Hammond Film Script Collection
Language of Materials
Robert Hammond (1920-2009) was a dedicated educator and author in French literature and cinema. He taught at the University of Arizona-Tuscon, Harvard University, and at SUNY-Cortland, where he also served as chair of the International Communications and Culture Department. Hammond published numerous analyses and critiques of French filmography, translated various texts, and contributed countless papers and general scholarship on the French cinema. The Hammond Film Script Collection represents his personal collection of shooting scripts of feature films, the vast majority of which are French (along with assorted English, Spanish and Italian language scripts) spanning the years 1935 - 1996. Accretions to the collection include over 60 scripts from the collection of Marc Maurette, a French filmmaker (and friend of Dr. Hammond) who was assistant director on many of the films included in his gift. As of March 2003, the Hammond Film Script Collection consists of 454 scripts.
Robert Hammond (b. 1920) was Professor Emeritus of French Literature and Cinema from SUNY-Cortland. He earned a BA from the University of Rochester (1942), and both an MA (1947) and PhD (1952) from Yale University. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to France (1949-1950) along with numerous other honors, fellowships and grants. Hammond was an instructor, and then professor of French at the University of Arizona-Tuscon (1953-1967). He later was professor of French at Harvard University (1965-1966), and a visiting professor of French Literature and Cinema at Wells College in Aurora, NY (1967-1968). After 1968 Hammond taught at SUNY-Cortland, where he also served as chair of the International Communications and Culture Department. He died in Paris, France in May 2009.
Hammond published numerous analyses and critiques of French literature and films, translated texts between French and English, and contributed countless papers and general scholarship on French cinema. Much of Hammond's scholarly work focused on French filmmaker Jean Cocteau, and his bilingual edition of Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (NYU Press, 1970) is a widely cited work. Hammond was the author of over 40 plays in both English and French and various other works of both poetry and prose.
Hammond began collecting film scripts in 1953 when he realized that this category of literary production by such writers as Sartre, Cocteau and Prevert risked falling into oblivion. Hammond believed that their work in film deserved the same literary merit as their poems, novels and plays, and that serious and thorough study of a writer requires consultation of almost everything he/she committed to paper. Further, he observed that critics blandly judged the quality of dialogues in a film from what they remembered having heard during the showing of the film, whereas, in the case of a play, the same or similar critics would spend significantly more time and attention studying the written dialogue before drawing a definite conclusion. Hammond concluded that the written script was crying out to be studied as a facet of literature. He decided to find as many scripts as he could, and to accumulate them in the hope that some day a new generation of scholars might find them a valuable resource.
Folders are arranged alphabetically by script title within each subseries.
The files are grouped into 7 series:
- A: French Film Scripts
- B: Spanish Language Film Scripts
- C: Italian Film Scripts
- D: English Language Film Scripts
- E: Gift of Marc Maurette
- F: Plays, Screenplays and Scripts of Richard Maibaum
- G: Microfilm Negatives of Film Scripts
Scope and Content Note
The Hammond Film Script Collection comprises 80 boxes or approximately 35 linear feet of film scripts. Currently, the collection consists of 454 scripts of feature films, the vast majority of which are French (along with assorted English, Spanish and Italian language scripts), representing the years 1935 through 1996.
The majority of the scripts in the collection are otherwise unpublished texts, and appear as original typed manuscripts or reproductions of manuscripts through various methods such as photocopy, mimeo, carbon-copy, etc. Additionally, some scripts (Series G) are in microfilm format. While most scripts are unbound, some are stapled, glued, or bound in similar fashion. The scripts in the collection were "live" shooting scripts, often accompanied by significant handwritten annotations, diagrams and marginal comments by the director, cast or other production members who utilized the particular script in the course of shooting the film.
The scripts were collected, in Hammond's words, "by tracking down and hounding anyone possible in the production hierarchy." There has been no systematic process to build the collection other than persistent and often serendipitous discovery by Hammond through his growing network of contacts in the French film industry. As a result, the collection lacks a certain unity, and there are some areas in the collection which have more development than others. For example, almost all of Cocteau, Tacchella and Truffaut are in the collection. Robert, Renoir and Resnais are also well represented. There is some lack of completeness of Spaak, Dreville and Delannoy, and films from the 1930s and 1940s are particularly thin. Among the English language scripts, the collection holds a series of drafts for the film Ragtime, based on E. L. Doctorow's book, along with screenplays for a handful Alfred Hitchcock films.
In addition to the film scripts collected by Hammond, the Collection includes a selection of plays, screenplays and scripts written by Richard Maibaum, a celebrated American playwright and screenwriter. Maibaum is best known for his work as screenwriter for the James Bond film series (1962-1989).
