By WILL H. HAYS, President
TO THE MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS
AND DISTRIBUTORS OF AMERICA, INC.
19.8 MARCH 27, 1944
28 WEST 44TH STREET NEW YORK 18 N. Y.
IS4 28 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK 18, N. Y.
IUT--~c~ -- I
MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS AND DISTRIBUTORS
OF AMERICA, INC.
BRAY STUDIOS, INC.
J. R. BRAY
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORP.
E. B. HATRICK
CECIL B. deMILLE PRODUCTIONS, INC.
CECIL B. DEMILLE
WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS INC.
ALTER E. DISNEY
EASTMAN KODAK CO.
THOMAS J. HARCRAVE
EDUCATIONAL FILMS CORP. OF AMERICA
EARLE W. HAMMONS
ELECTRICAL RESEARCH PRODUCTS
DIV. OF WESTERN ELECTRIC CO.
T. K. STEVENSON
FIRST NATIONAL PICTURES, INC.
ALBERT H. WARNER
NICHOLAS M. SCHENCK
PARAMOUNT PICTURES, INC.
PRINCIPAL PICTURES CORP.
(Continued on following page)
RCA MANUFACTURING CO., INC.
H. B. SNoox
RELIANCE PICTURES, INC.
HARRY M. GOETZ
RKO RADIO PICTURES, INC.
N. PETER RATHVON
HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC.
PAUL H. TERRY
TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX FILM CORP.
UNITED ARTISTS CORP.
E. C. RAFTERY
UNIVERSAL PICTURES CO., INC.
NATE J. BLUMBERG
HARRY M. WARNER
WALTER WANDER PICTURES, INC.
WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC.
ALBERT H. WARNER
WILL H. HAYS, President
CARL E. MILLIKEN, Secretary
GEORGE BORTHWICK, Treasurer
F. W. DUVALL, Asst. Treasurer
MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY
IN WAR-TIME AMERICA
TWENTY-SECOND ANNUAL REPORT
By WILL H. HAYS, President
to the Motion Picture Producers
and Distributors of America, Inc.
MARCH 27, 1944
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
S262 08648 293 IIII
3 1262 08648 293 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. IN LINE OF DUTY . . .. ......... 9
II. HIGHLIGHTS OF WAR-TIME SERVICE . . .12
Newsreels . . . . . . 16
III. FROM WAR TO PEACE . . . . . .19
IV. THE BALANCE AND QUALITY OF ENTERTAINMENT . 21
Short Subjects . . . . . . 24
V. DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES . . . . .. 26
Production Code Administration . . . .. 26
Title Registration . . . . . 29
Advertising Code Administration . . .. 29
International . . . . . . 30
Community Service . . . . . .. 32
Public Information . . . . . .. 37
Trade Press . . . . . . . 38
Theatre Service and Trade Relations . . .. 39
Conservation . . . . . 39
Technical Progress . . . . . .. 40
Hollywood . . . . . . . . 42
VI. THE REASON WHY . . .
I. IN LINE OF DUTY
As the hour struck for the new year of 1944, the most momen-
tous period, perhaps, in human history, the motion picture industry
entered the third year of its war service. On the home front as on
the war fronts, the service rendered by the screen and the promise
fulfilled by the industry during the past twelve months were directed
primarily toward winning the war. Everything else was chores, in
the literal sense. Marching as a unit from the very beginning, the
men and women of the industry gladly accepted every responsi-
bility that duty and patriotism impose upon an art which day after
day draws millions to the screen for recreation, information and
More than 16,000 theatres, cooperating under the program of
the War Activities Committee, kept their screens open to war mes-
sages and their doors open to bond drives and vast relief cam-
paigns without interrupting a continuous service of entertainment.
In the best traditions of a free screen, producers undertook to make
and distributors to deliver informational films which war unity
demanded. Talent in an ever increasing flood kept flowing from
the studios to every military base and training camp in our own
country and to the encampments and bases of our soldiers, sailors
and marines dispersed on many separate war fronts. Leading artists
of the screen divided their time between picture-making and bond
drives. Leaders of the industry, whatever their field, undertook
some activity in one of the many programs developed by picture
people for war aid or home relief. Producers and distributors con-
tributed to our armed forces on all fronts a constant stream of fea-
ture pictures, retarded now and then only by difficulties of distribu-
tion. Every man, woman and child in the picture business sought
only to serve to the utmost. It is notable, too, that American films
followed in the wake of our conquering forces to instill down-
trodden people with faith in the right and might of an aroused
and determined democracy.
From the President himself, from the commanding generals,
and from the officers and men of our armed forces in the remotest
areas of war, came recognition of the role which pictures were
playing in this war. What the President of the United States told
the entertainment industry last June holds special significance for
the films which serve a universal entertainment audience of more
than approximately 90,000,000 weekly in our country alone. "En-
tertainment," he declared, "is always invaluable in time of peace;
it is indispensable in war time. It is," he said, "that which helps
to build and maintain national morale both on the battle front and
the home front."
The Vice President of the United States, stressing the extent
to which the films, along with other media of communication, are
keeping clear the channels of information, recently said: "The
American people never will appreciate fully the debt of gratitude
they owe to the motion picture industry for its contributions to the
The Secretary of the Navy, speaking at the Hollywood Bowl
on July 1st, expressed the sincere appreciation of all those charged
with the responsibility of conducting the war for Hollywood's "un-
stinting assistance in the sale of war bonds, the entertainment of
the armed forces and other important contributions."
General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States
Army, in his report to the Secretary of War asserted: "Each week
at least three Hollywood feature pictures, the gift of the American
motion picture industry, are distributed among overseas stations,
being released simultaneously with the release of similar programs
in the United States."
General Eisenhower, who commands the invasion forces in the
British Isles, declared that "motion pictures are essential to the
entertainment and the morale of the soldiers in the field."
Early this year, General Somervell, commanding the Army
Service Forces, accepted from representatives of the motion pic-
ture industry the 10,000th motion picture program given by the
industry for showing to the armed forces in combat areas over-
seas. Referring to the splendid morale of our troops abroad, he
remarked: "The laughter, music and general entertainment which
comes out of a single small package like this one have helped to
build that morale."
No less significant is the statement made by Governor Warren
of California, the world center of motion picture production.
Speaking on an industry occasion he declared last summer: "Your
contribution to the war effort is a paramount sector of the pro-
duction line. You provided our armed forces with films for their
visual education with the greatest possible speed. Indeed, I am
proud to be Governor of a state with such a far-sighted and patri-
otically-minded industry as that of motion pictures. And I believe
you will have a foremost part in the reconstruction of the shattered
world after the war is over."
Such tributes do not call for complacency. They are a call for
still greater service from the screen and its people. In enlisting
for the duration, the motion picture industry has only rendered
what is due to the institutions which nurtured it. None can know
what is ahead and there will be no diminution in the effort. That
is certain. With this in mind, we offer a condensation of facts and
figures which summarize the industry's war effort.
II. HIGHLIGHTS OF WAR-TIME SERVICE
The outstanding fact is that throughout 1943 Hollywood sup-
plied film entertainment needed throughout the free world to a
vast civilian audience in 16,793 American theatres, to more than
6000 Latin-American theatres and to many thousand theatres in
other Allied and neutral nations. In U. S. Army theatres every week
millions of soldiers enjoyed motion pictures. Ashore and on ship-
board the Navy's film service reached additional millions. The
industry's gift of 9507 prints of 218 current features provided enter-
tainment in combat areas.
