Variety (Sep 1935)

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Wednesday, September 4* 1935 PICTHRES VARIETY PIC YARNS NO GOLD MINE tasky-Pickford to Produce Hve For UA; Will Go Strong on Tuners Hollywood, Sept. 3. Having signed partnership agree- tnent with Mary Plckford, Jesse L. liasky accompanied by his son, Jesse, Jr„ is en route to Quebec to Ball for England Sept. 6. After more than two months of negotiat- ing, Plckford-Lasky Productions, Inc., has signed for United Artists release. He Is president and Miss Plckford, v.p. Lipsky will bef the active production head of the com- pany which will make four or five pictures for its initial UA output. New outfit placed Francis Lederer under five-year contract, two pics yeariy. One of the present season opuses will be a musical. Lasky turned over his contract with Nino Martini to the company for five years, also two pics annually. Com- pany also signed Mme. Ernestine Schumann-Helnk for one film to be based on story of her life. Miss Plckford is to follow Lasky to. Europe where they are to confer on the possibility of making one of the five there next spring. Lasky had three other deals pend- Inj. when he signed the Plckford ticket, one with Metro, another Par, an"! the third an English financing proposition, for product to be made In this country, with a UA release. Main obstacle holding up the l,asky-Plckford deal was Lasky wanting.the top billing of the com- pany as prexy. This and few other points he wanted In contract were agreed to early Friday morning with contract signed at Plckfair that af- ternoon in presence of some BO ntwspaper people who -vere Invited to a cocktail party. This is first time that Miss Plckford entertained thA press cn masse at her home. New company will produce Its pictures on the UA lot, taking over tl.e former 20th Century quarters on Oct. 1. Phil Friedman, former Fox casting director, will be execu- tive assistant to Lasky, with Mau- rice Hanllne, story editor, and Line Quarberg, who was the Lasky p.a. at Fox, in the same spot. With Lasky going into the UA group he again becomes associated with his former brotbor-in-Iaw, Samuel Goldwyn, who was his first partner In the pic business. Lasky due back from England Oct. 15 when ho begins work on his first pic nvhlch will have Lederer starred. Actors' Guild Will Force Producer Hand For Mass Bargaining Hollywood, Sept. 3. Board of directors oC th* Screen Actors Guild meets tonight (Tues- day) at which time tlio group will bo presented with report of special committee appointed several weeks ago to outline organization's plan of action to secure producer recog- nition for collective bnrgaining un- der provisions of the Wagner labor ar.t. It Is known that the board Is ready to follow the recommenda- Uons of the committee, which con- al.sts of Robert Young, Edward G. Robinson, Chester Morris and P.oris KarlofC. Alth: ugh Guild lead<^r.--. are c'.mmitted to members for an agres- sivf- campaign to secure producer recognition to bargain for actor.s, it is known that these leaders want to conduct negotiations on a friendly basis, and are not keen to precipi- tate an open battle unless forced to do so. ' 'It is expected the Guild board. In voting to proceed along the lines ad- vor-ated In the committee repoi't to- night, will draft a letter of formal demand to the producer.s asking for meeting to disc\is.«; recognition of the organization under the U agiier bill. FLOYD CEOSBY'S SHOETS Floyd Crosby, cameraman, Is dickering with RKO to niuke a series of shorts In Technicolor. Would he released via the Pioneer trademark. Bone for Buck Hollywood, Sept. 3. Darryl Zanuck has decided to feature Buck, the St. Bernard dog used in 'Call of the Wild,' in 'The Country Beyond.' Thl3 is the first time a major studio has gone for a bone crusher story in years. Zanuck for some time produced the Rin- Tln-TIn pictures at "Warners, Sol Wurtzel will produce. Rochelle Hudson and John McGulre have the non-barking leads. BOGART ROGERS 20TH-FOX PROD. Hollywood, Sept. 3. Bogart Rogers has been elevated to post of associate producer at 20th Century-Fox. Originally signed by Darryl Zanuck several weeks ago In the east, Rogers vraa slated to become scenario editor of 20th Century prior to the merger. Jason Joy, acting assistant story editor on the lot, moves up to take charge of the scenario department. Julian Johnson, former head, has been switched to story scouting duties. Kenneth MacGowan joined the 2(jth-Fox