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

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview

in taking time from pictures to do the play in New York, and that you would not act in the play at all if you were not confident that you would play the same role in the picture. It's my understanding, therefore, that you are signing with the Playwrights' Company for a period of seven months only, including rehearsals, but that you will extend the period to eight months in case you are entirely satisfied with the conditions of the picture sale.

As you know, I am so happy to have you for the part of Joan, and I appreciate so well your enthusiasm and cooperative spirit, that if there is ever any way in which the contract irks you or becomes difficult for you I shall be glad--and the Playwrights' Company will be glad--to make any feasible readjustment. It's my belief that we shall never quarrel over terms in this venture. We are only too happy and grateful to have you with us. And so--good fortune!

Sincerely

Maxwell Anderson

1.
Miss Bergman (b. 1915), Swedish actress, had come to the United States in 1939 and had acted mainly in motion pictures (among them Casablanca, 1942, and For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1943), though she had initially appeared on Broadway in revivals of Molnar Liliom (with Burgess Meredith) in 1940 and O'Neill Anna Christi in 1941. Anderson went to Los Angeles in February, 1945, and remained until June negotiating with Miss Bergman to do his Joan of Arc play on stage and as a motion picture. Entitled Joan of Lorraine when produced and published, the play was known as A Girl from Lorraine at the time of the present letter (for the several titles, and versions, of the play, see Catalogue, pp. 43-46). The negotiations with Miss Bergman were filled with difficulties, and the present letter introduces an early one, a problem in the contract sent to Wharton in March.

140. TO INGRID BERGMAN

Hotel Bel-Air

Los Angeles, California

[ April 25, 1945]

Dear Ingrid-- 1

This letter is written to confirm our verbal understanding concerning the possible moving picture to be made from my play "A Girl from Lorraine." Since you are to play the part of Joan on the

-197-

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