Variety (May 1936)

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Wednesday, May 6, 1936 PIC ¥ E S VARIETY Sehism in Screen Writers' Guld; 50 to 100 Reported Resignii^ Holiywood^ May Studios are buzzing, with reports that anywhere from BO to 100 jnem- bers o£ this Screen Writers' Guild ejre i^lillitng out. The Guild's execu- tive board admits 13 resignations received yesterday ('*)> Also strong- ly rumored a new Guild; is being formed seceders with member,'- shfp festricted to noii-GuHders. -Guild has issued-the follow- ing sttiteihent: 'The executive board o£ the Screen Writers' Guild ari- nounces that. In face of rumors 13 resignations have, been accepted to date of which flye non-yotihg members. Bpairft postponed action on these reslgnatlQns pending draft- lli^/ Sf >|etter'by the Guild attorney whicli'^11 accompany acceptance of r«iBl6t»atiOns. It Waisr deemed neces- Btjiry to feply to these, letters after leisiar consideration since every one of them t;on'tained a legally-phrased ^ragraph obviously dictated by an ftttorhey.' ■ Those who reslgpied are Leon Gordbn, William Cpiiiselma.n, Mark Kelly, Bess Meredith, Carey "Wil- William Slavens McNutt, Gfene Fowler, E. Richard iSchayer, Sam Engel, S» G. Duncan, Howard Ellis Smith ,((nd Milton Sperling. First eight.of the group .constitute active jiiembe):s. ■ , Following an organization meet- ing to discuss withdrawals. Guilders '\J^ht .tb \yQrk on committee to func- tion durlnip the year Mith appoint- ment^ to be announced later. Per- sonnel of : group to negotiate with producers for Guild pact deferred until later In the week. Heavy Withdrawals Heavy withdrawal-of writers on rosters :at Metro,, Paramount, War- •ners and '20th-Fox are reported Im- minent, with many rumored tender- ing theljf resignations to Guild*, but whose Tiotic'es not yet received. In this group are' Jules Furthman, Sbhya Levlen, Zoe Akins, George Brlcker,- Stephen Morehouse Avery, Gene Markey, Ben Markson, Charles Kenyon and Hal Long. Understood that 25 of the . 31} who votied >i>.against ratlticatlon and amalgtcmation principle are from Metro, and practically the entire body tendered resignations lo the Guild during the day. ..Letter of acceptance to those re- signed Is' being f ramed by Attorney Larry B.lelenson and will point out the $10,000 penalty for violation of oHglnal. clauses of membership ap- plication. Membership agreement provides, that although resigning ft^'Guild to avoid dues payment a withdrawing member is still bound to all provisions and regulations Oi the Guild. Seceders expect notl- flcatton ,.<)f .liability to the $iO,00.0 forfeit but-understood they will in- stitute legal action foi^ declaratory relief and to test validity of the con- tract; .Suit also would asic for in- Junctloa before trial to prevent Gullg from altenipting to collect or enforce payment of penalty. Producers .are holding off Its next conclave to awjitt reaction of whole- sale resignations on other Guild Wembers. HE€HT & MAC A. SEARCH LEAD FORTHEMONSTER' Unable to find the lead desired their next production for Par .release, 'The Monster,' Ben Hecht -and-Charlie rMai5Al^rur^re"Tibldlng up production, at the Astoria, L. I., studio. Team tried to get Charles Bover. ^aul Muni and .-ohh Barfvmore but 1?*, ""Successful and- are still tPi^*^ I'l'oducing team had vriea to get Barry more for prior Pioductlons; without result, ftft^^w'**'-^^^''- ^^"^lo casts forHodit nameV ^^""'^^"S out a flock of Guild Slate Hollywood, May 5. Coalition ticket voted Into ofl^ce by- acclamation from floor of Screen Writers' Guild meeting la^t Saturday (2) com- prises the following: Ernest -Pascal, president; Seton L Miller, v.p.; E. E. Paramore, Jr., sec; John: Grey, treasurer. Members of executive board are Ralph Block, Sidney Buch- man, Lester Cole, Bert Kalmar, Edwin Justus Mayer, Mary McCall, Jr., Jairies K, McGulh- ness,'Patterson McNutt, Sam- son Raphaelson, Robert Rlskin, Wells Root. Won t Accede 'At Gun s Point' Execs Hurl at Writers r Hollywood, May B. Producers held last minute meet- ing Friday (1) on general discussion of Screen Writer Guild situation In studios. Irving Thalberg presided. After a three-hpur meeting a state- ment was Issued that there had not been the slightest change l.i the position .of the producers with re- gard to proposals to establish a closed shop for screen writers. It further pointed put the attitude of" the employers by saying, 'Any attempt to cripple the Indu3tr>' by InvPklhg 'Article 12' will be fought to. the. limit: any .effort to curb the free and independent relationship of producer and w,riter \ylll be re- sisted at any cost.'