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American Literary Studies

Noel Behn Papers

The Collection

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Call Number: M1084

Size: 93 linear feet

Finding Guide: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. An electronic version of the finding guide is available here.

Research Access and Use: Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies, photographs, and microfilm can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

Career of Noel Behn, 1928 - 1998:

Noel Behn was a novelist, screenwriter, theatrical producer, and actor who spent his whole creative life in Manhattan. A graduate of Stanford University, class of 1950, Behn was active in the New York Theater Community for more than 50 years as the producing director of the Cherry Lane Theater, a pioneer of the off Broadway theater movement. Among the influential works premiered there under his direction were Sean O’Casey’s "Purple Dust" and Samuel Beckett’s "Endgame". His first novel, The Kremlin Letter (1966), based on his experiences in the United States Counterintelligence Corps, was made into a popular film by John Huston in 1970 which starred Orson Welles. He later wrote The Big Stick-up at Brink’s (1977), a nonfiction account of the 1950 Brink’s Robbery in Boston, subsequently made into the film The Brink’s Job. In 1991 Noel Behn was hired as a consultant for the popular TV series, Homocide: Life on the Street, for which he periodically wrote scripts. His latest book, Lindbergh: The Crime (1994) is currently being developed as a feature film.

Content of the Noel Behn Papers:

The Noel Behn Papers feature the materials of literary production of his career as an author and as a producer including manuscripts, personal notebooks, annotated texts, and correspondence. Also present is a comprehensive collection of Noel Behn's published works in various editions and translations.



Last modified: June 25, 2009

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