charles-macarthur

The playwright Charles MacArthur had been brought to Hollywood to do a screenplay, but was finding it difficult to write visual jokes.

“What’s the problem?” asked Chaplin.

“How, for example, could I make a fat lady, walking down Fifth Avenue, slip on a banana peel and still get a laugh? It’s been done a million times,” said MacArthur. “What’s the best way to GET the laugh? Do I show first the banana peel, then the fat lady approaching, then she slips? Or do I show the fat lady first, then the banana peel, and THEN she slips?”

“Neither,” said Chaplin without a moment’s hesitation. “You show the fat lady approaching; then you show the banana peel; then you show the fat lady and the banana peel together; then she steps OVER the banana peel and disappears down a manhole.” (via)

The Front Page | Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur | 1928

First Edition.

Hecht and MacArthur’s most important book, and the rarest by a country mile, this being the only copy in a collectible jacket we have ever seen. A drama that is the basis for three key films: “The Front Page” in 1931 with Adolphe Menjou and Pat O'Brien, “The Front Page” in 1974 with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and most importantly of all, the classic screwball comedy “His Girl Friday,"with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in 1940.

A cornerstone film source title by two of the greatest screenwriters of Hollywood’s golden era.

Near Fine in a Near Fine example of the  rare dust jacket. In a custom quarter-leather clamshell box.