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Boxoffice-January.03.1953

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T~n — 'f^M^cwMd ^ej^iont January Production Acfivify Is By IVAN SPEAR Slim With Merely 25 Starting Subjects Whatever hopes there may be for an upswing in picture-making volume during 1953. with the attendant expansion of studio payrolls and the other benefits to be derived therefrom, that accelerated tempo will definitely not be recorded during the new year's first month. A tally of production plans by major and independent units reveals the January total of new starting subjects to be a niggardly 25 features, hardly an auspicious harbinger of things to come. The figure is 10 less than that tabulated for January a year ago, and is a notch under the 26 poised for camera starts in December, 1952. In fact, the movie moguls are going to have to hop to it if they expect to equal 1952's busiest month, June, during which 44 vehicles were scheduled for the green light treatment. Anyway, give or take one or two as the month progresses, here is the January lineup. by studios: COLUMBIA Representing an increase over the projected December lineup, 1953's first month will see a total of five new properties going onto the sound stages at this studio. From the Stanley Kramer unit will come "The Cyclists' Raid," a Marlon Brando topliner based on the Harper's magazine story, dealing with a gang of motorcyclists who take over a town and wreck it in a single night. Holding the directorial reins is Laslo Benedek. Producer Jonie Taps and Director Richard Quine are teamed on a Technicolor musical, "Cruisin' Down the River," which has Mississippi showboating days as its locale and stars such radio and recording artists as Billy Daniels, Dick Haymes and the Bell Sisters. Producer Robert Cohn will roll a topical war drama, "Mission Over Korea," as a John Derek starrer, with Fred F. Sears as the director. while Gene Autry will face the cameras in "Saginaw Trail," a galloper to be made by his own unit with Armand Schaefer producing and George Archainbaud as the director. Al.so on deck, although minus cast and director at this writing, was "Pi-isoners of the Casbah," a Sam Katzman production concerning a princess who recovers the kingdom stolen from her father, INDEPENDENT "The Moon Is Blue," film version of F. Hugh Herbert's stage success, is one of three properties geared for camera work during the period by picturemakers who will negotiate distribution arrangements for their brainchildren subsequent to the completion of shooting. "Moon," starring David Niven, Dawn Addams and William Holden, will be co-produced by Herbert and Otto Preminger, with the latter directing. Also on tap, but minus a cast early in the period, was "Donovan's Brain," a .science-fiction entry, to be produced by Tom Gries for Allan Dowling Productions and megged by Curt Siodmak, who John Huston Plans to Make Two More Films Abroad HOLLYWOOD—Arriving from France to attend the Tuesday (23) world premiere of "Moulin Rouge," which he produced and directed in Paris for Romulus Films, John Huston outlined plans for two more pictures which he will make independently, in foreign locations, during 1953. He reported that European production facilities have been vastly improved and said picture-making costs abroad are much lower than in the U.S. After the opening of "Rouge," which is being released by United Artists, Huston will return to Europe to begin preparations for making "Beat the Devil," costarring Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones, under the aegis of Santana Productions. This will be followed by either "Moby-Dick" or "Matador," the latter to star Jose Ferrer. They will both be in Technicolor. authorized the original story and screenplay. From Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen will come "The Neanderthal Man" also a sciencefiction opus, dealing with a scientist who, through the injection of serum, becomes a bloodthirsty