THE MOTION P
TWENTY-FIRST ANNUAL REPORT
to the .Mlotion P'iture Producers
ai!,i Distributors of A merica, Inc.
By WILL H. FI-ys, Presie.!n
MARCH 29, 1943
THE MOTION PICTURE
By WILL H. HAYS, President
To THE MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS
AND DISTRIBUTORS OF AMERICA, INC.
MARCH 29, 1943
28 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. FULFILLMENT OF A MISSION . . .....
First Things First . . . .
A Satisfied Demand . . . ..
The Measure of Excellence .. . ....
II. REAFFIRMATIONS OF PURPOSE . . . . .
The Responsibility of Fr r i . . . .
The Outlook for Educatio . . . .
Future of the Screen in World-wide Understanding
"The Inexorable Alternative" . . . .
III. UNITED WAR ACTIVITIES .. . .....
IV. DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES . .
Production Code Administration
Advertising Code Administration
Title Registration Bureau . .
Community Service . . .
Industry Service Bureau . .
Trade Relations and Theatre Service
Technical Progress .
Hollywood . . . .
Foreign Trade Relations . .
. . . 29
. . . 29
. . . 34
. . . 35
. . . 41
. . . 44
. . . 46
. . . 47
. . 49
. . . 50
I. FULFILLMENT OF A MISSION
At this fateful hour when Americans, as never before, are
conscious of world-wide interests, anxieties and efforts, the motion
picture industry offers this account of its activities. The industry
draws its materials from the far reaches of the world. Its screen
portrays a world-wide scene. It serves a world audience. It weaves
a web of interest that reaches beyond all the seas and touches life
everywhere. It creates a world community and because its basic
themes are rooted in the common concerns of all people, it is a
cohesive force in a world torn by conflict and discord. Nothing that
is human is foreign to its art.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
A report of the ideals and achievements of the motion picture
industry in 1942 properly begins with war and victory. What has
it done to wage war and win victory?
We offer as an answer to that question the account of a year of
ever-intensifying effort. We do not need to be reminded that the
motion picture is in the fight. But we may find the keenest interest
in how it has gone to war.
Unlike most industries, the motion picture needed no retooling
and conversion. Like the farms of the nation, its product is a daily
necessity. To meet war needs its chief duty was to intensify its
product, to conserve and, by making more efficient its expenditure
of energy, to offer those services that were its special war time
The vitality of its entertainment, with its concomitant services
of information, education and inspiration was essential to the de-
mands of a population deep in the toil and worry of war. That
population, including the millions in uniform, demanded not less
but more recreation and entertainment. It needed-and needed
prodigiously-relaxation from today's labors and invigoration for
what tomorrow might bring. Ninety million came to the screen
every week with that inexorable demand. And as the screen met the
demand for entertainment, it used this public contact for many
more useful purposes-for the sale of war bonds and stamps, for
the organization of community war chests, for the Red Cross and
U.S.O., for the collection of scrap, and for enlightenment on the pur-
poses and processes of the war effort. At all times the industry
clearly recognized that the national welfare has first call on all its
facilities, and government and the industry agreed that we must
maintain at all times a maximum contribution of wholesome means
A SATISFIED DEMAND
Popular demand is accurately registered by the box office
records. As in England during the first years of the war, so in this
country last year, attendance attained extraordinary proportions.
Annual amusement tax returns, a fairly accurate estimate of the
volume of business done by the theatres, show attendance figures
of an average of over ninety million admissions a week.
Beginning with the month of Pearl Harbor, the business of the
theatres increased progressively through the year. Since the
patronage of the theatres largely consists of persons who go regu-
larly to see the movies week after week, the amazing fact about the
attendance figures is not merely its size, but the sustained satisfac-
tion which it signifies. That satisfaction is ultimately due to a proper
proportion of the elements which make up the program-feature
pictures and short subjects, cartoons and newsreels, excitement and
laughter, diversion and inspiration. The feature picture is itself
subject to many variations in thematic material and mode of treat-
One problem last year was that of striking the right pro-
portion between too little or too great a concentration on the war
theme. The attendance figures are one indication of the success of
our policy but additional confirmation was provided by the results
of an inquiry undertaken last year.
In November, 1942, a questionnaire was sent by the Industry
Service Bureau to a selected group of organizations and individuals
-educators, club chairmen, librarians, religious and civic leaders
and representatives of business organizations. To the question,
"Have motion picture programs, since the bombing of Pearl Harbor,
devoted too little, well balanced, or too much time to war subject-
matter?", over two-thirds of the respondents replied that the pro-
grams have been well balanced; one-fifth of the total group said
that too much attention had been devoted to war and one-fifteenth
reported that too little attention had been given to war subject-
The same individuals were also asked whether the films dealing
with war were effective in the presentation of material. With respect
to feature pictures, more than fifty percent reported that they
thought the matter was handled well and thirty percent com-
mended the presentation as excellent; less than seven percent
reported an adverse judgment. With respect to short subjects,
approximately fifty percent thought that the treatment was com-
mendable, and a little under fifty percent were enthusiastic in their
approval; and only three percent had an unfavorable reaction.
THE MEASURE OF EXCELLENCE
The outstanding films of last year, in the judgment of the critics,
the box office, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences, all had a common denominator of artistic excellence,
regardless of their classification by type or subject-matter. Some
portrayed events of the present war, some reminded us of the last
war, and some dwelt amidst scenes of peace; some found romance
or satire in the biographies of real men and some invented char-
acters that became real for us; some added song and dance to
increase the sparkle of a love story or the gaiety of an extravaganza,
and some were melodramas or mystery plays.
The familiar distinctions between "serious" and "escapist"
movies, between "war" films and "non-war" films, or between films
that fictionalize the facts of current history and those which dlia\
upon great events of the historical past, do not in any way provide
a measure of the goodness of a motion picture as a work ot art. In
any of these superficial categories, inequality of merit is inevitable.
Such inequality flows from varying degrees of moral implication,
poetic truth, and technical mastery.
Even if we substitute categories which have deeper and more
universal significance-comedy and tragedy, fantasy and melo-
drama-the same truth remains. It is the art of Shakespeare which
makes his plays great whether they be comedies or tragedies.
It is the art of a Barrie or an Ibsen that holds us, though one invests
the fantastic with plausibility and the other invests hard realities
Fiction often uses fact, but to its own purpose-the creation of
a moving image of reality, an image that must be faithful, not to
the historic outlines of actual events, but to their inner meaning,
their moral significance. Poetic or fictional truth is fidelity to the
spirit, not to the letter, of reality's law. A great historical novel is
great as a novel, not as a history. The measure of its excellence is
its artistic worth, its mastery of an artistic medium for the achieve-
ment of an artistic effect-a stirring and persuasive story. This does
not mean that great art is empty of significance. There is no conflict
between entertainment and significance. To hold us a story must
have meaning for us-both for our minds and for our hearts. And
the story which entertains us most gives us a deeper sense of the
abiding values and of the significant forces in human life.
In the evaluation of motion pictures, the critics and the public
are not the only ones to recognize the distinction between out-
standing and average films. They are not the only ones to conduct
annual polls in which the best pictures of the year-ten, twenty, or
fifty-are awarded the accolade of merit. Hollywood judges its own
product, and perhaps by more severe standards. The industry can
justly take pride, not only in its yearly achievement, but in un-
mistakable signs of progress. Not only are the critical standards
today much higher than they were ten years ago, but in each suc-
ceeding year there is a larger number of pictures about whose
excellence there is general agreement. The box office badge of
popular approval is more and more frequently conferred on films
which both the industry and the critics judge to be the year's best.
This reveals the sure development of the public's acceptance of the
Any listing of the outstanding feature pictures in the year 1942
corroborates this statement: Among those generally hailed for
notable quality during this period, and representing products of
our member companies, may be mentioned: MRS. MINIVER; How
GREEN WAS MY VALLEY*; PRIDE OF THE YANKEES; IN WHICH WE
SERVE; KINGS Row; WAKE ISLAND; TORTILLA FLAT; THE INVADERS;
THE PIED PIPER; HOLIDAY INN; SUSPICION*; WOMAN OF THE YEAR;
THIS ABOVE ALL; TALK OF THE TOWN; Now, VOYAGER; JOURNEY FOR
MARGARET; BALL OF FIRE; IN THIS OUR LIFE; ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT
Is MISSING; YANKEE DOODLE DANDY; BAMBI; ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN ;
SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS; ACROSS THE PACIFIC; JOE SMITH, AMERICAN;
MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER0; REMARKABLE ANDREW; TALES OF
MANHATTAN; REAP THE WILD WIND; FLYING TIGERS; SABOTEUR;
To BE OR NOT TO BE; LOUISIANA PURCHASE*; VANISHING VIRGINIAN;
THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR; CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS; EAGLE
SQUADRON; CROSS ROADS; I MARRIED A WITCH; H. M. PULHAM, ESQ.
These 40 pictures were all included in the 70 selected by a
poll of more than 500 film critics the country over. It is also im-
portant to note that 24 of these 40 pictures were also in the top
50 pictures listed by the nation's exhibitors as leading box office
attractions. In the case of only 16 films was the critical judgment
unconfirmed at the box office and with regard to some of these,
conditions limiting distribution may have affected that result.
- With the exception of the titles marked by an asterisk, all of these films were re-
leased and exhibited in 1942. The exceptions consist of pictures which, though
released in 1941, came late in that year, and so did not reach the full volume of
their audience until 1942. They are included here for that reason, and also because
they were accorded places of honor in recent tabulations of both popular and
critical approval of screen offerings in 1942.
Moreover, of the 70 choices of the critics, 31 were included in
the 50 leading box office attractions. Motion pictures need not
sacrifice popularity for perfection, nor need they forego excellence
to exercise a universal appeal.
