14 November 2015

Towering Inferno

'Did you know that co-stars Steve McQueen and Paul Newman were so concerned that neither should have top billing over the other that they got their agents to count the exact number of lines attributed to the fire chief and architect respectively and then got the writers to juggle the script until the amount of dialogue was perfectly balanced? After which, they got the promotions people to agree to a credit system whereby one star's name would appear left but lower, the other right but higher, on both the movie titles and poster ads, thereby preventing the possibility that either actor could be seen as 'second billed''.

- Mark Kermode, It's Only a Movie, London, 2010, p.104-5.
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