HAL ROACH STUDIOS CONTRACT - TYPEWRITTEN
Culver City, California,
April 4th, 1935.
Hal Roach Studios, Inc.,
In connection with that certain agreement dated April 8th, 1935, and providing for the rendition of services by Mr. Laurel, it was understood and agreed, and formed a contemporaneous part of the negotiations, that, within thirty days prior to the expiry of the one year period mentioned in said contract, discussion will be had between us as to the renewal of or extension of the agreement for am additional period of time, it being the intent and purpose hereof to assure that, in as far as the services of Mr. Laurel are concerned, it would be our every intent to afford you the first opportunity to secure such services for an additional period upon terms which may be mutually agreed upon, and which we know both of us will approach with reasonable consideration for the rights of each other.
We, further, propose that it will not be our wish to offer the services of Mr. Laurel, prior to thirty days preceding the expiry of such one year period, to others, but, if we have any offers for his services in motion picture productions, indicative of any bona fide terms that can be secured from others, we shall disclose same to you at said time.
It is most difficult, of course, to deal with a matter of that sort without having some definite figure in mind as to the terms and conditions to prevail during such additional period, and we think we can extend to you every assurance that preference will be given the Studios, due to the long association of Mr. Laurel and Mr. Roach, in meeting either such bona fide offer or the thoughts of Mr. Roach regarding such additional term.
Mr. Laurel joins in the expression of this understanding, and everything will be done within our power to carry out the spirit of this.
CLAUDE W. BOSTOCK
I approve of the above.
HAL ROACH STUDIOS CONTRACT - TYPEWRITTEN
Culver City, California,
THIS AGREEMENT, made and entered into this 8th day of April, 1935, by and between HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC., a California corporation, hereinafter referred to as the first party, and STAN LAUREL, of Los Angeles, California, hereinafter referred to as the second party,
THAT, in consideration of the sum of one dollar ($1.00) by each of the parties hereto paid to the other, receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, and, in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements herein contained, the parties hereto covenant and agree with each other as follows, to-wit:
FIRST: THAT, heretofore, the parties hereto have been working under a contract, dated January 7th, 1930, by the terms of which the second party hereto has been rendering services to the first party; that said contract, together with the various extensions and modifications thereof entered into between the parties from time to time, ended on the 7th of April, 1935. That both parties hereto acknowledge and set forth that said contract, which so expired on April 7th, 1935, has been fully and completely performed by both parties hereto.
THAT the instant transaction between the parties contemplates the rendition of services by the second party in the production of a feature length photoplay and a two-reel short subject, for which the second party is to be compensated on a weekly basis hereinafter set forth, and, upon the completion of said feature length photoplay and such two-reel short subject, the second party hereto is to render services in and about the production of photoplays, as hereinafter recited, on a basis where his compensation will be paid on a per picture basis.
THAT for purpose of convenience, although said contract of January 7th, 1930, has expired, and has been fully completed, the parties hereto intend that the rendition of services in the production of said feature length photoplay and two-reel subject shall be governed by the terms and conditions of said contract of January 7th, 1930, for the purpose of establishing the respective obligations of the parties hereto, but said expired contract of January 7th, 1930, is used solely for t he convenience of the parties hereto and to obviate the necessity of preparing a separate agreement therefor.
IT is therefore agreed that the second party shall forthwith commence the rendition of services in and about a feature length photoplay and, likewise, a short subject, to be commenced immediately after the completion of said feature length photoplay, and shall receive as compensation therefor the sum of thirty-five hundred dollars ($3,500.00) a week, payable in the manner in said contract of January 7th, 1930, set forth and recited, during the rendition of said services as an actor and writer.
IT is understood t hat bot h parties hereto shall diligently proceed with the preparation and production of said feature photoplay, and the two-reel subject, to the end that same may be produced and completed without delay on the part of either of the parties hereto.
