Variety (March 1953)

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4 ncrviis Loews Stockholders, Irked by Cots In Divvies, Told of New Economies Considerable additional econo-- lilies are planned by Loew’s, veepee and treasurer Charles C. Mosko- witz told a stormy session of stock- holders Thursday (26) at the com- pany’s annual meeting in New York- An SRO crowd of disgruntled shareholders was particularly in- censed about the cut In the com- pany’s dividends, which dropped from $1.50 per share to 80c. * Session was also marked by sharp questioning concerning the drop in the company’s earnings and what the management planned to do to improve the situation. Par- ticularly irking the shareholders was a finacial statement covering 12 weeks which disclosed a per- share earning of 6c. Moskowitz, however, said that on the basis of current returns he expected a 40c per share earning on the company’s 28-week statement. • Despite continued prodding from stockholders, Moskowitz declared that he was not a prophet or psy- chic, and could not predict what the next dividend payment would- be. Board of directors, he noted, would determine this in May. Notwothstanding the belligerent mood of the stockholders, featured by applause and shouts of approval of critical statements against man- agement, tiie entire slate of direc- tors presented by management was elected overwhelmingly, with each nominee receiving more than 4,- 000,000 votes. Directors reelected included Nicholas M. Schensk, J. Robert Rubin, Leopold Friedman, Charles C. Moskowitz, Joseph R. Vogel, William A. Parker, Henry Rogers Winthrop, Eugene E. Leake, William F. Rodgers, F-Joseph Hol- leran and George A. Brownell. Fol- lowing the stockholders meeting, the directors met and reelected the present officers headed by Schenck. Stockholders, led by Benjamin Hartstein, who described himself as a member of an investment trust, asked for independent rep- (Continued on page 24) Threaten Hex Ban on U.S. Thesps in Hassle on Red Probe Group’s ‘Salt’ Pic ■' * El Paso, March Jif. International complications“have developed in the filming of “The Salt of the Earth” in Silver City, N. M., by several members of the Hollywood film colony who wei*e involved in the Communist probe. Now the National Assn, of Actors in Mexico has authorized d ban on all north - of - the - border thesps working south-of-the-border, ac- cording to Rosaura Revueltas, Mexican actress who was recently- arrested by immigration authori- ties. Unless she is permitted to com- plete her role in “Salt of the Earth,” she said, sweeping action will be taken at once. Her aii- announcement of the ban against Hollywood talent working in Mex- ico, she declared, was authorized by Jorge Negrete, executive secre- tary of the NAA. If the ban goes into effect it will apply to at least two major Holly- wood studios’ and a number of top names. At present Warners is filming “Blowing Wild” in Mexico with Gary Cooper,' Barbara Stan- wyck, Ruth Roman, Anthony Quinn and Ward Bond. RKO is producing “Second Chance” there with Rob- ert Mitchum and Linda Darnell. The ban would also affect scores of American performers appearing in Mexican hotels and niteries. Miss Revueltas asserts that her entry papers were in order but were not properly stamped because of an “administrative error by ihe immigration officials.” SAG’s ‘No Union Matter* Hollywood, March 3. The Screen Actors Guild an- 1 ^ swered Negrete’s beef with a wire suggesting that Miss Revueltas’ detention at El Paso was a matter U for the Mexican and U.S. govern- ments to- settle and not a subject for the unions. SAG exec secretary John Dales, Jr., pointed out that the actress was working for a “non- union company and is not a signa- tory to our contract.” “Salt ..of the Earth” location (Continued on page 20) GAEL SULLIVAN JOINS LAW FIRM AS TRUST REP 'Gael Sullivan, former exec di- rector of -Theatre Owners of Amer- ica, has joined the New York law firm of Phillips, Nizer, Benjamin & Krim. It’s understood he’s on an assignment basis, working on anti- trust suits being handled,by the Nizer outfit. Sullivan is specializing in the economic aspects of trust actions, including the suit now pending against National Screen Service. In this connection he’s been contact- ing poster-renter companies around the country, amassing data on costs and operations in the theatre acces- sory field. . Prior to, his job with TOA, Sul- livan served as an economist with several Washington lawyers in trust litigation. Growing practice among attorneys is to take on economy specialists when handling trust cases. During the last election, Sullivan wa$: also chairman of the National Democratic Committee. TOA, Allied Leave It Up to Locals In Limelight’ Hassle Theatre Owners of America and Allied 1 States Assn., the two lead- ing exhibitor organizations, indi- cated this week that they would maintain a “hands off” policy re- garding American Legion picket- ing of Charles Chaplin’s “Lime- light.” Both exhib groups, whose combined membership includes the majority of theatres in