Collections

The Norman Mailer Collection

Norman Mailer in Beyond the Law

This collection contains complete and original sound and picture elements from Norman Mailer’s three underground films of the 1960s (Wild 90, Beyond the Law and Maidstone), including original camera negatives, A/B roll, work print, outtakes, projection prints, sound and picture elements from Mailer’s unreleased, second version of Beyond the Law, Beyond the Law (Blue). Offering a unique insight into the career and personality of one of the most important figures in American letters in the second half of the 20th Century, digital copies of several of Mailer’s more significant television appearances have been compiled by Mailer archivist Michael Chaiken, and added to this collection.  

During his work with the Mailer Estate as their archivist, Michael Chaiken re-discovered Mailer’s first film, an untitled surreal short shot and edited in the months leading up to the publication of The Naked and the Dead. The film had been divided into two pieces, one of which was in the possession of the film’s star, Millicent Brower. The Harry Ransom Center, which houses Mailer’s papers and a large portion of this film, teamed up with the Harvard Film Archive to reunite and restore this forgotten film. The restored version had its world premiere at 2009’s New York Film Festival as part of their acclaimed “Views From the Avant Garde” program.

A finding aid for the collection can be found here.

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