LOUIS B. MAYER - DOCUMENT SIGNED 08/08/1925 CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIAM A. WELLMAN - HFSID 259273
LOUIS B. MAYER and WILLIAM A. WELLMAN The studio mogul sends a final payment of $125 to director William Wellman, whose term of employment with the studio ended on the date of this document. Typed DS: "Louis B Mayer" as Vice President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation and "William A.
Sale Price $637.50
LOUIS B. MAYER and WILLIAM A. WELLMAN
The studio mogul sends a final payment of $125 to director William Wellman, whose term of employment with the studio ended on the date of this document.
Typed DS: "Louis B Mayer" as Vice President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation and "William A. Wellman" under "Received and accepted", 1p, 8¼x10¾. Culver City, California, 1925 August 8. On letterhead of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to Mr. William A. Wellman, Hollywood Athletic Club, Hollywood, California. In full: "Referring to our agreement of employment with you, dated May 18, 1925, and referring, particularly, to paragraph 20 thereof, you are hereby notified that the term of said agreement will expire to-day, August 8, 1925. In full payment for your compensation, and for all claims and demands due you, we are paying you herewith the sum of One hundred twenty-five dollars ($125.00). Will you kindly acknowledge receipt of the said sum, and the acceptance of this notice, in the space hereinbelow provided? Yours very truly". In 1925, Wellman directed When Husbands Flirt for Columbia Pictures before helming The Boob, a slapstick comedy for M-G-M that was released in 1926. In 1925, Mayer was the producer of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. Director, producer and writer WILLIAM WELLMAN (1896-1975) would win the 1938 Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Story for A Star is Born (1937), and he would be nominated for Best Director Oscars for A Star is Born, Battleground (1949) and The High and the Mighty (1954). Wellman, a veteran of the Lafayette Escadrille during WWI, broke into the movie business, first as an actor and then as a director, with the help of his friend, Douglas Fairbanks. He made an uncredited directing debut in 1920, three years before he was credited as the director of Fox Studio's Second Hand Love. Wellman got his big break in 1927, when Paramount entrusted him with the WWI flying epic, Wings, which won the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Known as a volatile director who had great disdain for actors, Wellman nonetheless went on to direct a number of acclaimed films, including The Public Enemy (1931), which made James Cagney a superstar, Nothing Sacred (1937), Beau Geste (1939), Roxie Hart (1942), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Story of G.I. Joe (1945) and Lafayette Escadrille (1958) as well as his Oscar winning and nominated films. Mayer's daughter, Irene Mayer Selznick, David O. Selznick's first wife, was not a fan of Wellman, whom she called "a terror, a shoot-up-the town fellow". LOUIS B. MAYER (circa 1882-1957), born Lazar Mayer in the Russian Empire, began his career in show business with the purchase of a burlesque house in Boston. Alternating between live shows and presentations of films, he made a fortune showing The Birth of a Nation (1914), using the money to expand his theater empire and eventually move into movie production in Los Angeles in 1918. There, Mayer formed Louis B. Mayer Productions before joining forces with Samuel Goldwyn and Marcus Loew to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M), which produced more films and created more film stars than any other studio over the next 25 years. Credited as being the creator of the "star system", Mayer was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he was the highest-paid American business executive in the 1930s, making a salary of $1.3 million in 1937. Mayer's credits as a producer include Human Desire (1919), Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and I Take This Woman (1940). Lightly creased with folds, not at signatures. Slightly soiled. Light paper clip impressions at upper left blank margin, two file holes at upper blank margin. Fine condition.
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