Darryl Zanuck on “Chimes At Midnight”
Here is a letter Darryl Zanuck, the President of 20th Century Fox and a great friend of Welles wrote to him after first seeing "Chimes At Midnight". For whatever reasons, Zanuck and Fox were not able to secure the rights to "Chimes" which was rather unfortunate, since had Fox acquired the film it might have done far better in the U.S. marketplace, both critically and commercially. It might even have made it easier for Welles to complete a few more of his projects in the seventies.
August 10, 1965
Mr. Orson Welles Trianon Palace Hotel
My Dear Orson:I was deeply moved and emotionally thrilled by your film CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT. It is far and away the best film in this category that I have seen.
With your permission I am going to recommend to the board of directors of this corporation that they authorize me to have my representatives commence negotiations with your representatives at the earliest possible moment. Depending on your work schedule I would like to have Mr. Seymour Poe and Mr. David Raphel come to Europe to see the film. Please cable me to the Saint Regis Hotel in New York the date so that they can arrange their plans accordingly. My congratulations on a masterful job.
Darryl F. Zanuck