Young and successful Hayley Mills is the subject of the May 1965 issue of the sensationalizing gossip magazine Whisper. Within the article the magazine asks the question if Hayley will be chosen to star in the film adaptation of the satirical psychedelic sex romp Candy, based on the 1958 novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg. I can’t tell if this is Hayley Mills’ representatives planting a story for the publicity, producers doing the same and pushing for her to be considered for the role or if this article is just using her name to create wagging tongues because of her fresh-faced innocent image. Personally, I’m glad Hayley never appeared in the film that resulted. Many films of the 1960s and 1970s suffered from the excesses and egos of the makers, resulting in movies which appeared to have been created in sputtering fits of drug-fueled mania.
The article itself has a few nice publicity shots that I have not seen elsewhere and even with the inexpensive black and white reproduction values of the era are still nice to look at.
I’m not familiar how straight the book told a story but the film was bonkers and all over the place. Candy is now one of those productions that is considered a “cult classic” though I am in the camp of those who think the term is applied too broadly for many bad efforts. Fresh off several dramas and comedies, Hayley Mills was undoubtedly searching for a more adult role at the time as a year later in 1966 she appeared as a newlywed experiencing marital problems in The Family Way.
Admittedly, at the time audiences had a hard time accepting the grown up actress in a dramatic role with a mature theme. People were too used to Hayley as a star of Disney and being cast in other roles as the adorable cute one, forgetting her earlier strong work in Tiger Bay and Whistle Down the Wind. Yet as an inoffensive comedy/drama about a troubled couple the choice of The Family Way was superior than if she appeared in a disjointed bizarre sex farce like Candy. Experiencing the trailer for Candy I cringe to think what that movie as it was made would have done to her career.
Yes, it was definitely for the best someone else got the role.