Hound-Dog Man
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Hound-Dog Man
Hound-Dog Man
Hound-Dog Man FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byDon Siegel
Produced byJerry Wald
Written byWinston Miller
Fred Gipson
Based onnovel by Fred Gipson
StarringFabian
Stuart Whitman
Carol Lynley
Arthur O'Connell
Music byCyril J. Mockridge
CinematographyCharles G. Clarke
Edited byLouis Loeffler
Production
company
A Company of Artists
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • November 1959 (1959-11)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$1,045,000[1]

Hound-Dog Man is a 1959 film directed by Don Siegel, based on the 1947 novel by Fred Gipson, and starring Fabian, Carol Lynley, and Stuart Whitman.

Plot

In 1912, Clint McKinney and his younger brother Spud talk their father Aaron into letting them go on a hunting trip with their older friend, the womanizing Blackie Scantling. Aaron agrees despite the reluctance of his wife Cora.

Cast

As of August 7, 2018, the three principal players, Fabian, Stuart Whitman, and Carol Lynley are still alive.

Original novel

Hound Dog Man
AuthorFred Gipson
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Genrecoming of age
PublisherHarper and Brothers
Publication date
1949

The original book was published in 1949, several years before Gipson's better known Old Yeller.[2]

Gipson said when he started writing he intended it to be "a short semi fact article for a men's magazine" but that it "just grew and grew. I was writing about real people straight out of my childhood and I couldn't seem to get them stopped and finally wound up with a complete novel."[3] He started it in 1944, put it aside, and returned to it in 1946. It was originally called Clipped Wings. It was finished in 1947 and published in 1949. The book sold well and was published in a number of languages.[4]

Gipson said reaction to the novel "was sometimes gratifying and sometimes bewilderingly unpleasant... It was just a book of little boys on a coon hunt."[3]

It would remain Gipson's favorite book among his own works.[5] He tried to write a sequel but was unable to finish it.[6]

Production

Development

In 1952 Ida Lupino expressed interest in obtaining the film rights, as a possible vehicle for Robert Mitchum.[7][8]

In 1955 Filmmakers Inc announced they would make the film along with an adaptation of The Quick and the Dead.[9]

20th Century Fox bought the film rights in March 1958 following the success of the film of Old Yeller.[10] It was assigned to prolific producer Jerry Wald and director Don Siegel.

Gipson was signed to write the script. According to his biographer "changes in the story of Blackie Scanlon incite Gipson to uncontrollable rages and Tommie Gipson [his wife] arbitrates all further revisions." (He would later be given shock treatment for depression and imprisoned for assault.)[11]

Casting

Ricky Nelson, Lyndsay Crosby, and David Ladd were mentioned early on as possible stars, along with Stuart Whitman, who did wind up playing the title role.[12]Tuesday Weld was at one stage mentioned as a possible female lead.[13] Whitman was cast in March 1959.[14]

The movie eventually became a starring vehicle for Fabian, who had released a series of hit singles. 20th Century Fox had enjoyed success launching pop stars Elvis Presley and Pat Boone into film careers and thought they could do the same with Fabian.[15] He was paid $35,000 for ten weeks work.[16]

Wald tried to get Jayne Mansfield to play the part of a blousy barmaid but was unsuccessful.[17]

Dodie Stevens was cast because Wald's teenage sons liked her song "Pink Shoe Laces".[18]

Shooting

Filming started July 27, 1959 and took place through August and September.[19]

LQ Jones later recalled that Fabian "was not that talented as an actor, but he worked hard and was just a nice person."[20] According to one article every time Fabian sings "Don Siegel arranges it so the song is interrupted - a dog barks, or Fabian walks off in anger, or something... this happens four times."[21]

Songs

"Hound Dog Man"
Single by Fabian Forte
Released16 November 1959
Recorded1959
GenreRock and roll
Length2:10
LabelChancellor Records
Doc Pomus
Mort Shuman
Peter De Angelis
Fabian Forte singles chronology
""Got the Feeling"" "Hound Dog Man" ""This Friendly World""
"This Friendly World"
Single by Fabian Forte
Released23 November 1959
Recorded1959
GenreRock and roll
Length2:00
LabelChancellor Records
Ken Darby
Peter De Angelis
Fabian Forte singles chronology
""Hound Dog Man"" "This Friendly World" ""String Along""

The movie featured the following songs:

