Jonathan Latimer Miscellaneous Scripts and Screenplays, 1940-1960 (MSS 133)


Extent: 0.6 Linear feet (2 archives boxes)

Papers of Jonathan Wyatt Latimer (1906-1983), journalist, screen writer and detective story author. Materials include a small collection of story ideas, outlines, scripts and screenplays arranged alphabetically by title.

Jonathan Wyatt Latimer, journalist, screen writer and detective story author was born October 23, 1906 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the Mesa Ranch School in Arizona from 1922-1925 and later studied at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1929. In the same year he began his career as a writer at the Chicago Herald Examiner and later wrote for the Chicago Tribune. Working as a police reporter and "rewrite man," Latimer covered stories in the gangster world through the early 1930s, and met notorious crime figures including Al Capone.

After writing an article about Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, Latimer was hired as a ghost writer for the Department of the Interior. During the time Latimer worked as a ghost writer for Ickes, he began the first of his series of mystery novels. His first novel, Murder in a Madhouse, became a 1935 best-seller and introduced Bill Crane, the hard-drinking detective and hero of five of Latimer's novels.

After serving in the U.S. Navy between 1942 and 1945, Latimer became a successful Hollywood screenwriter, producing scripts for such movies as "Lady in the Morgue," "Topper Returns," and the "Glass Key," as well as ten films directed by John Farrow. Latimer later wrote television scripts for forty-five episodes of the "Perry Mason" show, 1960-1965. Latimer also wrote ten episodes for the "Markham" series and about twenty television specials.

Jonathan Latimer retired to La Jolla, California in 1973, where he died on June 23, 1983.

Small collection of story ideas, outlines, scripts and screenplays. Arranged alphabetically by title.

Container List


Box 1 Folder 1
Apache Gold - Manuscript and edited typescript
Box 1 Folder 2
A Coffin for Cinderella - Annotated typescript
Box 1 Folder 3-4
Double Indemnity - Mimeographed script edited in pencil
Box 1 Folder 5
Experiment in Time - Manuscript story idea
Box 1 Folder 6
Fallen Angel - Manuscript outline
Box 1 Folder 7
Future - Edited typescript story idea
Box 1 Folder 8
The General Died at Noon - Mimeograph typescript edited in pencil
Box 1 Folder 9
Help Wanted - Typescript and carbon
Box 1 Folder 10-16
Hold the Presses (with Basil Talbot) - Typescript versions
Box 1 Folder 17
Jack of Diamonds - Mimeograph
Box 2 Folder 1-2
Jazz Death - Manuscript plot outline & typescript with edits
Box 2 Folder 3-4
Nor All Your Tears - Mimeograph script owned by Paramount Pictures Corporation & notes
Box 2 Folder 5
Nothing But Love, Baby - Typescript
Box 2 Folder 6
Shore Leave - Story idea
Box 2 Folder 7
Untitled movie script - Typescript
Box 2 Folder 8
Untitled story - Typescript