Lot 37: Revealing Letter by Robert Donat, Star of Goodbye, Mr. Chips: "'Chips' seems to be a universal character, because he inspires affection wherever he is shown"
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: Revealing Letter by Robert Donat, Star of Goodbye, Mr. Chips: “‘Chips’ seems to be a universal character, because he inspires affection wherever he is shown… he has been reverently acclaimed everywhere” ********** DONAT, ROBERT. (1905-1958). Academy Award-winning English actor best known for The 39 Steps and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. TLS. (“Robert Donat”). 1¼pp. 8vo. Denham, England, February 19, 1940. On his personal Metro Goldwin Mayer stationery to Jack Boniface, a fan from Manchester, England. ********** “It is not often that an actor has the pleasure of receiving a letter of appreciation like yours. Thank you very much indeed. ‘Chips’ seems to be a universal character, because he inspires affection wherever he is shown, be it England, Wales, Hollywood, New York, the Middle West, Paris, Stockholm, Budapest - he has been reverently acclaimed everywhere. I find it a very comforting thought that this loveable character is in a sense wonderful democratic propaganda. It would have been interesting indeed to have watched the reaction to this film in Germany. Oddly enough, I know a Saxon German who is very like ‘Chips’ himself. I met him when I was seven years old and I have never forgotten him. But I am rambling on... I hope you like the enclosed. By the way, it would interest me to know which college you refer to. Actually I built ‘Chips’ up in my imagination and did not model him on any particular person, but every bit of him was carefully observed and drawn from life…” ********** Despite facing frequent rejection at the beginning of his career, Donat persevered, appearing in a number of small films before earning wider recognition for his starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film The 39 Steps. The following year he signed a contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer in England committing to appear in six films. In 1939, Donat starred as the title character in a film adaptation of British author James Hilton’s 1924 novella Goodbye, Mr. Chips. The bestselling story of a traditional English schoolmaster became a sentimental favorite and would remain Donat’s most memorable role. ********** Very slight creasing and matte burn; otherwise in fine condition. Uncommon with this content.