As in the year before, the War Activities Committee-Motion
Picture Industry, with 200,000 volunteers representing motion pic-
ture theatres, production, distribution and associated agencies, was
the spearhead of the industry's united war effort. Operating through
its seven national divisions and 31 exchange area organizations, the
Committee served as an instrument of coordination, implementa-
tion and stimulation for motion picture exhibitors, distributors, pro-
ducers, guilds, newsreels and trade press. Of equal importance in
this effort was the Hollywood Victory Committee, a huge talent
pool of artists who carried entertainment and inspiration to every
war front, to every domestic military installation, and to the war
financing and great relief campaigns conducted during the year.*
More than 1500 actors and actresses made over 12,000 free
appearances in approximately 2200 events. Hollywood personali-
ties were the star attractions of troupes sent out to provide enter-
tainment for American service men everywhere. They have trav-
elled to the very front lines of action and many have shared the
0 For detailed information regarding the industry's war service, see Movies At War,
Vol. II (1943)-a 56-page illustrated report published by War Activities Com-
mittee, Motion Picture Industry, 1501 Broadway, New York 18, N. Y.; and Second
Annual Report of the Hollywood Victory Committee of the Motion Picture Indus-
try, 5504 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood 28, California.
risks of our troops in combat zones. Journeying by jeep, by bus,
by boat, by train, by plane and by dog sled, devoted artists of the
screen have gone to Newfoundland, Labrador, Greenland, Eng-
land, Ireland, Africa, Sicily and Italy, the Middle East, India, China,
Australia, the South Pacific and Hawaiian Islands, Alaska and the
Aleutians. On the home front they have entertained millions of
our armed men in 930 military installations throughout the country.
They have entertained the sick and the wounded in hospitals. They
have appeared everywhere to aid in huge civic campaigns. Holly-
wood players toured the nation to help sell more than a billion dol-
lars of war bonds during the Third War Loan Drive alone. And
for the coming twelve months the schedule calls for an expansion
of these services, notwithstanding a diminishing talent pool due
to the entrance of many actors into the armed services.
Conscious that the war must be financed as well as fought, the
industry has responded to every call made by the United States
Treasury for salesmanship and showmanship in the War Loan
drives. The more than 16,000 motion picture theatre managers
and exhibitors provided the showmanship in thousands of com-
munities throughout the country, and the most popular artists of
the screen supplied the salesmanship. Motion picture theatres
today sell not only entertainment but war bonds and stamps-and
at times when banks and even post offices are closed. Rallies are
held within the theatres and outside the theatres, and bond auc-
tions, war hero salutes, free movie days and other activities fea-
ture these efforts. Most significant were the thousands of bond
premieres in which the exhibitor and distributor both waived any
cash return in order that purchasers of war bonds might fill every
Through .the theatre structure of the industry more than
$3,000,000 was collected for the Red Cross, more than $1,600,000
for United Nations Relief, and more than $2,000,000 for the March
of Dimes, a substantial increase over the previous year.
Lacking a large standing army or a trained reservist corps,
America faced the need of turning ordinary citizens into competent
soldiers, sailors and flyers, and doing this in large numbers and
at high speed. The techniques of modern warfare are extremely
complicated, and great skill is required, not only for efficiency in
attack, but also for the avoidance of unnecessary casualties.
Visual aids were of the utmost importance in the rapid training
of a citizen army in the mechanics of warfare. The enlistment of
the motion picture in military education constitutes the most im-
pressive instructional use of films. Without such visual aid, the
task would have been immeasurably more difficult.
In the first world war, a sergeant had to instruct each gun squad
in the operation of its weapons. Today the best artillery instructor
in the United States Army demonstrates visually to thousands of
men at a time how their weapons are loaded and fired, cleaned
and cared for. Such use of films in military training has reduced
the time required by 40 percent.
To date, the Army has produced 708 training films, and the
industry has contributed 108, made on a non-profit basis. An ex-
ample is Walt Disney's contribution to this accomplishment as
reflected in the fact that 94 percent of the unprecedented footage
filmed by his studio in 1943 was made for Government agencies
directly associated with the prosecution of the war. War brought
about the almost complete conversion of the Disney studio from
the realm of whimsy and fantasy to the practical job of training
fighting men, of teaching them the rudiments of war and the oper-
ations of the most delicate machines in modern warfare.
That is why the public saw so few Disney shorts last year. Only
nine were made, as against the normal annual output of 18 to 21.
Educational and psychological films, along with the training pic-
tures for Army and Navy, put Donald Duck and his pals in the
background. Pictures on air fighter tactics, fixed gunnery, malaria,
basic electronics, the principles of the automatic pilot, and aerology,
are but a few of the subjects which were graphically treated by
the Disney studio.
The Disney contribution was completely unselfish, for all Gov-
ernment work was done on a non-profit basis; the compensation
to Disney and his associates will probably come in the form of the
great advances which they had to make in all the techniques of
animation. Many new production techniques have been evolved
which will manifest themselves in the Disney post-war entertain-
ment and educational program.
Eastman Kodak Co. and the Photo Products Division of E. I.
du Pont de Nemours and Co. have donated a total of 32,277,489 ft.
of 16 mm. film toward the gift of motion pictures from the entire
industry to the Army for free showing in combat areas to persons
in uniform. Through Army exchanges we are servicing not only
Army units, but Marine Corps units and units of the Navy not
served by the Navy's 35 mm. film program.
All copyright owners are donating copyrighted films; all labo-
ratories are doing the printing at three-fourths of a cent per foot,
which is calculated as actual cost. In addition the Distributor Mem-
bers of our Association are now purchasing several million feet of
raw stock per year over and above the amount donated by Eastman
and du Pont.
War information is the lifeblood of war morale. The need for
expertly made war informational films was met first by an offer
from the producers to make 26 full-length short subjects and 26
Film Bulletins on themes selected by the Office of War Informa-
tion, without expense to the Government or the theatres of the
country. This proposal made through the War Activities Com-
mittee-Motion Picture Industry was immediately accepted. The
program enlisted the free services of distributors, exchange per-
sonnel and facilities, and the free transportation by the National
Film Carriers. Each of these shorts was shown by twelve to fifteen
thousand of the pledged exhibitors in the United States-a far
greater distribution than given any but the most outstanding com-
Throughout the year the screen focused the attention of the
millions of American movie-goers on the needs of the U. S. Employ-
ment Service, on calls for enlistment in the U. S. Army Air Forces,
the Waves, the Wacs and the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps, on salvage
campaigns, on the blood donor service of the American Red Cross
and other requirements. The following war information films, re-
leased in the United States through the War Activities Committee,
can be cited as examples: BROTHERS IN BLOOD (blood donors),
CHIEF NEELEY REPORTS TO THE NATION (Waves), FOOD AND MAGIC
(conserve food), ANGELS OF MERCY (U. S. Cadet Nurses), OIL Is
BLOOD (saga of oil), RIGHT OF WAY (travel), FOOD FOR FIGHTERS
(army rations), GLAMOUR GIRLS OF '43 (women in industry),
SINCE PEARL HARBOR (Red Cross service).
The American screen continually stressed the achievements of
all the free nations fighting everywhere. In addition to weekly
news coverage, vital war operations were described and drama-
tized in special films released by the War Activities Committee,
including such pictures as AT THE FRONT IN NORTH AFRICA, BATTLE
OF RUSSIA, MESSAGE FROM MALTA, REPORT FROM THE ALEUTIANS,
to which should be added the picture DESERT VICTORY, distributed
under other auspices.
The semi-weekly newsreels of the industry during the past year
served largely as the animated headlines in the story of the United
Nations' battle for victory. They continued to make the public an
eyewitness to the events and efforts of this war. Cooperating with
military authorities on all fronts, the only limitations on what the
newsreels were able to bring to the screen were those imposed by
the necessities of military censorship. Our newsreels not only
helped to keep America informed, but helped to reinforce a com-
munity of purpose among the United Nations. History will not
omit from the record the high courage and sacrifices of many news-
reel cameramen in the various areas of combat. Many of these
brave men died with their cameras in hand, almost side by side
with combat troops.
During last year, 502 reels of news were flashed on this
country's screens, bringing world and national events to every
citizen almost as soon as they happened. More than 4,000 separate
pictorial subjects or "clips," encompassing 1,446 different news
events, measure the extent of newsreel coverage; and, as detailed
in the report of the War Activities Committee, of these clips,
39.8% portrayed activities of the fighting forces of the United
Nations, 19.6% reported the activities of U. S. armed forces at
home, 7.7% conveyed vital messages from war agencies, 7.4%
dealt with war production, 3.9% covered the news of our "good
neighbors" in Latin America and elsewhere, and 21.6% (11% of
the total footage) reported events unconnected with the war.
