‘Laura’ and Jennifer Jones



May 15, 1944

Louella Parsons says: Rouben Mamoulian has asked to be released from directing “Laura” and Otto Preminger, the producer of this much discussed movie, will direct the picture. The trouble is a difference of opinion of the psychological treatment of the story and character. The two men could not see eye to eye and so Mamoulian stepped out.

“Laura,” based on Vera Caspary’s mystery drama, is one of the pictures —  “Sunday Dinner With a Soldier” is the other — that is bringing about the $600,000 lawsuit which 20th Century-Fox filed against Jennifer Jones when she did not report for work. Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb are the stars.

Here’s a bit more on why Jennifer Jones didn’t appear in “Laura.”

According to a Times story published May 3, 1944, Jones failed to report for work on April 24, prompting 20th Century-Fox to take legal action.

Jones’ contract with Selznick Studios specified that she was to appear in one 20th Century-Fox film per year. According to Daniel T. O’Shea, executive director of Selznick Studios, Fox failed to meet one of the requirements of her contract, which was that the script had to be submitted in advance for approval.

O’Shea said that Fox failed to send an advance copy of “Laura.” Jones had not seen the script and therefore said “her personal plans precluded availability,” according to O’Shea.

The Times said: “Miss Jones, commenting on the dispute, said: ‘There is really nothing I can say. I am under contract to Mr. Selznick and know nothing of the discussions.”

From the Milwaukee Sentinel.

May 15, 1944, Louella Parsons


May 3, 1944, Laura

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1944, Columnists, Film, Hollywood and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ‘Laura’ and Jennifer Jones

  1. Eve says:

    I read Laura recently–a publisher has brought out a lot of female-written noir novels of the 1920s-50s. The Waldo Lydecker was obviously supposed to be Alexander Woollcott, an overweight, sexless arts critic. Between that and The Man Who Came to Dinner, Alex was really “happening!”


  2. Gary Martin says:

    Having been born in 1939 I was a little too young to see many J Jones movies back in the day. However, I recently saw a few of them via Netflix. I was astounded by what a good actress she was.As for her personal charisma she came off as a bit too scheming and too controlling … yet another Hollywood Iron Butterfly. Hence, I suspect, her eclipse.


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