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Hotch at 100: For Whom The Bell Tolls

A. E. Hotchner’s friendship with Ernest Hemingway, and his successful adaptation of Hemingway’s “The Battler” for live television led the way to adaptations of some of Hemingway’s most important and popular works. In this episode of Hotch at 100, our ongoing video interview with writer, philanthropist, and Washington University alumnus A. E. Hotchner, Hotch tells us about the production of Playhouse 90‘s three-hour television version of Hemingway’s classic novel “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, starring Jason Robards and Maria Schell, and some of the unusual circumstances and deals surrounding the project. Hotch also tells us about being present as Hemingway watched the second night of the broadcast. Stay tuned for future installments!

The following cast and rehearsal photos are part of a recent acquisition from Hotchner which contains many behind-the-scenes materials related to this and other productions from his long career in television.

Cast photo from the Playhouse 90 version of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, featuring Jason Robards, Maria Schell, Eli Wallach, Stephen Hill, Maureen Sapleton, and Nehemiah Persoff
Rehearsal for the Playhouse 90 version of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Rehearsal for the Playhouse 90 version of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
Rehearsal for the Playhouse 90 version of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

The Modern Literature Collection has been acquiring Hotchner’s manuscripts and other papers since 1967. The A. E. Hotchner Papers currently consist of manuscript and editorial material toward the books Papa Hemingway (1966), Treasure (1970), King of the Hill (1970), The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (1981), Looking for Miracles (1975), Choice People (1984), Louisiana Purchase (1996) and Hemingway in Love (2015), as well as scripts for Hotchner’s adaptations of Hemingway materials for television and original plays for television and the stage. View the Finding Aid here.

A major new acquisition from Hotchner this year includes further manuscripts and screenplays, correspondence with Hemingway, photographs and other memorabilia of Hotchner’s time at Washington University, dozens of photographs of Hemingway, and many materials related to Hotchner’s long-running charity production of the Hemingway story-cycle “The World of Nick Adams”. These acquisitions are still being processed.