February 19, 1920. Officials of both the United Artists — the Big Four — and the First National denied yesterday knowing anything about certain information which, according to report, developed in the litigation between Harper Bros. and Henry L. Wallace and Klaw & Erlanger.
The value of the picture rights of “Ben Hur” was one of the points developing in the litigation, and correspondence filed showed that Marc Klaw had written Wallace suggesting that the United Artists make the production, and also that First National were ready to produce the picture, guaranteeing the owners $250,000; a figure which Klaw said he believed was the best obtainable. Wallace, who owns a third interest in the picture rights, figures his interest as being worth $400,000, which would make the total value of the rights $1,200,000.
In his decision Judge Hough suggested that the litigants reach an agreement regarding the value of the picture rights.
It has been reported at various times that Griffith wanted to make the picture, and also that the rights were held at $500,000.
(The Film Daily)