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Under My Skin

Under My Skin(1950)

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The working title of the film was The Big Fall. According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, although the Ernest Hemingway short story, "My Old Man," was in the public domain in the U.S., the studio paid $50,000 in January 1949 to acquire world rights. As part of the contract, Hemingway stipulated that the horse names, "Kzar" and "Kircubbin," which were also names of then-famous French racing sires, could not be used in the film. In the summer of 1949, long shots of horse races and establishing shots using doubles for the principal actors were filmed at several race tracks in Italy and France according to a June 1950 American Cinematographer article. Studio shooting began on September 12, 1949, but on 25 Sep, after a game of tennis, John Garfield suffered myocardial muscle strain, an early manifestation of the heart condition which would eventually cause his death, at age 39, on May 21, 1952. Director Jean Negulesco shot around Garfield for two or three days, but production was shut down for three weeks so that Garfield could get the complete rest ordered by his physician.
       French actress Micheline Presle, who had been signed to a two-picture contract by Twentieth Century-Fox in August 1948 at $40,000 per film, was renamed Prelle for Under My Skin as well as for the second film she made for the studio, American Guerrilla in the Philippines (see entry above). When the film was released in Spain, a new credit card was shot eliminating Hemingway's name, due to his well-known and long-standing anti-fascist views. Some cast lists include actors Alphonse Martell, Jean Del Val, Guy de Vestel, Albert Pollet and Maurice Brierre in minor supporting roles, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. In 1979, producer Robert Halmi made a television version of Hemingway's story, starring Warren Oates, Eileen Brennan and Kristy McNichol.