[Vivien Leigh]

Vivien Leigh Legal Bill Re: "Gone With the Wind" Filming



Vivien Leigh Legal Bill Re: Gone With the Wind Filming

 

6pp invoice presented to John Gliddon, the agent of British actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967), from J.D. Langton & Passmore, a West End London firm of solicitors. Prepared in London on November 8, 1939.  Typewritten on bifold watermarked pale blue paper with pre-printed ledger margins, and secured with a green ribbon at left. Partly printed "To Messrs J.D. Langton & Passmore / 8, Bolton Street, Piccadilly, W.1." letterhead. Expected light paper folds, else near fine. 8" x 13.25".

 

The bill itemized £45 and 5 shillings worth of legal services performed by the firm between January 1939 and November 6, 1939 in advance of Leigh's filming Gone With the Wind. The Civil War romance would be a collaboration of two American production companies, Selznick International Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer. Leigh's starring in it would complicate her professional relationship with Alexander Korda, and possibly even violate the terms of her existing contract with his company, London Films Limited. Leigh wanted to better understand her options, and that required hiring lawyers.

 

In part:

 

"Attending you, in long interview, when you stated that Miss Leigh wished to cancel her Contract with London Film Productions Limited and you desired to know what your rights would be with regard to commission in the circumstances - Generally discussing the matter and advising and you arranged to forward us documents for perusal.

 

Perusing Miss Leigh's Contract with London Film Productions and other papers received from you…

 

Attending you when you outlined your recent discussion with Messers. Myron Selznick (London) Limited and you wished us to draft a letter to be written by you as a result of such discussion…

 

Attending Mr. Tennant of Myron Selznick (London) Limited as to the documents when he stated that he would prepare same and we pointed out that at the present moment his Company had no Contract for Miss Leigh's services for Countries other than the U.S.A…

 

Attending you as to the letter which you should write to Miss Vivien Leigh reporting as to Agreement which had been reached and as to the necessity for her to enter into an Agreement with Myron Selznick Inc., and we arranged to settle such letter…

 

Numerous telephone attendances upon you and Messrs. Walter Burgis & Co., in regard to the amount due to you in respect of 'Gone With the Wind' and ultimately receiving cheque…"

 

Austro-Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda had founded his production company, London Films Limited, in 1935. The same year, Korda and London Films Limited offered Vivien Leigh a £50,000 film contract. (This sum was considered astronomical in 1935, and is the equivalent of over £3,500,000 in 2019 currency.) Leigh acted in three London Films Limited pictures in 1937: Fire Over England, co-starring her future husband Laurence Olivier; Dark Journey, co-starring Conrad Veidt; and Storm in a Teacup, co-starring Rex Harrison.

 

In 1938, Leigh worked with Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer and Mayflower Pictures respectively, starring in A Yank At Oxford opposite Robert Taylor, and Sidewalks of London, with male lead Charles Laughton. In December 1938, Myron Selznick, Laurence Olivier's agent, had brought Leigh to the set to see the filming of the burning of Atlanta for Gone With the Wind. Scarlett O'Hara was not yet cast, prompting Myron's crisp statement to brother David, also the film's producer, "Hey genius. Meet your Scarlett O'Hara."

 

Myron Selznick had established his eponymous talent agency in 1929. He represented actors and actresses as well as screenwriters, directors, and other filmmaking professionals. Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Loretta Young, Constance Bennett, Paulette Goddard, W.C. Fields, George Cukor, and Alfred Hitchcock were some of Myron's most well-known clients.

 

Vivien Leigh would not only secure the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, but would win a Best Actress Oscar for her performance. The movie became a motion picture phenomenon and generated $390 million at the box office.

 



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Item: 66010

Price: $900.00
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[Vivien Leigh][Vivien Leigh]
[Vivien Leigh]
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