N.p. N.p. 1945-1963. An archive of 18 mimeograph manuscripts and screenplays, many never published or produced, by W.R. Burnett. All identified by stamp, label or cover sheet as being from H.N. Swanson, Inc., Burnett's literary agent.
The prolific author of more than 60 screenplays and two dozen novels, W.R. Burnett’s writing has had a profound influence on the crime genre. From nearly single-handedly creating the modern gangster story with his 1929 debut novel "Little Caesar" (and the subsequent 1930 film version, starring James Cagney), to the novel and screenplay for "High Sierra," the novel "Asphalt Jungle," which did for the heist film what "Little Caesar" for the gangster, to classics screenplays for "The Great Escape" and "Wake Island," for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Burnett created a lasting body of work whose influence can be felt to this day in the works of Elmore Leonard, Quentin Tarantino, and others.
Swanson is himself a figure of note, having begun as a movie producer and then becoming one of the most famous literary agents of his day in Hollywood, representing the likes of William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and, of course, W.R. Burnett.
A superb collection of unpublished and presumably non-researched material from one of the great novelists and Hollywood screenwriters of the twentieth century, and one deserving of both critical and academic reinvigoration.
Published and produced manuscripts include "Vanity Row" (manuscript, Knopf, 1952), "Mi Amigo" (manuscript, Knopf 1959), "The Abilene Samson" (manuscript, Pocket Books, 1963), "Little Men, Big World" (manuscript, Knopf, 1951), "The Goldseekers" (manuscript, Doubleday, 1962), "Bitter Ground" (manuscript, Knopf, 1958), "Underdog" (1956 screenplay, published as a novel by Knopf in 1957), and "The Ivory Tower" (manuscript with tear sheets from publication), "Good Housekeeping," (March 1945), "The Big W" (manuscript, published as "Conant" by Popular Library in 1961).
Presumed unproduced or unpublished material (circa 1950s) include: "Pay As You Exit" (screenplay), "A Glance from a Green Eye" (screenplay treatment), "4 for the Road" (television series treatment), "The Texas Story" a.k.a "The Bandit" (screenplay), "The Sun Chasers" (screenplay). "Little Girl, Big Town" (2 copies, short story or story treatment), "Man With a Thousand Enemies" (manuscript), and "Night at Shark Bay" (2 copies, manuscript).