Variety (August 15, 1951)

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nrmun Wednesday, Auguat 15, 1951 13 Releases in 11 Wedis Boosts UA To 43 (JaiL-Oct), Tops in Co. History UA Encouraged Continue* HI* I Continuing to force pictures into- Its pipeline to maintain weekly billings at their present profitable level. United Artists this week added still another picture to the four new releases scheduled last Friday (10>. Newcomer is “The Green Glove,” produced in France by Benagoss and starring Glenn Ford and Geraldine Brooks. Quintet carries the UA release slate from now untlLthe end of October. Thirteen pictures will be released in the 11-week period. It will bring UA’s total up to 43 pix sent into distribution between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 of this year. Such quantity of product marks a tremendous change in UA prac- tice. This year will see the great- est number of ftln»J going into re- lease ». any 12-month period since the founding ol tn* company in 1919. UA’s problem in the past has al- ways been lack of sufficient prod- uct. It now has the problem In reverse, with its distribution and publicity-advertising departments involved in a struggle to get all the pix into release with the proper sendofT and sufficient bookings. Forced Feeding While the forced feeding of product into the distribution pipe- line has—temporarily, at least— solved the company's immediate financial problems, the new Arthur B. Krim regime recognizes that it still faces a tremendous product hurdle. That consists of getting bigger and more important films for release, so that there can be more emphasis on quality than quantity. Krim. now on the Coast, is at- tempting to solve that situation (Continued on page 18) ‘Show Boat 9 Run One indication that Life mag may be premature in burying the exhibition industry is the big number of holdovers for Metro’s “Show Boat.” Approxi- mately 215 first-runs have held the pic over for a week or more. M-G reported last week. Of the total. 126 houses gave the musical one extra week; 52 extended runs into a third stanza; 15 held for a fourth and two are in their fifth week. ‘Vadis’ Roadshow Still Being Mulled Originally it -was to be wholly financed by Bruce Church, the Sa- linas. Cal., produce man who had angeled previous Kramer pix. Now the bank will pick up part of the loan via Church. Bankers Trust has made two ten- tative commitments. One is highly important, entailing a series of six to eight films a year by a promi- nent group of vet Hollywood pro- ducers. There are a number of de- tails that must yet be worked out between UA and the producers, and the bank and the producers, before deal is finalized. Arthur B. Krim, UA prez, is now in Holly- wood working on it. The other Bankers commitment is a minor one—a pickup loan on a single picture. It involves an ad- vance against a completed negative. Significance of the banks’ break- down on loans to UA is an easing of its product situation. It was naturally tough for the indie dis- j trib to find pix for release when 1 banks wouldn’t advance coin to What procedure Metro will use producers, in the release of “Quo Vadis” is still undecided. Company toppers still are mulling the best method for selling the pic. When it will be released and in what New York showcase also are moot points. November is the prob- able month. Production heads have trimmed it from three hours to two hours and 50 minutes, and it is now in the Technicolor fac- tory. Questions confronting the com- pany are: should “Quo Vadis” be presented to the public on a grand scale, a la “Gone With the Wind.” at a straight roadshow with terms so tough that exhibitors will have to raise admission prices; should M-G rent houses and set its own ticket price (very unlikely); or should it be sold straight across the board in keeping with the com- pany's regular policy? Advanced prices, of course, are Video Clearance Snag On 2 Cooper Pix Stalls D C 7 1 1*1 Cl ! * n pa8t * ( ‘ OUDllcsl! exhibitors BUY Ol < int I lllinS have protested any big jump in * w «.»4 T , , . .. . price, particularly in the small Inability to clear TV rights to ; situations. Nevertheless, like other two Gary Cooper films has stalled Eye Legality Of AAA EC Verdict Pathe Industries, as the former owner of Eagle Lion Classics, is now considering new legal moves in its hassle with dismissed ELC employees over severance pay. American Arbitration Assn, in a re- cent proceeding decided in the em- ployees’ behalf and directed Pathe to pay them on the basis of length of employment with ELC plus ELC’s predecessor companies. About 75 persons would collect a total of close to $23,000 under the decision. Originally, Pathe offered to meet the severance conditions desired, but legally a company can- 0 f the union contract only so far as not govern admission tabs. Also, employment with ELC was con- I corned. The union, known only at life Goes To a Deluge Lift mag’s dirgeful article on the film industry In last week’s Issue was emting an almost unprecedented deluge of letters and wires, the Luce publication’s front office reported yesterday (Tues ). They werd all squawks and came from every segment of the industry ill over the country, a Life spokesman said. They will all be studied, according to the publisher’s office, and a de- cision then made on the next step. Some may be used in the “Let- ters to the Editor** columns or—a lesser possibility—If they appear to warrant It, the