Variety (September 05, 1951)

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.

Wodimdtj, September S, 1951 YANKS’ HEFTIEST FOREIGN COIN Gotta Stay With Present Dbtrib System Despite Costs: Rodgers Although the cost of distribution has climbed steadily in recent years. William F. Rodgers, Metro’s veepee in charge ef distribution, sees no logical substitute setup in the offing. “You can’t beat that personal contact between salesmen and exhibitors.” he declared. Many trade observers are con- vinced that the present costly methods of distribution are due for a radical change within the next five years. One overhead re- duction scheme proposed was the establishment of a joint agency to handle selling to minor tail-end accounts for all distributors. Un- der this plan. Instead of eight or 10 peddlers representing different companies traveling the same ground, one man would make the tour for all. Thus the present 31 or 32 exchanges might be reduced to about eight top sales execs scat- tered through the country for each distributor. • Such a scheme has been speared by Ahrahm Myers, Allied genera! counsel, and others who deplored the suggestion that exchanges be eliminated or reduced, and empha- sized the value of the personal con- tact between salesmen and exhib- itors. # Closest thing to a “revolutionary move” ever made by Metro was a 10-day “selling by telephone” ex- periment about two years ago, but that was in no manner of speaking an attempt to change the present system. Rodgers said. “That was simply a test to see whether our slogan, ‘the Friendly Company,’ had any real meaning with the exhibitors.” Rodgers ex- plained. “It did. More than 13,- (Continued on page 22) Sherman Mulls 10-Pic Theatre-and- Television Offer for Financing Hollywood. Sept. 4. Harry Sherman is considering an offer from an unnamed TV com- pany to finance his next 10 pic- tures. as a prelude to turning his t'alifornia studios over to video production. Proposition calif for him to produce four “A” films and six six-gun pictures for theatrical release, after which they would be used on television. At the end of that time, possibly three years, Sherman would make TV pictures on a salary and participation basis. Producer said he is not ready to abandon theatrical production for TV but is studying the proposition. Tailor-Made ‘B’ Pix For Post-Theatre Video Hollywood, Sept. 4. “B” productions tailored foe tele- vision—that’s the new trend among independent film producers and Mib-major studios, with an eye on the TV market after their product has made the rounds of the theatre circuits. Directors of “B” pictures on some lots have been ordered to whittle the running time down to 54 minutes, which will leave six minutes for the insertion of com- mercials when the films are sold to video. A cut of six minutes not only makes it more convenient for the television sponsors but saves money for the producers. In the ordinary *‘B” picture it will eliminate the expense of a day’s shooting. Mayer Back to Paris Gerald Mayer, until recently Continental rep for the Motion Pic- ture Assn, of America, is returning shortly to Paris, where he former- ly made his headquarters. He is joining the staff of the U. S. Em- bassy there. No successor to the MPA A post in Paris has been named yet. De- cision may be made this week by John G. McCarthy, director of MPAA’s international division, who is in France now. Vets Group, MPAA Team to Solve Pix Politix Questions Motion Picture Assn, of America and the Catholic War Veterans each have appointed special com- fnittees to Jointly tackle any ques- tion pertaining to the public ac- ceptability of Hollywood films and film personnel on political grounds. Move is along the lines of a co- operative program under which the two groups will hold discus- | sions on the questionable pix or persons before any action is taken. Statement from CWV headquar- ters In Washington said its com- mittee was formed as a result of discussions between Joyce O’Hara, acting president of the MPAA. and Donald J. McQuade of Toledo, CWV’s national commander. Chair- man of the veterans organization’s group is Thomas Walsh of N. Y., former- national commander. He’s associated with Wilbar Photo En- graving. whose accounts include many film companies. MPAA com- mittee was not identified. It’s apparent the entire idea grew out of recent huddles involv- ing Judy Holliday between three CWV leaders and Nate Spingold, Columbia v.p. The CWV brass pointed to the fact Miss Holliday had been listed by the House Un- American Activities Committee as having been associated with Com- munist-front organizations. The vet toppers wanted to know how Col felt about the comedienne in view of this. Spingold informed them Col Investigated her political leaning and concluded Miss Holli- day was a “loyal American.” CWV officers accepted this. Serving on the CWV committee with Walsh are vice-chairman Francis D. Skelley of West New York, N. J., national welfare of- ficer; John