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Clift upsets Hollywood

From LEE CARROLL, in Hollywood

WHEN handsome actor Montgomery Clift

smashed his car into a telegraph pole on a winding Beverly Hills road some weeks ago, he caused a whole lot of trouble in Hollywood.

THE accident occurred

late one night when Clift was driving home from a dinner party at the home of close friends Eliza- beth Taylor and her actor husband, Michael Wilding.

The car, a rented sedan, was a total wreck. Monty suffered a broken nose, had two front teeth knocked out, and was severely cut about the face.

When the doctors' early fears of complications fell away, his friends and business associates were relieved.

But there was more. About a week later it was discovered that Clift had a broken jaw.

In Hollywood itself the re- percussions from this have been considerable and quite without parallel.

It was the worst luck that

this young man, who is gifted with rare dramatic ability, had just started work on "Rain- tree County" when he was put

out of action.

The picture, of epic pro- portions and cost, co-stars Elizabeth Taylor and Eva

Marie Saint and employs hundreds of extras.

It didn't help that the script, based on the Ross Lockridge, jun., novel, called for Montgomery Clift to work on all but two of the 105 days on the studio production

schedule.

For two days following the accident the film's big cast and crew hung hopefully around thc lot. Then they were sent home.

Even then nobody expected the enforced holiday to last much longer than 10 days. June 5 was set for the resump- tion of shooting.

Then the blow fell. When the swelling began to leave his face it was discovered that Clift had a fractured jaw, which would keep him im- mobilised for six or eight

weeks.

This meant that Hollywood could not hope to go back to the job until the end of July.

/\bout 450 men and women

who've been standing by at the studio are affected. These include a record technical crew and about 150 experts in various fields.

STAGE and »creen actor Montgomery Clift, recently injured in a car crash, is pictured with glamorous film star Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth and her husband. Michael Wilding, are

Cliff's closest friends.

Unfortunately, few of these people can be assigned to other jobs, so many of them must be laid off. Others have taken advantage of the shut-down to take part-paid, early vaca-

tions.

The situation of the stars

and feature players in ''Rain- tree County" is, however, slightly more cheerful.

British actor Nigel Patrick, for example, brought over from England for the picture, was simply told to sit back

and relax.

Sensibly, Patrick has taken the direction literally and is now enjoying a holiday in the balmy climate of Palm Springs.

At the same time Patrick stands to lose one British pic- ture and possibly a West End play as the result of having to hang around California.

"Raintree" star blond Eva Marie Saint ("On the Water- front"), also left idle by the stoppage, has a hunch that the delay might cut out a planned holiday in Europe

this summer.

Likes Europe

^i^SKED how she felt about

this, much-in-demand Eva Marie said that instead she was decorating the house that she and her husband recently bought in Hollywood. "That's nice," she added, "but so is Europe."

Veteran actress Agnes Moorehead is another to be hit, but in a different way. She, too, had planned a late summer trip to Europe; her target there was a new pic- ture which, of course, she's

had to cancel.

It remained for Australian actor Rodney Taylor, another of the star-studded cast, to come up with the best idea of all. He went fishing.

Rod, lucky fellow, can fish to his heart's content. He's .under a permanent Metro contract and, unlike some others, will lose no pay through the break.

Right at the other end of the

scale is actor Lee Marvin.

Lee is possibly the unhappi- est man on the lot. He is a motor-bike hill-climbing en- thusiast in his spare time, but a studio veto prevents him from taking part in any hill climbing events until after

'Raintree County" is finished.

As things stand he's a man with lots of time on his hands and no hills to climb.

Mounting cost

JJARDEST hit in a practical

way is the film studio, whose executives must spend the next few weeks biting their nails and hoping that no further complications arise.

With a bit of luck the pic- ture, much of which will be filmed in Louisiana, Missis- sippi, Tennessee, and Ken- tucky, can still be brought in before the rainy season. But it may well cost a million dol- lars (£A446,000) more than the original estimate.

Fans of 35-year-old Mont- gomery Clift will be glad to know that his face is unlikely to be marred.

Clift is brown-haired and green-eyed. He is six feet tall, weighs about 11 ¿ stone, and, in his own particular way, is almost as unpredict- able as Marlon Brando.

It's nearly three years since Monty made his last Holly- wood film ("From Here to Eternity") then pulled up

stakes and went East.

Every film company in the fabulous city of smog has been

after his services since then. He read a dozen or so film

scripts but politely and firmly

turned them all down with a note, "Sorry, not for me, thank you."

Rumors are flying that "Raintree County," the movie that brought him back to Hollywood, has revived Clift's interest in screen work, so that he will make one more pic- ture this vear and another early in 1957.

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