Pincus Berner (1899–1961) was Ayn Rand’s attorney, beginning with an arbitration in 1935 against producer Al Woods regarding Night of January 16th.
10000 Tampa Avenue
February 3, 1945
Mr. Pincus Berner
Ernst, Cane & Berner
25 West 43rd Street
New York City
Thank you for your help with the Blakiston contract.[*] I received copies of the contracts from Bobbs-Merrill, and the deal seems to be fine.
I am disturbed, however, by the statement of advertising expenditures which Mr. Baker sent me and which I am enclosing. The enclosed is the original I received. I cannot accept it as an accounting, and I am astonished by its unbusiness-like form. Note that it is not signed and is not even on Bobbs-Merrill stationery.
I would like you to handle this for me. Would you take it up with Bobbs-Merrill and get from them an accounting in a proper business-like way? My letter of agreement with them specifies that I am to receive an accounting. I expect an actual, official accounting, an itemized statement with dates, amounts and names of periodicals where advertising was placed. Paramount Studios have a complete library of newspapers and magazines where I can check the ads.
I have to postpone my visit to New York, because “THE FOUNTAINHEAD” might go into production very soon, so I have to stand by. The actual date of shooting is not set as yet. But you will see me in New York in the not too distant future—because my boss, Hal Wallis, is giving me a trip to New York as a present, a kind of bonus, because he is very pleased with my work. Is that some boss to work for? He’s really wonderful. I’m planning to come east for a month, probably in May.
Please tell your charming wife that she is indirectly responsible for a grand movie which you’ll see within the year. Anne might remember that it was she who recommended that I read “The Crying Sisters”, the mystery novel by Mabel Seeley, several years ago. It has been one of my great favorites ever since. Well, Hal Wallis has just bought it—on my enthusiastic recommendation and insistence. He wanted me to do one more script for him, before I take my six months off. I didn’t like the stories they had—but told him I’d stay for “The Crying Sisters,” so he
bought it. I’m doing the script now—and I think it will make a wonderful movie.[**] I hope you, Anne and Rose will go to see it when it opens in New York—it’s sort of a Berner god-child.
With best regards to all of you and to Melville Cane from Frank and me,
*Blakiston issued some printings of The Fountainhead in place of Bobbs-Merrill for a limited time. Publishers were allotted paper by the U.S. Government under WWII rationing rules, in proportion to their use levels during a base year. Bobbs-Merrill experienced greater demand for its books than its past performance allowed for, so Bobbs-Merrill contracted with Blakiston, which had access to more paper than it would otherwise use.
**Although AR completed a screenplay on June 13, the movie was not made.