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BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James
BALDWIN, James

BALDWIN, James

One Day, When I Was Lost : A Scenario Based on The Autobiography of Malcolm X

 London: Michael Joseph, 1972. First UK edition, preceding the American edition of 1973. 166pp. Octavo; blue textured-paper boards; silver spine titles; dust jacket. Light spotting/soiling to top of textblock; light bumping to spine ends. Very good or better in a near fine jacket, price-clipped.

First edition of the sole screenplay by American writer James Baldwin (1924-1987), an adaptation of Malcolm X and Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) that began as a passion project but was ultimately quashed by the studios and led to Baldwin's lasting embitterment with the film industry. Baldwin first began work on a play version of the Autobiography in 1967; after the rights to the book were sold to Columbia Pictures in 1968, they approached him about adapting a screenplay instead. He accepted, only to find himself soon embroiled in creative conflicts with the studio, who demanded a highly sanitized treatment of Malcolm X's life. When Baldwin refused to compromise his vision, the studio brought in Arnold Perl to edit the script, which was sold to Warner Brothers and produced as a documentary but never screened publicly. Two decades later, Spike Lee used that Baldwin-Perl version as the jumping-off point for the script of his own Malcolm X (1992), though Baldwin's estate asked that his name be removed from the film's credits due to Baldwin's disavowal of the project. This book version contains Baldwin's original "scenario," and not the version edited by Perl. An attractive copy of a difficult Baldwin first. [D. Quentin Miller, "Lost and ... Found?: James Baldwin's Script and Spike Lee's "Malcolm X"," African American Review, Vol. 46, No. 4 (Winter 2013): pp. 671-685.]

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