Notarised Statement Signed by P.G. Wodehouse Relating to the Rights to Candle-Light

Los Angeles: N.p., 1930

1p. typed and signed statement. Two punch holes to top edge. Lateral fold from filing conditions. Very well preserved.

Notarised statement SIGNED BY P.G. WODEHOUSE, releasing the rights to By Candlelight [sic] to MGM for the sum of one dollar.

Candle-Light was adapted by Wodehouse from the German play Kleine Komodie by Siegfried Geyer. A farce set in Vienna at the turn of the century, the play was first performed in Berlin in 1927. The play was brought to London with the title By Candlelight in a translation by Graham John; Wodehouse was hired to do a new translation for the New York opening in 1929 where, as Candle-Light, it enjoyed a run of 128 performances with a cast headed by Gertrude Lawrence and Leslie Howard.

This document, dated and signed 20 December 1930, hands over the rights to the play to MGM, although Wodehouse was retained to write the screenplay. He spent many months working on it, only to find that MGM had sold on the rights to the project to Universal. A film (written by others) eventually appeared in 1933. Starring Paul Lukas and Nils Asther, it made little impact, and is perhaps most interesting today for having been directed by James Whale, director of the classics Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

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