Miscellaneous file

Scope and Content

A further bundle of miscellaneous material originally stored together although not labelled by RD. It includes scripts, correspondence with Alexander Korda and Victor Saville relating to film plans during the 1930s-40s, letters relating to RD's problems with his MGM contract in 1940, and further miscellaneous correspondence. The material is as follows: 

  • /1 Manuscript list of RD's press cutting volumes (2 sheets).
  • /2 A 7-page typed script for Filmtime - 78, a radio programme broadcast on the BBC Home Service on 12 Jan 1950, which includes an interview with RD about The Cure for Love and some extracts from the film.
  • /3 A 5-page annotated typescript extract from the radio script in /2, consisting of the RD interview.
  • /4 Carbon typescript copy summons relating to Donat's divorce, with a note indicating that a copy was sent to Christopher Mann (RD's manager) on 9 Dec 1952.
  • /5-6 Letters to RD from Mary Bullock and Diana Tempest in support of his letter in The Telegraph defending stage revivals (26 Mar 1945).
  • /7 Typescript copy letter to RD from George Bernard Shaw, commenting on the production [of his play The Devil's Disciple] in which RD is starring.
  • /8 Two letters to RD from the Rev Frank McConnell with RD's copy reply, relating to his divorce (12 Dec 1946-2 Jan 1947).
  • /9 Brief manuscript chronology of RD's career, 1938-1943.
  • /10 Typescript copy telegram to RD from Ella Donat in America (original dated 28 Mar 1944). This item is closed.
  • /11-17 Bundle of correspondence between RD and Alexander Korda (including 2 telegrams from Korda and 5 of RD's draft or copy letters) relating to: their disagreement over planned film Four Feathers in 1938; and the issue of who should be the leading lady in the film they plan to make together in 1943 [Perfect Strangers] (5 Apr 1938-9 Sep 1943).
  • /18-25 Bundle of correspondence between RD and Victor Saville of MGM (consisting of 2 letters and a telegram from Saville and 5 copy letters from RD), relating to: plans for Goodbye, Mr. Chips; a film premiere in aid of the Birmingham Jewish National Fund Land Settlement Appeal for German, Austrian and Polish Jewry; the death of RD's father in 1939; and RD's decision not to appear in film The Ruined City (22 Jul 1938-11 Sep 1939).
  • /26 Carbon typescript letter from RD to H.K Ayliff, regretting that Ayliff came to a "slow and unfinished" performance of RD's current production [presumably The Glass Slipper] (30 Dec 1944).
  • /27 Copy telegram from RD to Ben Goetz, requesting that his MGM contract be suspended for six months enabling him to undertake stage work if MGM will not make a film with him in Britain; he suggests a historical film entitled Six Men of Dorset (15 Jul 1940).
  • /28 Typescript copy of Charles Stewart Parnell's 'New Ross Speech' taken from the Freeman's Journal, 26 Sep 1880 (presumably used by RD in preparation for Captain Boycott in 1947).
  • /29 Two typescript fragments from the script of Captain Boycott.
  • /30 Bundle of typescript test scenes for Oliver Twist [David Lean's film, in which RD was rejected for the part of Bill Sykes] (20 Feb 1947).
  • /31-41 Bundle of letters originally kept together in the same folder. These consist of: letter from Alfred at the Old Vic congratulating RD on his wedding (7 May 1953); letter from James congratulating RD on his wedding (7 May 1953); letter from Michael asking RD to consider the role of the Professor in the play The Linden Tree (n.d.); 2 letters from "Barrie" [possibly Wendy Barrie, a former employee of RD], relating to: her concern for RD's health and her own activities (n.d.); a brief note from the secretary of Dr Mavor [i.e. James Bridie] (26 May 1944); 2 letters from actress Nicolette Bernard, relating to a play she is in and RD's 1952 Christmas broadcast (28 Sep [1945] and 8 Jan [1953]); letter from Michael A[yrton] congratulating RD on his film performance as "the legal eagle" [presumably in The Winslow Boy] (n.d.); and a letter from Dennis Glenny introducing a young actor Robert Allnutt (16 Mar 1947).
  • /42 Fragment of an undated copy letter from RD offering advice to an aspiring actor (first page is missing).
  • /43 Pencil-written scenario for a play or film about two rivals for the love of a woman named Nanette; includes an outline of the plot and a section of dialogue for the finale; in RD's hand.

Access Information

Item /10 is closed and may only be accessed by readers who have obtained the prior permission of Joanna Wellington and Brian Donat.