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SELLING “SARAH AND SON”
\ By RUSSELL B HOLMAN, Advertising Manager, Paramount Pictures (Not for Publication)
See this before you sell it; you’ll under-sell it if you don’t.
“Sarah and Son” is the big surprise package of the year. Right out of a clear sky the Paramount production department ‘ has dropped a box office knockout into our laps that certainly 1 equals any drama yet presented in the talkies.
Here’s a show that has the same popular ingredients as “The Trespasser’’ and should be sold in much the same way. It’s a man-woman love and mother love theme combined. Plus one of the grandest performances of the year by Ruth Chatterton. ( “Madame X” and ‘‘The Laughing Lady” made Chatterton a big star bet; ‘‘Sarah and Son’? makes her The, First Lady of the Screen!) Fredric March, Gilbert Emery ‘and that great kid actor, Phillippe de Lacey, outdo themselves in support of Chatterton. Dorothy Arzner directed the show as only an intelligent woman with a heart could.
It’s from the novel, ‘Sarah and Son,” by Timothy Shea, a best seller in the $2 Dodd, Mead edition and now published by Grosset & Dunlap at 75 cents with jacket and illustrations tying up with the picture. It was adapted to the screen by Zoe Akins, famous American playwright, author of a dozen big stage hits. Woman star—woman director—woman screenplay author. Maybe that’s why this is the greatest, woman picture of the year!
Chatterton is positively magnificent in this show! (Yow ll get her as a star from here on, so you might as well tell the folks about her.) She starts out as an ignorant German immigrant girl and finishes as a glamorous grand opera diva— and you believe her and are intensely wrapped up in her every minute. She sings very well. She loses a worthless husband and the one thing in the world she loves, her child. She fights her own ignorance and poverty—and becomes rich and famous. She fights a millionaire and his smart young lawyer for possession of her child—-and wins the child—and the lawyer.
It’s tense, heart-throb drama all the way. The woman will weep and have)\a gorgeous time. Men will blow their ne to hide tears and will try to swallow the lumps in their
I wouldn’t sell it as straight mother-love drama; think it’s old stuff and won’t go for it.
I'd sell Chatterton big. They want her after ‘‘Madame X,”’ “The Doctor’s Secret,’ “The Laughing Lady” and her other hits. Sell her as the talkies’ finest actress, The First Lady of the Screen.
Copy: Women! If fate stole your husband and your baby, would you have the courage to fight back as this woman did?. . Come and see the dramatic battle of The World vs Sarah Storm. ... From poverty to fame, from despair to great happiness—‘‘Sarah and Son.” ... Remember ‘Sorrell and Son?’’; you get the woman’s side in ‘‘Sarah and Son”. . She fought him for her child—and won his love.
Exploitation: Mother-and-son matinees. . Book tie-ups.
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SHORT REVIEWS OF SHORT FEATURES
By LOUIS NOTARIUS
Publix Theatres Booking Department
949 BUDDY TRAPS in “Sound Effects” (7 min.) Scene is a department store in which a young boy picks up drum sticks and gives an amazing exhibition of trick trap playing and dancing. This kid twirls a mean pair of sticks, taps a wicked buck and wing giving 100% entertainment. He drums music out of chairs, washboards, pots and pans, glasses and screens. An unusually novel act. Some of the numbers which he drums, dances and signs, are as follows: ‘That Wonderful Boy Friend of Mine,” “Am I Blue,’’ “If You Were Mine,” ‘‘Bashful Baby,” “Stars and Stripes. ” An allround good act to ‘either Open or close a program.
926-7 THE UNDER DOG with James Barton (20 min.) A two-reel subject in four scenes, showing a down-and-out and his dog. The tramp endeavors to satisfy his hunger by talking to the dog and telling him of the big feed that is in store for them as soon as they acquire some dough. The first thing you know you find Barton
in an amateur show doing his usual dance and song, and finally winning the prize, to wind up with a big feed for him and his pet. It has comedy-drama elemets and was written by Fred Allen. The act has appeal and with the clever eccentric dance of Barton to wind it up, should give good entertainment. He puts over a song entitled—‘“‘Cute, Cute Clarabelle,’’ which is a sequel to his famous “Annabelle Lee.’’ Will go well in a number two spot with a
comedy feature. |
930-1 HELLO THAR with Eddie Buzzell. (18 min.) This is a travesty on the Klondike gold rush with little Eddie Buzzell as a patent medicine salesman trifling with the girls and gamblers of a Yukon cabaret. Good comedy, with dancing and two songs, entitled as follows: ‘‘Eskimo Song” and ‘‘After You’ve Gone.’ The subject as a whole moves fast and is entertaining. Good with a dressed up dramatic feature. Should not be booked with a Western.