caveman. It stars Robert Shayne and Doris Merrick and will be directed by E. A. Dupont. LIPPERT Set for release through this company is "Perils of the Jungle," an adventure drama starring Clyde Beatty, the famed big-game hunter and wild animal trainer, which is being produced by Walter White jr. and directed by George Blair. Also on the docket is "Project X," to be produced and directed by Arthur Hilton, but which as the month began lacked a cast. It's science-fiction stuff about an advanced civilization living under.seas. METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER Planned for filming largely on location in Jamaica and the West Indies is "All the Brothers Were Valiant," a screen version of the Ben Ames Williams novel about two seafaring brothers in the 1850s. In Technicolor, it is a Pandro S. Berman production, to be megged by Richard Thorpe, with Robert Taylor and Stewart Granger in the top roles. At the Culver City plant, cameras will turn on "The Affairs of Dobie Gills." a comedy of college life, with Debbie Reynolds and Barbara Ruick heading the cast. Don Weis will direct for Producer Arthur Loew jr. PARAMOUNT Sole starter at this Marathon Street studio during the period will be a contribution from the William Pine-William Thomas unit. Titled "Sangaree," it's described as an adventure drama dealing with early days in Savannah, Georgia, and will be photographed in Technicolor. Edward Ludwig is the director, and the stars are Fernando Lamas, Arlene Dahl and Patricia Medina. RKO RADIO Having just announced a 20-picture program for 1953, this studio—long stalemated, productionwise. while undergoing top-level management changes—will gun two features on that schedule during the current month. The starters, neither of them cast at this writing, are "Aiizona Territory." a galloper, and "Second Chance," a suspense drama. The frist-named will be produced by Edmund Grainger, while the latter is listed as a Sam Wiesenthal production under Grainger's executive supervision, REPUBLIC Under the marquee-filling title of "Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe," this valley lot will begin lensing a spaceopera serial as its only projected starter this month. Uncast as the period began, the opus a Franklin Adreon production to be directed by Harry Keller— is noteworthy on one count: It is an outgrowth of what had originally been planned as a series of 30-minute television films, pigeonholed when company brass decided against taking the video plunge. 20th CENTURY-FOX Lo! These many years after the Lloyd C. Douglas best-seller was originally acquired for filming—an interval during which the screen version of the tome never — quite managed to get before the cameras "The Robe" is now due for celluloid treatment by this studio as a Fiank Ross production. A story of Rome during the time of Christ, it will be lensed in Technicolor, with Henry Kaster directing, but at this writing no cast had been recruited. The same lack of thespians characterized three other starting subjects, "Blueprint for Murder," "Waterhole" and "Cabin B-13." The first-named a Michael Abel production written and to be directed by Andrew L. Stone, is a murder mystery in which one man kills another in order to prevent another murder. "Waterhole," a western, is localed in the southwest's de.sert country and will be directed by Roy Baker for Producer William Bloom. "Cabin B-13." a murder mystery told aboard an ocean liner is a Robert Bassler production, with Joseph L. Newman wielding the megaphone. UNIVERSAL-INTERNATIONAL The question of how long a picture title can get may have been answered through the scheduling by this valley film plant of the mouth-filling "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." And that tag pretty well synopsizes the comedy, a Howard Christie production, in which Bud and Lou come up against Robert Louis Stevenson's famed horror characters—both of which will be portrayed by Boris Karloff. The entry will be megged by Charles Lamont. Also listed is a Technicolor musical comedy. "Walkin' My Baby Back Home." which Lloyd Bacon will direct for Pi-oducer Ted Richmond. It costars Donald O'Connor and ion loan from Metro) Janet Leigh. WARNER BROS. Set for release through this company is an independent project, "The Diamond Queen," 22 BOXOFFICE January 3. 1953

