Margaret O’Brien was the biggest child star of the ‘40s, landing a place on the coveted Top 10 Box Office champions list. During her heyday she appeared in one Western, “Bad Bascomb” (‘46). “Wallace Beery
couldn’t stand me and I hated him! He was a mean old man, not nice at all. We shot on location so the studio would have a truck come around with those boxed lunches. He would steal my lunch. He was that awful. My mother would have to go and get it away from him; if she didn’t I would have to go hungry! The studio often paired him with Marjorie Main in an effort to recapture the chemistry of Wallace Beery and Marie Dressler in the olden days. Now I do not know what Beery and Dressler thought about each other, but I do know he didn’t like Marjorie Main, and the feeling was mutual! Marjorie Main looked like she hadn’t taken a bath in six months. Yet, she was a neat-freak. She’d go around looking for dust. Picking it up or wiping it off, whatever. She was also crazy as a loon. She had once been married but her husband
was long dead. Yet, she still talked to him—or to his ghost, just like he was there, which he wasn’t. She had a place for him at lunch and babbled on to this corpse—it was bizarre. How she ever kept from being taken to the crazy house I will never know! A dozen years or so later I did a ‘Wagon Train’ and Marjorie Main was on that also. She hadn’t changed a bit, except she looked even older than she did in ‘Bad Bascomb’. Dan Duryea was also in ‘Wagon Train’ and Dan thought he was this great ladies’ man, chasing everything in shirts. Well, not everything—he left Marjorie Main alone (Laughs)!”
Margaret’s Western Filmography
Movies: Bad Bascomb (‘46 MGM)—Wallace Beery.
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