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Lakin & Marley Rare Books

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DRESSED TO KILL (Original Heavily Annotated Screenplay for the 1946 Universal Studios SHERLOCK HOLMES film adaptation based on Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Scandal In Bohemia" and "The Adventure of the Dancing Men.")

DRESSED TO KILL (Original Heavily Annotated Screenplay for the 1946 Universal Studios SHERLOCK HOLMES film adaptation based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Scandal In Bohemia” and “The Adventure of the Dancing Men.”)

Doyle, A. Conan (Leonard Lee, screenwriter). Doyle, A. Conan. DRESSED TO KILL [here bearing the initial, later discarded, title "Prelude To Murder"]. Los Angeles: Universal Studios, 1946. Complete 78pp brad-bound shooting script consisting of a mix of original ribbon-copy typescript and studio-mimeographed white pages, dated January 16th, 1946 with production number 7337 stamped on the cover. This remarkable writer's draft contains extensive author-revised annotations, emendations, revisions and additions throughout. This is accomplished via a cut-and-paste, the insertion of additional leaves, and new dialog and description scrawled on the versos, an exceptional artifact which boldly captures the revision process of this last entry in the Sherlock Holmes' Universal Studios film series. The front cover has been neatly reinforced with tape and bears the original penciled filing notation indicating that this particular script is the copy from which the final draft was produced. The title, DRESSED TO KILL, refers to the film's wily femme fatale Hilda Courtney (played by Patricia Morison), an homage to Irene Adler from "A Scandal In Bohemia" complete with a familiar misdirection trick which Hilda uses to fool Watson into revealing a hidden location. The plot is an amalgam of several Holmes stories but also draws from other plots in the Universal Sherlock film canon: a convicted thief in Dartmoor Prison hides stolen Bank of England printing plates inside three music boxes -- leading to the murder or attempted murder of their owners, using the central device of a secret code which, of course, only Holmes can brilliantly break. Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in their final film together.
THE WOMAN IN GREEN (Original Heavily Annotated Screenplay for the 1944 Universal Studios SHERLOCK HOLMES film adaptation)

THE WOMAN IN GREEN (Original Heavily Annotated Screenplay for the 1944 Universal Studios SHERLOCK HOLMES film adaptation)

Doyle, A. Conan (Bertram Millhausr, screenwriter). Doyle, A(rthur) Conan. (Bertram Millhauser, Screenwriter). THE WOMAN IN GREEN (here bearing the initial (later discarded) working title "Invitation To Death." Los Angeles: Universal Studios, 1944). Original studio Writer's First Draft screenplay, undated, the complete 103pp brad-bound working script bearing Universal Studios Production Number 7290 and sporting penciled cover annotations. A remarkable original ribbon copy typescript accomplished on ordinary yellow typing paper with an extraordinary 44pp of annotations, emendations, revisions, and marginal production suggestions. This appears to be Executive Producer Howard Benedict's copy with his name penciled on the cover page; Benedict had been the producer for RKO's Saint and Falcon series during the 1930s and served, with a brief hiatus, as Executive Producer of the Universal Sherlock Holmes series from the very first installment to the last. Our belief is that these notations are most likely in Benedict's hand as we have several other Sherlock scripts with Millhauser's hand-corrections to compare. In Very Good condition. THE WOMAN IN GREEN was the 9th installment in the Universal Sherlock Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. It was among the most grim and gruesome of the series; the exact original first draft by Millhauser was flatly turned down by the Breen Office with a heated objection to the plot device of Moriarty murdering little girls (later changed to young woman). The title role of THE WOMAN IN GREEN went to Hillary Brooke as the seductive yet twisted temptress. The plot featured paranoid hypnoses and Ripper-like victims with missing fingers, making this the most distinctively true to the horror-genre Sherlock Holmes Universal film. UNIQUE.
LADY IN THE DARK (Inscribed by the play's star Gertrude Lawrence)

LADY IN THE DARK (Inscribed by the play’s star Gertrude Lawrence)

Hart, Moss (Book) Kurt Weill (Music) Ira Gershwin (Lyrics) Hart, Moss (Book) Kurt Weill (Music) Ira Gershwin (Lyrics). LADY IN THE DARK. New York: Random House, 1941. First Printing (so stated). A Near Fine copy (spine slightly sunned) in a Near Fine, priced dust jacket. This copy is from the library of theater producer Hugh "Binkie" Beaumont (bookplate) and is inscribed by Gertrude Lawrence, the play's star: "To my own, beloved Maud. Read it and I swear you will have to come over and see it. Always my devotion, Gee. 1941." (Lawrence always signed her name as "Gee".) The recipient was a close friend Maud Gilroy, who ran the night club Crockfords, also a friend of Binkie Beaumont. Lady in the Dark was an innovative musical about psychoanalysis built around the character of its protagonist, Liza Elliott, an unhappy female editor of a fashion magazine. The musical opened on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre in January 1941 and it closed in May 1942 after 467 performances. The original cast included Gertrude Lawrence, Danny Kaye, Bert Lytell, and Victor Mature. Its subject matter was said to be based on Moss Hart's own experiences with psychoanalyst Gregory Zilboorg. Except for the final song, all the music in the play was heard in three extended dream sequences: the Glamour Dream, the Wedding Dream, and the Circus Dream, which, to some extent, became three small operettas integrated into a straight play. The final song, "My Ship," functioned as a leitmotif for Liza's insecurity. As each dream commences, a snippet of the tune is heard, a haunting melody which Liza recognizes but cannot name, or sing with words, until her anxiety is resolved. Danny Kaye's performance as fashion photographer Russell Paxton, especially his consistently show-stopping patter song "Tchaikovsky (and Other Russians)" in which he dashed through the names of 50 Russian composers in 39 seconds, made him a star. The 1944 Technicolor film version starred Ginger Rogers in Gertrude Lawrence role, eliminated most of Weill's songs, and was not a success. An ideal association copy. [CH]