Variety (Dec 1941)

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^edneBdayt December 8t 1941 PICTURES UA 'GOVERNINC QUARTET' Selznick-Korda Would Like Goldwyn Back in UA; PkkfordXhaplin Cool , Disagreement between United Artists' owners on the desirability ol having Samuel Goldwyn back In the company's producer ranks may have p determining effect on Goldwyn's future distribution plans. He said on his arrival In New York from the Coast last wesk that he hadn't de- cided jet whether he will continue releasinB through RKO or not. RKO is about to send Into distribution •Ball of Fire,' the former UA owner- producer's second and final film un-i der his current pact. • Lineup among UA's four owners Is David O. Selznick and Alexander Korda for Goldwyn's coming back; Charles Chaplin and Mary Plckford against it. Selznick, who is very friendly with Goldwyn, Is particu- larly anxious for his return to UA, 11 is said. ■' It has been reported Goldwyn may return to UA, probably as a Producer only and not with any financial interest in the company. He said, however, there are no such negotiations underway, nor Is he dealing with RKO or any other company now, despite the fact 1942 will be.the heaviest production year In his career. 'I don't depend on distributing companies to finance my pictures,' producer stated, 'so V\\ make them first and worry about distribution later. Next March, when the Lou Gehrig picture Is • nearlng comple- tion, win be time enough to ar- range a release.' Goldwyn revealed that Selznick win work on his lot and its name will be changed to the Goldwyn- Selznick Studios. There's always space available there, too, he said, for other UA producers. Futore Plans ' Going Into production plans for next year, Goldwyn explained that his 'Life of Lou Gehrig' will go before the cameras in January; that the Bob Hope starrer, to be labeled Treasury Chest,' wUl tec oft in March, and that William Weiler will start direction in May of fllmlza- tlon of a top current Broadway play, name of which can not yet be re- vealed. He also disclosed that. In associa- tion with C. M. WooU, he now has almost completed in England a film cn the inventor of the Spitfire plane. It wiU reach the U. S. in March. David Nlven and Leslie Howard are Marred and Howard is directing, with the British government giving much cooperation^ Goldwyn said. This pic will be distributed, he as- serted, by whoever releases the rest of his product. ' Another project now definitely alive again, producer asserted. Is the 'Life of Hans Christian Ander- son,' to be made in association with Walt Disney. Latter will contribute about 30% in cartoons, Goldwyn said, and the rest will be live action starring Gary Cooper. Deal is being worked out with Paramount, Goldwyn noted inci- dentally, whereby Cooper may be loaned to the studio for 'For Whom the Bell ToUs,' after the Gehrig film is completed. Option will be en- tirely Cooper's as to whether he wants to take the role, Goldwyn said. Goldwyn arrived In New York Wednesday (26) and leaves this weekend. He's east for press and special screenings of 'Ball of Fire,' to see plays and to confab with Ar- thur Kober and Nat Perrln, who are doing the story for the Bob Hope picture, Tryon, Gniol Produce Streamliners for Roach Sistrom's Hoar' at Hand Hollywood, Dec. I. First job for Joseph Sistrom In his new berth as associate producer at Paramount is The Hour Before Dawn,' which goes Into production early next year. Picture, built on Somerset Maugham's novel, calls for Vera Zorina and Ray Mllland In the top roles. Cutting 45 Mins. From Tantasia For Geni Release Deems Taylor's narration and large chunks of Leopold Stokowskl are to be cut out of 'Fantasia' be fore It goes into general release In January or February according to plans currently under discussion by Walt Disney execs. Probability is that running time will be reduced by approximately 45 minutes. It ran 125 minutes originally. ' Tentative plans on editing and selling of film have been arrived at following quiet previews in Mead- ville. Pa., Albany and other towns during the past month. Findings in- dicate that juvenUe attendance, most important factor involved, would be easier to maintain by shortening film and eliminating the highbrow nar ratlve. Discussion as to whether the Dis- ney production should be shown at roadshow prices and at original length has for the present resolved itself into decision to send 'Fantasia" out at pop prices. 'Fantasia' is scheduled to go into release following "Dumbo" which is to be sent out around Christmas. Hollywood, Dec. 2. Glenn Tryon and Fred Guiol joined the Hal Roach organization as associate producers. Tryon re- cently cheeked out of Universal and Guiol has been directing films for a number of years. Each of the '• hew associates is slated to supervise production of eight streamliners. RIIPTEIIY. 8EI1RS. KELLY, LAWRENCE Coaat HuddU This Week !