1967: Stars rally behind ‘R.S.V.P.

Edwards pic in full gear

May 11, 1967

GOOD MORNING: “Everyone’s deferring his salary,” says Blake Edwards of the principals involved in “R.S.V.P.” They include the producer, director, writer (Edwards) and star Peter Sellers, plus, adds Edwards, “the Mirisches.” “It shows how much we believe in this project and our faith in it. I think Hollywood has got to concentrate on making good pictures for decent prices,” admits Edwards, who recently wound “Gunn” for a “sensible” price. (Previously he had high high-budgeters “Great Race” and “What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?” on his ledger. Among his big-time grossers are: “Pink Panther,” “Shot in the Dark,” “Operation Petticoat,” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”) “R.S.V.P.,” by the way, was born outta the party sequence in “Tiffany’s,” admits Edwards. (2007 Update: First, the title of “R.S.V.P.” was changed to “The Party” and it contains classic comedy sequences with Sellers as a bumbling Indian actor. And yes, Edwards and Walter Mirisch all deferred their salaries. Edwards is readying to start “beating the bushes” for financing of his play, “Big Rosemarie,” with music by Faye (Greenberg) and David Lawrence. The .character is based on the role played by Jennifer Warren in the film. Workshops start “in a couple of weeks” at the Falcon Theater followed by a staged reading for backers at the Goodspeed in East Haddam, Conn. Edwards says he’s also working on the planned B’way musicals of “Ten” and “Pink Panther” with Leslie Bricusse. First, knee surgery. Edwards sounds as strong and as enthusiastic as ever. He will be 85, July 26.)

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