University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Harry Segall:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Descriptive Summary

Creator Segall, Harry, 1897-1975
Title Harry Segall Papers
Dates: 1933-1959
Abstract: This collection contains stage plays, screenplays, and television scripts, as well as photographs of Segall and his family, scrapbooks, and works by others.
Extent 15 boxes, 1 oversize box (8.06 linear feet)
Language English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

This collection of works by playwright, screenwriter, and TV scriptwriter Harry Segall spans his writing career from 1933-1959. Segall's plays, including 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 brittle.



Open for research

Administrative Information


Gift No. 10487

Processed by

Liz Murray, 1996

Harry Segall Papers--Folder List

Series I. Works

Subseries A. Screenplays
Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
box folder
1 1 Script with holograph corrections, Jan. 3, 1944
2 Revised script, n.d.
3 Script, Feb. 6, 1944
4 Script, Feb. 26, 1944
5-6 Blindfolded Lady, revised script and holograph notes
box folder
2 1 But Beautiful, first draft, July 2, 1941
2 Coast Guard, 2nd revised final draft, April 24, 1939
3 Don't Turn 'em Loose, script, original story by Ferdinand Reyher, 1936
Fountain of Youth
4-5 Holograph and typescript notes
6-7 Script with holograph revisions, ca. 1951
box folder
3 1-2 Script with holograph revisions
3 Revised draft and treatment, July 2, 1951
4 A Girl's Best Friend is Wall Street, estimating script, third draft, Oct. 2, 1940
5 Lavinia, typescript
6 Let the Eagle Scream, estimating script, second draft, April 11, 1941
7 Mad About the Girl, screen story with Allen Rivkin
8 The Next Woman, holograph notes
Outcasts of Poker Flat (1937)
box folder
4 1 Script, story by Bret Harte
2 Script, second copy
3 Final script, with John Twist, Jan. 9, 1937
4 Park Bench, holograph notes
5 The Seeing Eye, second estimating script, with Ron Ferguson, Jan. 31, 1938,
6 Something for the Boys, typescript
The Son of Dr. Jekyll
7 Second draft, with Mortimer Braus, Sept. 1, 1950
8 Second draft, revised
box folder
5 1-3 Holograph and typescript revisions
4 The Stork Club, 1944-45
[holograph and typed notes]
5 Tomorrow We Change, script, 1938
6 The Unveiling of O'Keefe, script, 1950
7-8 Miscellaneous notes for scripts, The Woman Who Came Back (re: Lumberjack) and others
Subseries B. Stage Plays
box folder
6 1 Between Pictures
2 Chronicle
3-4 The Cockeyed Wench
5 Fanny, 1944
6 Floyd [assumed title], holograph notes
7 The Great Urge
8 Heaven Can Wait, revised version
9 Here Comes Mr. Jordan, with holograph revisions
10 I Return You Now, holograph notes
box folder
7 1 Knock Wood, 1933
2 Lost Horizons
3 Love Now, Pay Later, typescript and holograph notes
4 May We Come In, with holograph revisions, 1949
5 Mother of Mine, working copy, 1948
6 Mother of Mine, n.d.
7 Now I Am Alone, holograph notes
box folder
8 1 Rooftop, holograph notes
2 The Sawdust Man, partial script
3-4 Soloman, holograph notes
5-10 The Stars Weep, 1946
(6 versions)
box folder
9 1-2 Tailspin, holograph notes
3 The Truth About Philip, story, 1950
4-8 Welcome Back, various versions and holograph notes
9 Windy, 1948
10 Idea for a play, holograph notes. Possible titles: But Not For Love, Choose Your Mate, The Friendly Marriage
11 Plays with Stella Douglas character, various titles, holograph notes
Subseries C. TV Scripts and Plot Ideas
box folder
10 1 After Office Hours, holograph notes
2 Jane and John Doe, 1959
3 Wardrobe Mistress, Nov. 1956
4 Notes for scripts, Playhouse 90
5-9 Notes for scripts, various ideas
Subseries D. Script Outlines
box folder
11 1 Alias Betty!
2 Anna Looks Ahead
3 Any Port in a Storm
4 Curly, 6th draft, Feb. 25, 1943
5 The Green Vault
6 Hell Bent For Mr. Jordan, Feb. 3, 1942
7 Hell Bent For Mr. Jordan, May 4, 1942
8 The Impossible Wife
9 The Kin From Limbo, 4 copies, 1944
10 Lavinia
11 The Lonely Husband
12 Madam is Mistaken
13 Nicky
14 Nobody's Widow, first draft, Aug. 5, 1941
15 The Sawdust Man
16 The Smokey Years, May 16, 1940
17 Spendthrift Wife, Feb. 1950
18 Super Sleuth
2 copies
19 Take Me As I Am, 1952
20 The Unseen Juror
21 Vigilantes, first draft, June 4, 1940
22 The Wife Without a Chance
23 Women Never Learn
24 Yesterday's Husband
12-14 Holograph notes, miscellaneous untitled fragments
box folder
15 1-3 Holograph notes, miscellaneous untitled fragments

Series II. Personal

box folder
15 4 Photographs and negatives, HS and family
5 Miscellaneous: Memo from Robert Sparks to HS, 12/4/39 re The Lone Wolf Strikes; the Dramatists' Guild contract agreement, Feb. 29, 1936 with newspaper clippings; The Billboard Index, 1933-34; magazine articles re: HS
Scrapbooks and clippings
[removed to Oversize Box 16]

Series III. Works of Others

box folder
15 6 Dortort, David. The Ox-Bow Incident, final script, June 28, 1955
Salonen, Martha.
7 Manhattan Yen, typescript story
8 Trouble in Massachusetts, play in three acts
9 Segall, Avery, Oliver, typescript story
10 Segall, Avery and Bela Tasek. Better Late Than Never, typescript radio play
11 Untitled stage play, no author listed
16 Oversize material