20th Century-Fox Dynamo (August 5, 1939)

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16A STUDIO SPECIAL Vol. II New York, N. Y., August 5, 1939 No. 14 JOSEPH M. SCHENCK Chairman of the Board DARRYL F. ZANUCK Vice-President in Charge of Production WILLIAM GOETZ Vice-President, Executive Assistant to l\lr. Zunuck Roger Ferri . Editor tudiorials j M IGHTY important news is coming from Mr. Zanuck’s offices these days. No one who scans carefully the items incorporated in this edition can fail to overlook the significance of recent announcements from the alert production chief. For instance, we know definitely that in “Elsa Maxwell’s Hotel for Women” and “Stanley and Livingstone” he has furnished exhibitors with two box office stimulants, which, if properly and vigorously ex- ploited along lines comparable with the showmanship the studio displayed in making those attractions, will start exhibitors well on the road to what should be the greatest season in the history of this industry. After all, the observation of years ago that “there is nothing the matter with box offices that good pictures can not remedy” still holds good today. And that being the case, 29th Century-Fox K 7 contract holders can con- sider themselves well on their way to enjoying the most profitable season in the history of their theatre holdings. S UT, no matter to what extreme Zanuck and his studio organization go to provide exhibitcrs with the strongest box office vehicles, their efforts will go for naught unless we of the distribution, ad- vertising and exhibi- tion branches of the business follow through on what Movietone City fur- nishes us. In truth, the creative end of our business has run ahead cf the rest of the procession. When pictures like “The Rains Came” — the greatest motion pic- ture ever produced— “Hollywood Caval- cade”, “Drums Along The Mohawk”, “Swan_ ee River”, “Little Old New York”, “Grapes Of Wrath” and others are delivered, you will have proof enough of the greatest progress made by our produc- tion forces. The studio can make them, but it is for us on the other side of the picture- making plants to cap- italize on what it pro- duces, to give to its DARRYL F. ZANUCK wares the same an- alytical consideration in matter of exploitation and booking treatments that it gives to the creation of the attractions. • TT is not enough that we wait until a picture is com- pleted before we say ballyhooing. Invariably, it is then too late. The time to start the ball rolling is while the pictures are in the making. They can not all be super great attractions. The ball player who always banged cut a home-run every time he came to bat never was born. But he does keep his batting average high by socking out singles, two-baggers, three-baggers and homers. And so it is with production. They can’t all be record-breakers. But we can help get the most cut of every single picture by properly attending to each release, by insuring them appropriate send-offs, commensurate with their possibilities, in advance of their release. Pictures like “The Rains Came”, “Drums Along The Mohawk”, “The Grapes Of Wrath”, Maeter- linck’s “The Blue Birds” and others, based on widely read novels or successful plays arrest advance interest from their established popularity. But original vehicles with the unlimited possibilities possessed by “Stanley And Livingstone”, “Elsa Maxwell’s Hotel For Women”, "Hollywood Cavalcade”, “Swanee River”, “Johnny Apol- lo” and the others test the showmanship as well as the salesmanship of those entrusted with the respon- sibility of capitalizing the studio’s efforts. • O UR studio is sales-minded. You have only to read the list of 1939-40 productions to convince yourself of that. We asked for more Technicolor specials and, where last season we got three, during 1939-40 we know right now we will recevie a minimum of five. We asked In Technicolor Special Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert in a close- up from “Drums Along the Mohawk,” one of the five Technicolor super specials Zanuck will make for release during the 1939-40 season. John Ford is directing. for concentration on vehicles that can be ranked in the upper brackets and. that is being done. Our every sales requirement is being fulfilled. In fact, if you dig into the K-7 product survey, in this section, you will note that Zanuck has anticipated our requirements. How superior our 1939-40 product really is was best stressed by the amazement expressed by sales managers of other companies when they heard our distribution chief tell the product story at the conventions of the Cana- dian Famous Players Theatres circuit last week and the Schine Enterprises at Gloversville, N. Y. So, we know, definitely, that our studio is setting the pace for 1939-40. But how profitable that pace proves depends on the exploitation and exhibition follow-through. • A ND by follow-through is not meant not only the proper exploitation and exhibition of the upper- bracketed pictures. Many a championship on the base- ball diamond developed from a base hit that was effectively followed up by other batters. By follow- through this company means the proper handling of the Jane Withers series, whose production this season will represent an increase of 25 per cent over the K-6 