communications may become the bails of an- other article. In any case, industry public relations men were re- ported yesterday to be working with Look mag on a rebuttal. Meantime, with errors of fact and numerous doubtful conclu- sions being pointed out to Henry R. Luce, head of Time-Life-For- tune. by the varied communicants. Life's entertainment department, headed by Tom Prideaux, was busy making clear to all comers that it was in no way responsible for the piece. It was taken out of Prideaux* control and assigned to the text department, for which the writer, Robert Coughlin, works. Prideaux saw nothing prior to the proofs. While lots of industry opinion was explosive, including calls for the discontinuance of all film advertising in the mag, most pic pub-ad managers nixed any such idea. They said that they bought Life space not because of its opinions, but because they felt it would sell their pix. They also pointed out that the mag, no matter how close it came to burying the industry textually, still thought it was alive enough to give considerable and very valuable space each week to films and film people. Reaction of more unemotional observers to the rehash of the much worked-over “TV is killing the movies” theme was best summed up in the query: “What Luce mag do you read?’* Pre- vious week Fortune came out with, an article labeled “TV’s Time of Trouble.” It stated that tele’s “trouble was caused by the unexpectedly strong position of TV’s competitors, heretofore given up for lost.” O'Donnell In Blast Minneapolis, Aug. 14. Blasting Life for Robert Coughlan’s current movies blast, Robert J. O'Donnell, “Movietime U.S.A.” national director, at an all-indus- try meeting here, promised steps of reprisal when he arrives in New York next week. Mincing no words, O’Donnell called article the “most blasphe- mous, unjust and dastardly that has ever appeared in any national publication.” He expressed amazement that any reputable period- ical could stoop to “such yellow journalism,” and he said the film industry would accept it as a challenge. “We’ll refute many of the things contained in article,” O'Donnell assured meeting. the deal for purchase of negatives of seven pix made by the William Goetz?Leo Spitz International unit. Elliott Hyman, Harold Mirisch and T. Ralph Branton, who were to have paid $700,000 for the group of negatives, still hope to square away details. Hyman, prexy of the newly-or- ganized Motion Pictures for TV, Inc., of which Matty Fox is board chairman, heads for the Coast Fri- day ‘17) in an effort to solve the problem. Pix are “Along Came Jones” <1945) and “Casanova Brown” (1944). While Hyman, Branton and Mirisch intend to reissue the pix theatrically, rtither than offer them to TV, they are all interested in tele and see great potential values in that field. Thus they prefer not to make their deal if they can’t clear these rights. Mirisch and Branton last week acquired a heavy block of /stock in Monogram, giving them, along with prez Steve Broidy, a controlling interest. It is presumed they would probably reissue the International films via Mono. The new Hyman-Fox outfit, growing out of a merger of several other TV distributing firms, owns more than 600 negatives and would eventually get the seven Spitz- Goetz pix for tele. While on the Coast. Hyman will work on deals for additional product. The other five International pic- tures involved — all made before International was merged into Uni- versal in 1947—are “Belle of the Yukon.” starring Gypsy Rose Lee; “It’s a Pleasure," starring Snnja Henie; ‘Tomorrow Is Forever,” starring Claudette Colbert, George Brenl and Orson Welles; "The Stranger,” ^tarring Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young, and “Woman In the Window.” starring Robinson and Joan Bennett. pix with an extra-heavy nut, “Quo Vadis” is almost certain to cost the public extra cash at the box- office. SCHWARtt NEW RKO MANAGER FOR JAPAN William Schwartz, formerly with the Motion Picture Export Assn, in Japan, this week was named RKO manager for Nippon by company foreign chief Phil Reisman. Active as a film rep in the Orient for 20 years, he served since 1948 as gen- eral manager for the MPEA in Japan under Charles Mayer, the or- ganization's managing director in that area. Schwartz, who resigned his MPEA berth to join RKO, has al- ready set up his headquarters in Tokyo. Before the war he repped 20th-Fox in Japan as branch man- ager in Osaka and later was gen- eral manager for that country. District 65, nixed this. ELC's pre- decessors included Eagle Llorf, Film Classics and Producers Re- leasing Corp. Pathe could carry the matter to court if there’s a determination the arbitration panel failed to function within legal bounds. Spokesman for Pathe this week said such a determination has yet to be reached. ‘Blondes’ Pix Nix Continue* from pace S ture rights. Original pic was made silent at a time when talking films were just coming in, and the con- tract is understood to be somewhat hazy on the point of sound rights. Reversion of rights would leave Levin and Smith, of course, with music but no book for sale, which would obviously not prove attrac- tive to a potential Hollywood buy- er. It Is thought certain, therefore, that the producers and Par will come to some new agreement, par- Eidell, of U Bd., Slices HU Co. Stock By 1,000 John G. Eidell, member of the board of Universal, has reduced his stock holdings in the company by 1.000 shares, he reported