It should also be noted that five of the ten top box office attrac-
tions were not among the top fifty motion pictures selected by the
critics. They were: To THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI, LOOK WHO'S LAUGH-
ING, THE FLEET'S IN, PARDON MY SARONG, KEEP 'EM FLYING.
The year 1942 also witnessed a large number of shorts which
merited attention, not only because they were excellent as graph-
ically instructive non-fictional presentations, but also because they
so effectively and directly informed America about the war in all
its phases and repercussions. Elsewhere in this report I mention
the documentary films produced by the government under the
auspices of the Office of War Information and also a number of
short subjects produced by the industry's own studios, with the
help, or at the suggestion, of government agencies, but the follow-
ing titles are either short subjects pertinent to the war effort, or
pictorial voyages of exploration and discovery in peaceful fields
of learning and enterprise:
THE BATTLE FOR OIL, MONSTERS OF THE DEEP, CAVALCADE OF
AVIATION, MAIN STREET ON THE NIARCH, FLAG OF MERCY, THE
GREENIE, HEALTH FOR DEFENSE, HUB OF THE WORLD, MENACE OF
TIE RISING SUN, SOLDIERS IN WHITE, DON'T TALK, CALL OF THE
SEA, GATEWAY TO ASIA, WINGS FOR FREEDOM, INDIAN TEMPLES,
PRIVATE SMITH OF THE U. S. A., ARMY CHAPLAIN, WEST POINT ON
THE HUDSON, THE WVOMAN IN THE HOUSE, FOR THE COMMON DE-
FENSE, VENDETTA, THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY.
II. REAFFIRMATIONS OF PURPOSE
RESPONSIBILITY OF FREEDOM
The democratic community is organized for peace, not only
for the peaceful order of free men living and working together
for the liberty and justice in which all share equally, but for fellow-
ship and fairness in the intercourse of nations.
We now know that democracy is more than equal to the wager
of battle. We also know that the supreme virtue of democracy is
ultimately revealed in the pursuits of peace. Our swords are ready
to become plowshares again because they were beaten out of
plowshares in the first place.
As the repository of a characteristically democratic art, the
motion picture industry also knows that its permanent dedication
is to peace, not war. With ever increasing effort in all phases of
our war activities, we must maintain the principles and perpetuate
the policies established in times of peace.
Of all our fundamentals to be reaffirmed, no purpose takes
precedence over our determination to prevent license in order to
preserve liberty. The Production Code was voluntarily adopted in
1930 as the bulwark of freedom in this popular art. Far from being
a strait jacket of censorship, it is the flexible habit of an art that
has grown mature enough to discipline itself.
The administration of the Production Code has raised the
artistic, as well as the moral standards, of motion picture entertain-
ment. It has augmented every service which the screen performs.
The Production Code is not a temporary device, created to meet
a short-lived need. It was in origin, has been, and will continue to
be the foundation of the screen's freedom, the instrument of its
responsibility. We assert and reassert its intentions and tenets with
the same annual regularity that we pledge ourselves to defend the
freedom of the film from meddlesome restrictions that serve the
special interests of those who would seek to impose them by force.
It would be culpable dereliction if we regarded the war crisis as
in any way an occasion or an excuse for abandoning the principles
of the Production Code or relaxing its administration.
I shall subsequently refer to the operation of the Office of Cen-
sorship which applies the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy
Act and the First War Powers Act to the export of motion pictures.
The President of the United States clearly opposes interference by
any government agency with the content of films. I quote again
from his message to Mr. Lowell Mellett on December 18, 1941:
I want no censorship of the motion picture; I want no
restrictions placed thereon which will impair the useful-
ness of the film other than those very necessary restrictions
which the dictates of safety make imperative.
In his letters and speeches, Mr. Mellett, formerly Coordinator
of Government films, now Chief of Bureau of Motion Pictures
(OWI) and cooperating fully with the industry, has reiterated that
O.W.I. has no power to censor the contents of films, and no wish to
do so. At the dinner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences on March 4, 1943, he said:
This Government is engaged in a war to save and per-
petuate democracy, not in a war to destroy it. So, the
Government is not going into the motion picture business.
The Government believes the motion picture business is
in the right hands.
The producers have repeatedly assured Mr. Mellett of their
desire to receive and their willingness to consider any advice from
Quite apart from the problems of film content in so far as they
deal with war or the international situation, the exigencies of war
call for even greater vigilance in the exercise of self-discipline
under the Production Code. Not only during the storm and stress
of war itself, but also in the trying days of post-war reconstruction,
there will be present a tendency toward moral relaxation. These
are periods of violent emotions and therefore they require unre-
lenting firmness in our adherence to our policy of self-regulation.
We reaffirm this policy during the war in order to protect our
liberty from defections to license and from incursions by official
force in the difficult post-war days that lie ahead. There may be
nothing fundamentally immoral about certain language which,
in any generation, becomes common in certain situations. If the
intention is not blasphemous or the effect obscene, the forceful
expletives may not breach morality in speech or thought but they
are nevertheless vulgarisms which remain offensive to the preva-
THE OUTLOOK FOR EDUCATION
The charter of incorporation under which this Association was
formed, explicitly pledges the development of "the educational
as well as the entertainment value and the general usefulness of
the motion picture."
In the past this Association has made every effort to facilitate
and develop the use of film and screen as a means of instruction
in the schools and colleges of our country. Much of this work
continues during the war but more will be done in the post-war
period. New trails have been blazed by Hollywood technicians
in the production of training films. Skills learned in war time will
augment the educational utility of the screen.
We must also take into account the fact that at the end of the
war the armed forces will return to the educational institutions a
large number of teachers who will have become accustomed to
teaching with films. It is therefore to be hoped that the place
achieved by the industry in the educational world through the
agency of Teaching Film Custodians will be maintained and
strengthened. We are prepared to cooperate with the nation's
educators in the making and realization of plans, looking toward
a future in which the facilities of the industry will be more fully
FUTURE OF THE SCREEN IN WORLD-WIDE UNDERSTANDING
It is in our lifetime that men have first discussed peace in
world terms. It is also in our lifetime that an art has achieved
world dimensions as a medium of expression and as a source of
entertainment to all men everywhere.
These two facts are not unconnected. An international com-
munity in the art of motion pictures already exists. In it men of
every race, creed, and nationality have found a common de-
When we face the problem of what role the screen shall play
in the aftermath of war, our thinking may be guided by the fact
that in the movie theatres of the world the earth's peoples have been
moved by common emotions, have participated in a common ex-
perience. What the films have already done is the portent of what
they may be able to do. Not in the area of political negotiations
or economic planning, but through promoting mutual understand-
ing and sympathy, will the motion pictures contribute to the peace
that lies ahead.
Even before two world wars were required to compel men to
seek a common road to peace, the motion picture was on the way
toward its present position of a world-wide means of entertainment
and communication. Over barriers of suspicion, unawareness and
tradition, the motion picture offers the language of pictures which
is the common language of mankind. This we of pictures recognize;
more, we know that our obligations are peculiarly great because the
motion picture has been universally accepted by the world audi-
We must never lose consciousness of the duty to preserve th-,
only international community in existence. Thus and only thus,
will the film have completely performed its vital mission.
"THE INEXORABLE ALTERNATIVE"
Freedom of expression in film-as well as in print and in speech
All services the motion picture industry of America has per-
formed for the people of this country, spring from the liberty of
expression which the democratic institutions of this country have
jealously safeguarded. No international community of entertain-
ment can be maintained, unless the film's fundamental artistic
freedom is everywhere preserved.
On January 30th of this year Adolph Hitler boasted of the things
that had been achieved in Germany by the destruction of freedom.
He told his silent audience how "the revival of the cultural life
went hand in hand with the revival of economic life" and how
"architecture, drama, music, the cinema and broadcasting had an
unprecedented boom." Above all, he said, "the film and the radio
ceased to be elements of decomposition in our body politic and
were put to the service of national unity."
Note well his words, for when we compare them with the tragic
fact of the complete demise of motion picture art in Nazi Germany,
we see how that decay followed upon the destruction of the film's
freedom when it was "put" to the service of "national unity," as
the Nazis conceive it.
In contrast compare the words of President Roosevelt, congratu-
lating the motion picture industry on the way in which it has freely
served America at war "without the slightest resort to the totali-
tarian methods of our enemies." When the public good is freely
served by an art it can be served without the death of art itself.
This truth was magnificently expressed last year by Dr. Harry
Emerson Fosdick in the sermon which he delivered at the funeral
of Mr. Sidney R. Kent, one of the best beloved of our industry's
executives. He found in the life and action of that man "the inner-
most principle which unites freedom in art and freedom in pol-
itics." And he went on to say:
Our fathers at their best had a powerful voluntary
life. In this country they widened for us, as never had
been done before in history, the realm of self-directed,
self-controlled, self-dedicated living. They trusted us to
go on with that. But that order of life is not merely a
political system, self-perpetuating. The maintenance of
that order of life depends upon the maintenance of the
free and voluntary spirit in the people, creating un-
coerced character, conduct, and public spirit. Democracy
depends upon volunteers.
