THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY
Contained on this page you will find information on some of Robert
Montgomery's unrealized film projects...these are films that RM was
originally cast in or suggested for and did not ultimately make.
THIS IS HEAVEN (1929)

This film was to have been Robert
Montgomery's first. He was hired to play
opposite Hungarian silent star Vilma Banky in
this silent film with talking sequences which
was produced by the Samuel Goldwyn
Company. Production had begun on the film
when director Alfred Santell decided
Montgomery couldn't act and he was
subsequently fired. He was replaced by
James Hall and RM moved on to MGM where
he made his first film,
So This is College.
James Hall
Vilma Banky
TOL'ABLE DAVID

This film would have come after Letty
Lynton in Montgomery's schedule for
1932. It was to have been a remake of
the 1921 classic which had starred
Richard Barthelmess. One remake had
already been made in 1930 with Richard
Cromwell in the title role. Edmund
Goulding, who had done the orginal
adaptation of the Joseph Hergesheimer
novel, was touted as a possible director
for the proposed film but the idea was
eventually abandoned. This would have
been an interesting role for RM.
Richard Barthelmess
Richard Cromwell
HUDDLE (1932)

This film would have returned Montgomery to
the collegiate football field he had visited in his
first film,
So This is College. Sam Wood (who
also did
College) was the director and Madge
Evans, one of Montgomery's more frequent
leading ladies was the co-star. The role
eventually went to Ramon Novarro. It is just as
well RM missed this one, it turned out to be a
rather dull story and did little for Novarro's
career.
A FAMILY AFFAIR

This film was proposed for 1931. Based on an
Albert Richard Wetjen story, Jack Conway was
set to direct and Leila Hyams was to be Bob's
co-star. They had already starred together in
The Big House and Sins of the Children the
previous year. This project was eventually
abandoned.
Leila Hyams
Ramon Novarro
THE CHRISTIAN

Based on the novel and subsequent paly by
Hall Caine,
The Christian had been filmed in
1914 with Earle Williams in the role of 'John
Storm' and again in 1923 with Richard Dix
starring. This film would have come after
Strangers May Kiss and would have
co-starred Joan Crawford, but it was never
made.
Earle Williams
Richard Dix
ARE YOU LISTENING? (1932)

There are lots of familiar faces in this mystery,
Anita Page, Madge Evans, Joan Marsh and Cliff
Edwards (each of which had been in at least one
film with Montgomery already) are all in this one.
The lead role eventually went to William Haines
and Montgomery went on to
Letty Lynton
instead.
William Haines
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)

Montgomery had originally been proposed as
the star of this material. I have heard that he
turned it down because he didn't want to do
another "bus picture" after
Fugitive Lovers,
which he had just made, but I can't confirm
this. As we all know, the film garnered many
Oscars including that of Best Actor for Clark
Gable. Gable was perfect in the role, but it
would have been a good one for Montgomery
too.
Gable and Colbert in It Happened One Night
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)

Originally Montgomery was cast in the role of 'Roger
Byam' to Clark Gable's 'Fletcher Christian' and with
Wallace Beery as 'Captain Bligh'. When Beery was
deemed too American, he was replaced by Charles
Laughton. I have seen a variety of reasons for
Montgomery's withdrawal including illness and the
need for a vacation...whatever the reason, the role
went to Franchot Tone instead. This film won an
Oscar as Best Picture and a nomiation for Franchot
Tone as Best Actor. This would have been an
excellent role for Montgomery and it would have
been interesting to see what he would have brought
to the film. RM had previously worked with Gable in
Forsaking All Others.
Here are two rare costume test photos of
Montgomery as 'Roger Byam':
Pic 1    Pic2
This early advertisement
shows the original cast
line-up
SMALL TOWN GIRL (1936)

Montgomery was originally cast to play
opposite Janet Gaynor in this romantic
drama, but was replaced by Robert
Taylor. He was briefly reinstated after
failing to be cast in "Romeo and Juliet"
(see above), but the role eventually went
back to Taylor. RM and Gaynor would get
a chance to star together two years later
in
Three Loves Has Nancy.
Robert Taylor
Janet Gaynor
THE MARRIAGE CLAUSE

Montgomery was to have been loaned out to
Warner Brothers to make this film based on
Rupert Hughes' drama of married life,
Section 231. Olivia De Havilland was set to
co-star. Montgomery's illness was the
reason reported for the project suddenly
being dropped just as it was about to go into
production in October of 1936. RM never
made a film with De Havilland...it would have
been interesting to see what kind of a
screen pair they would have made.
Olivia De Havilland
GRAND HOTEL (1932)

Montgomery was originally proposed to play
'Baron Felix von Geigern', the jewel thief who
tries to rob the ballerina 'Grusinskaya' (Greta
Garbo) then falls in love with her. The role
went to John Barrymore instead and
Montgomery went to
-But the Flesh is Weak.
This would have been a much stronger film
than
Flesh and would have done more for his
career, however the 1931 film he made with
Garbo,
Inspiration, proved that he and the
Swedish star had little chemistry.
Greta Garbo and John Barrymore
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Greer Garson
Richard Hart
DESIRE ME (1947)

Montgomery was originally set to co-star
with Greer Garson in this story of a woman
who believes her husband is dead and
marries his friend only to find out he isn't
really dead after all. Montgomery would
have played the husband, (with Robert
Mitchum as the friend), but was replaced at
the last minute by Richard Hart. The roles
were then switched and Hart became the
friend with Mitchum as the husband. It's just
as well Montgomery missed this one as it
was plagued by problems from day one,
including Miss Garson almost drowning
during a shoot off the coast of Monterey.
This picture has the dubious distinction of
being the first M-G-M film released without
a director's credit.
LOVE ON THE RUN (1936)

This film was originally set to star
Montgomery and Myrna Loy, who had just
filmed
Petticoat Fever with Montgomery.
Then Loy was replaced by Rosalind Russell,
who had just co-starred with Montgomery in
Trouble For Two. Russell was soon
replaced by Joan Crawford and Clark Gable
eventually took over Montgomery's role.
Interestingly, the script for this film was
co-written by character actress Gladys
Hurlbut, who had been on board right from
the beginning..
Gable and Crawford in Love On the Run
ROMEO AND JULIET (1936)    NEW!

Montgomery was one of the early
contenders for the role of 'Romeo' in
MGM's
Romeo and Juliet (before 'Juliet'
was cast.) RM was alternately suggested
for the role of 'Mercutio'. Leslie Howard
eventually played 'Romeo' to Norma
Shearer's 'Juliet' and John Barrymore
essayed the role of 'Mercutio'. Some
people balked at the idea of Montgomery,
who was chiefly known for his light
comedy, tackling Shakespeare. After
Montgomery was pulled from the project,
he was moved back into
Small Town Girl,
from which he had previously been
removed (see below.)
Leslie Howard and Norma
Shearer
John Barrymore
KITTY FOYLE (1940)    NEW!

Director Sam Wood (who had directed RM in
So This Is College) tried to borrow
Montgomery from MGM to star opposite
Ginger Rogers in this RKO film. Montgomery
read the script, but did not like the role of
'Wyn Strafford'...the part was eventually
played by Dennis Morgan. Although Rogers
went on to win an Academy Award for her
performance, the role of the male lead was
pretty much a thankless one, and
Montgomery's instincts were probably
correct in this case.
Ginger Rogers and Dennis Morgan