Fantasy Casting: A History of Violence (1943)
Recently, a reader suggested that I engage in a little retroactive fantasy casting, taking a modern film and placing it in the past. The idea intrigued me, so I thought of a recent film with well-defined characters that seems as though it could have been made sixty or seventy years ago.
I arrived at David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence, released in 2005. Everything about the premise of this film reminds me of the seedy and sordid film noir of the 40s and 50s. So, I imagined a production of the film released during World War II, when America- and the world in general- realized that the ghosts of the past were coming back to haunt them. Realizing that we couldn’t simply sit this one out, especially once the fight came to our doorstep with the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States decided to jump into the fray, not unlike the protagonist of A History of Violence.
I felt that a story like this would have real resonance with American audiences of the 1940s, while also being genuinely suspenseful and entertaining.
All that said, here we go!
Directed by: Fritz Lang
Written by: Dalton Trumbo
Tom Stall- Dana Andrews
Edie Stall- Mary Astor
Carl Fogarty- Walter Huston
Richie Cusack- Raymond Massey
Jack Stall- Tim Holt