To Cecil B. DeMille [Letter 9]

Item Reference Code: 100_12C_015_001

Date(s) of creation

July 3, 1934


Cecil B. DeMille


[Page 1]
[Paramount Pictures letterhead]

July 3, 1934.

Dear Mr. DeMille,

This letter is primarily to express my gratitude to you—at the distance of so many years. I have always wanted to tell you how much I appreciated your kindness and interest in me at a time when—if you remember—I was a very inexperienced, very bewildered and frightened little immigrant from Russia. I have waited all these years to show you that I had justified your interest in me, that I had something which you were kind and far-sighted enough to see so far in advance.

If I have achieved any kind of success, I owe it to your instructions which I have remembered and tried to follow all these years. I have always hoped that I would not drop out of sight entirely, that the day would come when I would be successful enough to show you that you had not wasted the attention you had given me at my start in Hollywood.

I cannot say that I have accomplished a great deal yet, but at least I am a writer and I feel that I can now thank you from the bottom of my heart, without asking you for help or for a job, just thank you and tell you that you have always been the person for whose sake I have wanted most to succeed, if you will excuse my presumption in this.

I am taking the liberty of sending you a synopsis of my story “Red Pawn”, which I had sold to Universal some time ago and which Paramount has just bought from them as a probable vehicle for Marlene Dietrich. I am now working here on the screen play. I would appreciate it very much if you would read this synopsis—not because I want to try and sell it to you, since it is already sold, but because I am very anxious to show you what I have accomplished, particularly since it is accomplished in accordance with your ideas as to story construction and situations. I am a little proud of this story and I feel that it is, in a way, the best manner I know of to thank you for your help to me many years ago.

If you will be kind enough to read it, I would be very grateful if you would grant me a little time to see you afterwards.

Sincerely yours,

Ayn Rand

(“Caviar”—if you remember)


“Caviar” was DeMille’s pet name for Rand. Although DeMille answered some of AR’s letters to him, there is no response to this letter in the Ayn Rand Archives.