To write a book is to discover how dependent we all are on the kindness of strangers and friends alike. No author works alone, and no book gets finished without the participation of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people even when only one name finally appears on the title page. For this book, I owe debts of gratitude to dozens of strangers and friends, although I already know that I won't remember all of them. Some are right next door in Alfred, New York, and others halfway around the world. I'll try to mention everyone, but I apologize in advance to all whose help I eagerly accepted then somehow managed to forget.
First, I must thank Marlin Miller, member and former chair of Alfred University's board of trustees. A generous gift from Marlin to Alfred University several years ago established the Fred H. Gertz Chair in English, which allowed me to jump-start my Lawrence on film project by way of release time from teaching. Without the precious morning hours Marlin's endowed chair gave me to write, this book could never have been started, let alone finished. Also, I need to thank the staff of Alfred University's Herrick Memorial Library, especially Gary Roberts, formerly its interlibrary loan specialist, whose patience with me and my requests for obscure material never ended — at least not until he received a promotion and moved to a different department. One other Alfredian I need to thank is Barbara Greil of Hinkle Library, Alfred State College. Despite working for the “other” college library in town, Barb gave generously of her time and expertise to put me in touch with the fascinating world of film and film study in Australia. Barb made this connection for me cheerfully and efficiently at a point in my project when I was stuck and no one else seemed able to assist.
Beyond Alfred, I visited a number of research libraries and special film collections across the country. Their staffs all deserve my heartfelt thanks for their professionalism, their kindness, and their consistent willingness to give of their time in the interests of my project. Thanks, then, to the staff of the Bobst Library at my own alma mater, New York University, for their assistance with film script research. Also in New York, thanks to the staff of the Celeste Bartos International Film Study Center at the Museum of Modern Art, particularly to three resourceful and generous individuals: Charles Silver and Ron Magliozzi of the Film Study Center, and Mary Corliss of the Film Stills Archive, Museum of