. This statement was Issued after producers as group had decided to hold, last minute meeting with the writers, on day of the meeting. The latter were called in by exeeutive heads Saturday (2) at all stu lios except Columbia. They were told by the bPsses what 'closed shop- would mean, how it would be re- sisted. That studios had blij ex- pense, were not going to have T,uns pointed at them" for demands, that if at any .time they orf; .a guild which would have a policy with sane viewpoints the ijiodii>erd would be . glad to negotiate wifh them as a, body and discuss alleged grievances for adjustment purposes. Irving' Thalberg, spoke to the Metro group of 60; Henry Herzbrun, was the Paramount spokesman; Ben kahane, Sam Brlekin and Pan Bcrman addressed the RKO lot writers; Jack Warner talked at Warners; Darryl Zanuck at 2()lh- Fox and WllUam Koenlg at Uni- versal. It was expected from t..ese talks that around 100 would be s.wuu.g to the producers?' viewpoint- rihrt attend the meethig that night iviid vote against 'Article 12' and the 'prhi- clple of amalgamation.' Present at the producers' session on Friday. Thalberg presiding, woic Harry Cohn, Sam Briskin. Ben Ka- hane,' Darryl ZanUck, Henry Herz- brun, Jack Warner. Wl" Hays. Fred W. Beetson and Edwin Loeb. attorney for producers. Polly's Aczac Click Sydney. April 23. PoMyMoran met with a Kreat re- ception on opening at the Tivoll here tor Frank Neil. Eiitlre thea- tre was completely booked and biz has been oke on both mat and ni ht trade. Femme star has just rompletefl a remarkable run in Mc^lbourne for the anme management. yP IRTICLE12 Balloting Shows 193-25 in Favor of Tie with Au- thors' Lea:Kue 'in Princi- ple*—Moot Clause Voted, 188 to 32—Coalition Slate Elected —- Meeting Is Peaceful, Scoff at Strike Threat Par Starts Astoria Production This Summer, Ziikor Suirervising And Serlin in Charge; 3 Pix Set PROD. EFFECT FELT Hollywood, May 6. Explalhlng that Article 12, which provides that members of the Screen Writers' Guild sign no con- tracts beyond May 2, 1938, with studios, had.. been strengthened . to the extent that it would only' re- main in effect until isuch time as producers recognized the Guild for discussion of ' working conditions under a minimum agreement, Lau- rence Blelensoii, attorney for the Guild, brought about a change of front among the 226 voting-jmem- bers of the organization, with the result that it was passed by a vote of 188 to 82. The vote on the prin- ciple of amalgamation with the Au- thors' League of . America had a.n affirmative nod to the tune of 193 to 25, with reservations, Coalition ticket was ...voted from the floor without a dissenting vote. The meeting, which had been figured would be a rip and tear prpposltlon between the' adminis- tration faction and the opponents of the amalgamation, proved a very tame event with almost four hours of talk Saturday night (2) at the Hollywood Athletic Club. Prepara- tions had been made for a hectic evening. When the 400 or so who attended arrived they found a pla- topn of police, in front of the club- house. Latter were later ushered into gymnasium, where session Was held, finding It difficult to keep awake during the speeching. Inquiry as to why coppers were on hand was answered that the club.did not want any of its property damaged, li'ence this precaution. Last-minute blowup on" the com- promise w^^ averted when adminis- tration _leader maneuvered recal- citrants Into a defensive position until the meeting w^s run off. Threatened schism was traced to dissatisfaction of certain members with the revised setup. Situation was calmed after oppo- sitionists bolted the, accord nith threat to withdraw the pledge of adherents to vote for continuing article 12 and amalgamation prin- ciple. Split was smoothed over just before the gavel fel}. Oration and Qui Prior .