Whenever coercion increases, as it does today, that
means that voluntariness has failed. Whenever in any
realm the government cannot get enough volunteers, it
necessarily turns to compulsion. Here is a truth, without
seeing which I think we cannot understand the major
problem of our social life today. When coercion increases
and multiplies its impositions, that is because the volun-
tary, that is to say, the free spiritual life, has failed. For
life is divided into two parts: the compulsory and the
voluntary. They are like the sea and the land. They share
the earth between them. The more there is of one, the
less there is of the other. We therefore have our choice:
We can develop in ourselves and in our nation a strong
and fruitful spiritual life that creates uncompelled char-
acter and public spirit, or if we fail in that, coercion will
come flooding in like an encroaching sea. That is the
The motion picture recognizes this inexorable alternative. Its
war activities have been its means of giving as a volunteer in war
for the privileges of freedom in peace. That is the way free men
behave. We have meanwhile held high our purpose to be self-
directed, self-controlled and self-disciplined. So far as our oppor-
tunity to serve a world-wide audience is concerned we seek only
to reveal these democratic privileges and duties to an ever widening
III. UNITED WAR ACTIVITIES
In the week after Pearl Harbor, when unity for victory was
everywhere the watchword, the Motion Picture Committee Co-
operating for National Defense, whose efforts since Dunkirk and
the fall of France were described in my last annual report, was
transformed into the War Activities Committee. This Committee,
with the Hollywood Victory Committee and the Research Counsel,
mobilized every division and affiliate of the motion picture industry
into a single company of men and women engaged in the service
of their country. Now, after little more than twelve months of opera-
tion, the War Activities Committee has published a report of things
accomplished,* which outruns the hopes that any of us might have
dared to entertain at the beginning of last year. That report speaks
in the name of a united motion picture industry and for more than
200,000 persons laboring in its various fields.
The members of this Association, along with all other represen-
tatives of the industry, are the grateful beneficiaries of the work of
the War Activities Committee. All of us working alone could not
have done what all of us have been able to do together.
In its anonymity and modesty, the report of the War Activities
Committee does not say what we can say-that the magnificent
cooperation of its seven working divisions made the W.A.C. an
effective instrument of industry service to the nation.
The interdependence of exhibitors and distributors, producers
and manufacturers of film and equipment, is an axiom all of us have
recognized, but it has been made even more evident by the fact
that over-all unity was indispensable for an efficient war effort.
* This 32-page illustrated report is published under the title "Movies at War," copies
of which may be obtained from the War Activities Committee-Motion Picture
Industry, 1501 Broadway, New York City.
We cannot doubt that the War Activities Committee will con-
tinue for the duration to enlist all the elements of the motion picture
industry in the war. In the beginning it expressed our unity of
purpose. Now it can point to great accomplishments resulting
from that unity. To speed the day of victory, every facility the
motion picture industry possesses will be fully used.
In order to bring out the story of how this industry went to war
I shall summarize-often quoting without quotation marks-the
most important facts and figures set forth in fascinating detail
in "Movies at War"; and to complete the recital I shall add from
other sources additional material pertinent to the war activities of
the whole industry.
For the purposes of this report, the industry's war effort can
be summarized under three major headings: the production, dis-
tribution and exhibition of films, including training films; the organ-
ization and execution of drives and campaigns for public or charity
funds, or for precious materials; and the employment of technical
skills and services.
Production, Distribution and Exhibition of Films-Shorts and
documentaries have been made for exhibition to the civilian audi-
ences in this country, and for the people of the United Nations.
Some of these, called "Victory Films," have been made by the
United States Government, through its Office of War Information.
Of the 50 trailers and shorts approved by the War Activities Com-
mittee, prior to December 31, 1942, 40 were made by the Federal
Bureaus, six by the industry for the government, and four by the
industry for nation-wide charitable organizations.
All of these films are distributed by the industry, without cost
to the government and, in accordance with the signed pledges of
16,486 exhibitors, these films regularly reach a larger audience than
that of even the exceptional commercial release. The prime purpose
of these pictures is to reach the largest possible audience in the
least possible time. These films are, from the government's view-
point, in the nature of news.
The scope and variety of these documentary presentations is
exemplified by the following selection from the 50 short subjects
issued before the end of 1942: CALLING ALL WORKERS (War Jobs),
WHERE Do WE Go? (USO), POTS TO PLANES (Scrap Aluminum),
RING OF STEEL (Morale), FRYING PAN TO FIRING LINE (Save Fats),
VIGILANCE (Forest Saboteurs), COLLEGES AT WAR (Education),,
LAKE CARRIERS (Iron Ore), BOMBER (OEM).
Distinct from, but similar to, the foregoing series of "Victory
Films," are the shorts in the "America Speaks" series, which are
entirely an industry product, though themes, facts and figures in
many cases have been provided by OWI. Producer-Distributor
companies voluntarily produced the films in this series, without
calculating overhead studio charges in the cost. Many of these have
already been distributed without profit. Recognized war charities
are to be the beneficiaries of all receipts above actual cost of the
negative and prints. MR. BLABBERMOUTH, the first of these films,
will net about $50,000 for the Red Cross. The following titles are
cited to exemplify the character and range of subject treated:
LETTER FROM BATAAN (Don't Waste), MAGIC ALPHABET (Vita-
mins), WE REFUSE To DIE (Lidice), MR. SMUG ("Let George Do
It"), A DAY IN Moscow (Our Russian Ally), ARSENAL OF MIGHT
(U. S. at War).
Newsreels. Another industry product is the commercial news-
reel. The semi-weekly newsreels are the screen's front pages. They
are of the utmost importance in making the American public an
eye-witness to the events and efforts of this war.
Perhaps among all the heroic sacrifices of the conflict, none is
more outstanding than the courage shown by newsreel camera-
men in the areas of combat. Many of these men have sacrificed
their lives and died with their cameras in hand. The only limita-
tion in what the newsreels bring to the screen is the military cen-
In the year following Pearl Harbor the newsreels presented
4278 different subjects or "clips", of which 78.3 percent deal with
some phase of the total war effort. Of these 23.2 percent deal with
scenes of fighting; 27.4 percent deal with our armed forces at home;
14.6 percent with war-time Washington and government cam-
paigns; 9 percent with activities on the war production front; and
4.1 percent with "Good Neighbor" relations.
The newsreels not only keep America informed, but reinforce
the community of purpose throughout the United Nations by in-
creasing communication of interest between America and its allies.
What local newspapers, and even national magazines, do for their
localities, the newsreels do for a community that extends through-
out this hemisphere and includes our allies and friends in Europe
and the Far East.
The service performed by the newsreels may be realized by a
recital of some of the events shown: The damage done at Pearl
Harbor; the scene in Congress when President Roosevelt asked for
a Declaration of War; the air raid on Tokio; General MacArthur's
arrival in Australia; Admiral Halsey's attack on the Gilbert and
Marshall Islands; the battle of Midway; the capture of the Solo-
mons; the fighting in New Guinea; the invasion of Africa; the last
moments of the heroic U.S.S. Lexington; the raid on Bremen by
1000 Bombers of the R.A.F.; the Commando exploits at Dieppe; the
attack on a Malta convoy; Rommel's rout by the British; the
scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon; a United States carrier
under Jap fire somewhere in the Pacific; the almost incredible de-
fense of Stalingrad; the rescue of Captain Rickenbacker.
In managing to do so much, the newsreels have surpassed
themselves, despite unprecedented difficulties. They have given to
the armed forces half of their cameramen and every foot of film
from war zones must clear through military channels.
Two important developments in the newsreel field of the past
year-both occasioned by the war-have real significance. The
newsreels have gotten together on a "coverage pool", comparable
to the news services of the press, with 14 cameramen scattered all
over the world collecting picture material for their joint use. Also
the five newsreels are contributing material for a composite "united
newsreel", which is shown abroad.
The U. S. Army Motion Picture Service is now operating 840
theatres at army camps in the United States, Alaska and the Carib-
bean bases. These theatres, with a seating capacity of 543,576 had,
in 1942, a total attendance of 118,000,000 men in uniform. The
nominal admission of 14 cents set by the Army Service, enables
these camp theatres to turn over a profit to their camp mess funds.
Under another arrangement, the Navy also secures films for ships
and naval bases. The wounded and the ailing have not been for-
gotten. Motion picture equipment and films have been provided
for therapeutic use in over 100 Service hospitals.
The entertainment of our soldiers at home and overseas during
the last war was, of necessity, largely a voluntary contribution of
theatrical performers who could travel, in person, the circuit of the
camps and posts. But in this war no such effort could have been
summoned. It is a happy coincidence that the world wide poten-
tiality of the screen should have reached development at a time
when the exigencies of world-wide warfare require us to solve the
problem of providing entertainment for our soldiers and sailors.
Prints of current feature pictures and short subjects have been
donated to the War Department, in the name of the American
motion picture industry, for the entertainment of our soldiers in
combat areas abroad. The gift comprised 4700 complete film pro-
grams for showing overseas. Thus we light the home fires on the
battle fronts of the world. Commanding officers have told us again
and again how indispensable to the morale of their troops have
been the hours of relaxation which movies have provided. Thou-
sands of expressions of gratitude from the fighting men themselves
corroborate the statements of their leaders.
In still another category are the training films which have been
made for the War Department by Hollywood studios, functioning
through the Research Council of the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences. These are increasingly important as effective
visual aids in the training of the American army.
Some of Hollywood's greatest directors and ablest cameramen,
now working for the Government, are preparing a series of Orienta-
tion Films, with the aid of experts in history and psychology. These
also were intended for the men in our armed forces, and are
designed to be fundamental education in the background and
issues of this war. PRELUDE TO WAR, THE NAZIS STRIKE, and THE
BATTLE OF BRITAIN are the first three in this series of seven.
One of the impressive services of the industry has been to
draw upon its film libraries to provide the Office of Strategic Serv-
ices with approximately one million feet of film, portraying coast
lines, harbors, city streets, and other topographical features of
present and possible future combat areas. Scenes taken from old
feature pictures, as well as from travelogues, contain location shots
which have proved invaluable. The industry's film libraries, in-
cluding the libraries of the newsreels, as well as the still photo-
graphs employed by the studio research departments, have become
an indispensable auxiliary to naval and military intelligence which
face the tasks of planning the expeditions of world warfare.