the U.S., have been under constant pressure from varied sources to take a stand on the Legion’s ac- tivities in campaigning against the exhibition of certain pictures. TOA and Allied leaders stressed the. autonomous aspects of their locals and pointed out that it was not the policy of the parent orgs to tell their members what to do in such situations. Since most pres- sure tactics originate locally, the exhib outfits feel that policy must be established by the local theatre- owner, since he has “to live”'with the people - taking part in the pro- tests. So. America Snowballing As ‘Fastest Continent,’ Sez U’s Daft After Junket South American film market is expanding fasjer than that of any other continent with biz booming and many new theatres bring built, Alfred E. Daff, Universal exec v.p., reported yesterday (Tues.) upon his return over the weekend from a 14-day swing through the ter- ritory. Daff, U prexy Milton R. Rack- mil; A1 Lowe, U Latin American supervisor, and Ben Cohn, assist- ant to America Aboaf, U foreign sales head, together and in pairs covered Mexico, Panama, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. Sales confabs with U regional heads were held in Mexico City and Lima, Peru. Trip completed Daff's round-the-wowlder in con- nection with the Daff Third-of-a- Century sales drive. Daff noted the catching on of the driveins in various countries. There is theatre building activity all over the continent with 15 new houses planned for Venezuela alone. Sao Paulo, Brazil, is blue- printing ozoners and a new theatre is planned for Lima. Latin Amer- ican producers and exhibs are showing intense interest in U.S. 3-D developments, the U exec re- ported. He said .he found the Argentine situation status quo, but noted considerable industry disturbance in Mexico over the threatened 50% screen quota. “Even the local pro- ducers can’t see where it will real- ly benefit them,” Daff obsfcrvcd. , Fdb.GoHei Dozen 1. The Stooge (Par). 2. Bad & Beautiful (M-G). 3. Peter Pan (RKO). 4. Hans Andersen (RKO). 5. * Mississippi Gambler (U). 6. Bwana Devil (UA). 7. Niagara (20th>. 8. Above & Beyond (M-G). 9. Meet Me at Fair (U), 10. Jazz Singer <WB). 11. Thief of Venice (20th). 12. Thunder in East (Par). RKO On Prowl For Outside Pix RKO is on the prowl for prod- uct from outsiders in a major ef- fort to guard against any serious lapse in a release sked later in the year. Company is sufficiently heeled with pix to carry it through most of the summer, it’s said, but there’s no backlog for beyond that time. Continuing production lull on the RKO lot is necessitating the approach to the indie film-makers. Several outside producers related this week they’ve been asked about possible package deals, that is, lensing their own properties At RKO’s studio. RKO reps disclosed that several pacts already are in I the final stages of negotiation. i Important factor, of course, is that any pic generally requires four tonve mOnths. That’s cov- ! ering preparation and actual pro- duction. This means if RKO were to start prepping new product -#t this time, it wouldn’t fee ready un- til next August, excepting in- ! stances where shooting scripts and casting already have been set. DELAY PACT TALKS WITH PiC SALESMEN Delay is expected in the opening of talks between the film companies and the Colosseum of Motion Pic- ture Salesmen for a new contract to replace the agreement expiring this month. Company negotiators are now involved in discussions with the exchange unions of the International Alliance of Theatri- cal Stage Employees, and it’s an- ticipated that palavers with the film peddlers will not get underway until the exchange talks are com- pleted. Meanwhile, salesmen’s present pact, an 18-month deal, will be ex- tended, with all gains from a final agreement being retroactive. Ped- dlers will ask for a wage hike as well as a boost in traveling ex- penses. David Beznor, the Colos- seum’s general counsel who head- quarters in Milwaukee, is expected in New York for the talks. Savoia Wins on Distrib. Rights to Two Valli Pix Long-pending suit in N. Y. Fed- eral Court over Italian distribution rights to two pictures in which Alida Valli has top roles was set- tled out of court last week. Action was^ brought by Savoia Films, an Italian firm, against Vanguard Films and the Selznick Releasing Corp. to restrain the defendants from ‘ granting th'e distrib rights to anyone except Savoia. Complaint was withdrawn .after Selznick paid $12,500 to Savoia. Dispute had its origin in a 1946 pact under which Savoia held ex- clusive rights to Miss Valli’s serv- ices. Italian outfit later released her from the agreement to permit her to make “The Miracle of the Bells” and “The Paradine Case.” N. Y. to L. A. Sara Berner ‘ Irving Berlin Mort Blumenstoek Bill Burton Wendell Corey Orrin E. Dunlap, Jr. Frank M. Folsom Huntz - Hall Mervin Hauser George Jessel Don M. Mersereau Milt Rosner Manie Sacks David Sarnoff Wednesday, H»rdi 4, 1953 CANNES FETE’S CHIEF SEES BIG 1953 SHOW Paris, Feb. 17. Favre Le Bret, head of the Cannes Film