Peter: Probably, no one living, with the possible exception of Barry Lane (if he's for real, and he sounded for real to me) could present definitive evidence whether or not Louis Hayward was in THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, or more likely, that he entered into some kind of scuppered arrangement to appear in the picture, but for undetermined reasons, had to withdraw or was cut.
As for your theory that there were TWO Louis Haywards -- Shades of Wellesnet! I know Mr. French and Baesen don't care for the IMDb (no more than you do for Wikipedia), but it is a good place to start (or in our case, to finish out). Go to Louis Hayward under "Names" there, and you will see about thirty possible people Louis Hayward MIGHT be confused with, but they are all far off the mark. There is Producer Louis M. HEyward, and a transportation coordinator, Calvin Hayward (aka, Louis Calvin Hayward or Louis Calvin Haywood) and lots of Louise Haywards or Louis Haywoods, but it doesn't matter because they all date in the Industry from the late 1970's, at the earliest.
In regard to the REAL Louis Hayward, you neglect two further factors. [How many is that now?] Hayward, as many have said, including Mr. Lane, was greatly changed by World War II. You don't have to crouch on a sand atoll photographing well over two thousand of your buddies, the finest shock troops the Marines could produce, being slaughtered in order for war to change you, but it helps. And so, no doubt Hayward, the "light" British actor who came to America and Hollywood in 1935, was a much different man by 1945. [BTW, a day or two ago, I watched "With the Marines at Tarawa," and cut in half, presented in a matter of fact, "by the book" fashion, the film is still a harrowing one to watch. It would make a fine subject for restoration on a DVD braced with a similarly restored cut of John Huston's "The Battle of San Pietro," if the footage still exists.] The second factor is that Hayward obviously craved independence. For better than five years, he had been under the absolute thumb of one of the most charmingly ruthless theatrical geniuses of the 20th Century, not Orson Welles but Noel Coward. Lots of internal evidence suggest to me that Orson Welles was the kind of leader a pre-War Louis Hayward would have been looking for, a director/creator as brilliant as Coward who appeared to support his Mercury Theater Company and give the members of that Company the freedom and encouragement to advance their own careers.
As Raymond the Butler (Paul Stewart, a man who was practically Welles' artistic butler in real life) said so memorably, no doubt about Welles as much as of Charlie Kane: "Yes, he did crazy things sometimes. . . Well, as I tell you, the old man acted kind of funny sometimes . . . like that time his wife left him . . . I heard him say it that other time, too. He just said, "Rosebud," then, he dropped the glass ball and it broke on the floor. He didn't say anything after that, and I knew he was dead. He said all kinds of things that didn't mean anything."
But maybe Louis Hayward didn't know that about Orson Welles yet. He only knew that Welles had allied himself with the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers, which meant at the time United Artists, Charlie Chaplin, Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, Walt Disney, the Cagneys, Howard Hughes, Alexander Korda, Walter Wanger and his eager wife Joan Bennett, and Hayward's hopeful wife Ida Lupino, and on and on. There were a great many of these ambitious artists chaffing under the Studio System, who wanted to change the way pictures were made, then, and certainly after the War, when many of the players they were, or had employed, formed their own production companies, as did Hayward.
[You seem to think that Louis Hayward was a great star in 1940, but by that time, he had starred in only one reasonable A-Picture hit, THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (1939). Most of his work had been in small films, some almost C-Quickies like the Saint pictures or THE DUKE OF WEST POINT (1938) though he would show himself a damn fine actor, opposite his wife Ida, for a good picture, LADIES IN RETIREMENT, in 1941, a performance Welles would have been drawn to when, a few months later, he was casting for THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. Still, the Year 1940, as Welles was struggling to put together the monumental CITIZEN KANE, had found Hayward -- the nominal male star of DANCE, GIRL, DANCE, the picture you discovered -- playing an almost complete chucklehead. Hayward might very well have thought after that experience that he had nowhere to go but UP. And Orson Welles was UP!]
You might consider, too, that DANCE, GIRL, DANCE starred Maureen O'Hara, John Ford's recently imported red Irish peach, and another redhead, Lucille Ball, who Welles was featuring on his radio shows, and unsuccessfully, was urging RKO to hire for "The Second Mrs. Kane"; Lucille Ball, who less than fifteen years later, when she became a producer, would would buy a big chunk of RKO Studios. These were bright, intelligent young women, links to the directors he admired most, Wellsian touchstones for "The Girl," as his friend, Preston Sturges, called them in his scripts. [Welles would finally find his version of "The Girl" in Oja Kodar.]
A young Kane, a young Welles, is the kind of guy that Louis Hayward would have liked to have associatd with professionally, after ten years in the shadow of Noel Coward.
I like your discovery of Robert Wise being the editor of DANCE, GIRL, DANCE. Some critics say that Wise also shot part of the film (an echo of . . . AMBERSONS to come?) because Dorothy Arzner was having trouble with RKO about her desire to turn DANCE, GIRL, DANCE into a feminist tract. [You might mention that the cinematographers were Russell Metty and Joe August, cameramen Welles would have liked to work with.] As released, DANCE, GIRL, DANCE is about two dancers, Judy O'Brien (Miss O'Hara) and Bubbles White (Miss Ball). They find themselves stranded in Akron, Ohio (my country, a few miles from where I went to school). Louis Hayward plays Jaes "Jimmy" Harris, Jr., the spoiled playboy scion of an Akron tire company family (not to stretch a comparison too much, a sort of industrial version of the Ambersons, with Hayward as George), who frequents the shows and clubs where the dancers hang out. His wife (Virginia Field) leaves him, asks for a divorce, when he follows them to New York, where Judy tries to follow her dream of being a ballerina (Emily Norton, to mix my metaphor), and Bubbles becomes "Tiger Lily White," the unrepentant Susan Alexander of Burlesque. Judy finally has to give up her dream and become a line stripper in support of Bubbles/Tiger Lily White. Jimmy continues to be a fan, takes them wining and dancing amidst the New York night life. He falls in love with Judy, but gets drunk and marries the wrong girl, Bubbles. It all works out though with the help of a tragic Russian Aunt Fanny-like dance coach (Maria Ospenskaya) and a good man, Steve Adams (Eugene? Ralph Bellamy). Robert Wise may have had something to do with the soaping up of DANCE, GIRL, DANCE toward the end, a development most fans of the picture don't care for. Yet Bellamy's performance is mentioned far more often by them than is Hayward's.
But you need to be a little more aggressive in your research, Peter: If you want to know whether or not Louis Hayward engaged in ballroom dancing during any of the early movies he was in, take a close look at the original lobby card for DANCE, GIRL, DANCE displayed in the IMDb, and you will see Hayward dancing up a storm with Maureen O'Hara!
Gotta go, but keep searching, Peter. The Truth is out there, somebody once said about conspiracies.
Last edited by Glenn Anders
on Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.