Variety (May 1939)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

Wednesday, Msy S, 1939 PICTURES VARIETY SWG SPURNS Indies Beeibig About High Cost Of Haysian and Censorial Obys Independent producen who, along with other major producers, submit their scripts and finished produc- tions to the Hays organization for production Code Seal, Br« doing con- aiderabl« beefing over 'extra' coits they are forced to bear by reason of the Hays seal and other censorship or quasl-censor organizations. Indie producers assert that thea- tres generally, circuit or otherwise, pay little attention as to whether the Hays O.K. Is on a picture. In only two territories is observance of the Hays seal meeting with strict observ- ance—the RKO circuit bookings In Greater New York and the Warner circuit in the Philadelphia zone. No general abandonment of the practice of submitting pictures for the Code sear Is expected, however, since no producer can afford to take a chance on their pictures not being played In New York or Pennsyl- vania Other cosOy and Irksome proced- ures to which most producers have to submit include the National Board of Review, as well as censor boards Jn six states and two municipalities. National - Board of Review charges t6 per reel for Its seal of approval and 7Sc per reel for screening. Producers would Ignore the N3.R. procedure entirely were It not for the fact that Florida, and In the cities of Providence and'Bostozi, pic- tures which carry the National seal are automatically passed for theatre exhibition. State censorship charges vary from $3 to $4 a reel, while the Hays organization charges $50 for code seal on new features; $23 on re- Issues, $25 for shorts, and $25 for all foreign pictures submitted. SCREEN PROLOG OKAYS m'INTO CANADA Toronto, May 2, Canadian bookings of 'Alexander Graham Bell' (20th) have been can- celled, pending completion of a screen prolog which will extol the Canadian background of the in- ventor of the telephone. Only complaint came from the flag-wavers of Brantford, Ontario, birthplace of Bell and city from which he first transmitted sound by 'Wire to a point eight miles away. Barrage of local squawks descended upon the Board of Censors here, with threats that the matter would be carried to Parliament if the picture were passed In Its original, form. Prolog, according to James CLbughlin, Canadian manager for 20th, will be filmed by Associated Screen News and, in addition to ex- planatory text eulogizing Bell, will include shots of his birthplace, the monument which his home town erected to his memory, and old phO' tographs which are now In the pos- , session of Mrs. Gilbert Grosvenor and Mrs. David FalrchUd of New York, daughters of the Inventor. Farmer-Erickson Get Far Leaye Extended Hollywood, May 2. Frances Parmer and Leif Erickson Were handed a six-month extension of their leave of absence by Para- mount Original furlough ended May 1, Currently they are doing stage work in the east. lUeana's Outburst Beverly Hiils, Mary 2. Illeana Laurel, estranged wife of we film comic, was found guilty of flrunk and disorderly charges and released under $250 bail pending an application for probation. Russian dancer was arrested after causing a disturbance in a Russian ^e, where she allegedly shouted jnat the flhn colony should be Hit lerued. Blackout Hollywood, May 2. Shush epidemic has invaded Paramount where the boys are readying a picture with the Btory, cast, writers and starting date a profound secret. It's title, 'Heil America,' is only a stall to . foil international snoopers. Even the flacks are writing on noiseless typewriters. u mis Serial Program After Scully s Survey Hollywood, May 2. Universal Is going in stronger than ever for serials as result of a survey of 168 towns by William Scully, head of Va sales force. Theatres showing cllilhangers, according to Scully, not only do better business but develop steady customers. Studio's serial program for 1930-40 leads oil with The Lone Rapger,' followed by 'Buck Rogers' and a Boy Scout differ. B. BRISKIN PRODUCING 3 BREEN PIX AT RKO Hollywood, May 2. Principal Pictures is making three Bob Breens for the 1930-40 RKO program, with Barney Briskin doing the producing instead of Sol Lesser. Although retaining his holdings In Principal, Lesser will devote .his ef- forts to production for United Ar- tists release. Principal has two more Breens to make for the current season. 'Way Down South' is in production and 'Boy Who Cried Wolf* is slated for an early summer start. Lesser and his Principal Pictures are shopping for studio space after July 15. Columbia notified Lesser to vacate Iiis rented quarters on the old Schulberg lot, rest of which Is used by Col. Irving Briskin's CoL unit Is slated to take over the Prin- cipal offices. MERRY MAGS TO DO FILM will Play Theatre Dates on Way to Hollywood Merry Macs quartet leave for the Coast to do a fllmusical for War- ners when the Fred Allen program folds for the summer late in June, Quartet has made several shorts for Warners at the Brooklyn studios. As the film is not set to start until late July or August, the Macs will play • series of one-nighters and theatre dates on the way westward. They go into the Paramount, N. Y., May 10. 