N.p. N.p., 1945-1963. An archive of 18 mimeograph manuscripts for short stories, novels, 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. Four of the scripts are ribbon copy typescript or carbon typescript, two of the scripts have been briefly annotated by Burnett, one of the screenplays has color revision pages, and the remainder of the drafts are mimeograph and/or have no annotations.
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A superb collection of unpublished and presumably non-researched material from one of the great novelists and Hollywood screenwriters of the twentieth century, and one deserving of both critical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:
"The Ivory Tower" (short story, pulbished in "Good Housekeeping" magazine, March 1945, with tear sheets from publication)
"Little Men, Big World" (novel, published by Knopf, 1951)
"Vanity Row" (novel, published by Knopf, 1952)
"Underdog" (1956 screenplay, based on a Burnett novel published by Knopf, 1957)
"Bitter Ground" (novel, published by Knopf, 1958)
"Mi Amigo" (novel, publishd by Knopf, 1959)
"The Big W" (novel, published as "Conant" by Popular Library in 1961).
"The Goldseekers" (novel, published by Doubleday, 1962)
"The Abilene Samson" (novel, published by Pocket Books, 1963)
Presumed unproduced or unpublished material (circa 1950s-1960s) includes:
"Pay As You Exit" (screenplay, n.d.)
"A Glance from a Green Eye" (story outline, n.d.)
"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" (novel)
"Night at Shark Bay" (2 copies, novel).