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Boxoffice-October.04.1952

the STUDIO

the STUDIO PERSONNELITIES Barnstormers Republic VICTOR McLAGLEN oppeared at ttie Mastbaum Theatre in Philadelphia Wednesdoy (1) in connection with the opening of "The Quiet Man." Cleifers Metro Handed the music direction assignment on "Young Bess" was MIKLOS ROZSA. Republic Inked to a two-picture contract was VICTOR YOUNG, composer-conductor, who will score "Fair Wind to Java" and "The Sun Shines Bright." Meggers Lippert Productions Producer T. Frank Woods booked ELMO WILLIAMS, film editor, to moke his directorial bow on "The Toll Texan," a western starring Lloyd Bridges ond Marie Windsor. It is being lensed on locotion in New Mexico. Metro "King Arthur and the Round Table," which Pandro S. Ber man will produce in England next spring, will be megged by RICHARD THORPE. Cinema Productions booked TAY GARNETT to direct "Main Street to Broadwoy," the all-star entry being produced by Lester Cowan in cooperation with the Council of the Living Theotre. RKO Radio inked HOWARD KOCH, Aubrey Schenck Productions veteran assistant director, as on associate producer and director, his first assignment to be the upcoming "Beach Head." Warners DAVID WEISBART was handed the production reins on "The Boy From Oklahoma," which will star Will Rogers jr. AL GREEN was booked to direct "The Eddie Cantor Story," starring Keefe Brasselle, which will be produced by Sidney Skolsky in Technicolor. Options Allied Artists HELEN WESTCOTT and PEGGIE CASTLE will enact the feminine leads in "Cow Country." Producer Scott R. Dunlap signed EDMOND O'BRIEN to star in the film, sagebrusher being directed by Les Selander. Columbia Singing stor DICK HAYMES will have a top role in "Melancholy Baby." Singer BILLY DANIELS will appear in the picture. The BELL SISTERS—Cynthia and Kay—will make their film debuts in Producer Jonie Taps' upcoming Technicolor musical, to be directed by Richard Quine. Replacing Mary Pickford, who withdrew from the assignment, BARBARA STANWYCK will star in Producer Stonley Kramer's "Circle of Fire." ALDO RAY will teom with Jane Wyman in Oscar Soul's Technicolor production, "Love Song." The romantic comedy with music will be megged by Alexander Hall. Metro MICHAEL V/ILDING was booked to join Lono Turner and Fernando Lamas in "Latin Lovers," Technicolor romantic drama which Mervyn LeRoy will direct for Producer Joe Pasternak. ELAINE STEWART was cast in "A Slight Case of Larceny," the upcoming Henry Barman production, starring Mickey Rooney, Carleton Carpenter and Marilyn Erskine. Don Weis will direct. Paramount JAMES BARTON, veteran stage and screen actor, joined the cast of "Here Come the Girls," Technicolor musical comedy starring Bob Hope, Arlene Dahl and Tony Martin. It will be megged by Claude Binyon for Producer Poul Jones. role wos JOHNNY DOWNS. Honded a featured Veteran character actor JAMES GLEASON was cast in "Forever Female," the Ginger Rogers-William Holden-Paul Douglas starring comedy, which will be produced by Pot Duggon ond megged by Irving Rapper. Ending a four-year retirement, MARJORIE RAMBEAU was inked for the film. Pacted for a supporting role wos GEORGE REEVES. RKO Radio Lex Barker's co-star in Sol Lesser's upcoming "Tarzan ond the She-Devil" will be JOYCE MAC KENZIE. 20th Century-Fox HELMUT DANTINE was inked for a character lead Ethel Merman starrer, which Walter Long directs for Producer Sol C. Siegel. in "Call Me Madam, ' Joining Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck in the cast of Producer Charles Brockett's "Neorer My God, to Thee" was THELMA RITTER. Universal-International Booked for the leading heavy role in "Vermilion O'Toole," starring Ann Sheridan and Sterling Hoyden, wos PHILIP REED. The Technicolor western is being produced by Ross Hunter and directed by Douglas Sirk. Pacted for the picture were DOROTHY NEU- MANN and ANN TYRELL. Warners STEVE COCHRAN, currently before the cameras in "She's Bock on Broadway," wos given a contract extension for another year. DIANA LYNN was inked by Wayne-Fellows Productions to star with Glenn Ford and Patricia Medina in "Plunder m the Sun." The picture will be filmed on location in Mexico, with John Farrow megging. Scripters RICHARD science-fiction subject, England