Jack Cunningham papers,

Title
Jack Cunningham papers, 1922-1939.
Author
Cunningham, Jack, 1882-1941.

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FormatAccessStatusCall NumberLocation
Mixed materialSupervised useAvailable*T-Mss 1942-003Offsite

Details

Description
.1 lf (1 portfolio)
Genre/Form
Correspondence.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Source (note)
  • found in cage file
Biography (note)
  • Jack Cunningham (1882-1941) was a Hollywood screenwriter and producer who worked primarily for Paramount Pictures, and developed material for many prominent stars, including Douglas Fairbanks, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields and Harold Lloyd.
Processing Action (note)
  • Cataloged
Call Number
*T-Mss 1942-003
Author
Cunningham, Jack, 1882-1941.
Title
Jack Cunningham papers, 1922-1939.
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Summary
The Jack Cunningham papers consist primarily of correspondence pertaining to Cunningham's screenwriting career, especially two of his biggest successes, the epic Westerns THE COVERED WAGON (1923) and UNION PACIFIC (1939). Although there are several letters documenting a variety of Jack Cunningham's professional activities in the early to mid-1930s, the bulk of the collection is devoted to his work on these two films. In the case of THE COVERED WAGON the crew went on location to Utah in the autumn of 1922 while Cunningham remained in Los Angeles, reviewing the footage they sent back and writing detailed letters about it to director James Cruze. For UNION PACIFIC Cunningham travelled to Nebraska and Wyoming in the spring of 1938 to engage in preliminary research, and corresponded primarily with producer/director Cecil B. DeMille and his assistant William Pine, who remained in California. Cunningham also corresponded with local historians and with a number of elderly residents who participated in the construction of the Union Pacific railroad in the 1860s.
Biography
Jack Cunningham (1882-1941) was a Hollywood screenwriter and producer who worked primarily for Paramount Pictures, and developed material for many prominent stars, including Douglas Fairbanks, Barbara Stanwyck, W.C. Fields and Harold Lloyd. Cunningham began his career as a screenwriter in 1913, and had written over seventy screenplays before his epic Western THE COVERED WAGON, one of the biggest box office successes of the silent film era, brought him acclaim in 1923. In the years that followed he specialized in Westerns, and also wrote a number of swashbucklers for Douglas Fairbanks, such as THE BLACK PIRATE (1926) and THE IRON MASK (1929). In the mid-1930s Cunningham turned to comedy, writing several films for W.C. Fields including IT'S A GIFT and THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY (both 1934), MISSISSIPPI (1935), and POPPY (1936). Cunningham also wrote PROFESSOR BEWARE for Harold Lloyd in 1938 before returning to Westerns with the Cecil B. DeMille production UNION PACIFIC in 1939. Jack Cunningham died in Santa Monica, Calif, on Oct. 4, 1941, at the age of 59.
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1942-003
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