Finally, mention must be made of films produced by our British,
Canadian and Russian Allies, and released in the United States,
distributed by our commercial companies, and shown in thou-
sands of our theatres: by the British, such pictures as LONDON
CAN TAKE IT, TARGET FOR TONIGHT, COASTAL COMMAND, and WE
SAIL AT MIDNIGHT; by the Canadians, such excellent shorts as
CHURCHILL'S ISLAND, THIS is BLITZ, OUR RUSSIAN ALLIES, and
HITLER'S PLAN; by the Russians, 11 feature pictures, including
Moscow STnIKES BACK, OUR RUSSIAN FRONT, and THIS Is THE
ENEMY, and 12 short subjects, including ALL SLAVS UNITE, CHIL-
DREN AT WAR, BATTLE OF THE DON.
Drives and Campaigns. The popularity of screen actresses and
actors is immeasurable. They, together with the motion picture
theatres, have thrown their whole influence toward enlisting film
fans in the support of drives and campaigns originated by the gov-
ernment or undertaken by charitable organizations. To expedite
the sale of bonds, over 4500 theatres are issuing agents for war
bonds and stamps. Thousands of theatres have helped in the work
of piling up scrap for conversion to military uses. The theatres of
the entire nation have collected from their patrons millions of
dollars for the various war charities.
In four national charity campaigns, the nation's moviegoers,
through their theatres, generously gave the following sums:
$777,586.26 for Greek War Relief, $997,885.95 for the USO,
$1,420,568.72 for Infantile Paralysis and $2,120,212.66 for Army-
Navy Emergency Relief. In 1943 similar collections have already
been successfully conducted for the United Nations Relief Fund,
Infantile Paralysis and the Red Cross. In addition, local theatres
have cooperated in their own communities with local drives for
community chests, war chests, and other charities.
For its part in all of the industry's war activities, and espe-
cially in connection with these drives and campaigns, the TRADE
PRESS is highly commended for its contribution of over 100 pages
of space devoted to the publicizing and advertising of these under-
takings within the industry itself.
In September, 1942, our industry executed a project of gigantic
proportions. Every one of September's thirty days was a red letter
day on the calendar of effort which resulted in the sale of war bonds
with a billion dollar redemption value. It is impossible to convey
the spirit of that undertaking. The cold facts and figures must be
allowed to speak plainly for the phenomenal success achieved.
In 43 of the 48 states previously-set quotas were exceeded, and
both Treasury and industry goals were topped. During that month
of September a million more workers were added to the 10% payroll
war savings plan. Distributors contributed their important movies,
and exhibitors their theatres, for bond premieres; seats were priced
from $25 to $25,000 in bonds and these "free shows" are credited
with sales of $94,048,179.35. During this September campaign 59
Hollywood stars travelled 21,000 miles for Bond Rallies in 368
cities, which resulted in a total sale of $206,635,779.
The Hollywood Victory Committee was organized three days
after Pearl Harbor to coordinate and plan the manifold activities
of the members of the 13 affiliated organizations it represents. Its
New York affiliate, the United Theatrical War Activities Committee,
has shared in these manifold activities and distinguished service. In
December, 1942, the Hollywood Victory Committee issued its
"First Yearly Report," outlining basic purposes and recounting
purposes accomplished. Again I summarize-quoting freely from
By the end of 1942, 1390 different artists gave a total of 7620
performances at 492 different events. These events included per-
sonal appearances in many cities to aid charity drives for the Red
Cross, USO, Army and Navy Emergency Relief, and participation
in the continuing efforts of the United States Treasury in the sale
of war bonds and stamps. Another of the far-reaching activities
of the Victory Committee during the past year has been its work
on the radio. Special radio broadcasts for the War, Navy and Treas-
ury Departments and other governmental agencies, charities and.
miscellaneous organizations, made heavy demands upon the Vic-
tory Committee's talent pool. During the past year the Committee
furnished a total of 474 prominent personalities who participated in
222 radio programs which have assisted recruiting, stimulated
bond sales, supported charity drives, and aided in the cementing
of better understanding between the United States and its South
American neighbors. The Victory Committee has also furnished
talent for the recording of radio transcriptions, to be used by
governmental and other agencies for the same fundamental pur-
poses. A total of 507 players have participated in the making of
111 such transcriptions, most outstanding of which is the War
Department's "Command Performance". This is not broadcast for
American civilians, but is short-waved to the men of America's
fighting forces on all battle fronts. Each Sunday this program is
beamed over 18 different international short-wave stations 32
In selling United States war bonds, the Hollywood Victory
Committee has played a memorable part since the day it was
formed. Treasury officials have testified that film stars make top
war bond salesmen. The records of the Committee reveal that
during 1942, 270 players made a total of 2773 personal appear-
ances in connection with the sale of war bonds.
" This report can be obtained from the Hollywood Victory Committee, Inc., 415%
North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Especially must be mentioned the entertainment of the men
in our armed forces, both in continental United States and abroad.
The Victory Committee's policy is that entertainment of the men
of the armed services of the United States is of primary importance.
Such entertainment takes precedence over all other requests for
talent. While the Committee aids all branches of the government,
no branch comes before camp entertainment.
During the past year, more than 600 players have participated
in a total of 352 "spot" camp shows. The designation "spot" show
is given this type of entertainment because they are shows that
are "spotted" in individual camps one time only. Sometimes they
have been given before an audience of 20 soldiers; sometimes
before 2000 and often more. These shows are considered by mili-
tary authorities to be of vital importance, for they reach camps
where USO camp tour shows are not regularly scheduled.
Fifty-one top-name players have headlined USO camp tour
shows, travelling through the United States to present spectacular
entertainment in army camps and naval stations during 1942. Dur-
ing the course of these tours, each of which required from three
to five weeks, the stars made appearances in 273 camps. Plans for
the further extension of this service are now in preparation.
In Alaska and the Aleutians, Newfoundland and Iceland, Eng-
land and Northern Ireland, the Canal Zone and the Carribbean
bases, and recently in North Africa, Hollywood talent has been
engaged in giving theatrical performances for the fighting men
at the front. More than a score of players have undertaken this
work and over a hundred more have volunteered for overseas enter-
tainment service during the current year.
Playing a vital part in the success of all the foregoing projects
was the work done by a group of the industry's top-flight writers
and directors who prepared radio scripts, wrote material, and
directed the shows.
The invaluable assets upon which the Hollywood Victory Com-
mittee has been able to draw without reserve are talent and patriot-
ism. Together they are an unbeatable combination. Hollywood
provided bountiful supplies of each.
In concluding this section, I turn again to the part played by
the theatres of the country. The profound importance of the various
campaigns to collect scrap metal, to conserve various useful mate-
rials, and to bring every man, woman and child in the community
into war activity is well known. The theatres have aided in this
scrap offensive by giving special matinees to which the only admis-
sion required was a contribution of some of the critical materials.
In the regular theatre programs they exhibited well-planned shorts
to stimulate the collections; and by the continual exhibition of
screen trailers and the display week after week of lobby posters,
sustained these drives. The industry itself is engaged in its own
campaign to save copper drippings and copper-coated carbon
butts in its projection booths.
These added burdens impose themselves upon an industry
already suffering from depleted manpower. It must ever be borne
in mind that the industry's product is almost wholly dependent
upon personalities. The loss of a skilled, trained technician or a
widely popularized personality is almost an irreparable loss. Months
are required for replacement and often such personalities are
entirely irreplaceable. The very nature of talent is unique. The
screen personality is a rare combination of fortuitous discovery and
continuous development. There is no reserve inventory of talent.
The technical proficiency and industrial art of the motion
picture studios have made themselves useful in various ways, such
as the development of camouflage techniques and demonstrations
for the army of motion picture methods for creating smoke and
fog. Furthermore, 150 film cameramen and 176 still photographers
have been trained for the United States Army Signal Corps, at no
cost to the Government, through the Research Council of the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The MARCH OF
TIME in New York has graduated several classes of cameramen
for service in the Navy. The Balaban & Katz Theatre Circuit in
Chicago continues to operate a school for the U. S. Navy which
trains men in the amazing new skills in sound detection. No war
plants are busier with high priority orders than our industry's manu-
facturers of lenses, cameras, projectors, film and sound equipment.
IV. DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES
PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION
The volume of work and variety of activities involved in the
administration of the Production Code during 1942 can be sum-
marized in the following table:
TOTAL NUMBER OF FEATURE PICTURES APPROVED
BY TIE PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION
FROM 1935 TO 1942, INCLUSIVE
1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942
(U. S.) 334 337 339 322 366 325 403 369
(U. S.) 169 229 228 169 161 154 143 147
Companies 61 55 41 54 57 44 22 30*
Total.... 564 621 608 545 584 523 568 546
Reissues......... 338 142 55 49 12 7 4 2
To the foregoing table must be added the fact that during last
year, 683 short subjects were approved, of which 616 were pro-
duced by member companies and 66 by non-member companies,
in the United States; one foreign short subject approved by the
Production Code Administration was produced by a non-member
company, but was released by a member company. These facts
show that reissues, short subjects and domestic-made features
have decreased in comparison with last year, while foreign-made
features have increased.
SOf the 30 pictures produced abroad in 1942, 7 were distributed by member com-
panies and 18 by non-member companies.
AMOUNT AND CHARACTER OF MATERIAL
SUBMITTED TO THE PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION
FOR CONSIDERATION AND CONSULTATION IN 1942
Number of synopses read ................................. 47
Number of feature scripts read ........................................ 930
Number of additions and changes considered ................ 1,435
Num ber of retakes considered ............................ ............... 23
Number of short subject scripts, including serials, read ... 304
Approximate number of consultations on features and
short subjects ................ .............................................. 141
Number of letters and opinions written, dealing with
stories, scripts, reviews for features and short subjects 3,423
In accordance with the slightly reduced number of feature
pictures and shorts considered in 1942, the number of consulta-
tions and opinions written was also slightly smaller.
