Title: CONTRACT FOR MAKING OF "BEN HUR" SIGNED BY ...
Publisher: Metro Pictures Corporation, Los Angeles, 1924
Binding: No Binding
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Contract to employ Harry Oliver, a well known early Hollywood set designer, "in the making of miniatures and effects and other busness of an artistic nature related thereto in connection with the production of that certain photoplay entitled "BEN HUR." Signed by Louis B. Mayer as Vice President of Metro Pictures Corporation and by Oliver, both signatures in black ink on the second page of this two-oage typewritten document. Paper clip holds the two pages together. Contract calls for Oliver, who had been designing sets in Hollywood since before 1920, to travel to Europe to work on the film. Indeed the original filming of Ben Hur was to be in Italy, but it was decided later to scrap the European footage and bring the movie back to Los Angeles for filming. This contract is an open ended one at $175 a week until the production is completed. In 1924 Metro Pictures was merged with Goldwyn Pictures and Mayer Pictures, another Mayer company, into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Ben Hur was released in 1925 as an MGM movie and became a blockbuster hit. Harry Oliver worked on several other big films in subsequent years and was nominated for an Academy Award in art direction for "Seventh Heaven" in 1927 and "Street Angel" in 1928. His last big film project was "The Good Earth" in 1937. He later retired to the California desert community of Borrego Springs and wrote the popular "Desert Rat Joke Book" among his many post Hollywood projects. This document is associated with a very big movie of the silent era and has the autograph of one of the legends of Hollywood, Louis B. Mayer. Paper is browned but supple. Small stain at right edge of first page not serious. Crease at upper right blank margin. Four horizontal fold lines. Bookseller Inventory # 2337
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