next year. Lippert Productions LANDAU penning "Spaceways," a which will be produced in Metro A treotment of Cole Porter's stage musical, "Kiss Me Kate," is being developed by DOROTHY KINGS- LEY. Jock Cummings will produce. RKO Radio Producer Sol Lesser booked KARL KAMB for a polish job on the screenplay of "Tarzan and the She-Devil." Huntington Hartford Productions tagged JAMES AGEE to screenplay "The Blue Hotel." West: Steve Broidy, president of Allied Artists; Harold Mirisch and G. Ralph Branton, vice-presidents, and Walter Mirisch, executive producer, returned from Chicago after attending the company's annual national sales convention. Harold Wirthwein, AA's western sales manager, also headed west, planning stopovers in Des Moines and Omaha en route. West: Norman Moray, Warners' short subjects sales chief, arrived from Gotham for conferences with Jack L. Warner, Cedric Francis, shorts production head, and Edward Seltzer, cartoon producer. * * * West: Arthur Ki'im. president of United Artists, is expected in from New York at midmonth for conferences with filmmakers releasing through his company. West: M. A. Lightman, Memphis circuit operator and president of Cinema Productions, checked in for parleys with Producer Lester Cowan on the company's initial film ventm-e, "Main Street to Broadway," which is due for an early camera start for MGM release. East: George Glass, vice-president of the Kramer Co. in charge of advertising and publicity, trained to Gotham for conferences with Columbia home office officials. North: Producer-Director Cecil B. DeMille left for San Francisco to attend the sixth annual meeting of the American Cancer Society, of which he is a board member. Universal-International "Atomic Monster/' a science-f Jction dromo, is being developed by RAY BRADBURY for Producer William Aiiond. Technically Metro RAY GARNER, explorer and archeologist, was inked to serve as technical adviser on "Volley of the Kings," which wilt be filmed in Egypt next spring. EDWARD MOEHLER will be the unit production manager on "Young Bess." Crew assembled for "Remains to Be Seen" includes JACK GREENWOOD, assistant director; ROBERT PLANCK, cinematographer, and WILLIAM KAPLAN, unit manager. Paramount On loan from Samuel Goldwyn, HARRY STRADLING will photograph "Forever Female." Title Chcmges 20th Century-Fox "Sailor of the King" to SINGLE HANDED. Jack L. Warner Leaves Academy Membership HOLLYWOOD—For reasons which, at midweek, remained undisclosed. Jack L. Warner, vice-president in charge of Warner Bros, production, has tendered his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Warners was one of the organization's founding members more than 25 years ago. Exhibit Some 16min Films About 10 per cent of the regular theatres in Algeria exhibit 16mm films on a very irregular basis. S'icecuiliAe ^^laae/e^ \m West: Al Lichtman, 20th-Fox general sales manager, came in from New York for studio huddles with Darryl F. Zanuck. vice-pKesident in charge of production, and Joseph M. Schenck. * * * East: William C. MacMillen jr., president of Chesapeake Industries, returned to his Manhattan headquarters after a brief stay at the Eagle Lion studios, which his company controls. While here he also huddled with local executives of Pathe Laboratories, another Chesapeake subsidiary. * * * West: Timothy O'Conner. Chicago police commissioner, and Robert Raleigh, chief of traffic, checked in at Republic for conferences with President Herbert J. Yates anent an upcoming film dealing with the Windy city police department. Yates. Jack E. Baker, vice-president in charge of production, and Producer-Director John H. Auer have been appointed honorary police officers of the city of Chicago. * « « West: Producer Jerry Wald and Milton Pickman, vice-president of Wald-Krasna Pi'oductions. returned to their RKO desks after a six-day, 4,500-mile tour of Texas in advance of the September 30 world premiere of "The Lusty Men" in Fort Worth. They met with exhibitors, drama critics and newspapermen. * « * East: Sam Katzman. who produces for Columbia release, headed lor New York for a week of busines di.scu.ssions with Columbia home office executives on his 15-picture 1953 schedule. 