Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Fanto mss., 1940-1951, consist of materials pertaining to the work of George Fanto, 1911-2000, and Orson Welles, 1915-1985. Fanto was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 4, 1911. He was a cinematographer who photographed what became Welles's unfinished documentary on Latin America, It's All True; followed by Welles's screen adaptation of Othello (released in Europe in 1952 and the United States in 1955). The majority of the materials in the collection are from the 1949-1950 period when Othello was in production. Welles and Fanto shot the film amid enormous difficulties on location in Morocco, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome. Othello won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1952. Fanto died in Stamford, CT on April 14, 2000.

Most of the correspondence in the collection is from Orson Welles to George Fanto. There also is one letter each from Hilton Edwards, George Fanto, Micheal Mac Liammoir, and Rudolphe Mate.

Other materials in the collection include: a partial screenplay and shooting instructions for the film Othello; financial materials for Othello; a script for the play Time Runs; a partial script for a proposed film titled Twice Is Too Much; a playbill for The Unthinking Lobster and Time Runs; a synopsis of the "Carnaval" sequence in It's All True, titled "Life Is A Song"; and notes on topics ranging from golf to Ulysses. Photographs include: a portrait of Welles; photos taken during the filming of It's All True; and two print boxes consisting of over one hundred images from the filming of Othello, as well as a few photographs from unidentified films.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1987

Collection size: 274 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.