"Lady In A Cage"
Status: Released in 1963 (Role portrayed by Olivia de Havilland)
Character: "Mrs. Hilyard"
Character summary: After recently breaking her hip, Mrs. Hilyard installs a free-standing elevator in her palatial house, and is trapped in mid air in it when the power to her house is suddenly severed. Several psychotic thugs discover the situation and use the opportunity to rob the house and torment the trapped "Mrs. Hilyard" before planning to kill her.
Joan's involvement in the production:
In January 1962, Joan signed-on to play the lead in producer Luther Davis' "Lady In A Cage", with filming scheduled to begin in March 1962.
Filming was postponed, and rescheduled to begin in summer 1962, with Ralph Nelson directing after completing work on "The Dupont Show of the Week" episode "The Richest Man in Bogota". Actress Elizabeth Montgomery was slated to also star in the film during this time period.
However, again filming was postponed due to scheduling conflicts with Joan's May 1962 Pepsi-Cola schedule, which included a tour of opening Pepsi-Cola plants in Italy, and filming "The Caretakers" in June 1962.
In July of 1962, Joan recorded voice-over television advertisements for Ralph Nelson's recently completed film "Requiem For A Heavyweight", stating her reason for doing so is "I just think it is such a beautiful picture.”
In July 1962, the film was again set to begin filming at Producers Studio sound stage beginning on September 17, 1962, following Joan completing work on "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?"
Following the revised filming schedule, financing on the film began to fall through, and director Ralph Nelson left the production in August to begin work on producing and directing "Lilies In The Field".
Joan also left the production shortly after this when Luther Davis could no longer pay her agreed-upon salary for the film.
Joan publicly reported her reason for turning down the film was because it was too similar to her character in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" and she feared being type-casted.
(Webmaster's note: While it is a possibility, Joan was afraid of being type-casted, her public explanation for turning down this role seems odd considering she was preparing for this film at the same time she was in talks to film "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?", and therefore would have had full knowledge of the similarities of both film's characters.
According to this webmaster's research, Joan left the production in late 1962, following the film's financial structure becoming unstable, therefore, enabling the producer to pay Joan's prior agreed upon salary, and the departure of the film's original director Ralph Nelson.
Following Joan leaving the production, Rosalind Russell was Luther Davis' first choice to replace her, however, Russell declined the role.
In December 1962, Olivia de Havilland agreed to the film in exchange for a very minimal up-front salary and a percentage of the
film's profits. Furthermore, several elements in the film had to be altered before de Havilland agreed to the film. This included "toning down" some of the film's violence.
Filming began with de Havilland on January 30th 1963, and was completed in March 1963.
The house exterior used in the film was reportedly once the home of silent film star Mary Miles Minter.