JOHN "DUKE" WAYNE - DOCUMENT SIGNED 05/05/1950 CO-SIGNED BY: ROY OBRINGER - HFSID 310680
JOHN WAYNE Remarkable collection of Warner Bros. documents regarding Wayne's contract, one a salary payment provision signed by the Duke. The other two, including an unsigned letter from Jack Warner, concerning how to recover money owned the studio by Wayne, and how to avoid such problems in the future.
Sale Price $2,337.50
Remarkable collection of Warner Bros. documents regarding Wayne's contract, one a salary payment provision signed by the Duke. The other two, including an unsigned letter from Jack Warner, concerning how to recover money owned the studio by Wayne, and how to avoid such problems in the future. The letters are framed together to an overall size of 23x21½.
Document signed: "John Wayne", 1 page, 8½x13. Van Nuys, California, 1950 May 5. Letter of agreement on Warner Bros. stationery between John Wayne and the studio. Also signed by Warner Bros. Assistant Secretary and longtime legal counsel "Roy Obringer". In part: "As you undoubtedly know, it is the present policy and practice of this company to pay artists ... either directly to the personnel involved or to their duly authorized representatives. ... However, as a matter of mutual convenience to each of us, you hereby authorize us to ... mail it to you at (or in care of) Beverly Management Corporation." The document is to remain in effect until revoked by Wayne. Accompanied by 1) Typed Letter, unsigned, from Jack Warner, dated December 3, 1958, reading in full: "When I get back to the studio, or maybe before, we want to have a talk about the money John Wayne owes us and the method we will use to recoup it." 2) Typed Letter, unsigned, also from Jack Warner to Roy Obringer and others, dated March 20, 1961, in full: "Whenever we modify an individual's contract by giving them a raise, from this day forth we want to insert a clause that in the event of a default by this individual we have the right to cancel the raise. Also, as in the case of Natalie Wood, if they have the right to make outside pictures and they default, not only can we cancel the raise but they cannot do the outside picture." Having received his first Oscar nomination for Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949, John Wayne was near the peak of his popularity and in a strong bargaining position for a raise from the studio. In 1952, he founded his own production company, Batjac Productions, with Warner Bros. signing on as distributor. Trouble arose when Wayne's epic masterpiece, The Alamo, experienced countless production delays and ran far over budget. The actor was forced to put up most of his personal fortune, and as much as he could borrow, to keep the project afloat. His debt to Warner Bros., and studio mogul Jack Warner's concern not only to recover it, but to prevent future incidents with other actors, is the subject of the unsigned letters. The Alamo, ultimately released in 1960 with a star-studded cast, reflected Wayne's personal passion (and politics). The film was quite successful at the box office, and remains popular today, but was not successful enough to recoup its great cost. The film received 7 Oscar nominations, but received only one (for Best Sound). Interestingly, United Artists, not Warner Bros., distributed the movie. Matted and framed to an overall size of 23x21½. Surface creases. Lightly toned. Soiled on contract top. Edges worn on contract. Small holes on top of all three documents. Otherwise, fine condition. Not framed in the Gallery of History style.
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