FEATURE PICTURES FOR 1941 AND 1942 ANALYZED
ACCORDING TO TYPE
A action .. . .............. . ... ... 65 75
A adventure ............... ........... 9 12
Com edy .. ................................... 59 56
Juvenile ....................... ............. 16 14
Detective-Mystery .......... ......... 6 7
M urder-M ystery ......................... 45 41
M musical ... ...... ... .......... ............ 1 0
Social Problem .................................. 16 6
R om antic ....................................... 6 2
Football ............. ............... .......... 0 2
A action ... .......... ....................... 110 108
M y stery ..... ................................... 4 2
M u sical .................... ......................... 5 2
A action ............... ...... ............ 8 11
Adventure ... .... ......... ......... 1 0
FEATURE PICTURES FOR 1941 AND 1942 ANALYZED
ACCORDING TO TYPE (Continued)
Biographical-Historical .................. 6 10
M musical .......................................... 6 4
R om antic ......................................... 9 6
Social Problem .................................. 32 48
C om ed y ............................................ 0 1
A action ................................. ....... 24 14
Social Problem ................ ........... 1 1
Prison ....... ...... ............ ........... 0 2
Rom antic ................. .............. ... 42 29
M musical ........... ........ ........... .. 35 30
Juvenile .......................................... 6 6
Farce-Com edy ................................ 44 27
Cartoon Feature ........................... .. 3 2
Fantasy ............... ............................ 3 6
D ocum entary .................................... 2 4
H orror ................... ..... ...... 7 14
Religious ... .. ........... ............ 1 0
Allegorical . ............................. 1 0
Travelogue .......................... 2 3
Historical ............ ......... 0 1
TOTALS ............... ................ 575 546
During the year 1942 no appeals were taken on any decisions
rendered by the Hollywood Division of the Production Code Ad-
ministration. Appeals were taken on three pictures submitted to the
Eastern Division and these were heard by the Board of Directors.
Three feature pictures were definitely and finally rejected by
the Production Code Administration during 1942. Eighteen com-
pleted feature pictures, originally rejected, were successfully re-
vised and approved.
Twenty-seven scripts, or treatments for feature pictures, re-
jected in their original form, were rewritten and subsequently
found to conform with the provisions of the Production Code.
The Latin-American Advisor of the Production Code Adminis-
tration has continued to read scripts and review pictures which
contain material involving Latin-America. During 1942 he read
177 scripts, reviewed 184 pictures, and participated in 591 con-
The enforcement provisions of the Office of Censorship here-
inafter referred to required the examination of all motion pictures
intended for export. The requirements of the Boards of Review
could not properly be included among the direct responsibilities
of the Production Code Administration; but the Production Code
Administration, during the process of reviewing scripts before pro-
duction, was in a position to offer advice to the studios in instances
where it would be desirable to confer with the Board of Review
before entering upon production. It was agreed that the Production
Code Administration would include in its reports upon scripts to
the individual studios a recommendation that a conference be had
with the Board of Review whenever the script presented a problem
that might involve export censorship. Similar procedure was
organized for the Eastern Division of the Production Code Admin-
istration in connection with the New York Board of Review.
A further problem, especially important in Hollywood, was the
procedure by which the Board of Review should be given the
opportunity to review pictures. For the convenience of the Board
and the companies, it was agreed that a representative of the Board
would sit with the members of the Production Code Administration
when each picture is reviewed by that organization. This was ac-
complished under conditions satisfactory to all parties concerned.
ADVERTISING CODE ADMINISTRATION
The high degree of compliance with the provisions of the Ad-
vertising Code is indicated by the fact that there were only two
violations during 1942. One of these, by a member company, was
the first violation of the sort since 1933, and on appeal the Board
of Directors upheld the Administration's ruling. The other viola-
tion was by a non-member producer.
While the total amount of material submitted to the Code Ad-
ministration in 1942 was less than in 1941 (508 press books as
against 539), the total amounts of rejected and revised material
were also lower in 1942. Therefore, percentages of discarded ma-
terial remained about the same, or less than 1% of the total sub-
Of the 508 completed press book campaigns submitted, all but
two were approved. This total, indicative of the number of full-
length feature pictures, can be compared with 539 in 1941, 490 in
1940, and 509 in 1939.
Discarded or revised advertisements in 1942 totalled 313 as
against 472 in 1941. This represents 3.21 percent of the 10,099
advertisements submitted to the Code Administration, as compared
with 4.24 percent of discards out of a total of 11,143 items submitted
As in other phases of self-regulation in the motion picture in-
dustry, the principal concern of the Advertising Code Administra-
tion has been directed toward preventative measures at all times
and it is this fact which accounts for the exceedingly small per-
centage of the total amount of material submitted that ultimately
had to be completely discarded.
The following table gives a statistical summary of the year's
Material Considered Discarded
on Submission or Revised
1942 1941 1942 1941
Stills-Hollywood 96,116 117,105 1,288 2,320
-New York ... 2,219 4,479 20 30
Advertisements .... 10,099 11,143 313 472
Publicity Stories ... 9,589 9,844 1 3
Exploitation Ideas ........ 7,188 9,641 11 21
Miscellaneous Accessories 4,999 4,915 8 18
Posters .............. 1,555 1,615 35 37
Trailers ..... ............. 918 1,129 10 3
Completed Press Books ......... 508 539 2 None
Since Pearl Harbor, the ever increasing number of films dealing
with some phase of the war has called for special facilities in review-
ing this type of advertising. The Advertising Code Administration
has been careful to allow nothing to pass that might be objection-
able to the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or any other branch of
the armed forces. The use of the American flag in advertising is
carefully watched and the treatment of all our allies is given special
The Hollywood branch of the Advertising Code Administration
put into effect a number of war-time procedures for the sake of
saving essential materials, economizing on the use of transportation
facilities, and decreasing the use of man-power.
All of this work was accomplished with a minimum of friction
between the Administration and the studios and it is a pleasure to
report that the Advertising Code Administration has found its
services increasingly called upon by non-members with whom most
cordial relations have been maintained.
TITLE REGISTRATION BUREAU
The Title Registration Bureau was established in 1925, as a
result of the desire of the member companies of the Association
to develop some formula to protect themselves against financial
losses incident to numerous duplications in the titles of their mo-
With the development of self-regulation of the moral content
of motion pictures, it became necessary to give attention to titles
from the standpoint of moral acceptability and good taste. This
necessity was further emphasized by the resolution of the Board
of Directors on December 10, 1930, requiring member companies
to submit all proposed titles for registration and the determination
of their acceptability.
Twenty-five producing and distributing companies, including
19 members of the Association and six non-members, now take
advantage of title registration service. The number of titles of
released pictures is over 40,000. The number of titles registered in
the unreleased file is about 11,000 and approximately 3500 new
titles are registered annually.
The statistical record for the year 1942 shows: titles registered,
4219 (average of 16 per day); releases, 2020; titles cleared for
non-members, 300; titles rejected, 53; arbitrations, 4.
The dominant problem at the beginning of last year was
whether the groups and organizations with which this department
normally works would modify their programs and alter their
activities in accordance with war-time conditions. There was no
precedent on which their attitude could be predicted. Our decision
was to continue all of these community service activities and to
watch for shifts of interest, so that our program could be adapted
Before the year was over, however, we discovered that, for the
most part, the groups with which we worked were continuing their
activities. By means of a questionnaire, enclosed with our research
exhibit on the feature picture WAKE ISLAND, we attempted to
get a fair sampling of the interest on the part of schools, libraries,
club groups, and other institutions. We found that a negligibly
small percentage of their replies indicated a curtailment of interest,
and that more than 95 percent of the replies indicated a desire to
continue to receive promotional and informative material on current
short subjects, feature pictures, and industry activity in general.
Our cooperation with organized groups begins with, and is
based upon, their preview of our product. The maintenance of
previewing facilities is therefore fundamental. We do not issue
promotional material on pictures until they have been generally
endorsed by the West Coast and the East Coast Previewing
These previewing groups regularly issue reports to their con-
stituent members. A joint report of all the groups represented in
the work of our West Coast office is published by that office under
the title "Estimates on Current Motion Pictures" and widely dis-
tributed. In addition, these reports are distributed by the Chairmen
of the previewing groups to their various organizations. They are
also used by the national Parent-Teacher Magazine and in "Filh
Music Notes" of the National Federation of Music Clubs.
In the East Coast previewing group, the Daughters of the
American Revolution and the International Federation of Catholic
Alumni prepare their own separate appraisals and mail them out
to their constituents. These reports are also used by a number of
magazines, both in publicizing the opinions of individual organiza-
tions, and in making up composite estimates of pictures, as in the
case of Parents' Magazine, Cue, and Wilson's Reports.
There are many by-products of, and other activities incidental
to, this previewing work. Our West Coast office publishes a monthly
leaflet, entitled "Leading Motion Pictures", and a weekly bulletin
entitled "What's Happening in Hollywood". It prepares study
aids for the use of club groups, schools and colleges. At the sugges-
tion of many secondary school teachers who thought that our
weekly bulletins would serve as an excellent basis for the study
of motion picture art, the West Coast office prepared a series of
articles which have been and arc being published in Scholastic
Magazine, which has a circulation of 347,000.
In addition to the personal contacts maintained by the staff of
the West Coast office, field representatives of this department serve
other areas of the country by personally meeting in their own com-
munities the various groups it is our ultimate aim to reach and help.
Thus, last year, our field representative, operating out of Chicago
and through the middle western states, travelled 20,940 miles, at-
tended 37 group conferences and delivered 171 addresses in 65 dif-
ferent communities, located in 11 different states. Grouped insti-
tutionally, his visits covered 57 church groups, 42 colleges and
high schools, 27 women's clubs, 23 men's service clubs, 12 Better
Films Councils, and 8 Parent-Teacher Associations.
