To Hal Wallis [Letter 168]

Item Reference Code: 113_13x_002_001

Date(s) of creation

June 18, 1945


Hal Wallis


From 1944 to 1949, Rand was a screenwriter for Hal Wallis (1898–1986), producer of Casablanca and many other famous films. Under Wallis, she wrote the screenplay for Love Letters (1945) and unproduced scripts of “The Crying Sisters” and “House of Mist.” Although she generally liked working with Wallis, she became disappointed with the stories he was producing and disappointed in him personally when she discovered that their project for a film about the atom bomb (working title “Top Secret”) was merely a ploy by Wallis for him to sell the story rights to MGM, which was producing The Beginning or the End (1947). However, although she considered him a second-hander (in the Peter Keating sense) as a producer, she said in her biographical interviews in 1961 that “he was a very nice person, as a person, pleasant to deal with,” and they continued on friendly relations.

10000 Tampa Avenue
Chatsworth, California

June 18, 1945

Dear Boss:

How could I ever forget? Your picture will be an inspiration—and a threat. It’s a wonderful picture. That’s the way I like to see you look—hard and ruthless (except in relation to my scripts). Thank you immensely.

You might like to know what was the first thing I did on regaining my freedom: I went out and bought five dresses by Adrian and the complete works of Aristotle. This will give you an idea of the real nature of—

—your loyal wage-slave,


Ayn Rand