Front Cover
 Title Page
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Group Title: Annual report to the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America
Title: Annual report to the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094189/00002
 Material Information
Title: Annual report to the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc.
Alternate Title: Survey of progres and trends in the new era of motion picture entertainment
Physical Description: v. , : ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1936
Frequency: annual
Subject: Motion pictures -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Ceased with 1944/45.
General Note: Each report has a distinctive title preceding the words "Annual report..." on t.-p.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094189
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01645316
lccn - 37015315
 Related Items
Preceded by: Presidents report
Succeeded by: Annual Report

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
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    Back Cover
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Full Text


In the NezwEra

of Motion Picture


March 30, 1936

By WILL H. HAYS, President

2S West 44th Street. New York City



In the Neuw-Era

of Motion Picture


March 30, 1936

By WILL H. HAYS, President

28 West 44th Street, New York City





March 30, 1936

F ROM the standpoint of entertainment, social and educational
merit, motion picture production reached a new peak this year.
The progress recorded by the industry, and projected from the screens
in more than 15,000 motion picture theatres in the United States has
raised the stature of the art, brought greater dramatic themes to
the screen and moved up the level of public appreciation to the point
where the best in literature, in music and in drama is within the
province of the universal entertainment service of motion pictures.

While the industry on its own behalf must continue to talk with
pictures, not words, the record of critical and public opinion with
regard to current motion pictures should greatly encourage those who
see even larger prospects ahead. Conclusions reached by competent
critics and by commentators of the leading organs of the press in all
parts of the country are to the effect that "there is more intellectual
distinction in the movies than ever before"; that "the screen has trans-
lated into celluloid drama the greatest number of established classics
in the history of motion pictures"; that "the new productions have

exceeded quality thenost optimistic hopes"; that "pictures of
historical sighiifclckce-are ever on the increase"; that "the screen has
shown its ability to portray the highest concepts of the human mind";
that "pictures are finer, more interesting, more entertaining and more
educational than ever before"; that "honest and compelling themes are
predominating in the outstanding pictures"; that "more meaning and
dignity has been lent to the screen"; and that the industry is perform-
ing "a great experiment that will help to determine whether the screen
is the universal entertainment medium for the expression of the
highest forms of art and drama."

Such tributes to the progress of the art are perhaps all the more
striking because of the fact that the period under review marked only
the ninth anniversary of the first talking motion picture. Sound v.as a
revolutionary development which gave birth practically to a new art-
form, made necessary the development of new techniques of produc-
tion, the finding and training of many new artists, the creation or
discovery of new source material, the need of great new investments
for technical facilities, and the creation of self-regulatory measures to
cope with the new problems which the addition of speech to motion
brought to the social aspects of motion picture entertainment.

Equally notable is the number, range and variety of outstanding
pictures which led the industry's best efforts during 1935. The adva nce
was on a wide front-so wide in fact that the following is but a partial
list of such films, each chosen by various groups of critical opinion
throughout the country as among the ten best films of the year
produced by the American motion picture industry:

A Midsummer Night's Dream, which in most impressive
manner advanced the dramatic range of the cinema to

Mutiny on the Bounty, a superb picturization of a saga of
the sea, which called forth the highest artistic and technical
resources of the screen;


3 1262 08648 289 9

,A T de of Two Citzes, which, together with the memorable
production of David Copperfield, established the cycle of
Dickens on the screen;
The Story of Louis Pasteur, a picture which not only acceler-
ated the progress of the screen but performed an important
service to education by its effective dramatization of the life
of a great scientist and his struggles for humanity;

The Informer, greeted as a classic tragedy of the screen and
as establishing the fact beyond doubt that the cinema has
become a dramatic medium of the first importance;

Black Fury, in which vivid entertainment was built around
a current social theme;
Ruggles of Red Gap, a notable comedy of American life and
manners in the pioneer spirit of the American West;

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo's unforgettable story presented
with distinguished artistry;

The Farmer Takes a Wife, in which the screen portrayed an
interesting period of American history, when the Erie Canal
was the connecting link between New York and the Great
Top Hat and Follow the Fleet, Irving Berlin musicals which
set the country playing and whistling new airs; conspicuous
for their fine and popular dancing and comedy;