It has already been noted in this report that there has been
a progressive tendency for films of genuine artistic excellence to
gain an enthusiastic popular acceptance. This fact is the greatest
tribute to the integrity of motion pictures as a living and lively
art, and a reliable portent of the progressive cultivation of good
taste and critical appreciation on the part of the mass audience.
It is not too much to say that one of the factors responsible for
this happy state of affairs is the promotional activity of this de-
There could be no more effective form of institutional advertis-
ing than to promote the industry's best products in a non-com-
mercial way; and at the same time it is precisely such non-
commercial promotion of specific outstanding films which has
brought these pictures to wider and more varied public notice than
they might otherwise have received. By thus increasing the popular
enjoyment of films that have special merit, as notable entertain-
ment and as works of cinematic art, the audience for motion pic-
tures is not only increased by reaching new elements in the
population, but the general level of popular acceptance is raised.
The work done by this department in its nationwide promotion
of certain specially selected films each year at once serves the
public good and the good of motion picture art. Community service
is also service to the industry.
Pedagogic Films. "Teaching Film Custodians" is the corporate
name of the Advisory Committee on the Use of Motion Pictures in
Education, which was authorized by the member companies to
receive and administer requests from educational institutions for
16 mm. prints of theatrical short subjects for classroom use under
restrictions set by the producing companies. December 31, 1942,
marked the end of the first three full years of operation of Teaching
A small beginning was made in 1939 for the distribution of
these films under 12 long term and 21 short term license agree-
ments, executed with educational institutions. By the end of 1940,
33 additional long term agreements and 99 short term agreements
were signed. The long term agreements were mostly with the
larger school film libraries, subsidized by the state universities of
the West and South, and operated as an extension educational
service for local schools in their respective states, and the short
term agreements were made with local schools or school systems
in various parts of the country.
In 1941 the volume of distribution greatly increased. By De-
cember of that year a total of 207 educational institutions were
using, or distributing, these short subjects. A casual survey of the
situation at that time revealed that in excess of 5,000 local schools
were availing themselves of this service with more or less regu-
larity, thus using the industry's short subjects for the instruction
of more than 6,000,000 elementary and high school students. Dur-
ing the year just concluded the extent of distribution continued to
develop. The total number of short subjects actually in circulation
has now grown to 443 titles, of which a total number of 5,509 prints
are in circulation on restricted license.
The effectiveness of this service has thus reached a new high
point, which demonstrates not only a continued, but a growing,
usefulness in the visual education field. That usefulness, which has
largely been accomplished through the aid of the State universities
of the West and South, has made it apparent that some steps
should be taken to make these films more readily available in the
middle Atlantic states, where as yet no State universities or State
department of education serves this valuable purpose, although
the local schools in these states have availed themselves to some
extent of the inadequate facilities provided by the New York office.
To meet this need a joint project was established with the Amer-
ican Museum of Natural History, through which a rental library
of Teaching Film Custodian prints was deposited for distribution
under established restrictions to schools in these states.
The revenues received from the rental of Teaching Film Cus-
todian prints have been adequate to make the project self-support-
ing and, in addition, have allowed small annual surpluses, which
are being used for research work, aimed in making the motion
picture increasingly useful in the educational field. Three research
projects are now in operation. One concerns the use of motion pic-
tures in teaching social studies in high schools, stressing such topics
as human welfare, civic responsibility, and global geography. A
second project under development is concerned with planning a
sequence of films showing the geography and modern life of China.
A third project concerns the use of films in the teaching of English
literature, which so far has been one of the most conspicuously
barren areas in the visual education field.
Following the action of the board of directors of this Associa-
tion, the World's Fair feature picture, LAND OF LIBERTY, has
been reduced to 16 mm. film for school use. This subject has been
divided into four historical segments, so that, in addition to its use
as a unit in general assemblies, it may also be used as a teaching
text. An initial issue of 50 prints was made, all of which have now
been leased to school film libraries. The distribution of this subject
to schools throughout the country promises to be extensive. It is
an excellent indication of the way in which the historical materials
portrayed in feature films can be converted into pedagogic use-
The Museum of Modern Art Film Library finds each year
increased usefulness and interest to the motion picture industry.
Established with the aid of a grant from the Rockefeller Founda-
tion and the support of patrons of the Museum of Modern Art,
the Museum of Modern Art Film Library announced its purpose
of collecting, preserving, and showing (non-commercially) note-
worthy films of all types and periods in order that the motion pic-
ture might be studied and enjoyed on the same basis as the other
arts. To review briefly the Film Library's better-known achieve-
ments in the past eight years tells only part of the story.
Its archives by now contain 17,500,000 feet of film representing
the cream of production both in the United States and abroad since
1895. They include items as popular as The Birth of a Nation and
The Jazz Singer and Walt Disney's first Mickey Mouse, besides
rarities like the silent picture of 1916, Cenere, in which appeared
the incomparable actress, Eleanora Duse. They include subjects
as old as the film itself, like The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots,
and as new as How to Dig, a short for victory gardeners just re-
ceived from England. A wealth of the old Biograph Company's
negatives are here, all of Pathe newsreel since its inception, and
here, too, are housed in safety the films of the late Douglas Fair-
banks and those of William S. Hart and his beloved pony.
But the Film Library is not a dead storage concern. Its purpose
is to make its treasures visible. Consequently it has formulated
over 70 separate programs of film illustrating the history and de-
velopment of the motion picture, and has circulated them to some
700 colleges, museums, and societies on a non-commercial basis.
In addition, over 300,000 people visited the Museum in New York.
There daily in the Museum's auditorium, the whole progress of
the art of the motion picture from its beginning is now spread
before visitors in the form of approximately 120 separate programs,
under the collective title of A Cycle of 300 Films: 1895-1940-a
series which takes more than eight months of daily showings to
The Film Library, in thus so amply fulfilling its purpose of dis-
playing the motion picture as a living art, has performed a great
service. That this service has not gone unappreciated is evidenced
by the fact that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
conferred upon the Film Library a Special Award for its significant
Recognition of its earnestness of purpose was forthcoming from
another direction when, early in 1942, it was appointed as agent
of the Library of Congress with the specific charge of reviewing
and indexing all films submitted for copyright and of making recom-
mendations to the Librarian as to which films should be preserved
in the Library's national collections.
INDUSTRY SERVICE BUREAU
The Industry Service Bureau of Motion Pictures is the industry's
approach to current over-all problems and opportunities arising
from public relations. It came into being a year ago. It consists of
the advertising and publicity heads of the member companies.
Those operating in New York are known as the Eastern Division
of the Bureau. Those operating in Hollywood are the Western
Division. The Association provides the coordinator.
For various reasons, great importance must be attached to
this new development. The organization of the committees brought
together highly competitive agencies into spirited discussion of
those industry problems which arise from contact with the public
and should properly be considered common to all. At the same time
the committees could, and do, maintain the active competition
between companies which is their right and the measure of their
success. These able men have recognized that the appraisal of the
public in many fields does not run to individual pictures or in-
dividual companies, but to the general impression motion pictures
This organization effected many economies consistent with war
times. Co-operative arranging of previews, trade showings, and
other industry processes cut costs of all companies and saved great
quantities of gasoline, rubber and man-hours. It also enabled highly
skilled hands to assist in publicizing the various activities by which
the entire industry aids the government's war effort.
These committees are clearing houses for outstanding adver-
tising minds in the industry and through them clear those inevitable
problems which are of the whole industry's impression upon the
public mind rather than of the component parts which are the
individual companies' impressions. They have perfected a long
range plan which is directed by the Association through its co-
ordinator. The basic aim of this plan is to show to industry workers,
important groups outside the industry, women's clubs, civic clubs,
religious organizations, educational leaders, editors, commentators,
librarians and the public generally, the purpose of our industry,
the effectiveness of its efforts, and the dimension of its services as
The plan has been a year in the making. That its purposes will
be accomplished is now clearly indicated. Vital public groups have
for six months been provided with The Motion Picture Letter. This
is issued from time to time as a factual, unembellished statement
of industry news. It has an excellent reception. It is often editorially
quoted by the public press.
A series of public meetings is now in progress. For the most part,
these are luncheons at which the motion picture industry is hon-
ored. In Boston, on February sixteenth, the Advertising Club was
host to civic, religious, educational and women's leaders as well as
two hundred exhibitors and distributors of motion pictures. In
New York City on March ninth, the Sales Executives' Club was
host at a similar meeting. In both instances the guests represented
outstanding leaders of all industries, and all opinion-forming
groups. Meetings are in process of preparation for key cities from
coast to coast.
At these gatherings a simple, direct, factual statement of the
industry's purposes and achievements is made. The reaction from
these meetings has been excellent both within and without motion
picture circles. This reaction warrants a continuing schedule of
Pamphlets pertinent to various phases of the motion picture's
service have been prepared and are available for distribution
through theatres and mailing lists. Three field men are at work
contacting exhibitors, distributors, and civic leaders. Their purpose
is to emphasize the vital importance of the neighborhood theatre
to each community, and the need every individual has for those
theatres and the able men who operate them.
In the Association offices a graphic fle has been set up. Into
this file, by states, are placed the names of leaders in all walks of
life who have manifested an interest in pictures. These influential
people are constantly provided with current news of motion picture
In complete humility, fully cognizant of human limitations but
quite definitely proud of the industry's achievements, the Industry
Service Bureau is exactly what the name implies. It gives service
to those in and out of our industry to the end that the industry may
stand squarely upon its merit. Any fair-minded, responsible person
seeking truth about "the movies" may find it through the Industry
Those Americans who have only that inescapable interest in
"movies" which everyone has, will be promptly provided with in-
creasing understanding and appreciation of our industry as well as
of its art. They need only make inquiry as their interest broadens.
In the days of peace ahead, as well as in these war days, we
shall want thousands of friends to aid us in fulfilling our tremendous
tasks. We intend to have them. The Industry Service Bureau is
dedicated to the belief that to understand our industry is to be
its friend. To that end, the Bureau labors.
