Lot 880: DS, signed by four Marx Brothers using their given names, one page, 8.5 x 11, May 16, 1933. Agreement between the Marx Brothers and Paramount Productions, Inc., concerning their lawsuit against the studio. In part: "The undersigned, jointly and severally, hereby promise and agree...that the suit now pending in the Supreme Court in New York County, New York, brought by the undersigned as Plaintiffs against said Paramount Publix Corporation, as Defendant, in connection with the photoplay entitled Monkey Business shall be discontinued, without cost to either party...provided, however, they there shall be reserved to said Plaintiffs the right to prove their claim in the bankruptcy proceedings against said Paramount Publix Corporation for any monies that may be due...by said Paramount Publix Corporation from the distribution of said photoplay entitled Monkey Business...upon the basis of the amount of net profits derived from said photoplay entitled Monkey Business...the undersigned further promise and agree that the amount of net profits derived from the photoplay entitled Horse Feathers...shall be accepted as correct." Nicely signed at the conclusion in fountain pen by Chico, "Leo Chico Marx"; Harpo, "Arthur Marx"; Groucho, "Julius H. Marx"; and Zeppo, "Herbert Marx." Expected document wear and toning, creasing, and small tears along the right edge, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA.
At this time the Marx Brothers were engaged in a bitter contract dispute with Paramount over royalties from their recently released films, including the two mentioned here. Released in 1931, Monkey Business was a success at the box office and today is remembered as one of their greatest films; they followed up with Horse Feathers in 1932, which was Paramount's highest-grossing film of the year. According to the lawsuit, Paramount owed them $205,000 from the profits of Monkey Business. As they had not been paid, the brothers threatened to walk out on their Paramount contract-with one film left to go-and form their own production company. They managed to reach a settlement, however, and on the same day as this document signed a deal with Paramount to make their final film for a flat salary of $300,000. This final Paramount film, Duck Soup, was a box office disappointment despite its status as a masterpiece today.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Friday, 23rd October 2015
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