CONTRACT FOR THE MOTION PICTURE RIGHTS TO THE SOUND AND THE FURY, TWICE SIGNED AND TWICE INITIALED BY WILLIAM FAULKNER
FAULKNER, William. Typed Contract between William Faulkner and Twentieth Century-Fox, being an Option Agreement for the motion picture rights to THE SOUND AND THE FURY. Signed twice by Faulkner. Beverly Hills, California: Twentieth Century-Fox, September 1, 1956. Nine pages, plus one page with Notaries’ signatures, measuring 8-1/2 by 11 inches. Contract with two alterations on pages 3 & 4, each initialed by Faulkner. With a 3-page carbon “Synopsis of Contract”, by the Legal Department of Twentieth Century-Fox, summarizing the terms of the agreement. $21,000.
Typed contract twice signed by Faulkner for the sale of the rights to film his masterpiece The Sound and the Fury to Twentieth Century-Fox for $35,000. Twice initialed by Faulkner near corrections.
Faulkner’s great novel—many would call it one of the most important American novels of the 20th century—was first published by Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith in 1929. Radically experimental in form, with four different narrators (including the conscious stream of a castrated idiot), each recounting an aspect of the tragic demise of the Compson family, and touching on the untouchable (to Hollywood) themes of race, incest, madness, and suicide, The Sound and the Fury is quite possibly the least filmable of any great American novels. Nevertheless, 27 years after the book’s publication, Hollywood was clearly interested, and in this document Faulkner agreed to sell the movie rights to Twentieth Century-Fox for $35,000, to be paid out over several years. In 1959, Fox’s movie The Sound and the Fury—which can only be called a loose adaptation of Faulkner’s novel—was released, starring Joanne Woodward as Quentin Compson and Yul Brynner as Jason.
Holes punched in the left margin; laid into studio’s printed brown paper wrappers. Fine condition.