Sunday, November 30, 2014


Ridley Scott's new film Exodus is attracting a lot of attention.

Mainly over the casting.

Sigourney Weaver, Christian Bale and Ben Kingsley are among the actors playing Egyptians and Hebrews.

In a novel move, unheard of in history, a Hollywood movie has cast  actors in roles despite ethnicity or race.

It's never happened before.

Except when Bette Davis played Carlota of Mexico in Juarez.

And when Katharine Hepburn played the Chinese peasant Jade in Dragon Seed.

And when Luise Rainer played O-Lan in The Good Earth.

And when Rita Moreno played Tuptim of Siam in The King and I.

And when Natalie Wood played Maria in West Side Story.

And Marlon Brando as Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata!

And Tony Perkins as Venezuelan Abel in Green Mansions.

And Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane in Imitation of Life.

And Judy Garland as Manuela Alva, Gene Kelly as Serafin and Walter Slezak as Don Pedro in The Pirate.

And Mickey Rooney as I.Y. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Marlon Brando as Tomas de Torquemada and Tom Selleck as King Ferdinand V in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.

Gerard Depardieu as Christopher Columbus and Sigourney Weaver as Queen Isabella I in 1492: Conquest of Paradise.

And Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez in Argo.

Of greater interest to us is what went down on the set.

After all, the previous blockbuster named Exodus, the 1960 Otto Preminger film, was much more talked about for the rumors that Paul Newman had sidelined former lover Sal Mineo to take up with John Derek.

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