TERROR BY NIGHT (Unique Manuscript Screenplay Archive for the 1945-6 original Universal film SHERLOCK HOLMES adaptation based on Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Empty House.")

Doyle, A. Conan (Frank Gruber, screenwriter).

Published by Universal Studios, Burbank, California, 1945
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Lakin & Marley Rare Books ABAA (Mill Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

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Doyle, A. Conan (Frank Gruber, screenwriter). TERROR BY NIGHT. Burbank: Universal Studios, 1945-6. This unique film studio screenplay archive consists of FOUR studio scripts: two original writer's draft manuscripts, the final revised shooting script, and the final dialogue and continuity script. In short, a treasure trove of primary material relating to one of the most endearing and enduring film series of the 1940s. The twelve Sherlock Holmes films produced by Universal Pictures during the years 1942-1946 are legend; they are surely the best known screen-adapted adventures of English Literature's most iconic character and Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce are still cherished as the definitive Holmes and Watson. 1. Dated July 2nd, 1945, Frank Gruber's complete 113pp original typed carbon copy manuscript labeled "File Copy" accomplished on onion-skin paper, brad-bound and housed in original drab brown studio covers (production number 7322), with each leaf rubber-stamped "Contract File Copy" in red block letters. The cover is edge-worn but the contents are Very Good indeed. This copy belonged to Tom McKnight (penciled signature so stating) who served as the Universal Studios Sherlock Holmes technical adviser throughout the entire run of the series. 2. Dated September 29th, 1945, Frank Gruber's complete 93pp corrected carbon copy manuscript, cover-titled in pencil, which includes, brad-bound in at the rear, two studio-mimeographed sets of heavily screenwriter-corrected white revision pages dated 10/4/1945 and 10/8/1945. Overall, Very Good. 3. Dated October 1st, 1945, a 93pp studio-mimeographed shooting script consists of both studio-issued white pages and revised blue pages. This copy belonged to Marion Pecht (penciled signature) who appears to have been Universal's secretary in charge of file copies. The studio covers are in excellent condition, just one small chip, contents fine. 4. Dated January 14th, 1946, the complete original studio-mimeographed self-wrapper final post-production dialogue continuity script, bound with two brads at the top. In Very Good condition. Although this film was inspired by Conan Doyle's "Adventure of the Empty House" in its characterization of Colonel Sebastian Moran, and the use of an air gun as a murder weapon, screenwriter Frank Gruber created what essentially was an original story and screenplay. Gruber's prior film credits included "Northern Pursuit" (1943) with Errol Flynn and "Johnny Angel" the 1945 Crime Noir starring George Raft. He was also one of the most prolific pulp magazine short story writers of the era. The producer of TERROR BY NIGHT was Howard Benedict (from RKO's Saint and Falcon series). The director and executive producer was Roy William Neill who is inarguably the guiding force behind the last nine films in the series. TERROR BY NIGHT unapologetically borrowed from both of Alfred Hitchcock's train-set thrillers "The 39 Steps" (1936) and "The Lady Vanishes" (1938) and Roy William Neill's interpretation of these classics perhaps was the reason TERROR BY NIGHT is one of the best films in the series. While some critics pan the final entries in the series, claiming it was all downhill, TERROR BY NIGHT was surely one of the tightest, best-plotted, and most atmospheric of the Universal Sherlocks. TERROR BY NIGHT opened on February 8th, 1946 to excellent reviews (for a change) and the favorable reaction by a thrilled public (as usual). A unique archive, a unique opportunity for the collector. Please check out the other Sherlock Holmes original screenplays we have in stock. Bookseller Inventory # 001815

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Bibliographic Details

Title: TERROR BY NIGHT (Unique Manuscript ...

Publisher: Universal Studios, Burbank, California

Publication Date: 1945

Binding: Original Wraps

Book Condition:Very Good

Signed: Signed

Edition: Original Manuscript.

Book Type: Script

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We are antiquarian booksellers located in Mill Valley, California and have been buying and selling rare books and manuscripts since 1993. We are also members in good standing of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. Our stock is select. Our emphasis, whenever possible, is on superb condition, rarity, literary importance and generally falls into two categories: 19th and early 20th Century Manuscripts and First Editions...and 20th Century Manuscripts and First Editions which have source relevance to Cinema.

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