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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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laughter.” Well, we started dickering around, and finally he said, “We'll give you $50,000 for it.” This was unbelievable. I said, “I'll call you back. I have to get in touch with Faulkner.”

The minute I hung up the phone with Marx, I called Bill Faulkner down in Oxford and said, “Bill, you won't believe this but MGM has offered $50,000 for The Unvanquished.” He said, “Well, they must be crazy. Grab it quick before they change their minds.” So I called up Marx and told him that I had persuaded Faulkner. He said, “I bet you had to do a lot of persuading.” Well, we got the check almost immediately for the $50,000 and that was the last that I heard of The Unvanquished. I didn't see it announced in the papers that they had bought it...no word about it at all.

About three months later Marx came into New York. He'd come periodically to see the publishers. I had lunch with him at the Plaza Hotel. In the course of lunch I said, “Sam, why the hell did you buy The Unvanquished? What are you going to do with it?" He laughed merrily. He said, “That was the most valuable purchase that MGM has made in the last ten years.” I said, “What's the story?" He said, “I'll tell you what the story is. David Selznik was just finishing Gone with the Wind and he was being very coy about who was going to release it. We had him almost signed up, but we couldn't get him to finalize the deal. He was always asking for better terms and dickering with other people. Somebody suggested that if we told Selznik that we had another

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