The newsreels have pictured for us the last fight of the U.S.S.
Hornet, the capture of Hill 609 in Tunisia, the Russian victories at
Stalingrad, Novorossisk, Bryansk, Orel, the New Guinea cam-
paigns, allied invasions of Rendova, Bougainville, New Britain,
Makin, Tarawa-the last comprising the most sensational action
pictures of the war-and historic Allied landings in Sicily and Italy.
They showed us our Naval task forces in actions against Wake, the
Gilberts and the Marshalls; they showed us the effects of the
bombing of the great industrial centers of our enemy in Europe;
they revealed previously unreleased pictures of the Doolittle raid
on Tokyo, captured Jap pictures of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
and the fall of Corregidor, and captured Nazi films showing con-
ditions inside Hitler's Europe. Last, but not least, they made it
possible for every American citizen to attend the great interna-
tional conferences at Quebec and Casablanca, at Moscow, Cairo
One great consequence of the daring and ingenuity of the
newsreel photographers and of the cameramen whose shots have
given us the amazing documentary films of military action, is that
our film libraries now contain a pictorial record of the outstanding
events of the war. Never before has it been possible for history in
the making to be so vividly preserved for posterity. The historical
value of these pictorial archives is immeasurable, both for their
significance to the student and researcher of the future, and for
their vitalizing effect upon our national tradition.
Recognizing that motion pictures are potent messengers of
good-will, the industry cooperated with the Office of the Coordi-
nator of Inter-American Affairs, Mr. Nelson Rockefeller, and with
other governmental agencies, in a program designed to foster inter-
American relations. Every care was exercised by the studios to
portray truly and fairly the national history, customs and back-
ground of the Latin American countries in which all of our theatri-
cal films are shown.
In addition our companies made available to our own govern-
ment 16 mm. versions of pictures which were selected by the rep-
resentatives of the Coordinator's Office and the Department of
State for special value as show windows of the history, traditions
and way of life of our own people. These have been widely shown
to cultural, education and civic leaders in Latin American coun-
tries under the direction of U. S. embassies and legations.
Perhaps greater than any other conclusion which may be
drawn from these facts is the essential tribute to democracy which
the record discloses. What the American film industry has achieved
under war-time conditions was achieved under the traditions and
practices of freedom, not tyranny. The men and women of our
screen did not have to be herded into an "entertainment front."
American artists traveled willingly and joyfully to our war fronts
abroad and installations at home to contribute entertainment that
springs from ungagged artistry. There was no mailed fist to enforce
the services rendered to the war effort by the theatres of the
country. American theatre owners, the thousands upon thousands
of them, are impelled only by patriotism and duty in the coopera-
tion they are now giving to the home front. The American screen
reflects the sense of patriotism, initiative and artistry that can be
achieved only by a free medium of communication. Its entertain-
ment is the product of the American spirit.
When the full story of the war is told, it will be apparent
enough, I believe, that fanatically and desperately as the enemy
may have fought, the morale secured among free peoples by free
media of information, education and entertainment was vastly
more durable than the morale which tyranny and dictatorship
could impose by terror and training.
III. FROM WAR TO PEACE
April of this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the first
public exhibition of a motion picture. The first "movie theatre" was
opened in a small store on Broadway in New York, remodeled for
the peepshoww" exhibition of little pictures in motion. It was an
inauspicious beginning but one fraught with great promise.
Today the products of our studios are projected on the screens
of every free people throughout the word. From the handful who
peeped into the first "kinetoscope", the audience for American
motion pictures has grown into the hundreds of millions. From a
mere novelty the film has become the principal entertainment of
all the peoples of the world and the sole amusement of a vast legion.
It also provides a vivid, graphic service of information, and a po-
tent educational influence, the full power of which we are yet to see.
In war the American motion picture industry has accepted its
responsibilities and its all-out effort will continue. Yet the film is
a plowshare as well as a sword. It has a vast contribution to make
in the future to the material and spiritual reconstruction of the
world. Enormous physical destruction has marked the path of war.
Vast areas have been laid waste and many cities have been razed.
Great monuments to human culture have been wrecked.
But there has also been enormous cultural destruction and a
way of life has been demolished for peoples and nations. It will be
more important to rebuild the cultural and moral elements of
society than merely to replace brick and stone, wood and steel,
and this is a challenge which the films can and must help to meet.
In this rebuilding nothing can be more effective than the motion
picture, with its universal appeal that surmounts even the barriers
of language. Always moving towards a higher and higher level of
technical and artistic efficiency, the motion picture reflects the past,
keeps in step with the current scene and presages the future.
When the war ends there will be no land, no person wholly
untouched by the vast conflict now going on. Not alone will there
be need for material reconstruction but there will be mental and
spiritual hunger to satisfy. Cultures will need to be restored and
faith in freedom to be renewed. Here is a service for which the
motion picture is uniquely fitted. Here is a job it can and will
help to do.
IV. THE BALANCE AND QUALITY OF
The business of the American film industry is pictures. In re-
viewing the productions of the past twelve months, it is notable
that a balance has been maintained among the various elements
which enter into the creation of motion pictures which are at once
entertaining, informative, educational and inspirational. Informa-
tion, education and inspiration are indubitably aspects of all good
entertainment. The line between entertainment and education is
often more apparent than real. Entertainment has no boundaries.
The variety of elements which constitutes a balanced film diet is
the same in war as in peace. Nevertheless, we can not ignore the
fact that the entertainment needs of the home front and the war
front are different. The men in our fighting services seek recrea-
tion which, for a brief moment, releases them from the strain of
war and refreshes them for its ordeals. At home, similar relaxation
is also needed but not to so great an extent, nor without a fair
balance of entertainment which makes us deeply conscious of the
warfare which is remote from our shores and which energizes us
to efforts in support of our fighting men.
It is quite understandable that men who daily face the stern
realities of war do not need or want films which dramatize the
burning heat, the freezing cold and the muck in which they face
illness, injury and death. It is easy to see why they prefer enter-
tainment that brings laughter, music and fun, and memories of
home and the kind of life for which they are fighting. There are no
better morale builders than films of this character.
On the other hand, the motion picture screen would fail and
fail lamentably if it did not alert the vast millions at home to the
conditions under which we must fight this war, the sacrifices
necessary to win it and the tasks still before us. This value weighs
against the complaint that such war pictures 'unnerve'. Theatre
attendance has amply proved that the American people can take
it. We have not experienced the horrors of invasion or bombing.
It is important, therefore, that our people understand and match in
their own way the spirit of relentless determination and sacrifice
which through the cruel realities of war has animated Great Brit-
ain, Russia, China and other peoples who are fighting with us.
This is a task which one picture can do better than a million words.
And it is a task in which the American motion picture industry
succeeded superbly during the past twelve months. The range of
entertainment pictures, training pictures, newsreels and informa-
tional films has been actually broadened. And as we enter the new
entertainment season there is every prospect that the industry will
produce an even greater variety, so that our entertainment may
meet every problem of morale, recreation, information, education
and inspiration. This is no easy achievement, in view of the short-
age of manpower, the absence of many stars in the Services, the
shortage of skilled workers from script to camera. But no difficulty
can prevent the screen from fulfilling this mission.
That even war-time conditions did not affect the quality of
motion picture entertainment, is indicated by the list of feature
pictures of 1943 which were selected as the outstanding films of
the year. In the 22nd Annual Poll conducted by Film Daily, 439
representative critics and commentators on newspapers, maga-
zines, syndicates, and radio stations picked 56 pictures as having
outstanding merit. This list of 56 pictures is here given in the order
in which they were chosen by the votes of the critics.
