George Antheil papers, 1935-1957

Finding aid prepared by and collection reprocessed by Melissa Haley, 2015; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
©2011 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Title: George Antheil papers
Collection number: PASC-M 43
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 20.0 linear ft. (2 document boxes, 35 flat boxes, and 5 oversize flat boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1935-1957
Abstract: This collection consists primarily of scores for music composed by George Antheil for film and television.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: Antheil, George, 1900-1959

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], George Antheil Papers (Collection PASC-M 43). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Peter Antheil, 1980, 1992, 2006. Two items in Series 3 (The Wish, Toccata No. 2) gift of Irwin Parnes, 1978.

Biographical Note

Composer George Antheil was born June 8, 1900 in Trenton, New Jersey. He studied piano and composition from an early age and moved to Europe in 1922, finally landing in Paris after a year in Berlin. While in Paris, Antheil befriended a number of avant-garde artists and writers, and composed several works that called for unorthodox instrumentation. His best-known work Ballet Mécanique (1924), originally intended to accompany a Fernand Léger film, included sirens, bells, and airplane propellers. Following its unfavorable premier in New York in 1927, Antheil continued to compose concert works, ballets, and operas, while dividing his time between Europe and the U.S. In 1936, he settled in Los Angeles, where he composed music for numerous films and also continued to write classical works during the 1940s and 1950s. In addition to music, Antheil had several other pursuits including writing, endocrinology, and technological invention. George Antheil died in New York on February 12, 1959.
For a catalog of Antheil's music see Linda Whitesitt's The Life and Music of George Antheil 1900-1959, 1983. Also see Antheil's autobiography, Bad Boy of Music.

Scope and Content

This collection consists primarily of music composed by George Antheil for film and television. Manuscript and reproduction scores are present for numerous films including Ben Hecht's Once in a Blue Moon (1935), John Parker's Dementia (1955), and Stanley Kramer's Not as a Stranger (1955) and The Pride and the Passion (1957). Also present are scores for episodes of the CBS television documentary series The Twentieth Century.
The collection also includes a small number of songs and other musical compositions, including his opera The Wish, as well as writings by Antheil about World War II, mostly written for Los Angeles radio programs.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following series:
  • Series 1. Film projects
  • Series 2. Television projects
  • Series 3. Other musical compositions
  • Series 4. World War II writings
  • Series 5. Correspondence
  • Series 6. Sound recordings

Related Material

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4230324 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

American composers.
Motion picture music--Scores and parts.
Television music--Scores and parts.


Series 1. Film projects.

Scope and Content

Antheil composed music for films by directors Cecil B. DeMille, John Huston, Nicholas Ray, Ben Hecht and Stanley Kramer, among others. Series includes manuscript and reproduction scores and parts, including a holograph score for the surrealist noir film Dementia (1955). Material is generally undated; dates following titles are those of the film's release. Some oversized scores are housed separately.
The films Harlem Sketches and Orchids to Charlie were shorts.
Box 1, Folders 1-3

Angels over Broadway (1940).

Box 1, Folders 4-6

The Buccaneer (1938).

Box 2, Folders 1-3

Dementia (1955). 1953.

Box 2, Folder 4, Box 3, Folders 1-2

The Fighting Kentuckian (1949).

Box 3, Folder 3

Harlem Sketches [Harlem Picture] (1935).

Box 3, Folders 4-5, Box 4, Folder 1

House By the River [Floodtide] (1950).

Box 4, Folders 2-5, Box 5, Box 6, Folders 1-3, Box 37, Folders 2-7

Hunters of the Deep (1955).

Box 6, Folder 4

In a Lonely Place (1950).

Box 6, Folder 5, Box 7, Folders 1-2

The Juggler (1953).

Box 7, Folders 3-4

Knock On Any Door (1949).

Box 7, Folders 5-6, Boxes 8-11, Box 12, Folders 1-2, Box 36

Not As a Stranger (1955).

Box 12, Folders 3-5, Box 13

Once in a Blue Moon (1935).

Box 14, Box 15, Folders 1-2, Box 39, Folders 3-6

Orchids to Charlie [Orchids for Charlie] (1941).

Box 15, Folder 3, Box 16, Folder 1

The Plainsman (1936).

