Hollywood Motion Picture Review (1937-1940)

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Page 2 HOLLYWOOD MOTION PICTURE REVIEW May 29. 1937 JOE BLAIR Editor - Publisher Published weekly by Hollywood Motion Picture Review. Joe Blair, Editor-Publisher. Agnes Blair. Associate Editor. Executive and Editorial Offices 1040 North Martel Avenue. Phone: HE. 5982 Hollywood, Calif. Subscription rates $10.00 per year Staff Member Foreign $15.00 EDWARD RUSSELL Single copies 25c Vol. II HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA. MAY 29, 1937 No. 13 Food For Thought In Exhibitor Letters Film producers, stars, directors, writers and the various studio employees should realize that the prosperity of this industry is de- pendent almost entirely upon a consistent stream of box-office hit pictures. The Exhibitor can In no way return money to Hollywood that does not come into his box-pffice. If distributors increase his rental costs to more than the pictures them- selves are capable of drawing, the Exhibitor will soon go broke and close his theatre—thus chok- ing off the one revenue producing source which stars, directors, executives and studio employees are absolutely dependent upon for their salaries and existence. Motion Pictures can only be made so long as they bring back revenue to Hollywood. A season of hits and Hollywood Is flush with money. Consistent flops and the axe begins to fall. HOLLYWOOD REVIEW appealed to Its Exhibitor-subscribers for suggestions on product Improvement because during the past four months there has been a dearth of box-office product. Showmen responded nobly and In our two previous issues, we reprinted many of their letters. Paragraphs drawn from some of the letters, nuggets of gold If Hollywood would only make use of them, are as follows: "Pictures which are box-office In New York will not always be box-office In Pa- dooka. But almost without exception, a picture that pleases Padooka will also please New York." "Musical comedies with a good plot and story are always acceptable providing of course they have good talent, but Just because a musical has plenty of talent, music and dancing Is no reason why It will be successful unless it also has a good story behind it." "I cannot see an excuse for any major company trying to make "B" or "Z" pic- tures. If they will aim at the top pictures, they will have enough of the lower grade films." JOE BLAIR "The movie Industry Is way behind other Industries at the present time; It should be riding on high with big pictures following one another all year around. Summer included. Admission prices are lagging because of this lack of suitable product." "Producers should realize that by far and large the general theatre patronage will be Increased through the production of better pictures. Cramming a pair of "D" pictures down a patron's throat often spoils an otherwise good customer." "Value of picture product In our situation Is as follows: Story value 1st; Star value 2nd; Title value 3rd; Setting 4th. Outdoor pictures go over great; Costume pictures are flops." "We contend that pictures not good enough for an "A" house are not good enough for a "B" house. The man who goes to a "B" house because he hasn't the money to go to the 'A" house, might some day become a patron of the "A" house If you do not kill his desire to attend the movies." "Good pictures build business and poor pictures tear It down. We pay for many pictures and leave them In the can rather than Inflict them on the public." "The producers should "come down to earth" with their pictures. We all know that Will Rogers' pictures went over well because they were simple and "down to earth." "MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN" is another example. They should go In more for human Interest characters, place more attention on the cast than on the background." Verily, 1 say, there Is food for thought in Exhibitor letters! THIS WEEK IN NEWS Leigh Jason, who directed RKO-Radio's "New Faces of 1937" has.been 'sold up the river'. Ac- cording to our information, Jason will move over to the United Artists Studio where he will direct Samuel Goldwyn's forthcoming extravaganza "Gold- wyn Follies" which will be filmed entirely in tech- nicolor. The new assignment places Jason up several steps higher on cinemaland's ladder of fame. Director J. Walter Ruben has returned from Kentucky where he filmed location scenes for M.G.M.'s "One Came Home", a story of the track. O. O. Dull, assistant to John W. Consi- dine, Jr., producer of the picture, remained in the Blue Grass region. Dudley Nichols has been assigned to write the screenplay of "Bringing Up Baby," a story by Hagar Wilde recently published in Collier's, and purchased by S. J. Briskin, vice-president in charge of production at RKO-Radio. Howard Hawks will direct the photoplay. "Bringing Up Baby" chron- icles the amusing adventures of a young woman and her fiance who are confronted with the prob- lem of hiding a gift panther on the Connecticut farm of a maiden aunt. Ralph Ravenscroft, whose fine work as publicity and advertising director for Harry Sherman Pro- ductions, has had his efforts rewarded with ad- vancement to the post of Associate Producer for the new Paramount series of "Hopalong Cassidy" pictures. Production starts this week on the first of the series entitled "Hopalong Rides Again," in which William Boyd enacts the title role. Les Selander, who has handled a majority of the Buck Jones western pictures during the past season, has been assigned as director. Armand Schaefer, who has produced all of the Gene Autry western musical pictures for Republic, will hereafter serve as producer on a new series of feature productions, the first of which will go out under the title of "Love Ahoy", a romantic drama with a musical background. Schaefer, in addition to producing all of the Autry films dur- ing the past two seasons, also produced "Ladles Crave Excitement," and "Down to the Sea," tor Republic. Edward Sutherland will direct Mae West in her next starring picture for Major Pictures, it was announced by Producer Emanuel Cohen. While the Mae West picture is still In Its forma- tive stages, Cohen said that a number of top- ranking players would be signed to appear with the star. Tentatively, the Paramount picture is called "Frivolous Sal." The picture is to be a musical comedy with a Gay Nineties background and the original story is being prepared by Jo Swerling. Miss West's most recent film was "Go West Young Man," a Paramount picture produced by Major Pictures. Robert Z. Leonard, directing M.G.M.'s adapta- tion of Rudolf Frlml's operetta, "The Firefly", headed a company of 60 players for location scenes at Lone Pine, in the High Sierras. They will film Pyrenees mountain sequences with Jean- ette MacDonald and Allan Jones, who, with War- ren William, have the principal roles. The com- pany took a stagecoach and four mules, a donkey cart and a trailer carrying Jones' thoroughbred Arabian horse. In addition, the caravan included twelve trucks loaded with cameras and equipment. Rudolph FrImI is writing the music and Hunt Strom- berg is producing. Harry Cohn, president of Columbia Pictures, announces that negotiations have been completed for the release of two Joe E. Brown starring ve- hicles during the 1937-38 season. David L. Loew will produce the two films of the ever-popular comedian.