A handwritten ledger documenting author F Scott Fitzgerald’s film payments from 1919 through 1938 has just been released online
— shortly before the modern “Great Gatsby” movie adaptation opens in theatres May 10.According to Fitzgerald’s records, he sold the “Gatsby” film rights to Hollywood in 1926 for $16,666.00.
According to an inflation calculator, today that amount would be equal to $219,174.85.
Fitzgerald’s Ledger documenting his film payments is part of the F Scott Fitzgerald collection in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
The ledger was meticulously divided into five sections: “Record of Published Fiction,” “Money Earned by Writing since Leaving Army,” “Published Miscelani (including movies) for which I was Paid,” “Zelda’s Earnings,” and “Outline Chart of my Life.”
Check out Fitzgerald’s movie industry earnings, in chronological order, before commissions were taken:
- Head And Shoulders – $2,500.00
- Myra Meets His Family – $1,000.00
- The Off Shore Pirate – $2,250.00
- ‘Option on my output’ – $3,000.
- The Beautiful And Damned – $2,500.00
- This Side Of Paradise – $10,000.00
- The Camel’s Back – $1,000.00
- Grit – $2,000.00
- Titles for Glimpses Of The Moon – $500.00
- The Great Gatsby – $16,666.00
- ‘California work’ on Lipstick – $3,500 00
- ‘Additional Payment’ The Great Gatsby – $3,333.00
- ‘Treatment’ Metro Goldwyn Mayer – $6,000
Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library and Rare Books Collection at the University of South Carolina, points at items in a ledger owned by author F.Scott Fitzgerald.
Sudduth says the Fitzgerald collection is now valued at more than $4 million.
The university has digitized the ledger and put it online for scholars.
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