DANCING LADY ... DIALOGUE CONTINUITY BY...
Lawson, John Howard [screenwriter]
Price: 1,500.00 USD
Culver City: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1933. ,141 leaves. Quarto. Mimeographed typescript, printed on rectos only. Bradbound in studio wrappers, with printed label. Light discoloration at top fore-corner edges of a few leaves, some corner creases, upper wrapper has clean tears at brads, but a very good copy. An important and early script by the dramatist/screen-writer, dating from the year he assumed the presidency of the Screenwriter's Guild. Although denoted a "Dialogue Continuity," it is actually a formal, preproduction script. The final script for this film, adapted from the novel by James Warner Bellah, was credited to Allen Rivkin and P.J. Wolfson, with Robert Benchley and Zelda Sears being recorded as having uncredited participation. This draft, which is wholly the work of Lawson, is at considerable variance from the adaptation that was finally filmed, including such substantial differences as a five page prologue that does not appear in the film in which Lawson sets up the lead character's early life in considerable poverty, establishing that dancing was for her the only possible way out of a dead-end life. In other instances, Lawson's script evidences touches of depression-era social consciousness that were evidently rejected in the final conception of the film. The 1933 David O. Selznick production was directed by Robert Leonard, and starred Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Fred Astaire, Nelson Eddy, and in one of their earliest appearances in a major film, the Three Stooges. It is possible that MGM, in search of a film that would be a distraction from the grim economic conditions of 1933 rather than a film that injected that reality into the fantasy merchants' product, essentially rejected Lawson's script, in whole or in large part, and proceeded with the lighter adaptation that was finally produced. The upper wrapper and label are stamped "Vault Copy," and laid in front is a small, unexecuted slip, intended to record the receipt by a reader or studio employee of this copy from Lawson. As a preliminary adaptation, and a rejected one at that, it is unlikely that many copies of this script were produced, and probable that very few of those that were produced were preserved.