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Trivia / The Taming of the Shrew

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The 1929 film:

  • Blooper: Actress Dorothy Jordan (Bianca) is mistakenly credited as 'Dorothy Jordon'.
  • Creator Couple: Hollywood power couple Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks play the leads, in their only film together.
  • Hostility on the Set: Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford's marriage was failing, and this made working together a horrible experience. The latter even called it one of the worst periods of her life. Rumor has it that Douglas Fairbanks exaggerated Petruchio's treatment of Kate so he could take out his frustrations on his wife.
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  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: For years, legend had it that a title card read 'Additional dialogue by Sam Taylor' and was lost. It's likely this never even happened.
  • Star-Derailing Role: The film was considered a failure, and marked Mary Pickford's retirement from films. It didn't help that at 37, she was too old to continue playing The Ingenue roles audiences knew her for. She'd attempted to go against type in Coquette, but it didn't take, and this became her final lead role.
  • What Could Have Been: It was also planned to be a Technicolor film as well, but there wasn't any available equipment. Some test footage was shot for a Splash of Color finale, but it appears to have been lost.

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The 1967 film:

  • Breakthrough Hit: Franco Zeffirelli was put on the map as a director with this Sleeper Hit.
  • Creator Couple: Naturally, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor as Petruchio and Katarina.
  • Follow the Leader: When this proved a hit, it resulted in Romeo and Juliet (1968) going from a modest Made-for-TV Movie to a bigger budget Paramount release.
  • Wag the Director: Elizabeth Taylor was inexperienced with Shakespeare and was nervous in the initial days of shooting. After she grew into the role over time, she asked if she could reshoot her earlier scenes. Although the director insisted she was fine, the actress got her way and was allowed to reshoot the first scene filmed.
  • What Could Have Been: The film was intended as a vehicle for Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were considered Box Office poison, thanks to the bombing of Cleopatra, but they put up $1 million of their own money to get the film made.
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