-to opening of session there was much talk of walkout in case the measures were favored by the group. . However, this situation did not eventuate as the meeting was run off without any discordant notes or attempts to stampede the proceedings. There was plenty of oration, pro and con, on the subject matter Involved In .balloting, with each side, getting over Its point in brief talks by members. With peace having been effected by the administration crowd, and the James K. McGuihness opposi- tion group at meeting Tliursday (SO), wheti latter presented pro- posed changes in constitution and a-grced to vote upon principle of amalgamation with the Authpr.s' League, the new opposition was In- dividual expression of member.4who declared that the committee hod not represented them. Approximately half of the active- membership of SWG cast ballots or were represented by proxies. Cam- paign of the producers against both propositions of the Guild. w,aged f(»r several days prior to the meeting. Is known to have .switched many opposing votes to the afHrmative. Undoubtedly, it also kept many (Continued on page 29) Protection ' HollyWbod, May "5. Wlien asked for reason that 24. cops w^i'fi'brought to Screen Writers' Guild annual meeting last Saturday night, an eastern playwright remarked, 'They hgUred someone would come in with a new screen play Idea and that It would 'cause the meeting to bteak up in riot.' 90% OF EQUriY MEMffiRSNOW INS.A.& Hollywood,. May 5, Final checkup by Actors Equity after the May 1 deadline reveals more than 90% of Its members now in pictures have joined the Screen Actors Guild., Charges will be pre- fejfred. against the holdouts, with fltting penalties Imposed by Equity Council. Payment of Actor Guild dues since Its organization three years ago Is the maximum assessment for defiance of ruling, which applies only to Eqiilty members working In plctui:e$ before May .i. Guild nienfibers appearing . on the stage and'not joirilng Equity are suWect to like penalties. Equity members on the Coast, It Is understood; will vote In favor of the independent slate for council ihstead of the adnilnlstratlon ticket, with ballots being sent east cur- rently.- WOUID ALSO TAKE IN H'WOOD PUBLICISTS Hollywood. May 5. Society of Publicists and News- j paper Correspondents, known as Spancs. was approached by an en- voy of the Screen Writers Guild last week to join the proposed amal- gamation with the Authors League of America as part of the move to bring all actively concerned in writ- ing under the one banner. Propo- sition for Joining was made tp John Miles, Douglas .Churchill ahd Toni Bailey, vice-presidents, by Guild execs. Spancs has not placed the pro- posal before its membership, which consists of 120 publicists and news- paper correspondents. Understood that efforts will be niade to keep the proposal from getting to the mem- bership because publicists ve chiefly-Studio publicji.v meii. Robert! Pacted t wo Hollywood, May . Lyda Hobertl, after making .'<horts tfamed with Patsy Kelly, has been ivcn a ter contract' by llfil Itoach. Team a^III be kept intact current- ly and make a featured cornedy, 'Civl Cloes West,' which has a quar- tet cf writers scripting. Treacher's 'Jeeves' Hollywood, May 5. /.i-lljur C;rfvillc ColIluH v/ill dlrfct (ho fh.ll of the P. C \Vodehou:<e 'Joovos' yarns at 20th-l"'fj.v Weafern .Vve. studio. Arthur Trcaclifr Avill be lealurod in the production, wliifh .slarln M'lj .11. ramount will' start producing; features this summer, at Its former Paramount Astoria,' I., studios^ now known as Eastern Service and under lease to Electrical Research Products, Inc.; with Adolph' Ziikor personally supervising eastera. fllm-hiaklhg. Plans are to start as soon as Ben Hecht and Charles Mac Arthur have^ completed 'Tlie Monster,' which Is being made for release by Par. Hecht and MacArthur have set 23 days as their shooting schedule, which may mean that Par itself will be in a position to begin eastem- operations. Some iinae in June or by. July 1. Hecht and MacArthur have bieen held iip through Searching f9r a suitable lead, but expect to bo under way In a week pr 10 days. Four Mi imum Intension of Par Is to fnake. no less than four pictures yearly in Astoria plant, where it once pro- duced a major share of its pictures. While Zukor will personally super* vise operations at Astoria, it is un-> derstood that Osca.r Serlin will he, activejy In charge of the studio arid the selection of talent. ]Porihei*ly In Hollywood, Serlin came east about three years ago to takei charge of eastern talent contractln^r* First picture' planned' for Astoria by Par Is 'Artists and Models.' .a revue in which illustrators and models will be cast. Second, ten- tatively, Is 'Carmeji,' the opera> in a modern ' 'version with Gladys Swarthout.. Boris Morros Is pro- duction chief on this. Third picture for the east will be 'No Man Krioweth,' scheduled for 193C-37 re- lease. .In producing at Astoria,, Para- mount will select from Its annual schedule those pictures which lend themselves best to making in New York. Trade Mark Registered FOUNDED RT SIA1IC Sir.VEflMAN ful>llMlie(l n'ffkl/ by VAKIRTV. Ifie Sid Sllvermnn, President IB4 (Veui 4(>th Street. Nevr York Oily, 1