Max Baer Jr. once tried to buy the movie rights to Madonna's ''Like a Virgin''
The song should have been called "Like a Bodine."
Music can touch people in ways that listeners might never have expected, and in some cases, take you on a journey to new places. For Max Baer Jr., a song like Madonna's ''Like a Virgin'' wasn't just a song; It was a step for him in his journey as a film director.
You might remember Baer best for his role as Jethro Bodine in The Beverly Hillbillies. While the character of Jethro was a bit dimwitted, Baer was anything but, and in addition to his successful career as an actor, he also enjoyed success behind the camera as a well-performing director. In fact, by the mid-eighties, Baer had a specific film project in mind.
According to an article in the Associated Press, Baer Jr. approached the two songwriters responsible for Madonna's hit song, ''Like a Virgin'' seeking their approval to develop a film about the song. Developing films from hit songs isn't necessarily a newfound idea; Films like Love Potion No. 9 and Jailhouse Rock were modeled after catchy tunes and enjoyed great success in theaters.
Baer had already had a great deal of success developing songs into popular films, as he was previously responsible for movies like Ode to Billy Joe and Macon County Line.
However, when network ABC heard of Baer's plans, they quickly attempted to shut it down by threatening to sue, citing that the songwriters had previously agreed to give ABC first dibs on the creation of any ''Like a Virgin'' films.
Baer chose to dispute that decision in court, a case that made it to a Superior Court jury, who voted in Baer's favor. According to an article in The Index-Journal, Baer was awarded two million dollars from the decision.
While this was a great success for Baer, ABC's lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, argued that it was probable that the jury wouldn't side with them because of Baer's star status. Mesereau said, "It's very difficult to defend a corporation against a likable actor. This is the kind of crazy verdict that gives lawyers coronaries."