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Orville “Buddy” Wanzer films

Identifier: Ms-0538

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of approximately 140 reels of 8mm, 16mm and 35mm films. The reels include outtakes and trailers for The Devil’s Mistress, Wanzer’s short film George Andrews, various scenes shot by Wanzer, student film assignments, and scenes around the NMSU campus and Las Cruces.


  • 1960 - 1980

Biographical / Historical

Orville “Buddy” Wanzer was born in Brooklyn, NY on December 5th, 1930 to Sophie and Orville J. Wanzer, Sr. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1948-1952, Wanzer attended the University of Miami where he earned a B.A. and a Master's degree in English Literature. While attending school, Wanzer met his wife Joan Stapleton. They later separated in 1972. During their time together they had two children, Katya and Kip, born in 1966 and 1970, respectively. They arrived in Las Cruces, NM in 1959 where Wanzer accepted a teaching position in the English department at New Mexico State University. Wanzer was approached by Professor Harvey Jacobs to help establish the Journalism Department. He taught photography, film history, and film-making. During his early years at NMSU, Wanzer wrote the screenplay for a feature length film, The Devil’s Mistress. The film was shot in the area east of Las Cruces, along the base of the Organ Mountains. Starring Joan Stapleton, The Devil’s Mistress follows the fate of four robbers travelling through the desert southwest. They come across a stone cabin inhabited by a husband and wife. The husband is murdered and the wife is taken captive. One by one, the men meet their demise. The film’s tagline reads, “No other woman ever loved with such passion…or killed with such hate!” The film, the first feature length film to be shot and produced in Las Cruces, debuted nationally in 1965. Wanzer had a profuse impact on film making at NMSU and taught until his retirement in 1983. He also authored the fantasy novel The Elfin Brood and received many awards for his photography. He died on February 24, 2019.


140 Reels

Language of Materials



The collection contains 8mm, 16mm and 35mm films made by Orville “Buddy” Wanzer, a professor at New Mexico State University from 1959 to 1983, and a collection of films made by his students as class assignments. Included are completed films, raw footage, and magnetic sound film.
Guide to the Orville “Buddy” Wanzer films
In Progress
Elizabeth Villa
July 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA