William Dieterle papers 2017

Diann Benti
USC Libraries Cinematic Arts Library
2021 October
Doheny Memorial Library G4
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles, California 90089-0185

Contributing Institution: USC Libraries Cinematic Arts Library
Title: William Dieterle papers
Creator: Dieterle, William, 1893-1972
Identifier/Call Number: 2017
Identifier/Call Number: 410
Physical Description: 5.75 Linear Feet 11 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1923-1950
Abstract: This collection contains production files for twelve American film projects of German director William Dieterle (1893-1972), dating from 1936 to 1950. The files chiefly include production and wardrobe stills, research files, and outlines.
Language of Material: English, German.

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Provenance unknown.


Files are arranged chronologically by project production date with oversize materials in Box 11 at the end of the collection.
Box 1: 1936 (The Story of Louis Pasteur; The White Angel)

Box 2: 1937 (The Life of Emile Zola)

Box 3-4: 1938 (Blockade; Juarez)

Box 5-6: 1939 (The Hunchback of Notre Dame)

Box 7-8: 1940 (The Story of Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet; A Dispatch from Reuters)

Box 9: 1940-1941 (A Dispatch from Reuters; All That Money Can Buy)

Box 10: 1942-1950 (Tennessee Johnson; Kismet; September Affair)

Box 11: Oversize materials and index

Biographical / Historical

William Dieterle (1893-1972) was a German actor and director. Dieterle immigrated to the United States in 1930 and worked in Hollywood until returning to Germany in the late 1950s. His film The Life of Emile Zola received the Best Picture Academy Award in 1937.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder# or item name], William Dieterle Papers, Collection no. 2017, Cinematic Arts Library, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

Processing Information

Initially inventoried as part of the Ethel Barrymore Performing Arts Division, USC. Additional work by USC students in 2019 as part of the "Piloting a Shared Practice for Accessible Archival Descriptions" Dean's Challenge Grant. Additional description by Diann Benti in 2021.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains production files for twelve American film projects of German director William Dieterle (1893-1972), dating from 1936 to 1950. The files chiefly include production and wardrobe stills, research files, and outlines. There are no personal papers in this collection. Among the stills are photographs of many actors including Henry Fonda (Blockade), Maureen O'Hara (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Edward G. Robinson (A Dispatch from Reuters), and Marlene Dietrich (Kismet). An outdated paper index and some biographical items on Dieterle are housed in Box 11.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

Finding aid description and metadata are licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Cinematic Arts Library at ctlibarc@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Cinematic Arts Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Actors -- Photographs
Motion picture producers and directors -- Archival resources
Feature films -- Archival resources
Motion pictures--Production and direction -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archival resources
Motion pictures -- Archival resources
Film stills
Dieterle, William, 1893-1972 -- Archives
Dietrich, Marlene -- Photographs
Fonda, Henry, 1905-1982 -- Photographs
O'Hara, Maureen, 1920-2015 -- Photographs
Robinson, Edward G., 1893-1973 -- Photographs


The Story of Louis Pasteur 1936

Box 1, Folder 1

Production stills


The White Angel (Working title: "Florence Nightingale") 1936

Box 1, Folder 2

Research images

Box 1, Folder 3

Research materials and written synopsis

Box 1, Folder 4-10

Costume stills

Box 1, Folder 11

Production stills and building photographs

Box 1, Folder 12

Research binder


The Life of Emile Zola 1937

Box 2, Folder 1-5

Costume stills

Box 2, Folder 6

Test stills

Box 2, Folder 7

Program, memo, and photographs

Box 2, Folder 8-14

Research images


Blockade (Working title: "The Adventuress") 1938

Box 3, Folder 1-3

Production stills

Box 11, Folder 2

Promotional materials


Juarez 1938

Box 3, Folder 4

"Phantom Crown" (Suggestions for Revisions of Juarez Sequences)

Box 3, Folder 5-10

Background research, biographical characterization and historical treatment

Box 3, Folder 11

"Juarez the Impassible" [typescript translation]

Box 3, Folder 12

"Some Notes on the Life of Benito Juarez" by Jesse John Dossick, School of Education, New York University [typescript]

Box 3, Folder 13

"Phantom Crown" by Wolfgang Reinhardt [typescript continuity outline with notes]

Box 4, Folder 1

"Maximilian & Carlota" Continuity Outline by A. E. McKenzie

Box 4, Folder 2-14

Research Photographs


The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1939

Box 5, Folder 1

Production stills from the 1923 silent film Hunchback of Notre Dame [copy photographs] 1923

Box 5, Folder 2-4

Research materials

Box 5, Folder 5-6

Synopsis by Bruno Frank [in English and German]

Box 5, Folder 7

Annotated script

Box 5, Folder 8

Draft script

Box 5, Folder 9

Synopsis and dialogue continuity

Box 5, Folder 10

Outline and notes

Box 5, Folder 11

Shooting schedule and preliminary budget details

Box 5, Folder 12

Letter from Edmond O'Brien to Pandro S. Berman

Box 5, Folder 13


Box 6, Folder 1-22

Production and costume stills


The Story of Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet 1940

Box 7, Folder 1

"Paul Ehrlich: The Man and the Scientist" by Martha Marquardt [typescript] 1924

Box 7, Folder 2

"The Side-Chain Theory" by A. von Wasserman [typescript translation] 1939

Box 7, Folder 3-7

Research materials and images

Box 11, Folder 3

Oversize research materials

Box 7, Folder 8

Wardrobe stills

Box 7, Folder 9

Makeup stills

Box 7, Folder 10

Casting lists and correspondence

Box 7, Folder 11

"6 0 6" (Paul Ehrlich) treatment 1938

Box 8, Folder 1

Script (temporary) 1939

Box 8, Folder 2

Script (revised temporary) 1939

Box 8, Folder 3

Script (final) 1939

Box 8, Folder 4


Scope and Contents

Magazine articles and clipping about Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet and William Dieterle.
Box 11, Folder 3

Oversize press


A Dispatch from Reuters 1940

Box 8, Folder 5-8

Research materials, images, and correspondence

Box 9, Folder 1

"This Man Reuter" [treatment] 1939

Box 9, Folder 2-8

Wardrobe and test stills


All That Money Can Buy (The Devil and Daniel Webster) 1941

Box 9, Folder 9-12

Production stills


Tennessee Johnson 1942

Box 10, Folder 1-5

Production stills


Kismet 1944

Box 10, Folder 6-9

Production stills


September 1950

Box 10, Folder 10

Transparency plates

Box 11, Folder 1

Biographical and index file

Scope and Contents

Contains an original index for the collection from the Ethel Barrymore Performing Arts Division and photocopies of some articles on Dieterle and his films.