Festival, is back here after his looksee trip to the U.S. and Mexico to eye* the film indus- tries and confer with biggies on the forthcoming participation in the Cannes show. Le Bret feels the real $ense of the festival was not i completely understood by the American film people. He tried to | make them aware of the value of international competition. J Le Bret cited that the technical, artistic, Jiuman and philosophical aspects of a film were more im- portant than the commercial as- pects in choosing a pic for festival entry. He feels only high caliber pix should be entered In the fetes. Maas h Jap Trip To Hike Permits, Thaw $4500,000 Inability *of the Japanese govern- ment to decide on the -questions of film import licenses for the 1953-54 fiscal ye:.r and .the unfreezing of some $4,500,000 in American earn- ings is taking Irving Maas, Motion Picture Assn.* of America interna- tional division exec in charge of the Far East, to Japqp tod&y (Wed.). Presence of an MPAA rep was requested by the Japanese. Maas will devote himself pri- marily to the permit problem, which has beeri a topic of lively discussion in Nippon newspapersr For .the fiscal year 1952-53, which ends April 1, the Japanese govern- ment allocated a total of 152 li- censes for all countries, of which 122 wgnt to American distribs. The British got 14, the French 10 and the Italian four, with one each to two other countries. Pressure has been brought to bear on authorities in Tokyo to in- crease the overall figure, with the U. S. distribs also plugging for a higher quota. In addition to the (Continued on page 16) L. A. to N. Y. Jess Barker N. J. Blumberg Robert F. Blumofe Edmund L. Cashman Rosemary Clooney Bill Doll Jack Entratter Joan Fontaine Greer Garson Samuel Goldwyn Alex Gottlieb Mishel S. Green Susan Hayward Raoul Kraushaar Arthur B. Krim Perry Leber David A. Lipton Maggie McNamara Adolphe Menjou Lou Mindling Erin OTBrien-Moore Priscilla Morgan Marilyn Nash Artur Rubenstein Fred J. Schwartz Herbert Silverberg Maximlian Slater Earl Sponable Morton A. Spring James Stewart David Swift Paul Weston N. Y. to Europe Larry Adler George Balanchine Cass Canfield Mrs. Maria Chaliapin "Frank Crawshaw A1 Crown Vernon Duke Susan Hayward Dorothy Kirsten Harold Kreutzberg Tanaquil LeClerq Antonio Marquez Michael MindUn, Jr. Conception Piquer Michael Stern Spencer Tracy Alec Waugh . 4* Boosted by two holiday weeks 1 business at first-run theatres over the country soared last month Washington’s and .Lincoln’s birth- day observances hypoed trad**, for- mer being probably the strongest Feb. 22 in recent years for many key cities.-Heightened interest in 3-D films meant big trade for three types of such screen subjects and probably, helped other pix in' some instances by luring additional traf- fic downtown an numerous keys. Despite such an alignment,, only one 3-D subject, “Bwana Devil” (UA), figured big in top boxoffice ratings. “The Stooge” (Par) was the Feb- ruary winner at the wickets. Not only did the Martin-Lewis comedy garner the greatest amount of coin in the four-week period (nearly $800,000) but it was also outstand- ing on individual playdates, major- ity of which were sock to terrific. Pic also racked up a record num- ber of holdovers and extended-run dates during the month. “Bad and Beautiful” (M-G) was second in boxoffice ratings last month, .although slipping -sharply in the final two weeks of the period. Third money went to “Peter Pan” (RKO-Disney). Film experienced a great upsurge the last two stanzas in February, when it cashed in on juvenile patronage In droves. “Hans Christian Andersen” (RKO- (Contiriued on page 16) U in Report to SEC: Decca Doesn’t Control Pic Co.’s Common Emphasis that Decca Records, with its ownership of 42.2% of Universal’s common stock, doesn’t control U and is not in the position of a “parent” company, comes in U’s annual report to the Securities & Exchange Commission filed last week (27). The accounting covers the year ending Nov. 1, 1952, and shows that Decca owns 406,175 shares of U common in addition to warrants for the purchase of another 37,500 shares of common. As of Nov. 1, U had 127,609 warrants for the pur- (Continued on page 12) Europe to N. Y. Joseph Attles Catherine Ayers Irving Barnes Lawson Bates James Hawthorne Bey Lawrence Bland Rlioda Boggs' Robert Breen Walter P. Brown Georgia Burke “Cab Calloway Elsie Clark Helen Colbert Charles Colman Clarice Crawford Blevins Davis Meyer Davis Helen Dowdy Robert Dustin Helen Ferguson Elizabeth Foster Doris Galiber Ruby Greene Dorothy Hayward Kenneth Hibbert George A. Hill LeVem Hutcherson Joseph. James Eva Jessye Sara Kasakoff * • Samuel Kornblatt Moses LaMarr Jerry Laws Urylee Leonardo Samuel Matlowsky John McCurry Pauline Philips Leontyne Price George-' Quick Walter Reimer Edna Ricks Annabelle Ross George A. Royston Helen Sanborn Leslie Scott. Alexander Smalien* Osborne E. (3n?ith , . Sherman Sneed Christine Spencer Dolores Swan Helen Thigpen Jack Trado Clyde Turner Eloise C.-Uggami Dorothy van Kirk William Veasey Barbara Ann Webb Ray Yate*