Variety (Oct 1948)

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PICTIJRBS Wednesday, Oetober fi, 1949 New Brazilian Restrictions Again Accent That Our State Dept. Seems Blind to Fdm Industry's Problems Current tangle of American filnr*" companies witli the Brazilian gov- ernment over "restrictive" regula- tions which threaten to choke off nil. revenues from that important market is heing .highlighted by film hi.6!gies a.s a dramatic example of how viilnora(jle Yank films now are in foreign countries. The Bra- zilian set-fo is also adding a fillip to complaints more ? frequently voiced than ever that the U.S. State Dept.' is . indifferent to the fate of American pix overseas. U.S. film companies stand to lose $6,000,5000 yearly tapped from ^Brazil. The big point being made is that while ordinary necessities in that country are sky-high, the Brazilian Central Price Control i •commission singled out the one commodity which has always been ; cheaper than in comparative neigh- boring ■coiintriesr^that is film en- tertainment — for price - cutting resulatioRs. ■ . Before the commission took ac- tion in June by directing admis" sions to be lowered to seven •cruzeros (35g) as a. ceiling on tick- .ets, the theatre price range was 8—^ ■lO'cruzeros (40c-S0c). In equivalent Latin Americfin countries such as the Argentine and Mexico, top scale was far Inglier^ reaching $1 in many house."!, industryites point; out. Anti-Yanqui Pix, Mostly Only real attack launched by the Brazilian commission was against films^—wliioli is mainly an:American •product, it's said. Meanwhile, other .Yank imports such as automobiles, 'clothing and electrical equipment ■continued being ! sold at highly inflated ■ prices. In all' . these in- stances, merchandise w<as .tagged at figures-50%-i00'5& liigher than :in the U.S. Feeling is that the State Dept. is content to lay back so long as such AmeriCcin sacred cows as autos and clothrag are not forcibly hit by restrictive foreign regula- ■ tions. Hence, the real gripe grow- ing out of the Brazilian situation. Other regulations passed against American films are said to be even : more oppressive. These restric- tions would certainly • lend them-^ selves to U.S. protest if the State Dept.i was so minded, it is con- tended. Tremendous Charge-off ■ . "If a' chandelier falls down in a film house playing an American picture and hits a: customer; the Yank distributor would have to deduct any damages because Of injuries from their rentals under present - government regulations," one .foreign dept...exec^ declared. "That's how broadly worded the new restrictions on licensing films are. Because it is impossible to sell films under these conditions. EL Shaves Olympic Pic To Bolster Sagging Take Hollywood, Oct. 6. J. Arthur Rank's Olympic Games picture has been whittled 35 min» utes by Eagle Lion to save its life in remaining U. S. playdates. Film has been dying from coast to coast. Film was ostensibly badly edited in the beginning, eliminating sev- eral American victories. Women doii't go for it. In addition, it was released at a time when Amer- ican fans were thinking of the Hellinger Hilltop Estate Auctioned Off for $67,500 , World series and football. Hollywood, Oct. 5. i Hillside mansion of the late i Mark Hellinger was sold at auction for $67,500 to L. J. Mills, who has no connection: with show business. Sale included :the I4-room .home with six bathrooms, a guest house with seven*: rooms, a swimming pool and nine acres of ground. , The 1931 bullet-proof Lincoln limousine, in which Hellenger once toured his Broadway newspaper- beat, was knocked down for $250 to Frank Bertelli, projectionist. The other two cars, both Cadillacs, went for $2,000 and $1,800. 'Judy' Dates Top B.O. for September, WBak' Mdnim-'Raclier Big 11 Eastern Unions In United Front' Moving to set up a centralized agency to: handle problems of film labor unions in the east, repre- sentatives of 11 guilds and craft locals held their first joint meeting last week in New York under sponsorship. of the: Screen Direc- tors Guild. While initially launched, as a forum to exchange informar tion and views, leaders of the set- up are mulling its expansion into an; informal "united front'' to deal with such labor problems as. new contract negotiations,, layoffs .and video's impact on union jurisdic- tional lines. , ; Unions represented at the first session included, besides the SDG, cameramen's Local 644, Interna- tional Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employeesj