Coughlin, N. Y., com- mander of the Department of N. Y.; John Dowling. Jersey City, 1st vice-commander of the Depart- ment of N. J., and Thomas Lane, Columbus, O., Ohio judge advo- cate. Femme Jobs Up in Pix Survey of 40 picture producers reveal* that job opportunities for "«>inen in the film field will be ‘ unusually good” during the com- ing year, it’s reported by the City College Institute of Film Tech- niques. The producers expressed confi- dence that films will be able to fc >'orb more and more women In technical Jobs, including commer- documentary, educational, Mature, and television Aims. L B. MAYER’S M-G EXIT ’OFFICIAl’ AFTER 27 YRS. Hollywood, Sept. 4. Quietly, without comment from either side. Louis B. Mayer over the weekend officially ended his 27- year tenure as production chief at Metro. Departure leaves only the company’s trademark to remind the industry of the original triumvirate who were forerunners of the pres- ent firm: Mayer, Samuel Goldwyn and Richard Rowland, original founder of Metro Pictures Corp. Goldwyn withdrew from the pro- ! ducing firm before it was sold to Loew’s, which previously acquired Metro. Rowland died in 1947.. Mayer’s future plans are still un- known despite widespread reports of his possible affiliation with or j purchase of one of several com- j panics. Latest report bad Wall St. insisting that he and a group of associates would acquire control | (Continued on page 26) FOB THIS TEAR American film companies are raking in the heftiest amount of coin from foreign markets in years. Lessened restrictions on convert- ing earnings abroad into American dollars, coupled with the fact global theatre business has been good, are the main factors for th# upbeat. While estimates vary, the general figuring is that U. S. companies will have realized $100,500.ouo lor the calendar year ended next Dec. 31. Foreign department execs of the film outfits refrain from any spe- cific predictions on the future for the reason new curbs on trading always are a possibility. However, barring any such setbacks, it’s be- lieved 1952 might prove even greater. Partly the basts for this reason- ing is the new deal with England, which probably will yield about $22,000,000 for the current year. Under the new Anglo-American trading and monetary agreement, U. S. outfits probably will draw about $24,-25.000,000 from the Brit- ish market next year. Eased re- strictions in France and Italy also will help. In any event, pic companies are jubilant over the upped inflow of dollars. It’s coming at a time (Continued on page 26) TV’s Impact on Pic B.O. Declines In Video Areas, Survey Reveals Laughton Meets A&C Charles Laughton would be co- starred with Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in “Capt. Kidd,” if cur- rent negotiations are consummat- ed. Abbott is planning to produce the pic Independently. A&C are now making “Jack and the Beanstalk” as an independent production for Warner Bros, re- lease. “Jack” is the personal prop- erty of Costello’s. Duo alternate for tax purposes on production and ownership of the films in which they work. 3 Mags Ready Appraisals Of Pix, Seen Answer To Life’s Blisterer In the face of Life’s recent blis- tering treatment of the film busi- ness, which brought a storm of pro- tests from industryites. three other mags are readying industry ap- praisals that promise to offset the Luce publication’s downbeat. - First due, in a late-September issue, is a Samuel Goldwyn by- liner in Collier’s. Look and Cue also are prepping special features which will answer what the organ- ized industry has labeled Life’s de- partures from fact plus unwarrant- ed gloom regarding the motion pic- ture future. Cue will give part of its Nov. 10 issue to the “Movietime U. S. A.” (Continued on page 26) Up to 12 Million For Rep in 3 Yrs. From TV—Yates Hollywood, Sept. 4. Herbert J. Yates. Republic prexy, told his associates here on his ar- rival from New York and London this week that he estimated a po- tential orofit of as much as $10,000,000 to $12,000,000 In the next three years via lease to TV of films in the company’s extensive library. Estimate grew out of queries concerning the recent sal? of 175 pix by Rep to a Los Angeles tele station. KTTV, for $225,000. Yates pointed to the fact that that tran- saction was for use of the pix on only a single station and for only one year, during which each could be shown only twice, as evidence that his $10.000,000-$12,00(M)00 estimate was not fantastic. The KTTV sale did not include any Roy Rogers or Gene Autry starrers, since these are involved in litigation. They are expected to (Continued on page 26) UA, Litv&k Dicker United Artists is discussing a re- leasing pact with producer-director Anatole Litvak.. In the past he’s been associated with the major film companies. National Boxoffice Survey Labor Day Booms Biz; ‘My Boy* Again No. 1, ‘Rich* Second, ‘Groom’ Third, ‘Woman’ Fourth Television’s impact on motion pic- ture attendance is declining slight- ly