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-Recent Books Acquired
of Wallace Stegner
Listed by Author's Name
Dourgarian, Bookman, was established in 1980. We are members
of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America
(ABAA). Like all ABAA members, we answer to a higher
authority and follow a higher standard of ethics that
guarantees a successful transaction for all our customers.
We buy and
sell old books, vintage books, collectible books, rare
books, first edition books, and related ephemera. We
maintain several specialties. Among them are American
fiction first editions from c.1900 to the present. Within
that general field, we have heavy emphasis in John Steinbeck
and Steinbeckiana. Thus, we buy and sell Steinbeck primary
first editions in dust jackets, signed/limited editions, his
appearances in anthologies, his periodical appearances,
books and periodicals about Steinbeck, film and theatre
memorabilia, bibliographies, and miscellaneous
specialize in these same categories for these authors --
Jack London, Wallace Stegner, and Stephen
King. Other specialties include Western Americana, books
on California and the West, books on Japan, China, and the
Orient, and Armed Services Editions. The latter are
vintage paperbacks issued to American GIs from 1943 to 1947.
They are comprised of mysteries, Westerns, science fiction
and fantasy, mainstream fiction, historical novels, science,
poetry, adventure stories, and more.
field of modern first editions, we also sell related
Thus, we sell film posters, lobby card sets, pressbooks,
stills, scripts, etc. for films made from the works of
authors we carry such as John Steinbeck, Jack London, Ernest
Hemingway, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, Zane Grey,
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen King, Edward Abbey, Anne Rice,
and many others.
Books Listed by Author's Name
of Heaven, a Film
article first appeared in the
By James M.
Fall 1988 issue of The Steinbeck
Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 1,
Published by the Steinbeck
our collection of Steinbeck
Nearly everyone interested in John
Steinbeck can reel off a string of his
books that have been made into films. But
The Pastures of Heaven, you ask?
There's no reference in Goldstone &
Payne about that having been made into a
film. However, Steinbeck's second novel, a
collection of linked stories, was indeed
the source for a film of the same name.
And Steinbeck himself appears to introduce
the film and its three segments. Yes, the
very same Steinbeck who hated to have his
picture taken. There is still much more to
learn in detail, but through a variety of
sources we can now piece together a
picture of how this "film" was made.
According to Julie Fallowfield of
McIntosh and Otis, Steinbeck's literary
agency, two of the principals in the film
were Eugene Solow and Brewster Morgan. (In
1939 Solow wrote the screenplay for Of
Mice and Men.) Together they formed
Solar Productions. Solar created what it
called its "Author's Playhouse"
series, and as such purchased the rights
to three of the stories from The
Pastures of Heaven.
Designed primarily for television, each
segment was shot as a black and white film
on a sound stage. Each appeared first on
the old television program
"Omnibus," hosted by Alistair
Cooke, during its second season. The Shark
Wicks story appeared on January 3, 1954
under the title "Nobody's Fool,"
followed by "Nothing So Monstrous,"
the Junius Maltby tale, on January 24, and
"The House," the Pat Humbert story,
on March 7.
According to Ms. Fallowfield, "A few
years later the films were put together as
a single unit with narration and bridging
material, with Mr. Steinbeck himself
acting as narrator, and this was released
as a film in England and on the Continent
under the title The Pastures of
Heaven." Actually, Lew Ayers serves as
narrator, but Steinbeck introduces each
The opening credits show that the film
was adapted by Solow, the screenplay was
written by Arnold Schulman, the music was
composed by Alexander Laszlo, and the
photography was direct by Frederik Gately.
Solow and Morgan were the producers, while
the film was directed by Harry Horner.
After the opening credits, Steinbeck
appears looking extremely pained, holding
a cigarette. He sits at an office desk and
speaks with his very distinctive cadence
for about 90 seconds, during which he
introduces the film in very general terms.
The three segments then follow, all
narrated by Lew Ayers. The order in which
the stories appear changes in this "made
film" so that the Junius Maltby story
appears first, starring Ayers and Tommy
Rettig (he of "Lassie" fame). The
segment ends with a fade to black.
Steinbeck appears again for about 30
seconds to lead into "The House,"
the Pat Humbert story, starring Buddy
Ebsen. At the end there is another fade to
black followed again by Steinbeck who
speaks for 30 seconds. "Nobody's
Fool," the Shark Wicks story, is the
last to be presented. It stars Thomas
Mitchell as Shark along with Rosemary
DeCamp. Interestingly, one of Steinbeck's
boyhood friends, Max Wagner, appears as
the deputy sheriff, part of the supporting
As Ms. Fallowfield noted, the opening
and closing credits, along with the
footage of Steinbeck, were shot a few
years after these stories appeared on
"Omnibus." Although brief
references to these TV presentations can
be found, I have yet to find a reference
to the film itself or to what reception it
received when released in England and
Europe. It is a subject well worth further
Armed Services Editions Books Listed by Issue