Box 16, Folders 2-3

The Plainsman and the Lady (1946).

Box 38, Box 39, Folders 1-2

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Full score manuscripts.

Box 16, Folder 4, Boxes 17-25

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Parts.

Box 26, Box 27, Folder 2

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Sketches and conductors scores.

Box 27, Folder 1

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Clippings and ephemera.

Box 27, Folder 3

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Songs.

Scope and Content

Also includes some material from The Young Don't Cry (1957).
Box 27, Folders 4-5

The Pride and the Passion (1957): Photostat scores.

Box 28, Folders 1-2

Repeat Performance (1947).

Box 28, Folders 3-5

Sirocco (1951).

Box 1, Folders 7-9

The Sniper (1952).

Box 29, Box 30, Folders 1-3, Box 37, Folder 1

Specter of the Rose (1946).

Box 30, Folders 4-5

That Brennan Girl (1946).

Box 31, Folder 1

Tokyo Joe (1949).

Box 31, Folder 2

We Were Strangers [Rough Sketch] (1949).


Series 2. Television projects.

Scope and Content

Primarily contains scores of music written for the CBS documentary series The Twentieth Century, which aired from 1957 to 1968.
Box 32, Folder 1

The Twentieth Century: Churchill, Man of the Century [A Little Mouse of Thought].

Box 32, Folder 2

The Twentieth Century: D-Day Attack.

Box 32, Folder 3

The Twentieth Century: Gandhi.

Box 32, Folder 4

The Twentieth Century: Guided Missile.

Box 32, Folders 5-6

The Twentieth Century: Liberation of Paris.

Box 33, Folders 1-2

The Twentieth Century: Mission Outer Space.

Box 33, Folder 3

The Twentieth Century: Remagen Bridge.

Box 33, Folder 4

The Twentieth Century: War in China.

Box 33, Folder 5

The Twentieth Century: War in Spain.

Box 33, Folder 6

The Twentieth Century: The Windsors.

Box 35, Folder 2

Woman Without Shadow.

Box 34, Folder 1

Television cues: The Twentieth Century.

Box 34, Folders 2-4

Television cues.

Scope and Content

Cues for television programs of various genres; specific productions unknown.

Series 3. Other musical compositions.

Box 35, Folders 3-5


Box 35, Folder 6


Scope and Content

Possibly Requiem for the Soldiers of the Last War, 1927.
Box 35, Folder 7

Toccata No. 2. [1948] .

Scope and Content

Piano solo, reproduction.
Box 35, Folders 8-9

The Wish. [1954] .

Scope and Content

Orchestral score for the opera, reproduction.
Box 40, Box 42, Folder 5

Unidentified scores.

Scope and Content

Includes music written for unidentified film or television projects.
Box 35, Folder 1

Instructions for system of orchestral indication. 1957.

Box 42, Folder 6

Chansons de France by Marcel Vigneras (publication). 1941.


Series 4. World War II writings.

Scope and Content

Antheil’s book The Shape of the War to Come (published anonymously in 1940), along with magazine articles written about World War II, led him to be hired by Los Angeles publisher Manchester Boddy to analyze the war for his radio program. In 1943, Antheil left Boddy’s program for John Nesbitt’s The Passing Parade (CBS), where he continued as a war analyst.
This series contains scripts, essays and drafts for both radio programs. Also present are drafts and parts of drafts of other World War II writings that may have been for either radio program, or for publication elsewhere; a clipping of Antheil's Esquire article "So Smells Defeat" (Nov 1936); and articles on strategic geography, author unknown.
Box 41, Folder 1

Manchester Boddy program. 1942-1943.

Box 41, Folders 2-9, Box 42, Folders 1-2

John Nesbitt's The Passing Parade. 1943-1944.

Box 42, Folders 3-4

Other World War II writings. [1936], undated .

Box 42, Folder 7

Series 5. Correspondence. 1955.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

No duplication or photography permitted.
Box 27

Series 6. Sound recordings.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

RESTRICTED ACCESS: Use of audio material requires production of listening copies.

Scope and Content

Five 78 rpm discs with songs most likely from the films The Pride and the Passion and The Young Don't Cry, as well as other songs with music written by Antheil.