My Gleanings

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This short excerpt is translated from Jean Aurenche's memoirs La Suite à l'écran. (pages 157-158, my translation)
When they accuse us of having adapted too often, it should be understood that we were acquiescing to the desires of the directors. It should also be placed in context of the epoque. Few producers would consent to financing an original screenplay. It takes a great deal of time to write an original screenplay. It's rather like a novel. And it's risky. We wrote a certain number which waited years before being produced.
Tu ne tueras point, for example. Others were rejected. Thus, Tavernier found among [Pierre] Bost's papers (me, I kept nothing) a treatment which we had written in 1950 for Paul Graetz, who wanted to offer if to [David] Selznick. At this time. I still read my manuscripts out loud for I had no confidence in the producers. After a dinner washed down with Burgundy, I began to read, but, at the end of two minutes, I became aware that Selznick was snoring. He slept, totally knocked out in his easy chair. Graetz said to me "If you stop, he will become annoyed", so I read a few pages. He was still snoring. It was an incredible scene. I had had enough, he was making so much noise that I stopped. After twenty minutes, he woke up. I then asked him to walk around while I was reading the text. He looked at me as though I were mad and as a result it was never read to him. No more than Graetz. Tavernier discovered the text and had me rework it. It became The Judge and the Assassin.

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