Variety (June 1952)

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Wedvkttriay* Ju*e 4, 1951 FXCTCUKS 15 Par Grots Coxtluued from v&gd 9 last year’s third semester was a modest one. That means that' contrary to ex- perience of other companies, Par should have no difficulty maintain- ing it* dividend rate of 50c per quarter. Budgets have been held in check fairly well, so that amorti- zation will not take an oversize bite out of earnings. ‘Greatest Show* Charge-Off ^Undermining first stanza earn- ings despite the big gross was.the fact that a major slice of the high “The so-called official rate of exchange-is the- rate at which a for- iSrtV^was charved^off during the eign government wlll permit its currency to be exchanged for dollars {£Jiod. * Sho w” on the other hand, to consummate a transaction that is sanctioned by that * government. for »hmit ton non nf The blocked funds can, however, though at a rate different from the ™m«to‘s «venue’rA^heJ official rate of exchange, be converted into dollars for the purpose of hefty hunk was realized on “Sailor an award of damages. One who is entitled, to funds which are blocked Beware,” Martin 5c Lewis starrer. in a foreign country may be able to transfer the -funds, at a discount, to one who. can. use them to consummate a-transaction which is per- mitted by the foreign country. There is a market in the U, S. for such blocked funds. It is incumbent on the plaintiff to show the market value or otWr value of the funds. He .will be entitled to judgment in an amount computed on the value thus shown.” Howard Hilghea’ vlctdity over United Artists in the Appellate Divi- sion of the N* if. Supreme Court last February was seen as a highly significant decision by the N. Y. Law Journal last week, Hughes brought suit agalhst UA after the distributor allegedly failed to retain his share of tne/earnings of “The Outlaw” in the currencies of 12 different foreign countries where it was exhibited; • About $68,000 was involved at the 'official rates of exchange. • In analyzing. Justice John Van Voorhis’ opinion, the Law Journal com- mented: “In *n action by a motion picture producer against a dis- tributor for-the breach of a contract in which the defendant agreed to distribute a motion picture for the plaintiff in various forefgn coun- tries- and to hold the, plaintiff’s share of the boxoffiee receipts in the currencies of"'those countries* it was -error-, when the funds were blocked by the laws of the respective countries, for the purposes of_the transactions involved In the action, to compute at the official rate of exchange the amount in U. S. currency to which the plaintiff w&s entitled. Two .scenes “which followed the typical Commie, line of ridiculing religion and belittling the Church.” were deleted from “Clash’ By Night” (RKQ) at his suggestion, William. H, Mooring* Film critic of The Tidings, Catholic weekly newspaper of the L. A. Archdiocese, re- ye.alcd in the.current Issue. Mooring said that when he called atten- tion to Jerry Wald, Harriet Parsons and Norman Krasna of probable effect of two scenes dealing with the blessing of a fishing fleet* “they Six pix on the third-quarter slate, on the ,basis of past experi- ence with similar product, appear likely to. produce a minimum of $17,500,000 out of the U. S. and Canada. Par Sales department estimates actually . are nearer $ 20 , 000 , 000 * Films and conservative estimates of their U. S, and Canadian poten- tial are: general release (as dis- tinct from .pre-release) of “Great- est Show/* .$4,500,000:- Martin & were completely cut. from the script.” Miss Parsons produced the pic Lewis’ “Jumping Jacks/’ $3,500,000; for Wald-Krasna* Mooring says the film, in form it will be released, Carrie, $2 000,000; Son of y Pale- is otherwise “excellent, realistic screen drama.” face (B ? b Hone Jane Bussell, Roy Rogers and .Trigger), $4,000,000; ‘Just. For Yob” (Bing Crosby),-$2,- 500.000, and “Caribbean,” $1,- 200.000. One of the reasons making espe- cially surprising, the fact that Par outstripped the gross of the lush r v _j 1946/days this year is the fact that previously been set for"the otiier then the ' com P an Y ^ned a chain top femme role . . Jeriy Vesle? of b*™ theatres, which were al- asked for and got his release from j? os t a; customers. Since his Columbia producing contract then the houses have bqen divorced after a two-year tenure during f r<5m the producing-distributing which he made four pictures. units. Warners signed Charles Tedford Aside from the heavy income to writq,' the narration for a one« produced by “Show” apd “Sailor,” reel short, “Hit Tm Again.” a silent partially responsible' for the im- comedy starring the late Larry proved