The titles marked with one or more asterisks are those which
also appeared on overlapping lists of the top box-office attractions,
according to polls taken or statistical evaluations made by the
Quigley Publications' annual Fame, by Box Office and by The
Showman's Trade Review. The list published by Fame represents
a calculation of the 25 top money-making pictures in the period
between October, 1942 and September, 1943; that published by
The Showman's Trade Review is constructed from a poll of exhi-
bitors and contains 63 titles; and the list prepared by Box Office
contains 73 titles, all of which are clearly above normal in their
The number of asterisks following a picture's name indicates
whether it appeared in one, two or all three of these box-office list-
ings. The following enumeration, therefore, gives us a composite of
the three evaluations based on box-office success, and enables us to
note the high correlation between such success in winning audience
approval and artistic excellence as judged by competent critics:
RANDOM HARVEST,*** FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS,* YANKEE
DOODLE DANDY,** THIS IS THE ARMY,*** CASABLANCA,*** THE
HUMAN COMEDY,** WATCH ON THE RHINE,** IN WHICH WE
SERVE,** So PROUDLY WE HAIL,*** STAGE DOOR CANTEEN,***
THE MORE THE MERRIER,*** Am FORCE,*** CLAUDIA,** HEAVEN
CAN WAIT,*** THE MOON IS DOWN, SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THE
CONSTANT NYMPH,* BATAAN,** MY FRIEND FLICKA,* KEEPER OF
THE FLAME,*** HOLY MATRIMONY, JOURNEY FOR MARGARET, MR.
LUCKY,*** ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC,** TALES OF MAN-
HATTAN,* FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, ME AND MY GAL,* ROAD TO
MOROCCO,** PRINCESS O'ROURKE,* CABIN IN THE SKY,** CONEY
ISLAND,** PHANTOM OF THE OPERA,** STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM,**
THIS LAND IS MINE,* FLESH AND FANTASY,* FOREVER AND A DAY,
JOHNNIE COME LATELY,* CORVETTE K-225, SAHARA,** GEORGE
WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE, THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS,* COM-
MANDOS STRIKE AT DAWN,*** DIXIE,*** EDGE OF DARKNESS,**
HANGMEN ALSO DIE, VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER, I MARRIED A
WITCH, PALM BEACH STORY, THE HARD WAY, THE Ox-Bow INCI-
DENT, YOUNG MR. PITT, HITLER'S CHILDREN,*** CRASH DIVE,**
THE FALLEN SPARROW,* SALUDOS AMIGOS, SWEET ROSIE O'CRADY.**
Of the foregoing 56 pictures, six were released late in 1942
although they are cited in the 1944 critics' poll. It should be ob-
served that 40 of the films which appeared on the list of the top
56 pictures of the year (according to the critics) were also on one
or more of the three lists of popular successes. Of these 13 were on
the three lists, 16 on two, and 11 on one. Even more striking
are the following facts: that of the top ten films in the critics'
judgment, all appeared in one or more of the box-office lists, five
occurring in all three of these enumerations and four in two; that
five of the top ten popular successes are among the first ten titles
named by the critics; and another four of this same top ten have
a place among the 56 pictures given special critical approval.
In no previous year has there been such variety or technical
excellence in short subjects. To some extent the war has been re-
sponsible, at least insofar as it stimulated new sources of production,
as, for example, those of the Canadian National Film Board and
the British Ministry of Information. War-time limitations on the
number of photoplays have placed a premium on short subjects,
because of the increased number of single feature programs.
From the beginning, fifty years ago, short subjects have con-
stituted a laboratory for experimental creative effort. Present day
feature picture production owes much to them. Within the past
two or three years we have witnessed the documentary short sub-
ject evolve and take its place in the feature-length program. The
entertainment short subject has more nearly realized the impor-
tance of its counterpart, the short story in literature. And in the
area of news reporting, short subjects have supplemented the news-
reels with the counterpart of the essay in literature.
In the critical competition ahead for space on the international
screen, short subjects-quite as much as full-length productions-
face an exhilarating challenge. In the past year they have made
good progress toward meeting it successfully. That this is so, is
indicated by the pictures named in the two following lists. The
first of these contains well known series of short subjects, as well as
individual pictures of high merit. The second list comprises those
magical products of the imagination, the animated cartoons.
(1) Pete Smith Specialties, March of Time, The Passing
Parade, Our Gang, Unusual Occupations, Miniatures, Popular
Science; and A VOLCANO IS BORN, ALCAN HIGHWAY, AMPHIBIAN
FIGHTERS, ARMY CHAPLAIN, BEHIND THE BIG TOP, CHILDREN OF
MARS, CHRISTMAS CAROLS, FALLA, 1-A DOGS, LEATHERNECKS ON
PARADE, LETTER TO A HERO, MARDI GRAS, MR. CHIMP GOES TO
TOWN, PLAN FOR DESTRUCTION, PRIVATE SMITH, 7TH COLUMN,
SILVER WINGS, SPEAKING OF ANIMALS, TASK FORCE, THIS IS FORT
DIX, THIs Is TOMORROW, VOICE THAT THRILLED THE WORLD, WOM-
EN AT WAR.
(2) Disney Cartoons (REASON AND EMOTION, FIGARO AND
CLEO, VICTORY VEHICLE); Merrie Melodies (THE HEP CAT, PIGS
IN POLKA); Technicolor Cartoons (RED HOT RIDING HOOD, YANKEE
DOODLE MOUSE); Looney Tunes (LI'L ABNER, IMAGINATION);
Lantz Cartoons (EGGCRACKER SUITE, THE DIZZY ACROBAT); Terry-
toons (ALL Our FOR V, SHIPYARD SYMPHONY); Popeye Cartoons.
Many as are the difficulties of picture-making under war-time
conditions, the guarantee of continued American leadership in
film entertainment after the war lies in quality production. The war
has emphasized the universal character of the motion picture au-
dience. Millions of casual movie-goers have become steady pa-
trons. Only quality production will keep them so. The insurance
of a greater entertainment public for tomorrow is in pictures of a
constantly higher artistry today. Then, too, there is the fact that
movie-goers generally are developing a new sense of appreciation
for reality on the screen from the stern documents of the day with
which much of our present production is concerned. It is a bright
promise for the industry that, however eager a war public may be
for screen entertainment of any kind, so much of Hollywood's pre-
occupation has been with pictures of the better sort.
V. DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES
PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION
Paralleling the effort to maintain the highest possible artistic
standards, is the continuing determined purpose to maintain the
highest possible moral standards on the screen. Notwithstanding
war-time pressures toward the relaxation of certain regulations,
particularly inthe matter of dialogue, it is a pleasure to report the
successful operations of the Production Code Administration dur-
ing the past twelve months. Not in years has the Association been
called upon to render judgment on so many difficult and involved
stories-film stories which demanded the most careful study in
order to bring such entertainment within the provisions of our
The following tables are of particular interest:
TOTAL NUMBER OF FEATURE PICTURES APPROVED
BY THE PRODUCTION CODE ADMINISTRATION
FROM 1935 TO 1943, INCLUSIVE
Produced by: 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943
U. S. (Member
Companies) 334 337 339 322 366 325 403 369 256
Companies) 169 229 228 169 161 154 143 147 141
Companies 61 55 41 54 57 44 22 30 20
Total .... 564 621 608 545 584 523 568 546 417
Reissues .............38 142 55 49 12 7 4 2 0
In addition to the 417 feature pictures indicated, a total of 449
short subjects were approved, of which 440 were produced by
member companies in the United States.
