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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Important Information for Users of the Collection
  • Biography
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fred Zinnemann papers
    Date (inclusive): 1885-2001
    Date (bulk): 1950s-1980s
    Collection number: 4
    Creator: Zinnemann, Fred
    Extent: 93 linear feet of papers. 17.5 linear feet of photographs. 32 posters 36 production artworks
    Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
    Selected digitized items from this collection:
    Languages: English

    Important Information for Users of the Collection


    Available by appointment only.

    Publication rights

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

    Preferred Citation

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

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Fred Zinnemann, 1984-1996, with additions from Tim Zinnemann, 1997-2004, and Linda Ayton, 2014


    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 1885-2001 (bulk 1950s-1980s) and encompass 93 linear feet of manuscripts, 17.5 linear feet of photographs, 32 posters, and 36 artworks. 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, subseries A-B as follows: A. General; B. Clippings; 6. Writings; 7. Books; 8. Periodicals and Pamphlets; 9. Oversize; 10. Artifacts; 11. Photographs, subseries A-B as follows: A. Motion picture production; B. Subject; 12. Graphic Arts.

    Indexing Terms

    Zinnemann, Fred , 1907-1997--Archives.