Rose Marie, which with Naughty Marietta added to the series
of well-known musical romances brought to American
motion picture audiences, sung by leading artists and repro-
duced with technical perfection;

Ah, Wilderness! Eugene O'Neill's comedy of youth and of
American life in New England in the nineties;

Magnificent Obsession, a social drama that carried a high
spiritual message and which emphasized through strong dra-
matic presentation the higher functions of the screen;

The Prisoner of Shark Island, a remarkable drama of our
own land which further advanced the number of films deal-
ing with interesting, significant or important incidents of
American history;

Crime and Punishment, a vivid psychological study based on
Dostoievsky's famous novel;

Broadway Melody of 1936, a modern musical comedy of scin-
tillating song, ballet and dance numbers, combined to serve
the purpose of family entertainment;

Captain Blood, a picture of exciting adventure and romance
based on a tale of seventeenth century England;

Diamond Jim, a film not only of popular entertainment
merit, but reminiscent of a phase of our country's develop-
"G"-Men, which portrayed the training and life of officers
of justice who "get their men," introducing a treatment which
placed healthy and helpful emphasis on law enforcement;

Only the limitations of space prevent the further extension of
this list which includes, among other pictures:

Alice Adams The Crusades
Anna Karenina The Country Doctor
Becky Sharp Curly Top
Call of the Wild The Dark Angel
Cardinal Richelieu The Gay Deception

Life Begin;. at Forty Rose of the Rancho
The Littlest Rebel So Red the Rose
Lives of a Bengal Lancer Steamboat Round the Bend
Love Me Forever Sylvia Scarlett
The Man Who Reclaimed His Head Thanks a Million
Mary Burns, Fugitive These Three
Metropolitan The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
Modern Times Yellow Dust
Peter Ibbetson
and many others.

In the Field of Fantasy

Worthy of review this year, also, under a distinct and separate
category, is the artistic progress being made by the screen in fields of
pure fantasy. The promise of new and original enlivenment born
with the first animated cartoon is developing to the dignity of true art.
The world has taken to its bosom those products of our studios that
come out of the realm of sheer imagery. The little comedies and
dramas played by the fantastic figures of the screen speak the lan-
guage of all men and of all ages. They tell a tale and point a moral.
We are seeing the rise of a new medium of story telling. It is a
satisfaction to note that a feature-length work of this character
is now in production. With improved technique and with the advan-
tages of color, sound and music, it is not difficult to foresee dramas
spun from fantasy, which, with kindly humor or satire, may come
to have large social and even educational significance, and which
may draw audiences undreamed of by Aristophanes when he fash-
ioned his comedies from the adventures of insects and birds.

I Dream Too Mfuch

Return of Peter Grimm

Trend Continues Toward Higher Artistic Standards
Forthcoming productions indicate that the artistic and dramatic
trend continues upward.
Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, being produced with all the
grandeur and vividness that only the screen permits, will further
emphasize the dramatic reach of this art. As late as January, 1934, I
was unable to go beyond the reference to the possibility that the screen
and the supporting public would "soon be ready for the treasure house
of the great comedy and drama that lies in a possible Shakespearean
cycle on the screen."
Yet in 1935 we witnessed the actual production of A Midsummer
Night's Dream, and now Shakespeare's deathless play of tragic love is
about to be introduced to the universal motion picture audience.
Mary of Scotland will transfer a great historical tragedy to
the screen.
Under Two Flags will be the film version of Ouida's gripping
romance and adventure story, told against the background
which no stage or novel could reproduce.
Green Pastures will bring to the screen this religious folk
play with its simple but profound spiritual message.
The Life of Beethoven will be the colorful story of the
composer interwoven with the presentation of his great
musical compositions.
Films like Alaska Bound, Prairie Schooners, Nevada,
Ramona, Last of the Mohicans, Sutter's Gold, Buffalo Bill
and others-pictures with emphasis on our national past,
photographed against great natural backgrounds-will con-
tinue the movement dramatically to reproduce American
historical events.
The movement towards greater artistry is affecting all types of
picture production. It is interesting to note that the Westerns, formerly

