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My Three Sons - The First Season - Volume One

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Old 08-16-2019, 03:36 AM   #1
TMC
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Question Was Fred MacMurray lazy?

At least by 1960s television standards. I mean, he apparently liked the money he got from My Three Sons and was okay working with the adults, but he hated working with the kids. By most accounts, he really just wanted to play golf. He also insisted that he and the four who played his boys had to film as many of their scenes separately as possible.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:44 PM   #2
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MacMurray didn’t hate working with the boys, at least not according to the actors who played his sons. I think he was reserved with them and that was his nature, but either Stan or Barry said he showed some emotion when the series ended and realized he wouldn’t see them any more.

Fred wasn’t lazy; he was simply further on in his career, and didn’t want to commit to a show where he had to work 39 weeks per year. ABC wanted him for the show, so the production company devised the method where he filmed all of his scenes in two blocks during the season, and the rest of the cast filmed their individual scenes when Fred was off. The “MacMurray” method was later used for Brian Keith on “Family Affair”.

Fred didn’t “insist” on making the boys film their scenes separately. They had plenty of scenes together; but if the boys and Bill Frawley or Demarest had scenes or reaction shots without him, then those were done when Fred was off.

I don’t know why you’re trying to drum up controversy by slandering someone who is long dead. Go back to your dead birthday posts. At least those were harmless.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:53 PM   #3
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MacMurray was still in demand as a film actor while “My Three Sons” was on the air. And not all of the movies were Disney productions. Check out his role as a sleazy womanizer in the 1960 movie “The Apartment”.

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Old 08-16-2019, 04:27 PM   #4
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I have to side with TV Guy and Schmo on this one. MacMurray had one the best managed careers in the history of Hollywood. He worked steadily for 40 years transitioning easily from movies to TV, ultimately working in both simultaneously. That's not easy, Bing Crosby, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart tried and failed with TV series. MacMurray was a big star when he signed on to do My Three Sons, they were lucky to get him, he used his strong negotiating position to his advantage, it served him and all the members of the cast and crew and production company of the series very well.
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Old 08-16-2019, 06:19 PM   #5
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I also doubt the hate working with the boys story. Actors are actors whatever their age. Sometimes kid actors can be a problem, but all of these kids worked on the show for several seasons (Stanley Livingston, for all 12 seasons, and his brother Barry, for 9).

From all I've read it could have been slightly the other way around. The filming supposedly involved a lot of scenes with stand-ins, and filming out of sequence. Probably very difficult for the other actors, not to mention making the film editor job very difficult. Also the writers had to write scripts where Fred's character was out of town on business a lot.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV Guy View Post
MacMurray didn’t hate working with the boys, at least not according to the actors who played his sons. I think he was reserved with them and that was his nature, but either Stan or Barry said he showed some emotion when the series ended and realized he wouldn’t see them any more.

Fred wasn’t lazy; he was simply further on in his career, and didn’t want to commit to a show where he had to work 39 weeks per year. ABC wanted him for the show, so the production company devised the method where he filmed all of his scenes in two blocks during the season, and the rest of the cast filmed their individual scenes when Fred was off. The “MacMurray” method was later used for Brian Keith on “Family Affair”.

Fred didn’t “insist” on making the boys film their scenes separately. They had plenty of scenes together; but if the boys and Bill Frawley or Demarest had scenes or reaction shots without him, then those were done when Fred was off.

I don’t know why you’re trying to drum up controversy by slandering someone who is long dead. Go back to your dead birthday posts. At least those were harmless.
How exactly am I "slandering" Fred MacMurray for simply making an assumption (I never directly said that he was lazy, mind you) regarding his alleged work ethic when compared to say, any other actor of that time? I can't be the only one who wonders if that can constitute an actor not being "100% committed". If MacMurray managed to arrange a sweet schedule like that, then more power to him. But I'm just saying that it's quite easy to immediately suggest that under those circumstances, an actor isn't "all in" that particular job (i.e. others have to do the "grunt work"). It isn't like MacMurray made My Three Sons an easier show to produce (working around him had to be a logistical nightmare) since they had to work around his absences. So don't act like he isn't completely "innocent" (it kind of strikes me as "wanting to have your cake and eat it to") in all of this.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:59 PM   #7
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Fred MacMurray said, "If you want me, these are my conditions." The producers/network agreed. Supply and demand.
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