934 THE LETTER BOX (8% min.) A whimsical comedy of a little girl who wins the friendship of a grouchy grandfather and brings together her estranged parents with him. The child is played by little Sybil Lee—she is a precocious child and displays a whole lot
” of talent. THE LETTER BOX should appeal to parents and
4 ehildren. Good subject for the Saturdays and the Holidays.
939 JOE FRISCO in ‘“‘The Benefit.”” (10 min.) Scene is a Stage Set. Frisco is well known as Broadway’s Play Boy and is identified with a trick cigar and derby. He was the star of ‘‘The Follies,” ‘‘Vanities,”’ and a dozen Broadway shows; well known as an eccentric dancer and a comedian. Adapts his vaudeville act to the screen fairly well. His name should mean something in the larger towns. Consider it an opening act only, however. Some of the numbers played during his act are: ‘‘Just Because,’ “The One I Love,” ‘““‘When My Sugar Walks Down the Street.”
947 THE OPERATION with Edgar Bergen. (9% min.) Two Scenes:
The Park, and the Doctor’s Office. This is a ventriloquist act in
which Edgar Bergen, a popular vaudevillian, brings to life his fam-—
PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUARY 287TH, 1930
SELLING IDEAS FOR THEATRE PARTIES
In accordance with Mr. Katz’ suggestion to convert members of local organizations, fraternal orders and industrial plants, into prospective theatre patrons, Robert Slote, manager of the Eastman Theatre, Rochester, N. Y., outlines the following plan of affecting such measures, as hereto used in his theatre:
1. When dealing with a head of an industrial organization, an endeavor is made to sell him the idea of giving his employees a theatre party along these lines. He is to offer his employees a regular 60c admission ticket to the Eastman for 45c. -The employee thinks his boss made up the 15
built up for the employer. Another angle was for the employer to buy a block of tickets outright for 45c and give them direct to his employees, using this method for a get-together and a good-will builder for his business.
2. If the employer was not interested in either of the above two methods, the theatre was often able to tie-in with an athletic or benefit association, within the factory, which was anxious to earn money. The proposition as worked with the association within the plant has worked out the most successfully.
3. In approaching fraternities
and schools, the theatre sells them on the angle of making money for themselves, for their own projects, which they could not otherwise make with so little effort. The theatre prints: for them, at their expense, a special theatre party ticket which is stamped with a seal to insure against duplication by an outsider. These are sold by the organization, fraternity or school at the regular Eastman ‘scale of 60c. All monies and unsold tickets are turned in by noon, on the day of the party and a complete settlement made. The theatre then pro-rates back to the organization on the following basis: up to 1000 tickets sold, 15% of| the gross, over 1000 tickets sold 25%. In other words, at a 25% rate the organization receives 15 cents on every ticket-they sell. / “The above method of theatre ‘party contacts works to our advantage,” says Slote. “It builds our week-day and especially our Monday business and brings patrons to the theatre who are not regular patrons, thereby giving us an opportunity of selling them our coming attractions and our institution.
‘““‘We have been quite successful since we have started this method of sales and some of our highlights were—one theatre party] with a girl’s sorority which sold 2300 tickets, another sorority with 800 tickets and numerous other parties averaging from 200 to 500 tickets.” —————___—_—_—_MURRAY RESIGNS
C. H. Murray, formerly manager of the. Strand, Duluth, has been replaced by C. H. Spaeth. Murray is no longer with the company.
ous dummy in an original comedy playlet, wise-cracking of Bergen, the dummy, and the pretty girl, who as¢ sists him is very entertaining. The audiences will get a close-up ; view of the ventriloquist giving them an idea how he does his work. This is a good opening subject cn any bill and should appeal to both A good novelty act that will lend a bit of variety
young and old. to a program.
3680 THE MAID’S NIGHT OUT with Bobby Watson. is a domestic comedy with a novel twist to the play. brings a business guest to dinner on the maid’s night out. wife plays the maid, and then the fun begins, because the guest takes a shine to this supposed maid. and will serve well in a number two spot with a dramatic feature. $8760 JAZZ REHEARSAL (10 min.) Studio during the rehearsal of a singing and dancing film—photoPretty girls, snappy lyrics, and fast music—all of this is unified by the hustle and cross fire talk -of film director who are rehearsing the show. The numbers played “Toose Ankles,’ “Low Down On the Low Down,” ‘‘Wouldn’t
graphed entirely in natural color.
It Be Wonderful,” ‘“‘He’s a Good Man to Have Around. io color flash that is sure fire as a closing act. TIFFANY THE COSSACK’S BRIDE (11 min.) color, telling the story of a Russian Cossack whose bride is stolen from him and how he wins her back by means of song, dance and Will add a touch of ‘‘class’”’ to a bill, but lacks those ele
ments that mean mass entertainment.
cents difference and good will is|
SELLING “THE LOCKED DOOR”
By BRUCE GALLUP Advertising Director, United Artists (Not for Publication)
This modern-day drama is 100 per cent. entertainment.
