Biographical / Historical
Scope and Contents
Language of Material:
Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
Title: The Orin Borsten Collection
Identifier/Call Number: 0140
5 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1923-2006
The Orin Borsten Collection is arranged in four series: Series One: Correspondence, Series Two: Literature, Series Three:
Film, and Series Four: Photographs. In the Correspondence series, the subseries includes Personal Correspondence and Non-Orin
Correspondence. The Literature series consists of the subseries Programs and Writings. The Film series includes the subseries
of Scripts and Screenplays, Programs, and Memorabilia. The Photographs series does not include subseries.
Series One: Correspondence, includes two subseries: Personal Correspondence and Non-Orin Correspondence. Both subseries are
arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the writer.
Series Two: Literature, includes two subseries: Programs and Writings. The Programs subseries is arranged alphabetically and
the Writing subseries is arranged alphabetically according to last name of the author.
Series Three: Film, includes three subseries: Scripts and Screenplays, Programs, and Memorabilia. The Scripts and Screenplays
and Programs subseries are arranged alphabetically according to title. The Memorabilia subseries is arranged alphabetically
according to last name.
Series Four: Photographs, does not include subseries. It is arranged alphabetically according to the last name of the subject.
Biographical / Historical
Orin Borsten was born on February 19th of 1912 in Lithonia, Georgia. He served in the Army Medical Corps during World War
II and married a female Navy officer, Laura Rapaport. In the 1940's he started his career as the office manager for Russell
Birdcall who had a column in the Los Angeles Daily News. He then worked for Erskine Johnson in the 1950's. In the 1960's he
began writing scripts, one being "Angel Baby." After writing screenplays and television episodes, he moved on to work with
Universal Pictures. This job lasted him until 1976, which was the year that he co-wrote "A Loving Gentleman: The Love Story
of William Faulkner and Meta Carpenter" with Meta Carpenter. He spent his later years with his children, Joseph and Joan.
In 2006, he died from natural causes in his home in Studio City, California. He was 94.
Scope and Contents
The Orin Borsten Collection is comprised of four series: Correspondence, Literature, Film, and Photographs. The collection
contains few personal items besides the correspondence, which does shed light on Orin's contributions to the industry and
his hard-working character. Most of the series are comprised of materials from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Hollywood icons
such as Gary Cooper, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne are featured in the collection through movie scripts,
autographed photographs, correspondence, and memorabilia. Some notable pieces in the collection are a draft of "Silence of
the Lambs," a 1963 issue of "The New Yorker," rare Bessie Smith photographs, letter to Charles Chaplin from Alfred Hitchcock,
letter to Orin from Goldie Hawn, John Wayne movie mugs, and an Alfred Hitchcock tie.
Series One: Correspondence, is comprised of two subseries, which includes Personal Correspondence and Non-Orin Correspondence.
The correspondence in the Personal Correspondence subseries is mainly celebrity correspondence that Orin saved throughout
his life. Most letters thank Orin for his work on different projects. He has continual correspondence with Louis Daniel Broasky,
Irving Caesar, John Cassavetes, Sheilah Graham, Lawrence Lagner, and James Purdy. In the Non-Orin Correspondence series, there
is a section of Sonia Wolfson correspondence. She was a publicist at the time and a friend of Orin's. This series also includes
a letter to Charles Chaplin from Alfred Hitchcock.
Series Two: Litearture, is comprised of two subseries: Programs and Writings. The Programs subseries includes programs from
different theatrical shows or events lead by a writer. This subseries features programs from Tennessee Williams plays: "The
Night of the Iguana," and "Tiger Tail." The next subseries in the Literature series is Writing. The Writing subseries has
articles, bumper stickers, poetry, unpublished writings, short stories, and a lecture address, all from prominent writers
from the 60s through the 80s. One of the highlights in this subseries includes an unpublished chapter of "A Loving Gentleman"
written by Meta Doherty Wilde and Borsten. This subseries also includes a copy of The New Yorker from 1963, an unpublished
address by Lillian Smith, and William Faulkner envelopes and stamps.
Series Three: Film, is comprised of three subseries: Scripts and Screenplays, Programs, and Memorabilia. The Scripts and Screenplays
subseries includes works in which Borsten was involved and some are from his personal collection. The scripts range from first,
third, to final drafts, shooting scripts, accompaniment, and uncorrected proofs. A highlight of this subseries is the script
of "The Silence of the Lambs." There are also copies of "Porky's" and "The Outer Limits": "Corpus Earthling," in which he
was involved. The next subseries, Programs, includes programs from movie screenings, as well as lunches with famous actors,
directors, and producers. Highlights of the Programs series includes: "Catch-22," "Gone with the Wind," and "A Centennial
Tribute to Mary Pickford." Lastly, the subseries of Memorabilia is comprised of items from Borsten's personal collection.
Featured in this subseries a William Faulkner poster, a "Pulp Fiction" for your consideration, and an Alfred Hitchcock tie.
Series Four: Photographs, does not contain a subseries. Many of the photograph's subjects are old Hollywood celebrities including
Roy Rodgers and Dale Evan, Shirley Temple, Belle Bennett, and Gary Cooper. In addition, there are several signed photographs
with short messages. There are no photographs of Borsten or his family.