F Scott Fitzgerald‘s handwritten ledger chronicling his film payments 1919-1938 is now online just weeks before the release of Baz Luhrmann’s new film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Which, according to these meticulous records, first earned Fitzgerald $16,666 from Hollywood. Including a 10% commission he paid. Twice. This fascinating document is part of the Matthew and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F Scott Fitzgerald held by the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections located in the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The writer meticulously tracked his earnings. Here in chronological order is what the movie industry coughed up to him before commissions were taken out. Math wizards can computate what these numbers mean in today’s dollars. But, hey, isn’t that price for a treatment what MGM is still paying?
Head And Shoulders – $2,500.00
Myra Meets His Family – $1,000.00
The Off Shore Pirate – $2,250.00
‘Option on my output’ – $3,000.
The Beautiful And Damned – $2,500.00
This Side Of Paradise – $10,000.00
The Camel’s Back – $1,000.00
Grit – $2,000.00
Titles for Glimpses Of The Moon – $500.00
The Great Gatsby – $16,666.00
‘California work’ on Lipstick – $3,500 00
‘Additional Payment’ The Great Gatsby – $3,333.00
‘Treatment’ Metro Goldwyn Mayer – $6,000