36 or 37 years ago Roadshow, a Martin Ritt film about a modern-day cattle drive, was a go project under MGM. The contracted costars were Jack Nicholson, Timothy Hutton and Mary Steenburgen. Then Ritt had to back out (possibly over creative differences with MGM, possibly due to health problems) and director Richard Brooks was allegedly hired to take over. Then Brooks suffered a heart attack, and the Roadshow plug was pulled.
Six years later, or on 2.26.89, an L.A. Times story reported that Hutton had won a $9.75 million award against MGM after a Los Angeles Superior Court Jury found that the studio engaged in fraud and breached its contract when it canceled Roadshow.
“Hutton had argued that MGM executives deceived him by telling him the picture was being terminated because the director, Richard Brooks, had suffered a heart attack,” the story reads. “The actor contended that the studio, which had recently undergone a change of management, had lost interest in the film and that Brooks had never agreed to direct it.
“Hutton also maintained that the studio made its decision to drop Roadshow in the spring of 1983 but did not tell him until several months later, thereby depriving him of other possible roles.
“Among those testifying during the months-long trial were Brooks, Ritt, Nicholson, Steenburgen and agent Sue Mengers.”
Why am I mentioning this? Because I’ve always wanted to read a draft of Roadshow. I loved the idea of redoing Red River with a story of an ’80s cattle drive, but I never even read a synopsis…nothing. If anyone could send along a PDF or even a brief story summary, please do.