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Saratoga Trunk

Saratoga Trunk(1946)


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According to a March 25, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item, Warner Bros paid $175,000 for the rights to the novel. A 1941 press release states that the film was to be made in Technicolor. Saratoga Trunk was completed in 1943 but not released until 1946. It was exhibited to the armed forces overseas, but held back in the United States in deference to more timely war-themed and patriotic films. The film ends with a plea to buy war bonds. News items in Hollywood Reporter note that Richard Travis tested for the role of "Clint Maroon," and Errol Flynn was also considered for the part. Ann Sheridan and Olivia De Havilland tested for the role of "Clio Dulaine." According to information in the file on the film at the USC Cinema-Television Library Eleanor Parker and Tamara Toumanova also tested for the part of Clio. An early 1941 press release states that Vivien Leigh was also considered for the role. An undated press release reports that Nina Foch was to make her film debut, but she does not appear in the picture. Flora Robson, who portrays "Angelique," was a white, British actress who wore darkened makeup to appear black in the film.
       Hollywood Reporter news items add the following information about the production: Some background footage was shot at the actual location of the Saratoga trunk line. Saratoga Trunk was one of the last productions to film at Busch Gardens in Pasadena, CA before it was auctioned off in early April 1943. Over 150 stunt men were used in the scenes of the battle for possession of the railroad trunk line. Warner Bros. purchased the complete wardrobe of Susan Dreer Volkmar, which comprised thirty dresses dating from 1880-1910, some made in Paris, including a complete mourning outfit; a cream colored wedding gown of princess lace; a hostess gown of black satin; a white broadcloth suit; a navy blue suit; and a Chantilly lace parasol. It is not known if these costumes appeared in the film. The filmmakers studied actual footage of the 1909 arrival of the Mississippi steamer Bald Eagle for technical information. Ingrid Bergman's singing coach was technical advisor Dalton S. Reymond, former dean of the College of Music at Louisiana State University. Sophie Huxley, who played the role of "Charlotte Dulaine," was the niece of writer Aldous Huxley. Memos at the USC Cinema-Television Library, indicate that montage director Don Siegel shot the fight scenes after the two trains collided. Because of differences between director Sam Wood and producer Hal B. Wallis, Siegel's unit continued to shoot for 19 days. Only one day had been budgeted for the entire scene. Cinematographer Bert Glennon filled in for Ernest Haller while the latter was ill. Flora Robson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar but lost to Anne Baxter. Ida Lupino and Zachary Scott starred in a November 24, 1947 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of the story.