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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

on to STUDIO

on to STUDIO PERSONNELITIES Blurbers Independent Resigning as a member of the Poromount studio drumbeoting staff, BOB QUINN is joining the Blowitz- Masket agency as an account executive. Cleffers Allied Artists "The Roar of the Crowd" is being scored by MARLIN SKILES. Warner Bros. Cogney Productions' "A Lion Is in the Streets" is being scored by FRANZ WAXMAN. Loanouts Columbia Borrowed from Metro, DEBORAH KERR will star with Montgomery Clift and Burt Loncoster in "From Here to Eternity," film version of the James Jones best-seller, being produced by Buddy Adier. Metro RICHARD WIDMARK was borrowed from 20th Century-Fox for one of the starring roles in "Take the High Ground," war drama being personally produced by Dore Schory. Richard Brooks will direct. Meggers Allied Artists Production reins on "The Forty-Niners" have been entrusted to WILLIAM CALIHAN. A story of the California gold rush, it is being penned by Sue Bradford and Vi Russell. Columbia FRITZ LANG has been signed to a three-picture directorial deal, his first ossignment to be the Anson Bond production, "Operation 16-Z." Producer Som Katzman booked SEYMOUR FRIED- MAN to direct "Valley of the Headhunters," next in the Jungle Jim series starring Johnny Weissmuller. RKO Radio TED TETZLAFF will direct "The Son of Sinbod," upcoming Technicolor entry, to be produced by Robert Sparks. Inked to pilot Producer Edmund Grainger's "Arizona Outpost," starring Robert Ryan, was ALFRED WERKER. 20th Century-Fox "Be Prepared," o comedy about Boy Scouts, will be directed by HENRY LEVIN for Producer Leonard Goldstein. Warner Bros. MICHAEL CURTIZ has been assigned to direct "The Boy From Oklohoma," upcoming starring vehicle for Will Rogers jr., which is on David Weisbart's production ogendo. The screenplay is being prepared by Fronk Dovid, Options Columbia AUDREY TOTTER was cast in "Cruism" Down the River." Inked for "Soginow Trail" was RALPH REED, CESAR ROMERO was signed for a starring role in "Prisoners of the Cosboh." BURT LANCASTER loins Montgomery Clift in the topline of "From Here to Eternity," which Buddy AdIer will produce from the best-seller by James Jones. Fred Zinnemonn will direct. Cost in the picture was FRANK SINATRA. Inked to star in Producer Sam Katzman s "Prisoners of the Cosboh" was TURHAN BEY. The megaphonist is Richard Bare. Metro Cost with Edward G, Robinson in "The Big Leoguer" was RICHARD JAECKEL. The baseball story will be produced by Motthew Rapf and megged by Jack Aldrich. STEVE FORREST was cast in "Toke the High Ground," the Dore Schary production, which Richard Brooks will meg. STEWART GRANGER and MICHAEL WILDING will stor in "The Scarlet Coat," a drama of the Amencon revolution, which Robert Pirosh will direct for Producer Nicholas Noyfack. Korl Tunberg is writing the script. RKO Radio VINCENT PRICE draws a character lead in Producer Robert Sparks' "Son of Sinbad," Technicolor costumer which Ted Tetzloff will direct. 20th Century-Fox Topliners in Producer Nunnally Johnson's "How to Morry a Millionaire will include BETTY GRABLE, LAUREN BACALL, RORY CAL- WAYNE ond CAMERON MITCHELL. MARILYN HOUN, MONROE, DAVID Johnson is also preparing the screenplay, which Jean Negulesco will direct. The title-roler in "The Happy Scoundrel" will be WILLIAM POWELL. An originol screeploy by Steve McNeil, it will be produced by Leonard Goldstein. Given a contract extension was actress JEAN PETERS. United Artists Producer Edword Small inked TAB HUNTER to o three-picture commitment, the tirst ot which will be the stornng spot with Rod Comcron in "The Steel Lady." Universal-International BARBARA RUSH will have the leading femme role in "The Strangers From Outer Space." Topliner in Producer William Allond's space opera will be RICH- ARD CARLSON. Jock Arnold directs from a script by Harry Essex. Set for a chorocter role in "It Happens Every Thursdoy " was GLADYS GEORGE. Warner Bros. STERLING HAYDEN will stor with Jane V.'yman in "So Big," new version of the Edna Ferber novel, which Robert Wise will direct for Producer Henry Blonke. ANTHONY QUINN