Chasman, David (1925- )
Scope:
The David Chasman collection consists of video, subject files, printed material, manuscripts, correspondence, and other material.

Video recordings in the collection primarily consist of VHS cassette tapes, with some Betamax tapes also present.  Several of the recordings are rare and/or not commercially available.  Tapes include two takes of a skit starring James Coburn, produced for Saturday Night Live but never used; Murder on Flight 502 (1975), a television feature produced by Chasman; various cartoons, including the Academy Award-winning Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom; a first cut of Joseph Strick’s film Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1979), sent to Chasman for his opinion; a complete set of MGM’s Historical Mysteries series; the entire Kevin Brownlow and David Gill series titled Hollywood; Men of Bronze (1977), a documentary on African-Americans in World War I; The Critic (1963), an Academy Award-winning short animated film; The Mikado, the 1939 production directed by Victor Schertzinger and performed by the D’Oyly Carte troupe; a series of short films about Nostradamus (1980); two recordings from John Nesbitt’s Passing Parade (1980); television specials by Richard Pryor and Robin Williams; She Fell Among Thieves, a film by Clive Donner for the BBC; home movies by Charlie Chaplin; an unused scene from An American in Paris; and several others.

Subject files in the collection consist mainly of office files.  These files contain various items arranged into subjects by Chasman; the material includes correspondence, contracts, deals, reports, manuscripts, and other items.  Also present are files of material relating to Chasman’s personal affairs.  Topics include the Roddy McDowell estate trusteeship, the National Film Registry, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Awards, and others.

Printed material in the collection includes issues of various periodicals, including Graphis Annual (1952-1969), Pubblicita in Italia (1957-1961), PM (1936-1942), Performing Arts Magazine, and clippings and photocopies from various newspapers and magazines.  Also present are several programs and playbills from various events and performances that Chasman attended.

Manuscripts by Chasman in the collection include his memoir Everything I Wanted to Know About Succeeding in Hollywood I Learned From My Pit Bull; Confessions of a Major Player: A Hollywood Memoir, Chasman’s biography of Daniel Melnick; two screenplays written under the pseudonym “Graphon Agnotos,” The Murder Man and Hollywood Oscar; the screenplay for The Paper, written by Chasman and Stephen Koepp; and other screenplays by Chasman.

Manuscripts by other authors in the collection mainly consist of screenplays; these include Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, by Cameron Crowe; Tovarich, by Jacques Deval; L.A. Confidential, by Brian Helgeland and Curtis Hanson; As Good As It Gets, by James L. Brooks and Mark Andrus; A Simple Plan, by Scott B. Smith; Life is Beautiful, by Roberto Benigni and Vincenzo Cerami; The Truman Show, by Andrew Niccol; Good Will Hunting, by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; The Cider House Rules, by Lasse Hallstrom; American Beauty, by Alan Ball; The Insider, by Michael Mann and Eric Roth; Being John Malkovich, by Charlie Kaufman; The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Anthony Minghella; The Green Mile, by Frank Darabont; Topsy-Turvy, by Mike Leigh; O Brother, Where Art Thou? by Joel and Ethan Coen; Erin Brockovich, by Susannah Grant; You Can Count on Me, by Kenneth Lonergan; Billy Elliot, by Lee Hall; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, by Wang Hui Ling, James Schamus and Tsai Kuo Jung; Chocolat, by Robert Nelson Jacobs; Traffic, by Stephen Gaghan; Wonder Boys, by Steve Kloves; Gladiator, by David Franzoni, John Logan, and William Nicholson; Shrek; The Royal Tenenbaums, by Wes Andersen; Frida, by Clancy Segal, Diane Lake, Gregory Nava, and Anna Thomas; Monster’s Ball, by Milo Addika and Will Rokos; In the Bedroom, by Rob Festinger and Todd Field; Gosford Park, by Julian Fellowes; and several other screenplays. 

Correspondence in the collection dates from 1966 to 1999.  The letters are mainly arranged in files by topic (by Chasman), and includes numerous personal and professional letters on various subjects, including: The Writers Guild of America; the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; M-G-M studios; Columbia studios; personal letters; fan mail; film production; and other topics.

Other material in the collection includes a scrapbook devoted to Roddy McDowall in his teenage years; personal correspondence with Aram J. Kevorkian; financial material; legal material; photocopies of Groucho Marx’s appointment diaries for the years 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1969; production notebooks for The Secret of My Success and Brighton Beach Memoirs; and various other items.
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Notable Figures
1. Chasman, David
Associated Subjects
1. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
2. Motion picture producers and directors – United States
3. Motion picture industry – United States
4. Screenplays
5. Motion pictures – Production and direction – United States