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Papers, 1919-1957

Ornitz, Samuel, 1890-1957

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  • Format Mixed Materials
  • Physical Details
    • 2.4 c.f. (6 archives boxes)
  • Finding Aids
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  • Papers of a screenwriter and member of the Hollywood Ten who was imprisoned in 1950 after refusing to answer questions before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The collection includes correspondence, writings, and other files. Present are manuscripts for two major novels, Haunch, Paunch, and Jowl (1923), and Bride of the Sabbath (1951), scripts for several stage plays, and only a few screenplays and outlines. Annotated research files, clippings, and notes on Judaism and psychiatry illuminate the socio-political themes which were prominent in Ornitz's work. Also of interest are files which demonstrate his method of character development. Other files relate to Theodore Dreiser's investigation of the labor conditions in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1931, and to the Hollywood Ten trial.
  • The correspondence contains numerous exchanges with publishers such as Rinehart & Co., some references to Ornitz's experience as a screenwriter during the 1930s, and personal correspondence from the period of his imprisonment. Correspondents of note include Brooks Atkinson, Herbert Biberman, Vera Caspary, Harry Golden, Matthew Josephson, Ring Lardner, Jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Lewis Mumford, and Art Young.


  • Presented by Arthur J. Ornitz, New York, New York, and Donald R. Ornitz, Los Angeles, California, 1963-1964.
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