June 12, 04:17 PM GMT
1,000 - 1,500 USD
Reserve not met
Typed letter to “Paulnewman,” asking for further compensation for "Sometimes a Great Notion"
1 page (276 x 215 mm), on onion skin, signed in type “Kesey,” one word corrected by hand in graphite. With the original typed envelope, postmarked 9 Nov 1970, Springfield OR.
Sometimes a Great Notion was the first of Kesey's novels to be adapted for the screen. When production began in the summer of 1970, Richard Colla was signed on to direct alongside Paul Newman as leading man and executive producer. About five weeks into production things ground to a halt when Newman broke his ankle during rehearsals, and Colla dropped out over creative differences. Newman took over directing, but it is not difficult to understand why the budget may have ballooned in light of these delays. Here, Kesey writes a strongly worded letter to Newman regarding one of the financial stipulations in their agreement. The letter reads, in part:
"Now listen goddamnit! All the people that know about such stuff tells me you owe me twenty-five thousand bucks! ... the bind I’m in is partly because my people had told me that as soon as the budget of the movie passed three and a half million I was to get another twentyfive. grand. So I spent with an eye to this coming windfall. Now it aint falling and I’ve got a lot of people strung out on promises and my roof needs insulation and my chain saw’s in the shop and Faye’s on my tail because we got eighty bucks in the bank and checks outstanding for more than that and, mainly, the company I was renting our movieola from came up and got it because we hadn’t made any payments, so I’m fidgetting around with the proper equipment."
Kesey ends with a slightly more gracious appeal, noting: "Very little important comes from pressure, and we have the beginnings of a pretty righteous relationship. Look out for my interests down there; check the contract and see what you think and give them a prod if you think I got a claim. I fucking hate hitting on people for money."