Rare Scripts for ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Chinatown’ Among Robert Evans Items Heading to Auction

The estate of the late Paramount executive is auctioning off some of his most prized possessions, including scripts that could fetch up to $10,000.
"The Godfather" and "Chinatown"
"The Godfather" and "Chinatown"
Paramount/Everett Collection

Cinephiles looking to add some once-in-a-lifetime movie memorabilia to their collections will want to check out Julien’s Auctions’ October event “Property from the Estate of Robert Evans,” billed as a celebration of the eponymous film producer and late Paramount Pictures executive. Evans, who passed away last October at age 89, was the head of Paramount from 1967 to 1974, where he oversaw the productions of such film classics as “The Godfather,” “Love Story,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown,” “Serpico,” and “The Godfather: Part II.”

“Robert Evans was a Hollywood visionary with a charismatic and towering persona who gave the world some of the best films ever made,” said Martin Nolan, Executive Director of Julien’s Auctions, in a statement. “Julien’s Auctions is thrilled to offer this historic and glamorous collection of Evans’ most intriguing pieces from a storied life and career that was truly the stuff of Hollywood legend.”

Of the numerous Evans memorabilia up for auction, three of the most alluring items for film history buffs are the producer’s original scripts for “The Godfather,” “Chinatown,” and “The Godfather: Part II.” “The Godfather” script, which is estimated to sell between $3,000 and $5,000, includes Evans’ annotated notes on casting and changed scenes. Evans’ “Chinatown” script is the third draft of the screenplay and is even pricier (estimate: $8,000 – $10,000) as it includes a personal note from screenwriter Robert Towne dated December 1977 that reads: “For my Favorite Producer, Hope to give you many, many more and two in the New Year.” The cheapest screenplay is expected to be Evans’ third draft of “The Godfather: Part II” (estimate: $1,000-$2,000).

“Chinatown” fans will also be interested in a collection of 100 never-before-seen photographs from the set of the film noir classic that includes intimate looks at director Roman Polanski and cast members Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and John Huston. The auction also includes the Golden Globe award Evans received when “Chinatown” was awarded the prize for Best Motion Picture Drama (estimate: $3,000-$5,000).

One of the more affordable auction items is a collection of Evans’ three large Rolodexes from the 1980s and 1990s containing dozens of the producer’s Hollywood friends and business contacts (estimate: $400-$600). According to Julian Auctions, the contacts include Wes Anderson, Warren Beatty, Candice Bergen, Jacqueline Bissett, Peter Bogdanovich, Francis Ford Coppola, Faye Dunaway, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Andy Garcia, Hugh Hefner, Dennis Hopper, Anjelica Huston, Shirley MacLaine, Liza Minnelli, Helmut Newton, Jack Nicholson, Roman Polanski, Mario Puzo, Rob Reiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others.

The “Property from the Estate of Robert Evans” auction is set to take place Saturday, October 24 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and on Julian Auctions’ official website.

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