SECOND: It is understood that the term "photoplay" as used in this agreement, shall be deemed to include but not to be limited to motion picture productions produced or exhibited with sound and/or voice recording, reproducing and all sound devices which are now or may hereafter be used in connection with the production and/or exhibition and/or transmission of any present or future kind of motion picture production.
THIRD: Upon t he completion of said feature picture and two-reeler, it is understood that the second party shall render services for the first party for a period of one year from and after the date of the completion of such feature and two-reeler.
FOURTH : During said period of one year, so commencing, the second party shall render services to the first party as an actor and writer in and about the production of the photoplays set forth hereinafter, and it is contemplated that, during the period of said employment, the second party will write, compose and prepare necessary stories and story material for such photoplays and render services as an actor therein, and, in connection with the preparation of such stories and story material, shall have the assistance from writers as may be reasonably necessary therefor.
FIFTH: The services of the second party , until the full completion of the last of said photoplays contemplated hereunder, shall be rendered wholly and exclusively to and on behalf of the first party hereto, and shall be rendered to the best of the ability of said second party and to the fullest possible extent, to the end that the photoplays to be introduced hereunder shall be of a nature and kind fully comparable with the excellent product heretofore made by the second party and be of the same high standard in the production thereof and preparation thereof for final negative, and do such other things as may be reasonably necessary in and about the recordation and completion thereof for distribution, and will, likewise, and until the completion of his obligations hereunder, proceed promptly and expeditiously in like manner as to each of the successive photoplays contemplated hereunder.
EIGHTH: It is contemplated by and between the parties that, in the production of such pictures, the second party shall have the approval of story and the director engaged therefor and such writers as second party may desire, as aforesaid, to assist him in the preparation of the necessary story or story material, but it is understood that the approval of story, director and persons to be engaged as herein recited shall not be capriciously withheld by the second party.
The matters subject to second parties approval, as above set forth, shall be settled and determined before commencement of actual photography of each photoplay.
NINTH: It is agreed by and between the parties hereto that, during the said period of one year, there will be produced a total of six four-reel photoplays, in which the services of the second party will be so rendered, or such equivalent of four-reel photoplays and/or feature length pictures as the first party may be entitled to elect pursuant hereto, and that the completion of said photoplays, as herein provided, shall constitute the completion of the contract, in as far as the second party is concerned, although the completion may take place prior to the expiry of one year. On the other hand, it is understood that pictures commenced within said period of time shell be, nevertheless, completed, although beyond the period of one year. Likewise, it is understood that the period of one year shall be extended as hereinafter provided, but subject wholly to the provisions therefor.
In lieu, however, of any two of such four-reel productions, the first party, solely at its discretion, may use the services of the second party for and in the production of a feature length picture, and it is understood that such right on the part of the first party shall be unrestrained; it being contemplated that, without restriction, at the option of the first party, feature length photoplays may be produced and exhaust the obligation of the second party hereunder at the rate of one feature length photoplay in the place of two four-reel productions.
It is understood that the determination as to the length of a production to be made pursuant hereto, shall be made by the first party prior to the commencement of the next production to be commenced, and that the change thereafter, either from a feature length photoplay to a four-reel photoplay, or from a four-reeler to a feature length production, shall be made and be of binding effect only if in writing, subscribed to by both parties hereto.
ELEVENTH: There shall be paid by the first party to the second party for each of said four-reel productions, the sum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00) each; said $30,000.00 payable as follows:
Twenty-five per cent (25%) thereof upon the first day of actual photography of the production, twenty-five per cent (25%) thereof two weeks later, twenty-five per cent (25%) upon the completion of photography of the production, other than retakes, and the balance following the preview and upon completion.
TWELFTH: It is mutually understood that completion of a photoplay by the second party, within the meaning of this agreement, contemplates the completion of a sample positive print thereof, fully cut, edited, synchronized, and being ready in all respects for negative cutting, inclusive of added scenes or retakes.