to the Securities k Exchange Com- mission. He now holds 5,475 shares. Eidell, manager of the analytical department of Shuman, Agnew k Co., underwriters and brokers-, got himself elected to the board in a surprise action at the stock- holders’ meeting March 8, 1950. He came up with a total of 63.000 votes via proxies, sufficient under the cumulative balloting system to put him on the directorate. SEC reports also disclosed the unloading by the R. E. Dowling Realty Corp. of 4,500 shares of City Investing Co. CIC owns a flock of film and legit theatres. Robert E. Dowling is prexy and also holds an interest in Lopert Films. Realty corporation whlcl) he controls continues to hold 171,944 shares of CIC. SDG PREPS PACT TALKS WITH STUDIOS, TV PRODS Allied’s Members Urged Hollywood, Aug. 14. Screen Directors Guild is ready- ing two negotiation programs— one with the motion picture stu- t feu la riy invtew of' VonsTderabi, \ dlo .» *??_™f_ w ! t _ h . lhe film interest in the show. One solution which Levin has in mind is setting up a corporation to To r lgni Special Exempt produce the picture. Producers U-I Names Jordan Marion F: Jordan yesterday Tues.) was appointed to the execu- tive staff of Universal-Internation- al's foreign subsidiary by Americo Abcaf, veepee and general sales manager. Jordan was loaned to MPAA as general manager for Western Ger- many in 1947 and remained in that post until 1950. Washington. Aug. 14. Exhibitors in Allied States Assn, were urged last week to carry the fight against the special exemp- tions from the 20% admissions tax to their senators. The House- passed bill exempts co-ops. operas, symphony orchestras, etc., from the bite on their entertainment. Abram F. Myers. Allied board chairman, called for action against this “discrimination” in a member- ship bulletin. He included the ar- guments he made tfTlring his re- cent appearance before the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of COMPO. The Allied topper wants I the exhibitors to use the same ar- guments in contacting their sena- , tors. Connolly's Global Tour Jack Connoiiy, head of the news- reel* section of the International Motion Picture Division of the State Dept., last week returned from a round-the-world trip of 28,- 000 miles in 28 days. His aim was to improve news- reel coverage by American com- panies and to facilitate their show- ing abroad. then would sell rights to this outfit prior to the deadline date. It could, at some later time, resell the rights. 0 Price on that basis would prob- ably he $165,000, the figure at which a deal was almost closed with Columbia. Col backed out because Judy Holliday, whom it hoped to star in the film, refused to play the Lorelei Lee part, and because Jule Styne. author of the music, refused to allow interpola- tion of additional tunes Into the pic other than those which he’d write at a figure Col felt exorbitant. Under the scheme of setting up a special corporation to buy the rights. Par, of course, would have to be given the opportunity first of purchasing them at the same figure. —to arrange new working agree- ments. Chief problems in discus- sions with the film lots will be changed working conditions and increased cost of living since the old contract was signed. H. C. Potter presided over * meeting to prepare for meetings with the studio representatives. Committee in charge of TV nego- tiations consists of Phillipe DeLacy, George Cahan and James Lehman. New 5-Year Pact For Kalmenson Ben Kalmenson, v.p. and general sales manager of Warner Bros, aince 1941, retains hit post for an- other five years under a new em- ployment pact entered into as of July 1, 1951. Fresh deal cancelled two previous agreements. Terms call for Kalmenson to ren- der his sole and exclusive services to Warner Bros. Distributing Corp. as general aalet chief until June 30. 1956. at $1,750 weekly plus $250 weekly for expenses. From July 1. 1956, to June 30. 1961, Kal- menson will act as an adviser to Warners. Throughout this period, in which he won't rep any other film company, the exec will be paid $500 weekly. Five-year sales manager agree- ment specifies Kalmenson won't have to account to the company for weekly expenses. Moreover, his weekly allowance shall not cover expenses while travelling on com- pany business. Pact can be terminated by War- ners in event Kalmenson is either physically or mentally incapable of discharging his duties for 16 weeks or more. At all times he’s required to work under the direction of Warners* prexy and board. N. Y. to L. A. Bette Davis Irving Elman Victor Jory Nancy Kelly Edwin Lester Max Liebman Russell Nype Otto Preminger L. A. to N. Y. Victor Borge Howard Dietz Bill Doll Diana Douglas Wallace Ford Edward Everett Horton Frank King Morris King Richard Krakeur Liberace Arthur Lubln John R. Markey Marion Marshall Jayne meadows Doretta Morrow James A. Mulvey Tony Owen Donna Reed Everett Jtiskln Robert Rounse villa Natalie Schafer . Robert Sinclair Spyroa P. Skouraa N. Y. to Europe Josephine Baker Judy Canova Cyd Charisse Jacques Grinieff Arthur Judson - Irwin Margulies Tony Martin Bruno Walter Jerry Whyte Europe to N. Y. Muriel Aked Richard Aldrich Joe Bellfort A1 Capp Gilbert Comte Howard Connell David Coplan Florence Eldridge Jackie Frost Charles Garfield Judy Garland Francis Head Morris Helprin George S. Kaufman Andre Kostelanetz Elias Lapinere Ilya Lopert Leueen MacGrath Fredrtc March Ray Mllland Lily Pons Viola Rubber Brig. Gen. David Sarnoff