. . Columbia . . Joseph ' Johnny which will be produced by Frank Melford. Uncast as the month began, the historical drama will be directed by John Brahm. It is the story of Jean Batiste Tavenerie. who discovered the Hope diamond in India while on search for gems for the crown of France's Louis XIII. Also for Warner distribution is "Blowing Wild," a drama of the oil fields, which Milton Sperling's United States Picture.s will shoot on location in Mexico. Toplining Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck and Ruth Roman, it will be megged by Hugo Fregonese. The studio itself will begin shooting "So Big," a Jane Wyman starrer based on Edna Ferber's novel, which Robert Wise will direct for Producer Henry Blanke. Columbia Bu'ys Two Novels, Both Swashbuckling Tales Contniuing on it.s merry .story-buying way, Columbia added two more literary properties to its stockpile, both of them novels of the swashbuckling historical adventure variety. Assigned to Lewis J. Rachmil to produce was "Bardelys the Magnificent," a cloak-anddagger tome by Rafael Sabatini, filmed once before (in silent screen days back in 1926) by Metro with John Gilbert as the title-roler. It's localed in France during the reign of Louis XIII. SimuItaneou^ly Producer Sam Katzman picked up a Frank Yerby novel, "The Saracen Blade." which has to do with the career of one Pietro Di Donati, a blacksmith's son w'ho rose to a position of power in Italy in the 13th century. Katzman plans to photograph it in Technicolor on location in Europe ... To reunite the "Never Wave at a WAC" team of Rosalind Russell and Marie Wilson. Producer Frederick Brisson of Independent Artists purchased "You Can't Judge a Lady," an original comedy by John Marshall, and is preparing it a.s an entry for RKO Radio release. The opus, with a Manhattan background, concerns a television actress and a gangster's moll who, through a series of front-page adventures, become bosom buddies. Sidney Franklin Is Taking Year's Leave From MGM Ramblings around Cinemania; Effective immediately, Sidney Franklin is taking a year's leave of absence from his berth as an MGM producer . Kane, Republic producer-director, celebrated the holidays with a new term ticket at the valley studio, where his next venture will be "Sea of Lost Ships" . invaded the writers' market and booked Allan Scott to pen "Debut," a grand opera story: Irving Wallace to develop "Ten Against Caesar." a western novel by K. R. G. Granger; Edward Hope to script "The Long Gray Line," a West Point opus, and Arthur Lewis to W'ork on the Sam Katzman production, "Ti-ipoli to the Sea." . . . Jean . . . Allied Artists inked Casting notes: Tony Martin will co-star with Esther Williams in MGM's new Technicolor musical, "Easy to Love" Peters was picked for the femme lead in an upcoming 20th Century-Fox whodunit, "Blueprint for Murder" Sterling Hayden for the starring spot in "Fighter Command," a yarn about a fighter squadron in Italy during World War II . . . William Holden and Dawn Addams joined David Niven in the cast of "The Moon Is Blue," which Otto Preminger and F. Hugh Herbert will produce independently from the latter's stage success. Big Color Crop Is Due; 170 From Technicolor HOLLYWOOD—Technicolor has 170 feature films ready for release, in production or in preparation—an indication of the importance producers are placing on color in motion pictures. A report on product which Technicolor is producing for the film industry is made in the current issue of Technicolor News and Views just issued to the trade. In addition to the 170 features, 39 other pictures in Technicolor are in current release. Of those yet to be placed on booking charts. 