Finding Aid for the Horace McCoy papers, 1920-1956

Processed by J. Thomas Sturak, 7 January 1960; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
© 2002
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Horace McCoy papers
Date (inclusive): 1920-1956
Collection number: 794
Creator: McCoy, Horace, 1897-1955
Extent: 6 boxes (3 linear ft.)
Abstract: Horace McCoy (1897-1955) wrote hard-boiled detective fiction and sold his first screenplay, The Luxury Girl, in 1933; his first and most notable novel was They Shoot Horses, Don't They?(1935). During the next twenty years, he wrote scripts for several Hollywood studios and produced five additional novels. The collection consists mainly of typescripts of McCoy novels and screenplays.
Language: Finding aid is written in English.
Language of the Material: Materials are in English. Portions of this collection are in Portuguese, French, Danish, German, Italian and Norwegian.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Helen McCoy, 1962.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Horace McCoy papers (Collection 794). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2221363 


Horace McCoy was born April 14, 1897 in Pegram, Tennessee; worked for Dallas Journal and Dallas Dispatch in 1920s; his hard-boiled detective fiction appeared in Black Mask magazine; arrived in Hollywood to pursue acting career in 1931; sold screenplay, The Luxury Girl, in 1933; his first and most notable novel was They Shoot Horses, Don't They?(1935); during the next twenty years, he wrote scripts for several Hollywood studios and produced five additional novels; died December 15, 1955.

Scope and Content

Collection consists mainly of typescripts of McCoy novels and screenplays. Includes the final shooting script and ephemera for They Shoot Horses, Don't They?(1935). Also includes correspondence, copies of McCoy's work in translation, and ephemera.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  1. Manuscripts, typescripts, screenplays
  2. Ephemera, clippings, correspondence
  3. Books--foreign translations.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


McCoy, Horace,--1897-1955--Archives.
American fiction--20th century--Archival resources.
Authors, American--20th century--Archival resources.
Screenwriters--United States--Archival resources.

Genres and Forms of Material

Film scripts.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They?


  • from Black Mask
    • 1927 December: The Devil Man.
    • 1929 September: Dirty Work.
    • 1929 October: Hell's Stepsons.
    • 1929 December: Renegades of the Rio.
    • 1930 January: The Little Black Book.
    • 1930 March: Frost Rides Alone.
    • 1930 July: Somewhere in Mexico.
    • 1930 August: The Gun-Runners.
    • 1930 December: The Mailed Fist.
    • 1931 May: Headfirst into Hell - missing.
    • 1931 November: The Mopper Up.
    • 1932 March: The Trail to the Tropics.
    • 1932 June: The Golden Rule.
    • 1932 August: Murder in error.
    • 1932 October: Wings over Texas.
    • 1934 May: Flight at Sunrise.
    • 1934 October: Somebody must die - missing.
  • from Detective-Dragnet Magazine
    • 1930 December: Killer's Killer.
    • 1931 March: Death Alley - missing.
    • 1931 August: Juggernaut of Justice - missing.
  • from Detective Action Stories
    • 1931 Frbruary: Night Club - missing.
  • from Man Stories
    • 1931 July: A matter of Honor - missing.

Container List




By Horace McCoy, unless otherwise noted.

Night Cry

Box 4

Original story and screen play. n.d.

Physical Description: Ink handscript on 53 (106 numbered) double-size graph-paper.
Box 3

Script. Revised: August 15, 1955.

Physical Description: 146 pp. Mimeographed.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Box 2

Final shooting script of ABC film. 1969.

Physical Description: 177pp.
Box 2

Bound typescript. 1935.

Physical Description: 288pp.
Box 2

Ephemera relating to the motion picture.


I Should Have Stayed Home

Box 2

Bound typescript. n.d.

Physical Description: 236pp.

Kiss Tomorrow Good-Bye

Box 1

Bound typescript. n.d.

Physical Description: 363pp.


Box 1

Bound typescript. n.d.

Physical Description: 512pp.
Box 1

This is Dynamite. [ Corruption City]

Box 1

Bound typescript. March 7, 1950.

Physical Description: 229pp.