AMOUNT AND CHARACTER OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED
FOR CONSIDERATION AND CONSULTATION IN 1943
Number of books and plays considered .......................... 22
Number of synopses considered ......................... ............. 44
Number of feature scripts considered ... .. .............. 830
Number of additions and changes considered ................ 1,478
Number of retakes considered ..................... ................ 9
Number of short subject scripts, including serials, con-
sidered ..................... ....... .. ........... ..... 311
Approximate number of conferences on features and
short subjects ........................... ........... ............. 147
Number of opinions and letters written dealing with
stories, scripts, reviews for features and short subjects. 3,306
The following table shows a breakdown of the types and kinds
of feature-length films approved in 1943 as compared to those ap-
proved in 1942:
Melodrama 1942 1943
Action .... ... ...... .... .. 75 18
Adventure ............ .......... .. 12 2
C om edy ........ ................................ 56 9
Juvenile ........ .......... .................... 14 8
Detective-Mystery .................... 7 7
Murder-Mystery .... ............ 41 22
Social Problem ................ ......... ... 6 18
Rom antic . ..................... ..... .... 2 1
Football ...... ................... ........ 2 0
F antasy ... .... ... ................ ...... 0 1
Spy M ystery .... ........................... 0 1
Action ... ........... 108 78
M ystery .... ......... 2 1
M musical ... ................ 2 4
Action ........ 11 12
Biographical .......... ...... 10 8
M musical .......... .... ................. 4 4
R om antic ............ ............... 6 2
Social Problem ..... ................... 48 63
C om edy ................. .. ................. 1 1
Religious ...... ... .. 0 1
Crime 1942 1943
A action .................. .... ................. 14 2
Social Problem ..................................... 1 5
P riso n ................................. ...... .... 2 0
Rom antic ................ ............ .... 29 29
M musical ................. ........... .... 30 67
Juvenile ........................................ 6 13
Farce-Com edy .................. ............ 27 9
Cartoon Feature .............................. 2 1
Fantasy ............... ............................ 6 2
D ocum entary ................................... 4 5
H horror ................ ............................ 14 16
Travelogue .................................... 3 0
H historical .................................... 1 1
Sport .................................. .. ... .... 0 1
Farce-Murder Mystery ................... 0 2
Romantic Musical ........................... 0 2
M musical ..... ....................................... 0 1
TOTALS ............................ 546 417
The foregoing table reveals two significant trends in the content
of pictures under war-time conditions: the striking decrease in the
number of melodramas and the sharp increase in the number of
In the past twelve months the Board of Directors of the Asso-
ciation heard three appeals from decisions of the Production Code
Administration. These arose from action taken with respect to
objectionable language, profanity and the proposed showing of
illegal drug traffic. The pictures were later approved after the
necessary deletions had been made.
One feature picture was finally rejected by the Production Code
Administration in 1943. Seven completed feature pictures, orig-
inally rejected, were successfully revised and then approved.
Sixteen scripts, rejected in their original form, were revised and
A total of 2,770 picture titles was registered under the opera-
tions of our Title Registration Bureau last year. The titles of more
than 800 pictures were transferred to the release index, which now
contains over 42,000 such titles. Thirty-one titles were rejected
because they were deemed objectionable and four arbitrations
were held by the Title Committee during the year in settlement of
differences of opinion which arose on points of priority, harmful
similarity, or upon other grounds.
ADVERTISING CODE ADMINISTRATION
The end of 1943 saw the completion of ten years of self-regula-
tion under the present Advertising Code. It has been a period of
steady improvement not only in the elimination of objectionable
content, but also in the quality of the copy and its effectiveness.
It is no longer unusual for motion picture advertisements to win
the highest honors in advertising competitions.
Reviewing the year's work, it is pleasant to note that there were
no major derelictions. No press books had to be discarded and no
violations occurred to cause summary action. The activities of the
department are summarized in the following table:
ADVERTISING CODE ADMINISTRATION STATISTICS
SUMMARY OF SUBMISSIONS-1943
NEW YORK AND HOLLYWOOD
Material Considered Discarded
on Submission or Revised
82,845 Stills (Hollywood) .... .... ... .. ............. 650
1,541 Stills (N ew York ) ................................ ....... .... ... 18
9,243 A dvertisem ents ............................. .............. ... 253
8,487 Publicity Stories ................................. ... ........ .... 4
6,377 Exploitation Ideas ..................................... ... ......... 8
5,562 M miscellaneous Accessories ..................................... 3
1,458 Posters ........................ ....... ......................... 49
4 05 T railers ..................................... ................................... 5
There were 436 press books submitted and approved. Of this
total, 310 represented member company productions and 126 non-
member company productions.
The war, which shattered the normal distribution of American
pictures in foreign markets, continues to present innumerable per-
plexing problems to the American motion picture industry in the
The most serious problem encountered during the war years
preceding 1943-the freezing of foreign revenues-was resolved
during the year, except for restrictions which still obtain in China
and temporarily in North Africa. Other difficulties, such as the de-
preciation of foreign exchange, mounting taxes, quota restrictions
and various forms of censorship, continued in varying degrees in
With reference to censorship, it is worth noting that whereas in
earlier years foreign censorship was based either upon alleged
moral grounds or supposed derogatory references to nationals con-
cerned, at the present time both of these factors have virtually
disappeared. The chief excuse for censorship in neutral countries
now stems from their desire to avoid offense to the Axis.
The drastic censorship of our films in Argentina is an outstand-
ing example of this. Some of our films have been banned there and
in other instances so many cuts were required that the pictures
were considered too badly mutilated to be shown. Similar difficul-
ties are faced in other countries. These were, however, largely offset
by more favorable developments during the year 1943, which in-
clude the universal recognition of motion pictures as an essential
service in the war effort for the maintenance of civilian and military
morale; the continued popularity of American motion pictures in
every foreign country where their exhibition is permitted by the
authorities; and the fuller realization that artistry has no boundary
lines and that good pictures, whatever their origin, are economic
and public assets wherever they are shown.
A major development in the direction of a free and unhampered
exchange of film products between the two great English-speaking
nations of the world came during the year with the termination of
the Film Agreements, resulting in the removal of special restric-
tions on the transfer of film rental and the complete defreezing of
the American companies' funds in the United Kingdom.
More than economic factors are involved in the absence of all
obstacles to a full and free interchange of the entertainment, in-
formation and education which the films supply. Nothing is more
important than this mutual reflection of national cultures and ideals
if the peace that must follow this war is to be made secure by
progress towards ever-greater understanding. American screens
are open, as they should be, to the artistry of the whole world.
Our theatres compete for the best possible pictures which artistry
can create, wherever the source. The American people are eager
for every service that expands their world horizon and enter-
tainment. In a world that men of good-will hope to create, on the
basis of mutual understanding and cooperation, the most vicious
censorship which any government could exert against its own
people would be to dam the free flow of screen entertainment.
The basis of motion picture competition within our own coun-
try or between producing nations, is artistic worth. The only test is
the test of artistry. The only measure of acceptance is the opinion
of the motion picture audience. The motion picture industry of
the United States asks no more than the opportunity to compete on
this basis for world screen time, and our market offers no less to
the film entertainment of other nations.
The importance of full and free interchange of motion picture
films, as making for better understanding and appreciation of the
life and problems of all the peoples of the world, has been recog-
nized by our State Department. Films are included in the Tele-
communications Division along with cable and radio. There can
be no doubt that pictures are inherently not only the most inter-
national of commodities but also the greatest means of international
communication. They are a means of universal understanding,
almost independent of speech, and international security must be
rooted in understanding.
The distribution of our United States films, designed to foster
better relations between the Americas, has been more than doubled
during the past year and more of our people have had opportunity
to see South American films with the increase of their distribution
here. A series of ten two-reel subjects filmed in Chile, Paraguay,
Argentina, Peru and Bolivia is now being prepared for distribution
in non-theatrical channels by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-
The cooperation, with sympathy and understanding, by those
units of government concerned with the content of films in their
relation to the national emergency, has continued uninterruptedly.
The gratitude of the industry is due those in government who
have had this responsibility.
The time is rapidly approaching when the class room screen will
rank beside the blackboard in our educational life. War has fo-
cussed attention on the film as a means of industrial, as well as
military training, and of heightening incentive among workers in
war plants. Shipbuilding, aviation, machine shop practices, farm
machinery, the processing of optical glass, welding, supervisory
and engineering problems have been most successfully treated on
the screen since the war began. The film is a basic educational
device which assists the human instructor and enables him to do
more and to do it more effectively.
