Gordon S. Mitchell Papers, 1946-1971

Scope and Content Note

The papers document Mitchell's activities as a producer of television commercials and documentary films. They are organized into four manuscript series: Television Commercials, Television Programs, Motion Pictures, and a Miscellaneous File. The collection also includes films for many of Mitchell's productions, organized into two series: Television Programs, Instructional, and Documentary Films and Television and Motion Picture Theater Commercials. Individual production files relating to some of these films are listed in the contents list below.

TELEVISION COMMERCIALS contains production files for nationally-known products and companies for which All Scope Pictures, Inc., made commercials. Among them are Chrysler Corporation, Gallo, General Electric, General Mills, Kaiser Aluminum, Lucky Lager Beer, Max Factor, Rexall Drugs, Schaeffer Pens, Standard Oil Company, and others.

The files include scripts, correspondence, budgets, contracts, storyboards, budget and production notes, music licenses, and call sheets. This is the most extensive portion of the collection and reveals the advertising techniques of such major firms as Young and Rubicam, Inc., Walker Saussy Advertising, Inc., and McCann Erickson, Inc., which developed commercials that Mitchell produced. Arrangement is alphabetical and chronological thereunder.

TELEVISION PROGRAMS includes research material, synopses, correspondence, scripts, budgets, and cost estimates for several All Scope, Inc. projects, most of which were not produced. Among them are The Lady Yields, a proposed vehicle for Bette Davis and Gary Merrill; Polka Dot the Ocelot, a proposed children's series; and That Others May Live, a program that was to be based upon the exploits of the Air Rescue Service.

The MOTION PICTURE series contains fragmentary documentation for A Letter to Virginia, Movietone News, Opening Night in Hawaii, The Pentagon Case, and Teen-Age Killer. Included in the Movietone News sequence is a promotional film about a 1960 California campaign trip by John F. Kennedy. The Pentagon Case files include correspondence, research materials, and transcripts of three broadcasts by radio commentator Fulton Lewis, Jr. These materials reflect the politically conservative tenor of the proposed movie, which was based on a novel opposing socialism and communism.

The MISCELLANEOUS FILE is composed of an Air Force security file for Mitchell and his crew, who made military training films; general correspondence, including a letter from Mitchell to Darryl F. Zanuck (March 3, 1946) in which Mitchell predicted that television would rival radio broadcasting and suggested that Twentieth Century Fox seriously consider television production; a list of Mitchell's commercials and their production costs; and other miscellany.

The two Films series are listed below following the paper records listings.