LOUIS B. MAYER - DOCUMENT SIGNED 10/08/1929 - HFSID 257603
LOUIS B. MAYER The studio mogul lends the services of actor Lawrence Gray to First National Productions Corporation for a starring role in the 1930 musical, Spring is Here. Typed DS: "Louis B Mayer" as Vice President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation on page 3, 3p, 8½x10¾, separate sheets.
Sale Price $616.25
LOUIS B. MAYER
The studio mogul lends the services of actor Lawrence Gray to First National Productions Corporation for a starring role in the 1930 musical, Spring is Here.
Typed DS: "Louis B Mayer" as Vice President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corporation on page 3, 3p, 8½x10¾, separate sheets. Culver City, California, 1929 October 8. On letterhead of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios to First National Productions Corporation, Burbank, California. Begins: "Gentlemen". Begins: "This is to confirm our understanding of the arrangement we have made to loan you the exclusive services of Lawrence Gray, hereinafter referred to as the 'artist', to portray the leading male role in the photoplay entitled 'Spring is Here', to be produced by you and directed by John Francis Dillon...." The document goes on to cover ten points, including the term of the agreement ("commenced on October 1, 1929...shall not exceed three (3) weeks"), compensation to M-G-M ($850 per week), the furnishing of Gray's wardrobe (at First National's expense), billing ("only the name of Billie Dove may precede that of the artist or appear in type larger than that used to display the name of the artist") and rights ("you shall have the right to record and reproduce the artist's voice and all instrumental, musical and sound effects in connection with the artist's acts, poses and appearances hereunder"). The agreement also cover's M-G-M's possible need for Gray's services ("it is understood that we may require the services of the artist for certain retakes and/or changes in connection with a photoplay which has heretofore been produced by us, and you hereby agree that during the term hereof we shall have first call on the artist's services to complete such retakes and/or changes."). Also signed by a Vice President of First National Productions Corporation under "Approved and Accepted" and initialed (unknown hand) at lower portion of page 3. Spring is Here, a musical directed by John Frances Dillon, was released in 1930 and co-starred Gray as Steve Alden. LAWRENCE GRAY (1898-1970), a leading man in the silents, was able to showcase his fine singing voice in the "talkies". In 1929, the year of this document, Gray appeared in Trent's Last Case, The Sin Sister, Marianne and Rainbow. In 1930, the year Spring is Here was released, Gray was also seen on the big screen in It's a Great Life, Sunny, The Flora Dora Girl and Temptation. In 1936, he became involved in the "business end" of show business, spending the rest of his career as a liaison between American and Mexican film companies. 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. Upper left corners have been torn away, likely from the removal of staples. Two file holes at upper blank margins. Overall, fine condition.
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