Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview
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In May, Anderson had gone to Hollywood to write two motion picture scripts, Death Takes a Holiday (based on Alberto Casella's play of the same title, which had opened in New York on December 12, 1929) and We Live Again (based on Tolstoy Resurrection). Both pictures were released in 1934. On the trip Anderson also wrote Mary of Scotland.


[ Santa Monica, California]
[ Late July, 1933]


I haven't written before because I've been in such a welter of finishing my picture, 1 seeing people in regard to the play 2 and entertaining the Lapworths, Alec, and so on. 3 As for the picture, I sat down last Saturday and wrote steadily till Tuesday--at the end of which time I had a hundred pages that looked pretty good. Tuesday I turned it in, and on Thursday they had read it and wanted some rewriting done. Now I had discovered that my contract called for five weeks and another free week if the picture was not entirely satisfactory, so I must stay till next Tuesday to finish. That means my time is so short before I want rehearsals to begin that I must take the train. I start Tuesday evening on the Chief. Charles 4 will follow with the car.

Marshall and Edna Best were at dinner with me at Tony's last night. 5 Marshall likes the play enormously and wants to play it but must be here till October 1st. Tony is not free till Oct. 15th. That's definitely too late. I talked to Helen H. 6 on the phone today, and she said she must know by August 7th what was going to happen, because she was turning down picture offers and she needs the money. As for Jock Whitney, he was at R.K.O. the other day when I went to see them about their possibly buying Night Over Taos for their first color film. I guess that's fallen through, 7 but Whitney had read Mary and is willing to finance it for me if I want to produce it. The Guild board is all over the place, but Terry and Langner are at Westport, and perhaps I can get an answer out of them. 8 I do think the rehearsals should start in September, because we'll need some time out of town, and the opening shouldn't be later than Nov. 1. I'm getting somewhat nervous over the way everybody seems to be entangled with other projects. I may be


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Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958
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