96 are ready for release, 25 are in production and 49 are in various stages of prepai-ation. The lineup of films reported includes: TO BE RELEASED "Aan" (British), Mehboob Prod.. Ltd., Bombay; "Affair at Monte Carlo" (British) (formerly "24 Hours in a Women's life"), A.B.P.C, Allied Artists; "All Ashore," Columbia; "Ambush at Tomahawk Gap," Columbia; "April in Paris," Warner Bros.; "Arrowhead." (formerly "Adobe Wall"), Nat Holt, Paromount; "Beggar's Opera The," (British), Imperodio Pictures, Ltd.; "Botany Boy," Paramount; "By the Light of the Silvery Moon," Warner Bros.; "Call Me Madam," 20th Century-Fox; "City Beneath the Sea," Univ.-lnt'l; "Column South," Univ.-lnt'l; "Dangerous When Wet," MGM; "Decameron Nights, The" (British), Film Locations. Ltd.; "Desert Legion," Univ.-lnt'l; "Desert Song," Warner Bros.; "Down Among the Sheltering Polms," 20th Century-Fox; "Farmer Takes a Wife," 20th Century-Fox; "Father Knows Best" (British), A.B.P.C; "Father's Doing Fine" (British), A.B.P.C; "5000 Fingers of Dr. T.," Kramer, Columbia "Flame of Calcutta," Columbia; "Flame of Timberline" (formerly "Vermillion O'Toole"), Univ.-lnt'l; "Genevieve" (British), G.FD. -Sinus Prods. Ltd. "Girl Next Door, The," 20th Century-Fox; "Golden Coach, The" (British), Ponoria Film, Rome; "His Majesty O'Keefe" (British), Norma, Warner Bros.; "Houdini," George Pal, Paramount; "I Don't Core Girl, The." 20th Century-Fox. "I Love Mel V in," MGM; "Importance of Being Earnest" (British), Rank, Univ.-lnt'l; "Invitation to the Donee" (British), MGM; "Iron Mistress," Warner Bros.; "It Started in Paradise" (British), G.F.D.-British Film Makers; "Jack McCcIl, Desperado," Columbia; "Jamaica," Pine-Thomas, Porcmount; "Jet Pilot," RKO; "Jhansi-Ki-Roni" (British), Modi Ltd., Bombay; Ringo," Edward Small, United Artists; "La Bergere et lo Ramoneur" (British), Les Gemeoux; "Low and Order," Univ.-lnt'l; "Lawless Breed" (formerly "Bod Man With a Gun"), Univ.-lnt'l; "Life of Puccini, The" (British). Dear Film, Rome; "Lili," MGM; "Lone Hand," Univ.-lnt'l; "Love Song," Columbia; "Mode in Heaven" (British), G.F.D.-British Film Makers; "Man From the Alamo," Univ.-lnt'l; "Man With a Gun," Warner Bros.; "Man Who Watched the Trains Bo By, The" Raymond Stross; "Man's Country, A," Univ.-lnt'l; "Meet Me at the Fair," Univ.-lnt'l; "Meet Me Tonight" (British), G.F.D.- Bntish Film Makers; "Melba" (British), Horizon Pictures (G.B.) Ltd., United Artists; "Mississippi Gambler," Univ.-lnt'l; "Monsoon" (British), F. G. Films Ltd. (India), United Artists; "Moulin Rouge" (British), Romulus Films Ltd., United Artists; "Mr. Gilbert & Mr. Sullivan" (British), British Lion Prods., Lopert Films; "Naked Spur," MGM; "Niagara." 20th Century- Fox; "Pathfinder, The," Columbia; "Penny Princess" (British), Rank, Univ.-lnt'l. "Peter Pan," Disney, RKO; "Pleasure Island," Paramount; "Pony Express," Nat Holt, Paramount; "Powder River," 20th Century-Fox; "Prince Of Pirates," Columbia; "Red Beret. The" (British), Warwick, Columbia; "Redhead From Wyoming," Univ.-lnt'l; "Return to Paradise" (British), Aspen Prods. Ltd., United Artists; "Road to Boli," Paramount; "Rock Grayson's Women," Pine-Thomas, Paramount; "Salome," Columbia; "Sea Dev*ls" (British) (formerly "The Toilers of the Sea"), Coronodo Prods. (England) Ltd., RKO; "Sea Rogue, The" (formerly "The Master of Ballantroe") (British), Warner Bros.; "Seminole," Univ.-lnt'l; "Serpent of the Nile," Columbio; "Shane,' Paromount; "Sioux Uprising," Univ.-tnt'l; "Siren of Bogdad," Columbia; "Slaves of Babylon," Columbia; "Small Town Girl," MGM; "Sombrero," MGM; "Stars Are Singing, The," Paramount. "Sword and the Rose. The" (British), Walt Disney British Films Ltd.; "Swords Against the Mast" (formerly "Storm Over the Indies"), Edward Small, United Artists; "Three Love Stones," MGM; "Thunder Bay," Univ.-lnt'l; "Titfield Thunderbolt, The" (British), G.F.D.