  • "Hound Dog Man" (by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman) performed by Fabian
  • "I'm Growin' Up" (by Robert P. Marcucci and Peter De Angelis) performed by Fabian and Dennis Holmes, while Stuart Whitman whistles
  • "Single" (by Robert P. Marcucci and Peter De Angelis) performed by Fabian, Whitman and Dennis Holmes
  • "This Friendly World" (by Robert P. Marcucci and Peter De Angelis) performed by Fabian
  • "Pretty Little Girl" (by Robert P. Marcucci and Peter De Angelis) performed by Fabian and men's chorus at the barn dance
  • "What Big Boy" (by Sol Ponti and Frankie Avalon) performed by Dodie Stevens
  • "Hay Foot, Straw-Foot" (by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman) performed by square dance caller Fenton Jones

Another song was cut from the film - "Got the Feeling" (by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman) sung by Fabian.

"Hound Dog Man" was a hit single, reaching number 9 on the US charts. "This Friendly World" reached number 12.[22]

Reception

The film had its world premiere in Monroe, Louisiana, on 27 October 1959.[23] The film was not a commercial success, failing to make the Variety list of films that earned $1 million or more in rentals for 1959.[24]

Fox executives later put this down to public rejection of Fabian, in particular the fact that his fans were very young and not ticket-buying teenagers.[15]

According to one review it was a"slice-of-life, coming-of-age piece - a little hunting, some singing, Claude Akins pops around periodically to snarl at Whitman, Lynley pants over Whitman as does Akins' wife. There's a comic doctor, a dog, a barn dance. It's actually a sweet film - well made, with great production values, and a very strong cast."[21]

However, Fox later found Fabian could be effective in supporting roles of major stars for the studios, such as John Wayne in North to Alaska and Bing Crosby in High Time.

Fabian later reflected in 1971 that he thought the title was to blame for the film's poor box office reception. "It was a good story with a great cast... but "Hound Dog Man"?"[25]

References

  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p253
  2. ^ Coon-huntin' Pictured for Caveman Cult: HOUND-DOG MAN. By Fred Gipson. Harper. 247 pp. $2.50. S.N.. The Washington Post 30 Jan 1949: B7.
  3. ^ a b THE STORY THE STORYTELLER TOLD: The Storyteller's Story By FRED GIPSON. New York Times 13 May 1962: BR21.
  4. ^ Lick p xx
  5. ^ Lich p 40
  6. ^ Gipson p 49
  7. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Ida Lupino Writes Film Story About Embittered GI Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 30 Jan 1952: a2.
  8. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Jean Simmons Keeps Faith as Trouper Despite Law Spat HEDDA HOPPER'S STAFF. Chicago Daily Tribune 9 July 1952: a2.
  9. ^ "Filmmakers Seek Big Release for own pair". Variety. New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. 26 January 1955.
  10. ^ PASSING PICTURE SCENE By A. H. WEILER. New York Times 23 Mar 1958: X5.
  11. ^ Lick p xxiv
  12. ^ Jerry Wald Will Produce Tom Sawyer Type Film Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 17 Feb 1959: b2
  13. ^ Gina Signed for 'The Image Maker' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 15 June 1959: C14.
  14. ^ "Variety (March 1959)". Variety. New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. 1959.
  15. ^ a b Thomas Doherty, Teenagers And Teenpics: Juvenilization Of American Movies, Temple University Press, 2010 p 175-176
  16. ^ $250,000-a-Year Fabian Income Startles Judge Los Angeles Times 18 July 1959: 8.
  17. ^ Looking at Hollywood: Seek Gardner McKay for 'Live Wire' Role Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 22 July 1959: a4.
  18. ^ Jerry Wald Tells How to Make Three Pictures Simultaneously By MURRAY SCHUMACH Special to The New York Times 28 July 1959: 24.
  19. ^ "Production Report". Variety. New York, NY: Variety Publishing Company. August 5, 1959.
  20. ^ "LQ Jones". Psychotronic Video (21 ed.). 1995. p. 50.
  21. ^ a b Vagg, Stephen (26 August 2019). "The Cinema of Fabian". Diabolique.
  22. ^ Fabian Forte Discography at Fabianforte.net
  23. ^ "Motion Picture Daily (Jul-Sep 1959)". Motion Picture daily. Quigley Publishing Company. 29 September 1959.
  24. ^ "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  25. ^ "Hollywood Hold That Tiger". Cash Box. Cash Box Pub. Co. 18 December 1971. p. 14.

Notes

  • Lich, Glen E. (1990). Fred Gipson at work. Texas A & M University Press.

External links


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