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Ikv (1 1., S'lA^m Colorado Drive-In Circuit Sues Wolfbergs and UA DP:NVER— Kar-Vue Theatres. Inc., headed by Lem Lee. operatliiK four drlve-lns In Colorado, filed .suit In U.S. district court Ihl.s week a-skhiK for $100,000 damage.s under the antltru.st act. to be tripled If won. against United Arti.st.s and theatre companies headed by Harris and John WolfberR. father and .son. The WolfberR.s operate .six theatres In Denver. Including the Parumoinit and Broadway, both first runs, and four drive-Ins. Lee claims he has been unable to buy a proper run of United Artists films for tht Monaco Drive-In here. Lee .says United Artists refuses to sell them second run. which means first run as far as drive-ins is concerned, and Is selling this run to the Wolfberg drivc-ins and he Is unable to get the films until a week later. The Wolfbergs were awarded $300,000 damages from RKO. Loew's and 20th Century- Fox recently, and have on file another suit asking over a million dollars in damages against the same companies. Motion Picture Academy Adds 18 New Members HOLLYWOOD—By vote of the board of governors. 18 new members have been added to the roster of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They include: Actors—Philip Sudano. Directors—Henry Levin. Executives—Evelyn Lane. Producers —Hall Bartlett. Members-at-large—James Paris. Arthur Gardner. Yale Gracey. Jules V. Levy. William C. Park. Associates—Sidney Barton. George Carillon. Herman Citron. Tony Duquette. Samuel Gray. Frances Inglis. Ralph Nelson. John J. Parker. Paul Small. Additionally. Mervin Houser and Martin Lewis were reinstated as members of the public relations branch, and Harry Keller was shifted from the film editors to the directors classification. First Commercial Use Of Vistascope Device HOLLYWOOD—The first commercial use of the Vistascope device, owned jointly by Sol Lesser and Paramount, was made in connection with the lensing of several scenes in Revue Productions' TV subject "Mona Lisa." The gadget permits the u.se. with live action. of photographs for motion picture foreground settings. • * • All officers of the Alliance of Television Film Producers, against which the Screen Writers Guild launched a strike some weeks ago. have been reelected. Remaining in office are Maurice Unger, president; William F. Broidy. vice-president; Basil Grille, treasurer, and Richard Morley, secretary. New Mexico Chain Signs NEW YORK—Albuquerque Exhibitors has contracted with the RCA Service Co. for scheduled and emergeiicy calls and sound parts replacement plan covering its ten New Mexico theatres, Francis A. Pelosa, general manager of the chain, signed the contract. The theatres covered are the State. Sunshine, Kimo. Yucca. Lobo. Highland. Chief. Rio, Cactus Drive-In and 66 Drive-In. iNDOUBTEDLY the most exciting and Ill lil significant news to confront Hollywood —and probably the rest of the motion picture Industry— in many months was the intelligence that Howard Hughes had disposed of his controlling interest In RKO Radio to a syndicate headed by Ralph Stolkln, Chicago Industrialist. While Stolkin is entirely a newcomer to the business of making and distributing films, his phenomenally successful activities in other fields of endeavor appears Irrefutable indication that he can and will be comparably impressive In the motion picture trade. As concerns the company itself, no one will gainsay that there is vast oppportunity for improvement of its of>erations, most especially those that pertain to the studio. From almost any viewpoint the Gower street film plant has been in a state of confusion and uncertainty ever since the day Hughes assumed control, and which had attained a crescendo during recent months. Such circumstances are no reflection upon either the productional savvy or the business acumen of headman Hughes. The impressive records established by some of the pictures he independently made before his purchase of RKO are inescapable testimony to the former, while his wide and varied industrial empire establishes the latter beyond possibility of argument. The studio's troubles— and they were manifold—undoubtedly stemmed from the fact that Hughes had so many other interests that he found it physically impossible to devote the necessary time to operating the celluloid