one: Roy Del Ruth. Plus we have a nice image of Del Ruth to put on display here.
We handed Roy Del Ruth a 126 page script and he promised to come in at under 65 minutes on Wall Street '33. 70 minutes absolute tops!
Now we've got to fill out this cast. Gekko's young protege, Bud Fox, is actually the star of Wall Street, even if Warren William is going to do his best to make you forget anybody in this thing but Gekko. After floating the idea of borrowing someone for this part (Robert Young and Lew Ayres sprung to mind) we decided to stay in-house and give one of our own youngsters a push with Wall Street '33.
Wallace Ford seemed the obvious choice, but since we just had him do the young protege thing with Warren in Employees' Entrance we'll take a chance on Dick Powell. Have you seen him in 42nd Street (1933) yet? You have. That's right then, let's throw a few musical numbers in there.
So let me see, I was originally thinking a blonde for Darien, the girl Gekko is going to foist at Bud. Ginger would have been perfect if we went that way, but Dick can't dance and he works pretty well with Ruby. Done deal. Set them up, Ruby Keeler swooning in Powell's arms, him singing her a song in that high fallutin' Manhattan apartment that Bud rents. That room is pretty spacious, no reason not to let Ruby do a little something with all that floor space either.
Can Del Ruth work with Busby? Put in a call to Busby Berkeley and see what he can come up with if we give him Central Park to work with. No, no, Central Park is done, it hit theaters in December. I mean ask Buzz what he can put together if we set him and the cast in Central Park itself. Are you crazy, no, we're not going on location--we're going to build our own.
We need someone with a little experience to play Bud's father. It's a shame we can't lay our hands on a good father and son acting team to play these Foxes. Oh well, how about David Landau? Too seedy? C'mon, Carl Fox is a working man, nobody is more weather-beaten than Landau. The guy looks like he's put in a 12 hour day when he shows up in the morning. No, I've got other ideas I want to call MGM about, we don't need Walter Huston for this part. Someone's got to make the decisions here and I'm going with David Landau.
Now here's where I put in my call to Mayer. First I was thinking about putting Mr. Arliss to work as Sir Larry, Gekko's British rival, but Mr. Arliss balked. If we expanded the role and gave him sole billing over the title Mr. Arliss said he'd do it. We're going to go for a different bit of ham and get the Barrymores over here from MGM. Put John as Sir Larry, and why not, everybody's been comparing Warren to him since he got here anyway. It'll be good for our guy, Warren William, to let him eclipse old Barrymore anyway.
If we can get John I want Lionel too. He's perfect, absolutely perfect, as sage old Lou Mannheim, the old-timer who's seen it all, done it all at Bud's office. He tries to steer the kid right.
We'll stick in the office a minute. Need someone to run it. A real S.O.B. Do you think Guy Kibbee could pull off Lynch? Set him down for the part, I like it. How about another kid to be Bud's pal in the office? The other young broker, Marvin? A-ha, there's a part for Wally Ford.
I think we're all set. We can fill out the rest as we go from there. But get this over to the publicity department:
Wall Street (1932), directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Warren William as Gordon Gekko with Dick Powell as Bud Fox. Featuring John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Ruby Keeler, David Landau, Guy Kibbee and Wallace Ford. Muscial numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley.
Be sure when you put in that call for John and Lionel that you ask if either of them can sing or dance ...
More about the Great Recasting Blogathon at Frankly, My Dear.