>He mentioned that
> Columbia Pictures once optioned a couple of the books with the idea of
> Humphrey Bogart and Sidney Greenstreet. Then they made the movies with
> actors (Edward Arnold and Walter Connolly played Wolfe, Lionel Stander was
> Archie). He wasn't pleased.
With all due respect to Stout, his memory must have been a
little hazy. The two Columbia Nero Wolfe films, MEET NERO
WOLFE and THE LEAGUE OF FRIGHTENED MEN, were released in the
summers of 1936 and '37, respectively. Bogart, at the time,
was still a contract player at Warner Bros., doing second
leads in programmers like CHINA CLIPPER and KID GALAHAD. It's
not impossible but fairly unlikely for Columbia to have
considered him for anything at their studio at the time, both
because he was not then considered much of a property and
more importantly because, valuable or not, he was under
Sydney Greenstreet, though a wonderful idea for Wolfe, is
even more unlikely, since not only did he also spend most of
his career under contract to Warner Bros., but he was a total
cinema unknown in 1936 who wouldn't make his first film for
another five years yet.
It seems impossible for Stout to have been disappointed at
not getting Bogart and Greenstreet in 1936. In hindsight,
yes, but in 1936, I think not.
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