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Series 11: Audio and Moving Images, 1937-1970


  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents note

Audio reels, audiocassette tapes, 45, 33 1/3, and 78 rpm vinyl records (10", 12" and 16"), 16 mm film reels, and videocassettes on various topics. Audio reels are read-throughs or productions of Ben or Jenny Hecht (Winkelberg, The Ben Hecht Show, and Diary of Anne Frank, respectively); audiocassettes are a preservation copy of Hecht’s We Will Never Die, the originals of which are on 16” vinyl records, and a radio interview with Hecht from 1956. Vinyl records include commercial recordings collected mainly by Rose Hecht or autographed by the artists (George Antheil, Harpo Marx), as well as noncommercial recordings of the same type as on the audio reels.

Within this collection are audio snippets (on reel tape and on 33 1/3 rpm record) from Ben's short-lived television show, called "The Ben Hecht Television Show," which ran from September 15, 1958 to Jan. 30, 1959. The recording was compiled by the producers of the Ben Hecht Show, and narrated by Mike Wallace. On the show, Hecht expounded on various controversial subjects, including his views on Germany, prostitution, and evangelism. He brought in provocative guests such as the director Otto Preminger, artist Salvador Dali, the Executive Editor of the New York Herald-Tribune Luke Carroll, and illustrator / author Alexander King.

The reels of 16 mm film are mostly home movies of Jenny Hecht as a young girl, but also include some footage of Ben Hecht. Film footage also includes official footage of the 1940 New York World’s Fair and a fragment of a black and white cartoon. Videocassettes are copies of commercial productions for His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940), Jenny Hecht's last movie The Jesus Trip (1971) and The Front Page (Billy Wilder, 1974).

Select items in this series have been digitized: see Special Collections staff in regards to listening to or viewing these materials.


  • Creation: 1937-1970


Conditions Governing Access

The Ben Hecht papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Arrangement note

Arranged by format.

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States