A Preliminary Inventory of His Manuscripts for The Great White Hope in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
The adaptation by Howard Sackler of The Great White Hope from stage to screen is documented by this group of manuscripts dating from 1967 through 1969. Sackler’s play, based on the life of the controversial African-American boxer Jack Johnson, won all three major theatrical awards for 1969: the Pulitzer Prize, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the Antoinette Perry Award.
This collection contains numerous versions of the work as it progressed from play to screenplay, and most are replete with Sackler’s handwritten revisions. Included are pages from the published version of the play; bound typescripts of the original play; both handwritten and typed screenplay versions; revision pages; and a bound final version of the screenplay, along with the final group of Sackler’s revisions.
The manuscripts are arranged in creation order as nearly as could be determined. Much of the material is undated, and was ordered according to Sackler’s revisions and additions.
The handwritten material may prove difficult to read and character names rarely accompany dialogue. There is no material in the collection related to Sackler's other works or personal affairs
Open for research
Jonathan Reynolds, 2005