The Cost of Casting a Classic Film - NBC Southern California

The Cost of Casting a Classic Film

The Academy posts some interesting figures for famous flicks.

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    The Cost of Casting a Classic Film
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    1950: Anne Baxter (1923 - 1985) and Bette Davis (1908 - 1989) play Eve Harrington and Margo Channing in a scene from Joseph L Mankiewicz's 'All About Eve' (Mankiewicz won the Academy Award for best direction). Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) can be seen in the background, in one of her early screen roles. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

    We all know that Bette Davis advised party goers to fasten their seat belts for a bumpy night in 1950's "All About Eve." What we don't know, or many of us who aren't privy to studio ledgers don't know, rather, is what the star, and the other actors in the famous film, got paid.

    Yes, it does seem unseemly in some ways, but it has been a topic of gossip and conjecture since the first director shouted his first "Action!" over a century ago. In the end, we all are pretty curious about what the stars made.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has an answer for that, or at least in part; they're running a fascinating series about money behind the movies just ahead of Tax Day. Tax hikes? MGM ledgers from 1926? We're poring over every detail.

    And, yep, we bet you want to take a peep at the cast salaries for "All About Eve" and "How to Marry a Millionaire." If you're thinking that the household names were excised from the rosters, think again. There's Bette Davis, and Marilyn Monroe, and Cary Grant, and other major actors.

    Have a guess what Ms. Monroe made for one of the movies she is much associated with? There it is in, on the cast rundown: $750 per week. The Academy says that's about $60,000 in today's money.

    It's actually wonderful that "All About Eve" is so prominently featured here, given that "Eve" is very much about competition, jealousies, and the entertainment business. Well done, Academy. Now we're off to read the Thursday, April 12 feature, which is provocatively entitled "What $6 Million Dollars a Minutes Looks Like." Hoo boy.

    As always, the Academy has a host of great events just ahead. Here's the calendar.

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