studio mechanics' Lo- cal 52, lATSE; film laboratory technicians Local 702, lATSE; Screen Cartoonists Guild Local 1461; United Scenic Artists Local 829; Assn. of Documentary fcTelcr 1st Inevitch Pic Reaped in Paris Easily outdistancing the field, "Date With Judy" (M-G) won the national boxoffice 'championship for September, according to business figures received from VARiBiy correspondents : ; in 22, major ciUes. The Wallace Beery- Jane Powell - Carmen Miranda starrer rolled up more than $1,- 000,000 grosses in these spots dur- ing the five-week period covered by the survey, winning first-place coin in Variety's sur\'ey three weeks in succession. Not far behind in actual money and .representative showings for four successive weeks was: ."Good Sam" (RKO). Even in spots where Paris, Oct. 1. Both the new Thomson tiiior process and black and white are used in "Jours de Fete," a featute jast completed by Cady Films, starring Jacques Tati. , ' the same category since it was Cady Films IS a new setup in- ^y crix in many bigger eluding Borrah Minevitch, Fred y gathered momentum as ("Enfants du Paradis ) Grain and ij obtained additional playdates Tati. Latter IS said to be remmis- ! ^jpg ballyhoo. Passing of the cent of Harold Lloyd and Charlie > g^g^t baseball figure also prob- Chaplin, , „ ^ ^„ . , ^ ' ably increased interest in his life Cady Films' first effort, a short i jj^ry titled 'Jente aux Encheres" I Testing the public's reaction to (■'Auction Sale ) starring Solange , Robert Mitchum's aiTest in Los Delporte and directed by Jean i •'Yankee" thus far has been on the spotty side. "Olympic Games" (EL) is in much the same classic- fication. "Bace Street" (RKO) has been , very uneven to ..cUtCi being particularly mild in N. Y. "Moonrise" (Rep) has done very well in several spots to date. "Northwest Stampede" (EL) made a good showing on numerous play- dates in September to give the distributor nice takings. "Walls of Jericho'' (20th) also picked up some additional coin during the month. Pop-scale runs for "Forever Amber" (20th) and "Life With Father" (WB) failed to measure crix were lukewarm, the Gary , up to hopes during the past month, Cooper-Ann Sheridan names car-, former being especially spotty, ried the film along. I "Father" did okay on its popular- "Babe Ruth Story" (Mono),' priced dates in August, enough to third-place winner, was in much land lOth-place money nationally. since it was • PIC STOCK TRADING ^^^^^^^ I^^^ Washington, Oct. 5. . : Moiith ending, Sept:: 10 was i dull time If 01: stock: trading: by corpiorat^ in'sid<gr's i]^ th6 picture field,, acdord? Mousselle, was dubbed in English and won prize at the Venice- Film Festival. "Jours de Fete" is directed by j Orain. , Color was processed in ' Eclair studios at Epinay near I Paris, and French release is by I Discina. 2(Hfa's Two Controversial Pix ('Gent; 'Curtain') In the Hot Seat Abroad Twentieth-Fox International this week remained silent on < the tem- pest that raged' in tl^e daily con- sumer press over the- banning of 20th's "Gentleman's Agreement" by the: ecclesiastical censor in Spain for its anti-racial. discrim- ination them'e. According to com- pany prez Murray Silverstone, there has still been no word from Angeles, RKO launched his latest I ing to the Securities, and Exchange starrer; ''Rachel • and Stranger,'' in Sept. Golden Dozen 1. "Date With Judy" (M-G). 2. "Good Sam" (RKO). 3. "Ruth Story" (Mono). 4. "Rachel-Stranger" (RKO) 5 "2 Guys Texas" (WB). 6. "Beyond Glory" (Par). 7. "Tap Roots" (U). ' 8. "Pitfall" (UA). ' 9. "Wrong Number" (Par). 10. "Lady in Ermine" (20th). 11. "Rope" (WB). , 12. "Meet Frankenstein" lU). report -issued past week.' :SEO showed N> Peter Rathvon selling 500 shares of RKO $1 per comnidn. An aiiiended July report by Rith^^ voh : tfiscloSied. that: he jsold : 5,300 sharesi that nlonthv He .stllr bwiis 14,200:; ,t\'.'.''V.'Vr:'-.'-'''^: •iPheire pni- yersal, Preston Daviis, a director,, sold 1,800 . sharies, holding on to 3,409. Daniel M. Shealler, of Philadelphia, another: cctrnt^ny .dt-' rector, sold 2,940 shares :in six sePr, arstte transalctlbiis;: He still oAJ^i - 2,367. Thert Was ilttle : doing ih •War- ner Bros, stock; : Albeift WdWier added '700 shares and now owns 432,200, plus another 21,000 in a a batch of key cities the final two | trust account. Herbert J. Yates unv weeks of the month. Results ex- i loaded 900 shares of Republic Pic- vision Film Cameramen; Screen I company's Madrid branch on Actors Guild; Associated Film Writers; .film editors' Local 771, lATSE; and assistant directors' Lo- cal 161, lATSE. 