'On Toes' for Lord WILL CALL IN mi Hollywood, May 2. Associate producer chore on War ners' 'On Your Toes' goes to Robert Lord. Shooting starts next week with Zorina and Eddie Albert shar- ing top spots. .. _ Picture is based on the Broadway stage play. WB Holds Siegel Hollywood, May 2. Max Siegel, associate producer at Warners, has inked a new contract Next picture is "Three Cheers for the Irish,' with Pat O'Brien heading the cast Writers Don't Consider Stu- dios* Terms Attractive Enough to Submit for a Vote—Studios Hold 7-Yr. Pacts Preclude Outside StinU NO •WILLINGNESS' Hollywood, May 2. Screen ' Wrltert Guild Monday night (1) flatly rejected .the contract proffered by the producers, and the executive board served notice that the National Labor Relations Board will be asked to reopen the hearings on complaint which charges the major studios with unfair labor prac- tices. SWG board didn't-consider the companies' proposal attractive enough to submit it for membership vota. In a letter to the producers' attor- ney, Mendel Silberberg, Guild prexy Charles Brackett declared, 'After re- viewing proposals the board is of the opinion there Is no indication of willingness on the part of the pro- ducers to consider sincerely the minimum proposals made by the Guild membership, namely (1), 80% Guild shop at outset of contract; (2), contract term of three and a half years; (3), right pf writer to own all material written during layoff period.' Producers tempted the SWG with ah 80% Guild shop effective the third year, 70% first year and 75% second year. Also proposed that a seven- year agreement with writers pro- hibited them from working during the layoff period. GN BOOMS VIA TWONEWDEAI^ Hollywood, May 1. Finances'bt Grand National took an upward turn through a deal to make a series of Spanish-language pictures for 20th-Fox distribution. Previous deal had called for one pic- ture. In addition, GN Is assured of con- siderable rental coin from England through a deal with British Grand National, a separate corporation headed by Jeffrey Bernard and Mau- rice J. Wilson. Latter is here con' ferring with Jack Skirball on films to be delivered to British GN for 1939-40. Dr. Eugene Frenke ended his long financial battle with GN by turning over the negative of his Anna Sten starrer, 'Exile Express,' to the studio tor immediate release. Under new deal, GN purchased outri^t Frenke's interest in Amer^ lean, Canadian and British rights and agreed to arrange releases for 'Exile* in other countries. Picture was produced on a joint financial basis, with GN and Frenke sharing the cost Tune-Cfipping Cameras — Hollywood, May 2. 20th-Fox ordered construction on 60 new camerais, lighter and less cumbersome than those now in vogue, after tests on 'Rose of Wash' Ington Square.' Technicians esti' mated new machine saved 54 hours of filming time. Device is result of two years' work by studio camera staff, on an apprO' priatlon of $80,000, set aside to cover research, models and tests. Mistrial of lA Vs. Technicians Local 37; Otherwise Dismiss The BrushoflF Hollywood, May 2. Pointers liOcal 644 nosed out the Scenic Artists In the Leather Horse Derby at Paramount stu- dio, winning a photo finish that almost caused a strike. Paint- ers threatened to walk out If • member ot the scenic staff swung a brush on the prop steed. Art was set -down for illegal' jockeying. Par Cramped For Space, 10 in Work; M-Gs Prod. Spurt Hollywood, May 1. . Paramount studio Is up against a space shortage, ^with. 10 productions taxing the capacity oiC the sound stages. This has been' one' ot the main reasons for the recent decision to move to larger quarters in West- wood. Latest to roll were 'Our Leading Citizen,' Bob Bums starrer, and 'Home Work,' with Charles Ruggles and Mary Boland as tops. . With 'Stronger Than Desire' before the cameras, Metro has six features in production, the highest number in two months. Studio' also have five shorts in work. WM. S. HART REFUSES REP. FILM COMEBACK Hollywood, May 2. Proposition made to William S. Hart by Republla for • return to the screen has been rejected by the for- mer sUent western star Deal called for Hart to make two pictures .at a minimum production cost of $250,000 each. Actor again reiterated his iMsltlon that he b retired from pictures and will not even agcej \p personal ap- pearances. His only picture activity since more than • decade ago U a short prolog produced for Astor Pic- tures' reissue ot *TumbIeweeds.' S.A.6. EUTJOINEO Validity of Janlor Connell Elections Disputed' Hollywood, May 2. Screen Actors Guild has been re- strained from ordering a new. elec- tion to fill 17 vacancies on its junior council through a temporary injunction Issued yesterday (Mon- day) by the Superior. Court Valid- ity of the election recently held is being tested In a petition filed by three elected candidates. Among the defendants named in the action are Robert Montgomery, Franchot Tone, .Ralph, Morgan, James Cagney, Joan Crawford and the entire board ot directors. Lead- ers among the extras are making a drive for funds to defray the cost ot a court fight Amy Becomes Director Hollywood, May 2. Warners upped George Amy, film cutter, to a director's job, with his first assignment 'The Return ot Dr. X,' Boris Karloff feature: - - Amy' starts his new chore when he finishes cutting 'The Old Maid.' Bill Powell's Garboer Hollywood, May 2. Metro has pencilled in William Powell for Greta Garbo's 'Ninotcha' upon.his return to the scresn'after a long illness. Picture is set to start In two weeks. Hollywood, May 2. Mistrial was ordered' yesterday (Monday) In the Superigr Court suit ot International Alliance of The- atrical Stage Employees members to enjoin officers ot Technicians Local 37 from interfering with operations ot the organization. Case goes back to the calendar docket and is set for retrial when depositions are to b« secured from George E. Browne, lATSE prez. Meanwhile lATSE leaders have been directed to post $30,000, addi'- ttonal bond to cover collection of approximately $56,000 In dues from Local 37 members. Court ignored a plea tor $10,000 bond when It waa disclosed that the International al'- ready had collected $6,000 in death benefits and $19,000 In dues. Contempt proceedings against Jo- seph Carpenter, Local 37 head; Jeff Kibre, leader ot the autonomy group; Ed Helm, financial secretary; Guy Cooper, recording secretary, and Walter Starlnge are set for trial to- day (Tuesday). At the. same tim* Judge Emmet Wilson is to pass on the petition of Local 37 officers to enjoin the lA International reps and recover possession of the union,- which was seized by lA minions on 'emergency' orders issued by Browne. In ordering the mistrial, Judgo Wilson said the only other alterna- tive was to give a judgment for th* defense, but that the former action was taken In an effort to protect th« interests ot Local 37 members, which he indicated was the most Important issue involved. Court said the plahi- tiff.<: had failed to show by any evi- dence from Browne that he had th* consent of his executive board in making the decision. Brlgham Rose, Local 37 attorney, filed an exception to the mistrial. Indicating he may carry the fight to the District Court ot Appeals. Tells of Saving Frank Stickling, lATSE Interna- tional representative, testified that seizure of Technicians Local 37 by the International resulted in Bn Im- mediate savings to members of apr proximately $700 weekly. He stated that a saving ot $380 per week waa effected through elimination ot im- authorized meetings of the board of governors, board members having paid themselves so much per meet- ing. The witness testified that the re- mainder ot the savings had resulted from ousting ot the following oflicers and employees ot Local 37: Joseph Carpenter, prexy, $150 week; Guy Cooper, recording secretary,' $100; Ed Hehn,. financial secretary, $100; Jeff KIbre, leader ot the autonomy group, $65; Harry Stralnge, $65; Ruth L. Firke, $55, and two office glrls^ $70. Stickling stated the work formerly done by this group is now handled by Zeal Fairbanks, $100; B. C. Du- vaU, $100; two office girls, $100. H* said the work was handled Just 89 ' efficiently at a net savings of $700 weekly. He said none of the salaries paid by Local 37 had been authorized by the constitution. Ed Helm, Local 37 financial secre- tary, stated that the constitution pro- vided the officers should be paid a salary of not less than $75 iwr week. Floyd M. BlUhigsley, lA Interna- tional representative of San Fran- cisco, testified that George IL Browne, LATSE prexy, called him by long-distance telephone to get bis okay to declare an extreme emer- gency and take over Local 37. De- posed officers ot Local 37 contend that Browne did not get permission ot the board of governors to declare an emergency as provided for In the lA constitution. Safes Bolted to lA Mary Blumer, former employee of -Local 37, testified that Secretary- Heim called her on the morning the local was seized by the International and instructed her not to open the sates for the international represen- tatives. John F. Gatelee, lA International rep, who with Stickling is now In charge ot. operations of Local 37, testified that all procedure In taking over the local was in accordance (Continued on page 47) '