SERIES A: French Film Scripts
Series A contains 49 boxes of French film scripts and is divided into 8 subseries.
Subseries 1 contains one box of scripts directed by Jean Cocteau
Subseries 2 contains three boxes of scripts directed by Jean Dréville
Subseries 3 contains two boxes of scripts directed by Alain Resnais
Subseries 4 contains three boxes of scripts directed by Jean-Charles Tacchella
Subseries 5 contains three boxes of scripts directed by Bertrand Tavernier
Subseries 6 contains four boxes of scripts directed by Francois Truffaut
Subseries 7 contains 30 boxes of scripts from various directors, including some scripts where no director is indicated. (NB: This subseries includes non-consecutive boxes: boxes 15 through 43-A, as well as box 50)
Subseries 8 contains three boxes of scripts directed by Yves Robert
SERIES B: Spanish Language Film Scripts
Series B contains 6 boxes of (legal-sized) Spanish film scripts and is divided into 2 subseries. This series includes scripts from both Spain and Mexico.
Subseries 1 contains one box of scripts directed by Luis Bunuel
Subseries 2 contains 5 boxes of scripts from various directors, including some scripts where no director is indicated. (NB: This subseries includes non-consecutive boxes: boxes 45 through 48, as well as box 58)
SERIES C: Italian Film Scripts
Series C contains one box of Italian film scripts.
SERIES D: English Language Film Scripts
Series D contains 7 boxes of English language film scripts and is divided into 4 subseries. Many scripts in this series are organized and indexed by the screenwriter, rather than director.
Subseries 1 contains two boxes of scripts based on the writings of E. L. Doctorow
Subseries 2 contains one box of scripts written by Larry McMurtry
Subseries 3 contains one box of scripts of the film Prince of the City
Subseries 4 contains three boxes of scripts from various writers and directors.
SERIES E: Gift of Marc Maurette
Series E contains 11 boxes of various film scripts obtained by Robert Hammond as a gift from Marc Maurette, an assistant director who has worked with Renoir, Becker, Ophuls, and Bresson, as well as some American directors. This gift included not only many French films, but English language and Italian ones as well. Some scripts in this series are duplicated elsewhere in the collection.
SERIES F: Plays, Screenplays and Scripts of Richard Maibaum
Series F contains 4 boxes of numerous plays, screenplays and scripts written by Richard Maibaum. A one-time student of NYU, Maibaum studied acting at the University of Iowa. By age 30, Maibaum was a firmly established Broadway actor and playwright. He entered films as a screenwriter in 1937, spending the war years with the Army's Combat Film Division. In 1946, he joined Paramount as both screenwriter and producer, turning out such worthwhile projects as The Big Clock (1948) and the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby. Maibaum later formed a partnership with English producers Irving Allen and Albert Broccoli. This alliance eventually led to the James Bond film series, where Maibaum wrote or co-wrote the screenplay for every Bond film from 1962-1989. Included in this series is one play (The Lilac Bush), written by Maibaum's son, Matthew Maibaum.
NB: There does not appear to be a direct connection between Robert Hammond and Maibaum, either personally or in relation to the acquisition of these scripts. Nevertheless, the manuscripts are cataloged within the Hammond collection.
SERIES G: Microfilm Negatives of Film Scripts
Series G contains 5 boxes of scripts that are stored in microfilm format.
There are 3 boxes of scripts that represent accretions to the original collection received in 1996.
NB: Prior to 1996, periodic donations by Hammond to the collection were inter-filed within the existing series of the collection. From 1996 to present, any additions to the collection have been processed as Accretions.
Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-998-2596.
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder. Please contact the Fales Library and Special Collections, email@example.com, 212-998-2596.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date (if known); The Hammond Film Script Collection; MSS 076; [box number]; [folder number]; Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University Libraries.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Dr. Robert Hammond in multiple instalments from 1983 to 1996. An additional accretion was donated in 2008. The accession number associated with this gift is 2008.076.
The Hammond Film Script Collection was donated to the Fales Library between 1983-1996 through generous contributions made by Dr. Robert Hammond. The original portion of the collection (approximately 275 scripts) were donated in April 1983. Hammond continued to donate scripts after his original gift. Most notable was the major addition of over 60 scripts from the collection of Marc Maurette in 1990.
There is no information about materials that are associated by provenance to the described materials that have been physically separated or removed.
About this Guide
Processing Information note
In March 2016, boxes from Accretion 1996 and Accretion 1997-1998 were renumbered to numerically follow the original donation. Researchers with citations to previous box numbers may contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with identifying new box numbers.
In February 2019 loose materials from Box 81 were placed in archival folders to be sent offsite.