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John Sayles Archive

This archive documents the continuing film, dramatic, and literary careers of John Sayles, Williams College Class of 1972. It came to the Chapin Library from John Sayles himself, supplemented with gifts by Frederick Rudolph, Williams Class of 1942 and Mark Hopkins Professor of History Emeritus, and by Ralph Renzi, Williams Class of 1943, and by Library purchases.

Books and recordings by John Sayles owned by the Chapin Library are entered in the Williams Libraries online catalog. Some of the films written, produced, and directed by John Sayles are available on video in the Williams College Library or the Chapin Library. The archive also contains extensive files of miscellaneous articles about John Sayles and references to his work; and two compact discs of music by Butch Thompson with texts by John Sayles, “Chicago Breakdown” and “Good Old New York” (Daring CD 3002, 3003).

A filmography and a bibliography of John Sayles, to 1998, are contained in John Sayles, Filmmaker: A Critical Study of the Independent Writer-Director by Jack Ryan (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1998). John Sayles’ website may be found at

The John Sayles Archive is open to all interested readers under the Chapin Library’s general rules of access and with advance notice. The public use of materials in the archive, such as quotation in a published book or article, will be subject to permission of the property and copyright owners.


Alligator (1980)

Box 1:
Script, manuscript drafts
Script, typescript draft on blue paper, 24 March 1980
Script, typescript draft on pink paper, 21 April 1980
Script, photocopy of typescript
Partial script, photocopy of typescript
Scene summary, typescript
Review by Vincent Canby, New York Times, 5 June 1981

Baby It’s You (1982)

Box 1:
Script, typescript and manuscript draft
Script, typescript first draft
Script, typescript, revised
Script, typescript, revised
Shooting schedules, typescript, 26 March 1982, 6 May 1982
Partial one-liner schedule, typescript, 1 March 1982
Revised one-liners, typescript and manuscript, 16 March 1982
Set designs
Story notes, manuscript
Storyboards with manuscript notes
Scene notes, manuscript
Soundtrack list
Time and continuity breakdown chart, 3 March 1982
Production notes, manuscript
Notes on song ideas, manuscript
Step outline, typescript

Box 2:
Manuscript notes
Script, typescript, first draft
Script, typescript and manuscript, draft
Script, typescript, cut-and-paste draft
[N.B. The latest script for Baby It’s You was removed from the archive for
      the use of John Sayles, 24 November 1993, and not yet returned]
Notes from editor for drafts 1 and 2, typescript, with manuscript notes
      and diagrams
Scene notes, manuscript

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)

Box 1:
Script, typescript revised draft, 3 January 1979
Script, typescript revised in manuscript
Script, typescript
Adjustments to script, typescript
Revisions, typescript and manuscript, 18 January 1978
Notes for final draft revisions, typescript
Synopsis, typescript
Character notes, typescript and manuscript
Letters from New World Pictures, 28 September 1977 (2), 12 December 1978
Typescript revisions/comments from Frances, 13 October 1978, 17 October
Typescript notes on physics: “Evading Einstein’s Speed Limit” by Don Dixon
Notes, typescript and manuscript
Storyboards with manuscript notes
Pins (2): “Summer – 1980: Give Me Some Space”
DVD, “Roger Corman Classics”,
      20th anniversary special ed., New Concorde, 2000

Blood of the Lamb (Children of the Light; 1981)

Box 1:
Script, manuscript and typescript drafts

Brother from Another Planet (1984)

Box 1:
Script, typescript with manuscript directing notes, “The Brother Who Fell to
      Earth,” 1983
Script, typescript, “shooting script/breakdown copy,” with manuscript notes,

Box 2:
Script notes, manuscript
Script, manuscript, with typescript notes, storyboard sketches, call sheet,
      and “glossary of terms”
Script, typescript, with “wild lines” marked
Production schedule, typescript, 16 September 1983
Scene summaries, manuscript
Scene summaries, manuscript (3 photocopies)
List of reel notes and sound code, manuscript
Movielab sheets, 2 receipts
“Sundry papers,” manuscript
Cast list, typescript
Credits list, typescript
Editing notes, manuscript
Sound reports, typescript with manuscript notes
Log sheets, manuscript
Correspondence from Durban International Film Festival, 30 April 1984
Reviews and other cuttings
Related ephemera

Clan of the Cave Bear (1986)

Box 1:
Drafts, manuscript in 3 spiral notebooks
Drafts, typescript
Script, typescript (“Earth’s Children”)
Notes on the draft script, typescript
Comments on draft script, by Jean Auel, typescript
Script, typescript first draft, 23 September 1983
Script, typescript, 6 January 1984
Script, typescript, 31 May 1984
Revisions, typescript
Related correspondence