in heavy TV areas (where more than 50% of the families have sets). Dr. Jay M. Gould, consulting econ- omist, disclosed this week. Gould has been making a study of tele impact on pix. based on admission tax figures, video set installations and other data for major industry interests. Original ratio plotted by Gould was that a 1% decline took place in film attendance for each added 2% saturation of tele sets in an area. Later figures, Gould said, now show there’s only a 1% drop for each 3% additional saturation in areas where more than half the families have sets. Economist has also revised the forecast he made a couple months ago on the drop in grosses in 1951 compared to 1948, which his statis- tics show to be a perfectly normal b.o. year. Rather than the 9.4% fall which earlier figures indicated, Gould now believes only a 7-8% drop is likely. That would put total U. S. boxoffice income for 1951 at about $1,500,000,000 as against the $1,590,000,000 of the 1948 norm. Change in the estimate of drop* off is based on three counts: 1. B.o. Improvement indicated in (Continued on page 22) 11,000 Exliits Hear O’Dopnell Pitch In Three-Week Tour More than 11.000 theatremen have heard the “Movietime U.S.A.” pitch by national director Robert J. O’Donnell during the last three weeks. Climax of his whirlwind tour is set for tomorrow morning' (Thurs.) at the RKO 58th St. Theatre. N. Y., when he will address N. Y. area film industry personnel. A half holiday for homcoffire and film ex- change employees for many of the N. Y. companies will he held to enable them to attend the rally. In addition to O’Donnell. Arthur (Continued on page 24) Favorable, cool weather in nu- merous key cities, plus the release of fresh, strong product, is boom- ing biz at the boxoffice this ses- sion. Fact that there were so many new, sturdy pictures out on release tipped off thatPthe fall season for film theatres promises to be a great one. Four strongest pix this week in keys covered by Variety —prob- ably will go well above $900,000 in total gross. “That’s My Boy” (Par) continues No. 1 spot for the fourth week in a row, with some additional new bookings proving just as smash as in spots played earlier. “Rich, Young, Pretty" <M-G), which was in 11th slot a week ago, pushed up to capture second position, with dates in some 11 important key cities. “Here Comes Groom” (Par), out for first time this week, is showing such strength that it will easily land in third place. “His Kind of Woman” (RKO), which also is just getting started, is pushing up to. fourth. Fifth money is going to “Flying Leathernecks,” from same distrib, with hints that it may move higher. “People Will Talk” (20th). also new, is grabbing sixth position, with “Jim Thorpe” (WB) in seventh. “Show Boat” <M-G), still is doing well enough to finish eighth. “Homblower” (WB) is slipping to ninth currently. ’•Meet After Show'” (20th), which was third last week; “Iron Man” <U> and “Oliver Twist” (UA) round out the Golden Dozen in that order. “Happy Go Lovely” (RKO) and “Belvedere Rings Bell” (20th) are the runner-up pix. Both "Place in Sun” (Par) and “David and Bathsheba” (20th) show unmistakable signs of going places among the new pictures being launched. Both are rolling up great coin currently although each is playing in only four k*»y cities. “Sun” is terrific in N. Y., smash in Frisco, solid in L. A. and boffo in Philly. “David” shapes great in Minneapolis, huge in Frisco, sock in N. Y. and terrific in Philly, get- ting upped scale on nearly all of these dates. “Rhubarb” (Par) preemed big in N. Y. “People Against O’Hara” (M-G) shapes good in Buffalo, okay in Indianapolis, fast in Seattle and sturdy in Cincy. “Ta’l Target” (M-G) does not loom as favorably. “Take Care of Little G[?P (20th) shapes solid in Seattle. ”4 in Jeep” (UA) is okay in three spots. “Force * of Arms” (WB) is rated lusty in ! Chi. “Alice In Wonderland” I’RKO- Disney) still is doing nicely in sev- eral big kev spots “Cattle Drive” (U* looms fine in Seattle. “Pickup” (Col) looks husky In Frisco. “Thunder on Mill** (U> is trim in Boston and good in Port- land “Bright Victory” (U) shapes bright in Frisco. (Complete Bnxofric* Reports on Pages 810) Trad* Mark Reflate red POUNDED BY 8IME SILVERMAN Published Weekly by VAftlgTY. INC Harold Erirns. President 154 West 4dth St New York It. N Y Hollywood 11 6311 Yucca Street Washington 4 1203 National Press Building Chi*««o 11 612 No Michigan Ave. ___jig;>n London WC2 S St Martin'* PI., Trafalgar Sq. II INDEX Bills Chatter ... Fi'm Reviews Hou*e Reviews .. Ins'de I,egit Inside Music Inside Pictures .. Inside Radio Inside Television . International Legitimate Literati Music New Acts Night Club Reviews Obituaries Pit turn Radio-Television Radio Review's Records Frank Scully Television Reviews Unit Reviews Vaudeville 63 . t. 6 61 c:i M 22 P4 .37 15 67 74 54 66 60 . 73 «) 31 34 54 74 40 65 60 DAILY VARIBTY loll (Published in lloilvwood by Pailv Variety ixa * • 13 a Year. 62(r foreign