Richard Lester donates Beatles films’ drafts

London, Aug 25 (Calcutta Tube) Richard Lester, the director behind the ‘Superman‘ franchise, has donated unseen drafts of two film scripts on the Beatles to the British Film Institute (BFI).

More than 60 boxes of letters, scripts, notes and photographs are now with the BFI National Archive, documenting Lester’s 40 year career.

It includes the first drafts of the films ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’, then simply titled ‘The Beatles’ and ‘Beatles Two’, as well as letters from Audrey Hepburn, Charlton Heston, Raquel Welch and Spike Milligan, reports

In one of the letters Raquel Welch thanked Lester for casting her in ‘The Three Musketeers’ while most directors saw her as a ‘wind-up Barbie-doll’.

Audrey Hepburn, who starred alongside Sean Connery in ‘Robin and Marian’, wrote to Lester: ‘Dear Richard, the picture is beautiful and I wish you had been with us in New York. Much praise and affection would have been yours.’

Alastair Sim politely turned down a film role in the first film adaptation of ‘Flashman, Royal Flash’, saying: ‘I was, still am, enormously flattered that you should want to squeeze a flicker of me into your first Flash.’

The film was made with Malcolm McDowell in the lead role in 1975.

Lester, 78, said his long-standing relationship with the BFI made it an obvious candidate for the donation.

‘The organisation has always been very helpful to me in different ways. It is a pleasure for me to be able to offer them the detritus of my working life.’

A catalogue for the archive should be available from mid-October.

‘Sixty boxes is a lot so it has been a job sorting it and getting it in to order,’ said Nathalie Morris, curator for the BFI’s special collections.

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