Motion Picture News (Jan-Feb 1922)

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374 Motion Picture News William A. Brady AT this time, when it is undecided just what will be done with the National Association, we take pleasure in expressing our opinion of Wm. A. Bradv. He was elected President of the Association at its inception, a difficult and uncertain one by the way. His election was simply due to the fact that he was on outstanding figure at the meeting which, largely because of Mr. Brady’s ringing speech, sent the ne\t organization on its way. He didn’t want the job; and he hasn't wanted it at every succeeding election. No one else wanted to step into his shoes; that's all. And we repeat what we have said before, that the failures of the Association have been due to the lukewarm activities of the majority of its members; its favorable activities have been largely those of Mr. Brady and a few others. He is warm-hearted and impulsive and he has said things that called for criticism rightly or wrongly. But his round experience in human affairs, his wide acquaintanceship with public men, his likable personality and his hard, sincere work — all these have registered all in all for the good of this industry. Everybody must admit this, and that the National Association after all has sat pretty steadily and sanely upon the deck of this wobbling industrial ship. * * # Safeguarding Title Rights W. GRIFFITH has seen fit to change, at the last moment, the title of his picture from * “ The Two Orphans ” to “ Orphans of the Storm.” The story was uncopyrighted. Mr. Griffith has no protection. After spending a large amount of money in production, and after all the advertising his production has had plus the advertising value of the title itself, he felt compelled to make a heavy sacrifice because, with his announcement, other “ Two Orphans ” pictures were immediately launched upon the market. “ The Three Musketeers ” encountered recently the same unfair situation. And there have been numerous such cases before. The calmest thing that can be said about this practice is that it isn't clean business. It isn’t fair play. Mr. Griffith and Mr. Fairbanks will have the sympathy and support of every right thinking man in the business. There’s also a large and ominous side to this matter, as the New York Globe, in an able editorial, points out. Producers will hesitate to make “ the greater classics,” uncopyrighted as they are. “ The fact for public consideration,” says the Globe, “ is that the present absence of security may be defrauding us of rich, exciting and noble pictures while we are being bored and disgusted with trash.” The Globe proposes this solution: “ Exclusive title rights for a limited period on the filing of a satisfactory application should probably be the basis of the safeguard.” Surely something like this can be and must be done in the interests of the industry at large. Right now the situation is up to the exhibitor. The trade paper, which is legally construed as a sort of common carrier, cannot refuse the advertisements of the parasitical pictures unless the copy is obviously written to deceive. We take the occasion, however, to express our editorial opinions. The exhibitor wants big pictures. Each of the pictures referred to involved a very large, and as alwavs, a speculative risk, upon the part of the producers. If the exhibitor wants others to raise and hazard large sums of money and to invest their abilities and names in this business, he must give them fair play in return. There is also this warning to give. The Advertising Clubs of the World is a powerful institution, using its machinery everywhere to safeguard honest advertising. Its influence has been used in behalf of “ The Three Musketeers ” to the end that no misleading advertising be issued to the public. The same influence will undoubtedly be used in behalf of Mr. Griffith’s picture. -* * * A RightAbout-Face December 22, 1921. Mr. Wm. A. Johnston, Editor Motion Picture News, 729 Seventh Avenue, New York City. Dear Mr. Johnston: Permit me to apologize for a frightfully narrow idea I have, until now, always held concerning the NEWS. It was that it was primarily for the use of the big city exhibitor. In today’s first mail I received six letters of inquiry, asking for more detailed information anent my “ Seeing It Through ” article, which you were good enough to use in your December 24th issue. Every one was from a small town. I have changed my mind. Very truly, FREDERICK C. HINDS, Cresco Theatre, Cresco, Iowa. We are pleased to print the above letter not merely because it speaks of the small town exhibitor’s interest in Motion Picture News, but also because of its reference to the widespread interets among exhibitors in our “ Seeing It Through ” contest. A lot of valuable and practical advice is contained in these articles, which come from all types of theatres. Many remain to he published. They are being eagerly read, that we know ; and the contest has more than fulfilled the hope we had that it would prove a most constructive step in these times. The judges and awards will be shortly announced. * * * Turn to Page 383 About the best article on the present business situation we have read comes from Phil. M. Ryan. Hodkinson district manager, and is published in a recent issue of the Kansas City Reel Journal. JVe publish, in this issue, parts of it, and wish we had room for more. Read it.