THIRTEENTH: In the event that, pursuant to the terms hereof, the first party elects from time to time to substitute, for any of the product contemplated hereunder, features, it is understood that the compensation, instead of as hereinbefore provided, shall be as follows:
Seventy thousand dollars ($70,000.00) for the first feature, and sixty-five thousand dollars ($65,000.00) each for any of the subsequent features, and payment therefor shall be in like manner as for the payment in the portions above provided and appertaining to the mode of payment of each of said sums for the four-reel photoplays.
FOURTEENTH: Notwithstanding any term or provision in this contract contained, it is understood that any delay in the completion of productions contemplated hereunder which reasonably appertains to the second party shall extend the period contemplated hereunder to permit the completion of the entire program, as it is understood between the parties that the first party will, from time to time have certain obligations as to delivery and release of the productions which are contemplated under this contract.
FIFTEENTH: The parties contemplate further that the services to be rendered hereunder by the second party to the first party shall be under t he personal supervision of Mr. Hal E. Roach, the President of the first party, and that the right granted to the second party as to the approval of story, director and necessary writers shall be subject likewise to the approval and in accord with the views of Mr. Roach, but of no other person on behalf of the first party, as long as Mr. Roach is available, or is not incapacitated or ill, at the option of the first party, the second party may be relieved of the duties, other than as an actor, in and about such photoplay in relation to which such disagreement has occurred, and will, nevertheless, render services therein as an actor of the type and kind contemplated hereunder, and will receive the compensation provided for herein.
The parties hereto realize that it is difficult to outline definitely the matters in relation to which such disagreement may arise or exist, as it may likewise entail matters which are difficult of accurate concrete definition, and the entire purpose hereof is that both parties hereto will fairly and reasonably deal with each other, and, in the event of a disagreement of importance as to such treatment, story or direction, the second party will proceed with performance of the part ascribed to him to the best of his ability.
These matters, the parties understand, will be dealt with before commencement of photography, and the period of time allowed hereunder and consumed in the adjustment of any bona fide difference of opinion as to matters herein set forth, that is, as to story, story treatment, engagement of director or preparation of story, shall not be part of the term hereof.
SIXTEENTH: With the commencement of the term of one year, as herein provided, it is understood that the second party will have a right to appear in radio broadcasts in sponsored programs by reputable national advertisers, where the participation in such program will not in any manner cast discredit, odium, or reflect detrimentally against either of the parties hereto, or the product of first party, and, further, that such programs, in which it is contemplated the second party may participate, shall be in the course of advertising products for the national sale thereof, and the program in which the second party shall so participate will not tend to align the second party with any controversial matter or subject or which shall in any wise affect the marketability of the productions to be made and produced hereunder or any other productions of the first party or subject them to ridicule or scorn, or affect the popularity of the second party or the popular esteem in which he is held, or be a program which is not purely a program sponsored for the advertising and promotion of sale of merchandise.
It is further understood that the right to the second party to so appear in any such radio program or programs during said period of one year contemplates and is upon the express condition that it will not in anywise interfere with the rendition of the services contemplated hereunder by the second party to the first party or affect their high standard of excellence and originality; that the second party will not take part in any program which in anywise requires his participation prior to six o'clock p. m., on any day other than Sunday.
The second party shall cause any engagements for such radio programs to be conditioned and subject to, and such engagements shall embody as a part thereof, the right and privilege of cancellation thereof upon not more than thirty days notice at any one time.
Likewise, the first party will, if requested therefor by Mr. Oliver N. Hardy, permit the participation of Mr. Hardy in such program or programs, which permission will contain conditions similar to these, but shall not extend for a period beyond the term of the rendition of services contemplated hereunder by the second party and only during full performance of Mr. Hardy's obligations to the first party.
Provided, however, that o withdrawal or refusal of such consent or permission theretofore given by said party shall be effectual unless in writing and until thirty (30) days after the delivery thereof to second party.
