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The Men (1950) Poster

(1950)

Trivia

Marlon Brando's screen debut. He is reported to have prepared for his role as an embittered paraplegic by lying in bed for a month in a veterans' hospital.
To accustom himself to his role as a paraplegic, Brando remained in a wheelchair on and off the set for the duration of the shoot. He reluctantly made an exception to this "method" in order to attend a Hollywood party where he wanted to meet Charlie Chaplin. His date, Shelly Winters, through whom he had access to the party, insisted he come dressed nicely and sans wheelchair or not come at all.
Jay Kantor, a mail-room clerk at Lew Wasserman's talent agency Music Corp. of America in 1949, was sent to pick up Broadway actor Marlon Brando and drive him to the agency. Impressed by the young man, Brando promptly appointed Kantor his agent. Kantor got Brando his first film role, that of the paraplegic Army officer in this film, for $50,000 (approximately $400,000 in 2006 money).
When shooting "The Men," Brando stayed in the one bedroom apartment of actor Richard Erdman. Brando slept on the couch and was a voracious eater. According to biographer Peter Manso, Brando, who was being paid $40,000 for his role, never offered to help with expenses or restock the refrigerator for Erdman, who was being paid only $5000.
This film features the first public games of the Paralyzed Veterans Association's water polo and wheelchair basketball team members.
In the early part of the film, inside the hospital ward, a paraplegic solider is reading Superman comic book, #62. #62: Black Magic on Mars (January/February 1950) involves a plot line with Orson Welles and his famous radio broadcast, "War of the Worlds" about Martian invasion of America. Welles may have been promoting his new film, Black Magic (1949). Harry W. Gerstad, Gustaf Norin, Jean Speak, and Clem Beauchamp, production staff for many of Kramer's films, would later work for the 1950s television series, Adventures of Superman (1952).
Stars 49 of the men from Birmingham Veterans Administration Hospital.
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"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 17, 1951 with Teresa Wright reprising her film role.
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Norm's Shakepearean quote, "... a sleep, to say we end / The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks / That Flesh is heir to? 'Tis a consummation / Devoutly to be wished. / To die to sleep, / To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,", is from Hamlet's 'To be or not to be .." soliloquy.
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