NP: NP, 1953-1954. Original document. Hardcover. Originally published in 1953, "Battle Cry" is the enthralling first novel by legendary American author Leon Uris, best known for such classics as "Trinity" and "Exodus." Many of the events in the book are based on the writer's own World War II experience with the 6th Marine Regiment.
Original typescript, screenplay and revised final shooting script with many manuscript annotations by Leon Uris:
Bound by the "Hollywood Bindrey".
- The original typescript of "Battle Cry" is bound in three volumes, in full decorative morocco bindings,with gold lettering to spines. Raised band. Each binding signed E. T. and dated 1973. Decorative endpapers. 800 of a total of 830 leaves have been underlined and / or annotated in pencil (regular and red) by Leon Uris. The three-volume typescript is housed in a matching olive cloth covered slipcase.
Volume 1 with fly leaf handsigned by Leon Uris. Maquette of the first five pages bound in. , 9, 304 leaves, of which only nine have no annotations nor underlining.
Volume 2 with fly leaf handsigned by Leon Uris. , 305-608 leaves, of which only thirteen have no annotations nor underlining.
Volume 3 with fly leaf handsigned by Leon Uris. , 609-816 leaves, of which only eight have no annotations nor underlining.
Leaves watermarked "Macadam Bond."
"Battle Cry"'s patriotic spirit - "in contrast to war novels by Norman Mailer (The Naked and the Dead), James Jones (From Here to Eternity), Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny), Irwin Shaw (The Young Lions), and James Gould Cozzens (The Guard of Honor) - expressed a positive, supportive view of the military despite the carnage, confusions, and loss of life inherent in war. Patriotism not nihilism, heroism, not cowardice, defined its themes, which were welcomed by the marines and the public. All of this made the book a commercial success. Warner Brothers bought the film rights, and Leon Uris moved to Hollywood to write the following screenplay for the movie, which was released in 1955." (See: The New York Times, dated 6/25/2003, and Ira B. Nadel's "Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller," pp. 52-67).
- The original "Battle Cry" screenplay is bound in olive calf, with gold lettering and tooling to spine. Leon Uris' name in gilt to front cover. Raised bands. Marbled endpapers. Binding by Hollywood Art Book Bindery, in Los Angeles. , 157 leaves; Nine 8 x 10" original silver gelatin prints depicting behind-the-scene views;  leaves (Index to Breakdown), 3 leaves (Set List from Final Script dated 2/13/1954); 120 leaves (Daily Production Call sheets). Title page dated 11/30/1953 and annotated in blue ink by Leon Uris. Leaves 2 and 3 of the cast of characters annotated in pencil and blue ink. Extensive annotations in blue ink and or pencil to leaves 58 to 62, 64 to 67, 69, 71, 72, 76 to 107, 111 to 139, and 140 to 157. Laid in at rear, eight typed Test Scenes: "The Squad" (4 leaves), "Marion and Spanish Joe" (2 leaves), "Ski" (1 leaf), "Pat and Andy" (4 leaves), "Pat and Andy #2" (3 leaves), "Pat and Andy #3" (2 leaves), "Danny and Kathy (Alternate)" (2 leaves), and "Danny and Kathy" (2 leaves).
- "Battle Cry - Revised Final" (shooting script) screenplay is bound in olive calf, with gold lettering and tooling to spine. Leon Uris' name in gilt to front cover. Raised bands. Marbled endpapers. As indicated at upper margin of fly leaf at rear, binding by Hollywood Art Book Bindery, in Los Angeles. This revised final screenplay is interspersed with sixty 8 x 10" original silver gelatin prints being movie stills (49) as well as behind-the-scene views (11) housed in plastic leaves bound in. Three photographs have a smaller size (5 3/4 x 8"). Ten of the 60 silver gelatin prints come directly from the Warner Bros Pictures Distributing Corporation, as captioned at lower margin. The title page dated 3/27/1954 is handsigned in light blue ink by the director Raoul Walsh, the assistant director Russ Saunder, production designer John Beckman, and technical adviser Colonel Jim Crowe. Two inserts, being hand-colored maps of Saipan and Red Beach, bound between leaves 125 and 126. The first four leaves of the revised final screenplay are handsigned and inscribed to Leon Uris by nine members of the cast, namely:
Tab Hunter (Danny Forrester): "Mr. Uris, I loved the book "Battle Cry" and I only hope that I was able to capture a part of "Danny" in this film. Thanks for everything. My best, Always, Tab Hunter '54," Mona Freeman (Kathy - later Mrs Danny Forrester), Aldo Ray (Pvt. / Pfc Andy Hookens): "Leon - A great novel deserves a great filming, Here's Hoping!", William Campbell (Pvt. 'Ski' Wronski), John Lupton (Pvt. / Cpl. Marion 'Sister Mary' Hotchkiss), Justus E. McQueen (Pvt. L.Q. Jones), James Whitmore (MSgt. Mac / Narrator), Nancy Olson (Mrs. Pat Rogers), Mona Freeman (twice), Rhys Williams (Enoch Rogers), Hilda Plowright (Mrs. Rogers - Pat's mother)
Laid in at rear, a typed and handsigned 3-page letter from Los Angeles-based award-winning freelance journalist David Robb to Leon Uris. In this letter dated December 6, 2002 (six months before Uris' death), David Robb, the author of "Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies" tells Leon Uris that after searching through 'thousands of pages of Pentagon documents - internal memos and correspondence between military officials and Hollywood producers,' he discovered a file in which the Pentagon had concerns about an aspect of Leon Uris' screenplay, namely, the racial friction depicted between two of the characters, Pedro and Speedy. After telling Uris that he wrote a powerful script that touched on a very sensitive issue, David Robb ends his letter by asking the author of "Battle Cry" the following seven questions:
1) How did you feel about this scene being cut from the movie? Did it bother you, or were you okay with it?