Each of the Divisions of the Bureau has its own Staff under the
immediate direction of a Secretary. These men are learned in the
practical problems of the industry. Weekly meetings are held to
discuss ways and means of raising the standards of exploitation
and advertising activities; of providing government agencies with
quick and accurate channels of information and assistance; of
assisting others in the great tasks of routing, timing and making
wholly effective the war efforts of stars in their personal appear-
ances at camps and bond rallies; of providing truth and correcting
false impressions about the industry.
It is clear that above all else the motion picture audience must,
by entertainment, be kept intact-for public morale, for education,
for inspiration. If the manifold activities of the Industry Service
Bureau were to be compressed into a single, brief definition, it
might well be: "To fill the theatres and to keep them filled." The
ultimate measure of success will always be the merit of the pictures
shown but to the Industry Service Bureau comes the happy task
of aiding in the gathering of the millions to whom that merit speaks
and to see to it that these gather with a constantly increasing under-
standing of what the picture can and does do.
TRADE RELATIONS AND THEATRE SERVICE
During the year 1942 five of the largest distributing companies
operated under the terms of the motion picture Consent Decree
entered November 21, 1940. Among other things the Decree re-
quired the "trade screening" in every distribution center of each
feature before sale to any exhibitor; that not more than five features
in a block be licensed at the same time; that certain defined com-
plaints of exhibitors (mostly on clearance and run) be arbitrated
before local tribunals established by the American Arbitration
Association for the purpose, with right to review by an Appeals
Board in New York City; and a restriction on theatre acquisition
by affiliated circuits.
By its terms, the Decree requirements for five feature blocks
and for trade showing pictures terminated on June 1, 1942, with
respect to features released after August 31, 1942, thus concluding
a one year experiment. However, the three year trial period of
the Consent Decree does not end until November 20, 1943. There-
fore the five companies continued the licensing of pictures essen-
tially in the same manner as under the Decree.
Dissatisfaction with the Consent Decree was expressed by or-
ganized exhibitors in conferences with distributors. As a result of
these conferences there was organized the United Motion Picture
Industry, Inc., commonly called in the trade UMPI. This organ-
ization ultimately submitted a plan to the Attorney General of the
United States recommending that the Consent Decree be modified
to permit among other things the licensing of pictures in a block as
numerous as twelve, with an option to cancel two of the pictures
so licensed; also to permit licensing up to seven pictures in each
block without advance trade showing. The plan was disapproved
by the Attorney General on the ground it would "restore blind
selling." Shortly afterwards UMPI was dissolved. The Consent
Decree continues to provide a method of arbitration for individual
complaints on clearance and run. In the two years of its operation
277 such complaints have been filed.
What was said in last year's annual report remains an ultimate
truth in the sphere of trade relations, and bears repetition. Sym-
pathetic appreciation by the government of problems peculiar to
motion picture production, distribution and exhibition will aid in
the solution of trade problems.
The Association's Theatre Service Department has been able
to encourage and develop sympathetic understanding among ex-
hibitors of the fundamental principles on which the business of the
industry proceeds. One important function of this department is to
gather factual information and statistics in relation to the develop-
ments of particular interest to theatre operators. This information,
together with surveys and studies made generally available to ex-
hibitors by collaboration with exhibitor organizations, is used to
improve standards in theatre operation and management as well
as to help build good will for local theatres.
Elsewhere in this report the outstanding achievements of the
theatres have been fully set forth.
During the year the conservation regulations formulated by
the Office of Defense Transportation required substantial reduc-
tions in the mileage and in the service rendered by film delivery
truck lines. The net effect of these requirements has been to allow
less time for inspection and repair of prints, thus shortening the
life of the film, to delay print availability and consequently to force
later play dates, to tie up idle prints by extra days in transit. The
effect would have been felt to an even more serious degree had it
not been that the Theatre Service Department, by focusing the
attention of theatre operators, film delivery service and public
officials on the problems implicit in these requirements, enabled
a clearer understanding of these problems.
During 1942 this department, in collaboration with Eastman
Kodak Company, obtained data, relative to the amount of vital
materials used in 1940-1941, for the preparation of an estimate of
the materials needed in 1942 to carry on the motion picture busi-
ness. A survey conducted in all film reclamation plants showed
that eighty percent of all the film used by this industry was later
These surveys were begun in January, 1942, and completed in
March, at which time the conclusions were made available to the
War Activities Committee for their use with the War Production
Air-raid hazards constituted an emergency phase of the pro-
tective activities of this department. Meetings were held with the
Supervisors of Exchange Operations of all the national distributing
companies to discuss the air-raid equipment which should be sup-
plied to exchanges. Air-raid wardens were appointed in each dis-
tribution center to handle air-raid drills and otherwise cooperate
with the local authorities of the civilian defense program.
Because of the shortage of tin, an application was submitted
to the Bureau of Explosives for permission to use a cardboard con-
tainer for the shipment of motion picture film in place of the tin
cans which have been used since the beginning of the film business.
The application was granted and the laboratories were also given
permission to use the same substitute container in the shipment of
release prints to the various exchanges.
Many meetings were held with officers of the National Film
Carriers regarding the regulations of the Office of Defense Trans-
portation concerning the delivery of film by motor truck. Investi-
gation showed that the 35 film trucking organizations, operating
625 trucks and transporting more than 85 percent of all the motion
picture prints exhibited in this country, ran each truck on an
average of 65,000 miles per year. New schedules were arranged
so that each delivery company could decrease the average mileage
by approximately 25 percent, thereby saving gasoline and rubber
but possibly at the cost of an increased consumption of raw stock.
The protective operations of this Department continued, as in
previous years. Only one fire occurred in a film exchange in 1942,
and the inspection of this exchange was not under our supervision.
A great deal of time and study has been given to the improvement
of protective methods and the elimination of fire hazards. The most
important phase of our conservation work is the rigid maintenance
of "good housekeeping" because new employees, who are not
acquainted with the fire hazards, are continually coming into the
exchanges. Hence to maintain safety in exchanges it is necessary to
keep up a constant system of inspections. After each inspection a
report is forwarded to this Department and during 1942 more than
5,000 such monthly inspection reports were examined and recorded.
This Department also surveys non-theatrical institutions in
which motion picture equipment is used for the display of films.
During the past seven years this Department has secured the in-
stallation of more than 550 fire resistive projection booths in schools,
churches, clubs, penitentiaries, orphanages, hospitals and asylums.
Cooperative relations are also maintained with all fire protec-
tion and fire prevention bodies and conservation groups, among
which are the National Fire Protection Association, National Board
of Fire Underwriters, National Fire Waste Council, the Bureau of
Explosives and the United States Fire Marshals Association.
Over a period of years, film manufacturers have developed
various fine grain 35mm. films, both positive and negative, and
today the industry is using this new film entirely in its production.
This has greatly improved the photographic quality of the images.
Some Hollywood studios today are using 16mm. Kodachrome
film to make location shots, to do some air photography and to
produce some shorts for color pictures. This 16mm. original Koda-
chrome film is then optically blown up to 35mm. film from which
color release prints can be made.
Engineers in Hollywood have developed a new custom-built
high speed camera car, the main feature of which is its capacity
to accelerate from a standing start to a speed of 45 miles per
hour within a distance of 500 feet, and to a speed of 80 miles per
hour in 900 feet. This ability to start smoothly in high gear and
accelerate rapidly and uniformly is important in a moving camera
platform for the making of follow-shots of "chase actions" on horse-
back or in speeding motors.
A large share of the program of the Eastman Kodak Research
Laboratories last year was devoted to military and naval applica-
tions of photography. Developments arising from this research may
'vell contribute to the progress of the industry after the war.
One notable achievement among many was the quantity pro-
duction of aerial lenses made with the Eastman Kodak Company's
new rare-element glass. Made from tantalum, tungsten and lantha-
num, this optical glass is the first basic discovery in glass-making
in 55 years. Because it has a higher refractive index than previously
available optical glass of the same dispersion, the new glass makes
possible a lens which gives greater speed without loss of definition
and covering power. At present, the entire output of rare-clement
glass is absorbed by military needs.
Methods of controlling exposures while in flight include remote
manual control and photo-electric control of the diaphragm. Gyro-
scopic mounts for completely automatic cameras have been devised
so that the camera remains vertical when the airplane tilts or tips.
Excellent aerial color photos have been secured with new materials
at altitudes up to 30,000 feet and the problems presented by atmos-
pheric haze at these high altitudes have been largely overcome.
Special advance has been made in lenses for aerial photography.
They include short-focus with wide-angle lenses, very long-focus
and telephoto lenses, high-aperture lenses of fairly long-focus, and
lenses of extreme precision and definition.
In the electronic field, it is impossible to divulge the details
of most of the engineering research, but it is possible to anticipate
that the work now being done for the Government in this field
will have an important effect on the processes of sound-recording
after the war.
A special anti-reflective treatment has been developed, which
improves camera speed and makes projection lenses more efficient
than ever. Another development is the "button-on" recording at-
tachment which can be added to any standard camera as simply
as the camera's own magazine, quickly transforming a silent camera
into a single film recording system capable of producing studio
type sound quality for dialogue and location recording.
In addition to the Hollywood activities elsewhere recorded,
the following items should be noted:
The Hollywood Canteen was organized during 1942 by a group
of motion picture stars for the benefit of service men and is per-
forming a most useful service.
During 1942, Central Casting placements totalled 287,855; net
earnings, $3,388,823.61; daily average wage, $11.78.
Continuing its tradition of generous support of all charitable
and welfare agencies, the Hollywood motion picture community
made the following contributions in 1942:
Community Chest ............................. ............ $ 473,292.68
M otion Picture Relief Fund ................................ 311,112.53
Infantile Paralysis ....... ............... 19,000.00
American Red Cross ................. ................. 528,000.00
U .S.O ............ .............. .................. ..... 148,040.87
United Jewish W welfare ..................................... 153,000.00
Combined War Reliefs-
Navy, Russia, China, Dutch ........................... 196,977.98
FOREIGN TRADE RELATIONS
The coming of war posed innumerable, perplexing problems.