SEVENTEENTH: It is, likewise, understood that the services of the second party have been heretofore utilized by the first party in conjunction with Mr. Hardy, and the happening of any contingency disabling Mr. Hardy from the rendition of such services beyond a reasonable time shall permit the suspension hereof, and the extension of the period hereof, during actual, bona fide disability of Mr. Hardy. If, however, the inability to render such services by Mr. Hardy will be permanent, the first party shall have the option of terminating, this agreement, and each party hereto shall be relieved of any further obligation hereunder.
EIGHTEENTH: In case the production or completion of photoplays by first party under the terms of this agreement shall be prevented without fault of the first party, by reason of any fire, casualty, strike, unavoidable accident, act of God, or by the enactment of any municipal, state or federal ordinance or law, or by the issuance of any executive or judicial order, whether municipal, state or federal, or by any other legally constituted authority, then and in that event the obligation of each of the parties hereto under this agreement shall be suspended likewise, during the period of such prevention, not exceeding four weeks at any one time during the term hereof.
NINETEENTH: It is understood that title to all literary material written, composed am/or originated by the second party, in the photoplays hereunder, if used in said photoplays, shall be the sole and exclusive property of the first party, together with the title of said work or works, but such title or titles may be used separate and apart from said literary composition or compositions, and it is intended hereby that the first party shall have the full right (but the recital of the rights herein contained shall not be by way of limitation thereto, but, on the contrary, by explanation thereof) to make adaptations, arrangements, changes, novelizations, dramatizations, make musical versions of, interpolate in, transpose, add to and subtract from said work or works and/or the title or titles thereof, to such extent as the first party, in its sole discretion, may desire from time to time, and, likewise, to interpolate the same into all or any languages, for any purpose or purposes whatsoever, whether dramatic, radio, stage , television, or otherwise.
It is expressly understood that the first party shall also have, and is hereby given, the right to obtain copyright in any and all countries upon said work and/or upon any and all adaptations thereof, including the right of acquiring copyright in all countries upon any motion picture or pictures based in whole or in part upon said work or works; without, in any manner, limiting from the generality hereinbefore of rights granted to the first party, it is understood that particularly also the second party gives, grants, bargains, sells, assigns, transfers and sets over forever to the first party the sole and exclusive motion picture rights, talking picture rights, and synchronization picture rights throughout the world in and to said work and/or works, also the title and theme thereof, and that, further, it is understood that, though some of the rights appertaining to the first party have been specifically enumerated, it is nevertheless understood that the first party shall be completely vested with the ownership of such work or works, free of any claim, rights and/or reservations of the second party whatever; and the first party may sell, assign, transfer and grant all or any part of the rights granted, sold and assigned, to anyone else without limit, and shall enjoy the rights forever.
The second party, further, shall execute, acknowledge and deliver and/or procure the due execution, acknowledgment and delivery to the first party of any and all further transfers, assignments and/or other instruments, which, in the sole judgment and discretion of the first party, may be deemed necessary to carry out the purport and spirit hereof.
All such material so to be written, prepared or produced by the second party shall be original material, and, where submitted by him as such, shall be free of claim or rights of anyone else whomsoever, and the second party agrees to hold the first party free and harmless of any cost, expense or damage incurred ann/or sustained in any manner whatever, whether arising by reason of any costs, charges, legal fees, recoveries, judgments, penalties, or expenses which may be obtained against, imposed upon, or suffered by the first party by reason of the second party's breach of the terms, conditions and covenants of this article.
It is understood, however, that, after the completion of the distribution of the photoplays contemplated hereunder, the first party will, at the request of the second party, set over to second party any such material so written and originated by the second party for purposes other than for use in photoplays or matters incidental thereto.
