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    Maxwell Anderson's First Version of Vertigo

    Maxwell Anderson. Darkling I Listen. Stamford, [n.d., ca. 1956]. The most-likely unique mimeographed copy of the screenplay Hitchcock commissioned Anderson to write for the film adaptation of the book, d'Entre les Morts (the film would make it to the screen with the title, Vertigo, in 1958). Neat mimeograph copied onto thin, plain light green paper. Quarto. Approximately 11 x 8.5 inches. 51, 63 leaves, rectos only (Anderson wrote the script in two parts, with two separate paginations). Three holes on left margin, two rusted brads present. First sheet a bit toned, with some mild edgewear, some very minor occasional edgewear throughout. Still, fine. A rare item of the highest interest to a Hitchcock enthusiast.

    [Together With:] Alfred Hitchcock. File mimeographed copy of a typed letter, unsigned. December 4, 1956. Four and one-quarter pages on five quarto sheets. Approximately 11 x 8.5 inches, on thin green paper. Two hole-punches at upper margin. Upper left corner of first sheet torn away (not affecting text), some rubbing to edges, some wear and a few short tears near the holes, faint horizontal creases. Very good.

    More Information:

    Anderson's screenplay is quite different from the one eventually shot by Hitchcock (written by Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor), although many of the same elements and lines of dialogue are utilized (most of the differences are interesting: for example, near the end of the screenplay, Roger (or Scottie, played by Jimmy Stewart in the film) confronts Renee (or Judy, played by Kim Novak in the film) in a hotel room about her deception and then lets her go - she then drives alone to the same bridge where Madeleine was murdered (not the mission building that was used in the film) and jumps off - Roger, although cured of his agoraphobia, still cannot stop her. The final line of dialogue is by Roger, when asked by the police officer why Renee jumped to her death, Roger says: "I think she wanted me to go on loving her (HE takes out the Eurydice lighter.) Well, she got her way."

    Hitchcock's very subtle rejection letter is fascinating. For one thing, he never expressly tells Anderson that they're not using his screenplay; he just mentions that he is receiving story assistance from Mr. Alex (actually Alec) Coppel, and is sending Anderson an outline for Anderson to "glance through." For another, Hitchcock goes into great detail about the changes he's making and the reasons for doing so. Perhaps the following illustrates Hitchcock's point of view the best: "So you see, Max, an audience sitting there looking at this picture has no idea at all that this is a murder story. In fact, this film, up until the final scene should be a strange mood love story with perhaps the same feeling of Daphne du Maurier's REBECCA, which, as you know, I made many years ago." A superb look into the methods of one of the finest film directors of all time.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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