Many of these arose from our determination to supply American
movies in response to the earnest request of the United Nations and
the neutral countries. Other problems are implicit in the disloca-
tions of economic structure which each warring government en-
On the one hand, we found the Axis powers continuing in their
determined effort, both military and diplomatic, to prevent the
showing of American films in neutral countries. On the other hand,
the United Nations and the neutral countries were in sore need
of the morale stimulant provided by American pictures.
In addition, there was, in the four years, between 1988 and
1942, the loss of our foreign market in 31 countries.
For the sake of brevity and clarity, it is desirable to group the
problems posed and treat them in like manner, indicating the
remedies devised and the ways in which they were applied. This
can, perhaps, be done as follows: (1) the continuation of the Axis
war on American films; (2) the problems of foreign exchange,
foreign taxation and the recoupment of production and distribu-
tion investments; (3) the problem of transportation; and (4) co-
operation with the government agencies concerned with the expor-
tation of American films.
(1) The German Government declared war on the American
film industry long before September, 1939. From the beginning of
totalitarianism in Europe, the dictatorships sought to eliminate,
first at home, and then elsewhere, the American film precisely
because it was so potent a force operating against the inhuman
system they were willing to use violence to impose.
Our motion pictures reflect the life and customs of a free people
under a democratic form of government which, the Axis leaders
have so repeatedly declared, must be banished from the earth. It
is not surprising, therefore, that they began eliminating American
films from their own screens and, after war began, immediately
banned American films from the screens of the countries thpy
conquered. They continued this during the past year by trying to
force neutral and unoccupied countries to eliminate American films
from their screens. The countries involved were unoccupied France
and French North Africa, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and
Portugal. They exercised pressure upon these countries in two
ways: first, through the International Film Chamber; and second,
by threats to withhold raw stock and technical equipment.
The International Film Chamber is a semi-official organization
made up of representatives of Japan and the governments and
film trade bodies of almost all the countries on the Continent,
including the neutral countries. It was founded in 1935 and reor-
ganized in 1941, with headquarters in Berlin. It is completely
controlled by Germany through that nation's possession of more
votes than the total of all the other member countries combined.
The Chamber has fought against the release of American films
on the Continent since its very foundation.
The second important means of pressure used by Germany
consisted of threats to discontinue the supplies of raw stock and
technical equipment. Sweden, Switzerland, and Finland are film-
producing countries, but they are dependent upon Germany to
supply a large part of their need for raw film. They are likewise
dependent on Germany for almost all of their needs for projection
and recording apparatus. At the end of the year there was no indi-
cation that any of the neutral countries in Europe, or Turkey, which
is also a member of the International Film Chamber, would submit
to the German pressure and exclude American films.
In these countries our films continue to retain their popularity,
and the only difficulty encountered in supplying them with films
is that of transportation. The Axis pressure was successful in only
one instance-unoccupied France and French North Africa, where
the ban on American films became effective on October 15th, 1942.
This ban also prevented transit shipment of film from Spain through
France to Switzerland. A few weeks later American troops landed
in French North Africa and American films were restored to the
screens of this territory.
Foreign censorship difficulties are not unconnected with Axis
efforts to reduce the influence of American motion pictures. But
such censorship restrictions as had been instigated by the Axis
diplomats in Latin-American countries in previous years were al-
most entirely eliminated in 1942, as a result of all but two of the
Latin-American republics declaring war on the Axis powers or
breaking off diplomatic relations with them. The industry did,
however, continue to be confronted with censorship troubles in
Chile and Argentina (the two countries which then maintained
relations with the Axis powers), and especially in Argentina where
any film that was anti-Axis in spirit encountered difficulties, though
less than in previous years.
(2) In normal times the American motion picture producers
have received from 35% to 40% of their total revenue from coun-
tries outside the United States and Canada. The British Empire
has supplied approximately 70% of this amount.
Because of the obligation recognized by the American industry,
on account of the essential value of motion picture entertainment
in the war effort, a continuous supply of motion pictures has been
furnished to the United Kingdom and British Dominions, although
payment in full could not be received at the time the pictures were
delivered. This obligation was implemented by a series of three
annual agreements with Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
These agreements provided for the retention or "freezing" of a
substantial part of the revenues currently due to American pro-
ducers. In the year 1942 the amount of funds retained in the British
Empire by virtue of these agreements had become very large and
constituted a severe strain upon the financial operations of the
During 1942 negotiations were concluded for the release of
all funds impounded in Great Britain and New Zealand during
the period covered by these agreements. These balances so re-
leased represent funds which would have been transferred under
the Defense (Finance) Regulations during the previous three
years in the absence of the special restrictions embodied in the
film agreements and the transfer was made on a basis extending
the same treatment to the American film companies as that ex-
tended to other U. S. parent companies with subsidiaries in
Great Britain. The Australian government released half the im-
pounded funds and promised sympathetic consideration for the
release of the remainder early in 1943.
In this connection, special mention must be made of the intelli-
gent and effective service rendered during the year by the Euro-
pean representative of this Association, Mr. Fayette W. Allport,
who represented the interests of American motion picture pro-
ducers in the United Kingdom.
Our trade relations with other foreign countries can be briefly
summarized as follows: Our companies have substantial sums of
money blocked in France. All remittances from unoccupied France
were stopped in 1941. Lengthy but unsuccessful negotiations for
the release of these funds were conducted between representatives
of our industry in France and the Vichy Government. When un-
occupied France was occupied by the Nazis in November of last
year, all hope of early retrieving these funds vanished. In spite of
drastic restrictions on the importation into Spain of foreign films
of other than Axis origin, negotiations between individual American
companies and Spanish importers have been carried on through-
out the year, with the result that Spain purchased more American
films in 1942 than during any year since the beginning of the
Spanish Civil War in 1936. Prospects for the continued sale of
American films in Spain are good; but our companies still have
large sums of pesetas blocked in Spain with some possibility of
being able to transfer them to the United States in the near future.
In 1942 the commercial agreement between Russia and the United
States was continued for another year. It has, however, since its
origin in 1937 never been effective in finding a market for our films
in the Soviet Republics.
Our trade relations with South America have been complicated
by taxation problems which are still in many cases burdensome
to the American exporters. Yet in spite of this and the transporta-
tion difficulties enough American films are being received in Latin-
American countries to supply theatre needs which have increased
because of the elimination of Axis films from all our sister republics
except Chile and Argentina.
One of our problems in the Latin American market during the
year continues to be a tax amounting to 13% on revenues derived
by our companies from Brazil. This tax consists of 5% "exchange"
tax on remittances. The remaining 8% is a so-called income tax
assessed upon total remittances on the theory that all remittances
are to be treated as profits or income. This interpretation of the
Brazilian income tax law is still under consideration. As a part of
the current discussions with the authorities the tax has been paid
and held in escrow until the matter is determined.
(3) The Foreign Department has been continuously and
earnestly engaged throughout the year in trying to maintain the
flow of American films to foreign lands by mastering the physical
problems of transportation. Due to the reduced shipping facilities
this has been difficult. However, until the end of the year no cinemas
in friendly countries abroad have been forced to close because of
the lack of American films.
The distribution of American films in China ended temporarily
when the Japanese occupied Shanghai. Since that time special
effort has been made to deliver films to free China, although the
transportation difficulties have proved to be almost insurmountable.
There is said to be an active motion picture service in China's army
which supplies entertainment and educational films for the troops.
Mr. Nelson Rockefeller, the Coordinator of Inter-American Af-
fairs, who is rendering most notable service, gave valuable assis-
tance to our companies in arranging for priorities for shipment to
Latin-America of certain feature films, considered especially help-
ful in presenting the point of view of the United Nations. The
C.I.A.A. also intervened on behalf of the newsreels and did every-
thing possible to assure their regular delivery, despite lack of air
During the year the Office of War Information (OWI) was
established headed by Mr. Elmer Davis. In its Bureau of Motion
Pictures headed by Mr. Lowell Mellett, heretofore referred to,
is the Overseas Branch. This Branch is engaged especially in
giving advice on matters concerning the motion picture industry
abroad except Latin America, which is the province of the Office
of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Our Foreign Department
and that of all of our member companies have been in constant
contact and cooperated with the Bureau of Motion Pictures
through this Overseas Branch since its formation.
The entry of the United States into the war automatically
revived the "Trading with the Enemy Act." On December 18, 1941,
Congress passed the First War Powers Act. To enforce provisions
of these laws the President created the Office of Censorship by
executive order. Photographic material may not be exported
from the United States without official approval. This means that
all motion picture films, including positive prints, negatives, news-
reels and sound track records, and also all stills and advertising
accessories must be approved before export. The purposes of this
regulation are, first, to prevent the transmission of information
which might be useful to the enemy and, second, to prevent the
export of material detrimental to the interests of the United States
and particularly to the war effort.
The export censorship machinery is now working smoothly.
The gratitude of the industry is due Mr. Byron Price, the Chief
Censor, and the government officials who have the responsibility
for motion picture censorship under him, for their efforts to accom-
plish the necessary control with a minimum of inconvenience and
For many years the work of this association has earnestly con-
cerned itself with the content of American films from the point of
view of their world acceptance. We have sought to make certain
that the films accurately and effectively portray the American ideal
and spirit; and that, in dealing with foreign peoples, they shall
fairly portray the history, institutions and citizenry of other lands.
This effort will be continued with ever increasing care. as the
American motion picture industry proceeds in its mission to supply
to all peoples its essential service of entertainment, infu.rination,
education and inspiration.
WILL H. HAYS