In the strictly educational field it may be reported that in the
four years since the Teaching Film Custodians was announced at
a meeting of the National Education Association in San Francisco
on July 6, 1939, the extent and value of its service have increased
greatly. In that period more than 6,000 additional 16 mm. reels of
theatrical short subjects have been placed on restricted license in
educational film libraries maintained by city Boards of Education
and State universities for distribution to elementary schools, high
schools and colleges in every state of the Union. Each year has
found new libraries including industry material in their educa-
As we faced war conditions a year ago, there was some question
as to the response in educational circles to be expected during the
year just closed. The thousands of Government pictures on war
themes which were available to schools naturally affected the visual
education program throughout the country. Because of this, Teach-
ing Film Custodians continued to limit its materials to subjects
which have a recognized place in the normal curriculum of the
school. This has made no difference in the aggregate amount of
distribution. During the past year 1,307 new reels were licensed
and licenses on 1,585 were extended, making a total of 2,892 reels
licensed during 1943, over a thousand more reels than in any
The prestige of these materials had grown very rapidly and
most of the larger libraries in the country were including them in
their distribution by the end of 1942. Consequently, expansion to
new fields has been limited to new and smaller local libraries. The
interest of these newcomers is very gratifying and as they expand
their programs our service to them will increase.
It will be recalled that several years ago company members of
this Association entered into a cooperative arrangement with the
Commission on Human Relations of the Progressive Education
Association for making excerpts of certain feature pictures to be
used in school guidance programs. After three years of controlled
experimentation under the direction of Dr. Alice V. Keliher (fi-
nanced by the General Education Board), these subjects were
ready for wider distribution to the school field. Since this distribu-
tion was not contemplated as part of the responsibility of the
Commission on Human Relations, it was assumed by Teaching
Film Custodians on January 1, 1943. Custody of the prints was
officially transferred and they have been made available to schools
throughout the past year.
The assumption by Teaching Film Custodians of the contracts
formerly held by the Commission on Human Relations made pos-
sible the. use of another type of exccrpt from feature pictures. For
some time teachers of English and American literature have found
supplies of visual material inadequate. A project is just getting
under way for providing short versions of some of the feature
pictures that have been based on literary classics. Thus far, ALICE
IN WONDERLAND and THE GOOD EARTH are in distribution. MUTINY
ON THE BOUNTY and ROMEO AND JULIET are now in preparation.
TREASURE ISLAND will be the next to receive study. Reaction from
teachers of English indicates that they are much encouraged by this
attention to their field of study, and it is anticipated that these sub-
jects will enjoy a wide popularity and usefulness.
As programs for classroom use of films develop, there will be
increasing emphasis on classroom discussion of feature pictures
currently shown in the theatres. Teachers of English, music, art
and the various social studies will need advance information and
guidance so that they may prepare their programs to utilize effec-
tively the stimulating opportunities which these theatrical pictures
Early in 1943 the American Council on Education invited rep-
resentative leaders of the motion picture industry to meet with
corresponding leaders from their own group to discuss the educa-
tional functions of motion pictures in the post-war period. This
invitation was readily accepted by the industry as a preparatory
step in formulating plans for activities after the war.
Several conferences were held in which the significant factors
in the situation were carefully analyzed and discussed. These fac-
tors include the far-reaching effectiveness of motion pictures in
creating international understanding among widely separated
peoples; the recreational enrichment required by the peoples in
occupied territories which should be supplied as rapidly as they
are released from enemy control; the needs of our own Armed
Forces, trained rapidly for war by visualized materials, to have
motion picture materials which would assist in speedy readjust-
ment to civilian life; and increased visual instruction in American
schools as millions of men and women, trained with motion pic-
tures in government service, return to their local communities to
exert their influence for this efficient implement of learning.
As a result of these Conferences the industry will cooperate in
the formulation of a joint project for further development of the
usefulness of motion pictures in education. Consideration of this
matter made necessary a series of meetings lasting throughout the
summer and early fall resulting in the formulation of two com-
mittees-one from the industry and one from the educational group
-which met first separately and then together to develop a plan of
procedure to implement a program of action. The recommendation
from these joint meetings called for the establishment of the Com-
mission on Motion Pictures in Education and funds were appro-
priated by the industry to finance a five year program. This com-
mission will develop plans and devise the educational specifica-
tions of pictures and series of pictures which it will advise being
made in the interests of education.
This commission has now been organized with the following
Mark A. May, director of the Institute of Human Relations, Yale
George S. Counts, director of the division of foundations of Educa-
tion, Teachers College, Columbia University
Edmund E. Day, president of Cornell University
Willard E. Givens, executive secretary of the National Education
Monsignor George Johnson, general secretary of the National
Catholic Educational Association
George F. Zook (ex officio) president of the American Council on
Offices have been established on the campus of Yale University
at New Haven, Conn., and work has begun under the supervision
of Dr. May who is acting as organizing director of the program.
The results of the work of the Commission will be made available
to all educators and to all persons interested in the production,
distribution, and use of educational motion pictures.
New techniques in the creation of films, represented by the
subjects prepared for use in South America by Mr. Walt Disney,
invite experimental study and adaptation to more general use. The
announcement that the University of Chicago had acquired ERPI
Classroom Films, Inc., formerly a subsidiary of Western Electric
Company, Inc., illustrates the expanded educational interest in this
field and offers increased opportunities for the development of
ERPI films, long an outstanding factor in visual education. This sig-
nificant development of the Commission on Motion Pictures in Edu-
cation adds the resources of the industry to these and other projects
through which motion pictures will be utilized to the strengthen-
ing of world wide education in assuming its rightful importance
when we return to peace and as education in its broader meaning
seeks to achieve the type of world citizenship which the post-war
program will demand.
In the area of Community Service, too, the war increased,
not lessened the calls made upon the Association by institutions,
agencies and groups throughout the country, interested in various
phases of film production and audience appreciation.
The Previewing Groups representing Women's Clubs, Motion
Picture Councils and Parent-Teacher organizations continued
their motion picture activities with unflagging zeal. As in previous
years, the Community Service Department in New York was called
upon from time to time for assistance in the presentation of certain
pictures in connection with which special cooperation was indi-
cated because of their subject matter which had historical, cultural
or social value.
The Hollywood office of the Association, however, remained
the source for such publications as 'Leading Motion Pictures',
'What's Happening in Hollywood', 'Estimates of Current Motion
Pictures', as well as for material required for various radio pro-
grams. Some indications of the value of such service are evident
from the following comments, among others:
The Very Reverend Monsignor John J. McClafferty, Executive
Secretary National Legion of Decency: We find the service in-
valuable for background and trends and new developments.
Ernest Sherburne, Motion Picture Editor, Christian Science
Monitor: Your bulletins provide a source of useful information and
are often the basis for articles on the themes set forth. To me it
fulfills its purpose admirably.
Irving Thalberg Library, Sanborn English House, Dartmouth
College: The service is very informing-the range and variety of
subject matter is admirable. It is made available to all students
interested in motion pictures.
Catherine C. Edwards, Editor, Parents Magazine: The bulletins are
well written and thoroughly enjoyable. I use them constantly for
advance information on pictures in production.
Recognizing its importance in war as in peace, the Association
continued its service to newspapers, press correspondents, trade
press, radio and magazine, to groups, libraries and schools, to or-
ganizations interested in film problems and to large membership
organizations served by the appraisal of pictures by their own
The Public Information Committees, East and West, expanded
their work, met regularly on common problems, and distributed
important data concerning the industry.
Consisting of the directors of publicity and advertising of the
company members of the Association, the Committees with their
Executive Secretaries-one located in the office of the Motion Pic-
ture Producers and Distributors of America and the other in the
office of the Association of Motion Picture Producers in California
-carry out important industry functions: For the good of all, they
undertake to systematize such matters as previews, screenings, cre-
dentials for writers and correspondents, relations with trade and
fan magazines and other publications. They are concerned with
coordinating and making publicly available information con-
cerning the many public service activities of the industry incidental
to its primary function of providing theatrical entertainment; in
this, the Committees work closely with other existing agencies,
such as the War Activities Committee, the Hollywood Victory
Committee, and the various Guilds. Opportunity to be helpful to
any non-commercial motion picture organizations is welcomed by
them. The Committees initiate projects, such as the commemora-
tion this year of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first public exhi-
bition of motion pictures in 1894.
