To A. H. Woods, Ltd., producers of Night of January 16th [Letter 19]

Item Reference Code: 136_01E_008_001

Date(s) of creation

October 14, 1935


A. H. Woods, Ltd.


129 East 61st Street
New York, N. Y.

October 14, 1935

A. H. Woods, Ltd.
1270 Sixth Avenue
New York, N. Y.

Dear Sirs:

Walter Pidgeon having withdrawn from the cast of THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 16th, his last appearance being Saturday evening, October 19th, my understanding is that you intend to replace him in the cast by William Bakewell. While Mr. Bakewell may well be good in parts to which he is suited, he certainly is not suited for the part which is now being relinquished by Mr. Pidgeon. He is much too young and has not the required strength of personality for the character portrayed, which requires “guts”, as the name of the character in the play, Guts Regan, implies. The character implies menace, aggressiveness and sinister force. I am not alone in my opinion that Mr. Bakewell does not measure up to these characteristics. The character in the play is the head of the New York underworld and Mr. Bakewell can not at his age and with his appearance measure up to that type of man. I am not unreasonable in objecting to the employment of Mr. Bakewell. I have no desire to hold up the performance of this play, but time being limited, I am making the following alternate suggestions for this part: Mr. Morgan Conway, who played the part of Regan in the Hollywood production and Mr. Robert Shayne, who knows the part.

My objection and request is made under the terms of the Minimum Basic Agreement, under the fourth paragraph of section 7 which reads as follows:

“If, after the opening of the play, the Manager shall make any change in the cast, and objection thereto is made by the Author, then the Manager agrees forthwith to replace the person or persons so substituted by an actor or actress who shall be approved by the Author.”

This letter is being sent to you by messenger to insure its safe delivery.

Sincerely yours,

Ayn Rand