Once you have aroused public interest in your showing, you
will find the picture will create enough word of tule advertising to let it carry on by itself.
“The Locked Door’ is the type be jazz-mad, 5 has hd picture that 19380 audiences relish. The action starts off aboard a whoopee boat, which is nothing short of a wild floating night club. There are two sets of eternal triangles interlocked through family ties. The tangle becomes all the more involved through murder. The result is a high powered story right up-to-the-minute in every particular.
Get this fact across in your ads, programs, publicity and throwaways.
Stress the fact that “The Locked Door” is a picturization of the tremendously successful stage hit, ‘“‘The Sign on the Door.’’ This play ran on Broadway for a solid season, in London for 14 months and has been translated into Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Czechoslovakian. The brilliant dialogue of the author, Channing Pollock, who wrote the stage and screen sensation, ‘“‘The Fool,’’ is to be found in ‘‘The Locked Door.”’
Rod LaRocque, Barbara Stanwyck, ‘William Boyd, Betty
’ Bronson, Mack Swain, Harry Stubbs and Zasu Pitts are in the cast. The fans know both LaRocque and Bronson. Barbara Stanwyck is the Broadway stage star who played in ‘“‘The Noose” and “Burlesque” the last mentioned play being known -on the sereen as ‘“‘Dance of Life.’’ William Boyd was headlined on Broadway in-‘‘What Price Glory?” playing the part of Sergeant Quirk. Mack Swain is the comic who was Charlie Chaplin’s side-partner in ‘‘The Gold Rush.’’
Director-Producer George Fitzmaurice is the maker of some of the screen’s biggest specials. His hits include Colleen Moore’s “Lilac Time,’ Milton Sills ‘‘The Barker’ and ‘His Captive Woman,’ and ‘‘The Man and the Moment.”
In your ad copy concentrate on the mystery and fascinating love tangle that is part and parcel of the picture. Take plenty of space during your advance campaign and see that it runs for at least a week prior to your opening. Head your ads with teaser headlines reading ‘““Two men, a woman, and the locked door of the past between them!” ‘‘How could a husband believe?’’ ‘Shadows of a woman’s past go through locked doors!’’
Text to accompany these headings should emphasize the glamorous dramatic aspects of the picture. Here is ela . one her
copy. Why should these two men ever meet? . husband ... the other, a ghost from the past! Her secret had been safe! Hidden behind locked doors ... only this
man held the key!”
What was to be his price of silence... . something to gain... and his hand held the lash?”’
The talking screen had never had such a drama as this! In a mighty torrent of emotions it sweeps on to a titanic climax! Drama to hold you spell-bound. Suspense to send blood pounding through your veins... while a woman struggles against fate in this mad carnival of love and life!
A mad moment of adventure ... a gay and handsome admirer ... love and laughter on a floating cabaret! Then the raid! The clang of bells! Shrill whistles in the night!-— and the crash of locked doors being broken! But her secret had been safe! Her husband trusted her .. . suspected nothing! Behind locked doors she had kept her secret . but ghosts of a woman’s past go through locked doors and old lovers return!
A gay adventure had brought them together . .. music
. wine .... and the locked door of a private cabin on a floating cabaret. .... Now she was a wife... and again they were behind locked doors! Her future, her happiness was at stake ... and he alone held the key to the closet where the skelton of the past lay hidden!
A Broadway hit played by a Broadway cast in a Broadway setting. Wild parties, whoopee boats, night life and heart escapades are high-spots in a thrilling picturization, a story of the modern generation. From behind the locked door of the past comes a former lover to cast a cloud over the life of a trusting and devoted wife. Compromised by circumstances what can she do to expose him and yet keep her husband’s love? A woman’s war with a society wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Exploitation angles are many. Locked door ballyhoos and displays will help sell the title. Stage a locked door treasure quest, giving patrons dummy keys, a certain number of which open a door in your lobby. Those fortunate in gaining access get free tickets and prizes offered by merchants. Arrange for merchants’ double trucks hinging on the gag line that “Telephone orders open The Locked Door to quick delivery.’’
“The Operation.’’ The
Box Office Buddy
During the enga engagement of Buddy Rogers at the New York Paramount, the youn
in.) Thi ger members of the shriller Leon a ae sex literally camped in the The front rows. Many brought
their lunches and refused to budge after seeing one show. The seats were needed for standees and new arrivals.
Eddie Hitchcock, director of publicity, induced Paul Ash to announce from the stage that Buddy would be glad to greet his friends and admirers at the stage door. Result: a much needed “spill” and a mob scene in
A neat comedy, dressed up,
The scene is a Motion Picture
f : : : t t : : : 4 This is a subject in natural ? raphers.
Will go in spots only.
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