Assisting the Committees are three field men engaged largely
in personal contact. Through them the Committees undertake to
keep conversant with public reaction to picture product; converse-
ly, they assist in arranging engagements for public addresses by
industry executives where and when there is a demand. In the past
year, Mr. Charles Francis Coe, Vice President and General Counsel
of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, made
addresses as follows:
Rochester, N. Y.
February 16, 1943
March 9, 1943
April 14, 1943
April 27, 1943
June 22, 1943
July 8, 1943
August 3, 1943
Sept. 28, 1943
Sept. 29, 1943
Oct. 27, 1943
Advertising Club of
Sales Executives Club of
Optimist Club of Detroit
Kiwanis Club of Atlanta
Hollywood Chamber of
Rochester Rotary Club
Advertising and Sales
Club of Toronto
Advertising and Sales
Executives Club of
The Committees assist other industry agencies in the publiciz-
ing of their several enterprises. Now in its third year, the Motion
Picture Letter, designed primarily to supply publishers and radio
broadcasters with a concise factual statement of the industry's non-
commercial public services, is used by public speakers, librarians,
educators and officials of public service organizations. Brochures
available through the Committees include: MOVIES AT WAR;
MOVIES AT SCHOOL; MOVIES AT YOUR THEATRE; MOVIES AND THE
LIBRARY; MOVIES-THE NEW WEAPON FOR VICTORY; STARS FOR
VICTORY and THE PRESS LOOKS AT THE MOVIES.
Our Trade Press cooperates fully with the industry in complete
understanding. Spurred by the same keen competition existing in
production, distribution and exhibition, it displays an enterprise
commensurate with the importance of the field in which it spe-
Designed primarily for industry personnel, the motion picture
trade papers are widely quoted in national publications and in-
creasingly read by the general public. The publishers and editors
of our Trade Press thoroughly recognize the responsibility incident
to this large and growing reader interest and accept and discharge
it fully and fairly in connection with its services to the industry
and the public.
THEATRE SERVICE AND TRADE RELATIONS
The Theatre Service Department continues its earnest effort to
encourage sympathetic understanding between all groups and
divisions of the industry. Surveys and studies continued to be made
available to all interested theatre owners and fuller cooperation
with exhibitor organizations was developed.
The Consent Decree entered in the Federal case concerning the
five large distributor-exhibitor companies finished the last year of its
three-year trial period on November 20, 1943, and conferences are
reported in progress between the Department of Justice and the
defendants and by the Department with exhibitor representatives.
That aid in the solution of trade problems will come from the
sympathetic appreciation by the Government of the problems
peculiar to production and distribution and exhibition, as well
as intra-industry realization of the separate difficulties and joint
worries, continues to be an ultimate truth.
The tremendous interest shown in the drives and programs spon-
sored by the War Activities Committee has caused a spirit of
cooperation and team-work to flourish among all branches of the
industry to deal with this great emergency. This has produced
results which may be significant in showing the value of a united
industry. A realization of this value of working together could have
a profound effect on trade relations long after the war is over.
Safety pays dividends. The conservation activities for the in-
dustry begun by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors
of America in 1923 continued with alertness during the year. These
activities included field work which has as its object the establish-
ment of fire prevention consciousness among employees in the in-
dustry, and the maintenance of good housekeeping standards
developed through a system of regular and thorough inspections;
and further attention to the erection and maintenance of proper
exchange buildings for the distribution of motion picture film and
contact and cooperation with fire prevention and fire protection
groups, such as the National Fire Protection Association, National
Board of Fire Underwriters and others.
During 1943 member distributing companies examined, stored
and shipped more than 27,000 miles of film daily in the United
States without any fire damage incident thereto. There was one
fire, in November of last year, in a six-story building housing a
number of film exchanges in Toronto, Canada.
During the year the Conservation Department examined and
recorded over 3,500 monthly inspection reports and serviced any
items needing attention. With the turnover of exchange personnel
abnormally high and the greater necessity for care, this department
strengthened its field force and amplified its activities.
The motion picture industry is keenly alert to the astounding
advances which have been made in highly technical fields. Aside
from those companies which take an active interest in this complex
scientific performance, all of the companies have a potential inter-
est in what must, indeed, be of such future concern.
Little of the actual technical progress made in 1943 can be
reported, for the reason that such new developments mainly have
to do with the work of the armed forces and can not be discussed
at this time.
Research by the staff of the Eastman Kodak research labora-
tories continued energetically through 1943, with emphasis on
special photographic processes of potential value in the prosecu-
tion of the war. The company's mechanical and optical facilities
continue to produce special military and naval equipment. Many
of these developments will have important applications in peace
Without slackening in efforts necessary to sustain war output,
the company planned systematically for the post-war future.
Detailed consideration is being given to the problems of resuming
large peace-time operations quickly in order to supply the accumu-
lated demand for photographic goods and to re-absorb the com-
pany's service men and women into the organization as advantage-
ously as possible.
In the electronic field, the war programs of Electrical Research
Products Division of Western Electric Company, Incorporated,
and the R.C.A. Manufacturing Company increased steadily during
1943. In spite of the emergency, however, it has been found pos-
sible to supply the industry with enough equipment for essential
maintenance. Basic principles of sound recording and reproducing
and the continued development and manufacture of highly spe-
cialized electronic devices has been most useful and important in
the war effort and many improvements due to vital necessities of
war will be available to the industry in the future.
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, expressing their
desire to do anything they can practically to cooperate in the
development and extension of television, has advised the industry
of its tentative plans for constructing within the next five or six
years about 7,000 miles of coaxial cable designed primarily for
telephone purposes but suitable for the transmission of television
to either broadcasting stations or theatres. This network would
reach most of the larger cities of the country by 1950. The Bell
System is also planning, subject to war conditions, a commercial
trial between New York and Boston of a radio relay system which,
if successful, will provide another means of transmitting television
between cities. Within a city, television programs can be trans-
mitted over regular telephone wires by the use of suitable
It must be remembered also that a large number of motion
picture engineers formerly employed by equipment manufacturers,
are now engaged in war work.
A great deal of attention has been given to conserving equip-
ment and materials for the duration, rather than concentrating on
new projects. The studios have made every effort toward economy
in both operating technique and in the use of strategic materials.
During 1943, it was determined by the Motion Picture Pro-
ducers Association in Hollywood to transfer the activities of the
Call Bureau to the Central Casting Corporation in order to facilitate
the operations of this work.
In the past twelve months the Central Casting Corporation
made a total of 333,277 placements, and the extras who were given
employment during that year received a total sum of $4,190,060.56.
This exceeded by approximately 25%7 the amount paid to extra
talent through Central Casting Corporation in any previous year.
These figures do not take into consideration, the extras who were
called and hired direct by the studios, which would add consider-
ably to this sum.
In addition to the many phases of war work, Hollywood was
prominent on the philanthropic front. Fund subscriptions from
within the industry for the National War Chest reached a total of
$1,166,000. In the 1943 Red Cross Drive $481,000 was contributed
by executives and other personnel from the studios, while direct
contributions and donations to the Motion Picture Relief Fund
reached an aggregate of $380,000. This does not include the 1943
allotment made to the Motion Picture Relief Fund from the Los
Angeles Community Chest.
This summary of the departmental activities of the Association
not only fails to mention many phases of departmental work, but
cannot hope to give a true picture of the mutual support the various
departments give each other in carrying out the Association's pur-
pose. Just as single-minded as the Association is in its purpose to
help the industry discharge its public obligations, so are its various
departments organized for unity in execution and performance.
That unity of will and mutuality of effort is the inner spirit which,
unlike the external facts of accomplishment, cannot be adequately
described, but without which no account of the year's activities
would be intelligible.
