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GUIDE TO THE CLIFFORD ODETS PAPERS IN THE LILLY LIBRARY

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GUIDE TO THE CLIFFORD ODETS PAPERS IN THE LILLY LIBRARY Manuscripts Department, Lilly Library Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana 1993 rev. 1995, 2003 Odets mss./1Odets mss./2 Clifford Odets was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1906. He left school at age fourteen and worked as an actor in local New York theater groups and traveling stock companies until 1930. That same year the Group Theatre was formed. As one of the founding members, Odets continued acting, but found new release for his creativity in writing plays. It was during this time that he wrote Awake and Sing! and Waiting for Lefty. These two plays marked him as one of the most important playwrights of the period, but not without some controversy. His proletariat themes and suspected affiliations with the Communist Party resulted in his being called to appear before the Senate McCarthy hearings. During the production of his play Paradise Lost in 1935, Odets moved to California having signed with Paramount to write his first screenplay, The General Died at Dawn. Two years later he was back in New York with the Group Theatre until its demise in 1941. He then returned and settled in Hollywood where he produced, directed and/or wrote screenplays for such films as The Country Girl, None But the Lonely Heart, The Story on Page One, and Sweet Smell of Success. Odets was married to and divorced from film actresses Luise Rainer and Bette Grayson. Grayson died unexpectedly in 1954 leaving Odets to raise their two children, Nora and Walter. In 1961 he signed with the television drama series The Richard Boone Show as editor-in-chief. Odets died in August of 1963 before he was able to see two of his own scripts, Big Mitch and The Mafia Man, produced for the series. The Odets collection contains approximately 30,000 items covering the years 1921-1963 and is both personal and business in nature. There is extensive correspondence with theatre and film personalities, literary and political figures, and family. Several of the diaries give detailed accounts of day-to-day events particularly those written during his time with the Group Theatre. Other items pertaining to the Group Theatre include scripts, photographs, playbills and stills. Scripts and production materials for his other plays and films are also present. Research materials include notes and ideas for future scripts and for character development, although there are numerous notes on family members as well. Personal papers include information on his collections of art work, books and stamps, miscellaneous papers of his two wives and children, and real estate and automobile documents. There are photographs of Odets and his family as well as photographs and stills from various productions of his plays and films. The business and financial section is comprised of correspondence, contracts and royalty statements with his publishers, production companies and agents, items concerning investment ventures, cancelled checks, receipts, account books, bank statements, ledgers, insurance and tax papers. Several disc and wire recordings, films, and Odets's death mask complete the collection.ODETS MSS. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. Correspondence II. Diaries and Calendars III. Group Theatre IV. Notes/Research V. Plays and Films VI. Television VII. Writings and Scripts By Others VIII. Personal IX. Photographs X. Business/Financial XI. Bound and Oversize XII. Additions Appendix Index to Titles Odets mss./3Odets mss./4 I. Correspondence, 1921-1963 (Box 1 - Box 8, f.2) Arranged chronologically. Consult the Manuscripts Department Index for dates of letters of individual correspondents. Only a select number of correspondents have been indexed. See also: X. Business/Financial; XII. Additions Among the correspondents are: Luther Adler, Stella Adler, Boris Aronson, Brooks Atkinson, Peter Bogdanovich, Bessie Breuer, Bennett Alfred Cerf, Charles Spencer Chaplin, Harold Edgar Clurman, Aaron Copland, Cheryl Crawford, Bette Davis, Theodore Dreiser, Hanns Eisler, Waldo David Frank, Ira Gershwin, William Walker Gibson, Cuthbert Morton Girdleston, Ruth Gordon, Cary Grant, Paul Eliot Green, Moss Hart, Audrey Hepburn, Elia Kazan, Howard Lindsay, Leonard Lyons, Archibald MacLeish, Sanford Meisner, Louis Nizer, John O'Hara, Kenneth Patchen, Luise Rainer, Jean Renoir, Eleanor Roosevelt, Aline (Bernstein) Saarinen, Irene Mayer Selznick, Lee Strasberg, Herbert Bayard Swope, Carl Van Vechten, Jerry Wald, and Fay Wray. Box 1: 1921 - May 1938 Box 2: June 1938 - December 1942 Box 3: January 1943 - February 1948 Box 4: March 1948 - June 1953 Box 5: July 1953 - November 1955 Box 6: December 1955 - July 1958 Box 7: August 1958 - October 1963 Box 8 folder 1: Fan letters to George Gershwin folder 2: Fan letters to Burt Lancaster II. Diaries and Calendars. See also: III. Group Theatre Box 8 folder 3: Diary: July 25 - December 6, 1940 folder 4: Calendars: 1950, 1954, 1955, 1960 folder 5: Diary/calendar: 1960 folder 6: Diary/calendar: 1962 III. Group Theatre Includes material related to Odets's association with the Group Theatre, New York City. See also: I. Correspondence, XII. Additions, and individual titles of works produced by Group Theatre - Awake and Sing!, Golden Boy, Night Music, Paradise Lost, Rocket to the Moon and Waiting For Lefty. Box 8 folders 7-10: Diaries: 1931, 1932, 1933, 1939folder 11: Lee Strasberg materials folders 12-14: Miscellaneous folder 15: Photographs folder 16: Printed materials IV. Notes/Research (Box 8, f.17 - Box 14, f.14) Includes typed and handwritten notes, printed material and clippings collected by Odets on various subjects and for future projects. Arranged alphabetically See: Appendix for a complete listing of topics. See also: XII. Additions Box 8 folder 17: List of files, 1945 folders 18-38: Acting - Aunt and Uncle Box 9: Baby Play - Evangelists Box 10: Faces - Hostess Play Box 11: House on Un-American Activities Committee - Oil Play Box 12: Painting - The Shark Box 13: Short Plays - Whore Box 14 folders 1-14: Wilson, Woodrow - X [Characters] V. Plays and Films (Box 14, f.15 - Box 29, f.16) Contains scripts and production materials for projects either written by Odets or with which he was associated. Play and film titles are interfiled and arranged alphabetically.


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