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Rendezvous A decoding expert tangles with... MORE > $15.96 Regularly $19.99 Buy Now


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Rendezvous A decoding expert tangles with... MORE > $15.96
Regularly $19.99
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Working titles for this film were Blonde Countess, White Bird, Puzzle Man and The Black Chamber. According to contemporary sources, Herbert O. Yardley, the author of the book on which the film was based, was head of the United States Secret Service during World War I. Rendezvous marked Rosalind Russell's first star billing in a film. Hollywood Reporter pre-production news items indicate that the picture was originally intended as a William Powell-Myrna Loy vehicle, and that A. E. Dupont, who aided producer Lawrence Weingarten on the script, was named as a possible director. The extent of Dupont's participation on the film has not been determined. While Hollywood Reporter production charts and pre-release news items list actors Alan Cavan, Lee Phelps, Zita Johann, Hedwiga Reicher (actor Frank Reicher's sister), Belle Mitchell, Jerry Mandy, Haila Stoddard and Walter King (formerly known on Broadway as Walter Woolf) in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. July and August 1935 Hollywood Reporter news items note that production on the film was suspended due to actress Binnie Barnes' bout with apendicitis. A day after it erroneously reported that M-G-M had decided to re-write and re-shoot the entire picture, Hollywood Reporter, on August 24, 1935, clarified the matter by printing a letter written by director William K. Howard, who denied the implication that the studio was dissatisfied with Barnes's work. He wrote that "M-G-M is trying to decide on a very effictive last act for the picture...which will exploit the talents of Miss Rosalind Russell." The director conceded that from the start the production "never had a satisfactory ending," and that they were awaiting the results of preview audience reactions to a better ending. Howard also wrote that he was leaving the production because he had taken an assignment on a Walter Wanger film. Sam Wood then took over the direction of the film and Herman Mankiewicz and Howard Emmett Rogers were assigned to the script. James Wong Howe replaced William Daniels as the photographer. Hollywood Reporter also noted that George Kaufman was to sit in on some of the story meetings, and that some seventeen new sets would be constructed for the second round of filming.
       Although onscreen credits list Lionel Atwill's character as "William Brennan," his spoken name in the film is "Charles." Also, while most contemporary sources list Cesar Romero's character as "Nickolajeff," the film credits and dialogue refer to him as "Nieterstein." The Variety review erroneously refers to actor Cesar Romero as Hugh Romero. The released film was cut from its preview length of 106 minutes. Modern sources indicate that the casting of Rosalind Russell as William Powell's co-star, instead of his usual teaming with star Myrna Loy, was due in part to Loy's absence from M-G-M during her strike for better pay. Rendezous was remade by M-G-M in 1942 as Pacific Rendezvous, directed by George Sidney and starring Jean Rogers and Mona Harris.