W. C. FIELDS - CONTRACT SIGNED 02/22/1941 CO-SIGNED BY: JOHN T. NEVILLE - HFSID 290558
Sale Price $1,912.50
W. C. FIELDS
Preparing for his role as "The Great Man" in his last starring role, later titled Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, Fields hires his own writer, to be paid by him, not by the studio. The writer (John T. Neville) has also signed.
Documentary Letter Signed: "W. C. Fields", "John T. Neville", 1 page, 8½x11. Universal City, California, 1941 February 22. Neville acknowledges that he has been hired personally by W. C. Fields in connection with Fields' pending movie for Universal Studios, and understands that is to be compensated by Fields, owed nothing by Universal. Fields signs his "approval and consent to the foregoing." Ink note at top left (unknown hand), underlined in red: "The Great Man". W.C. FIELDS (1879-1946) began entertaining as an amusement park juggler at the age of fourteen. He was a vaudeville headliner before he was twenty and toured Europe in 1901, giving a command performance at Buckingham Palace. His Broadway debut in The Ham Tree (1905) was followed by appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies (1915-1921) and in George White's Scandals (1933). Fields starred in Poppy on Broadway (1923) and the next year made his first film, Janice Meredith (1924). Fields' style, verbal rather than visual, and irascible con-man philosophy made him a favorite, especially with the advent of sound, where his raspy voice provided the final touch to his comedy. He starred in movies including My Little Chickadee (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). In the latter film, Fields was actually called "the Great Man," a term he often applied to himself facetiously. Field himself wrote the original story on which this film was based, employing the pseudonym of "Otis Cribleobilis". Apparently, the film's final title, a quote from an earlier Fields movie, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), had not yet been selected when this document was signed. Screenwriter JOHN T. NEVILLE (1886-1970) worked on nearly film scripts between 1927 (Winners of the Wilderness) and 1946 (The Flying Serpent), but this seems to have been his only collaboration with Fields. Filing holes at left and top edges (torn). Lightly creased. Lightly toned around edges. Otherwise, fine condition.
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