WILLIAM HOLDEN - COLLECTION - HFSID 293929
WILLIAM HOLDEN: THE STORY OF SAMURAI I: MUSASHI MIYAMOTO A series of seven letters which tell the narrative of American actor William Holden's involvement in the U.S. release of the Japanese film Miyamoto Musashi, including two agreements with Paramount Pictures allowing Holden to narrate and appear in U.S.
Sale Price $1,700.00
WILLIAM HOLDEN: THE STORY OF SAMURAI I: MUSASHI MIYAMOTO
A series of seven letters which tell the narrative of American actor William Holden's involvement in the U.S. release of the Japanese film Miyamoto Musashi, including two agreements with Paramount Pictures allowing Holden to narrate and appear in U.S. trailers for the film, both signed by Holden, and five letters relating to his involvement in the Academy Award winning foreign film.
Collection comprised of: 1) Typed Letter signed: "William Holden", "Jacob Karp" and "Frank" (Eugene H. Frank), 1 page (with carbon copy, not including Holden's signature, stapled on back), 8½x11. Hollywood, California, 1955 April 20. On letterhead of the Paramount Pictures Corporation addressed to Mr. William Holden, Hollywood, California. In full: "Dear Mr. Holden: You have requested that we grant you permission to render the following services in connection with the Japanese language motion picture photoplay presently entitled MUSACHI, produced at the Toho Studios in Toho, Japan: 1. To perform the English narration of such motion picture photoplay, without your appearance therein. 2. To perform the English narration for the trailer of such motion picture photoplay, with a brief introductory appearance by you in such trailer. We hereby grant you permission to perform the aforesaid services, on condition that our name will not be used in any way or in connection with such motion picture photoplay, such trailer or any advertising or publicity with respect thereto. It is understood, of course, that we shall not deem such services as a motion picture photoplay or as an "Outside Photoplay" under our employment agreement with you dated April 16, 1951, as amended. Very truly yours," Normal mailing folds. Slightly creased. Staples at top left. Otherwise, fine condition. Stapled at top, in front of document 1 is, 2) Typed Letter signed: "Eugene H Frank", 1 page, 8½x5½. No Place, 1955 April 20. On letterhead of the Paramount Pictures Corporation addressed to Mr. William Holden. In full: "Dear Bill: Enclosed are the original and five copies of a letter dated April 20, 1955, in which Paramount grants you your requested permission in connection with the Japanese film entitled MUSACHI. Will you be kind enough to sign and return to me the four copies of the letter which are on the Paramount letterhead and the copy which is on plain paper." One horizontal fold. Paperclip indentation at top left. Staple at top left. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. 3) Typed Letter signed: "William Holden", 1 page, 8½x11. No place, 1955 April 14. Addressed to Paramount Pictures Corporation, Los Angeles, California. In full: "Gentlemen: Confirming our understanding, you agree that I may introduce and narrate the Japanese language picture presently entitled MUSACHI and that any such activity on my part will not be in contravention of any terms of any agreements or contracts between us, and that said activity will furthermore not constitute an outside picture by me. Will you kindly sign a copy of this letter. Many thanks for your courtesy and cooperation. Very truly yours," Paperclip indentation at top left. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. 4) Typed Letter signed: "R L" (Robert W. Lerner), 1 page, 8½x11. Beverly Hills, California, 1955 April 13. On letterhead of the Law Offices of Fendler and Lerner addressed to Mr. William Holden, North Hollywood, California. In full: "Dear Bill: The following will constitute a very loose memorandum of our understanding regarding the picture MUSACHI. You agree to perform in the trailer and to speak the narration for the picture. All of the material to be spoken by you will naturally be subject to your approval. The only time requirement is that we complete all of our local work by May 15, 1955. You also agree to assist us generally as an advisor and consultant in the cutting of the picture and in the handling of the exploitation. In consideration for all of the services to be rendered by you, you will receive a sum equivalent to 15 % of the net profits. The net profits will be computed upon the basis of a negative cost of approximately $25,000.00 and print and advertising costs of approximately $25,000.00. These are outside estimates, and I believe that your participation will commence after recoupment of approximately 40,000.00. As you and I have previously discussed, I will attempt to work this thing out so that you can derive some tax advantage from it. I am hopeful that you will have a continuing interest in our corporation for future product. This is a very sketchy outline of what we are going to do but, as you know, I am going away on Monday and my associates have asked me to get something in writing on this. All formal documents will be prepared on my return. I would appreciate it if you would sign a copy of this letter. Regards." Paperclip indentation at top left (rust stains). Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. 5) Typed Letter signed: "R L" (Robert W. Lerner), 1 page, 8½x11. Beverly Hills, California, 1955 July 15. On letterhead of the Law Offices of Fendler and Lerner addressed to Mr. William Holden, North Hollywood, California. In full: "Dear Bill: I enclose herewith a copy of Far East Film News [Not included] and direct your attention to the last page. The somewhat intense fellow staring out at you you will probably recognize as a less tired Bill Holden. Kind personal regards. Sincerely," Horizontal fold at center. Lightly creased. Paperclip indentation at top left. Otherwise, fine condition. 