Website last updated: 16-12-2018

Jack Whittingham lots to be auctioned by Bonhams in London

By: Anders Frejdh
Published:
2018-11-17
Jack Whittingham Bonhams London auction
On 11th December 2018, seven items from the personal archive of Sylvan Whittingham Mason, daughter of acclaimed British playwright and screenwriter Jack Whittingham (1910-1972), will be auctioned at the prestigious auction house Bonhams in London. This marks Part II of The Jack Whittingham Collection. (The Jack Whittingham Collection Part I was auctioned off in December 2013.)

The collection offered at auction features documents, screenplays and treatments surrounding the production of a proposed first James Bond film which Ian Fleming (1908-1964), in collaboration with producer and director Kevin McClory (1924-2006) and screenwriter Jack Whittingham, intended to produce.

The venture for this original production began in 1958, and predates the first released James Bond film, Dr. No (1962), by four years. Fleming agreed with McClory that he would compose a new James Bond story, in the form of treatments that Jack Whittingham would work from to transform into a script for film.
Whittingham worked very closely with Fleming taking his initial plot outline, which was originally titled James Bond of the Secret Service into a fit for filming story Longitude 78 West. This title was later changed again by Fleming and registered by McClory in 1960 as Thunderball.

Whittingham not only reworked and elaborated the plot, but he was also instrumental to the characterisation of James Bond, making him a more endearing character for the audience to resonate with.

Due to disagreements between Fleming and McClory this production was later shelved. Nevertheless, in March 1961 Ian Fleming published his eighth James Bond novel, Thunderball, bearing no credit acknowledgement to Whittingham or McClory in the published Jonathan Cape edition. This created a bitter plagiarism law battle at the High Court.

The majority of the documents included in this collection are copy paperwork which was submitted during the court proceedings between Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and Ian Fleming. The out of court ruling stipulated that future publications of the book must be credited to “Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and Ian Fleming”, in that order, and awarded the film rights for any future production to McClory. When Thunderball was finally made in 1965 under Executive Producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, Kevin McClory was given the role as the film’s producer.

A Collection of copy correspondence relating to the casting of principle character James Bond (1959-1960)


An insightful collection of approximately 85 typescript copy letters, the majority in response to the Daily Express article Inside Show Business, published 11 June 1959, that discussed the prospect of Ian Fleming and Kevin McClory searching for their James Bond. Actor suggestions from the public included Trevor Howard, Robert Beaty, Stanley Baker, Guy Rolfe, William Holden, Richard Burton, James Garner and Richard Todd, others included their sons or husbands.
With attached court reference document. Estimate: 1,000 - 1,500 GBP
Kevin McClory Ian Fleming James Bond character correspondence
Photo above: The Collection of copy correspondence relating to the casting of principle character James Bond.

A first draft continuity treatment by Jack Whittingham for James Bond of the Secret Service (1959)


A copy of 35 pages of mimeographed typescript, the title page James Bond of The Secret Service (working title), dated November 10 1959, some pages showing copy annotations in Jack Whittingham's hand.
With court reference folder. Estimate: 3,500 - 5,000 GBP
First draft continuity treatment by Jack Whittingham for James Bond of the Secret Service
Photo above: The first draft continuity treatment by Jack Whittingham for James Bond of the Secret Service.

A copy first draft shooting script ‘Longitude West’ the original title for Thunderball, (circa. December - February, 1960)


The copy with title page having numerous annotations the title 'Bond in The Bahamas' in mimeographed typescript seen crossed out with hand annotation James Bond above, below the working title ‘Longitude 78 West’ First Draft Shooting Script by Jack Whittingham based on a story by Ian Fleming, additional annotations Kevin McClory, Xanadu Productions, Dec 21st - Feb 15th, 142 pages of copied mimeographed typescript, featuring numerous annotations throughout in Jack Whittingham and Kevin McClory's hand.
With court reference folder. Estimate: 5,000 - 7,000 GBP
First draft shooting script for Longitude West - the original title for Thunderball
Photo above: The first draft shooting script Longitude West - the original title for Thunderball.

A copy first draft screenplay for ‘Longitude 78 West’ the original title for Thunderball (December 21st 1959 - February 15th 1960)


The copy with title page ‘Longitude 78 West’, First Draft Screenplay by Jack Whittingham Based on a story by Ian Fleming, 40 pages of copied mimeographed typescript, with minor handwritten annotations in Jack Whittingham's and Kevin McClory's hand.
With a court reference folder. Estimate: 2,000 - 3,000 GBP
First draft screenplay Longitude West - the original title for Thunderball
Photo above: The first draft screenplay for Longitude West - the original title for Thunderball.

Three files of copy correspondence relating to the original James Bond film (1957-1961)


A very large quantity of over 400 letters and documents during the collaboration of Xanadu Productions, between Ian Fleming, Kevin McClory, Ivar Bryce, Jack Whittingham and others; in-depth discussions and negotiations regarding the production to bring James Bond to the big screen, discussions include; story-line, characters, locations, casting, budgets, expenses, time-lines, finances, filming, other backers, prospects, and the beginnings of the legal fallout.
Estimate: 3,500 - 4,500 GBP
Ian Fleming Kevin McClory Jack Whittingham original james bond film correspondence
Photo above: The three files of copy correspondence relating to the original James Bond film.

A second draft treatment carbon copy for James Bond Of The Secret Service from Ian Flemings office (October 1959)


A complete 27 page detailed treatment by Ian Fleming for his proposed first James Bond motion picture, with an introduction page and a five page detailed annex of editorial notes, in a pink folder labelled "‘James Bond of the Secret Service’ by Ian Fleming, Second draft treatment for a motion picture”, affixed with a letter from Fleming’s secretary to Jack Whittingham's office dated 21st October 1959, “Mr.
Fleming has asked me to send you the enclosed new draft treatment. Yours sincerely, Una Trueblood”.
With court reference document. Estimate: 30,000 - 40,000 GBP
Ian Fleming Kevin McClory Jack Whittingham original James Bond film correspondence
Photo above: The three files of copy correspondence relating to the original James Bond film.

A copy Memorandum to Jack Whittingham and copy first draft screen treatment titled James Bond of the Secret Service


A copy of a one page memo accompanying Ian Fleming's first draft treatment, given to Jack Whittingham outlining his intentions for the first James Bond film, he states a brief outline of his plan for the plot content It is the story of an attempt by the Mafia to blackmail the West for £100 million using as a lever an automatic warhead stolen from one of Britain's rocket sites. The first draft treatment of 57 copied mimeographed typescript, some with copy annotations and crossings out as well as 7 addition pages and rewrites.
With court reference document attached to the verso. Estimate: 3,000 - 5,000 GBP
Memorandum first draft screen treatment Jack Whittingham James Bond of the Secret Service
Photo above: The copy Memorandum to Jack Whittingham and copy first draft screen treatment titled James Bond of the Secret Service.

For more information and other photos of The Jack Whittingham Collection Part II, visit Bonhams official site.

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