will star with Gary Cooper, Barbora Stanwyck and Ruth Roman in "Blowing Wild," Milton Sperling's United States Pictures entry, which Hugo Fregonese will direct. RAYMOND GREENLEAF was set for o character lead in 'Sulu Seo." Wayne-Fellows Productions inked RICHARD WALSH for "Island in the Sky," upcoming action drama to be directed by William A. Wellmon. PAUL PICERNI joins Vincent Price in the cost of "The Wax Works," the studio's first film in the Natural Vision three-dimension process. Andre de Toth megs the Bryan Foy production, being lensed in WarnerColor. Scripters Allied Artists Producer Walter Wonger set RICHARD COLLINS to write the screenplay for "Hajji Babo," based on the novel by James Morier, which will be filmed in Technicolor this spring. Columbia "Boron of Brooklyn," on underworld story, is being written for Producer Sam Katzman by ALBERT DUFFY. ROBERT E. KENT is developing "Drums of Tahiti," ON THE HOUSE—Gus A. Mctzper, right, who started in show business in 1906 and has been a leading southland exhibitor since 1926, receives from Charles P. Skouras, president of National Theatres and Fox West Coast, a diamondstudded, engraved gold pass good for admittance to any NT showcase in the U.S. The presentation was made at a dinner party in observance of Metzger's 7.5th birthday. Metzger is president of the Metzger-Srere circuit and board chairman of the Southern California Theatre Owners Ass'n. a South Seas romonce, for Producer Som Kotzmon. "Jesse James Versus the Doltons," on upcoming Technicolor western, is being written by JERRY THOMAS for Producer Sam Katzman. Independent Abtcon Pictures, headed by Herman Cohen, set WILLIAM RAYNOR to screenplay "The Flaming Stallion," a novel by Johnston McCulley. RKO Radio Penning the upcoming Sam Wiesenthol production, "Second Chonce, " is ZACHARY GOLD. Republic STEVE FISHER is penning "Jesse James Neighbor," from the book by Homer Croy. Wos My Century-Fox 20th " "The Gun ond the Cross, original by Gus Field, IS being odopted by RICHARD BREEN for Producer Charles Brockett. Story Buys Columbia "Escape From the Moon" and "Space Fortress," science -fiction originols by Dick Williams, were purchased by Producer Som Katzman for addition to his 1954 agenda. Rights to "Reminiscences of a Cowboy," a novel by Frank Horns, were purchased from Horizon Pictures, it will be produced and directed, as o Montgomery Clift starrer, by Ronald MocDougall. Metro "Forgotten Heroes of Korea," by James Michener, ond "The Cose of the Blind Pilot," by Comdr. Horry A. Burns—both of which articles oppeared in the Saturday Evening Post—were purchased and will be combined into o single screenplay, to be penned by Art Cohn, Henry Sermon will produce. Technically Metro JOHN ALTON will photograph "Take the High Ground," on which JERRY THORPE hos been set OS ossistont director. Paramount Art director on the Pine-Thomas production, "Sangaree," is EARL HEDRICK. HOWARD PINE is the unit manager. RKO Radio CARROLL CLARK will be the ort director on "Second Chance." 20th Century-Fox "The Robe" will be edited by BARBARA McLEAN. Universal-International Art director ossignments include EMRICH NICHOL- SON to "Wolkin' My Boby Bock Home," ERIC ORBOM to "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" ond HILYARD BROWN to "Bock to God's Country," Title Changes Allied Artists "White Lightning" to HIT THE ICE. "Betroyol on the Hudson, " Metro THE SCARLET COAT. Paramount "Pleasure Islond" lo THE GIRLS OF PLEASURE ISLAND. Republic ' "A Perilous Voyage to A PERILOUS JOURNEY. AMPP Hosts Envoy HOLLYWOOD—Filmdoin played host to Sir Percy Spender, Au.stralian ambassador to the U.S.. at a luncheon Tuesday il3) given by the Ass'n of Motion Pictm-e Pioducers' international committee. Chairman William Gordon presided, and guests in attendance included Charles Brackett, Edmund Grainger, Jack Warner jr., Carey Wilson, C. P. Mac- Gregor, Geoffrey Shurlock. Louis Blaine, Steve Goodman. Ely Levy, Roy Metzler. Adele Palmer, George Pardon, Carl Schaefer, Edward Schellhorn and Robert Vogel. Wyoming Theatre Is Repainted LUSK, WYO.—Tlio interior of the Wyoming Theatre here was completely repainted recently. The house was closed for almost a month for the redecorating job. 44 BOXOFTICE January 24, 1953