factory, and that he apparently was unwilling to delegate complete authority to anyone else. Resultantly. production activity had slowed down to the pace of a paralytic snail. Further, the morale and the public relations of the organization—or those of the entire industry, for that matter—certainly did not benefit from the parade of luridly publicized litigation in which the studio was constantly involved during the Hughes tenure. Witness; The action lodged against scenarist Paul Jarrico. and the writer's suit against Hughes and RKO Radio, after his name had been removed from the credits on "Macao" because Jarrico had been subpoenaed as a so-called "unfriendly" witness in the house un-American Activities Committee's probe of asserted Communist infiltration of the film industry, and the more recent lawsuit, decided in her favor, wherein actress Jean Simmons sought a ruling that she was not bound by an alleged oral agreement calling for her services on a multiple picture contract. As is always the case under such circumstances, the transfer of ownership started Cinemania's rumor mill working on a threeshift, around-the-clock basis. The railbirds have conjecturally projected virtually every possible top-bra.ss name as being in line to head RKO's future filmmaking program, among them Darryl F. Zanuck. Louis B. Mayer, David O. Selznick, Henry Ginsberg, etc. At this writing, however, none of the guc.s.ses .seem.s to have transcended the tealeaf status, and the new ownership haa remained significantly and discreetly silent on this Important detail. It would be neither surprising nor Illogical If the studio chieftain turns out to b« someone already on the lot: to wit, Jerry Wald. He, with his then-partner, Norman Kra.sna, affiliated them.selves with the Hughes team In August 1930. At that time Wald and Kra.sna were loudly and widely heralded as the knights In shining armor who would rescue already floundering RKO from the morass of too-Uttle and too-weak product In which the studio even then was sinking. It was announced ambitiously they would devote their proven filmmaking talents to the rtianufacture of 12 high-budget pictures annually, for a period of five years, on an over-all budget of $60,000,000. But. hamstrung by the studio's over-all tempo and because they obviously didn't see eye-to-eye with Hughes, the duo. over a period of slightly more than two years, turned out only four features. Last May. Wald and Krasna .severed their partnership, and Krasna checked out to de- Vote full time to the writing of a play which is scheduled to be produced on Broadway next year. Wald stayed on at RKO to complete pictures already in the works, while so engaged, news of his possible continued association with Hughes was very much of an on-again-off-again nature. Most recent, and undoubtedly authentic, report, wa.< that he was to ankle the organization as of the end of this month. Stolkin could do worse than to give .serious consideration to keeping Wald on the job. Despite its generally moribund atmosphere, there ore other spots in RKO's skeletonized organization that remained basically sound and effective. One such is the publicity department, headed by Perry Lieber. Considering what they had to work with, praise pundit Perry and his deleted staff have done an outstanding and praiseworthy job in garnering for RKO. its pictures and its people more than their just share of press and public attention. So. Stolkin has taken upon himself a studio and an organization which has plenty of latent power. The apphcation thereto of some of the same solid, sensible business principles and modus operandi that Stolkin has manifested in his various other ventures can and undoubtedly will rewin for RKO its esteemed place in the community of major motion picture producers. THAT'S TOO BAD DEPARTMENT (George Lait Division) To hand from Columbia, a release informing that Designer Jean Louis, delving into Egyptian history to find what Cleopatra wore when she first met Julius Caesar, discovered she was "attired in a diaphanous skirt and was bare from the midriff up." However, the Laitian communique continues, "Rhonda Fleming's costume for her initial scene in 'Serpent of the Nile' will be completely different." BOXOFFICE October 4. 1952 51