TWENTIETH : The said second party, further, agrees, in consideration of the premises and of the advertising and publicity which he will receive through the release of films produced by the first party, that he, the said second party will not, during this agreement, appear in, direct, write, produce, or assist in producing any motion picture, photoplay, scenario, or film for any motion picture producer, or otherwise, or in any other manner engage in or assist others in any branch of the motion picture business or profession, or appear or in any wise assist in the production of any play, drama, or other production upon any stage, or in any public or private performance, lecture or entertainment, or take part in any radio and/or television program, broadcast or entertainment, except with the written consent of the first party. Nothing herein contained, however, shall be deemed to restrict or limit the right of the second party to appear in sponsored broadcasts, as is otherwise in this agreement set forth.
TWENTY-FIRST: The second party expressly gives and grants to the first party the sole and exclusive right to photograph any and all of his acts, poses, plays and appearances of any and all kinds, and the right to record and/or reproduce his voice and all instrumental and/or musical and/or other sound effects of any and all kinds during the term hereof, and to produce or reproduce the same by any method whether now known or not, and the first party shall have the exclusive and complete control, right, title and property and the right of copyright in and to all of the foregoing things, and any and all parts thereof, as well as in and to the name of the second party for any of such purposes during the term hereof and perpetually in connection with all productions in which the second party appears under the provisions hereof, as fully and completely and to all intents and purposes as the second party could or would have enjoyed the same in the absence of this agreement. It is understood and agreed that the second party will not transfer or attempt to transfer any right, title or interest in and to any of the things above specified.
TWENTY-SECOND: It is particularly understood that the right is hereby also granted to the first party, or whomsoever said first party may contract with from time to time, as herein provided, to make and reproduce and make and distribute a reproduction of the voice, singing or instrumental music made or produced by the second party, separate and apart from any photographic reproduction, and that such sound effects and/or voice and/or singing and/or instrumental music produced or made by the second party and/or other sound effects may be made without photography, and for the production of such sound effects alone, whether by the first party or by such other party or parties as the first party may from time to time contract or agree with, and all of the rights herein contained shall fully inure to the first party and such other parties to cover and include such separate production of sound or sounds as herein provided, and the sound or sounds may be recorded and used for duplication and commercial records not synchronized with any photoplays or the sale or exhibition of such photoplays.
TWENTY-THIRD: The second party hereby grants to the first party t!e privilege of publicity and advertising, and all rights incident thereto, in connection with the productions in which the services of the second party are rendered during said one year period, and the first party agrees to give the second party credit on the screen and in all advertising and paid publicity within control of the first party, and issued by the first party in connection with the productions to be produced hereunder, in, at least, the same manner as such credit has been previously given to the second party in photoplays heretofore produced.
TWENTY-FOURTH: In the event that, by reason of mental or physical disability, or otherwise, the second party shall be incapacitated from fully performing the terms or complying with each and all of his obligations hereunder, or in the event that he suffer any facial or physical disfigurement materially detracting from his appearance on the screen or interfering with his ability to perform properly the required services hereunder, then and thereupon this agreement shall be suspended both as to services and compensation during the period of disability or incapacity, and the term of this agreement and all of its provisions herein contained shall be extended, at the option of the first party, for a period equivalent to the period of such suspension.
TWENTY-FIFTH: It is distinctly understood and agreed by and between the parties hereto that the services to be rendered by the second party under the terms hereof, and the rights and privileges granted t o the first party by the second party under the terms hereof are of a special, unique, unusual, extraordinary and intellectual character which gives them a peculiar value, the loss of which cannot be reasonably or adequately compensated in damages in an action at law, and that a breach by the second party of any of the provisions contained in this agreement will cause the first party irreparable injury and damage; the second party hereby expressly agrees that the first party shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief to prevent a breach of this agreement by the second party. This provision, however, shall not be construed as a waiver of any other rights that the first party may have in the premises, for damages or otherwise.
TWENTY-SIXTH: It is expressly intended and understood by the parties hereto that the vocal part of the services or performance in any scene or scenes of any photoplay or photoplays, whether same shall consist of one or more versions, whether intended for distribution in any foreign country or in any English speaking country, may, in the sole discretion of the first party hereto, be produced and/or reproduced by any person or persons and/or means other than the second party hereto.
