Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Irwin Margulies:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator Margulies, Irwin, 1907-1976
Title Irwin Margulies Collection
Dates: 1960-1972
Extent 2 boxes (.83 linear feet)
Abstract: This collection consists mainly of correspondence, notes, and contracts Margulies either produced or received as courtesy copies while he was employed by Horizon Pictures. Most of the material in this collection is related to the 1962 production of Lawrence of Arabia.
RLIN Record # TXRC97-A4
Language English.
Access

Open for research




Acquisition

Exchange, 1977

Processed by

Elizabeth A. Lanthier-Welch, 1997

Repository:

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin


Irwin Margulies was born in Austria on June 24, 1907, to a family who owned a chain of theaters in New York. He became involved in film exhibition as a small boy, managing the Regent Theatre, a vaudeville house, when he was only 19. Margulies received a B.A. degree from New York University in 1929 and a L.L.B. degree from the New York University Law School in 1931.

Margulies worked as counsel for many motion picture companies, producers, and distributors; radio and television producers, distributors, and personalities, and literary agencies. In 1930, while still a law student, Margulies began his career in the legal department at Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer (MGM), where he worked until 1942. He also held assistant secretary and counsel positions for MGM International Films, Inc. from 1945-47. In addition to the positions he held at MGM, Margulies was employed as general counsel for J. Robert Rubin from 1943-47. He retired from MGM to enter private practice in 1947, forming partnerships with Albert Heit and Stanley Rothenberg. Margulies joined the California Bar Association in 1948.

In 1954, Margulies started work as a vice-president with Horizon Pictures as a result of his representation of Sam Spiegel. He left his position at Horizon Pictures in 1967 to serve as a vice-president in charge of business affairs at Warner Brothers-Seven Arts. In the early 1970s, Margulies left to open his own law office in London returning a few years later to open offices in Los Angeles.

Margulies was the executive producer of the 1973 Walter Shenson Films release Digby--The Biggest Dog in The World.

Margulies died in Los Angeles following a stroke on May 5, 1979, at the age of 71.


The Irwin Margulies Collection consists mainly of correspondence, notes, and contracts Margulies either produced or received as courtesy copies while he was employed by Horizon Pictures. Most of the material in this collection is related to the 1962 production of Lawrence of Arabia. The papers are organized in two series: I. Horizon Pictures, 1960-1972 (1.75 boxes), which contains contracts, correspondence, revenue reports, memos, notes, and telegrams related to business conducted by or related to Horizon Pictures; and II. Other Business and Personal Papers, 1963-1971 (.25 box), which contains correspondence, financial statements, and contracts for business other than that related directly to Horizon Pictures, as well as material related to Irwin Margulies's personal affairs.

This collection documents the process Horizon Pictures went through in casting actors for parts in Lawrence of Arabia, the tribulations faced by a studio making a picture in remote locations and their dealings with a foreign government, the problems associated with writing the script for Lawrence of Arabia, as well as negotiations Horizon undertook with Columbia years after Lawrence of Arabia was released.

There are also materials related to business other than that of Horizon Pictures, generated mainly when Margulies was representing producer Sam Spiegel. In addition, there is correspondence directed to Margulies and related to his personal financial business.

The integrity of Margulies's filing system was maintained as closely as possible; groups of materials that were clipped together are filed together in their respective folders. This accounts for items appearing out of chronological order. Folder titles were based on those supplied by Margulies with more detailed information, for example the series title, supplied by the archivist.


Correspondents

Bolt, Robert

Spiegel, Sam

Wilson, Michael

Horizon Pictures (G.B.) Ltd.

Subjects

Lawrence of Arabia (Motion Picture)

Motion picture actors and acresses--Casting

Motion picture studios

Document Types

Legal documents