James Bridges was a native of Paris, Arkansas and attended Arkansas State Teachers College (currently University of Central Arkansas) from 1954-1956. Mr. Bridges served the ASTC marching band as Drum Major, and was also involved in the performing arts.
Mr. Bridges professional career was as a successful Hollywood writer and director. Even so, early in his career, he was involved in acting with small roles in Dragnet and Matinee Theater. He is best known for writing and directing The Paper Chase, The China Syndrome, and Urban Cowboy. Additionally, he also wrote several scripts for Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
A film well remembered by Conway residents was 9-30-55. Bridges filmed this work entirely in Conway, and to a large degree on the UCA campus. The film was about the impact of James Dean’s death on the youth of Arkansas. The last film written and directed by Bridges was Bright Lights, Big City. This film starred Michael J. Fox, and it was released in 1988. Bridges died in June 1993 of intestinal cancer at the age of 57.
Due to the efforts of several of Bridges’ friends, there is a scholarship named in his honor at the University of Central Arkansas. Harry Murray, a Little Rock native, and professor at the University of Southern California, has worked diligently to raise funds for the “James Bridges Performing Arts Scholarship”. Murray also attended ASTC and graduated in 1953.
The Bridges collection is credited in large part to Professor Gene Hatfield, a friend of Bridges. Hatfield has collected several items for the Bridges collection and has played an important role in the continued development of the collection.
A film well remembered by Conway residents was 9/30/55. Bridges filmed this work entirely in Conway, and to a large degree on the UCA campus. The film was about the impact of James Dean death on the youth of Arkansas.
File 1A- Small spiral bound Notebook kept by ASTC Art Instructor Gene Hatfield merit points earned by “Jim Mac” James Bridges, c. 1955
File 1B- James Bridges Obituary, June 7, 1993
File 2 – The James Bridges Performing Arts Scholarship Fund, University of Central Arkansas
File 2B – UCA Board of Trutees Confer Doctor of Fine Arts Degree, Posthumously to James Bridges – Feb. 9, 2007
File 3A - Cassette Tape: Interview with James Bridges
File 3B – Cassette Tape: “James Bridges Oral History” by Martha Reid Scott
File 4 – Manuscript: A3 by James Bridges
File 5 – Manuscript: Bachelor Furnished by James Bridges
File 6 – Manuscript: Five Minutes by James Bridges
File 7 – Photographs
Env 1 – Richard Thomas and bystanders in downtown Conway, 1976
Env 2 – Street in downtown Conway during filming of 9-30-55, 1976
Env 3 – Mary Kay Clark (co-star in 9-30-55) of Conway, and James Bridges in Conway, 1976
Env 4 – James Bridges with Bob Larsen in downtown Conway, 1976
Env 5 – Gene Hatfield (UCA Art Dept.) and James Bridges in downtown Conway during filming of 9-30-55, 1976
Env 6 – Movie posters of Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh (drawn by Gene Hatfield) used in filming of 9-30-55, 1976
Env 7 – Janis Purtte (Banister) “Papagena”, Jim Mac Bridges “Papageno”, Mozart “The Magic Flute” – ASTC, April 13, 1956
File 8 – Memorabilia from the movie 9-30-55
File 9 – Newspaper coverage of the movie 9-30-55 made in Conway, AR, March – April, and September 1976
File 10- Newspaper coverage of the movie 9-30-55 made in Conway, AR, September-October 1977
File 11- Variety magazine film review of 9-30-55, August 26, 1977
File 12 – James “Jim Mac” Bridges obituary – 1936-1993
File 13- Newspaper article: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Ground Zero for Inspiration”, Sunday, June 15, 1997
File 14- The Dream Come True: Great Houses of Los Angeles, James Bridges lived in a home in Los Angeles designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright has many houses pictured in this book.
File 15- Newspaper article: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Weekend, “Part of the big picture’ about movies made in Arkansas”, Friday, April 12, 2000
Item 1 – (2) Music album from the original motion picture soundtrack, Richard Thomas 9 30-55, autographed by actors and directors
Item 2 – Videocassette: The Appaloosa, featuring Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, and John Saxon; Screenplay by James Bridges
Item 3 – Videocassette: The Baby Maker, featuring Barbara Hershey, Collin Wilcox-Horne, and Sam Groom; Written and Directed by James Bridges
Item 4 – Videocassette: Bright Lights, Big City, featuring Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland, Phoebe Cates, and Dianne West; Written and Directed by James Bridges Film
Item 5 – Videocassette: The China Syndrome, featuring Jack Lemmon, Jane Fonda, and Michael Douglas; Written and Directed by James Bridges Film
Item 6 – Video cassette: Mike’s Murder, featuring Debra Winger, Mark Keyloun, Darrell Larson, and Paul Winfield; A James Bridges Film, written and directed
Item 7 – Videocassette: The Paper Chase, featuring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner,and John Houseman; Directed by James Bridges, Screenplay by James Bridges
Item 8 – Videocassette: Perfect, featuring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis; A James Bridges Film, produced and directed
Item 9 – Videocassette: 9-30-55, featuring Richard Thomas, Dennis Quaid, and Deborah Benson; A James Bridges Film, written and directed
Item 10- Videocassette: Urban Cowboy, featuring John Travolta and Debra Winger; A James Bridges Film; Directed by James Bridges, Screenplay by James Bridges
End of Box 1
End of Collection