Firestone Library is pleased to be exhibiting a selection of Woody Allen’s film scripts in conjunction with the question-and-answer session with the celebrated American movie director, screenwriter, and author in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, October 27. On display in the Eighteenth-Century Window of Firestone Library (October 21–November 17) are versions of What’s New, Pussycat? (1965), Sleeper (1973), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and Midnight in Paris (2010). The scripts are from the Woody Allen Papers, in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Since 1980, Princeton has been the repository for the papers of the Woody Allen. In making his initial gift of papers to Princeton, Allen wrote, “When the idea of donating them to a university came up, Princeton was immediately thought of because of very kind interest by the school and Mr. Laurence Rockefeller” [Class of 1932]. Since then, the papers have grown to 48 boxes of manuscripts, typescripts, and other materials documenting Woody Allen’s writing life, from television and stand-up comedy writing in the 1950s and ’60s to the present.
Allen is best known for writing, directing, and acting in many of his own films, and has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including four Academy Awards: Annie Hall, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (co-written with Marshall Brickman), 1978; Hannah and Her Sisters, Best Original Screenplay, 1987; and Midnight in Paris, Best Screenplay, 2012. The papers shows the stages of crafting film scripts, from handwritten plot outlines and drafts on yellow legal pads to successive typescript versions, corrected by the author and often stapled together from different versions. There are also bound mimeographed production scripts. Allen has also been a contributor in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and other magazines. The papers contain drafts, typescripts, and proofs of articles, short stories, essays, plays, comedy writing, and other documentation of Allen’s creative life.
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