producer ranks yesterday (Mon.). He was at Radio as story editor and producer for the past three years, having also made pictures for Pioneer on loanout. EDDY ON LONG TOUR AFTER WINDUP Hollywood, Sept. 3. Concert tour of Nelson Eddy will start in Frisco early in November and carry through April. He opens his road jaunt after completing 'Rose Marie' at Metro. While oh tour singer will do 19 network airings for Firestone, one for Ford and a frogram from the Hollywood World Peace affair Nov. 28. First broadcast from NBC studios here Nov. 4. Irene Castle Conies Out Of 17-Year Siesta for Pic Hollywood, Sept. 3. Coming oxjt of a 17 year retire- ment, Irene Castle has been engaged by Paramount for 'Collegiate' Miss Castle will be the operator of the dancing school in the college town. Loy-MG Talk Truce Hollywood, Sept. 3. Myrna J/jDy planed In Sunday (1) and will discuss tlie settlement of her Metro differences. She's pre- pared to go back for a salary In- crease and a maximum number of pictures. Understood that the settlement must provide that she do the Hecht and MacArthur picture (Par) as an outside opus. Miss Loy Is en route back to N. Y. BEICE, PENNINGTON WEST Fannie Price goes coa.-^tward for Metro Sept. 7, into 'Great ZiegfeUV for four weeks, returning to New York Oct. 10 for the Shuberts' •FollIe.=.' Ann Pennington, for whom nego- tiations are pending, accompanle.-i Miss Erice west. STUDIOS pny AS LOW AS Highest Price for Original Last Year, $12,000—Slick Mags Ladle Out $200 Per —Pact Scribes Bat Out Scenarios from One Two Ideas or 15% CREATIVE Hollywood, Sept. 3. Mistaken Is the general Idea of outside writers that picture studios are the land of opportunity for scriveners to reach fame and for- tune. When slick magazines offer writers $200 for a story they yell their heads off. Studios pay off in about the same proportion. Many a story sells at $500 and under. For instance, Paramount in the last month bought 13 original stories and ideas, some from unknowns, others from name writers. Pour of the stories or ideas at $600; one for $750; several for $1,000 and $1,200, and one for $3,000. Studios, mean- while, assigned several writers to concoct originals, which knocks the outside writer out of his chances. A name writer who draws around $500 weekly, when on contract, was one of the writers to receive $500 for her script on the outright sa.le. A best seller novelist receives $6,000 for each of his stories delivered to the studio within the next two years. It's possible that, outside of his lit- erary work, he can deliver three original stories to the studio yearly. Recently two writers submitted an original story to Pox. Studio was crazy about the idea, hut told the writers that It would pay $7,600 for the story, and no more. Writers felt that the yarn was worth twice that amount, but finally sold when the studio adopted the take-lt-or-leave- It attitude. Writers read of the prices paid for plays, such As the reported $100,000 paid for 'Petrified Forest.' They as- sume that original stories should bring a good percentage of those ■figures, yet in the past year $12,000 has been the highest price paid for an original. Studios find that contract writers can bat out original stories to every- one's satisfaction. Now and then a writer comes ai-ound with a brain child in which the studio likes, per- haps, only one or two sequences. When this occurs, studio usually buys what it wants, allows the writ- er to keep the rest of his yarn. Such cases never fetch more than $500. In the past few years, number of originals sold to major studios 'imounts to less than 15% of the total purchase of story material. Rest are plays, novels and short stories. Time was when original.*! made up 80% of the story buys, nnd writers have received as high as ".25,000 for nothing more than an Idea, which was later developed Into 1 screen play by the studio contract scribes. Films Using 500 Hoofers in Tuner Cycle; Chorus Lines Overdone, Out Sweet Music Hollywood, Sept. 3. Seven film players are call- ing 'Broadway Melody of 193S' their luck piece. After Metro execs had their first look at the fllmuslcal new contracts with upped pgures were handed the group. Una Merkel was No. 7 to have the wand waved over her; PK SEASONAL STORY DEARTH Dearth of suitable novels and absence of usual quantity of new Broadway legit maerial has tilted general level of prices paid by pro- ducers for screen stories higher than it's been for three or four years. This