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    Description

    THE COLLECTION OF PAUL GREGORY AND JANET GAYNOR

    AL HIRSCHFELD (American, 1903-2003)
    The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, 1954
    Pen, brush and ink
    15-1/2 x 23-3/4 inches (39.4 x 60.3 cm)
    Signed and inscribed at lower right: Hirschfeld [and in small letters] Newark
    Published in The New York Times, January 17, 1954.

    PROVENANCE:
    Gift to Paul Gregory from the artist.

    "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" was a tremendously successful two-act play adapted by Herman Wouk from his best-selling 1951 novel. Wouk's book tells the story of a rebellion on board the naval minesweeper U.S.S. Caine during World War II, and the subsequent court-martial of the men involved. Paul found the story compelling and was fascinated by its phenomenal success at a time when war novels were considered an anathema by book publishers. He believed it could be an exciting play and contacted Wouk's agent, Harold Matson, who told him he would have to compete with producer Leyland Hayward who had already made an offer.

    Before flying to New York to meet with Wouk, Paul bought five copies of The Caine Mutiny, and cut and pasted together some of the dialogue to get a feeling for how the expansive narrative could work on stage. The meeting went well and Wouk decided to work with Paul. The two men settled upon the central courtroom scene, the court-martial itself, as the focus of the play, which would have two acts: the prosecution and the defense. Like jurors at a trial, the audience would know only what various witnesses tell it of events on the Caine. In their discussion of staging, Gregory and Wouk determined that a stripped-down production would "free the words" and place the concepts of authority, justice, and moral commitment center stage. The set and costuming were not as minimal as those for "Don Juan in Hell" but still relatively spare: the set featured the furniture of a courtroom to provide the architecture of justice, and the costumes were military uniforms, crucial for conferring the symbolism of rank and authority.
    The play was first presented by Paul Gregory in the Granada Theater, Santa Barbara, California on October 12, 1953 and then went on tour across the United States before being given its first performance on Broadway at the Plymouth Theater on January 20, 1954 in a production directed by Charles Laughton. Henry Fonda played Barney Greenwald, the defense attorney for Steve Maryk (played by John Hodiak), the second-in-command on the Caine. Maryk was the officer who relieved the commanding officer, Philip Francis Queeg, of his duties when he believed him to have become mentally unstable. Lloyd Nolan played Queeg. Other cast members included: Ainslie Pryor, Charles Nolte, Herbert Anderson, Paul Birch, Robert Bist, Russell Hicks, and Stephen Chase. The play ran for two years and had 415 performances. This caricature by Hirschfeld records all ten members of the play's cast.




    Condition Report*: Framed under glass to an overall size of 23.75 x 31.75 inches. Very good condition (sight). Not examined out of frame.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2011
    20th Sunday
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