[ Los Angeles: The Author], 17 July through August 1935. Six volumes. Quarto. Chiefly carbon typescript, but also original typescript, the latter with extensive manuscript revisions and notations. Each unit bradbound or stapled into typescript wrappers. Some use, wrappers a bit frayed at edges and chipped at spines, last wrapper separated at spine, but typescripts in generally very good order consistent with use. Item #WRCLIT62273
A fine, contiguous sequence of scripts tracing the development of this film from its earliest stages through the final working draft of Cole's screenplay, and the intercession of another writer. The 1935 film, directed by D. Ross Lederman, was released under the title TOO TOUGH TO KILL, and starred Victor Jory, Sally O'Neill, Ward Bond, et al. The film, as conceived by Cole, is a depiction of an investigation into labor strife at a tunnel and aqueduct construction site near Morongo, California. The film as finally released was co-credited to Cole and Jay Griffin, based on a story by Robert Speers. However, with the exception of the last item, the material in this archive is credited throughout solely to Lester Cole, and includes the following: a) Treatment (,22 leaves carbon typescript); b) First Draft Screenplay, 22 July, (,91 leaves carbon typescript, with scattered revisions and annotations in pencil); c) Second Draft Screenplay, 30 July, (110 leaves carbon typescript, with scattered pencil queries, comments and alterations); d) Third Draft Screenplay, 2 August (,104 leaves carbon typescript); e) Fourth Draft Screenplay, 5 August (,104 leaves carbon typescript); and f) Fourth Draft Screenplay (altered in manuscript to read "Final Working Copy"), 5 August, (ca. 104 leaves, plus lettered inserts and other variations, largely original typescript, but some carbon, very heavily revised throughout in pencil in at least two hands). The first four items are designated in manuscript with the name of Ben Pivar, the production supervisor of record for the film. The last bears the ownership signature of J. Griffin Jay, and would obviously appear to be the copy of Cole's draft Jay utilized for the start, if not the bulk, of the revisions and rewrites that earned him co-credit. Cole was one of the cofounders of the Screen Writers Guild, and in 1934 joined the CPA. Like his other colleagues known as the "Hollywood Ten," Cole refused to cooperate with the HUAC in 1947, was sentenced to a year in prison and a fine, and was placed on the Blacklist. He continued to work sporadically under pennames, and his last major film, BORN FREE, was so credited. Jay had his own substantial list of screenwriting credits, chiefly in the genres of adventure, science fiction and horror films. A fine, coherent and contiguous archive, the sort seldom preserved intact over the passage of more than 75 years.