Fred Zinnemann papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library
333 S. La Cienega Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California 90211
Phone: (310) 247-3036 extension 2226
© 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Fred Zinnemann papers
Date (inclusive): 1923-1996
Date (bulk): 1950s-1980s
Collection number: 4
Creator: Zinnemann, Fred
Extent: 72 linear feet of papers. 17.5 linear feet of photographs.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Selected digitized items from this collection:
Languages: English

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Preferred Citation

Fred Zinnemann papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


Fred Zinnemann was an Austrian-born director and producer who emigrated to the United States in 1929. His American film career spanned from 1930 to 1982. A research job at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) led to a directing job in the Shorts Department. Over a four-year period Zinnemann directed eighteen short films, including several Pete Smith Specialties. He directed two Academy Award-winning short subjects: THAT MOTHERS MIGHT LIVE (1938) and BENJY (1951). Zinnemann made the transition to features and directed such notable films as HIGH NOON (1952), OKLAHOMA! (1955), THE NUN'S STORY (1959), THE DAY OF THE JACKAL (1973), and JULIA (1977). His seven nominations in the directing category include Academy Awards for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (1966) (he also received an Academy Award as the producer of that film when it won Best Picture). Zinnemann served on the Academy Board of Governors in the 1960s.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Fred Zinnemann papers span the years 1907-1996 (bulk 1950s-1980s) and encompass 89.5 linear feet. The collection contains production files (scripts, production material, and correspondence); television files; story material (correspondence and supplementary material compiled by or submitted to Zinnemann for consideration); correspondence (from the mid-1940s; however, the bulk of the letters are from the 1960s to the 1990s, with each succeeding decade yielding more correspondence); subject files (correspondence and clippings on various organizations and film festivals, along with biographical material on Zinnemann); and photographs. Many of the feature film scripts are annotated by Zinnemann and most of the scripts for short films contain his thumbnail storyboard pencil sketches.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 2. Television files, subseries A-B as follows: A. Produced; B. Unproduced; 3. Story files; 4. Correspondence; 5. Subject files; 6. Oversize; 7. Photographs, subseries A-B as follows: A. Motion picture production; B. Subject

Indexing Terms

Zinnemann, Fred , 1907-1997--Archives