Skip to main content

Henry Koster papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8834

Scope and Contents

Includes scrapbooks, 16mm film reels, and annotated scripts pertaining to the career and life of filmmaker Henry Koster. The scripts are mostly final drafts of shooting scripts; some are Koster’s personal copies, and many included 8x10 glossy production stills. The scrapbooks cover the production, release, and reception of several of Koster’s 1930s-1950s films. The film reels are in fair to poor condition, and are mostly whole. Creation dates for materials range from approximately 1936 to 1966.

Dates

  • approximately 1936-1966

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Henry Koster Papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Henry Koster (1905-1988) was a German-born Hollywood filmmaker active between 1925 and 1966.

Born Hermann Kosterlitz in Germany to a German-Jewish family, Koster was left to provide for his family at a young age after his father left and worked at as a short story writer, which led him to begin a career as a scenarist. In 1932, he directed his first picture but due to rising anti-Semitism in Hitler’s Germany he fled soon after. He went to France and then to Budapest where he married his first wife Kató Király in 1934. There he also met the producer Joe Pasternak, who represented Universal Pictures in Europe and led to Koster’s eventual immigration to the United States and to Hollywood where he found success directing musicals with Deanna Durbin. In 1942 he married actress Peggy Moran. In 1948, he moved on to 20th Century Fox where he made two of the biggest hits of his career: Harvey (1950), a comedy starring James Stewart, and The Robe (1953), a biblical epic that was the first film shot on CinemaScope. In 1966, following 30 years of filmmaking, Koster retired from the Motion Picture Industry. He died in 1988 of liver cancer at 83 years old. He left behind his wife and three children.

Extent

4 cartons (4 linear ft.)

3 oversize boxes ((3 linear ft.) )

14 film reels (4 linear ft.)

Language

English

Overview

Annotated scripts, scrapbooks, and 16mm film reels.

Arrangement

Arranged in three series: 1. Henry Koster annotated scripts, approximately 1936-1966. 2. Henry Koster scrapbooks, approximately 1939-1957. 3. Henry Koster film collection, approximately 1936-1949.

Custodial History

Created and collected by Henry Koster and donated to BYU in 1980.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Henry Koster; 1980.

Appraisal

Arts and Communications.

Processing Information

Processed; AJ Taysom and Mary-Celeste Ricks; 2016.

Creator

Title
Henry Koster papers
Status
Completed
Author
AJ Taysom and Mary-Celeste Ricks
Date
2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States