San Anselmo. The Star Wars Corporation. 1977. The special questionnaire for the first and only test screening of the original "Star Wars Motion Picture." 18 questions (unanswered), imprinted on the Verso only of a single A4 sheet. Vertical and horizontal folds. 8.5"x11"
A month before Star Wars's scheduled opening on May 25, 1977, Lucasfilm and Fox held a single test screening at the Northpoint Theater in San Francisco to gauge public response to the film and to glean some insight as to how to promote it. Many from Lucasfilm attended, as well as Fox President Alan Ladd Jr., who had put his reputation on the line when he pushed to green-light Star Wars two years earlier. Unbeknownst to everyone, some insiders from Columbia Pictures had snuck in, reporting back to their studio that the test audience went absolutely ballistic over Star Wars. All who attended were surprised by the audience reaction; even George Lucas felt unprepared for the unbridled enthusiasm. Ladd was brought to tears, likely overwhelmed by a combination of giddy excitement and utter relief.
"It played quite well," Kurtz recalled. "We had preview cards, but they were a waste of time, really. I don't think preview cards ever work really well.. .. If you just sit and listen to the audience during the screening, you get a pretty good idea of whether they like it or not and what they're responding to."
Ladd wasn't the only one seen crying at the screening. A young boy in the audience was terrified by Darth Vader's murder of the Rebel officer at the beginning of the movie, and Lucasfilm used that incident as ammunition when the industry's ratings board issued an all-audiences "G" to Star Wars, a death mark for any movie marketed to teens and young adults. The board reconsidered and granted a "PG" rating.
(Excerpted from The Star Wars Vault. Copyright 2007 by Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Star Wars was the first of six films released in the Star Wars Saga. Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time. Produced with a budget of $11million and released on May 25, 1977, the film earned $460 million in the United States and $314 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the nominal highest grossing film and remained that way until being surpassed by E.T in 1983. When adjusted for inflation, it is the second highest grossing film in the US and is the third highest-grossing in the world as of 2012.
Short split in vertical fold between questions 8 and 9. Else, bright and crisp. A Very Rare and desirable relic of American Film History.