Unbound. An archive of mystery writer James M. Cain’s personal contracts for nine of his novels and four motion picture adaptations. Overall near fine, with folds from being mailed or stored and light edge wear.
This group of material come from the personal files of hard-boiled mystery writer James M. Cain. Included are seven book contracts from Alfred A. Knopf, The Dial Press, and Charter Publishing Company for nine of his novels: *Love's Lovely Counterfeit*, *Past All Dishonor*, *The Butterfly*, *The Moth*, * Galatea*, *The Magician's Wife*, *Rainbow's End*, *The Institute*, and *Mignon*. Each contract lays out what rights the author grants the publisher to print, publish and sell his books; delivery date and length; assignment of copyright; author’s royalty rate; etc. Four of the contracts are Signed and Initialed by Cain, while the other three are Signed by Alfred or Blanche Knopf. Additionally present is a contract assigning the copyright of the stories *Double Indemnity* and *Money and the Woman* to Macfadden Publishing, who published both books’ serial appearances in *Liberty Magazine*.
Cain’s books immediately attracted the attention of Hollywood and the four contracts for film adaptations here reflect that. Most notable is his agreements with Warner Brothers Pictures for *Mildred Pierce*, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture and was the vehicle for Joan Crawford’s only Oscar for Best Actress. Others include: *Career in C Major*, which was adapted twice: first in 1939 as *Wife, Husband and Friend* with Loretta Young and Cesar Romero, and again in 1949 as *Everybody Does It* with Linda Darnell and Paul Douglas; and *A Modern Cinderella*, which yielded three films: *When Tomorrow Comes* in 1939 starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne, *Interlude* in 1957 directed by Douglas Sirk and starring June Allyson, and again as *Interlude* in 1968 with Oskar Werner. The final contact for *Galatea*, though never adapted into a film, is notable because the agreement is with director Otto Preminger, showing an early example of something that is nowadays a common practice: a director purchasing an option to film a novel and not a studio. All the film contracts are Signed by Cain, with the latter also Signed by Preminger.
A unique and important group of personal documents from one of the most important and influential American mystery writers of the 20th Century.