gross is' a more stringent Semorf, to which producer Gordon sales policy. Distribution v.p. A1 Hollingshead is adding special Schwalberg has steadily pushed sound effects and background mu- during the past year to raise per- sic...Metro set Keenan Wynn to centages and lower split figures *4- FUm lndustry stockholders, who have been receiving disheartening news of late on dividend cutting and downbeat earnings* had their- morale bolstered some at the Para- mount annual meeting ip N. Y. yesterday (Tues.). Prexy. Barney Balaban reported that, despite the market sluggishness, Par’s earn- ings in April and May were a little ahead of the same months last year.. Prez also declared that he’s hopeful the current dividend policy , of a $2 annual payoff to investors will be continued* ' Balaban said he couldn't make any real predic- tions on the subject, but recalled he was similarly confident of the future when the corporation began operations Independent of domes- tic -theatres three years ago and the divvy, rite consistently was ■ maintained^ , Loew’s and- United Paramount recently cut their dlwy payments. Ldew's from 37*4c to 25c and UPT from 50c to 25c, Balaban said it would be difficult to .-make any accurate guesses on earnings in June in comparison Wrap* were removed from Inter-1 with last year, . June of '51, he re- Pcrtonal Knowledge Minority stockholder at Paramount’s annual meeting in N* Y, yesterday (Tues.) ex- pressed concern regarding the corporation’s finances, partic- ularly objecting to participa- tion deals with producers and performers. But the investor Was satisfied with at least one. aspect of the Par economics, announcing: “I happen to know that this company is very careful about . expense accounts. Mr. Balaban checks every item personally.” Of Telemeter For Par Stockholders - Hollywood,. June 3. Peg! Mclntire set for a role in “Small Town Girl” at Metro . . . Yvonfte De Carlo checked into Metro for her costarring role in “Sombrero,” her first stint at the Culver lot ... Vet western actor Kay Bennett snagged a featured role in “Cattle Kate” at U-I. Maureen O’Hara and Alex Nicol are starred . . . Columbia dropped its plans to team Jack Mahoney and Smiley Burnette in. a new series " to replace the “Durango Kid” oaters ... Tom Hanlon \rill, do the^ narration for the auto racing sequences in “Army Bound,” which Ben Schwalb is producing at Monogram .... Timothy Carey won a role in “Tropical Heat Wave” at Republic . . . Gordon Nelson set for a role in 20th-Fox’s “Something for the Birds.” Jean Negulesco moves to Metro on loanout from 20th-Fox to direct “My Mother and Mr. McChesney,” Greer Garson starrer which rolls next month . . . William F. Broidy purchased film and television rights to “I Confess;” a play by Jack DeWitt based 'on an 11th century French legend . . . Rex Allen checked in at Republic for “South Pacific Trail” after a two- week stand at the Thunderbird Hotel, Las Vegas . . .. Monogram pushed back until Thursday the start of William F. Broidy’s “Yukon Gold” and Vincent M. Fennelly’a “Gun Smoke Range,” both to be filmed on location . Columbia extended its deal with William Castle and will shortly an nounce a new assignment for the director, who’s currently on a leave of absence * . . Richard Hale cast as Gen. Henry* W. Halleck chief of staff of the Union Army in Warners’ “Springfield Rifle.” Tom Young, Art Shurr, Ben Lee and Harry Waldo, all Mack Sen- nett comedy vets, signed by direc- tor Lloyd Bacon, himself a Sennett alumnus, for roles in “Beautiful but Dangerous” at RKO . . . Morris Ankrum drew the role of an In- dian chief in “Hiawatha,” which went before the cameras at Mono- gram with Vince Edwards and Yvette Dugay starred . . . Philip A Waxman readying an early start for “The Night Watch,” his second independent film . . . Harry Horner returned from New Yprk and -be- gan prepping the script of '“Sur- vival,” which he’ll direct for Sol Lesser . . . William Daniels signed as cameraman for “Never Wave at a WAC,” Rosalind Russell starrer which Frederick Brisson will pro- duce for RKO release. Howard Keel and Betsy Drake will share top billing in “The Des- perate Search,” which Matthew Rapf will produce at Metro . Tennessee Jim coaching the cast of ‘Ransom of Red Chief” at 20th Fox in southern accents . . . Cast and crew of evangelist Billy Graham’s “OiltOwn” left for Hous ton, where locationlng gets under way this week . . . Maxwell Shane took his “Glass Wall” troupe into the Bar of Music, local nitery, for location scenes . . . Julia Adams F° : . one of the femme leads in ‘Mississippi Gambler,” Tyrone in a campaign aimed at bringing Par demands more in line with those of -other top majors. RKO SPENDING