John Huston's original typed and handwritten draft of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre screenplay
Typescript of Huston's screenplay of the B. Traven novel, 145 pp, 4 of which are manuscript (pp 23-24 in pencil, pp 34-35 in pen), no date, but c.1946, stains to final few leaves, light wear and toning throughout, bound in green 3-ring binder notebook. WITH: 21 keybook stills, 8 by 10 inch gelatin silver prints on double thick paper (images only 3 ½ by 4 ½ inches), most with typed or handwritten identification of subjects on verso, with the exception of the single image of Hal Croves, marked in pencil at lower margin "no prints"; leaves disbound, otherwise very fine. In custom clamshell box.
Provenance: Serendipity Books (note on receipt indicates items were purchased from the estate of Huston's secretary); the Richard Manney Collection.
2 great rarities: Huston's completed draft of the screenplay, and a photographic image of the novel's reclusive author.
John Huston first read B. Traven's novel, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (itself a reworking of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale) in the 1930s, and approached Warner Bros about adapting it; the outbreak of World War II, however, postponed production until 1946. Soon after his return from the war, Huston headed to Mexico to begin pre-production, and arranged a meeting with the novel's reclusive author, B. Traven. A man named Hal Croves showed up in Traven's stead with a note from the author instructing Huston to treat Croves as advisor on the film. Huston did so, and soon began to suspect that Croveswho had a comprehensive understanding of the novel and was himself publicity shywas in fact B. Traven.
The Serendipity Books receipt for this screenplay indicates that this copy, which was typed on at least two different typewriters, was given by Huston to his secretary to be prepared for internal distribution. It cleaves closely to the screen version, and includes on p 84 the famous line (spoken by the bandit Gold Hat): "Badges? We got no badges. We don't need badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges."
The key book accompanying this screenplay contains the single image of Traven/Croves captured on the set of the film. Unlike nearly every other photo in the keybook, there is no written or typed text identifying the figures, and instead only a handwritten note at the lower right margin reading "no prints." In the photograph, Traven/Croves sits on a sofa next to Huston, surrounded by other members of the crew, laughing.