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Stewart Granger Never Got to Finish His List of Films

Stewart Granger was a British actor who rose to fame in the 1940s appearing in Gainsborough Melodramas. In case you’re not to familiar with what those are, Gainsborough Melodramas were a sequence of popular films produced by the British film studio Gainsborough Pictures from 1943 to 1947.

While not technically a series, these films conformed to a melodramatic style drawing upon similar themes. They were typically developed by the same film crew and featured recurring actors who played very similar characters in each film.

Granger’s modus operande was playing heroic and romantic leads. Throughout his career, he appeared in more than 60 movies – although humorously he was once quoted as saying that he couldn’t stand any of them. That being said, in his autobiography Sparks Fly Upward, Granger revealed that 1948s Saraband was one film that he starred in that he did like.

Stewarts big breakthrough role was in the 1943 English film The Man in Grey. After becoming one of the biggest box office stars in England in the early to mid 1940s, Ganger attracted Hollywood’s attention.

In 1949, Granger came to America and signed a seven year contract with MGM. He went on to appear appear in 1950s King Solomon’s Mine – a role that Errol Flynn had turned down. The film ended up being a huge success. For the remainder of his his contract with MGM, Granger continued to be a major box office draw. We’ll touch on some of his highlights during this period in just a bit.

After leaving MGM in 1957, Granger tried his hand at being a Cattle rancher on land that he purchased in New Mexico and Arizona. To finance his cowboy lifestyle, Granger continued to act, albeit sporadically. Later on he returned to Europe where he continued to act in films until 1969 – although these flicks weren’t ones that he was very proud of.

Granger then returned back to the states where he pursued a career in television for several years before retiring to southern Spain. In 1980, he was mistakenly diagnosed with lung cancer but he returned to acting in 1981 after having part of his lung and rib removed. Turns out, he was actually suffering from tuberculosis.

In 1990, Granger gave his final performance in the Broadway production The Circle. Just three years later he died of prostrate and bone cancer at the age of 80.

At the time of his death, Granger had more than a dozen and a half unfinished films that he never got the chance to put the finishing touches on. Many of these projects were abandoned long before he left Hollywood behind.

Join Facts Verse as we investigate why these films weren’t completed while delving into a few other interesting chapters of Stewart Grangers prolific and storied career.

Stewart Granger’s Unmade Films

In 1944, It was reported that Granger intended to play infamous Scottish outlaw and folk hero Rob Roy. Filmmaker J. Arthur Rank announced that he was interested in working with Granger on a Rob Roy film in 1945, but unfortunately that project never materialized.

In 1946, Granger signed on to appear in the film Digger’s Republic portraying  British artist, miner and President of the short-lived “Digger’s Republic’ diamond mining settlement in southern Africa. The film ultimately was made as Diamond City with David Farrar in it’s leading role instead.

The following year, Granger was tied to a film writtern by Alan Campbell called Self-Made Man. The movie was about a cocky man who comes out of the RAF and manages to make – and promptly lose – a million dollars. It’s not certain why the film was abandoned.

That same year, Granger was briefly reported to be portraying Christopher Columbus in a biographical film based upon Rafael Sabatini’s 1941 novel Columbus.  The film was eventually made with Fredric March instead.

In 1947, Granger was set to appear in a film called Pursuit of Love, produced by Davis Lewis over at Enterprise Studios. Once again, that movie never got axed before production had begun.

From 1947 to 1949, Granger’s name was linked to films such as Treacher, The Saxon Charm, Quo Vadis, and The House by the Sea. While  The Saxon Charm and Que Vadis ended up getting made, other actors were brought in to play the role he was at one point said to playing.

Quite a few films in the 1950s that Granger was at one point said to be appearing in likewise failed to get produced. A Few of these include The Donnybrook Fighter, Robinson Cruso, Highland Fling, Ever the Twain, and The Night Corners with Jean Simmons.

In 1958, Granger was working on producing a biopic of Miguel de Cervantes with his own production company, but funding issues prevented that project from ever entering into production.

Granger was briefly said to be playing the lead in MGM’s I Thank a Fool in 1962. While that film did end up getting made, Granger was dropped from the cast before production had commenced.

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Granger’s Run-In With Elvis

Stewart Granger was the first one to admit that he wasn’t an ‘actors actor’. If you assumed that he was an agreeable and universally beloved human being, then you’d be sadly mistaken.

Roger Moore, who Granger appeared alongside in the film The Wild Geese, couldn’t stand working with him. He found Granger to me incredibly unprofessional and nearly impossible to film a scene with.

Likewise, Christopher Lee, considered Granger to be, as he put it, a ‘worldclass bore’. And as for his Scaramouche co-star, Eleanor Parker, she once described him as a dreadful person who was rude and awful.

Simply put, pretty much everyone hated this guys guts. According to her, just being in Granger’s presence was unbearable to most.

Even though he was notirously difficult to get along with, Granger had the looks and raw talent to get him noticed by both English film studios and Hollywood ones alike. Even so, if he was ever in a bad mood while making his films, it was because he never saw acting as being a ‘fit and proper’ career for a grown man.

He was once quoted as saying that if he had been ‘ a more sensible human being’, he would have done something more worthwhile with his life, like becoming a doctor. He went on to explain that he had always enjoyed a sort of lifestyle that required money to keep going. When asked why he appeared in so many critically panned movies, he said that the answer was always the same. He did it for the money.

Although Granger never really enjoyed being an actor and seemed to regret ever going down that route in the first place, he did have a good sense of humor about it.

For example, on one occasion, Granger was dining at a restaurant when Elvis Presley came up to him and told him that he had seen him in King Solomon’s Mines more than 60 times. Granger told the King that he was flattered but Elvis quickly interjected by saying that he ‘hadn’t had a choice in the matter’, as he had been working as an usher at the time in a theater where, quote, that ‘godawful film was playing’.

While some actors would have been offended by this roast, Granger took it in stride and had a good laugh about it. Even though he had millions of adoring fans across the globe, he never quite understood what they saw in him. To Stewart Granger acting was always just a means to an end.

Granger’s Niece Is An Appraiser On Antiques Roadshow

They say the apple never falls that far from the tree, but for Bunny Campione, Stewart Granger’s niece, acting was never something that she had a strong passion for. Instead, she decided to pursue a career as an antiques expert in England.

Bunny is the daughter of Francis Colborne Fisher and his wife Iris – Granger’s sister.

Although she was born Carolyn Fisher, Campione became known as ‘Bunny’ after she was given a coat that had a rabbit hood when she was a child. She later collected soft toy rabbits.

After studying at a university in France, Bunny got a job working at the Bear Lane Gallery in Oxford. She then worked at Sotheby’s for more than two two decades while gaining a borad knowledge of antiques.

She then served as the senior consultant to Christie’s, London, until 2001. These days, she operates a Fine Arts Company where she buys and sells antiques on behalf of clients.

Since 1987, Campione has appeared on Antiques Roadshow. Later on in her career, Bunny began making appearances in a few independent films. Some of her film credits include 1994s The Vicar of Dibley and 2013s Mastermind. In each of these films, she has portrayed herself.

We’re just about out of time for this video but we’d love to hear from you.

Do you think that Stewart Granger was a good actor or do you think that his rather self-depricating assessment of himself was accurate? If you are a fan of his work, let us know in the comments what some of your favorite films are that he appeared in.

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As always, thanks for watching. We’ll see you soon with more content covering some of your favorite Hollywood films, television shows, and stars.

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