• for PurpoM of Welding the East and Weat Closer Together PRODUCTION PLANS Holdovers Hearten Schaefen Sees Big Yr. Ahead for RKO Hollywood, Dec. 2. RKO has more holdover pictures in theatres and more important plays in production than at any other time In the studio's history, according to George Schaefer, prexy, who returned from a directors meet- ing in New York to talk business with studio associates. As holdovers, clicking strong In various key cities, Schaefer cited 'Suspicion,' 'Look Who's Laughing,' 'Dumbo,' 'Citizen Kane' and .'AH That Money Can Buy.' Basing his prediction on current b.o. returns and the potent drawing power of films in production and preparation, Schaefer declared that 1942 would be a great year for RKO. Charity Pic's 5th Episode Hollywood, Dec. 2. Fifth sequence of 'Forever and a Day,' all-star film production for American and British war relief, went into work at the RKO-Pathe studio with Edmund Goulding dl- repting a lineup consisting of Merle Oberon, Nigel Bruce, Roland Young, Elsa Lanchester, Gladys Cooper, Una O'Connor, Sara Aligood and Robert Coote. Picture is being produced largely by British talent, but the proceeds win be split equally between Amer- ican and British charities. To achieve a greater welding of east and west, a greater cooperation between the production and dis- tribution ends of Untied Artists wlU be one of the chief goals of the com- pany's new exec setup, prez Edward C. Raftery declared in New York on Friday (28). That's part of the purpose for ttic conclave on the- Coast next week of Raftery, Grad Sears, v.p. in charge of distribution, and Arthur W. Kelly, v.p. and chair- man of the finance committee. Raftery also disclosed that a 'gov- erning quartet,' which includes him- self. Sears, Kelly and Laudy Law- rence, v.p. and company coordinator, 'has received fuU authority from the company's owners to formulate whatever policies it feels will work for the best Interests of United Art- ists, and to put them into imme- diate operation.' Sears and KeUy are planing for the Coast on Friday (5) and will be joined there by Raftery, who Is in Nashville on the Tony Sudekum (Crescent Amus. Co.) anti-trust action against the majors. Raftery had been handling the case as UA's counsel before his elevation to prexy and wiU continue to. do so. He also represents Universal in the action, FrodacUon Powwow Trio on the Coast will discuss plans not only for distribution of current product, Raftery said, but also forthcoming production with film-makers distributing through UA. Prez declared producers will also be considered, either as com plete independents or as producers under the banner of the newly organized United Artists Produc- tions, Inc., of which George Bagnall is chairman. Opener for UAP will be 'The G String Murder Case,' for which Ben Hecht has been inked on a three way deal as producer, director and writer. Announcement of others may be expected shortly. Rafter asserted, In Hollywood, Raftery said, he, Sears and Kelly will huddle with owner Charles Chaplin on both his 'Gold Rush,' which shortly will be reissued with commentary and score, and 'Bluebeard,' which he has in preparation. They'll also discuss with Chaplin the fun production pro- gram he has under consideration Trio will huddle with owner Alexander Korda on the nearly- completed 'Jungle Book' and 'To Be or Not to Be,' Carole Lombard-Jack Benny starrer "now before the cameras. Talks with Edward Small will involve 'Twin Beds,' 'Alias Heliotrope Harry' and "The Life of Rudolt)h Valentino.' Fressbnrger, Roach Arnold Pressburgcr's future plans will also come under consideration with a followup to the now-com- pleted 'Shanghai Gesture' the chief topic. Hal Roach's 'streamlined fea- tures' will be discussed with him In addition to. these Hollywood- mades, distribution plans for 'Pim- pernel Smith' and 'Ships With Wings,' English imports, will come under consideration. Expressing high optimism on UA's future, Raftery declared: 'With the new personnel now operating and the remaining executives continuing in their respective positions, the United Artists organization is set up on a permanent basis to launch into the most active phase of its 22- ycar history. The response to the reorganization has been highly fa vorable, and the industry, both east and west, is looking for big things from United Artists for the future generally, and during the next six months In particular.' Rodgers Will Supervise Canada Personally for M-G; Confirm O'Shea As Connors' Successor; Central DbL? Mitt on th* Budget HoUywood, Deo. 2. California mists, sometimes caned rain by unbelieving na- tives of othtr itatas, cost 20th- Fox $26,000 for an awning. Big top coven 17 buildings, two dirt roads and 31 telegraph poles on. a picture sat. Strangely enough, the title Is 'This Abova All.' U Tied Up in Big Prods.; Recall of 8% Pfd. StaDed Wltli Unlvanal eountlng on hav- ing six big plcturai In production be- tween now and Jan. 10, company will have so much money tied up In production that U has foregone any possible original intantlon of calling In Its big 8% ' preferred stock for the present. Baddai 