Mario Profili, vice consul of Italy, was a representative of the Federated Italo-Americans, an umbrella organization that united many clubs and societies supporting the Italian heritage in Southern California.
This letter was previously published only on the Ayn Rand Institute website.
September 12, 1948
Mr. Mario Profili, Consul of Italy
234 N. Main Street
Los Angeles, California
My dear Mr. Profili:
This is in response to your request for my permission to show the Scalera film based upon my book—WE THE LIVING in connection with the Columbus Day celebration.
I am very happy, of course, to cooperate in this celebration in every way possible; however, the picture contains certain dialogue which is not contained in my book and to which I cannot subscribe. In fact it is my position that these particular parts of the picture reflect unfavorably upon my book and injure my professional reputation.
However, for the sole purpose of assisting in the patriotic celebration on Columbus Day I shall make no objection to the showing of the Scalera picture provided it is clearly understood that I am not responsible for such dialogue as deviates from my book. Accordingly, I shall be glad to grant your request on the following conditions: that you engage a film cutter who will, under my direction, cut out of the picture the passages of dialogue which I find most objectionable; and further—in order to cover such lesser lines of dialogue as may be hard to eliminate—that before the picture is shown an announcement be made to the audience to the effect that the film was made in Italy during the war under conditions which did not permit me to consult with the producer or approve certain dialogue of which I am not the author; that by giving my permission for the showing I do not necessarily adopt or approve any lines which do not appear in the book entitled WE THE LIVING and that I reserve all legal rights which arise out of the use of the book by the producer of the picture.
Mr. Mario Profili -2- September 12, 1948
I regret that I cannot release this picture without these stipulations and I trust that the required announcement can be made without great inconvenience.
Of course, you understand that I do not own the film itself and that it will be necessary for you to obtain authorization from the owner before it can be screened.
Although the event was planned as part of a Columbus Day celebration, Rand wrote to Profili almost five months later regarding changes in the statement to be read to the audience “at both performances.” If any screenings actually took place, Rand apparently did not attend, as there is no relevant entry in her daily calendars for 1948 or 1949. Please also see AR’s October 30, 1948 letter to John C. Gall [Letter 361].