BILL CRIDER'S POP CULTURE MAGAZINE
That was interesting to see. According to John Houseman, Ladd was going into the Army and the studio wanted a movie to release while he was in. Nothing was available, so Chandler reworked an unfinished novel into the screenplay. The pressure was on to finish the movie because of Ladd's induction date, so after a few weeks, the filming was catching up to Chandler's production.Then it gets fun. A studio exec supposedly offered Chandler a bonus if he finished on time. Chandler gets upset, feeling his honor was besmirched, but he offers Houseman a deal. He'll finish the screenplay, but tanked (he had been off the sauce for several years before this). Houseman -- who was producing the movie -- arranged for round-the-clock secretaries, a chauffeur on call and regular visits from a doc to shoot up Chandler with vitamins. Chandler goes on his bender, finishes the script on time, then spends months recovering. He's probably the only scriptwriter to get paid by Hollywood to get tanked.
Great story. I hope it's true.
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