“A late February 1947 Hollywood Reporter news item speculated that, in cities where it had played, [The Outlaw] had been seen by about sixty-five percent of the total population.”
Turner Classic Movies
When 19-year-old actress Jane Russell was shooting her first movie (The Outlaw) she complained to her director about feeling uncomfortable posing for some photos that a publicity photographer suggested.
According to Karina Longworth’s podcast You Must Remember This the advice her director gave her is just as fitting today as it was over 75 years ago:
“You’ve got to protect yourself. If anyone asks you to do anything against your better judgment, say no, loud and clear. You’re in charge of you. No one else.”
Director Howard Hawks (His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby)
And it will remain solid advice for as long as 19-year-olds continue pursuing acting careers. Way back when I studied acting I remember a young actress in my class being invited to the home of a “busy” producer for an “audition.” When she arrived the producer wanted to know why she brought her boyfriend.
And you don’t have to have Russell’s 38-22-36 measurements, or even be an actress, or even work in Hollywood for that matter, to be put in an uncomfortable situation. So feel free to copy & paste the above quote and send it to whoever you think needs some direction from Howard Hawks.
Howard Hughes eventually replaced Hawks as the director of The Outlaw. Though Hughes had plenty of critics, and though it took him five years to eventually finish the film and get a wide release, The Outlaw became a box office hit.
Russell went on to co-star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, and not only survived Hollywood—but lived to tell about it in her book Jane Russell, My Path & My Detours. She died in 2011 at the age of 89.
P.S. A few side notes to The Outlaw is Walter Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) starred as Doc Holiday, and Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane) was the cinematographer for the Hughes directed parts of the movie. Jules Furthman (Rio Bravo, Mutiny on the Bounty) wrote the screenplay.