Laughter in the Dark

Paris: Les Films Marceau, circa 1968. Three Draft scripts for the 1969 film by three different screenwriters.

From the estate of film producer Elliott Kastner, whose best known credits include "The Long Goodbye” (Robert Altman, 1973), "The Missouri Breaks" (Arthur Penn, 1976), and “Heat” (Michael Mann, 1996).

The first script is an undated draft script by screenwriter George Bluestone, who previously adapted Winston Graham's 1967 novel "The Walking Stick," for the 1968 Eric Till film, with copied annotations throughout, striking, adding, and adjusting dialogue.

The second is a Second draft script, dated 1st April, 1968, by novelist, playwright and screenwriter Derek Marlow, with copied annotations striking scenes or pages on nearly every page. Marlow said in an interview that he was asked by director Tony Richardson which book he'd like to adapt for a screenplay, and Marlow suggested Nabakov's "Laughter in the Dark". Two or three months afterward Marlow received a call from Richardson asking him to write the adaptation.

At the time Richard Burton was to star alongside Marianne Faithfull. Marlow then went to the U.S. to promote his 1968 novel "Memoirs of a Venus Lackey," and upon his return to the UK, found out a new screenplay by Edward Bond had been written, and Burton and Faithfull had been replaced.

The third is a draft script, dated 24th June 1968, by Edward Bond. IMDB shows the filming date as starting June 1968, thus likely a draft used early in the production. The first half of the script (to page 66) is on pink paper with the remainder on green paper, with no revision date change.

Based on the 1932 novel by Vladimir Nabokov, updating the original 1930s Berlin setting to 1960s swinging London, about a wealthy art dealer who is seduced and swindled out of his fortune by a young woman and her lover.

Set in London and the Riviera, shot on location in Spain, France, and the United Kingdom.

George Bluestone script:

Wrapper integral with title page, with credits for screenwriter George Bluestone and author Vladimir Nabokov. 114 leaves, with last page of text numbered 109. Xerographic duplication, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, bound with two gold brads.

Derek Marlowe script:

Black wrappers with die-cut title window in the British style. Title page present, dated 1st April, 1968 (obscured, but visible through Winkast sticker), noted as Second Draft, with credits for screenwriter Derek Marlowe and author Vladimir Nabokov. 137 leaves, with last page of text numbered 136. Xerographic duplication, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Near Fine, bound internally with two flat metal brads

Edward Bond script:

Black wrappers with die-cut title window in the British style. Title page present, dated 24th June 1968, with credits for screenwriter Edward Bond and author Vladimir Nabokov. 110 leaves, with last page of text numbered 108. Mimeographed, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Near Fine, bound internally with two flat metal brads.


[Book #147232]

Price: $4,500.00