is due to a recognition of a couple of fellow pessimists, but that's certainly not all. You have done a superb job. I have never been able to read Boswell through. I find him insufferable. But this story has for me the fascination that novels long ago lost.
[ Hollywood, California]
March 18, 1945
Dear John-- 1
I'm sending the contracts with Bergman to Victor today. Her husband insisted on an escape clause in case the strike made it impossible to finish her picture in time, but she does intend to come--and is much excited by the whole project.
Forgive me if I differ with you completely in the matter of outside producers. 2 You assume that an outside producer can be of no value. That's a matter of opinion, just as the value of a star is a matter of opinion. If a playwright thinks an outside producer is valuable, the thinking makes it so. We have cooperated with other producers to get a hoped-for value. Any hoped-for value is justification for such cooperation. In my opinion it would be both unnecessary and destructive to reorganize the company to enable us to use a bargaining power which we have used in the past with complete freedom. At this moment I don't like or want to work with any producer except our own company, but at the moment I made up my mind that some such producer was valuable to me or my play it would be the natural, legal and profitable thing for the company to help me work out an arrangement with that producer, just as it would help me if I wanted a certain star. It may be the opinion of the company that the star is of no value, or that the outside producer is of no value, and we may advise