Billy Bathgate
London, Peters Fraser and Dunlop, 1990. Stoppard's "Revised First Draft" screenplay for the film based on Doctorow's novel, released in theaters in 1991, directed by Robert Benton and starring Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Willis, Loren Dean, and Nicole Kidman. Included is a Paramount Pictures internal memo from the year before, summarizing the novel and weighing the challenges of bringing it to the screen, and concluding, "Despite the difficulties here, if a way can be found to bring Billy's journey to the screen with even some of its force and vision intact, this could make a compelling, classy, big film." Paramount, however, ultimately passed on the idea: the film was released, with a Stoppard screenplay, by Touchstone Pictures. The memo is stapled once and folded once; near fine, laid into the screenplay, which is bradbound in plain blue cardstock covers with a small abrasion on the front and a wrinkled corner on the back; near fine. The title is written on the spine and foredge. An interesting look at Hollywood's take on a classic literary novel, and a look at an early version of the film: difficulties in adapting the material to the screen -- as suggested in the Paramount memo -- led to changes in the storyline that caused Doctorow to distance himself from the film, and presumably contributed to the film's relatively poor critical reception and commercial success. Uncommon. [#032280] $650

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