This is Dynamite

Box 2

1st Preliminary Green [dialog script]. By Warren Duff. April 20, 1951.

Physical Description: 142pp.

No Title

Box 4

Eight ink handscript pages of rough screen-play dialog on yellow, legal-size ruled paper.


Murder in the Air

Creator/Collector: White, Lyman G.
Box 4

Story synopsis of projected movie, typewritten.

Physical Description: 5pp.


Box 5

Envelope of clippings, mostly from early 1930s.

Physical Description: 20 pieces.
Box 5

Envelope of clippings, mostly c. 1938.

Physical Description: Approximately 265 pieces.
Box 5

Scrapbook, containing approximately 125 mounted pieces from period late-1920s to early 1930s in Dallas, Texas.

Physical Description: Including eight photographs, clippings, letters, notes, etc.
Box 5

Envelope of 23 loose pieces from the Dallas scrapbook (mostly clippings).

Box 4

Correspondence: 27 pieces written to Horace McCoy, ranging from January 15, 1928 to September 13, 1955.

Scope and Content Note

(Includes letters from agents, admirers, and son, Stanley McCoy; an acceptance letter for Brief Stories; contract from Berkeley Publishing Corporation for 1955 reprint of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?; foreign royalty statements, etc.).
Box 5

Packet of 10 little theater playbills (Oak Cliff Little Theater, Dallas, 2; Dallas Little Theatre, 8; Pasadena Playhouse, 2).

Box 5

Packet of personal notes.

Physical Description: 16 pieces.
Box 5

Twenty-four unmounted photographs.

Box 5

Packet of drawings by son, Stanley McCoy.

Physical Description: Approximately 25 pieces.
Box 4

Pack of membership cards, passes, tickets, etc.

Physical Description: Approximately 45 pieces.

Assorted Magazines:

Box 4

Variety, v.d.

Scope and Content Note

Four issues (July 31, 1934; February 19, 1936; March 30, 1940; December 12, 1940).
Box 4

The Hollywood Reporter. v.d.

Scope and Content Note

Seven issues (October 16, 1934; February 19, 1936; February 22, 1936; December 16, 1939, pp. 3-4 only; February 2, 1940; February 16, 1940; December 23, 1940).
Box 4

Motion Picture Herald: p.63 only of April 7, 1934 issue.

Box 5

Two football programs: Stanford-Columbia (1934); Stanford-USC 1934(?).



Box 5

Two special on location dinner menus from El Portal Hotel (Mesa, Arizona). April 19, n.d.

Box 5

Tablecloth from Melrose Court [Dallas?] inscribed with bon voyage messages, signatures, cartoons, etc. Spring 1930 or 1931.




All foreign translations.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?


Jamen, Man Skyder Da Heste? (Danish).

Box 6

Ai Cavalli Si Spara. Bound with Avrei Dovuto Restare A Casa [ I Should Have Stayed Home] in single volume. Titled: Le Luci Di Hollywood. (Italian).

Box 4

Mas NÃo Se Mata Cavalo? (Portuguese/Brazil).

Box 4

On AchÈve Bien les Chevaux (French).

Box 5

Ums Nackte Leben (German).

Box 5

I Should Have Stayed Home.

Box 4

J'aurais Du Rester Chez Nous (French).

Box 4

Le Luci Di Hollywood (Italian).


See: Box 6
Box 4

No Pockets in a Shroud.

Box 6

Ingen Lommer I Likskjorten (Norwegian).

Box 6

Li Gklae Der Har Ingen Lommer (Danish).

Box 4

O PÃo De Mentira (Portuguese).

Box 4

Kiss Tomorrow Good-Bye.

Box 4

Adieu La Vie, Adieu L'amour (French).

Box 4

Un Bacio E Addio (Italian).

Box 4


Box 6

Det Sorte Guld (Danish).

Box 6

Le Scalpel (French).

Box 6

Le Stelle Negli Occhi (Italian).

Box 4

Skalpell (German).

Box 4

This is Dynamite ( Corruption City).

Box 4

Questa è Dinamite (Italian).

Box 4

Pertes et Fracas (French).