Director David Butler smuggles a wrter off a studio lot

"Warners featured Dennis Morgan in a series of popular Two Guys comedies directed by veteran David Butler. Finally the studio threw Morgan a Two Guys script he refused. Three weeks before shooting was to begin, Jack Warner called writer Mel Shavelson into his office. 'We have to write a script from scratch,' he explained, emphasizing the need for haste and that there was no time to build sets. In two days Shavelson and Jack Rose came up with a story called It's a Great Feeling (1949), in which Morgan didn't want to make a movie and the studio couldn't find a girl star.

"Butler and producer Bill Jacobs liked the idea. 'There's only one problem,' said Butler. 'We have to tell the story to Dennis Morgan and get his approval.' Shavelson suggested the star come in. 'No,' the director interrupted. 'Dennis won't come into the studio.' Shavelson saw no problem; the writers would go to him. 'No, you'rea writer,' Butler reminded. 'You can't leave the studio until five-thirty [according to Warner's rules].' Shavelson still saw no problem; they'd simply see the star after work. 'You can't do that either,' Butler insisted. 'After five o'clock Dennis can't hear. He's been bending his elbow since noon and by five o'clock he's on the floor.' Shavelson agreed that was a problem.

"Butler had a solution. 'I've got a convertible,' he said. 'Lie down in back.' So Shavelson stretched out in the back of the car, and Butler threw a blanket over him before they drove out of the gate. They went over to Lakeside Country Club where Dennis Morgan was finishing his fourth martini. The writer told Morgan the story, and he loved it. Butler again threw the blanket over Shavelson, and they drove back into the studio with no problem."

0/5 0 votes

Share It

Share Report

Related Anecdotes