D.W. (DAVID LEWELYN WARK) GRIFFITH - DOCUMENT SIGNED 03/02/1936 CO-SIGNED BY: EVEYLN BALDWIN - HFSID 298724
Sale Price $4,250.00
D. W. GRIFFITH
Chastened by a messy divorce from his first wife, the famed director signs a prenuptial agreement with his bride to be, Evelyn Baldwin, who has also signed here.
Document signed: "David Wark Griffith", "Evelyn Baldwin", 2 pages, 8½x13. No place, 1936 March 2. In anticipation of his pending marriage to Evelyn Baldwin, Griffith irrevocably transfers to her all rights to an annuity contract with the Aetna Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, yielding annual income of $5,632.80 for the rest of her life. In exchange, Baldwin releases Griffith, along with his heirs and assigns, from any additional claims except for assets freely given to Baldwin by Griffith. The agreement is to become effective only on the consummation of the Griffith-Baldwin marriage. David Llewelyn Wark GRIFFITH (1875-1948) directed his first film in 1908, and in 1910 became the first to shoot a film in Hollywood. His Judith of Bethulia (1914) was among the first feature films, and the controversial Birth of a Nation (1915), became the first blockbuster movie hit, inspiring the movie industry that we have known since. Griffith co-founded United Artists studio with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. Five of his movies are deemed important enough for preservation in the US Film Registry. Since 1953, the Directors Guild of America has bestowed the D. W. Griffith Award, its highest honor. Orson Welles once said "No town, no industry, no profession, no art form owes so much to a single man". Griffith had married young actress Linda Arvidson in 1906, but she left him in 1911 on grounds of infidelity. After years of wrangling and monetary claims by Arvidson, the marriage was finally dissolved on March 2, 1936. Chastened by that experience, Griffith signed this prenuptial with longtime romantic partner Baldwin that very day, and married her in April. A week after this agreement, Griffith received the first honorary Oscar, but his film successes were behind him. Griffith Corporation filed for bankruptcy later that year; Griffith succumbed to depression and alcoholism. By the time Baldwin filed for divorce in 1947, Griffith had few assets left to protect. Evelyn BALDWIN (1910-2004) appeared in the last film Griffith directed, The Struggle (1931) - cast as the young wife of a man descending into alcoholism! It was her only feature film credit. Baldwin appeared as herself in a 1993 documentary film, D. W. Griffith: Father of Film. Two horizontal folds. Staple holes at top left and right corner. Lightly creased. Slightly worn at edges. 1-inch vertical tear at top left corner of page 2. Otherwise, fine condition.
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