Dec 15, 2023 10:00 EST

Stage & Screen

 
Lot 5095
 

5095

Two rare letters from Moss Hart about an Oscar winner

HART, MOSS
Two letters to Celeste Holm referencing Gentleman's Agreement. Two typed letters signed "Moss" on Hart's 1501 Broadway stationery, the first 12 June 1947, the second 6 April 1948. 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, usual folds, the latter letter a trifle toned, the signatures dark; Together with draft of a letter from Celeste Holm to Hart, mentioning that she is "challenged" by the script, one page; And two books, being a Memorial Tribute to Moss Hart, 1961, with presentation from Kitty Carlisle Hart laid in; and Act One, with unrelated inscription from Kitty Carlisle Hart, later printing, wrappers.

Two short but sharp letters from screenwriter Moss Hart to Celeste Holm written on either side of filming Gentleman's Agreement. In the first, Hart is so delighted Ms. Holm liked the script that he's "sure you're going to be wonderful in it and I think it is a wide turning point in your career. All I ask for my share is 10%."

The second letter was written just nine months later, following the release and multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe wins for the film, including Ms. Holm's dual awards for Best Supporting Actress. Hart did not receive the Best Writing Oscarthat honor went to George Seaton's adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street. Here, Hart replies to Ms. Holm's letter about the award: "I am only saying in turn that I insisted on your doing the part because I knew how good you'd be. The screenplay award seemed to me utterly idiotic... I did not undertake the job originally for any kind of prize and I'm grateful enough for the way the picture turned out." Moss Hart had lobbied for Celeste Holm to be given a screen test for Gentleman's Agreement, and studio head Darryl Zanuck hesitantly agreed. Ms. Holm's screen test with Gregory Peck was so strong that it was included in the final cut as one of the major closing scenes of the film and was enough to win Celeste Holm both major acting awards.

Sold for $504
Estimated at $500 - $800

Includes Buyer's Premium


 

HART, MOSS
Two letters to Celeste Holm referencing Gentleman's Agreement. Two typed letters signed "Moss" on Hart's 1501 Broadway stationery, the first 12 June 1947, the second 6 April 1948. 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, usual folds, the latter letter a trifle toned, the signatures dark; Together with draft of a letter from Celeste Holm to Hart, mentioning that she is "challenged" by the script, one page; And two books, being a Memorial Tribute to Moss Hart, 1961, with presentation from Kitty Carlisle Hart laid in; and Act One, with unrelated inscription from Kitty Carlisle Hart, later printing, wrappers.

Two short but sharp letters from screenwriter Moss Hart to Celeste Holm written on either side of filming Gentleman's Agreement. In the first, Hart is so delighted Ms. Holm liked the script that he's "sure you're going to be wonderful in it and I think it is a wide turning point in your career. All I ask for my share is 10%."

The second letter was written just nine months later, following the release and multiple Academy Award and Golden Globe wins for the film, including Ms. Holm's dual awards for Best Supporting Actress. Hart did not receive the Best Writing Oscarthat honor went to George Seaton's adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street. Here, Hart replies to Ms. Holm's letter about the award: "I am only saying in turn that I insisted on your doing the part because I knew how good you'd be. The screenplay award seemed to me utterly idiotic... I did not undertake the job originally for any kind of prize and I'm grateful enough for the way the picture turned out." Moss Hart had lobbied for Celeste Holm to be given a screen test for Gentleman's Agreement, and studio head Darryl Zanuck hesitantly agreed. Ms. Holm's screen test with Gregory Peck was so strong that it was included in the final cut as one of the major closing scenes of the film and was enough to win Celeste Holm both major acting awards.

Auction: Stage & Screen, Dec 15, 2023

  • Third Annual Stage & Screen Auction on December 15, 2023 Surpasses Expectations!
  • Art, Memorabilia, Autographs & Photographs of the Theater, Hollywood, Music and Dance
  • Held in Collaboration with the Entertainment Community Fund


NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle's third annual Stage & Screen auction on December 15, 2023 attracted determined competition from collectors and fans around the world resulting in a sale total that surpassed expectations! Held in collaboration with the Entertainment Community Fund, the auction offered artwork, memorabilia, props, autographs and photographs from the vast history of the performing arts: Theater, Hollywood, Music and Dance.

Recognizing the importance of the performing arts to the fabric of New York, and the terrible toll the pandemic and recent strikes have taken on the entertainment community, Doyle is proud to donate 10% of our profit from this auction to the Entertainment Community Fund.

Highlighting the sale was an important 1969 letter and drawing from rock legend Freddie Mercury to Ibex bandmate Mick "Miffer" Smith that soared past its $12,000-18,000 estimate to achieve $50,400. Penned a year before forming Queen, Mercury discusses seeing Led Zeppelin, his sexuality, his songwriting, and his early bands’, Ibex and Wreckage, upcoming performances. The letter is a tour-de-force of descriptive thought and shows his growing passion for writing music.


The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund)

A special section of the auction comprising lots 5001 - 5019 featured celebrity memorabilia presented by the Entertainment Community Fund. While a portion of proceeds from every item in the auction benefited the Fund, 100% of the hammer price of the lots in this section goes entirely to the Entertainment Community Fund.

A highlight of this section was the stunning pink double-breasted velvet tuxedo jacket worn by Daniel Craig to the world premiere of No Time To Die at London's Royal Albert Hall on September 28, 2021. With competition from both sides of the Atlantic, the tuxedo jacket sold for $10,710, more than doubling its $3,000-5,000 estimate.

Founded in 1882, the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund) is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization for performing arts and entertainment professionals. The Fund helps address the specific needs of those in the industry, with a unique understanding of the challenges involved in a life in the arts. Read More ►


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. We invite you to contact us for a free auction estimate.

For information, please contact Peter Costanzo at 212-427-4141, ext 248, or email Peter.Costanzo@Doyle.com

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