budget; the “Cisco Kid” series with Cesar Romero, spe- cials like “Frontier Marshal.” etc. And it covers the promotion of new personalities the studio is building for stardom, the local exploitation of such newcomers as Linda Darnell, Brenda Joyce, Robert Shaw and others who are on their way up the ladder. Right now our accounts should be exploiting the new Cisco Kid, Cesar Romero for his performance in “Frontier Marshal” makes such a step a natural follow-up, for he never gave a better portrayal. The studio can’t carry the whole lot. And in 1939-40 let’s give individual releases individual attention. If we do that the value of every contract, be it sold on this or the other side of the oceans, will increase tremendously for the studio is definitely set to deliver the greatest box office product ever turned loose in any one season. C ESAR ROMERO is bound to be an instant “click” in the new Cisco Kid series. There are several rea- sons for that. His performance in “Frontier Marshal” has made the assignment most receptive to exhibitors and to theatre audiences. Romero never got better press notices nor has he ever given a better perform- ance than the one he gives as the two-gun gambler in the Randolph Scott-Nancy Kelly co-starring vehicle. He has the romantic appearance that should make this series the most popular on the market. We know that exhibitors are anxiously awaiting the first of the new “Cisco Kid” series. • M R. ZANUCK is pulling all strings to obtain the services of topnotch stars fitting the roles in his top-bracket specials. But he isn’t neglecting the pic- tures in the lower classifications. This we gather from press-time word from the studio that he is negotiating with another studio for the services of Humphrey Bogart for one of Wurtzel’s more important attrac- tions. The Executive Producer never was happier than he is today. He has much more money with which to make pictures. This enables him to go on the market for services of important “name” players when they are not available on our lot. It is this increased budget on Wurtzel pictures that has made possible the signing of such stars as Randolph Scott, Gene Autry and others. • T HE raves coming from shrewd showmen over Linda Darnell must make Zanuck feel particularly good. Linda is a dazzler. But, more important she is an ex- cellent actress as she proves in her very first try, in “Elsa Maxwell’s Hotel For Women.” This picture def- initely “makes” her. And because of her unprecedented success in that production, Zanuck has understandably decided to cast her only in starring pictures in which she will co-star with leading male stars. Miss Darnell’s next assignment will be opposite Tyrone Power in “Johnny Apollo” in which Edward Arnold also will appear. • I T seems to us that when it comes to the presentation of new stars, Zanuck always does in “threes.” We recall that several years ago, in a single season, he made stars of Tyrone Power, Sonja Henie and Don Ameche. We believe that 1939-40 will see the making of three more stars. This time it will be a case of two feminine stars and one male star. We have reference to Linda Darnell, Brenda Joyce and Robert Shaw. Miss Joyce will create the same furore when she is seen in “The Rains Came” as Miss Darnell has in “Elsa Max- well’s Hotel For Women.” And Robert Shaw, who, like Miss Darnell, hails from Dallas, has been stepping into public favor high, wide and handsome for months. • ( GREGORY RATOFF’S fine directorial work on “Elsa X Maxwell’s Hotel For Women” has earned him an- other important assignment. As we were going to press a dispatch from Zanuck’s office stated he had been entrusted with the directorial job on “Everything Hap- pens At Night,” the first of Sonja Henie’s two 1939-40 specials. Opposite Miss Henie, who returns to the studio late this month from her European vacation, will appear Ray Milland, just borrowed from Para- mount. • T WO young stock players, who have quietly been com- ing along, will get a well-deserved “break” in two forthcoming pictures. Helen Erickson, we understand, has been given the romantic feminine lead in the second Jones Family release for this season “Too Busy to Work.” Pretty, talented Lillian Porter will have a fea- tured role in Jane Withers’ third K-7 special, “High School.” Good luck, girls—and we hope you exceed the studio’s highest expectations. We think and hope you will! • W HAT an interesting fortnight in the matter of bor- rowing of other studios’ stars. Fred MacMurray has been borrowed from Paramount for a co-starring role in “Little Old New York.” From Universal has been borrowed Andy Devine. Edward Arnold has been borrowed for "Johnny Apollo.” And also from Para- mount comes Ray Milland for Sonja Henie’s “Every- thing Happens At Night.” Deals for other stars’ services are pending and will be announced when finally completed. • T HERE is no feminine personality on the Coast to- day who is gaining more public favor than is Binnie Barnes. We of the field know that to be a fact. In “Frontier Marshal” she further exalts her standing with a particularly fine performance of the frontier saloon entertainer. She is one of the screen’s best feminine assets, according to exhibitors who reflect public opinion. BOOST NEW PERSONALITIES! Printed in TJ.S.A,