Best Films Featuring an Actor Who Died Before it Opened

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1.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. (111 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
“ James Dean died Sept 30, 1955. The film was released Oct 27, 1955 ” - drjgardner
 
2.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A martial artist agrees to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover. (102 mins.)
Director: Robert Clouse
“ Bruce Lee died July 20, 1973. The film was released Aug 19, 1973. ” - drjgardner
 
3.
The Misfits (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A divorcee falls for an over-the-hill cowboy who is struggling to maintain his romantically independent lifestyle. (125 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Clark Gable died Nov 16, 1960. The film was released Feb 1, 1961. ” - drjgardner
 
4.
Saratoga (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
After winning a stud farm in lieu of gambling debts, bookie Duke Bradley turns an eye to the daughter of the now deceased gambler and her millionaire fiancée. (92 mins.)
Director: Jack Conway
“ Jean Harlow died June 7, 1937. The film was released July 23, 1937. Some scenes in the film were finished with a stand-in after she died. ” - drjgardner
 
5.
The Son of the Sheik (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
The son of the sheik and a dancing girl fall in love, but when he is made to believe she has betrayed him he seeks revenge. (68 mins.)
“ Rudolph Valentino died Aug 23, 1926. The film was released on Sept 5, 1926. ” - drjgardner
 
6.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé. (108 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
“ Spencer Tracy died June 10, 1967. The film was released Dec 12, 1967. ” - drjgardner
 
7.
Brainstorm (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people... (106 mins.)
“ Natalie Wood died Nov 29, 1981. The film was released on Sept 30, 1983. She died while the film was still being made and although studio execs wanted to can the film, the director (Douglas Trumbull) insisted on finishing the film with a stand-in. ” - drjgardner
 
8.
Sparkle (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In the 1960s, three sisters form a girl group and soon become local sensations with major label interest, but fame becomes a challenge as the close-knit family begins to fall apart. (116 mins.)
Director: Salim Akil
“ Whitney Houston died Feb 11, 2012. The film was released Aug 17, 2012. ” - drjgardner
 
9.
Bridesmaids (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Competition between the maid of honor and a bridesmaid, over who is the bride's best friend, threatens to upend the life of an out-of-work pastry chef. (125 mins.)
Director: Paul Feig
“ Jill Clayburgh died Nov 5, 2010. The film was released May 13, 2011. ” - drjgardner
 
10.
The Naked Edge (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Five years after George Radcliffe was the chief witness in a high profile murder case, his wife receives a blackmailing letter accusing him of the crime. (97 mins.)
“ Gary Cooper died May 13, 1961. The film was released later that month. ” - drjgardner
 
11.
The Crow (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée's murder. (102 mins.)
Director: Alex Proyas
“ Brandon Lee died Mare 31, 1993. The film was released May 11, 1994. Some scenes in the film were finished with a stand-in after he died. ” - drjgardner
 
12.
Street Fighter (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
Col. Guile and various other martial arts heroes fight against the tyranny of Dictator M. Bison and his cohorts. (102 mins.)
“ Raul Julia died Oct 24, 1994. The film was released Dec 23, 1994. ” - drjgardner
 
13.
Wagons East (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  
In the 1860's Wild West, when a ragged bunch of misfit settlers decide they cannot stand living in their current situation, they hire a grizzled cowboy to take them on a journey back to their hometowns east. (107 mins.)
Director: Peter Markle
“ John Candy died Mar 4, 1994. The film was released Aug 26, 1994. ” - drjgardner
 
14.
Beverly Hills Ninja (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
A man tries to rescue a woman with a little help from his half brother. (88 mins.)
Director: Dennis Dugan
“ Chris Farley died Dec 18, 1997. The film was released Jan 17, 1998. ” - drjgardner