To Wera Engels [Letter 47]

Item Reference Code: 058_12x_005_001

Date(s) of creation

March 22, 1938


Wera Engels


Wera Engels was a successful film actress in Germany during the 1920s and early 1930s before she moved to Hollywood and married actor Ivan Lebedeff, an acquaintance of Ayn Rand’s.

173 East 74th Street
New York, N. Y.

March 22, 1938

Dear Wera,

I have just received a letter from Ivan, in which he tells me that you would like to offer “IDEAL” to Marcel L’Herbier, to be produced as a French picture with you in the lead. Needless to say, I have always wanted to see you play “Gonda”, and I appreciate very much your interest in this story and the fact that you have never forgotten it.

I am very much interested in the possibility of a screen production in France, starring you. You may show the script to Mr. L’Herbier and tell him that, if he is interested, I can send you later a copy of the stage version, where he can see the story in a more dramatic form. The deal would depend on what he is willing to offer me. If he likes the story, ask him please to let me know and to make an offer. Does he want the French screen rights alone or does he want to make also an English and German versions, as Ivan mentioned? If this last, it will mean the end of the American screen rights. This may be acceptable to me, if he offers us reasonable terms, but in this case, does he intend to arrange for the American release of the English version—and through whom? If a deal can be made, I would like to go to France and do the screen adaptation.

Ivan thinks it is “Fate” that you should finally appear in “IDEAL”. I am beginning to think so myself. The story was really intended for you, so let us hope that it will do great things for both of us. Let me know what happens. And, in any case, I would like to hear from you. How are you getting along? Did you ever receive your dress?

Frank sends you his love and kisses. Same from me.

With our best regards,