Crime of Conscience

Box 1:
Manuscript notes
Correspondence from Elizabeth Daley at MGM/UA

Eight Men Out (1988)

File drawer 1:
Production videocassettes (24 of 25; no. 4 not present at time of deposit)

Enormous Changes at the Last Minute (1983)

Box 1:
Manuscript notes
Script, typescript draft, with attached manuscript note from Mirra Bank
Script, typescript and manuscript draft, with manuscript corrections
Script, typescript, ribbon copy
Partial script, typescript draft with manuscript notes
Final revision notes, typescript, 19 March 1982
Revisions, typescript, with manuscript note from Mirra Bank
Notes on final revisions, typescript, 13 April 1982
Script notes, typescript, 14 April 1982
Editing notes, typescript, 30 April 1982
Character notes, typescript
Photocopied Grace Paley stories (2)
Biography sheets, typescript, for Mirra Bank, Ellen Hovde, Tom McDonough,
     and Grace Paley
Correspondence from Mirra Bank, manuscript, 14 April 1982
Correspondence from Mirra Bank, 23 March 1981
Correspondence from Ordinary Lives, Inc.

The Equals

Box 1:
Script, manuscript and typescript drafts
Partial script, typescript
Script, typescript revised draft, April 1980, by Richard Maxwell
Script, typescript rewrite, with manuscript breakdown and typescript note
      by John Sayles
Breakdown, manuscript
Scene sketch, manuscript

The Howling (1981)

Box 1:
Script, manuscript
Script, typescript first draft, 25 January 1980
Script, typescript revised draft, 4 March 1980
Partial script, typescript revised draft, 22 April 1980
Revisions, typescript, 2 May 1980
Corrections, typescript
Notes, manuscript
Reviews and other cuttings
Related ephemera

The Lady in Red (1979)

Box 1:
Notes/ideas from research, typescript
Manuscript notes
Notes, typescript, 12 April 1978
Notes, typescript, 28 April 1978
Typescript corrections, 21 July 1978
Script, typescript first draft, 7 August 1978
Script, typescript early draft, notes
Script, typescript, ribbon copy
Script, photocopy of typescript
Synopsis, typescript, ribbon copy
Synopsis for promotion, typescript
Cast list
Typescript and manuscript scene notes

Lianna (1983)

Box 1:
Script log
Shooting schedule
Music cue schedule
Souvenir programs
Poster for Turnbuckle and A New Hope for the Dead, with letter from
      Jeff Nelson and Maggie Renzi re “Linnea”
Reviews and other cuttings

Box 2:
Script, typescript first draft (“Linea”), 1977, and rewrite, 1980
Script, typescript first draft, photocopy
Sync trak, 2 reels

Box 3 (white binder):
Notes, manuscript
Shooting schedule

Matewan (1987)

Box 1:
Production videocassettes (21)

Night Skies (Watch the Skies; 1980)

Box 1:
Script, typescript
Script additions and corrections, manuscript
Sketches of sets
Character notes, typescript
Editing notes, manuscript
Letter to director, manuscript
Correspondence from Ron Cobb

A Perfect Match (1980)

Box 1:
Notes, manuscript and typescript
Script, typescript first draft, 30 July 1979
Script, typescript early draft
Script, typescript early draft
Script, typescript early draft, revised in manuscript
Script, typescript final draft, 5 Feb. 1980 (2 copies)
Script, typescript revised in manuscript
Script, typescript
Typescript of “A Perfect Match” by Andre Guttfreund and Mel Damski
Photocopy of “Marriage - For One”

Piranha (1978)

Box 1:
Script, typescript first draft by Richard Robinson
Script, typescript, ribbon copy
Script, typescript, revised in manuscript
Script, typescript, revised in manuscript, with miscellaneous manuscript notes
Letter to John Sayles by Frances Kimbrough, story editor, New World Pictures
DVD, “Roger Corman Classics”, 20th anniversary special ed., New Concorde,

Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980)

Box 1:
Script, typescript draft, revised in manuscript
Costume schedule key
Technical notes, edge numbers, and sound mix charts for post-production
Editing notes

Box 2:
Manuscript notes
Script, photocopy of typescript
Script breakdown, typescript
Polaroid photographs of locations (24)

Box 3:
Reviews and other cuttings

Box 4:
Sync track? 4 reels

The Sea Dragon of Loch Ness (1982)

Box 1:
Script, typescript revised in manuscript, 9 February 1979
Script, typescript revised in manuscript

Unnatural Causes (1986)

Box 1:
Notes, manuscript
Notes of taped interview with Maude DeVictor, 13–17 March 1984, typescript
Notes of “Chicago Interviews,” 30 August–2 September 1984, typescript
Script, typescript first draft, original treatment by Martin M. Goldstein,
Stephen Doran, and Robert Jacobs, 20 November 1984 (2 copies)
Script, typescript second draft, 12 December 1984
Photographs of John Sayles and John Ritter (2)
Research materials
Related correspondence

