Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


Hayes, Joseph Arnold mss., ca. 1941-1977, consist of the writings, correspondence, and papers of author, playwright, and screenwriter Joseph Hayes. Hayes was born in Indianapolis on August 2, 1918. He briefly entered a Benedictine monastery at the age of 13 and later earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana University. He moved to New York City after graduating in 1941, where he wrote for radio and television before earning the 1948 Charles H. Sergel Drama Prize from the University of Chicago for his play Leaf and Bough, which was produced on Broadway in 1949. His most successful novel, The Desperate Hours, was written in 1954 and was adapted into a Broadway play and a feature film, starring Humphrey Bogart and directed by William Wyler, in 1955. The work in all its iterations received multiple awards, including the 1955 Indiana Authors' Day Award in fiction, the 1955 Tony Award for Best Play, and the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay in 1956.

Hayes penned various books and plays, mostly crime fiction, before writing Calculated Risk in 1962, which would be his final Broadway play. The same year he co-authored Bon Voyage!, an Academy Award-nominated Disney movie, with his wife Marrijane Johnson, whom he had married in 1938. His later works included the novels Ways of Darkness, No Escape, Winner's Circle, Island on Fire, Missing...and Presumed Dead, The Long Dark Night, Like Any Other Fugitive, The Deep End, The Third Day, Don't Go Away Mad, and The Hours After Midnight, as well as several plays. Hayes passed away on September 11, 2006, in St. Augustine, Florida, at the age of 88.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Writings; II. Correspondence; III. Newspaper Clippings; IV. Other Manuscripts; V. Photographs; VI. Legal; VII. Miscellaneous.

Writings include drafts, proofs, and accompanying materials for Hayes's novels, plays, and films. Other Manuscripts contain more drafts of his work, including forays into writing for television. Photographs include stills for The Desperate Hours. The Legal series features records of the Hill v. Hayes court case. Miscellaneous includes movie posters, a scrapbook, a 1954 IU Writers' Conference citation, and a certificate from the National Register of Prominent Americans.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 1967

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.