4 years ago


Forbes Rates Film

Forbes Rates Film Industry High In Labor and Public Relations NEW YORK—Major motion picture companies get generally good rating in labor relations and public relations, fair in community relations and not too satisfactory a rating generally, in management and stockholder relations in the annual Report on American Industry published this week by Forbes magazine. In labor relations, all companies with the exception of RKO which was beset with difficulties during 1952, were rated at 90 which is about the top mark in American industries. RKO was rated at 65. Forbes believes that one of the reasons the industry grinds on with few strikes is that crafts get "hefty pay rates" and union members are able to peddle their "savvy" elsewhere, plus the fact that an effective grievance system has been established. On the community relations level, most of the companies are rated at 85, with two at 80. A comment made in the report is that while film people are quick to contribute talent and funds to charity and public causes they do not join in helping solve real problems of community life in cities where they operate. The article suggests that corporate officials would welcome more participation in municipal affairs. On the management level. Paramount gets the top mark, with Universal and 20th Century-Fox right behind in the ratings. The "new economy dogma" of the picture producers, the magazine contends, is only "big" or "little" budget pictures make money. The reason given is the distribution methods forced by the antitrust decrees. Observes the financial publication: "Middle budget pictures were formerly assured of minimum dates in affiliated theatres and so romped off with a sizable chunk of studio overhead. Exhibitors pestered by dwindling boxoffice, now give middle rankers the flit in favor of more ballyhooed films. Pi-oduction moguls frown, too, at the multiple days and dates' spawned by bidding. Growls one: 'When you have a series of simultaneous runs in one area, you achieve nothing but dilution of boxoffice potential. No theatre makes any big money and it costs the distributor twice as much for his selling campaign." " Week-TV, Peoria UHF Unit, Receives GE Transmitter PEORIA, ILL. — Station WEEK-TV has taken delivery of a UHF General Electric television transmitter and will go on the air late this month after delivery of a special antenna which will provide effective power of 2,000 watts. The building and studio facilities have been completed. The 400-foot tower is on Springfield hill in East Peoria. At first it will cover a 12-mile radius. In April a 12,000-watt amplifier will be installed for the purpose of increasing coverage to 40 miles or more. The station is an NBC affiliate, but will also carry filmed programs from DuMont and CBS. All programs at the start will be on film, except those that may originate in the studio. A. M. Sonnabend Proposed For Columbia Board NEW YORK—Columbia stockholders will meet February 9 at the headquarters here to elect nine members of the board. Eight of those nominated are incumbents and one is a newcomer. He is Abraham M. Sonnabend, president of Sonnabend A.ssociated Properties of Brookline,, and other corporations which operate hotels in various cities. He has no stock in the company. He is slated to succeed Henry Crown. The incumbents are Harry Cohn. president, who has been a director since 1924, who holds 124,278 shares of common stock: Jack Cohn, executive vice-president and a director since 1924, 43,214; Abe Schneider, vice-president and treasurer and a director since 1929, 7,252: Leo M. Blancke of Hemphill. Noyes & Co., investment brokers, a director since 1930, who holds no stock; N. B. Spingold, vice-president in charge of advertising and publicity and a director since 1940, 17.270; A. Montague, vicepresident in charge of domestic sales, a director since 1943, 6,131; Donald S. Stralem of Hallgarten & Co., investment bankers, a director since 1944, 1,016, and Alfred Hart, president of the Alfred Hart Distilleries, Los Angeles, who became a director Nov. 3, 1952, and has 200 shai-es. Stockholders will be asked to ratify new contracts with Jack Cohn for four- years from January 1, with Montague for five years from June 10 and with Gerald Rackett, supervisor of the laboratory, for five years from January 1. Jose Del Amo Named Head Of Cuban UA Office NEW YORK—Jose Del Amo has been named as manager in Cuba for United Artists by Arnold M. Picker, vice-president in charge of foreign distribution. He has been serving as acting manager since May last year, following the retirement of Henry Weiner. Del Amo joined UA in 1928 as a clerk in the Havana office. At the .same time Picker announced the appointment of Ernesto Santana. formerly branch manager at Call. Colombia, as a.ssistant manager in that territory, with headquarters in Bogota, where he will act as aide to Armando