Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Film producer Walter Shenson was the man responsible for bringing the Beatles to the big screen. As an American working in London in the early 1960s, he was approached by United Artists to oversee the Beatles' expansion into movies, through a three picture deal that Shenson worked out with Brian Epstein in 1963. The first two films - A Hard Day's Night and Help! - were completed for release around the Beatles 1964 and 1965 touring schedules. Upon the group's retirement from touring in 1966, and with their growing desire to be known as more than the loveable pop moptops portrayed in those two films, the Beatles began to entertain ideas for a more serious, artistic effort as their next film endeavor.

The British writer/actor Owen Holder was commissioned to develop a story, and the extremely rare script that is included in this lot is the result of his efforts. Titled only as The Beatles' Script, the storyline has John, Paul, George and Ringo all playing the same character, named Stanley. Depending on which aspect of Stanley's personality is dominant at any given time, a different Beatle appears on screen. John is Stanley the crafty opportunist, Paul is Stanley the eager achiever, George is Stanley the unabashed ladies man, and Ringo is Stanley the carefree idler. By mid-1967 the working title "Shades of Personality" was being used around the project, and there were talks of having it directed by the Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, whose 1966 film Blow Up had been a critical success. For reasons unknown, however, the film was never made, and the Beatles ultimately fulfilled the commitment to United Artists by delivering Let It Be several years later.
The script offered here is Holder's finished first draft, neatly typed and covering 109 pages. It was the personal possession of Walter Shenson, and the pencil notations which appear on a few pages may be in his hand. This is the only copy of the script known to exist. Typed onto heavy stock white paper and bound in blue cardboard with four brass binding tacks at page left. In overall Very Good condition with some surface wear and folds to the cover.

Provenance: Bonham's Entertainment Memorabilia Sale 16151, Los Angeles, 21 December 2008, Lot 1163.


Accompanying the script is a fabulous set of Beatles autographs which date to 1964, also from Walter Shenson's estate. Inscribed by Paul to Shenson, it reads "To Wal, from the four boys you know as John Paul George and Harold!" It is signed in bold blue ink by all four Beatles (George omitting his last name but including "XXX", and also by Brian Epstein. The inscription refers to a sportswriter from the San Francisco Chronicle who referred to the Beatles as "John, Paul, George, and Harold." On a white index card measuring 3.75" x 2.5", and in Very Fine condition. COA from Frank Caiazzo.
Estimate: $15,000 - up. 

Unique Beatles script for unmade film comes to Heritage at $15,000+

The script shows the Beatles' attempt to increase their artistic credibility following the end of touring
A unique script for an unmade Beatles film has been consigned to Heritage Auctions, as part of the December 6 Entertainment and Memorabilia Auction in Dallas.

The Beatles hired actor Owen Holder to write the script, yet the movie was never made

Known only as The Beatles' Script, the work sees John, Paul, George and Ringo all playing the same character, named Stanley. It is said to be a more serious diversion from the band's previous films, with all four members keen to establish artistic recognition following their decision to stop touring.
It is expected to sell for $15,000+.
The script was written by British actor Owen Holder, and it was later sent to producer Walter Shenson. It is the only copy known to exist, and will be accompanied in the sale by a complete set of autographs from all members of the band and manager Brian Epstein.
More unusual Beatles lots include stock transfer certificates from the Beatles' sale of Brian Epstein's company NEMS to Triumph Investment Ltd. Valued at $30,000+, the document frames a tragic time in the Beatles' careers following the death of Epstein.
With the manager controlling much of the band's finances and business, they were left to deal with an enormous empire and couldn't agree on future management. The company, of which they were part owners, was bought by Triumph for a mixture of cash and Triumph stock.
The lot contains six original certificates signed by the Fab Four, as well as Brian Epstein's mother, Queenie Epstein and his brother, Clive Epstein.
The stock certificates were signed on July 20, 1969, at a time when bonds between the band were fracturing, but they were nonetheless producing one of their finest works, Abbey Road.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...