HEFTY COIN ON REISSUES national Telemeter Corp.’s new subscription form of home tele- vision at the Paramount annual meeting of stockholders in N. Y. yesterday (Tues.) General impres- sion was that its- simplicity of op- eration, convenience for* the pub- lic and overall apparent effective- ness portend a*, prominent role for Telemeter in the entertainment- via-electronics future. Machine, which is small y and called, was abnormally strong be- cause of a heavy flow of coin from ajbroad. Problems Ahead Thete still are problems ahead, the chief exec told the share- owners. Antitrust litigation has brought about an internal readjust- ment, including “far-reaching and expensive” methods of distributing films. These, he said, have “seri- ously affected” the pattern of thea- join Howard Keel and Robert Bur- ton in “The Desperate Search”. Richard Denning drew the star role in “Target Hong Kong” at Co- umbia.. . Richard Blaydon took over as unit production manager on “Scared Stiff,” his 25th assign- ment with producer Hal Wallis... Sol Lesser prepping “Mysterious India” as his next travel documen- airy after “Under the Red Sea,” Although resorting to reissues with Bill Parks assembling the because of a product dearth, RKO project from 40,000 feet of film i s backiifg a couple of these re- lensed in India by Mike IJagopian treads to the hilt from a bally and Bud Lavanian. standpoint. Pix are almost given Metro is testing Madge Kennedy* the “A” treatment of first-time- who emerged from a 20-year re- around top product, with the coin tirement for a role in “The Marry- outlay nearly equalling that of an mg Kind,' for the role of Spencer initial launching. Tracy s wife in Years the p 0 n C y started with the reissue film version of the Garson Kanin- Qf Walt Disney > s “Snow White and fotas Ros r *li"d P Ru y ,s^scoZo£ Sewn Dwarf S "withtheeom- “Never Wave at a WAC,” which pauy going all out on promotion. Independent Artists rolls July 1 Similar treatment is currently on location at the WAC training being accorded King Kong, ’the center at Fort Lee, Va. ... Director chiller originally released by RKO Raoul Walsh put “Blackbeard the in 1933. Pic, set for rerele^se dur- Pirate” before the cameras at RKO ing the middle of this month, is for producer Edmund Grainger... lined up already for some 400 the- Charlcs Laughton will play King atres in five exchange areas. As Herod in “Salome, the Dance of p ar t of the bally, RKO is sending the Seven Veils,” which starts at ou ^ f our open-body trailer trucks Columbia in two weeks. . .William with gi gant i c King Kongs clutch- J^^bley was assigned to direct ing repl i cas of Fay Wray, star of The Master, of Ballantrae, fhe film Thin week- the trunks are Flynn starrer which Warners will film on location in Europe. Stuntman Asks M-G For 50G on Injuries Hollywood, June 3. Stuntman Charles Hicks is suing Metro for $50,000, alleging he sus- tained injuries on a film due to Metro negligence. He was supposed to slide down a greased chute in a “One-Piece Bathing Suit” scene, doing it okay once but, when ready for shooting, the slide wasn't properly greased, he states, catapulting him into the water and causing spine injury and nervousness since then. Orren’s ‘Civilized’ Deal Joseph Ornstein, head of Orren Pictures, has acquired theatrical and television rights to “Are We Civilized?” for distribution domes- tically and in Alaska and Guam. Film, which costars Anita Louise and William Farnum, was lensed by Edwin Carewe Productions some years ago. the film. This week the trucks are on their way to Detroit, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland, In addition, RKO is running a saturation TV and radio campaign in the areas where the pic is sked- ded to play. On video company is’ using clips from the film, while on radio it has bought spots on station breaks throughout the day. compact- and may be placed handily tre attendance, upon or near the home TV re- Costs of production continue to ceiver, employs a film Strip to in- mount, Balaban complained. While dicate the price of each program, full effort is exerted to effect econ- scaled from 10c to $2 in nfultiples omies, expenditures for labor and of 5c. A barker's voice on the Tele- materials can hardly be controlled, meter channel constantly an- he added. Balaban emphasized, nounces the upcoming show. Home however, that he sees no merit In viewer simply inserts the required keeping* budgets at an arbitrary coins and the TV image, .which had ,low. An inexpensive pic of doubt- been distorted, automatically is re-" ful boxoffiee potential would be ceived in proper focus. scrapped in favor of “a happy com- Engineers on the Telemeter pay- bination of story, stars