Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A PEPLUM that almost was

Rita Hayworth was set to star in JOSEPH AND HIS BRETHREN but the project was shelved when Columbia honcho Harry Cohn refused to have two of her ex-husbands Orson Welles and Dick Haymes work for the film. These test shots are probably the only thing left from the failed production. Apparently Kerwin Mathews was slated to star in the title role.


Steven Lester said...

There is the story that the vizier of Amenhotep IV, who was, I believe, the father of Atenhotep, the only Egyptian ruler to have worshipped one god over all the others, was the Joseph of the Bible. Only the king had more power than did his vizier.

After Atenhotep was King Tut, then his main general Horemheb whose son Seti I fostered the most powerful king of them all, one Ramses II, who lived into his 80's and fostered 56 sons from among his many wives. As we all know, Moses and Ramses had that little falling out between themselves and so forth.

All of this during the 17th and 16th Dynesties.

jim said...

I certainly had heard of this never produced film, but had never seen those great test shots of Rita before. Excellent.

Also, I had read somewhere that Laurence Harvey was a top consideration for the male lead. Don't know if that's true or not.

Great post.

PEPLUM cinema said...


I sorta wish the project had been greenlighted. I think it would have been a great project for Rita. Oh well...

jim said...

Yes, it would have been great fun.

At least, Rita had already had her own sort-of PEPLUM in "Salome" (1953), complete with the famous "Dance of the Seven Veils".

Anonymous said...

I'm sort of relieved that this film was never made. What good did "The Prodigal" do for Lana Turner's career? Plus, as Jim pointed out on 9/30/11, Rita already made one Peplum movie, Salome, which in spite of the efforts of all involved looked very much like a film made indoors, inside a Hollywood studio. Steven's comments of 9/29/11 are a bit off. Tut died childless, he was followed by a non-royal named Aye (who died childless) who himself was followed by another non-royal named Horemheb who also died childless. Horemheb was followed by Ramses I who was the father of Seti I and the grandfather of Ramses II.