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LAURA: 133pp Original Mimeographed Screenplay, the Ring Lardner, Jr "Final Draft" Version
Twentieth Century Fox, Los Angeles 1944 - Jay Dratler & Ring Lardner Jr. LAURA. Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox, 1943). Original Screenplay ("Final Draft") for the 1944 film, this being the version composed by Ring Lardner Jr. (dated November 29, 1943). 133 mimeographed pages complete, brad-bound in original war-recycled 20th Century Fox blue studio wrappers which don't bear the film's title (covered by snipes from subsequent films) but have been over-stamped with the correct LAURA script code #934 (which also appears on the title page of the script). A stamped "Second Revised" has been crossed out at the top of the wrappers and replaced with "Final." Contains studio perforated cover page used to keep track of the distributed scripts (receipt extracted here as is the norm; this copy was designated "82" of an unknown number of scripts put in circulation). The title page contains only the names Jay Dratler (the original writer) and Ring Lardner, Jr (not credited in the final version). The pages are all original canary yellow, not white. There are no revision pages. Overall, the covers shows wear typical of wrappers larger than the page size but this wear is not excessive and the script itself is in very good condition. LAURA completed filming in 1944 with director Otto Preminger at the helm, his version being a transcendent adaptation of the 1943 novel of the same name by author Vera Caspary. By all accounts, Lardner was brought in to be the script doctor for LAURA, in particular he was assigned to attend to the dialogue and character nuance of the film's urbane villain "Waldo Lydecker" (played by Clifton Webb). There has never been a consensus as to who deserves the credit for the emergence of Lydecker as the one character who holds the entire film together. This newly discovered screenplay draft might hold the key to that answer and offers much opportunity to get to the bottom of things. The five major characters in the film (played by Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, Clifton Webb, and Judith Anderson) all contend with a different level of the same problem: obsession. This multi-layered and intricate examination of obsessive motivation is one of the key reasons LAURA is so often considered a Film Noir masterpiece. But Lydecker's dialogue and behavior added the one element which helped LAURA transcend the genre itself -- by providing a degree of cosmopolitan sophistication and wit not found in any other major Film Noir. Therefore a case could be made that Lardner's input was absolutely essential for the film's success. Despite LAURA winning an Oscar nomination for best screenplay, it clearly was a film written by committee. Copies of the original screenplay of LAURA are exceedingly rare and the opportunity to own a Lardner draft conceivably might be unique. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Lakin & Marley Rare Books ABAA]
Last Found On: 2013-10-10           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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