Edith Bolling Wilson to Darryl Zanuck




Edith Bolling Wilson writes to Darryl Zanuck about his movie of Woodrow Wilson.


Woodrow Wilson Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, Staunton, Virginia




My dear Mr. Zanuck

Your letter of July 13 give me the delightful feeling that I am writing to a real friend and not a stranger–for the sincere admiration you express for my husband is evident in every sentence and that is always a straight road to my heart. So before answering the subject of your letter let me thank you for the years of effort the picture represents – the producing – editing and scoring; and also your hope that it will be in every way rewarding – and fulfill all our hopes and ambitions.
Your explanation regarding the Technicolor prints explains the delay in production that I had not before understood – for I have hoped ever since I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Trotti to have word from you that I could see the film privately before its premier in New York – August 1st.
To that end I have remained in Washington – all of July – postponing plans with friends – until – just a few days ago I decided something had happened beyond your control to prevent my seeing the film – So I am committed to join others in New YorkAugust 1st where – as I am sure you know there are 100 seats put at the disposal of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for the opening of the picture.
As I am an honorary member of the Foundation they urged me to come over for a called meeting and dinner they are having before going to the Wilson picture. Frankly it will be very hard for me to see the Film in these circumstances and I have not yet persuaded myself I can – but I have promised to be at the meeting, which is an unusually important one – and may go on to the theatre – for I am so eager to see it –, and yet, coupled with that uergent desire, is one of anxiety – which I know you understand. From New York I had promised to go to friends in Vermont on August 2nd. So it is not possible to accept your offer for a showing in Washington on that date or the 3rd or 4th – much to my regret.
I am delighted by what you tell me of the 5 Editors to whom you showed the incomplete version – if they praised that then we should take heart over the finished version.
Mr. Baker told me last Summer of your wish to make a tangible expression of appreciation for my help in preparting the Script and I shall be most happy to have you send a contribution toward an endowment fund for the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation in Staunton – We are fortunate in having as our President of this Foundation Mrs. Cordell Hull (her address is Wardman Park, Washington) and both she and I will appreciate your interest in this Memorial and feel it will appeal to you as a permanent and enduring testament of your personal trbibute to Woodrow Wilson –With renewed appreciation of your devotion to this work – and most sincere hope for success in this and all future undertakings – believe me – my dear Mr. Zanuck –(Mrs. Woodrow Wilson)

Gratefully yours,
Edith Bolling Wilson

Original Format





Wilson, Edith Bolling Galt, 1872-1961, “Edith Bolling Wilson to Darryl Zanuck,” 19044 July 17, WWP22783, Woodrow Wilson Collection, Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Staunton, Virginia.