6) Typed Letter signed: "Walter" (Walter Reade, Jr.), 1 page, 8½x11. Oakhurst, New Jersey, 1955 June 3. On letterhead of Walter Reade Theatres addressed to Mr. William Holden, Hollywood, California. In full: "Dear Bill: A happy coincidence took place last evening. Our mutual good friend, Jerry Pickman, was down here at the house for a little industry shindig. In the process of piling the bull, I mentioned I was surprised that you had Acquired American distribution rights for the picture SEVEN SAMOURAI. (Sic) I explained to him how I had learned this, which was quite indirect, having been reported to me by my Agent in Paris, and I further explained to Jerry how interested we were in the film, having seen it some several months ago, and attempted to negotiate through a Japanese representative in New York and later with Mr. Kawakita in Europe. In thrashing the situation out with Jerry, I decided that I should write to you directly, explaining my position in the matter. First of all, you may not be aware that I am financially interested, and active, in a company called Continental Distributing, Inc. this firm has been distributing specialized art forms of importance for some time. I am happy to report that one of our most successful films TO PARIS WITH LOVE, which is premiering this week at the Beverly Canon Theatre in Los Angeles. Our interest in the film was for general domestic release, feeling that the film had fine quality, in every respect, and need-ed intelligent handling. Based upon the assumption that I can be of help to you, either for free, Bill, and as you know I mean that, with our experience and background, or as an interested financial associate, I would like to suggest that we sit down and kick this around when you come to New York next. Or, if you like, we could talk about it on the telephone. I learned from Jerry that you are coming to New York in the next few weeks on your way to Europe. Incidentally, I got a big kick when I saw you and your family on the Ed Murrow Show. That was one of the few times I have caught it in recent months. Best regards to you and them, Bill. Looking forward to seeing you at an early date. Sincerely," In the letter Reade refers to the film as Seven Samourai, Seven Samurai (1954) is a Japanese film also starring Toshirô Mifune, but directed by Akira Kurosawa. It seems Reade may have gotten the wrong information as to which Mifune film Holden was involved in. However, the letter still paints a clear picture as to the kind of dealings Holden had while distributing the film in the U.S. 6) Typed Letter signed: "K. Teramoto" (Kumatoshi Teramoto, Vice President), 1 page, 8½x11. Tokyo, Japan, 1956 March 24. On letterhead of the Toho Co., LTD. Addressed to Mr. William Holden, Hollywood, California. In full: "Dear Mr. Holden, It is our greatest pleasure that our film "Samurai - Legend of Musashi" has won an Academy Award as the Best Foreign Language film of 1955. For this honor, I believe, we are greatly indebted to you and Mr. Robert B. Homel as well as your associates who have rendered you cooperation toward the successful release of the picture in the United States. On behalf of our president Fusao Kobayashi who is now in Europe, I hereby express our hearty gratitude to you for your kind cooperation given to us in respect to this picture. With best regards, Very Truly yours," Normal mailing folds. Paperclip indentation at top left. Slightly creased. Staple at top left. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition. Stapled to back is a 7) Carbon Copy of Typed Letter unsigned, 1 page, 8½x11. No place, 1956 March 30. Addressed to Kumatoshi Teramoto, Tokyo, Japan. In full: "Dear Mr. Teramoto: Thanks so much for your letter of March 24th. We, here, were also highly pleased with the results of the Academy voting. Here's to continued success for your product, not only in Japan but also in the world market. Sincerely, William Holden" Paperclip indentation at top left. Slightly creased. Staple at top left. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition. Japanophile and Academy Award winning actor William Holden befriended the acclaimed Japanese actor Toshirô Mifune while in Japan in 1954. After viewing his film Miyamoto Musashi, Holden offered to distribute the film in America. He was permitted by the film's producers and his employer Paramount Pictures to narrate the film for its release in America. These letters of agreement allow William Holden to record narration on U.S. print and trailers for the film. Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1955. It was released throughout the world under several titles, in Japan as Miyamoto Musashi, and in its English international release as Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto. It was the first film in a trilogy by director Hiroshi Inagaki starring Toshirô Mifune. Nominated three times for Academy Awards for Best Actor, William Holden (1918-1981, born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois) won the 1954 Oscar for the role of J.J. Sefton in Stalag 17. He was also nominated in 1951 for portraying Joe Gillis in Sunset Blvd. and in 1977 for the role of network news division President Mark Schumacher in Network. Other memorable roles were the boxer/violinist in Golden Boy and Judy Holliday's tutor in Born Yesterday.
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