'Mitty' Tops Overseas, 'Apache' at Home In Poll of Army Bases the situation Story, which first broke in the N.Y. Times Thursday (30), declared "Agreement" had been banned on "moral grounds," quoting the Spanish Church order as stipulat- ing that, -while it's, a Christian duty to "stimulate love among individ- iials, nations .and peoples;" this duty should not extend to Jews. ceeded fondest hopes, with busi ness pushing"Racher' into fourth positioHi nation- wide; for the month. Film copped .first place: I both weeks. "Two Guys From Texas" (WB) managed to finish in fifth groove, slightly ahead of "Beyond. Glory'' (Par), a : strong sixth-place winner. "Tap Roots (U), riding the crest of a .flock of playdates, climbed into seventh slot, being followed i closely by "Pitfall" (UA). I "Sorry, Wrong Number'^ (Par), I which gave the Paramount' flag- reppjts the .Army iahd Air I'orces Mption'Pidturfr: Services; "Secret Life of: / Walter V Mitty'':; (Danny Kaye) tops the 10 .most .popular pic-f ture.s Shown during the past screen year at Army: bases abroad, based we've ordered our representatives on attendance. "Fort Apache" was to halt sale of films." top.s at.: home. However, it was Under the latest decree of the Pointed out that the timing of pic- Brazilian commission, no film can ^^^^^ ™ ^^'-^ C9untry and in for- receive more than 40% in rentals i ^'^n encampments Was different, ' ' which accounts for some of the dif- WashingtOn, Oct. 5. ! sor from Francis Cardinal Spell- Army taste in films at home and i man of New York and from Jewish abroad are; pretty much the same, I dignitaries. Report' from Spain immediately | ship, the N. Y. Par, one of its big- brought forth blasts at the cen- S^st weeks m months when preemed Sept: 1, showed such marked strength on scattered dates late last month that it soared tures $1 preferred,, his last 900 in that category.. However, he retains 73,687 shares of common and $25,- 000 worth of 4%, income deben- tures. There wa's one insider transaction in General Precision Equipment during the month. R. B. Larue sold half of his 200 shares. J. V. Heffeman, RCA officer, acquired, one share, of common dur- ing the month. George L. Harrison, of New York, RCA director, re-: ported holdings of 300 shares. Charles E. Rynd, of American Broadcasting Co., sold 200 shares of ABC common. He still has 2,100.. I As result of the attacks, the president of the Spanish censor board was reported: later to have, said "Agreement'' had been ban^ ned because its theme: of anti- Semitism was "no problem'' in from an exhib. Moreover, from this 40% must come all expenses of the: exhib including taxation, depreciation of property, accidents, salary nut for employees and ad- verti-sing expenses. It is this provi ferences in the two lists. The' 10 most popular at posts overseas, in order: "Mitty/""Chey- enne," "Welcome Stranger," "Best Years of Our .• Lives," "Bachelor sion that has forced discontinuance ^S^J^K' "S?" T,_-iM j ... side 777;" .'JNalfPfl r^ifv" f'Mi of pix, peddling in Brazil and re .quired ,current negotiations there of Gerald Mayer,, foreign chief of ,the Motion Picture Assn. of America. ' Ceiling pf 40%. alone would not be too bad; it's said^ because rentals at first-runs now range between 25% and 50%. However, no dis- trih will risk the tremendous over^ head charges which can be made side 777," "Naked City," "My Favorite; Brunette," "UnCoh- quered," "The Hucksters." The top 10 for Army posts in continental' U.S.: "Fort Apache "Unconquered," "Road to Rio," "Mitty," "Best Years," Naked City," "Bachelor and Bobby Soxer," "Tycoon," "Call Northside 777," "Bishop's Wife." Additionally, commission has <ix-1 ^14,000,000 FOR ed flat rentals at a point no higher than they were two years ago. I ifitq nitith placel "Lady iw Etiijiiie' I (20th), While disappJDiriting in sev- eral keys,' maniged to, ' win loth I position. ■ " ■; j:.