Ferrer, Jose (1912-1992)

The Jose Ferrer collection primarily consists of material regarding stage plays, musicals, and television productions which Ferrer acted in, wrote, directed, or produced. The collection also includes several scrapbooks, as well as other items.

Material regarding plays and musicals dates from 1951-1989, and includes programs, stage plans, correspondence, legal material, scripts, notes, and other items.

Titles represented (with New York premieres given where known) include A Slight Case of Murder (1935), Ferrer’s Broadway debut; Boy Meets Girl (1935); Brother Rat (1936), starring Ferrer; The Admiral Had a Wife (1941), starring, directed by and produced by Ferrer; Vickie (1942), directed by Ferrer and Frank Mandel; Let’s Face It (1943), starring Ferrer; Strange Fruit (1945), directed by Ferrer; The Insect Comedy (1948), starring and directed by Ferrer; Twentieth Century (1950), starring, directed by and produced by Ferrer; Stalag 17 (1951), directed and produced by Ferrer; The Fourposter (1951), directed by Ferrer; The Chase (1952), directed by Ferrer; The Shrike (1952), starring, directed by and produced by Ferrer; My Three Angels (1953), directed by Ferrer; Charley’s Aunt (1954), directed by Ferrer; various plays from the tenth season of the New York City Center of Music and Drama; Oh, Captain (1958), written and directed by Ferrer; Edwin Booth (1958), starring and directed by Ferrer; Richard III (1958), starring Ferrer; The Andersonville Trial (1959), directed by Ferrer; Juno (1959), directed by Ferrer; The Girl Who Came to Supper (1963), starring Ferrer; Little Me (1965), starring Ferrer; The Peacock Season (1965), starring Ferrer; Man of La Mancha (1965), starring Ferrer; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1965), starring Ferrer; Around the World in Eighty Days (1965), starring Ferrer; Oedipus Rex (1966), starring Ferrer; The Web and the Rock (1972), directed by Ferrer; Medal of Honor Rag (1976), starring and directed by Ferrer; White Pelicans (1978), starring Ferrer; Carmelina (1979), directed by Ferrer; and Paint Your Wagon (1980), starring Ferrer.

The materials for Oh, Captain and Edwin Booth are especially extensive. Also present are letters, scripts, and other documents regarding several proposed plays and musicals, including several stage plans by Jo Mielziner (1957); this material dates from 1947 to 1972.

Material regarding films dates from 1948 to 1989, and includes reviews, scripts, correspondence, financial material, legal material, notes, and other items. Titles (not all produced) represented include Joan of Arc (1948); Anything Can Happen (1952); The Caine Mutiny (1954); Deep in My Heart (1954); The Shrike, directed by Ferrer (1955); The Cockleshell Heroes, directed by Ferrer (1955-1956); Nine Hours to Rama (1963); Cyrano and D’Artagnan (1964); Ship of Fools (1965); Cervantes (1968-1969); E. Lollipop (1975); Paco (1975); Voyage (1976); The Big Bus (1976); Behind the Iron Mask (1977); Dracula’s Dog (1976); Secret Files (1977); Who Has Seen the Wind? (1977, 1980); The Swarm (1978); Fedora (1978); and Natural Enemies (1979). Also present are letters, scripts, and other documents regarding several proposed films, including Death in Venice (this material dates from 1952 to 1975.

Material regarding television appearances (both in specials and in episodes of a series) dates from 1964 to 1988, and includes letters, legal material, scripts, and other documents. Titles include Ole! Ole! (1964); The Wylie-Horrert Murders (1972); Snatch (1972); In the Confessional (1973); Everything Money Can’t Buy, pilot episode titled “Mr. Right” (1974); Order to Kill ( El Clan de los Immorales ) (1974); Pickles (1975); Truman at Potsdam (1976); Starsky and Hutch, episode titled “Murder at Sea” (1976); The Transfusion (1976); Exo-Man (1977); The Rhineman Exchange, a mini-series (1977); The Return of Captain Nemo, starring Ferrer as Nemo; scripts for three episodes (1977); Fame (1978); The French Atlantic Affair, a mini-series (1979); Berlin Tunnel 21 (1981); The Love Boat, scripts for two episodes (1981); This Girl for Hire (1983); Fantasy Island, episode titled “Random Choices / My Mommy the Swinger” (1983); Samson and Delilah (1984); Hotel, episode titled “Passages” (1984); Seduced (1985); S.S. (1985); Bridges to Cross, episode titled “Keeper of the Flame” (1986); Blood and Orchids (1986); and Sesame Street (1988).

Material regarding appearances by Ferrer in other media includes radio performances (1951-1952) and a proposal for directing a production of the opera Volpone by Alfred Perry and George Antheil (1952-1953).

Scrapbooks in the collection date from 1935 to 1957, and include reviews, telegrams, publicity items, articles, and other items.

Other material in the collection includes a transcript of Ferrer’s testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities (1951); a biographical essay about Ferrer (1952); material regarding Ferrer’s participation in the New York City memorial service for John F. Kennedy, where he was asked to read Robert Frost’s poem “The Gift Outright” (1963); and correspondence, including letters regarding Ferrer’s election to the presidency of the Player’s Club (1983).

Notable correspondence among the material noted above includes letters from Paul Bowles regarding Bowles’s score for Edwin Booth; letters from Archibald MacLeish regarding MacLeish’s attempts to adapt Marcel Achard’s play Marlborough into an English version (1948); and letters from Ferrer to
George Antheil, Humphrey Bogart, Ruth Gordon, Garson Kanin, Fred MacMurray, and Merle Oberon.

Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Television Subject Guide
3. The Hollywood Ten and the Blacklist Era Subject Guide