VI. THE REASON WHY
However significant they may be, the facts of accomplishment,
of services performed and patriotic obligations discharged, do not
constitute the only lessons we can learn from the industry's war-
time experience. And as we look to the future, it is not what has
been done, but why it could be done, which explains the potency
of motion pictures in American life and in world affairs.
The examination of past accomplishments remains incomplete
until we discover the reason why they could and did occur.
Not the brute fact of success, but the reasoned fact-the success
explained by reference to its causes-is the deepest lesson we can
learn from the industry's war-time experience. And, likewise, such
noting of causes will indicate the deep reason for the "miracle of
the movies"-the spread and extent of their growth from a "peep
show" to an essential service to a world community.
No explanation is needed for the industry's war record. Patriot-
ism by itself is the sufficient reason for everything that has been
done. But why were these war activities so successful? How shall
we account, not for the impulse to serve, but for the effectiveness
of the service, the result accomplished? Before reaching for the
reason behind the facts, let us review the main headings under
which the year's activities can be itemized-the various needs which
the motion picture industry helped to fulfill.
These are the main areas of war-time service:
the ample provision of that indispensable service, entertainment, for
the peoples of the United Nations, for our fighting forces on the seas
and overseas, for American and Allied prisoners of war, for the
1179 army theatres in the United States, for the invalids and con-
valescents in service hospitals, all this supplemented by the personal
appearances of Hollywood stars in U.S.O. Camp Tours and over-
the steady supply of war information through the extraordinarily
wide distribution and exhibition of specially prepared short sub-
jects, the issuance of film bulletins and trailers, and by the pictorial
record of outstanding current events, military and political, at home
and abroad, in the newsreels, a public service extended to the peo-
ples of the United Nations by the issuance in 16 languages or
dialects of a united newsreel for foreign exhibition;
the production of training films, made and distributed by the
industry on a non-profit basis, to supplement the films made by the
armed services, films which helped transform "raw rookies" into
skilled fighting men in a fraction of the time it would take to accom-
plish training in modern military techniques without such visual
the aid given by the theatres and the stars to the Treasury Depart-
ment's effort to finance the war and to combat inflation by war loan
drives, in which in 1943 theatres reported sales totaling $772,238,-
402, and sales made through appearances of Hollywood personal-
ities were reported as being $1,337,250,794;
the contributions, totaling many millions, made to the various war
philanthropies, such as United Nations Relief Fund, the Red Cross,
the National War Fund, the March of Dimes, money contributed
by patrons in theatres and in the course of rallies outside the theatre
in special benefit performances;
the conservation of essential war materials through community
drives inspired and sustained by the showing of films instructing
the public about the need for and the methods of conserving or
salvaging metals, oil, fats, gasoline, chemicals, paper, food products,
rubber, power, light and heating services, transportation and tele-
phone and telegraph facilities;
the recruitment of women for such armed services as the WAVES
and WACS, for the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps, and for work in war
plants, as well as the encouragement of enlistment in other volun-
tary services, such as the Aviation Cadet Corps.
In all these areas, the year 1943 marked a new maximum for
an art whose mission it is to maximize the best for the most.
In that principle of maximization lies the secret of the motion
picture's success. Its tremendous influence upon millions is an in-
stantaneous reflex of its tremendous mass popularity. If the motion
picture were not the most popular art in all of history and through-
out the world today, were it not the most effective form of enter-
tainment for all ages and classes of men, the motion picture industry
could not have performed to so great a degree all the other services
which, however important in themselves, are incidental to its main
functions-entertainment, information, inspiration. And among
these, entertainment is central, for that is what creates the patronage
and devotion of the ninety millions weekly in America, and of mil-
lions upon millions abroad. Without this patronage and devotion,
the films could not do their other work of public information, the
theatres would not be the social centers that they are, the town
meeting places in communities both large and small, and Holly-
wood stars would not have the universal appeal which gives them
the power to work for good in every worthy cause.
Their immense popularity as entertainment explains the extent
and variety of the influence the movies can exert in other spheres
of public service. But what explains their popularity and effective-
ness? The answer lies in the principle of maximization as applied to
the process of production and exhibition. Here is the reason of
The production of motion pictures draws upon many, if not all,
of the major arts-the arts of literature and music, the dance and
the plastic arts of photography and scene building, of decoration
and design. In addition to these fine arts whose creative force
determines the very content of films, appealing at once to the eye
and ear and giving impulse to the imagination, there are all the use-
ful arts which control the machines of production, the skills of the
various technicians who assemble in the unified continuity of the
film the combined force of so many different creative efforts.
We can borrow the word "logistics" from modern military oper-
ations to describe the convergence of creative contributions from
diverse fields of art, and the marshalling through synchronization
and blending of the widest variety of artistic elements. The art of
the motion picture producer is a new and master art. It is in essence
a logistical technique, which orders and harmonizes a vast plurality
of arts to yield a unified resultant, maximizing the effectiveness of
all the component arts by requiring each to work in the context of
the others, and demanding the greatest contribution each can
make to the unity of the whole. The finished motion picture, flow-
ing thus from multiple artistic sources, represents a maximization
of the elements of human entertainment, because it is by its very
nature a consolidation of all the other arts and because its synthetic
character permits and encourages these other arts to make their
utmost contribution to the final whole.
The synthetic nature of the motion picture as a logistical re-
sultant of directed cooperation among the arts does not yet fully
explain its effect on the vast audience it entertains and enthralls.
The reason for every aspect of motion picture success must include
one other consideration. The greatest art would fail to achieve its
due meed of response if the circumstances of its public reception
were inauspicious, subjected to interference, or counteracted by
competing appeals for attention. But the motion picture is most
fortunate in the conditions of its exhibition.
The mood of the motion picture audience who by the millions
come hungrily to the theatre for the pleasures of the screen, and
the atmosphere of the motion picture theatre which enhances this
mood, safeguards it from interference, and concentrates every
ounce of attention upon the screen, giving maximum visibility and
audibility to the film in a setting otherwise dark and silent-these
two factors ensure the motion picture a maximum effectiveness in
presentation and reception. The whole process of maximization
which begins with the convergence of the arts at the point of pro-
duction reaches its completion in the exhibition of the product
under conditions which maximize receptivity-by an audience both
relaxed and eager, wishing to be free from other cares and caring
only to submit to the magic of make-believe.
But because it is a moving image of reality, that make-believe
is often more real than reality itself. It provides its audience with
vicarious experience often more vivid and clear than the less sharp-
ly focused experiences of daily life. Every spectator is given a
front seat at the scene of the world's great events, and becomes
as if a participant in the widest variety of dramatic situations.
The projection of film on screen projects its audience beyond the
screen into the great currents of human life.
These facts emphasize both the opportunity and the responsibil-
ity of the industry to the public which it serves. This responsibility
is fully recognized by the industry and will be fully discharged.
Fortunately for the cause of liberty, our motion picture industry
and the free people to whom it belongs have chosen the voluntary
way, rather than the way of compulsion, to establish broad channels
through which the film's power can flow freely for the benefit of
mankind. Not only is the public good completely protected by
such self-discipline and regulation, but the art itself, exercising
every proper right to freedom of expression, will flourish and grow
to the ultimate maximum of its maturity, limited only by the artistic
boundaries of its medium, its materials, and its technical means.
Where true liberty thrives, no good of man or society can
languish. The way of the voluntary is, indeed, the way of all that
is characteristically human in life. Because it developed under the
auspices of freedom, ruling itself to maximize that freedom, the
motion picture industry had the will and the strength to mobilize
every facility at its disposal for the effort of war. Hidden reserves
of moral energy and physical power remain available. They will
be summoned and expended until the day of victory is attained.
But war will not exhaust the vitality which springs from freedom.
Nor will victory render us supine. We shall be freshly resolved
and newly energetic for the enduring tasks of peace.
WILL H. HAYS
* -Due Returned Due Returned
DEC 14 1 88 DEC 2 o1