John D.F. Black Collection

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680
hswett@wga.org
https://www.wgfoundation.org/wgf-library-archive/about-the-film-and-tv-archive/
2017


Descriptive Summary

Title: John D.F. Black Collection
Dates: 1957-1986
Collection Number: WGF-MS-011
Creator/Collector: Black, John D.F.
Extent: 3.6 linear feet
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The John D.F. Black Collection, 1957-1986 encompasses various draft stages of episodic television, Made-for-TV Movies, and film scripts with handwritten annotations by Black. Scripts represented in the collection include Charlie’s Angels, Mr. Novak, Hawaii Five-O, Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate, TROUBLE MAN, and SHAFT.
Language of Material: English

Access

Available by appointment only. Materials stored offsite. One week advance notice required for retrieval.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

John D.F. Black Collection. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary and John D.F. Black, 2011 and 2014

Biography/Administrative History

John D.F. Black is an American scriptwriter, television producer and director. Born on December 30, 1932, Black is recognized for his work writing episodes for popular television series such as Mr. Novak (1963-1965), The F.B.I. (1965-1974), Star Trek (1966-1969), Hawaii Five-O (1968-1980), and Charlie’s Angels (1976-1981). In addition, Black wrote screenplays for several films including: GUNFIGHT IN ABILENE (1967), NOBODY'S PERFECT (1968), SHAFT (1971), and TROUBLE MAN (1972). He was nominated for an Emmy award in 1972, and won a Writers Guild of America Award in 1966 for an episode of Mr. Novak. His teleplay Thief won an Edgar Award in 1972 for Best TV Feature or Miniseries. Black has served on the boards of the Writers Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America. He currently resides in California.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection is arranged into two series with items dating from 1961-1986. Series I: Television Scripts is divided into Subseries A: Episodic TV spanning between the years 1961-1986, and Subseries B: Made-for-TV Movies from the years 1971-1978. Many of the scripts in Series I include handwritten annotations by John D.F. Black, treatments, and assorted draft stages. Several script credits are shared with other writers such as Leonard Freeman, Edward DeBlasio, and Ric Hardman. Highlights from Subseries A include an unaired episode of Hawaii Five-0, a street guide to Hawaii, and a writer’s guide for Hawaii Five-0. A first draft script from the series Mr. Novak entitled, “With a Hammer In His Hand, Lord, Lord!” won a Writers Guild of America award for an episodic drama in 1966. Subseries A also includes the 1974 final draft of Wonder Woman, which starred Cathy Lee Crosby, and was intended as a pilot for an ABC series. The pilot was not picked up. In 1975, the Wonder Woman series resurfaced starring Lynda Carter and created by William M. Marston. Black was not involved with the 1975 project. Subseries B contains a first draft and shooting guide to the television movie Thief, which received an Edgar Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1972. Black’s teleplay Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate was nominated the same year for a Writers Guild of America Award, and a first draft is included in Subseries B. It was based on the novel by Doris Miles Disney. Series II: Film Scripts is comprised of scripts spanning the years 1966-1972. Noteworthy titles in this series include drafts of the blaxploitation films SHAFT (1971) and TROUBLEMAN (1972). These groundbreaking films were intended for an African American audience. However, they swiftly gained mass appeal with their direct approach to social issues of the day. SHAFT is based on a novel by Ernest Tidyman. Tidyman shares script credit for SHAFT with Black. In 2000, the National Film Registry selected SHAFT for preservation due to its cultural significance. Series III: Miscellaneous Correspondence and Related Materials spans 1957-1983. It contains notes, correspondence and character sketches related to a few of Black’s television projects, along with his brief annotations contextualizing these items.

Indexing Terms

Blaxploitation films
Charlie’s angels (Television program)
Edgar Award—Awards
Hawaii Five-O (Television program: 1968-1980)
John D.F. Black—Archives
Laredo (Television program)
Shaft (Motion picture: 1971)
Television writers
Television producers and directors
Writers Guild of America—Awards