Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Daniel Petrie papers
PASC-M 262  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (74.78 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope and Content
  • Processing Information
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Biography
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Daniel Petrie papers
    Collection number: PASC-M 262
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 29 linear ft. (54 document boxes, 6 Paige boxes, 1 storage box)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1947-2001
    Date (inclusive): 1947-2001
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Language of Materials: Materials are primarily in English, with some materials in French.
    Abstract: Daniel Petrie, born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1920, was a Canadian film, television and stage director. This collection comprises a wide variety of documents and objects related to his prolific career. The majority of these items relate to films and television programs directed or produced by Petrie between 1950 and 2001. Additionally, the collection contains a variety of personal ephemera with no direct connection to specific projects. The collection is arranged in four series: Feature Films, Made for Television Films, Television and Stage Projects, and Personal Ephemera.
    Creator: Petrie, Daniel 1920-2004

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Daniel Petrie Papers (Collection PASC 262-M). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Scope and Content

    This collection comprises a wide variety of documents and objects related to Daniel Petrie’s prolific career. The majority of these items relate to films, television shows, miniseries and stage productions directed or produced by Petrie between 1947 and 2001. Such items include production reports, background research, awards, casting notes, contact sheets for cast and crew, budget information, plot synopses, film and television reviews, scripts, publicity materials, and photographs. They also include oversize materials such as film clappers and promotional posters. Additionally, the collection includes documents related to film or television projects conceived by or pitched to Petrie that never ultimately came to fruition, including scripts, correspondence and proposed budgets. Finally, the collection contains a variety of personal ephemera with no direct connection to specific projects, including correspondence with friends and family, personal photographs, scrapbooks and press clippings about Petrie, as well as legal documents and documents related to the Screen Director’s Guild.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Alessandra Amin in 2014 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jasmine Jones. Processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Dorothea Petrie; 2007 and 2010.


    Daniel Petrie (November 26, 1920- August 22, 2004) was a Canadian film, television and stage director. He was born the youngest of six children in remote Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, and his childhood there played an inspirational role in one of his most successful films, the semi-autobiographical The Bay Boy (1984). After serving in the Canadian military during World War II, Petrie enrolled at Columbia University, and, while in New York, a chance encounter with producer Herman Shumlin led to a job as an actor in the Broadway production of "Kiss Them For Me," with Richard Widmark and Judy Holiday. His acting career was short-lived, and after completing his doctorate at Northwestern University he took a job directing television programs at NBC.
    In 1958 Dan directed his first feature, The Bramble Bush, followed by the critically acclaimed A Raisin in the Sun in 1961. At the Cannes Film Festival that year, A Raisin in the Sun earned a Palm d'Or nomination and secured Petrie the Gary Cooper Award for Human Values. During these years Petrie was also involved in stage and especially television projects, directing numerous TV programs during what is termed “the Golden Age of television” (ranging approximately from the late 1940s until the early 1960s).
    Throughout his career, Petrie continued to direct successful films and TV shows, excelling especially in the genre of made-for-television movies. He made television history in 1977 when he directed three of the five Emmy Award nominees for Best Production- Sybil, Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years and Harry Truman: Plain Speaking. All three programs garnered Emmys, and, for the second consecutive year, Daniel Petrie was voted Best Director by both the Academy and the Directors Guild. Through the 80s and 90s, Petrie directed a wide variety of projects, ranging from science fiction films, like Cocoon: The Return, to heartwarming family classics, such as Lassie.
    Daniel Petrie died of cancer at his home in Los Angeles in 2004. His corpus included nearly 100 directing and producing credits at the time of his death.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5518739