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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 14 (xiv)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 14
Page 14

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 14

screen as a cardinal point for attack. They await only a suitable opportunity to renew their assault upon us.

The problems of censorship, government film production and distribution, disposition of surplus property of war agencies, taxation, television, labor demands, 16-min. pictures, and newspaper relationship confront us as an industry and not as producers or exhibitors, affiliated theatres or independents. The federal government is unlikely to terminate its requests for our aid and we are in a far better position to sift the wheat from the chaff through an experienced central clearing agency than if individuals are. subjected to direct pressure and personal appeals. The American Red Cross, the Infantile Paralysis Foundation, and national charities of their character and widespread appeal will expect continued cooperation from us. Less worthy appeals will need to be turned aside promptly. Otherwise, enthusiastic individuals will quickly involve all of us in quasicommitments of an embarrassing nature.

Some leaders of independent exhibitor organizations oppose retaining the machinery of War Activities because they

fear that in some unspecified manner a national association will hamper the operation or limit the importance of their groups. There is, however, no intention to trespass in any fashion on the acrimonious field of internal relations within the industry. In the battle between distributors and exhibitors, independents and afiiliated, labor and capital, a national organization would play no part. It would only seek to speak for the industry on the issues where their interests are similar and where, to exercise the most influence, we must act as a unit and not as a group of warring factions.

On the other hand, some producing and distributing executives are reputed to hesitate because of the expense involved in the maintenance of a national organization. This sudden conversion to economy in motion picture,s high places would be amusing if it were not so tragic. The budget of War Activities for 1944 and 1945 was $180,000, and regular operating expenses were kept Within that figure. Let us assume that a national organization might cost us even $250,000 annually. More money than that is wasted weekly in Hollywood on scenes

which get no further than the cutting room fioor. uMillions for waste footage but not one nickel for defense" is scarcely a slogan worthy of a great industry.

The War Activities Committee was by no means faultless. It was organized in haste to meet an emergency and its original leaders were self-appointed. A genuine effort was made to represent all branches of the industry but at no time were the various committees geographically well-balanced or their membership ever properly selected by the rank and file of the men and women whom they sought to represent. The heads of a new organization should be selected by democratic procedure. Affiliated industriese such as laboratories, equipment manufacturers, film carriers and fan magazines *should be included in the association. But these are only minor problems. The fundamental one that confronts our industry today is unity#not internal unity which means the paralysis of progressebut unity to defend our common interests and to seek the fullest freedom for the motion-picture screen as the outstanding expression of American entertainment and American ideals.

Production Aims for the Post-War Years

A Noted Producer Outlines the Principles Of Movie-Making for Tomorrow's Theatres

If you asked me to summarize what types of pictures the motion-picture industry as a whole should make for postwar showing, I would say, first of all, that every producer in the industry should be free to make whatever type of picture he thinks ought to be made. Bev yond that I would say that our industry must provide the film-going public with a satisfactory balance between pictures which deal seriously with the major issues of the day and pictures which are pure entertainment.

We want pictures which stand for the ideal of freedom and human decency as it is practiced in this country and in the other free countries of the world. We do not want pictures which preach undemocratic idealogies or other doctrines inconsistent with our free traditions.

In the field of straight entertainment, We must keep our standards high and our pictures clean.

In a recent talk I listed these six points that I think American motion pictures will have to carry to the people of the world after the war: (1) Every one of us is responsible for safeguarding our great American heritage; (2) every one of us must remember that freedom, if taken for granted, can be lost; (3) we must be quick to recognize the forces that will destroy freedom; (4) we must be physically able to put down those forces if they attack us; (5) we must be morally able to keep them from developing within our own country; and (6) we must never forget that the world



cannot exist half-slave and half-free.

In the post-war, world motion pictures must have the same freedom of expression as is guaranteed to the press and spoken word. We must be constantly on the alert to resist all forms of dictation or attempted regulation. We must refuse to be intimidated from expressing our honest convictions on the screen. As Anthony Eden pointed out, we were fighting not just to win a fight but to win a world in which our children and their children can know the security of peace and freedom. That struggle may go on for ten years after the war.

When I say that the American motion picture must not be intimidated, I mean that it must carry on with the full conviction of its sacred right to say what it thinks. It need not and must not apologize for having something to say. We can expect that any pictures which deal with the current problems of the day will be attacked. We do not have to worry about the attacks of people who simply disagree with the picture. That is healthy and in the best American tradition. What we must defend ourselves against are the attacks of a certain group of people who believe that this is a country of 12,000,000 people instead of 130,000,000, and who would like to limit free discussions accordingly.

Any really good picture has meaning and purpose, and it should have, and the


people who make the picture should be proud of the fact, not ashamed of it.

Now that the war is over, the American motion-picture industry is going to run into something it never had to face before. It is going tor have to compete in a world which, during the war, has become film-conscious.

The American motion picture has for years been the most powerful ambassador of good will and the most effective salesman that this country has ever had. It has spread throughout the world the reputation of this country for freedom, opportunity, and a high standard of living. It has made the United States a model nation in the eyes of millions all over the world, and despite a handful of gangster pictures which LauSed a lot of comment, the majority of American pictures have made friends for us all over the world. We have done this great job of international good will just on pure merit and without any encouragement or help from our government. Neither the government nor the public has ever had an adequate appreciation of what American films have done for America a but they may have a rude awakening ahead of them. I hope that while the governments of other countries are quietly setting about to subsidize and sponsor film industries of their own our government will not put into effect policies which will cause this country to lose its great motion-picture advantage and which may put us back on a level with the struggling film industries of other countries.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 14