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Geiger (Milton) Papers
SC.MG  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical Information:
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Conditions Governing Access:
  • Conditions Governing Use:
  • Accruals:
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information:
  • Preferred Citation:

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
    Title: Milton Geiger Papers
    Creator: Geiger, Milton, 1907-1971
    Identifier/Call Number: SC.MG
    Extent: 10.84 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1932-1973
    Date (bulk): 1938-1973
    Abstract: Milton Geiger wrote radio and television scripts as well as motion picture plays, theater plays, and short stories, some of which were performed or directed by Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Lorne Greene, and Richard Dreyfuss. The collection documents Geiger's writing career from 1938, particularly the creative development and research behind his scripts. The collection also documents the business workings of the radio and television industries through correspondence and legal documents between Mr. Geiger, the networks, studios, and his agents.
    Language of Material: English

    Biographical Information:

    Milton Geiger (December 29, 1907-September 28, 1971) was born in New York City, but grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where he received his first significant exposure to theater at the Cleveland Play House. He married the author Dorothy Rubenstein (pen name Dorothy English), and the couple moved to New York City so Geiger could pursue his writing career. They later moved to Southern California to work in the entertainment industry.
    Geiger wrote radio and television scripts, as well as motion picture plays, theater plays, and short stories. His first commercial success was written for the radio's "The Rudy Vallee Hour" (One Special for Doc in his correspondence files), about a small town pharmacist. The CBS network hired him in the late 1930s as the script writer for the radio show "County Seat" launching his radio career. This series also featured a pharmacist, a vocation familiar to Geiger who was a licensed pharmacist in Ohio and California. During the 1950s he wrote for the CBS Lux Radio Theater show based in Hollywood. He also began writing for television, scripting episodes for Climax.(1954) and Tales of Wells Fargo.(1957). In 1958 Geiger wrote the highly acclaimed play Edwin Booth.which opened in New York starring Jose Ferrer. Some well know personalities who performed or directed Geiger scripts were Orson Welles , Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Edward G. Robinson, Lorne Greene, and Richard Dreyfuss. Milton Geiger passed away while sailing to England in 1971.

    Scope and Contents

    The Milton Geiger Papers document Geiger's writing career from 1938, particularly the creative development and research behind his scripts. The collection also documents the business workings of the radio and television industries through correspondence and legal documents between Mr. Geiger, the networks, studios, and his agents. Several of the scripts, especially the movie scripts, were probably never produced. Unless indicated otherwise by the Series heading, the documents in this collection are scripts. The collection has been divided into ten series: Correspondence (1938-1973), Legal Documents (1939-1963), Motion Picture Plays (1961-1966), Musical Theater (1943), Radio Plays (1938-1971), Research (1932-1962), Short Stories (1960), Sound Recording Transcripts (1966-1969), Television Plays (1949-1967), and Theater (1957-1966).
    Series I, Correspondence, includes documentation of Geiger's professional relationships in the early radio and television industries. With the exception of the first three files which are arranged chronologically, the remaining file folders are interfiled alphabetically by creator or addressee. When known, the agency, person, show title and subject are included in the file heading. Personal names are listed last name, first name and filed by last name. Some significant correspondence groupings are "Edwin Booth," "Fan Mail," and "One Special for Doc." The series is filed alphabetically by correspondent.
    Series II, Legal Documents, includes such legal documents as box office statements, contracts, and financial data. Of particular note are the box office statements for the California productions of Edwin Booth. The series is filed alphabetically.
    Series III, Motion Picture Plays, consists of movie scripts and related materials. It includes multiple drafts and versions of some scripts, as well as co-authored scripts. The series is filed alphabetically by title.
    Series IV, Musical Theater, consists of musical theater scripts. The series is filed alphabetically by title.
    Series V, Radio Plays, includes Geiger's commercial scripts for County Seat, ABC Presents, Clap Hands, the Four Star Playhouse, Lux Radio Theater, Show Globes, and others. There are also his scripts for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Federal Civil Defense Administration, the New York War Fund, and a chapter on writing for radio entitled "How Do They Get That Way." The series is filed alphabetically by title.
    Series VI, Research, includes background articles, news clippings, and notes on Geiger's particular interests. There is extensive material on the Octopus. Research materials directly associated with a script are grouped next to that script. The series is filed alphabetically.
    Series VII, Short Stories, includes short stories penned by Geiger, some of which also appear as scripts in other parts of the collection. His co-authored stories with Dorothy Geiger and Robert Metzler are also included. The series is filed alphabetically by title.
    Series VIII, Sound Recording Transcripts, includes transcriptions from a series of works Geiger wrote to accompany programs on the history of American popular music, "Hear the USA," which were narrated by Lorne Greene.
    Series IX, Television Plays, documents Milton Geiger's involvement with the early television industry on the west coast. Scripts which exist in other media versions such as "The Misery Mule" and "The Highlander" are included. The series is filed alphabetically by title.
    Series X, Theater, primarily consists of Geiger's records and scripts for Airport and Edwin Booth. Edwin Booth was widely produced with performances at California State University, Northridge (1964), Cleveland Play House (1965), and the College of the Desert in Palm Springs (1971). A young Richard Dreyfuss appeared in the 1965 production at the CBS Repertoire Theatre. The series is filed alphabetically by title.

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: Correspondence, 1938-1973
    Series II: Legal Documents, 1939-1963
    Series III: Motion Picture Plays, 1961-1966
    Series IV: Musical Theater, 1943
    Series V: Radio plays, 1938-1971
    Series VI: Research, 1932-1962
    Series VII: Short Stories, 1960
    Series VIII: Sound Recording Transcripts, 1966-1969
    Series IX: Television Plays, 1949-1967
    Series X: Theater, 1957-1966

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Accruals:

    1990

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Dorothy Geiger. 1983. 1990

    Processing Information:

    Tony Gardner and Allan Gilbert, 2005

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Documents