Contracts and Letters for Loving You
Plus a letter from Joseph Hazen to Colonel Parker concerning Elvis’ acting career
Documents and description from Graceland Auctionshttp://auction.graceland.com/mobile/lot ... g_you__em_
The first letter is a January 16, 1957 letter on William Morris Agency letterhead instructing Hall Wallis and Joseph Hazen to send all payments made to Elvis during the filming of Loving You
to the William Morris offices in Beverly Hills. The letter is signed by Elvis and William Morris agent Leonard Hirshan.
Sent on the very next day, January 17, 1957, the second document offered here is a letter of agreement from Hal Wallis and Joseph Hazen sent to Elvis Presley detailing a bonus of $25,000 that he would be paid for Loving You. The letter details that the payments would begin with a $5,000 check the next day, with eight weekly payments of $2,500 to follow until the balance was paid. The agreement is signed by Elvis, Colonel Parker, Wallis and Hazen.
Next is the March 8, 1957 letter to Elvis from Hal Wallis requesting confirmation that all the payments from the above bonus agreement had indeed been paid. This letter is signed by Wallis, as well as Elvis and Colonel Parker.
Finally, we have the August 7, 1957 two-page letter on Wallis-Hazen letterhead from Joseph Hazen to Colonel Parker.
This tersely-worded missive reads as a point-by-point response to a letter that had been sent to Hazen from Parker a week earlier on July 31. Only thinly veiling his irritation with Parker’s opinions, and perhaps even panic about the performance of Loving You in theaters during its first month, Hazen brusquely clarifies what the expectations were for the film. It’s quite clear that Hazen is trying to put the Hollywood novice in his place when he addresses Parker’s claim that the gross for the film was predicted to be $4 million. He emphatically states that “firstly; I have never heard the figure of $4,000,000 mentioned by anyone in connection with ‘Loving You,’ and, secondly; it will not do anything like that figure, and, thirdly; for your information only, the gentleman in charge of estimating grosses of all of Paramount’s releases has been using the figure of $2,500,000…that is the figure that people whose sole business it is to estimate grosses have come up with.”
Perhaps more interestingly, though, is the following paragraph that details Paramount’s vision for the film career of Elvis Presley. After Hazen clarifies another point about Elvis singing in his films (that he WILL continue to sing in his films!), he expresses his view that Elvis’ “dramatic abilities and talents should be carefully and steadily developed so that eventually when he reaches the stage which, for example, was reached by Crosby, or as is the case with Sinatra, he can do strong dramatic parts as well as sing. His dramatic development, of course, depends on his ability, the opportunity of vehicles being available to him, and also the public’s acceptance of him in that capacity.”
Colonel Parker eventually had the last laugh on both main points extolled by Hazen in the letter. Firstly; the film grossed $3.7 million in 1957, and secondly; while Paramount’s next film with Presley, King Creole, was a clear step down the path that Hazen envisioned for the young singer’s film career, the tenor and style of the remainder of Elvis’ filmography, as we know, was dictated by Colonel Parker’s vision.
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