Archives 325

“The Great Russian” Production Films


Acquisition And Processing Information

This collection was received at the Washington State University Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) from Lee Fruits of the Instructional Media Center on June 26, 1989 and accessioned as UA1989-18. It was processed in 2012 by Susan Vetter, Mark O'English, and Katrina Burch.

Extent/Quantity Information

Number of containers: 1 box

Linear feet of shelf space: 1


In 1960, Cal Watson produced a 30 minute film titled “The Great Russian” about Russian author Leo Tolstoy in observance of the 50th anniversary of Tolstoy's 1910 death. During the creation of this film, Watson interviewed Tolstoy’s daughter, Alexandra Tolstaya. The film was scripted and narrated by WSU News Bulletin editor Henry Grosshans. It first aired in November of 1960.

Cal Watson had begun working with KWSC radio in 1950, and then with KWSC-TV in various capacities from the 1962-1963 school year forward. He was Director of KWSU-TV when he left WSU in 1969.

A very small amount of further information on the film can be found in the late November / early December 1960 issues of the WSU News Bulletin (WSU 115).

Collection Description

The collection consists of ten reels of film apparently used to produce “The Great Russian,” including the interview with Tolstoy’s daughter (on two reels). Though the original negative of the film is present, there appears to be full no playable positive. The titling of each reel within the collection is recorded here as it was given when it was transferred to MASC.


The collection is arranged solely for ease of storage and preservation, save that multi-part items have been placed together sequentially.


This collection is open and available for research use. Copyright applies.

Preferred Citation

The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
“The Great Russian” Production Films, 1960 (Archives 325)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA

Container List

Reel Description
1.1Cal Watson interviewing Alexandra Tolstaya
1.2Cal Watson interviewing Alexandra Tolstaya
2“The Original negative film”
3.1“Tolstoy – printed Mask ‘A’ – Tail Reel”
3.2“Tolstoy – printed Mask ‘B’ – Tail Reel"
4.1“Washington State University – Tolstoy – Pix A – B/W – Tail Reel – Prints from head – Light #7”
4.2“Washington State University – Tolstoy – Pix A – B/W – Tail Reel – Prints from head – Light #1”
5“Sound Tolstoy B-Wind”
6“Tolstoy footage – Workprint-CC 203-Washington State University”
7“ORIG Tail NEGPIX ORG 4-12”