'Flr^d Wife' and 'Eagla Squadron^'' iaompany will have a Walter Wangai,.Alfred Hitch- cock -and Bruca Mamdog production before tha ' cameras before mid- January. Wanger deal with Universal is for only one picture, this part being a sort of test axparlment for both the producer and distributor. If found satisfactory for both parties, addi- tional picture deals are likely. ° K.C. or DeoYer Wil Be Scene of National Theatres' Annual Meet SpryoB Skourta la mapping plans for tha next annual 'National The- atres divisional head meeting when executives from all aSlliated cir cults win huddle on operating prob lems affecting houses under wartime conditions. Date for meeting ha* not yet been set though It will likely be held within tha next few weeks. Skouras has either Kansas OKy or Denver In view as tha meeting place. SAYS SENATOR CLARK D. C. Film <Wsrmoii(erInf' Probe By No Heana Dead Senate subcommittee investigation of alleged propaganda In films Is def- initely dead, reports to tha contrary notwithstanding, chairman D. Worth Clark declared In New York last Friday (28). Senator Clark eald It was Impo^ble, however, to give any idea of the date for the resumption of the Washington hearings. Will Hays and Thiurman Arnold are on the list of witnesses to be called, plus only one or two others yet to be decided upon, before the subcommittee officially folds, stated Clark. Probability Is, he. Indicated, that hearings won't be resumed un- til after Jan. 1. Absence from Washington of Sen- ator Brooks (Illinois), a member of the' committee, on a speaking tour was'given by Clark as one of the reasons for the delay In continuing the hearings, following holdup caused by debate on the Neutrality Act changes. Clark was In New York 'to give one of those Isolationist speeches, al- though the subject's getting pretty thin,' he said good-naturedly. Chicago, Dec. >. Remaining here an extra day with E. K. 'Ted' O'Shea and others from the Metro honve office, WUllam F. Rodgei's stated yesterday (Tues.), prior to departure for New York, that he would personally handle sales contacting on Canada which was for- merly in the division of Tom Con- nors, whom O'Shea succeeds as east- ern-southern divlsh head. In Can- ada, where film is sold full-line, Metro set up its own exchange sys- tem last June with Hcm7 Nathan- son In charge. Rodgers stated that decision has not been reached as to who will take over the central district out of here, as a result of promotion of Jack Flynn to the h.o. over the central division created a year ago with O'Shea in charge. Flynn will not shift to the home office Immediately but clean up several product deals in this territory first on which he has been working. PosslbUttles A successor to Jack Flynn as cen- tral district manager for Metro may be chosen from a division other than central, it is reported in New York. W. E. Branford, Chicago branch manager, who would nomlnany ba expected to move up, has. not been in good health for some time and It Is believed might not want to assume the added responsibility, this also being true of W, W. Willman, exchange head at Indlanapblis. Though he Is on in years. Bill Workman, In charge of the office at Minneapolis, is a possibility If the promotion Is to be within tha district John X. Qulnn of St Louis and F. J. Down.ey of Detroit are others on the eligibility list. However, because the central dis- trict is a very important one, a dis- trict manager In a smaller territory may be shifted, either from the east or south, with a branch manager In his zone moving up to flU the re- sulting vacancy. , Tom' Connors, eastern-southem- Canadian divlsh chief, returned to N. Y. yesterday (Tues.) ahead of others and If able to clear the decks at Metro this week, will move Into his new post at 20th-Fox Monday (8) as executive assistant to S. R. Kent. Else It will be the following week. Decision of Metro as to whethet It will or win not seU Minnesota outside of the decree remains In abeyance pending the return today (Wed.) of Wmiam F. Rodgers, v.p. in charge of distribution. There Is some feeling that Metro will ulti- mately succumb no matter bow peeved it is at the Minnesota exblbi who sponsored the full-llne-cancel- lation statute. SCHENCK, NOSKOWITZ APPEALS UP TODAY Today (Wednesday) U. S. attorney Mathlas F. Correa will argue in tha Circuit Court of Appeals for a con- firmation of a decision of Federal Judge Grover Moscowltz who con- victed .Joseph M. Schenck, former chairman of the board of 20th Cen- tury-Fox Film Corp., and Joseph H. Moskowitz, eastern representative of 20th-Fox. The two film executives were con- victed of evading income tax returns and of conspiracy to aid such eva- sion. Former Judge Joseph Pros- kauer and a former presidential can- didate, John W. Davis, wUl handle the defense attempt to set aside tha verdict. Rubens' Heart Attack Chicago, Dec. 3. L. M. Rubens, of Joliet, and one of the key men of Great States cir- cuit, suffered a sudden heart at- tack Monday (1). He is recovering at home.'