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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 16 (xvi)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 16
Page 16

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 16

American-Made Movies in Foreign Markets

Production Faces Bright, Prosperous Year Despite the War-Damaged European Markets

! The appraisal of what the future holds for Hollywood films in foreign markets should go hand in hand, in my opinion, with the extent of American prestige in international circles. Because, if peoples of other countries appreciate our ways of life, our institutions, and What they represent, as depicted in our pictures, they will continue to demand Hollywood product on their local screens for as long as American prestige holds out. From personal observation in travels around the world, I feel confident that the demand for Hollywood screen entertainment, based on production, story, and star values, will continue unabated for many years to come.

This demand varies, of course, according to the economic conditions and national requirements of each country. In isolated cases, where antagonistic influences tend to resist the unimpeded distribution of Hollywood screen entertainment, the will of the people is openly flaunted. I believe careful study should be given the causes of such attitudes and, insofar as it may be possible for Hollywood to do so, a remedy should be found. When the remedy, however, lies beyond the industryis reach, help of the various duly organized industry agencies, properly backed by the State Department, should he enlisted to bring about a happy solution.


Territorially speaking, continental Europe today is Hollywoodls sore spot, as compared to other parts of the world. This condition will probably continue to remain until its economic life progresses sufiiciently to allow the rebuilding of war-torn industries and production cut lets. How long this condition will continue and how extensive the rebuilding should be, before the general situation improves sufficiently is more than I can say, but the situation, to say the least, requires all-around expert handling and plenty of quick action.


There is a definite effort on the part of United Kingdomis motion-picture executives to work in close cooperation with the American industry. As an outstanding example of this helpful attittude, mention may be made of the joint production deal now in operation between J. Arthur Rank and RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Both Charles Koerner and myself are extremely happy, and grateful as well, for the cheerful treatment and close cooperation shown us during our recent trip to London by Mr. Rank, his associates, and subordinates in considering the various production and dis tribution matters. As Mr. Koerner has declared to the trade press, forward steps were taken for the production of ffSo



Well Remembered/i the first of the two pictures to be jointly produced.

Public interest in American-made pictures continues high in the United Kingdom. Good pictures bring in outstanding business. Plain out-and-out entertainment and escapist pictures ngure prominently in hold-overs and, after the horrible nightmare that ended in complete victory, British fans are looking for music, fun, and gaiety in their screen entertainment. And whoever is giving them what they want is getting the business on a fair-and-square basis.


In Paris, our negotiations with Pathe Cinema were brought a step closer in a series of conferences with Managing Director Adrien Remauge, which resulted in an agreement simultaneously to produce jointly, on a bilingual basis, both French and English versions at the Joinville studio. This agreement will mark a new era in French-American cooperation, and it may serve as a pattern for future efforts, if it turns out as successfully as all the interested parties expect it to be.


Down Australasia-way, the demand for American-made pictures continues strong. During the war, almost every .picture

As the vice-president in charge of foreign distribution for RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., Phil Reismdn has traveled all over the world, and especially through the countries of Latin America. During the war, he served as an associate director of the Ofice of the Coordinator of Latin-American Affairs, handling the distribution of 16-mm. propaganda films. He also served the War Activities Committee as chairman of the foreign manager's division, seeing to it that the Armed Services were regularly supplied with entertainment films.


hung up a new box-office record. However, interest in war pictureseat least, those where instruments of death are seen at their deadliest best-has waned almost to the vanishing point. The people will patronize pictures indirectly connected with the war, but dramatic and romantic values must be acceptable, while action pictures, murder mysteries, and high-class musicals are sure bets throughout the land.


The Far Eastern markets, to my mind, present greater opportunities for expansion than any other continent. Theatre building must accompany-or, rather, precede-this growth. Sixteen-millimeter films and equipment will play a leading role in the hinterland, as pathmakers for standard-size films. With the growth of national communications in China, for instance, the possibilities for Americanmade films assume staggering proportions.

There is also Japan, another market bound to bring us in the future greater returns than heretofore. Reports from all quarters, to the effect that Americans made pictures have a strong hold on Japanese audiences, help to strengthen the belief that, as soon as official restrictions are removed and distribution activities return to civilian status, the American companies will be kept very busy, even though there might be a considerable reduction in the combined total of features allowed for Japanese consumption under U. S. Army rule.

Dutch East Indies, Philippine Islands, Malay, and Indo-China are countries where American-made pictures stood high in thefavor of native audiences before the war. With a pent-up demand, brought about by enforced abstinence during the years the invader held sway, the markets are ready to distribute it.

These countries are aISO a natural outlet for distribution and exhibition of 16-mm. educational and entertainment films and equipment.

With the restoration of international trade, transportation, and so forth, the building of a large number of new theatres can be expected to give added impetus to the successful distribution of American-made films in these thickly populated regions.


In the Latin American countries there has been a steady increase in the number of theatres, which augurs well for the future of American-made pictures and an even greater number is slated for construction as soon as equipment becomes available. A plethora of local capital seems to be waiting for investment in new motion-picture houses all the way from Mexico down to Buenos Aires and

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 16