Box 2:
Script, typescript, 10 January 1985
Script, final? typescript
Notes, manuscript and typescript
Reviews (extensive file)

Wild Thing (1987)

Box 1:
Notes, manuscript
Drafts, manuscript, “Wild Thing/The Halfway Diner (story)/A Safe Place”
Script, typescript draft (printout)
Breakdowns, typescript
Memorandum on budget, typescript
Memorandum on structure, typescript
Publicity portfolio

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Box 1:
Script, typescript early draft
Script, later typescript draft revised in manuscript
Script, typescript draft and directing notes
Script, final? typescript, photocopies (2)
Related correspondence

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The Anarchists’ Convention

Box 1:
Mixed typescript ribbon copies and photocopies of stories, revised in manuscript

Los Gusanos

Box 1:
Typescript, edited by publisher

Box 2:
Galley proofs
Page proofs

Pride of the Bimbos

Box 1:
Typescript marked for the printer
Galley proofs
Reviews and advertisements

Box 2:
Typescript drafts, ribbon copy (“Men”)
Typescript drafts (2)
Correspondence and contract

Silver City and Other Screenplays

Box 1:
Uncorrected proof sheets

Thinking in Pictures: The Making of the Movie Matewan

Box 1:
Manuscript notes on legal pad
Drafts, mixed manuscript and typescript
Final typescript, marked for the printer
Page proofs
Uncorrected bound proof
Publisher’s publicity pack (2 copies)
Related correspondence

Union Dues

Box 1:
Manuscript first draft material
Final typescript, marked for the printer
Research materials

Box 2:
Typescript, ribbon copy
Typescript, photocopy, revised in manuscript

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Box 1:

“At the Anarchists’ Convention”
The Atlantic, February 1979, pp. 48–52 (2 copies)

The Atlantic, July 1976, pp. 52–63 (2 copies)

“Casey on the Slopes”
Williams 1972 Winter Carnival souvenir booklet, pp. 14–15

“Children of the Silver Screen”
Quest/81, April 1981, pp. 68–71, 90 (2 copies)

“Golden State”
The Atlantic, June 1977, pp. 70–81 (2 copies)

The Atlantic, March 1977, pp. 37–44 (3 copies)

“I-80 Nebraska M.490–M.205”
The Atlantic, May 1975, pp. 41–8 (3 copies)
Read, 3 March 1976, pp. 12–19 (as “I-80 Nebraska”)

“The 7–10 Split”
New England Magazine, Boston Sunday Globe, 28 January 1979, pp. 19–22
      (5 copies)
Typescript draft, ribbon copy

Box 2:

“At the Republican Convention”
New Republic, 2 and 9 August 1980, pp. 20–5
Manuscript draft
Typescript draft (“Together . . . A New Beginning”)

New England Magazine, Boston Sunday Globe, 4 March 1979, pp. 8–9
      (2 copies)

“But What About the Guys in the Lincoln Brigade?”
¡No Pasaran!: The 50th Anniversary of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
      New York: Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, 1985. (3 copies)
[The Chapin Library also owns the Black Oak Press, 1987 broadside printing.]

“Getting Out”
Typescript, ribbon copy

“The Halfway Diner”
The Atlantic, June 1987, pp. 59–68 (5 copies)
The Atlantic Report, June 1987 (short piece describing Sayles and the story)

“Real-Life Soap Opera”
Esquire, June 1980, p. 19

“The Sound and the Flurry”
Early short story (by “John T. Sayles”), 2 printed pp. (complete?)

Typescript, ribbon copy (class assignment, with teacher’s notes and grade on
      last page)

Typescript, ribbon copy

Folder of reviews of John Sayles’ fiction

Box 3:

[Article on Cuban refugees for Atlantic]
Correspondence soliciting Sayles’ work
Manuscript notes

“Bad Dogs”
Preliminary typed character sketches

“Once upon a Time”
Typescript draft

“Pregame Jitters”
Esquire, June 1986, pp. 55–7

Typescript draft, stamped “Original,” received 9 December 1986
Typescript (printout)
Cutting from Esquire, June 1986

“Writing a First Novel (Part I)” (contribution)
The Writer, March 1975, p. 27 (2 copies)

“Writing Dialogue”
The Writer, January 1978, pp. 13–15

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The archive also contains extensive files of miscellaneous articles about John Sayles and references to his work; and two compact discs of music by Butch Thompson with texts by John Sayles, “Chicago Breakdown” and “Good Old New York” (Daring CD 3002, 3003).

Copyright © 2009 by the President and Trustees of Williams College
This page was last updated on 17 November 2009