2) Did you fight to keep it in the movie? If so, to whom did you complain?
3) Who made the final decision to edit it out? Raoul Walsh? A studio executive?
4) Was there a real-life person on whom you based the Pedro character? If so, was his run-in with Speedy based on a real-life incident, and was his lament based on a real-life conversation? Or was that part entirely fiction?
5) Do you feel that the military's concern that Pedro's dialogue could be used as anti-American propaganda purposes was legitimate?
6) Do you feel this was censorship?
7) Is this a proper role for the military?
Leon Uris didn't write back to David Robb, but the journalist interviewed him on the phone. That interview can be found in the journalist's book "Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies." Here are some excerpts from Chapter 38, "Erasing Private Pedro," pages 287-295:
"Don Baruch, head of the Department of Defense film office at the time, had been working with the "Battle Cry" producers to tone down some of the drunkenness and scenes of 'illicit love' depicted in the screenplay, but he was having trouble getting the studio to agree to eliminate the racial animosity that Speedy shows toward Pedro...
So Gen. Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., the commandant of the Marine Corps, weighed in. At his direction, Brig. Gen. Joseph C. Burger, assistant division commander of the First Marine Division, wrote a letter to the Defense Department's office of public information outlining the Marine Corps' objections.
'This headquarters has examined this script and, subject to the comments below, has no objection to its production as a motion picture,' Burger wrote on April 19, 1954.... Although all sequences are not completely to the liking of the Marine Corps, it is realized that some compromise is necessary. One major objection which has not yet been incorporated in the comment by Pedro on page 93.'
Burger then wrote: 'Suggest modification of the paragraph which starts, 'This is why Pedro is sorry he came.' This speech by Pedro would not only be objectionable to Texans but Americans as well. It would also be put to good use by Communists who are sure to use it out of context.'
Three days later, on April 22, Baruch wrote a letter to George Dorsey, Warner Bros.' representative in Washington, telling him that Pedro's big scene would have to go.
'The racial conflict and hatred indicated between Speedy and Pedro is not considered in the best interest of the government,' Baruch told Dorsey. 'The speech by Pedro, Page 93, Scenes 175, is especially objectionable as it easily could be used by the Communists for anti-American propaganda purposes.'
In the end, the Marine Corps got its way and the scene was edited out of the movie.
Leon Uris, a former Marine who served in the Pacific during WWII, says that he never knew of the Pentagon's concerns about Pedro until now (1993).
'I didn't know anything about any of this,' he said in an interview shortly before his death on June 21, 2003.' '... Whatever papers these bureaucrats shuffled back and forth, I don't know anything about. They did not come to me on it.'
Uris who described himself as a 'New York liberal,' said he did not share the Pentagon's concerns that Pedro's scene might have been used as 'anti-American propaganda.' 'Obviously, it is not my political thinking,' he said 'Never has been, never will be.'
To protect its image, the Marine Corps assigned Col. Jim Crow to watch over the film's production. 'Colonel Crow was a big-time Marine hero, and he was the technical advisor on the film,' Uris said. 'Politically, if they wanted to change something, they would go to Crow, not to me. I had no power.'
Despite what was done to his screenplay afterwards, Leon Uris had written a powerful and passionate account of one man's struggle against bigotry. That story, however, never made it into the final cut of the movie.
'Leon Uris was ahead of his time," says Victor Millan (who was cast to play Pedro). 'I have been in other films like "Giant," that dealt with prejudice, but as far as my roles were concerned, this was the most powerful writing. It had a poetic lit to it. It inspires actors when you handle words like this.'
Ironically, when Pedro's role was eliminated, the film was left with one other Latino character, Spanish Joe, a Marine Corps private who is depicted throughout the film as a liar, a thief, and a violent thug. So instead of being a step forward for Latinos, "Battle Cry" became another in a long line of derogatory setbacks.'
Slipcase partly frayed and slightly soiled. Spines of typescript slightly and partly discolored. Bindings of both the screenplay and the screenplay "revised - final" partly rubbed along edges. Slipcase in overall good - to good, bindings in good to very good, interior and photographs in very good condition. g to vg. Item #45740
Many of the information featured in this description, come from the following sources:
- Ira B. Nadel's "Leon Uris: Life of a Best Seller," University of Texas Press, 2010
- David Robb's "Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies," Prometheus Books, 2004.