User:Fantr/List of abandoned and unfinished films

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For this list of abandoned and unfinished films, an unfinished film is defined as one in which production began but did not finish. An abandoned film is defined as one in which production was cancelled during pre-production before any footage was shot, though a script exists and film crew including performers, directors and other positions have been hired.

Films may not be completed for several reasons, with some being shelved during different stages of the production. Some films have been shut down days into production. Other unfinished films have been shot in their entirety but have not completed post-production where the film is edited and sound and score added. This is different from unreleased films which are finished but have not yet been released and shown in theatres or released on DVD. In some instances these films cannot be shown due to legal reasons. Withdrawn films are similar except they did have brief showings but cannot be shown again, also usually for legal reasons.

According to the Film Yearbook, "history has shown that the unfinished film is with few exceptions designed to remain that way."[1] Exceptions do exist: these include Gulliver's Travels and The Jigsaw Man, both of which shut down when they ran out of funds but after a year or more found new financing and were able to finish shooting.

Unfinished films[edit]

Year of production Film Director Screenwriter Producer Cast Notes Ref
1922 Number 13 (a.k.a. Mrs. Peabody) Alfred Hitchcock Anita Ross Alfred Hitchcock for Gainsborough Pictures Clare Greet and Ernest Thesiger Production stopped when funding ran out.
1935-1937 Bezhin Meadow Sergei Eisenstein Isaak Babel, Sergei M. Eisenstein, Aleksandr Rzheshevsky, based on a story by Ivan Turgenev V. Ya. Babitsky Vitya Kartashov, Nikolai Khmelyov, Pavel Ardzhanov, Yekaterina Teleshova, Erast Garin, Nikolai Maslov, Boris Zakhava
1937 I, Claudius Josef von Sternberg Alexander Korda Charles Laughton, Emlyn Williams and Merle Oberon Production was dogged by ill-luck. A car accident involving Oberon caused filming to be abandoned.
circa 1967 Kaleidoscope (a.k.a. Frenzy) Alfred Hitchcock Benn Levy Alfred Hitchcock Considerable test footage was shot. Not to be confused with Hitchcock's 1971 film Frenzy.
1971 A Glimpse of Tiger Anthony Harvey Jack Brodsky, Elliott Gould Elliott Gould, Kim Darby Based on Herman Raucher's novel of the same title. Warner Brothers shut down the film being shot in New York City on Friday 6 March 1971. [2][3]
1972 Game of Death Bruce Lee Bruce Lee Bruce Lee died during filming. Several years later a new story was crafted around the existing footage with other actors standing in for Lee.
1974-1975 Jackpot Terence Young Millard Kaufman William D. Alexander for Paramount Pictures Richard Burton, James Coburn, Charlotte Rampling Robert Mitchum was originally signed to co-star. Audrey Hepburn declined an offer to co-star. Burton played Reid Lawerence, an actor "paralysed by a falling lift." A media report claims that Burton would play an academy award winning actor down on his luck who suddenly wins another academy award. The film was to be shot in Rome and Nice.[4] Another media report claims that the story was about "a famous actor" who "fakes a grave illness" to collect insurance money.[5] An article claims that "insurance swindle thriller" stalled due to a lack of funds.[6] Terence Young claimed that he could have finished the film if he could have gotten the three stars together for one more week. [1][7]
1975 The New Spartans Jack Starrett Oliver Reed (as a Colonel),Susan George Production shut down after nine days filming. [1][8]
1975 Closed-Up Tight (a.k.a. Fermeture Annuelle) Cliff Owen Probably Peter Welbeck (a.k.a Harry Alan Towers)[citation needed] Harry Alan Towers for Barongreen and Canafox Films (Montreal). Marty Feldman (cat burglar), Annie Belle (his daughter), Ron Moody, Robin Askwith, Terry-Thomas, Yvon Dufour, Jacques Dufilho. Production began in August 1975. Filmed for two weeks. A British-French-Canadian co-production. Rémy Julienne was stunt co-ordinator. [9]
1975 Trick or Treat Michael Apted based on Ray Connolly's novel David Puttnam and Sandy Lieberson for Goodtimes Enterprises; also EMI Films and Playboy Productions Bianca Jagger, Jan Smithers Shot in Rome. [10]
1975-1978 The Micronauts Don Sharp, Richard Loncraine and others John Gay, Gordon Williams and others Harry Saltzman Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, James Mason, Honor Blackman, Stacy Keach Some test and special effects footage was shot. Principle photography did not begin. No scenes with the leads were shot.
1977-1978 Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Richard Donner Pierre Spengler, Alexander Salkind and Ilya Salkind Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Terence Stamp, etc. Released in 2006.
1985 The Two Jakes Robert Towne Robert Towne Robert Evans for Paramount Pictures Jack Nicholson, Robert Evans, Kelly McGillis Shut down during production because of disputes between writer-director Towne and producer/co-star Evans. The film was eventually shot and released in 1990 with Nicholson directing; this version co-starred Harvey Keitel and Meg Tilly.
1988 Atuk Alan Metter Tod Carroll Elliot Abbott, Charles Roven, Don Carmody for United Artists Sam Kinison, Christopher Walken, Ben Affleck Based on Mordecai Richler's 1963 novel The Incomparable Atuk. Apparently one scene was shot before Kinison demanded re-writes and the production was shut down.[citation needed] [11] [12]

