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

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview
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play this year. You and I have no contract legally because of the interference of Mr. Dan. Yet I am not showing the play to Kate. I am going to wait for you. You are the one for Joan. --Considering these things don't you owe it to me to allow an immediate picture sale? Please let me know at once how you feel about this? 2

Sincerely
Max

1.
Originally scheduling Joan of Lorraine for production in the fall of 1945, Anderson had to postpone the production until the following fall in order to accommodate Miss Bergman's motion picture schedule (during 1945-46 she made The Bells of St. Mary's, Spellbound, Saratoga Trunk, and Notorious).
2.
Miss Bergman did not consent to an immediate picture sale, and Joan of Arc (the motion picture adapted from Joan of Lorraine) was not made until 1947-48, with Miss Bergman in the title role.

144. TO S. N. BEHRMAN

October 26, 1945

Dear Sam-- 1

Forgive me for being so late in thanking you for that note about my play. The note came in time to save me from an overwhelmingly adverse vote--and I know that you wrote it at a time when you were desperately trying to do something with your own play. At the moment I'm wondering whether I shouldn't give up on that one--and not go any further toward a production. A playwright is always caught between the need to protect his own concept and the need for criticism. He must have both--and when to fight for his concept and when to give up--who can decide except the madman in between? 2

I was sorry I couldn't come down to see your play. I want to see you soon, anyway. My best (I slip this in slyly) to Elia.

Love
Max

1.
Behrman Dunnigan's Daughter, then having a try-out run in Washington, was produced by the Theatre Guild and directed by Elia Kazan. Anderson supported Behrman in his wish to have the Guild produce the play, but other members of the Playwrights' Company objected, and the controversy led to Behrman's resignation from

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