An Eccentric Millionaire, Raymond Burr, and His Kind of Woman

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The eccentric and wealthy Howard Hughes was the driving force behind the film noir His Kind of Woman – first known as Star Sapphire.

Hughes, who owned RKO at the time, weighed in on casting, directing, action sequences, everything. He even wrote dialogue for one of the villains and sent a recording reading it himself for reference. In fact, his heavy involvement in the film caused the first director, John Farrow, to quit after the he requested changes on what the director thought was a finished movie.

One of the changes Hughes wanted was huge. Originally, Lee Van Cleef (known for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) was cast in the lead villain role. However, Hughes disliked his performance and demanded that he be replaced. At this point though, all of Cleef’s scenes had been completed, so it required extensive reshoots.

The new director Richard Fleischer found Robert J. Wilke and began shooting. However, afterwards, Hughes instructed that Raymond Burr, whom he saw in another film, would take the spot. And since Howard Hughes was the big boss, Fleischer obliged.