1 Film Council Heads Preview Teler Pan' HOLLYWOOD—Walt Disney's new featuiflength cartoon, "Peter Pan," which RKO releases, was selected for screening before more than 100 women delegates to a community relations conference called for midweek 120-221 in New York under sponsorship of the Motion Picture Ass'n of America. Delegates included 70 presidents of motion picture councils in key cities and approximately 30 representatives of women's clubs. Additionally, 25 youngsters were invited to the screening so that their reactions to the feature could be tested at first hand. In addition to its current run at the Warner Beverly in Beverly Hills, Samuel Goldwyn's "Hans Christian Andersen" was set to open Thursday (22i for a day-date run at the Palace in downtown Los Angeles. The Danny Kaye starrer is being distributed by RKO Radio, * * # Fred MacMurray, Vera Ralston and Victor McLaglen, the cast topliners, w-ill appear in Miami and Miami Beach in behalf of the Thursday (29) dual world premieres of Re- "Fair Wind to Java." public's * * * Norman Z. McLeod, who megged "Never Wave at a WAC" for Producer Frederick Brisson of Independent Ai'tists, will plane to Washington to attend the Wednesday (28 world premiere of the RKO release at the Keith Theatre. Mrs. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Omar N. Bradley head the list of celebrities who will attend the debut of the comedy starring Rosalind Ru.ssell, Paul Douglas and Marie Wilson. * • * Radio-TV coverage will blanket six states as part of the promotional activities on behalf of the Wednesday (28i world premiere of Paramount's "The Stars Are Singing" in Maysville, Ky., home town of songstress Rosemary Cloor.ey, who makes her film debut in the musical. Via the ether waves and television the premiere events will be brought to listeners and viewers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan. Ro'y Hansen Submits Resignation PHOENIX—Roy Hansen, city manager of the Arizona Paramount theatres since 1950, has submitted his resignation, effective January 31. Hansen came here from Tucson, where he was manager of the Rodeo Drive-In. He was formerly a theatre operator in Walkerton and Culver. Ind. Financier Predicts Boom For Theatre, TV Films Hollywood—Both theatrical and video films will enjoy boom times during 1953, it was predicted by Walter E. Heller, president of the Chicago financial house, who came west for a brief southland vacation. The Heller firm, he said, will lend just as much money, possibly more, to theatrical and TV picture-makers this year as it did during 1952. MN PERMITTING the under-pressure cancellation of local first run engagements for Charles Chaplin's current starrer, "Limelight," being distributed by United Artists, the Fox West Coast circuit is contributing another regrettable factor to the Munich-like situation into which the motion picture industry is permitting itself to be jockeyed by the American Legion. Such cancellation came about as the result of meetings between FWC executives and representatives of filmdom's anti-Communist front, who warned that the planned multitheatre booking would, with little doubt, inspire the formation of picket lines under the leadership of the Legion and, po.ssibly, other groups which hold Chaplin in disfavor. The theatre chain ran in "Niagara" as a replacement, and it was indicated that UA will not seek other dates for "Limelight"—currently day-dating in two showcases In New York—until the feature has been cleared by the Legion. Subsequently Lewis K. Gough, the Legion's national commander, declared himself as being "gratified" by the circuit's action. These paragraphs are not in defense of Chaplin, his politics, his morals, his principles or his attitude toward the industry and the nation which embraced him and made it po.ssible for him to attain princely fame and fortune. There can be little doubt that they are subject to drastic censure and probable disciplinary action. But judgment thereon and punishment therefor must be left to higher and wiser courts, with both the industry and the federal government. Regardless, there