The Life of Emile Zola [Zola]

Burbank, CA: Warner Brothers, 1937. Revised Final Draft script for the 1937 film, "The Life of Emile Zola," here under the working title, "Zola." Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1938.

Based loosely on Matthew Johnson's 1928 biography of Emile Zola, the French muckraking author who attempted to help clear Army captain Alfred Dreyfus. The film represents Zola's involvement in the Dreyfus affair, starring Paul Muni as Zola, Gale Sondergaard as Lucie Dreyfus, and Joseph Schildkraut as Alfred Dreyfus. Sar Paul Muni's second biographical film for Warner Brothers, the first being "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936), and arguably the better of the two. He would reprise his role in a 60-minute radio adaptation in 1939 for the Lux Radio Theater.

While contemporary reviews of the film were unanimous in their praise, it notably excluded any mention that Dreyfus was Jewish, even though anti-Semitism is generally thought to have played a large role in the condemnation of the officer. It is believed that this omission was intentional, and a reflection of Hollywood's tenuous desire to not upset the young Nazi German government at the time.

Set in Paris in the late 19th century. Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and the first film to receive ten Academy Award nominations.

Orange titled wrappers, noted as REV. FINAL on the front wrapper, rubber stamped copy No. 87. Distribution page present, dated 3/16/37 with receipt removed. Title page present, with credits for story writers Heinz Herald and Geza Herczeg, and screenwriter Norman Reilly Raine. 184 leaves, with last page of text numbered 172. Mimeograph, with blue revision pages throughout, dated 3/17/37 and 3/24/37. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Very Good, bound with two gold brads.

National Film Registry.

[Book #142703]

Price: $1,500.00