Abandoned film projects: a partial list of more notable projects[edit]

Year production was expected to begin Film Director Screenwriter Producer Cast Notes Ref
1968-1969 The Dolly, Dolly Spy David Greene (some sources claim "David Green") [citation needed] Adam Diment[citation needed] from his novel Stanley Canter and Desmond Elliot for United Artists David Hemmings as Philip McAlpine Production was to begin 15 November 1968. [13][14][15][16]
1969 Napoleon Stanley Kubrick Stanley Kubrick
1970 The Dancer Tony Richardson Edward Albee Harry Saltzman Rudolf Nureyev as Nijinsky, Claude Jade as Romola and Paul Scofield as Diaghilev Producer Harry Saltzman canceled the project during pre-production several weeks before shooting would begin. Saltzman claimed Albee's script was amateurish. Tony Richardson believes Saltzman used this as a pretext to avoid making the film. According to Richardson, Saltzman had overextended himself and did not have the funds to make the film. Saltzman eventually made the film in 1980 as Nijinsky directed by Herbert Ross. [17]
1975, more likely 1976 The Limehouse Erik Lee Preminger, based on the John Gardner novel The Return of Moriarty. Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (for Sagittarius Entertainment), Nat Cohen (for EMI Productions) Donald Sutherland as Professor Moriarty Erik Lee Preminger bought the film rights.[18]

Money apparently fell through on first day of principal shooting.[citation needed]

The sets were allegedly used at a later date for The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.[dubious ]

Writer Bob Byrne also claims that he wrote several scripts for a possible television series.[19]

1976-1979[21] Warhead (a.k.a James Bond of the Secret Service) Len Deighton, Sean Connery, Kevin McClory Kevin McClory for Paramount Pictures Sean Connery (reportedly being paid US$5M)[22] Financing and legal troubles doomed the project. McClory eventually licensed his rights to Jack Schwartzman who made Never Say Never Again which has an entirely different screenplay. [23][24]
1977 Nessie Bryan Forbes Loch Ness Monster film.
1979 or 1980 The Short Night Alfred Hitchcock David Freeman from Ronald Kirkbride's novel Alfred Hitchcock for Universal Studios Project cancelled due to Hitchcock's advanced years and ill-health.
1996 The Double Roman Polanski Jeremy Leven (from the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel of the same name) Lili Fini Zanuck, Todd Black John Travolta, Isabelle Adjani, John Goodman, Jean Reno Travolta reportedly stormed out of rehearsals thereby shutting down pre-production. Shooting to have begun in May 1996. Travolta was being paid US$17M. Robert Richardon was signed to photograph the film and Pierre Guffroy design the sets.

Peter Sellers: The Phantom Versus (vs.) the Fourth Reich [1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Clark 1983, p. 139.
  2. ^ Haber, Joyce (8 March 1971). "Connery Back as 007; Jill St. John Co-Star". Beacon, New York. p. unnumbered (5B?).  Unknown parameter |news= ignored (|newspaper= suggested) (help)
  3. ^ "Elliott Gould: His Goodbye Was Longer Than He Planned". 
  4. ^ anonymous (7 October 1974). "Of Interest To Women". The Virgin Islands Daily News. p. 11. 
  5. ^ anonymous (27 December 1974). "Jackpot Shooting Begins". The Leader-Post. Regina, Saskatchewan. p. 6. 
  6. ^ Otterburn-Hall, William (5 July 1975). "World of Stars: Young Connoisseur of Rough Years". The Star-Phoenix. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. p. 16. 
  7. ^ "Jackpot". British Film Institute. 
  8. ^ "The New Spartans". 
  9. ^ "Closed Up-Tight". 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Pecchia, David (14 February 1988). "The Movie Chart". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ "Atuk". British Film Institute. 
  13. ^ Publishers weekly (1968) - Volume 194 - Page 157 R.R. Bowker Company
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ New society (1968) - Volume 12 - Page 683
  17. ^ Richardson 1993, p. 273.
  18. ^ Hirsch, Foster (2011). Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King. Random House. p. unknown. ISBN 9780307489210. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ Kilday, Gregg (8 September 1976). "A Dream Movie From Altman". Los Angeles Times. p. E10. 
  21. ^ Film Bulletin, Volumes 47-48, 1978, page xxvii claims "aim is a spring '79 start"
  22. ^ New York. 11: 9. 1978 [] Check |url= value (help).  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ Total Film (27 February 2008). "The Lost Bond". Total Film. 
  24. ^ anonymous (9 February 2013). "James Bond's Scrubbed Bermuda Mission". Bernews. 


External links[edit]

Category:Unfinished films Category:Unproduced screenplays