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1704001

Alfred Hitchcock

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I have gone all through Emily Post . . . ,

but there seems to be no chapter on the ʻUninvited Guestʼ

Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, kbe, 1899–1980.  English-born film director and producer; the “Master of Suspense.”  Extremely rare Autograph Letter Signed, Alfred J Hitch., three pages (recto of the front and integral leaves and verso of the front leaf), 5¼” x 6¾”, on engraved, embossed stationery of The St. Regis, New York, [New York], no date [ca. 1948].

This is an extremely rare handwritten letter by Hitchcock with an excellent association.  The famed director writes to Ray Bolger, an outstanding actor who portrayed the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and the lead character in Whereʼs Charley?, a Broadway musical that Hitchcock mentions.  In this letter, a rather embarrassed Hitchcock invites the Bolgers to dinner after accepting their invitation without saying that his daughter and another student would accompany him and his wife.  He writes, in full:  “In the rush of passing through the Stork Club the other evening I accepted your very nice invitation to supper, but I dont [sic] know whether I made it clear that we were taking our daughter Pat to see ʻWhereʼs Charleyʼ for her first night in N.Y. after a year at the Royal Academy in London.  What I failed to add was that she is bringing back a fellow student (female) who would also be with us  /  I have gone all through Emily Post to try and find out what one does in such a circumstance, but there seems to be no chapter on the ʻUninvited Guestʼ  /  I have discussed it quite fruitlessly with my agent and am now seeking some advice from the editor of the ʻHobo Newsʼ who should know about the more unusual social problems.  /  So,  /  Seriously would you both be my guests with the old Lyons after the show next Saturday—Please.  /  I will phone you at the Waldorf on Friday morning  /  With Kindest Regards  /  Yours . . . .” 

Hitchcock and his wife, he wrote, planned to take their daughter Pat to see Whereʼs Charley? when she returned to New York.  The musical starred Bolger (1904–1987), who portrayed the lead character, Charley Wykeham.  Bolgerʼs masterful dancing performance of composer and lyricist Frank Loesserʼs song “Once in Love With Amy” stole the show as audiences demanded encores and, at Bolgerʼs urging, even sang along.  Bolger was forever linked with the song as he was with The Wizard of Oz.  For his performance, his most successful on Broadway, Bolger won the 1949 Tony Award for best performance by a leading actor in a musical.

It appears that Hitchcock wrote this undated letter in late 1948.  He mentions that Pat would return to New York “after a year at the Royal Academy in London.”  Since she began enrolled at the Royal Academy of Arts after she graduated from Marymount High School in Los Angeles in 1947, and since classes at the Royal Academy begin in October each year, she likely would have returned in late 1948 after a yearʼs study.  That coincides with the production of Whereʼs Charley?, which debuted at Broadwayʼs St. James Theatre on October 11, 1948.

Hitchcockʼs letters are scarce enough in any form, but his handwritten letters are virtually impossible to obtain.  Our review of auction records shows only three Hitchcock autograph letters signed offered at auction since 1975. 

Hitchcock has written and signed this letter in jet black fountain pen.  The letter has one normal mailing fold that affects some of the text but not Hitchcockʼs bold signature.  This is a beautiful letter in very fine condition.

Unframed.

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$3,450.00

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