TWENTY-SEVENTH : The second party agrees to conduct himself with due regard to public conventions and morals, and agrees that he will not do or commit any act or thing that will tend to degrade him in society or bring him into public hatred, contempt, scorn or ridicule, or that will tend to shock, insult or offend the community, or ridicule public morals or decency, or prejudice the producer, or the motion picture industry in general.
TWENTY-EIGHTH : It is expressly understood by and between the parties that this contract in all particulars contains their mutual obligations, consisting of employment of the second party by the first party and the acceptance of such employment by the second party, and the rendition of services and the compensation therefor, pursuant to the terms hereof.
TWENTY-NINTH: Nothing herein contained shall in anywise limit or restrict the place or places where the services contemplated hereunder are to be rendered by the second party to the first party at its request or direction.
THIRTIETH: For the purpose of stating clearly the intent of the parties hereto, it is hereby stated and declared that both parties hereto will cooperate to the fullest and utmost extent with each other to permit the completion of all of the photoplays recited herein as expeditiously as possible, without delay, so as to permit the conclusion of the obligations of the parties hereto at as early a date as possible compatible with the high quality and reputation of the product contemplated hereunder, and, to that end, the obligation is assumed by each of the parties to obviate and prevent any possible delay in the consummation hereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the first party has caused its corporate name and seal to be hereunto affixed by its officers thereunto duly authorized, and the said second party has hereunto set his hand, all the day and year first above written.
HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC.,
By HAL E. ROACH, President
By MAT D. O'BRIEN, Asst. Secretary
The original contract mistakenly jumps from “FIFTH” to “EIGHTH”—an error that was noted at the time of signing and was initialed by both Stan and Hal Roach.
HAL ROACH STUDIOS CONTRACT - TYPEWRITTEN
Culver City, California,
April 10th, 1935.
Mr. Stan Laurel,
Los Angeles, California,
Mrs. Lois N. Laurel,
Beverly Hills, California.
Dear Sir and Madam:
On May 7th, 1934, we were directed by an instrument in writing, executed by you, to make the payments of compensation set forth in a contract dated January 7th, 1930, between the undersigned and Mr. Stan Laurel, (providing for rendition of services by Mr. Stan Laurel to the undersigned and payment to Mr. Laurel of compensation therefor), during the balance of the term of said contract and any extension thereof by reason of the suspension of its terms and provisions, as follows:
One-half thereof to Lois N. Laurel, and
One-half thereof to Stan Laurel;
and said instructions further directed that such payments continue until the completion of such contract and its extensions as aforesaid.
Said contract, together with its extensions, did come to an end by reason of the expiry of the term thereof, on April 7th, 1935, and the enclosed check therefore covers the compensation provided for in said contract for the last week thereof. Said contract has now been fully performed by the undersigned, and the enclosed constitutes the final payment to be distributed by the undersigned in pursuance with the said instructions of May 7th, 1934.
Kindly acknowledge receipt hereof in the space thereafter provided upon a copy of this letter hereto attached; such receipt to constitute and be the acknowledgement of the entire and full performance by the undersigned of all obligations under the instructions received on May 7th, 1934.
HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC.,
By MAT O'BRIEN
My dear Mat [O'Brien]: Mrs. Laurel was talking to me yesterday, and, according to her impression, the contract ending does not correspond with the Studios ending of the term. It is rather difficult to understand this discrepancy. Is it possible that, for instance, there might have been a carrying over of some suspension periods that were added to the suspension periods for the last year of the contract? I just wonder if that could possibly exist. In other words, is the result the same if the last year of the contract is taken and the suspension periods applicable thereto are applied and would the contract in that light come to an end as has been previously figured, or, in other words, the way she puts the problem, the last year of the contract, assuming it to end on April 6th or 7th of this year, did not result in the full quota of working weeks. It may be proper that the matter be checked from that angle. —April 11, 1935