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Not As a Stranger

Not As a Stranger(1955)

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The film's opening title cards read: "Stanley Kramer Pictures Corporation Presents A United Artists Release Morton Thompson's Not As a Stranger." Thompson died a few weeks before the publication of his novel. A Variety news item of February 3, 1954 revealed that producer Stanley Kramer made a pre-publication deal to purchase the screen rights in early December 1953 for $75,000. The novel subsequently became a bestseller. According to a May 20, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, Kramer followed the "same book-plugging campaign used on The Caine Mutiny" by visiting book editors in large cities and making personal appearances at bookstores in order to publicize the novel and create a larger audience for the film.
       Not As a Stranger marked longtime producer Kramer's first film as a director. On February 17, 1954, Los Angeles Times reported that Kramer wanted Montgomery Clift for the role of "Lucas Marsh" and Ingrid Bergman for "Kristina Hedvigson." A September 21, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Olivia de Havilland observed two surgical operations at Cedars-Sinai Hospital to prepare for her role. Although Hollywood Reporter news items add the following actors to the cast, their appearance in the completed film has not been confirmed: John Goddard, David Alpert, Tamar Cooper, Jo Gilbert, Stafford Repp, Darren Dublin, Tyler McVey, Israel Garcia, Lynn Kevin, Heidi Dublin, Mimi Doyle, Jo Anne Davis, John Raven, Gail Bonney, Marlo Dwyer, Michael Free, Stephen Wooton, Don C. Harvey, Gertrude W. Hoffman, Dave White, Susan Hamilton, Donald Kerr, Art Lewis, Dorothy Newmann, Claire Carleton, Kate McKenna, Alan Nixon, Jimmy Hawkins, Peggy Campbell, Pattee Chapman, Rankin Mansfield, Mack Williams, Richard Emory, Kay Stewart, Aloha Wray, Harry Lauter, Marlene Felton, John Lehman and Harlan Warde.
       Buildings on the University of California, Los Angeles campus served as exteriors for the medical school. A November 5, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item adds Whitman Air Field in the San Fernando Valley as another shooting location. According to an September 8, 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, Dmitri Tiomkin was originally set to write and direct the film's music score but dropped out due to "conflicting commitments." Although James Van Heusen and Buddy Kaye are credited onscreen with the song "Not As a Stranger," and it was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1955, only the instrumental version was used in the released picture. A January 20, 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Eddie Fisher was also scheduled to record the song. Sinatra's recording of the song was released in 1959 on his "Look to Your Heart" album.
       On March 10, 1955, Hollywood Reporter reported that "the biggest ad, publicity and exploitation budget in United Artists' history"-at least $1,000,000-was to be spent publicizing the picture. Other Hollywood Reporter news items noted that a special five-minute trailer, featuring Kramer explaining the film's story and how the cast was selected, and showing clips of the stars's makeup tests and performances, was to be shown on television and in movie theaters. The film's West Coast premiere, held on June 28, 1955 in Los Angeles, raised over $30,000 for the new Mt. Sinai Hospital. Not As a Stranger received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Recording.