Up for sale at Christies on June 30th, 2005 was memorabilia from the Marlon Brando estate. Included were these items from his unsuccessful film, The Ugly American. While the book focused on several different characters and made the bold statement that American Foreign Policy was useless in Southeast Asia as long as Americans didn't understand the culture or the appeal of Communism to those governments in that culture, the film was a muddled mess not really making one statement or the other. It looks better with time and the 20/20 historical vision of Vietnam but had it gone with the book and taken a stand today it might look much better.
Okay, now for a little guessing game - The letter in the top photo reads, "Dear Marlon - Saw The Ugly American this afternoon. I think it is first rate - better than that, important. Congratulations." Who wrote the letter? Sure you can see the last name but that doesn't tell you who it is, if you know what I mean? Anyone know (Peter, I'm looking in your direction)? The winner will be officially dubbed "Totally Awesome Super Cool" in the comments section.
No one got it and that's okay - you're all winners to me. Good golly gosh you're the bestest! Everyone gets a big shiny "I'm Special" button to take home and show off to the neighbors. Now about that letter... First things first, you all got the gender wrong. It's a woman. She was at the Actor's Studio with Brando in the fifties and by the sixties she was a teacher alongside Stella Adler herself. She's still with the Studio and goes by the name... Elizabeth Parrish. Nickname: Betsy. To my own and everyone else's confusion is that odd upside down "U" looking thingy after the "B". Not sure what that's all about but I'm not here to analyze handwriting, just supply the answer. This ain't Zodiac you know.
Oh yeah, and since no one got it I can now tell you that the real prize was one million dollars in cold, hard cash, tax-free. I didn't want to say beforehand because I didn't want to cause a frenzy.