Movies/Shows in which actors exchanged roles

by tharrx | created - 05 Dec 2010 | updated - 15 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 14,856

"Edward Woods was originally hired for the lead role of Tom Powers and James Cagney was hired to play Matt Doyle, his friend. However, once director William A. Wellman got to know both of them and saw Cagney in rehearsals, he realized that Cagney would be far more effective in the star role than Woods, so he switched them. "

2. The Raven (1935)

Approved | 61 min | Crime, Horror

7.1
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A brilliant surgeon obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe saves the life of a beautiful dancer and goes mad when he can't have her.

Director: Lew Landers | Stars: Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lester Matthews, Irene Ware

Votes: 3,622

It's believed, but not definitely known, that the Lugosi role was originally conceived for Karloff and vice versa, but that Universal switched them so Karloff could play the henchman.

The henchman's role is much smaller than the main villain's, but it comes with a grotesque make-up job, and Universal wanted their star Karloff to appear in the "monster" role.

3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)

Passed | 113 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

6.9
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Dr. Jekyll allows his dark side to run wild when he drinks a potion that turns him into the evil Mr. Hyde.

Director: Victor Fleming | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman, Lana Turner, Donald Crisp

Votes: 7,133

"The studio had originally cast Ingrid Bergman in the Beatrix Emery role and Lana Turner in the Ivy Peterson role. Bergman felt the role of Ivy was more challenging and persuaded the producers to switch roles with Turner."

4. The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.6
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An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Monty Woolley

Votes: 11,468

"Originally Cary Grant played the bishop and David Niven the angel. When original director William A. Seiter left the film, Henry Koster replaced him and viewed what had been shot so far. He realized that the two were in the wrong roles. It took some convincing because Grant wanted the title role of the Bishop. He soon accepted the change and his role as the angel was one of the most widely praised of his career. "

5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

PG | 110 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

8.1
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58 Metascore

Two Western bank and train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin

Votes: 170,749 | Gross: $102.31M

According to Life.com, the role of the Sundance Kid "almost went to Jack Lemmon before the relatively little-known Redford won a starring part. Even then, he was supposed to play Butch Cassidy before he switched roles with Newman."

6. Neighbors (1981)

R | 94 min | Comedy

5.6
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A quiet man's peaceful suburban lifestyle is threatened by the new, obnoxious couple that moves in next door.

Director: John G. Avildsen | Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kathryn Walker, Cathy Moriarty

Votes: 6,542 | Gross: $29.92M

"John Belushi was originally cast in the role of Vic and Dan Aykroyd in the role of Earl. The two decided to switch roles just prior to filming the movie. "

7. The Golden Girls (1985–1992)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

7.8
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Four previously married women live together in Miami, sharing their various experiences together and enjoying themselves despite hard times.

Stars: Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty

Votes: 25,073

"Rue McClanahan was to play Rose and Betty White was to play Blanche (The producers originally wanted Rue to play a version of her naive Vivian Cavender character from 'Maude' (1972) and Betty White to play a version of her man-hungry Sue Ann Nivens from 'Mary Tyler Moore' (1970).) They switched roles because they didn't want to be typecast."

8. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)

PG | 117 min | Comedy, Drama

7.6
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Two minor characters from the play 'Hamlet' stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them.

Director: Tom Stoppard | Stars: Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfuss, Livio Badurina

Votes: 18,452 | Gross: $0.74M

According to IMDB, Tim Roth was originally cast as Rosencrantz and Gary Oldman as Guildenstern. Ironically, the two characters are constantly mixing up their own names.

9. Justice League Unlimited (2004–2006)
Episode: Hawk and Dove (2004)

23 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

6.8
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Ares creates a war machine called the Annihilator to escalate a civil war in Kasnia. Hawk, Dove, and Wonder Woman try to stop his plans.

Director: Joaquim Dos Santos | Stars: Susan Eisenberg, Carl Lumbly, Fred Savage, Jason Hervey

Votes: 268

"The bickering brother superheroes Hawk and Dove are voiced by Fred Savage and Jason Hervey, who played the brothers on the TV series 'The Wonder Years' (1988); unlike 'The Wonder Years', however, Savage voiced the older, more aggressive brother (Hawk/Hank Hall) while Hervey voiced the younger, more docile brother (Dove/Don Hall). It was originally intended for their relationship to match 'The Wonder Years', but during the voice reading session, they unexpectedly switched roles for one of the readings and that was kept for the episode."

10. Pineapple Express (2008)

R | 111 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

7.0
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64 Metascore

A process server and his marijuana dealer wind up on the run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer after he witnesses his dealer's boss murder a competitor while trying to serve papers on him.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Gary Cole, Danny McBride

Votes: 277,766 | Gross: $87.34M

"Seth Rogen originally wrote the part of Saul Silver for himself to play, it wasn't until the table read that he realized James Franco would be funnier in the role of Saul."