scarcity of suitable film plots has sent the major plx producers scouring the field with a fine comb. Picture ofllclals for weeks sought any play, novel or short story showing any film pos- sibilities. BOYER ABROAD, HENRY WUCOXON'S ENG. PIC Charles Boyer, slated to play op- posite Marlene Dietrich in 'Invita- tion to Happiness' for Par, Is stick- ing in France to make 'Mayerling,' based on life of Archduke Joseph of Austria, while Henry Wllcoxon, east for 'Crusades' premiere,' sailed Fri- day night (30) to make a picture in England. He will go opp Anna Sten In 'The Woman Alone.' Par has given Wllcoxon a 10 weeks' leave of absence, English actor received invite to play opp Sten from 'the Garret Klcment Pic- tures, Ltd., while he was in New York, and made arrangements with Par to accept it. Bing Crosby goes hack to the Par studio right away after a vacation at Saratoga. Radio Spots Fred Stone While ZaDsck Ponders Hollywood, .Sept. 3. While 20th Ccntury-Fpx is pondering whether to jilgn Fred Stone to fill the .shoes of Will Itogers In three stories purchased for the late comedian. Radio has set him In 'The Farmer in the Dell," Phi) Stong novel, as the first on his two picture (ieal. 20th-Fox decision v/lll probably be reached this week. 78 Parts in 'Adverse' Warners Testing: Players for Two Months in Record Pic Cast oUywood, Sept. 3. In order to fill 78 speaking roles— !;cllcvcd to be a talker cast record- - 'Anthony Adverse' this week starti" on two months' continuous testing at W^arners under supervision of Henry Blankc, who will produce Actual testing Is being done by Arthur Grevllle Collins, currently without directorial aa.^Ignmcnt. Only role set Is Frcdric Marsh as Anthony. Warners' elaborate testing session on the voluminou.s Hervey Allen talc mark.s the estaJ)llshmcnt of a definite policy in c-jnnectlon witli studio's important pIcture.H, follow- ing impressive reaults from ex- haustive to.sts Inaugurated by Max Uoinh.-irdt for his 'Midsummer Nlght'.H Dream' and also followed In 'Capt. Ulood.' .Sheridan GIbney has completed the screen play, okayed by the author, after almost a year's Inter- mittent labor to telescope the Allen tome. Hollywood, Sept. 3. Last week was bullish for danc^ Ing choristers who have been tak- ing a licking for the past fhrea months. Over 600 boys and girls were tapping their dogs off In major studios. Paramount topped the list with some 250 working on five pictures or rehearsing for future musical productions. LeRoy Prinz is cur- rently staging dance routines for 'Collegiate,' 'Anything Goes,' 'Coro- nado,' 'The Bouncer' and 'Little Acorns.' Warners has 100 girls rehearsing for 'Broadway Hostess' and 'Stars Over Broadway," Metro has another 100 on 'Rose Marie' and 'Zlegfeld.' At Radio around 60 girls are being routined for 'To Beat the Band' and 'Love Song,' Current market for heel break- ers Is their first chance to get bank- rolled for some time, studios with few exceptions, eliminating chorus lines feeling that the public was fed up with them. The BOO now employed constitutes about all the regulars in the business. If mora were needed, t^e dancing school* would have to be hustled. Average amount of work given to chorus lines on feature pictures Is abotit two weeks per feature. That's a week's rehearsal and a week's shooting. When the regu- lars are called, studios figure tha* 12 days Is the limit. When it is necessary to get talent from thi dancing schools, due to Inexperi- ence the 12 days is usually stretched out to three weeks. Tough Gny' for Gable Hollywood, Sept. 3. Bernio Hyman has been handed the production reins on Metro'a 'Toughest Guy in the World,' orig- inal by Roland Brown, Brown and Robert Chapin are scripting. Story is being tailored for Clark Gable. Trade Mark lte(cl»ered I'OIJNDED BT 8IME UII.VrenMAN rubllNhrd yVtrkly bj VARIKTV, Inr 81(1 Silverman. Prealdrnt 16« Weal 4Ctb Street, New Vork City Sim.SCRIPTTON Annual tt Foreign |7 Single Coplea 15 Cenft Vol. 119 120 No. i: INDEX Bills 53 Chatter GO-Cl ICxpIoltatlon 23 15 and 60 Years Ago 50 Film Reviews , 14 International News 20-21 House Reviews, 17 Inside—Legit 51 Inside—Music 46 Inside—lectures 6 Inside—Radio 39 Legitimate SJ-.I? Literati s.ij Music 40-10 Sow Acts 50 .ew.s from the 59 .'.'Itc Clubs 49 ')bltuary 62 Outdoors c,:i i'lctures 2-2.'J ilauio Zt-ii) Madio—Cliatter 41 itadlo —Xew Huslness.... 40 ;iadio—Iteports 38 ;!;idlo—Showmanship 43 ohorts 14 Times Square. 59 iJnits 50 N'audevllle 5p-.52 Women 57