Bernal. Blair Foulds Is Elected Vice-President of GPL PLEASANTVILLE, N. Y. — Blair Foulds, commercial engineering director of General Precision Laboratory, Inc., has been elected vice-president, according to Hermann G. Place, president. GPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Pi'ecision Equipment Corp. The promotion of Foulds reflects the increased volume of business in the fields of air navigation equipment for the government and studio television activities. Place said. Before joining GPL in 1949. Foulds was commercial engineering director of Brush Development Co.. Cleveland, manufacturers of industrial instrumentation and magnetic recording devices. New York Would Tax Foreign Revenues NEW YORK—In its search for emergency revenue, the city administration is trying to increase gross receipts tax revenue from distributors by extending application of the tax to cash receipts from foreign countries. This revenue would be in addition to proposed application of the local 3 per cent sales tax on film negatives shipped to distributors here, and in addition to the sales tax on film rentals. This became known Monday il2i when William Owens, attorney, representing 20th Century-Fox Movietone News, registered a complaint with the Bureau of Excise Taxes. The Bureau of Excise Taxes refused to .supply any information, saying that a provision in the law under which it operates stipulates that nothing shall be relea.sed to the press. Industry attorneys also were loath to talk. Harry Levine. RKO attorney, was the most positive of all in insisting on secrecy. The Monday hearing had been called on the city's plan to tax a producer's share of the gross take of a film when contracts provided for the delivery of the negative by the producer to the distributor. Where the negative isn't delivered, the plan calls for a compensating tax at the same rate on the negative cost. Both would be retroactive to 1949, but for earlier years when the sales tax was 2 per cent that would be the rate. Movietone News was made a guinea pig in the test cases when the city levied assessments against it. Lopert Films also was named. City auditors have been searching the books of the other distributors. Argument on the negative tax was postponed from Monday to Friday (16) when Owens centered his attack on the gross receipts tax. That has been one-tenth of 1 per cent and is now one-fifth of 1 per cent. Now the city wants to apply it to foreign remittances by a "broader" interpretation of the law. The contest is over a legal interpretation of the law\ New York City is in an extremely difficult financial situation. It has applied to the state for aid and has been turned down as lacking an intelligent program. D of J Eases Trust Ruling For Para. Stockholders WASHINGTON—Holders of both Paramount Pictures and United Paramount Theatres stock can now get their UPT stock out of trust with milder restrictions, according to the Justice department. The D of J has adopted a new amendment to the Paramount consent decree, under which holders of fewer than 2.000 shares of UPT stock can automatically take it out of trust. The former provision limited this privilege to holders of fewer than 500 shares of UPT. The amendment also provides that anyone owning 2.000 or more shares of UPT stock can still remove his stock from trust if he can offer satisfactory proof to the effect that his Paramount Pictures stock ownership gives him no control over operations of that company. Dimes and dollars will help many a victim of polio to recover normal licalth. Arrange for March of Dimes collections. 40 BOXOFnCE January 17, 1953

NEWS AND VIEWS THE PRODUCTION CEMTER {Hollywood Office—Suite 219 at 6404 Hollywood Blvd.: Ivan Spear, Western Manager) Clooney Film Debut In Kentucky on 28th HOLLYWOOD — Paramounts "The Stars Are Singing," which marks the film debut of songstress Rosemary Clooney, will be world-premiered January 28 in Maysville, Ky., her birthplace. A gala. Hollywood-style opening is being planned for the debut at the Russell Tlieatre, with Miss Clooney on hand for personal appearances. A New England premiere of Allied Artists' "Plat Top" has been set for Wednesday (21) at the Paramount and Fenway theatres in Boston, following which the Walter Mirisch production will be booked into 40 other situations in the area. « * * Walt Disney's new feature-length cartoon, "Peter Pan," which RKO Radio is releasing, will have dual world premieres February 5 at the Roxy in New York and the State-Lake in Chicago. Off-screen voices include those of Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried and Bill Tliompson. Theatre TV vs. Home Pay Is Topic at Ad Meeting HOLLYWOOD—Large-screen theatre TV vs. pay-as-you-see home video was the subject debated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Hollywood Advertising club. Carl Leserman, executive of Telemeter, the subscription television