-Eahng Studios; "Tonight We Sing," 20th-Century-Fox; "Treasure of the Golden Condor," 20 th Century-Fox; "Tropic Zone," Pine-Thomas, Paramount; "Un Caprice de Caroline Cherie" (British), Gaumont- Cinephonic, Paris; "Vicki" (formerly "My Mother and Mr. McChesney), MGM; "War of the NA'orlds," George Pal, Paramount; "Young Bess," MGM. IN PRODUCTION "Animal Form" (British), Holas & Botchelor Cartoon Films Ltd.; "Apoche Landing," Univ.-lnt'l; "Bandwagon, The," MGM; "Blowing Wild," Worner Bros.; "Calamity Jane," Warner Bros.; "Conquest of Cochise," Columbia; "East of Sumatra," Univ.-lnt'l; "Eddie Cantor Story, The," Warner Bros,; "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," 20th Century-Fox; "Give a Girl a Break," MGM; "Golden Blade," Univ.-lnt'l; "Golden Years, The" (British), Vega Prods. Ltd.; "Grace Moore Story, The," Warner Bros.; "Gun Smoke," 20th Century-Fox; "Here Come the Girls," Paramount; "Immortols. The" (British), Mehboob Prods. Ltd., Bombay; "Latin Lovers," MGM; "Laughing Ann" (British), Imperodio Pictures Ltd.; "Lion Is in the Streets, A," Cogney, Warner Bros.; "Lucrece Borgia" (Bnttsh). Films Ariane, Paris; "Prince of Bagdad," Univ.-lnt'l; "Purple Plain, The" (British), G.F.D.; "White Witch Doctor," 20th Century-Fox; "Will Any Gentleman Please?" (British), A.B.P.C; "Woodhowk," Columbio. IN PREPARATION "African Feature," G.F.D.-Eolink' Studios Ltd.; "All the Brothers Were Valiant," MGM; "Americano, The," Stillman; "Bengal Tiger," Univ.-lnt'l; Big Song ond Dance Man, The," Paromount; "Brigadoon" (British), MGM; "Came Mutiny, The," Kramer, Columbia; "Charge of the Lancers," Columbia; "Chippy," Columbia; "Dam Busters, The" (British), A.B.P.C; "Devil's Conyon." Univ.-lnt'l; "Elephant Walk," Paramount; "Executioners, The," Cagney, Warner Bros.; "Five Shades of Blue," Kramer, Columbia; "Greeks Had a Word for It, The," 20th Century-Fox; "Hell and High Water," 20th Century-Fox; "Here Comes the Showboat," Columbio; "Husband for Mamma, A," Univ.-lnfl; "King of the Khyber Rifles," 20th Century-Fox; "King of the Wind," Univ.-lnt'l, "Kiss Me Again," Warner Bros.; "Liszt" Columbia; "Love Lottery, The" (British), G.F.D. -Ealing Studios Ltd.; "Mogombo" (British), MGM; "Outlaw Hoven," Univ.-lnt'l. "Port Royol." Univ.-lnt'l; "Prisoner of the Casbah," Columbia; "Renegade Canyon." Columbia; "Rhapsody," Paramount; "Rob Roy" (British), Walt Disney British Films Ltd.; "Robe, The," 20th Century- Fox; "Romeo and Juliet" (British), G.FD.-Castellani; "Saoda" (British), MGM; "Sally," Warner Bros.; "Sangoree," Pine-Thomas, Paramount; "Scarlet Flame," G.R. Prods., Warner Bros.; "Serenaders, The," Univ.- lnt'l; 'Sir Walter Raleigh," 20th Century-Fox; "Size 1 2," RKO; "South Sea Story," Paramount; "Story of Demetrios, The," 20th Century-Fox; "Tarawa." Columbia; "There's No Business Like Show Business," 20th Century-Fox; "Twelve Mile Reef," 20th Century- Fox; "Two Soldiers," Cagney, Worner Bros,; "Walking My Baby Back Home," Univ.-lnt'l; "White Christmas," Paramount; "White South, The" (British), Warwick, Columbia; "Wings of the Vulture," Univ.-lnt'l. Big Regional Buildup Set On 'Mississippi Gambler' NEW YORK— Universal-International's "The Mississippi Gambler" is to be given an elaborate regional opening in the Mississippi Valley starting January 13, 14 and 15 with premieres in St. Louis. Memphis and New Orleans. Two hundred and fifty regional dates will follow. Piper Laurie and Julia Adams, both featured in the picture with Tyrone Power; Jackie Loughery, Valerie Jackson and Ruth Hampton will attend the three principal openings and about 35 showings in other towns in the territory. In Memphis the premiere will be tied in with the Variety Club's Heart Fund campaign. The players will start their promotional activities ten days in advance. A special exploitation force has been working on the details for the past four weeks. Taxi Men to Talk It Up NEW YORK—Twentieth Century-Fox is holding special showings of "Taxi" for local taxi owners and drivers to promote word-ofmouth advertising. More than 1,000 are expected to see the picture by the end of January. BOXOFFICE January 3, 1953 23