Monday, December 28, 2009

Roman Polanski Thanks Everyone Who Sent Support to Him, Valley of the Dolls Opening and Steve McQueen in "The Cincinnati Kid"

Roman Polanski wants to thank everyone who has sent messages of support during this difficult time:

From his chalet in Gstaad, Roman Polanski sends his very best.

In a letter to French author Bernard-Henri Lévi, the Oscar-winning filmmaker says he is "overwhelmed by the number of messages of support and sympathy" he has received since being locked up in Switzerland for skipping out on his sentencing for having sex with a teenage girl 31 years ago.

"These messages have come from my neighbors, from people all over Switzerland, and from beyond Switzerland—from across the world," reads the translated-into-English letter, which Lévi gave to the Huffington Post, where he's a contributor.

"I would like every one of them to know how heartening it is, when one is locked up in a cell, to hear this murmur of human voices and of solidarity in the morning mail. In the darkest moments, each of their notes has been a source of comfort and hope, and they continue to be so in my current situation."

Sounds like something the director of The Pianist and Death and the Maiden would write.

Polanski requests in his letter that, because he can't respond to each missive individually, Levi "disseminate these few words" somehow. "These few words" are also the director's first remarks since his legal troubles started all over again.

The Poland-born, longtime resident of France hasn't stepped foot in the U.S., where he made Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and other films, since 1978.

He was arrested Sept. 24 in Winterthur prison after landing in Switzerland, where he was to accept a lifetime achievement honor at the Zurich Film Festival. He was transferred to home confinement Dec. 4 while he awaits possible extradition to California.

An appellate panel denied Polanski's latest request to have the decades-old charge dropped, in which he argued that the judge and prosecutor from his original case conspired against him.

On this day in movie history, Valley of the Dolls was released:

Tuesday Weld as Christian with Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid.  McQueen had originally wanted Sharon for the role of Christian.

A review with some great trivia about "The Cincinnati Kid".  Personally, no disrespect to Tuesday Weld but I would have rather Sharon had gotten that role.  Also, the information here suggests it was a black woman filmed in the nude scene by Peckinpah instead of the rumor that usually purveys that Sharon was the one and that this is one of the reasons Peckinpah was fired from the film:

Does anyone have any information regarding the Peckinpah rumor?


  1. Sharon should have played Christian. Steve McQueen wanted her and so did Martin Ransohoff. At the time, Tuesday Weld had received good reviews for a comedy previously filmed opposite McQueen(Soldier In
    The Rain-1963). Plus Weld had won a 1960 Golden Globe giving her more clout. Still, I'd love to someday view Sharon's screen test. Sharon would have nailed this role which would have in turn given her more choices.

  2. You have a good point, Mike. The nude scene Penkinpah filmed didn't appear to include Sharon at all.