venture, predicted that some form of pay-as-you-see TV will be in operation within two or thi'ee years, while Sherrill C. Corwin, head of the Metropolitan circuit here, opined that theatre TV "cannot be stopped." He predicted Cinerama and third dimension will make rapid strides during the year. Other panelists were Al Simon, TV film producer; John A. Vizzard of the Ass'n of Motion Picture Producers, and Klaus Landsberg, manager of station KTLA, who acted as moderator. * * * The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will hold its annual awards dinner February 5 at the Statler hotel, at which time Emmys will be passed out for achievements in various video fields. Carl Faulkner Is Sound Chief HOLLYWOOD—Succeeding Thomas Moulton, resigned. Carl Faulkner has been named head of 20th Century-Fox's studio sound department. BOXOFHCE January 17, 1953 oojecutime East: Paramount's New York executives, who came here to attend the 80th birthday testimonial dinner for Adolph Zukor, headed back east. The delegation included President Barney Balaban, A. W. Schwalberg, E. K. "Ted" O'Shea, George Weltner, Austin C. Keough, Paul Raibourn, Jerry Pickman and Russell Holman. * * * West: Clay V. Hake, Paramount's general manager for Australia and New Zealand, checked out for his headquarters in Sydney after studio huddles here. * • • West: Chai-les M. Reagan, MGM's general sales manager, arrived from New York for a gander at newly completed product. * * * East: William Heineman, United Artists sales chief, and Max Youngstein, vice-president in charge of advertising and publicity, returned to New York after spending a few days here conferring with filmmakers releasing through the UA organization. * « « North: George Pal, Paramount producer, returned from a two-week trip to Mexico, scouting locations for his next picture. * * West: Lloyd Lind, Allied Artists' supervisor of exchanges, arrived from Manhattan for parleys with President Steve Broidy. * * * West: William H. Wright, MGM producer, returned from a ten-day business junket to New York. * * * West: Dudley Roberts, president of Cinerama, came in from Gotham for planning conferences with Merian C. Cooper, the company's production chief, and Louis B. Mayer, board chairman. * • « East: Arthur Freed, MGM producer, and Director Vincente Minnelli will take off for London next month to lay the groundwork for filming "Brigadoon," upcoming Gene Kelly starrer, in Britain. West: William Kupper, 20th-Fox's managing director in Britain, checked in on a combined business-pleasure trip, planning a month's stay. * * • East: Sam Zimbalist, MGM producer, will take off Sunday (18) for London to supervise final interior scenes for "Mogambo," the Clark Gable starrer, filmed in Africa. Leasing of Film to TV Enjoined by Court HOLLYWOOD—Of precedential interest as concerns the televising of films made originally for theatrical distribution is a decision reached in superior court in an action involving "Shed No Tears," a Wallace Ford starrer. Judge Frank G. Swain granted the plaintiffs. Frost Films and Equity Pictures, a preliminary injunction restraining the defendants, Chesapeake Industries and Motion Pictures for Television, Inc., from leasing the picture to video stations. The plaintiffs contend that TV .showings of the film will destroy future theatrical revenue by rendering its continued theatre bookings and possible reissue impractical. * * * Hearings in an involved corporate dispute between Louis D. Snader of Snader Telescriptions and a group composed of Henry and Al Bisno, Samuel Markowich, Henry Frye, United Television Pi-oductions and others, got under way with Judge Samuel R. Rosenbaum as arbitrator. Snader alleges that the Bisno group had no legal right to sell a batch of Telescriptions and other properties to UTP. Labor-Industry Council Studies Foreign TV Work HOLLYWOOD—So-called "runaway" production of both theatrical and TV films which are produced by American units on location in foreign locales occupied the attention of both the Motion Picture Industry Council and the Hollywood AFL Film Council last week. The former set up a special committee, with Producer Arthur Freed as chairman, to investigate the subject, as well as the 18-month tax exemption allowed Hollywood pyersonalities who remain abroad for that length of time on film commitments. The AFL council, which has repeatedly attacked the overseas production technique, voted to step up its campaign to discourage the making of video films abroad, basing its action on responses thus far received from agencies and sponsors. It was reported .several top agencies and bankrollers have assured that they have canceled plans for such foreign film ventures. Jack Aldrich to 'Big Leaguer' HOLLYWOOD—Jack Aldrich, former video director, wa,s inked by MGM to make his theatrical film debut as the megaphonist on the upcoming Edward G. Robinson starrer. "The Big Leaguer." 41