is no escaping the fact that Chaplin was permitted to make—and to the tune of widespread publicity—his feature in Hollywood, with labor furnished by the film capital and presumably under pre.scribed controls and the eyes of the Motion Picture Ass'n of America, its much-vaunted production code and its watchdog president, Eric Johnston. If for any reason whatsoever the magi of the film trade sincerely believed that Chaplin was unworthy of producing and starring in motion pictures for distribution by a time-honored, well-established company, and for exhibition in respectable theatres by the rules of the MPAA, the time to curb him w-as before a camera crank turned on his current opus. Certainly Chaplin's sins, be they of commission or omission, were wellknown and well-entrenched by then. To permit him to make a feature, have it placed in general distribution, and then surrender to the witch-hunting howls of pressure groups, smacks of bolting the stable after the equine has been pilfered. But the real danger lies in the continued appeasement policy reflected by FWC's decision. True, there are other cases in industry annals of somewhat comparable ramifications, such as certain segments of the .south banning pictures that present the Negro problem in a light considered to be opposed to the best interest of the communities concerned. In most of these instances, however, the bars to exhibition were raised by state or city censorship bodies and through due process of law. When a mighty theatre circuit submits to the heckling and threats of picketing by the American Legion and or other pressure groups that have no legal or official censorship powers, there is no predicting where the vicious and costly practice may end. It invites for the industry, already harassed by too much legalized cen.sorship, another and virtually limitless front of carping control, which reaches far beyond the provisions of the trade's own production code and can conceivably toss up for grabs, and on a purely localized basis, any picture just because certain self-appointed zealots do not like the race, religion, politics or hair coloring of those who made it or appear in it. No matter how one feels toward today's Chaplin and the light in which he now stands, it is impossible to forget completely that for many years he reigned as the screen's unchallenged king of comedy, whose talents brought countless hours of joy and laughter to incalculable millions of theatre patrons. And one cannot help but conjecture as to what will be the policy of the bright boys of television if and when the Chaplin featurefilm hits of earlier days are made available for home consumption via video. (Some of his early short subjects are already being telecast). Possibly the .American Legion would have a great number of television receiving sets to picket, many of them undoubtedly in the homes of loyal legionnaires. Sports intelligence from Leo's laundry to the effect that "Esther Williams planed to Pebble Beach ... to caddy for her husband, Ben Gage, in the Bing Crosby golf tournament taking place in the coastal town." A real handy arrangement. Should husband Ben slice one into the nearby ocean, Esther can swim out to retrieve the ball. There were raised eyebrows among Hollywood's press when Howard Strickling, chieftain of MGM's publicity department, staged a preview on the same night that the Screen Producers Guild, at its formal banquet, paid glowing tribute and awarded its annual accomplishment kudos to Howard's former boss, Louis B. Mayer. Then came the widely publicized clambake paying tribute to Adolph Zukor upon the occasion of his 80th birthday and kicking off a series of world-wide events celebrating his 50th anniversary as an industry great. The banquet, in which all segments of the trade cooperated, was attended by filmdom's elite as well as members of the lay and trade press. Again Strickling made a bid for the time and attention of Hollywood's hungry fourth estaters by scheduling a preview of "The Naked Spur," on the same evening, at his company's Culver City studio. in Nothing Sacred Howard, he was known as them days! BOXOFnCE January 24, 1953 45