Option for Film Rights to Rosalie, Signed by P. G Wodehouse

Culver City: N.p., 1936

2pp. typed contract, two sets of punched file holes to top edges, two small pencilled annotations to first page. Some light creasing to lower left edges from file storage, not affecting text.

A contract between MGM and P. G. Wodehouse for a one-year option on the film rights to the musical Rosalie, SIGNED BY P. G. WODEHOUSE.

The George Gershwin and Sigmund Romberg musical Rosalie premiered on Broadway in 1928, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin and P.G. Wodehouse, from the book co-written by Wodehouse's frequent musical collaborator (and lifelong friend) Guy Bolton. The show ran for 335 performances. In 1937 MGM released a film version starring Eleanor Powell which retained the bones of the story but replaced most of the music with a new score by Cole Porter. This comprehensive reworking of the show was made possible in part by this document in which Wodehouse, as co-lyricist of the original musical, agrees that '...[MGM] may use all or as much or as little, or none, as you elect, of the original music and lyrics of "ROSALIE", and you may use in such motion pictures as much music and lyrics (written by others) as you desire...'.

The contract is signed by Wodehouse on the second page, and countersigned for MGM with an indecipherable signature in a space marked 'Vice President'. (Irving Thalberg had died the previous month, and it's not Louis B. Mayer.) Being a contract there would have been more than one copy, but probably no more than three: as well as MGM's copy and Wodehouse's own, a copy would also have been retained by Wodehouse's literary/theatrical agents. We know of no other copy surviving.

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