London: J. Arthur Rank, 1957. Third Draft script for an unproduced film. Copy belonging to novelist and screenwriter John Masters, with his name in holograph pencil to the front wrapper, his holograph pencil annotations to virtually every page, and two handwritten pages stapled to the verso of the front wrapper, noting concerns about the script and deletions.
Based on Masters' 1952 novel, which follows a British officer who goes undercover to infiltrate a cultish gang known as the thuggees who have been ritually murdering travelers in colonial India.
Masters, who served in the Indian Army from 1933 to 1949, was best known for his historical fiction set in India, most notably his 1954 novel "Bhowani Junction," which was adapted for film by director George Cukor in 1956. Modern scholars have acknowledged Masters' influence on British historical fiction, and (in later works) his relative sympathy towards Indian nationalists, while simultaneously criticizing his revisionist, occasionally imperialist tone. Masters also released three successful autobiographical volumes, "Bugles and a Tiger" (1956), "Road Past Mandelay" (1961), and "Pilgrim Son" (1971).
Beige titled wrappers, noted as Draft Script on the front wrapper, dated 26-3-57, with a typed label affixed to the front wrapper dated 26.3.57, crediting novelist and screenwriter John Masters and screenwriter Anthony Perry, and noting Masters' annotations throughout. Title page present, noted as DRAFT THREE, with credits for novelist and screenwriter John Masters. 114 leaves, with last page of text numbered 112. Mimeograph duplication, rectos only. Pages Near Fine, wrapper Very Good plus, bound internally with a silver prong.