Scope and Content
Title: Neyman, Michael. Screen adaptation, stills, and film for the original version of John Steinbeck's story FLIGHT,
Date (inclusive): 1957-1961
Collection number: M0767
3.5 linear ft.
Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights
reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To
obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the
Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.
Michael Neyman's Screen adaptation, stills, and film for the original version of John Steinbeck's story FLIGHT. M0767. Dept.
of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Neyman had read FLIGHT in Berkeley High School; he wrote a screenplay in 1955; succeeded in obtaining the rights to film it
in 1956 "through the kindness of John Steinbeck," and by 1959 succeeded in obtaining $80,000 from 27 shareholders in a corporation.
He was then 23. But he went over budget and the picture was taken away from him by the principal investor, Barnaby Conrad,
and both script and footage changed considerably. Michael Neyman studied cinema at USC, continued his career as a professional
cameraman, but never again tackled a theatrical feature.
A 1959 column by Paine Knickerbocker quotes Steinbeck at the time on Neyman: "Your script of 'FLIGHT' is the most exact translation
of story to film I have ever seen. There is no softening, no sweetening, no attempt to sentimentalize. But I have not the
slightest idea wehter it will work." In 1955 Steinbeck gave Neyman a two-year option, with the proviso he would approve the
finished work. In 1959 Steinbeck extended the option and withdrew the demand. By the time Neyman was out of the picture and
the investors had ponied up $240,000, Steinbeck spent a weekend writing and recording a commentary to soup up the picture,
for producer Conrad.
Scope and Content
Included are Neyman's original versions: some preliminary film
shots, his film, such of it as has been preserved, stills from the film
and related prints, correspondence, publicity from his day, and ephemera.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Conrad, Barnaby, 1922-
Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-
McCord, Ted, d. 1976.
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
Zinneman, Fred, 1907-