William Faulkner Signed Contract and Unproduced Script for...
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DescriptionWilliam Faulkner Signed Contract and Unproduced Script for an MGM film titled; "A Ghost Story" (1932). Vintage original studio bound and bradded, typed carbon copy, 100-page "Temporary Complete" screenplay with typed cover reading, "A GHOST STORY by William Faulkner, December 21, 1932" and with MGM studio sticker and ink stamps. The dramatic WWI story opens, post war, with a very unconventional family; The widowed wife of a fallen soldier, the soldier's child, his French mistress and the enemy soldier who killed him! The body of the story is told in flashbacks, through the soldier's written diary, as told by the widow to her 14-year old son, with scenes leading up to present day of the story. The descriptive and passages, diary entries and copious dialog are clearly written by a novelist. An example of dogfight sequence:
"The German flight dives upon them firing. Two of them engage JOHN, four BAYARD. The German ships are superior to JOHN'S. BAYARD fighting off his four, watches JOHN anxiously. BAYARD shoots down one German, pulls away to help JOHN. A German is on JOHN'S tail. The German's ship bears a skull smoking a pipe..."
An example of dialog:
CAROLINE----You have brought them here, to live with me, in this house? The woman with whom my husband betrayed me, and the man who killed him? The man and woman who between them killed your brother and this child's father? (She turns, runs to the crib, crying, snatches up the child, putting shawl about it swiftly. NURSE comes forward, tries to take the child)
NURSE----Now, Miss Caroline!
CAROLINE jerks child away, clasps child to her, runs toward door crying.
CAROLINE----Bring them, then! We will be gone; turn your house into a mausoleum of your brother's infidelity and a memorial to his murder!
Heavy, to say the least. It's hard to imagine a major studio of the era producing such a complex, dark and provocative movie with such a central, deeply flawed anti-hero the likes of Faulkner's protagonist "Lt. John Sartoris." This script was produced at the beginning of Faulkner's foray into screenwriting, for which he would do a couple uncredited projects leading up to his first formally credited screenplay for The Road to Glory (TCF, 1936).
Also includes a corresponding 1-page 8.5" x 14"work for hire contract between MGM and Faulkner, dated, 28 Nov. 1932" and signed at the bottom by notorious Hollywood "fixer" and studio executive Eddie Mannix and below that, "William Faulkner." Mint green script covers edges are shattered and torn, but intact but with content in remaining in very good condition. Contract top punched holes are breeched. In overall vintage good condition.
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