Collection ID: LMC 1115
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Collection context


Bogdanovich, Peter, 1939-
The Bogdanovich mss., 1885-1994, consists of the papers, scripts, correspondence, business records, production materials, and films of director, actor, screenwriter, producer, critic and author Peter Bogdanovich, 1939-.
793 Linear Feet (771 boxes, 11 oversize)
Preferred citation:

[Item], Bogdanovich mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Scope and Content:

The Bogdanovich mss., 1885-1994, consist of the papers, scripts, correspondence, business records, production materials, and films of director, actor, screenwriter, producer, critic and author Peter Bogdanovich.

I. Office consists largely of correspondence relating to both Bogdanovich's business and personal affairs.

II. Films also includes correspondence, along with scripts, production materials, stills, artwork, press kits, posters and clippings pertaining to Bogdanovich's body of work. Of particular note in this series are materials for the film They All Laughed, including box office statements, exhibitor contracts, and distribution records.

III. Writings features drafts and tear sheets of his articles and books, as well as some related correspondence.

IV. Financial contains bank statements, tax papers, canceled checks, receipts and papers related to various businesses, including Saticoy Productions, Blue Moon, and Copa de Oro.

V. Borislav and Herma Bogdanovich contains the personal papers of Peter Bogdanovich's parents, Borislav and Herma Bogdanovich, who immigrated to the United States from Yugoslavia shortly before World War II, settling first in New York and later in Arizona. Boris, 1899-1970, was an artist by profession, and many papers relate to his exhibitions and the selling of his paintings. Much of their correspondence is with friends and family remaining in Yugoslavia. Also featured in this section are Peter's letters to his family and papers relating to his childhood and his early education at Collegiate School in New York.

VI. Printed consists primarily of magazine articles by and about Peter Bogdanovich.

VII. Mixed Media contains 16mm, 35mm and videotapes of some of Bogdanovich's movies, including most of the complete footage for They All Laughed and hundreds of outtakes and trims from the film. Other unique items in this series are "gag reels" and "behind-the-scenes" promotionals from What's Up Doc?, At Long Last Love, Nickelodeon, Saint Jack, Paper Moon, and Daisy Miller. Additionally, there are hundreds of audio cassettes of music used in his movies, along with reel-to-reel audiotapes of interviews conducted by Bogdanovich with (or about) prominent film directors. Some audio materials have been reformatted for use in the repository only. Also present are thousands of color slides, primarily publicity and production shots for several of his films. Of particular note are more than 300 color slides taken during the production of The Last Picture Show, which was filmed in black and white.

VIII. Additions includes additional film and television production materials; items related to film festivals and screenings; personal correspondence and records; teaching materials; writings; audio-visual media; and posters.

Biographical / Historical:

Bogdanovich was born on July 30, 1939, in Kingston, New York, the son of Serbian-Austrian Jewish immigrants who had fled Europe during the spread of Nazism. As a teenager he attended Stella Adler's Theatre Studio, going on to mount a successful Off-Broadway production of Clifford Odets' The Big Knife at the age of twenty. In 1964 Bogdanovich moved to California and turned his attention to filmmaking, starting as a second-unit director, location scout and editor for Roger Corman. Bogdanovich directed his first motion picture, the cult thriller Targets, starring Boris Karloff, in 1968.

His breakthrough film came three years later: The Last Picture Show (1971). Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry, the movie was a box-office hit and nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two. A string of commercially successful and critically acclaimed films followed: the screwball farce What's Up Doc?, starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal (1972); the Depression Era comedy- drama Paper Moon (1973), which won ten-year-old Tatum O'Neal an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress; and the seminal documentary Directed by John Ford (original release in 1971, rereleased with new footage in 2006). Other films directed by Bogdanovich include Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), Nickelodeon (1976), Saint Jack (1979), They All Laughed (1981), Mask (1985), Texasville (1990), Noises Off (1992), The Thing Called Love (1993), and The Cat's Meow (2001). He is credited for writing or co-writing the screenplays for The Last Picture Show, its sequel Texasville, and many other movies.

Additionally, Bogdanovich has acted in several films and television series, most notably fifteen episodes of HBO's The Sopranos, and is a distinguished film scholar. His early-1960s monographs on Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and Howard Hawks were influential contributions toward the development of the "auteur theory." He has written film criticism for Esquire, The New York Times, and Cahiers du Cinema, as well as numerous books on American film, including John Ford, The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, and This is Orson Welles. He also wrote The Killing of the Unicorn: Dorothy Stratten (1960-1980) based on his relationship with the Playboy centerfold who was murdered by her estranged husband. Bogdanovich is the owner/founder of several production companies, including Saticoy Productions, Inc., Copa de Oro Productions and Moon Pictures.

Acquisition information:
Acquired: 1995

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Office; II. Films; III. Writings; IV. Financial; V. Borislav and Herma Bogdanovich; VI. Printed; VII. Mixed Media; VIII. Additions.



This collection is open for research.


Prior arrangements are not necessary before coming to the Library, however, patrons from out of town are encouraged to communicate with the Library in advance of their visits to ascertain availability of materials.

Photocopying permitted only with permission of the Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library.


[Item], Bogdanovich mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

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