Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Bogdanovich mss., 1885-1994, consist of the papers, scripts, films, etc., of actor, author, critic, film producer and director Peter Bogdanovich. Bogdanovich was born in 1939 in Kingston, New York. He attended Stella Adler's Theatre Studio and has appeared on stage, screen and television. He was film critic for Esquire, The New York Times, Cahiers du Cinema among others, and has written numerous books on American cinema, most notably The Cinema of Alfred Hitchcock , John Ford, 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.

He is the owner/founder of several production companies including: Saticoy Productions, Inc., Copa de Oro Productions and Moon Pictures. Bogdanovich directed his first feature film Targets, starring Boris Karloff in 1968. His breakthrough film, however, was The Last Picture Show (1971) based on the Larry McMurtry novel. Several successful and critically acclaimed films followed, notably his documentary Directed by John Ford (1971) and the comedies, What's Up Doc? (1972) and Paper Moon (1973). Subsequent films include Daisy Miller (1974), They All Laughed (1981), Mask (1985), and The Thing Called Love (1993). He is also credited for the screenplays of The Last Picture Show, its sequel Texasville, What's Up Doc?, and many others.

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. An inventory is available.

The Office files, largely correspondence, relate to both his business and personal affairs. Correspondence is also present in the Film section along with scripts, production materials, stills, artwork, press kits, posters and clippings. Bogdanovich personally financed the distribution of They All Laughed and there are many additional materials for this picture, including box office statements, exhibitor contracts, and distribution records. Drafts and tear sheets of his articles and books, plus some related correspondence make up the Writing section.

Included in the collection are the personal papers of Bogdanovich's parents, Borislav and Herma Bogdanovich. They immigrated to the U.S. from Yugoslavia shortly before World War II, settling first in New York and later in Arizona. Much of the correspondence is with friends and family remaining in Yugoslavia. Boris, 1899-1970, was an artist by profession, and many of the papers relate to his exhibitions and the selling of his paintings. Also included 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.

Completing the collection are: 16mm, 35mm and videotapes of some of Bogdanovich's films, including much of the film shot and hundreds of outtakes and trims for They All Laughed ; hundreds of audio cassettes of music for use in his films; and reel-to-reel audiotapes of interviews conducted by Bogdanovich with, or about, prominent film directors. Also present are thousands of color slides, primarily publicity and production shots for several of his films. Most notable, are more than 300 color slides taken during the production of The Last Picture Show which was filmed in black and white.

An inventory and a finding aid are available.

Purchase. 1995

Collection size: 100,000 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.