JERICHO, N.Y., October 22, 2001 – The Hollywood screen test is the proving ground that makes or breaks the early careers of aspiring stars. It enables directors and producers to see how an actor's looks and personality translate onto the screen, to test the chemistry between two people, and even to make adjustments to the direction of a character or script.
On Tuesday, November 6 at 10:00 PM (ET), AMC offers an irresistible behind-the-scenes look at these tension-filled moments in an actor's career when it premieres HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2, a one-hour original special featuring rare screen tests recently recovered from studio vaults. Narrated by Robert Culp, HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2 illuminates how the newcomers of yesterday become the stars of tomorrow, and sheds light on how casting decisions are made in a world where illusion becomes reality.
Always on the lookout for new talent, the Hollywood studios often use screen tests as a barometer for crossovers from the worlds of beauty pageants, modeling or rock-n-roll.
HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2 reveals how Linda Harrison (Miss Maryland 1965) made her mark with her first screen test, which led to her casting as Nova in PLANET OF THE APES (1968) and BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970). The test also caught the eye of studio exec Richard Zanuck, who in 1968, made her his wife. When teen idol Fabian took a screen test for his debut film, HOUND-DOG MAN (1959), the charismatic young singer demonstrated that he had the essential easy camaraderie with future co-star Stuart Whitman.
Even established actors take screen tests, which give filmmakers insight into how two actors blend together on-screen. For example, for the film THE WAYWARD BUS (1957), based on the novel by John Steinbeck, both veteran actress Linda Darnell and emerging British star Joan Collins tested for the female lead. Their tests with star Rick Jason, featured in HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2, show the distinct chemistry that developed between each couple. Collins won the role of Jason's alcoholic wife.
Screen tests also proved essential to Robert Wise's casting of the cohesive von Trapp family for THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Wise auditioned over 200 children searching for the perfect mix of personality, looks and innate appeal for the story of a family that flees the Nazi regime in 1938. HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2 unveils a series of tests featuring Kim Darby, Greg Bauer, Angela Cartwright and other hopefuls. Wise also conducted extensive screen tests for the role of family patriarch Captain von Trapp, as he sought the right combination of charm, strength and edginess.
Other highlights of HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2 include Cary Grant's only known screen test, with popular cover girl Suzy Parker for the romantic comedy KISS THEM FOR ME (1957); Judy Garland modeling William Travilla costumes for a role she would ultimately never play in wardrobe tests for VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1967); future Oscar® winner Martin Landau's test for the role of an evil count in SNOW WHITE AND THE THREE STOOGES (1961); contract player Rita Moreno reading with aspiring actor Dick Kaiser in a 1957 stock screen test; and Julie Andrews with Daniel Massey testing for the role of Noel Coward in STAR! (1968).
HOLLYWOOD SCREEN TESTS: TAKE 2 is produced by Van Ness Films in association with Foxstar Productions, Fox Television Studios and AMC. Executive Producer for Foxstar Productions is Kevin Burns. Edith Becker is director/producer. Executive Producer for AMC is David Sehring.
AMC is the nation's premier classic movie network, bringing timeless favorites to a broad audience by placing them in a fresh and contemporary context. Award-winning original documentaries, series and specials are infused with the energy and excitement of Hollywood past and present. Launched in 1984, AMC is currently available in 81 million homes.
AMC is owned and managed by Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. A subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and NBC, Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, WE: Women's Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in FOX Sports Net.