Bruce Feldman Collection

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680
hswett@wgfoundation.org
https://www.wgfoundation.org/archive/
2019


Descriptive Summary

Title: Bruce Feldman Collection
Dates: 1969-1975 [bulk 1974-1975]
Collection Number: WGF-MS-102
Creator/Collector:
Extent: 2.5 linear feet
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Bruce Feldman Collection consists of multiple drafts of Feldman's teleplays written for two TV movies: Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring and The Defection of Simas Kudirka. The bulk of the collection consists of research, interview transcripts, and working documents regarding the Kudirka project.
Language of Material: English

Access

Available by appointment only. Materials stored offsite. One week advance notice required for retrieval.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

Bruce Feldman Collection. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated by family of Bruce Feldman, 2019.

Biography/Administrative History

Bruce Feldman was a writer and book publisher. He was born in Davenport, Iowa on July 10, 1941 and grew up in South Bend, Indiana. He attended Indiana University before transferring to University of Southern California, where he graduated from its film school and began working as a screenwriter. His first produced television movie was Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring (1971) starring Sally Field as a runaway girl who comes home. He also wrote the lyrics to the title song that was recorded by Linda Ronstadt. He also wrote the teleplay The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978) starring Alan Arkin. He won a Christopher Award and was nominated for an Emmy for the script that tells the true story of a Lithuanian sailor who attempted to defect to the U.S. by jumping aboard an American Coast Guard cutter. Bruce married Cathy Fischgrund in 1967 and they moved to Santa Barbara from LA in 1975. In 1991 they co-founded Blue Point Books, dedicated to publishing books that make a difference. In 2006 Bruce edited “Harry Says: Boss Talk Without the Warm Fuzzies” based on the stories of a successful boss he knew in LA. Feldman died on February 5, 2014 in Santa Barbara.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection relates to Feldman’s writing of two TV movies: The Defection of Simas Kudirka (1978) and Maybe I’ll Be Home in the Spring (1971). The bulk of the collection relates to the writing of the Kudirka movie spanning 1974-1975 and contains research material and story development material as well as multiple drafts of the teleplay. Feldman began working on the project in 1974, months before Kudirka was freed from his Soviet prison camp and subsequent arrival in the United States. Feldman recorded interviews with Kudirka in January 1975 about his life and the incident on November 23, 1970 and the collection contains the full transcription of these interviews. Other research material includes: various drafts of chronologies and timelines prepared by Feldman in the course of his research, covering Kudirka’s life and family history and an hour by hour description of the incident; a transcription of Feldman’s interview with Grazina and Roland Paegle, an Eastern European-American couple who worked to secure Kudirka’s freedom; and research on the cutter Vigilant, the US Coast Guard investigation and the Congressional hearings. Also present is a small amount of correspondence between Feldman and TV executives regarding the project and between Feldman and Kudirka. The chronologies prepared by Feldman evolved into the treatment of the film, which evolved into the screenplay, and the collection material reflects this writing process in heavily annotated working drafts. Lastly, the collection contains several drafts of Feldman’s first TV movie Maybe I’ll Come Home in the Spring, which examines the choices a young hippie makes when she runs away and how those affect her family.

Indexing Terms

Defectors--Soviet Union
Political prisoners--Soviet Union
Kudirka, Simas
United States. Coast Guard.
Martha’s Vineyard (Mass.)
Made-for-TV movies.