Dec 15, 2023 10:00 EST

Stage & Screen

 
  Lot 5090
 

5090

A letter from the director to the star who won Best Supporting Actress

GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT
HOBSON, LAURA Z. Letter to Celeste Holm in advance of filming and Holm's copy of the novel. Two items, comprising a typed letter signed, 14 April 1947, one page, on one sheet of Hobson's stationery, 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, fine; and the book Gentleman's Agreement, Simon & Schuster, 1947, third printing, cloth; slight lean, toned, lacks jacket.

A charming letter from a star-struck author to a star as they undertook the making of Gentleman's Agreement, Hobson's novel which attacked anti-Semitism in America head-on and included several prominent female roles. Celeste Holm won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for her role in Gentleman's Agreement as Anne Dettrey, the smart and fashionable art director for a liberal New York magazine, but, at the date of this letter in April 1947, Ms. Holm was still under consideration for the lead role as Kathy (eventually played by Dorothy McGuire). Here the novelist writes Ms. Holm: "Getting a fan letter from you is a wonderful reversal of things and so your letter about 'Gentleman's Agreement' particularly delighted me. I'll return the compliment by saying to you that I found your letter perceptive and articulate too--as well as warm and human. I guess I'd better be honest and admit that it kind of astonishes me that anybody with a voice and face like yours should be interested in these matters of prejudice..." and that she may be guilty of an unconscious 'antiactressism' to which she will "re-examine her attitudes towards the much maligned minority of actresses!"

It is important to acknowledge the weight of both the novel and film versions of Gentleman's Agreement to Jewish Americans at this time and later. Hobson was motivated to write the novel partly on the anti-Semitic name-calling that plagued Jewish columnist Walter Winchell. Head of 20th Century Fox Studios Darryl Zanuck faced anti-Semitism on the assumption he was Jewish (which he was not) and took up the adaptation of Gentleman's Agreement as a result. Starring Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, and Celeste Holm, the Best Picture-winning film was a national success of lasting importance.


 

GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT
HOBSON, LAURA Z. Letter to Celeste Holm in advance of filming and Holm's copy of the novel. Two items, comprising a typed letter signed, 14 April 1947, one page, on one sheet of Hobson's stationery, 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, fine; and the book Gentleman's Agreement, Simon & Schuster, 1947, third printing, cloth; slight lean, toned, lacks jacket.

A charming letter from a star-struck author to a star as they undertook the making of Gentleman's Agreement, Hobson's novel which attacked anti-Semitism in America head-on and included several prominent female roles. Celeste Holm won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for her role in Gentleman's Agreement as Anne Dettrey, the smart and fashionable art director for a liberal New York magazine, but, at the date of this letter in April 1947, Ms. Holm was still under consideration for the lead role as Kathy (eventually played by Dorothy McGuire). Here the novelist writes Ms. Holm: "Getting a fan letter from you is a wonderful reversal of things and so your letter about 'Gentleman's Agreement' particularly delighted me. I'll return the compliment by saying to you that I found your letter perceptive and articulate too--as well as warm and human. I guess I'd better be honest and admit that it kind of astonishes me that anybody with a voice and face like yours should be interested in these matters of prejudice..." and that she may be guilty of an unconscious 'antiactressism' to which she will "re-examine her attitudes towards the much maligned minority of actresses!"

It is important to acknowledge the weight of both the novel and film versions of Gentleman's Agreement to Jewish Americans at this time and later. Hobson was motivated to write the novel partly on the anti-Semitic name-calling that plagued Jewish columnist Walter Winchell. Head of 20th Century Fox Studios Darryl Zanuck faced anti-Semitism on the assumption he was Jewish (which he was not) and took up the adaptation of Gentleman's Agreement as a result. Starring Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, and Celeste Holm, the Best Picture-winning film was a national success of lasting importance.

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 ►


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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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