and produc- roll insist that there’s small chance. tion values that spell success at the of the picture being cleared other boxoffiee.” than in legitimate fashion. First, a Balaban continued: “Each pic- person looking to duck the tariff ture must stand on its own merits would require a full education in as* to its costs and boxoffiee poten* advanced electronics. Second, the tialities. There is, therefore, no cost of improvising another home value in comparing the average device would, be greater than its cost of our pictures in one year worth. ' -v with the average cost of our pic- System tures for another year.” Collection rep calls upon each Balaban made no reference to Telemetered home at intervals to any other, studio. But 20th-Fox be determined, picks up-the remqy- execs in past have been underlln- able, sealed coin unit and reeprd* lug the success they’ve* ing tape, replaces both, and hies lopping ®ff the average costs of off to the nearest central clearing- P& fvem year to year, office. Tape indicates the amount Competition of coin paid for each specific pro- The Par topper conceded that gram and the percentage of television has hurt the b.o., but re- revenue due to the producer or minded that outstanding product promoter is thus determined. does as well at present as it did in It was underscored that no spe- the peak of prosperity. He cited cial TV channels are required and “Greatest Show on Earth” which, the Telemeter outfit will not pro- he claimed, will be the biggest duce programs. The company Will grosser in Par's hi.tory. buy time from standard telecasters Stockholder queries followed the and will place its own transmission formal reelection of Balaban and equipment, reportedly inexpensive, all other members of the board- in the station. Balaban,, v.p. Paul Raibourn and Programming is handled by the Edwin L. Weisl, member of the di- producer of, perhaps, a motion pic- reclorate, provided the answers, ture, or a fight promoter. Public One femme stockholder, known for at all times is free to switch to a her barbed .questions, said she was non-metered channel. ’ so satisfied with Balaban’s “fort- Clo ed Circuit Display right” answers that the decided to On display yesterday on a closed forego any further interrogation, circuit was a print of Par’s “Sun- Balaban disclosed that settlement set Boulevard.” Three 25-cent of antitrust actions brought by ex- pieces were placed into the device bibs cost the company $300,000 to and the screen cleared immediate- $400,000 in 1951. This was in addi- ly. * Small electric cable connects tion to defending court suits, he U] Mpls. Booth Hike Minneapolis, June 3. Projectionists will receive a pay boost of 3%, retroactive to last De- cember, for two years and 4%*for a third year under a new three year contract signed with Minneap- olis iridepenlcifent theatreowners. The agreement was reached with the booth ' operators after more than six months negotiations. It followed the filing of a strike no- tice, but the projectionists con tinued negotiations instead of walking out. Previously, the booth operators had reached agreements with the Minnesota Amus. Co. and RKO the metered box with the TV set. David Loew and Carl Lesserman launched the Telemeter project about four years ago and sponsored its development. Par some time ago bought 50% of the outfit. It’s said. The prez revealed that gross bill- ings abroad amounted to $24,000,- 000 last year. He advised that Par intends to continue with its participation expected that some hefty financing deals with producers and others, will be required, probably via a- such as its 50-50 profits split with public stock issue. Also, the com- Cecil B. DeMille. To refrain from pany likely will farm out the sys- such arrangements would be un- te;n to franchise operators in the sound business, he observed, various territories across the But there’s a limit on Par’s pay- country, off to production pards, said Bala- Immediate plans are to stage ban. He said, for example, Irving the • first public test in Palm Berlin wants $600,000 to produce a Springs, Cal., which is surrounded film and compose music for it by mountain terrain and conse- quently is isolated from any TV at all. Telemeter has a deal with the city to rig homes” with cables which, indirectly, will channel in all programs from L.A. One of the the Theatres, also providing for salary j channels will cairy increases, 1 signals. Balaban’s limit is $250,000, he said. Balaban and Weisl both ex- pressed Confidence that the Fed- eral Communications Commission eventually- will okay telecasting licenses for Par on grounds of “fit- metered j ness.” The FCC hearings, they fig- 1 ure, will span another month.