David O. Selznick

David O. Selznick Archive, Great Content Relating to Wife Jennifer Jones & Hollywood/Broadway Projects

David O. Selznick Archive, Great Content Relating to Wife Jennifer Jones & Hollywood/Broadway Projects

 

An incredible archive, ca. 1962-1964, documenting the later career of David O. Selznick (1902-1965), the storied Hollywood movie producer. The extensive collection of autograph items includes typed letters and carbon copy contracts signed and initialed by Selznick as "David", "David O. Selznick", "David O. Selznick, Pres." and "D.O.S." Also including a 60+ word autograph note in Selznick's hand, and almost 20 telegrams signed in print by Selznick. Most of the material was exchanged between Selznick and L. Arnold Weissberger (1907-1981), Selznick's agent and attorney. Expected wear includes paper folds, double-hole punches, paperclip impressions, and scattered closed tears. In mostly very good to near fine condition.

 

In the early 1960s, David O. Selznick worked simultaneously on various stage, television, musical, and feature film ideas. Projects mentioned in the archive include: a musical adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca; and adaptations of George Bernard Shaw's Doctor's Dilemma, Jean Aries's Shattered Glass, Patricia Joudry's Let Heaven In/Goddess on the Couch, and an unnamed play by Whitfield Cook.

 

Important individuals mentioned in the archive include Selznick's second wife, actress Jennifer Jones, whom he married in 1949; British actor Rex Harrison; theater agent Milton Goldman; literary agent Sam Gelfman, and screenwriting collaborators/spouses Frank and Eleanor Perry. Chock full of other superb old Hollywood and Broadway references!

 

The lot includes:

 

Letters and Notes, Signed or Initialed by Selznick

 

1. 1p typed letter signed by Selznick as "David" at center. Written at Culver City, California on July 18, 1962. On watermarked cream stationery with "David O. Selznick / Culver City, California" letterhead. To L. Arnold Weissberger, Selznick wrote in part: "We will look up the Brecht play. I agree with you that we should forget about PHOTO FINISH. I also agree that we should not be seeking a producer for the Whitfield Cook play. I think Cook is going to have a rough time with this."

 

2. 1p autograph note inscribed with 60+ words in Selznick's hand, and 2x initialed by him as "D.O.S." Selznick squeezed his note into the margins of an August 18, 1964 letter from L. Arnold Weissberger on "Weissberger & Frosch / Counselors at Law" letterhead. Concerning the book Mother's Kisses represented by literary agent Sam Gelfman, Selznick wrote: "Arnold, Will read on the boat (the 'United States', sailing Sept. 3 (?)). Please keep alive until then, also please check Doubleday, etc. as to sales: I doubt it will sell more than four thousand copies, which would make Gelfman's ideas utterly absurd. D.O.S. Let's not ruin the theatre for everybody else! If book doesn't sell, it should be five hundred! See you soon. D.O.S."

 

3. 2pp typed letter signed by Selznick as "David O. Selznick" on the second page. Dated November 4, 1964. Representing a legal contract between International Pictures, Inc., Selznick's production company, and Canadian playwright Patricia Joudry. With scattered pencil inscriptions.

 

4. 2pp carbon copy signed by Selznick as "David O. Selznick, Pres." on the second page. Dated December 11, 1964. Selznick also 4x initialed "D.O.S." in the margins beside text revisions. Regarding the payment of advance royalties for a film adaptation of Joudry's play, tentatively titled Let Heaven In.

 

5. 1p typed letter, along with a 1p carbon copy duplicate, each signed by Selznick as "David O. Selznick" at the bottom. Dated December 14, 1964. Containing amendments to the original contract for Joudry's play, now entitled Goddess on the Couch.

 

6. 2pp carbon copy of "Schedule A" of a draft contract 3x initialed by Selznick as "D.O.S." Undated, but circa 1964. Selznick was seeking the rights of a stage adaptation of Jean Aries's novel Shattered Glass, which had been published by Alfred A. Knopf. Scattered closed tears and staple holes. Legal folio.

 

Telegrams, Signed in Print by Selznick

 

18 Western Union, RCA Communications, and French Cable Company telegrams exchanged between David O. Selznick and L. Arnold Weissberger between June 4, 1963 and August 30, 1964, signed in print numerous times by Selznick as "Selznick" or "David". Subjects include securing permission for a musical film version of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca; difficulties casting Jennifer Jones in rewarding film roles; and stage projects with Patricia Joudry.

 

Selected excerpts, with unchanged spelling and punctuation:

 

June 4, 1963 - "CONCERNING REBECCA, I SUGGEST THAT YOU SIMPLY CASUALLY ADVISE, PREFERABLY VERBALLY WHEN YOU ARE IN LONDON, DUMAURIER'S AGENT THAT SINCE WE OF COURSE DO NOT NEED HER CONSENT FOR A MUSICAL FILM VERSION, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HER DISINTEREST WE HAVE DECIDED TO RELUCTANTLY FORGET THE STAGE MUSICAL. REGARDS DAVID."

 

December 14, 1963 - "SUGGEST DISCUSS ROBINFOX IDEA MORLEY COSTARRING JENNIFER SHAW ANTHOLOGY STOP SINCE MONEY UNDOUBTEDLY MORLEYS PRINCIPAL CONCERN THINK AMERICAN TOUR PREFERABLE ESPECIALLY VEW JENNIFERS GIGANTIC ROAD DRAWING POWER STOP SUGGEST THIS ALSO BECAUSE FEARS SAME OLD ARGUMENT ABOUT AMERICAN ACTRESS LONDON REGARDS DAVID."

 

June 3, 1964 - "BELIEVE JOUDRY SIGN CONTRACTS UNTIL ULESS BECKER COMPLETES ARRANGMENETS WITH US FOR BROADWAY PRODUCTION THIS FALL WITH MMSS JONES ALSO WILL REFUSE TWO WEEKSS FLORIDA…REGARDS SELZNICK."

 

August 17, 1964 - "AFRAID AWAITING JOUDRY REWRITES MAYBE ANOTHER REWRITE PLUS ARRANGING PRODUCTION COULD COST JENNIFER STILL ANOTHER SEASON…PLEASE ARNOLD MOVE MOVE MOVE NOW WE HAVE PLAY AND STAR REGARDS DAVID."

 

Miscellaneous Correspondence Mentioning Selznick Projects

 

1. 1p typed letter signed by Curtis Brown, Ltd. agent Warren Bayless as "Warren" at center. Dated July 11, 1963 and addressed to L. Arnold Weissberger. In part: "Our London people report that Daphne du Maurier has given a 'categoric NO' to Messrs. Selznick and Hayward's request for musical stage rights in REBECCA. 'She is immovable,' they report."

 

After learning the film distribution and promotion business from his father, David O. Selznick turned to production and rose through the ranks at Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and Paramount. Ultimately, Selznick became vice president in charge of production at R.K.O. He formed his own production company in 1936, producing Academy Award-winning films such as A Star is Born (1937), Gone with the Wind (1939), and Rebecca (1940).

 

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

 

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Item: 67433

Price: $1,600.00
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