SAL MINEO

The Wrong People was nearly made once before: in 1971

Robin Maugham's book was previously discovered by former Hollywood star Sal Mineo, the kid who adored James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.


Mineo wanted to direct his first feature and in 1971 came to London with his partner Courtney Burr to begin pre-production. Nobody wanted to be associated with this hot property. A succession of writers, among them Peter Shaffer, David Sherwin and Edna O’Brien refused to write the screenplay.

Actors including Martin Potter, Leonard Whiting and John Moulder Brown wouldn’t even meet Mineo. Eventually a script was written by Murray Smith, known for cheap exploitation pictures made for independent producer-director Pete Walker.


Mineo went to Morocco to scout locations. But the authorities wouldn’t allow him to film there. Mineo returned to the US without a deal in 1974. Two years later he was stabbed to death.