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Strange Lady in Town

Strange Lady in Town(1955)

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As mentioned in the film, Gen. Lew Wallace (1827-1905), governor of New Mexico from 1878 to 1881, wrote the popular nineteenth-century novel Ben-Hur. Portions of the film were shot near Tucson, AZ, according to Hollywood Reporter production charts and news items. An April 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that Margaret O'Brien was considered for the role of Dana Andrews' tomboy daughter. Cameron Mitchell was on loan from 20th Century-Fox, according to a July 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item. Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, Hollywood Reporter news items add the following to the cast: Chief Geronimo Kuthle, Bert Lahr, Jr., director Mervyn LeRoy's sixteen-year-old daughter Linda and the Robert Mitchell Boys Choir. According to October and November 1954 IHR news items, Greer Garson was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy, and during the five weeks that production was shut down waiting for her recovery, LeRoy took over direction of the film Mister Roberts from John Ford, who was recuperating from a gall bladder operation.
       According to a September 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, contrary to the custom of fitting songs into the film at the editing stage, LeRoy established the mood of non-dialogue scenes by playing the title song, written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington, while shooting. An April 1955 news item announced that the film had its premiere in five Texas cities: Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Ft. Worth, during mid-April and Garson addressed both houses of the Texas legislature as part of the festivities in Austin. Strange Lady in Town was Garson's first picture after leaving M-G-M, the studio to which she was under contract since 1939, and her last film until the 1960 Warner Bros. production, Sunrise at Campobella (see below).