This collection of works by playwright, screenwriter, and TV
scriptwriter Harry Segall spans his writing career from 1933-1959. Segall's
Lost Horizons (1934), appeared on Broadway
in the mid-1930s. In 1933, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer brought Segall to Hollywood as a
contract writer. In 1936 he moved to RKO Radio Pictures where he wrote
screenplays for films such as
Outcasts of Poker Flat, based on a story by
Bret Harte. During this time, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios also
produced his screenplays. In 1941 Segall won an Academy Award for best original
story for the film
Here Comes Mr. Jordan, starring Robert
Montgomery, based on Segall's play
Heaven Can Wait. A 1978 film version of
Heaven Can Wait starred Warren Beatty. With
the advent of television, Segall turned his writing talents to this medium,
writing plots for TV series and "Playhouse 90."
The collection is arranged in three series: I. Works, II. Personal, and
III. Works of Others. In the first series, Segall's works are arranged
alphabetically in four subseries: Screenplays, Stage Plays, TV Scripts and Plot
Ideas, and Script Outlines. Segall's works range in format from rough notes to
final typescript copies. Segall wrote his handwritten scripts and revisions on
scraps of paper, frequently using the verso of bank deposit forms. These were
interspersed with larger pages of varying sizes to form paper clipped bundles.
In some cases, works written for the stage became screenplays, with title
changes occurring as the project evolved. Often several titles were considered
for the same work. Dates have been recorded in the folder list when provided on
the script. Some scripts were based on the works of others or were written in
collaboration. In general, the script outlines are typescripts ranging from a
few pages to forty pages in length. They are sometimes described as a comedy,
farce, or satire but not identified as a screenplay, stage play, or TV series.
A large amount of untitled holograph notes and typescript fragments exist.
These remain in the original order as received.
The second series, Personal, contains photographs of Segall and his
family. These photographs were not identified by name or place, except for one
bearing the name Mrs. I. Siegell. Four scrapbooks, and associated fragments,
contain newspaper clippings of Broadway and Hollywood projects with which
Segall was involved. His personal life and activities are not reported in these
books, with the exception of a newspaper announcement of his intention to marry
Martha Salonen in 1934.
The last series, Works of Others, contains stories and scripts by David
Dortort, Martha Salonen, Avery Segall, and Bela Tasek.
Several magazines received with the collection were transferred to the
HRHRC book collection.
In general, the collection is in good condition with the exception of
the scrapbooks which contain brittle pages and clippings. Some of Segall's
paper choices for his notes included newsprint quality paper which is becoming