Albert Mannheimer (1913–72) was a long-time friend of AR’s beginning in the 1930s. An admitted “ideological communist” when they met, he became pro-capitalist after a year’s worth of philosophic discussions with AR. His screenplay for Born Yesterday (1950) won an Oscar nomination and a “Best Written Comedy” award from the Writer’s Guild of America.
August 21, 1946
Well, I guess you don’t miss me, since I haven’t heard from you (that’s just a dirty crack—I wouldn’t write letters from New York either). I am writing this for no particular reason, except that I do miss you; so it is just to say: “hello”.
The first Sunday after you left, I had a rival, Walter [Abbott], here. The second Sunday I had a wonderful time being entirely alone (also a dirty crack), but lately I have started holding long philosophical discussions with Frank, and I am not sure but what he may not enjoy them quite as much as I do—so he might wire you to please come back and rescue him from it.
Thank you for the nice note you sent me before you left. Your postscript about my book was a peculiar kind of encouragement to me—and you know that I seldom react to anybody’s reactions to my writing. I must tell you that you did me a good turn by listening to my all night synopsis of my novel. I found that I was very stimulated and clear-headed for the next few days, and solved a lot of the outline problems. It is almost completed now, although still not quite. I still have details to straighten out.
When and if you have time, let me know what is happening on your three plays (the one that is going into production and the two potential ones). I am enclosing an editorial from the Hollywood Reporter that has a quotation from John Howard Lawson, which is truly matchless; I think you might find it of some use in your play on the theatre, at least as an example of something that no writer could invent as fiction.
I had a nice letter from Loeb, telling me that you had dinner with him. Give him my regards if you see him, and tell him that I will write to him as soon as I can.
Have you seen Pat? As a reminder of the three messages I asked you to give her, that is, about my parents, about my troubles with Hal Wallis, and about the fact that I haven’t written to her, because I don’t know how to write to her. Besides that, give her my regards, but do so at your own risk. I don’t know whether she will be glad to have them, or will throw something at your head.
Regards from Frank, and all my love, darling (keep most of it, but give a little from me to the Empire State building.)