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Herbert Kline collection related to the film Barabbas (The Thief and the Cross)


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Herbert Kline was a pioneer in documentary filmmaking and received a Golden Globe nomination and award, as well as two Academy Award nominations for his achievements. Kline also contributed to or wrote scripts for some of his documentary films. Kline's important early work included The Heart of Spain (1937), Lights Out in Europe (1938), Crisis (1939), and My Father's House (1947).

During his career, Kline had attempted to break away from making documentaries to become a Hollywood director and writer, but he did not have much success. Toward the end of Kline's life, his health declined and he battled a long illness before his death on February 5, 1999, in Los Angeles.

Contemporary Authors Online. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. (accessed May 2009)

The Herbert Kline collection related to the film Barabbas (The Thief and the Cross) spans the dates 1954-1960 and comprises the shooting script, letters, telegrams, and supporting documents related to the proposed production of the film, which was ultimately not made. Kline's film, based on Pär Lagerkvist's successful book,

Barabbas , was also briefly titled His Name was Barabbas.

The collection includes various projected budgets for the film, along with pages of cast recommendations (Marilyn Monroe, Alan Ladd, and Tony Curtis). The correspondence includes many letters Kline received from various agents and producers, along with carbon copies of his responses. The collection documents Kline's contacts with studios and agencies while trying to get financial backing for his intended film Barabbas. The collection is valuable for detailing the difficult process (and failure) of trying to get a film made in Hollywood in the 1950s.

  1. Boxes 1-2: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes

Purchase, 2009.

Processed and encoded by Christiana Dobrzynski, May 2009.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2009 May 21
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Shooting script for the film Barabbas, 1957.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Original typescript manuscript of the shooting script for Kline's film Barabbas with numerous revised pages inserted into script along with extensive annotations and corrections in ink and pencil. The typewriter paper box (Sphinx Business Paper) used to house the script is stored in Box 2.

Physical Description

1 item (182 p.)

Box used to house script, 1957.
Box 2
Scope and Contents

Typewriter paper box (Sphinx Business Paper) used to house the script for Barabbas.

Physical Description

1 item

Scope and Contents

Letters, telegrams, and miscellaneous correspondence exchanged between Kline and various film agents and producers, including Paul Kohner, Charles Feldman, Ray Stark, and Ingo Preminger.

1954 December 18-1957 December 31.
Box 1 Folder F2
1958 February 14-1958 December 22.
Box 1 Folder F3
1959 January 6-1959 December 22.
Box 1 Folder F4
1960 January 3-1960 February 9.
Box 1 Folder F5
Box 1 Folder F6
Scope and Contents

This folder also contains a revised "Inside Mexico" budget for filming of Klein's movie at Churubuscu Studios in Mexico City.

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