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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 15 (xv)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 15
Page 15

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 15

The war has brought about a great development in picture making in many countries. England, for example, has become very much film-conscious. They want to make British pictures and to show British pictures here and everywhere else, as well as in Britain, which they are entitled to do if they compete on a quality basis with the rest of the worlds motion picture industry. Before the war, France was turning out good pictures and the Germans kept the French motion-picture industry going all through the years of their occupation. South American countries, and Argentina in particular, have been cultivating their own film industries. So has Mexico, as you all know. These governments will teach their people to want their own pictures and they will not be satisfied with a dubbed version of something that was made purely for the American market. Not only that, they may set up all sorts of quota restrictions. They may even try to keep our pictures out. Some countries which make only a few pictures will buy ours only on the basis that we take one of theirs for every one of ours they buy. You can imagine what that will mean. The alternative may be that we will be forced out of foreign markets, and if we do not export our pictures, this country will lose all the benefit that has come to it from the world-wide showing of American motion pictures. That is something for our State Department to think about.

It is also something for our writers to think about. Pictures with a foreign background will have to be authentic in every detail. They will have to capture the idiom of the country. These other countries will no longer be Willing to accept an American version of an Englishman, Frenchman, or Russian. People in other countries will want to see their own modes and customs accurately portrayed. The picture will have to ring the bell in the country in which it is shown or it just will not get in. That means that screen writers will have to know their material and their backgrounds a lot better than ever before. It means the same thing for directors and producers. It means that if we are to have any foreign markets at all, we are going to have to turn out pictures that will have meaning in other countries as well as in the United States. These pictures will have to be produced in such form that they will be acceptable to other countries as well as ours. They will have to reflect the problems of the neonle of other countries as well as our own.

After the war we know that the whole world will be much smaller and nations will be much closer together. Up to now, we have been making pictures which have been acceptable in all of our own 48 states. After the war, we will have to make pictures that will be welcomed in nearly as many nations.

American screen writers will have to be aware of new developments in screen writing all over the world. They will have to compete with new techniques that have been developed and that will be developed in other countries. We are moving into a period of more and more advanced techniques in screen writing and motion picture making. Hundreds of men and women, not only in foreign countries, but



right here in our own country as well, have had to learn how to make good pictures for lower costs. In countries like England, where there have been shortages, they have had to learn how to make pictures with a minimum of Film, sets, actors, and equipment. Necessity is a great teacher and we may have a lot to learn from them. Many people who left civilian life as clerks will come back as motion-picture technicians and good ones, too. The competition will be keen, and the writer, director, or produceruor anyone else-who can not keep up with the pace will simply be left behind.

We might as well face the facts. The motion picture is passing into a new stage of its evolution.

First there was the nickelodeon phase, {

then came the movies, then the talking motion picture. And now we are moving into the phase where the motion picture is becoming an international medium of expression.

We are entering an era in which we will not be the only ones to write the rules and regulations. The formulas for picture making will grow out of the needs of all nations of the world. And we will have to satisfy them or give up our leadership to others.

There is a very serious danger that in the struggle for world markets, countries may employ protective devices that will restrict freedom of expression. I hope that will not happen because that is the way back to the conditions that led to this war. If there is one single thing that we have learned from this war it is that a free world must have free and unobstructed communications. We in this country must have full freedom to know what is really going on in the other countries of the world, and they are entitled to the truth about us.

This is something which must be written into the peace treaty. Had the world

As vice-president and executive producer of Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc.,Canada-born Jack Leonard Warner has been an ardent advocate of uselling" the United States through the medium of better motion pictures. Indeed, so pronounced have been the company/s edorts along this line that the New York Times once declared that it had made "an enviable record for combining good citizenship with good picture making." As a lieutenant colonel in the Army Air Forces, he supervised the making of many training shorts, as well as subjects for other government agencies.

paid heed to the reports of American newspaper and radio correspondents and to the thousands of newsreel films ani German propaganda films that pictured the growing Nazi might during the years that led to Munich, you can be sure that Hitler would never have gotten as far as he did.

Some of us did our best to point this out, but unfortunately We were outnumbered by people who were unwilling to recognize the facts when shown to them

We in motion pictures have a great re} sponsibility to the people of this world. Our children born and those as yet unborn will rely on us to record for them the pictorial truth about our times. Only by seeing and hearing the truth will they cherish what has been handed down to them and will they understand the price that was paid for their liberty. We cannot let it be said of us that, in the greatest crisis of civilization, motion pictures did not deal realistically with events as they happened.

For this reason, we of motion pictures must insist that the motion picture be represented at the peace table. We must be represented to assure our cameras free access to the truth in all nations of the world. We must be represented so that we may record on film the actual scenes of the peace conference. There must be a motion-picture record made for the future. We cannot agree to the barring of motion-picture cameras any more than we could consent to the exclusion of the press and radio. Now that the motion picture has a voice, it is without question the greatest of all mediums for recording the great events of history. This fact

has had important and ofiicial recognition '

during the war. There has been made a great motion-picture record of this war. Some of the pictures were made here in Hollywood, but most of them have been made on battlefields all over the world, on land, on sea, and in the air. And they have been made by members of our own industry both in civilian clothes and in uniform.

As our men return from war, they will have a new concept of the value of motion pictures. That goes not only for the men who have been behind the War cameras, but for the great armies of men who have made up the battlefront motion picture audiences. They know what the motion picture can do and they will expect and demand great things of it. They will not tolerate the misuse of this great medium for unworthy purposes. They will insist upon seeing pictures they can respect, and the whole future of the motion picture industry depends on how well we satisfy that demand.

We can take the easy road and be lazy and complacent. If we do, the great world of tomorrow will paSS us by and we will find ourselves outmoded and displaced by some new medium of entertainment and enlightenment. But if we are all on our toes and alive to all the opportunities of the future and aware of the great potentialities of the motion picture, then there is no limit to what motion pictures may be able to do for civilization.

Above all, let all of us in the motionpicture industry remember what a great force for good we have in our hands. Let us be sure that we will use it well.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 15