■.;.,;■.:^ •; 'Rope,* 'Touch,' Etc. '' I . "Rope" (WB) took nth spbf in Spam, claiming there is no Semi- national standings, with "Abbott- tism or; anti-Semitism in the coise Gostello Meet Frankenstein" (U) trj' today. , right behind. This is the second As for 20th, the story proved that month running that the latter has It is one company, at least which is , finished in the Golden Circle, be- turning out controversial films.' ing sixth in August. "Iron Curtain" has reportedly been ' "Velvet Touch" (RKO), which at banned in several Soviet-dominat-, temporarily seemed lost in ed countries because of its anti-' the race to book "Sam" and Soviet theme. On these reports, "Rachel," both from the same also, 20th is keeping silent. , stables, managed to lead the run- i nerup pictures last month/Others ' RENOMINATE REAGAN FOR SAG PRESIDENCY Hollywood. Oct. 5. Ronald Reagan will be a candi- date to succeed himself as presi- dent of the Screen Actors Guild in the annual election Nov. 14. Other nominees are Walter Pidgeon, : first veepee; William Holden, second veepee; Paul Har- U Pushing More'Hamlet' Dates Following Raves Hopped up over terrific notices from New York newspaper critics. Universal has pushed up Its re- I leasing schedule on J. Arthur , Rank's "Hamlet" which U is han- , dling in the U. S. With the Shakes- peare adaptation already playing in Boston and N. Y.—it opened a,t the Park Avenue, N. Y., last Wednesday (29)—and in Washing- ton shortly, U is now closing for theatres in three more cities. Pic will go into the FoUr Star in Los Angeles; the ApoUo in Chi-: cago, and an unset theatre in San Francisco within the next few weeks. this class finished as follows; weeks. Because U has fixed a "Foreign Affair" (Par) (among ; 52.40 ton, all engagements are on first 12 grosses for August); "Lux- ^ four-wall basis to avoid violating ury Liner" (M-G), "Larceny" (U) ' '■''^ price-fixing ban by the U. S. "Luck of Irish" (20th), "Blandings Supreme Court. Dream House" (SRO) and "Canon i I" Chi, U will apply to the Fed- City" (EL). Last-named won no- p'"'*^ court for permission: to v run tice not so much of total money . fi'"™ more than two weeks at but strong showings whei'e dated. 1 ^he Apollo. House is owned by Black Tie for'Belmda' Hollywood, Oct. 5. First high hat preem of a Wat'- ner, production in two years will be the Jane Wyman starrer, '!John- ny Belinda;'' which bows at the Warnei-s Hollywood theatre Oct; 14 with about 500 film names at- tending in formal duds. Last big premiere held by the studio was in August, 1946, with 8 TECHNI FILMS °cSler,1^arer. '''' ^^""^^^ Hollywood. Oct. 5. Start of "Samson and Delilah" ■makes a total of eight Technicolor pix.lensing in Hollywood with com- bined budgets, totaling $14,000,000. It's the biggest tint outlay since last fall. Warners' sked is heaviest with three, "Montana," "Happy Times Most promising , bf flew •. pic- ! tiires, just starting out, appeal to be "Lpyes- Of Carmert'' (Col), "One I vey, third veepee; Leon Ames, rec- I -'^.V T^/'^ Pi^"'" I nrriino cnrrMnr,, r.L.^^^ UA), Oliver Twist" (EL), "H;im- let" .:(U): and "Sb ;,:Thi.<i v Is New ■ York'': (JJA). Last-named: alsd wa^ tested under title oT "City Slick- er." "Red River," which teed off in t N. Y.: last Week, did big biz on. initial playdate . in K. C; though not so strong ,on Holdoviir. "Car- men'Mpoks strongest of the. lot oh ! basis of dates played thus far. I • ,■ ■ : Hollywood, Oct. 5. •;, I: Paul Radin, In charge Of thr Buchanan ad: agehty's Coast offic:: for the last two-and-a-half years: has resigned' to join the William ;Kestei' sgeiicy as: a veepee. Fred , ^ ... Polangin, until now eastern ad- and Two Guys and A Gal"; 20th publicity chief for Enterprise Pro- has "Mother Is Freshman" and ductions, suceeds him at Buchanan Beautiful Blonde From Bashful - - Bend"; Metro is doing Balaban & Katz and subject to the t\yo-week ceiling imposed on most Loop houses following the Jackson Park decree. Rave reviews by Gotham crix drove up advance ticket, reserva- tions to a total of $50,000 in New York; - - Bah^rV Rep St^^ ■ -^^ ,.:,;: ■• Wasjiington; Oct. EdWin Van Pelt, directbr in Re-, . ,„ , ,r — • public Pictures and veepee of the Iwist was tested in Toronto and Chemical Bank & Trust Co has went over .socko. picked up a 1,000-share block of Larceny a comparatively mod- Rep common, est-budgeted film, went over a lot With that purchase. Van Pelt ».f vn^', '''"J' v^^'^if''f"^'" ^J"""^ "ther more extensively now holds 2,600 shares of the com^ "Night and Day"-celebrating the of Broadway.-" '^Ta-ke Me"auT To veepel^'il^il^lfm'tt.'^^^oT 'J.^oTZr^i'^--^'^l^^ pany's. stock. Van P^eg'llfciden 20th anniversary of sound m pic- Ballgame," and Paramount "Sam-1 them trained out for the Coast Affair (UA) Ison.-' 1 Thursday (30). .„„,,:,,,, more thoroughly are "Innocent tally, is one of the most active (iwri ..(.^""'^IT Yankee", bankers dealing with film com- (M.-G) „ apd' "Sflnw I Charm" (U). panics.