January 8, 1949
Thank you very much for the beautiful flowers. I am wondering whether you are able to select them long distance—they were magnificent chrysanthemums in startling colors, and I suspect that you remembered my taste.
I hope that you might consider the following news as a sort of return New Year’s present for yourself and Bobbs-Merrill: We had a preview of the movie of THE FOUNTAINHEAD day before yesterday, January 6. According to all the studio executives present, including Jack Warner and Henry Blanke, it was the most sensational preview they had ever attended. The picture was tried in the toughest district, an industrial part of town where the audiences are considered to be the least intellectual—and we passed the test triumphantly. The picture went over so well that Jack Warner did not make a single change in it and decided that no other preview was necessary. The final print of the film is being prepared right now and will be sent to New York soon. I don’t know yet when the picture will be released. The whole studio is in an uproar, and congratulations are pouring on Henry Blanke. The picture is expected to be a tremendous hit.
I think Bobbs-Merrill may be glad to know that the first or title frame of the film is a photograph of the book itself, with a close-up of the jacket. If you can arrange to have copies of the book in the book store windows at the time when the picture is playing at the local theaters, I think we will be headed back for the best-seller list.
I must say that I am more than enthusiastic about the picture. Blanke has done a magnificent job of film editing, and the result is better than I could ever hope to see accomplished.
With my best wishes for the New Year,