the time-honored transcriptions of the popular dime novels, are being
lifted to higher artistic content by stories that will translate to the
screen the real romance inherent in the conquest of mountains, plains
and deserts that marked the efforts of America's hardy and valiant
Again, space does not permit a complete review of the range and
variety of other forthcoming pictures which will include such produc-
tions as:
Anthony Adverse Lost Horizon
Captain January Mr. Deeds Comes to Town
Captains Courageous The Old Maid
Charge of the Light Brigade Poppy
Garibaldi Rhythm of the Range
Good-bye Mr. Chips Road to Glory
Good Earth San Francisco
The Great Ziegfeld Show Boat
Little Lord Fauntleroy Silas Marner
The record of the industry's progress, evidenced by the remark-
able rise in artistic standards, is not stated to under-estimate the prob-
lems still ahead. It is stated to confirm the fact that there is a growing
public that accepts and welcomes the finer forms of entertainment;
that informative and co-operative processes set up by the organized
motion picture industry are creating the conditions for the commer-
cially successful production and distribution of such entertainment;
that within the framework of self-regulation truly great screen fea-
tures can be produced and paying audiences found for them; and that
the American public can be trusted to vote down the tawdry, vulgar or
Not every picture produced by the industry during the period
under review is entirely free from objection in the latter respects.
There are and always will be, borderline cases, where even critical
opinion will divide as to the over-all social or moral values of a given
film or dramatic performance, and where the strictest moral rating

will make a necessary and proper distinction as between adult and
family attendance. In such instances public opinion is finally the safe
guide. Producers cannot fail to note that in the choice of theme, treat-
ment, or entertainment personality, the higher standards of public
appreciation as expressed at the box-office support the wholesome, the
soundly dramatic, the truly entertaining and the artistic. This fact is
becoming incontestably clear.

The vigilance which will not permit our Production Code to
degenerate into a mere process of censorship applies to the oppor-
tunities as well as to the self-restraint of the screen. The character of
pictures produced during the current season demonstrates the ability\
of the screen to deal with vital subjects of the day, with strong dra-
matic scenes, with social problems and with all dramatic forms on
which honest entertainment can be built. This is asserted, notwith-
standing such artificial controversies as may be raised to the contrary.

The question of public order, of public good, of avoiding the
inflammatory, the prejudicial or the subversive, is a problem of social
responsibility everlastingly imposed upon those who would produce,
distribute and exhibit pictures to an universal audience of 8o,oo000,000ooo
men, women and children in the United States alone. The distinc-
tion between motion pictures with a message and self-ser, ing
propaganda which misrepresents the purpose of the entertainment
screen is one determinable through the processes of common sense.
Between the screen's basic function of entertainment and recreation
for the millions which it must serve, and the art's higher purpose as an
aesthetic, educational and dramatic medium of first importance, there
is room, much of which is still unused, for the presentation and treat-
ment of the greatest theses of life, literature, music and drama.

Development of Educational Processes

With the constant educational task before us of finding the right
audiences for the right pictures, in order that the progress of the scree n

may be harnessed to the higher rather than to the lower entertainment
demands of an universal audience, the methods and machinery created
by your Association take on new significance. It is not to be forgotten
that barely fifteen years ago the motion picture was the scorned step-
sister of the arts. It was rather generally regarded with disdain by the
arbiters of taste and culture, and considered a larger nickelodeon
offering diversion consisting chiefly of Westerns and slapstick comedy.

During these years the screen nevertheless continued to be the
favorite entertainment of the masses. The improvement of such a
popular art, in moral and artistic value, in educational content, and in
obedience to the laws of good taste was a task that required, and for-
tunately secured, the co-operation of religious, social and educational
leadership. The progress now to be noted is the direct result of such
organized co-operative effort. The keystones of our program to make
possible the progressive rise of the artistic and social level of motion
picture production may be summarized as follows:

(a) Self-discipline at the Point of Production.
This responsibility is expressed through the processes of our
Motion Picture Production Code. The major purpose of the Associa-
tion, in this respect, is stated in its By-Laws as "establishing and main-
taining the highest possible moral and artistic standards in motion
picture production, by developing the educational as well as the
entertainment value and the general usefulness of the motion picture."
The successful development of these processes not only has gained the
support of public opinion for the industry, but has helped greatly to
raise the artistic standards of motion picture production. This is made
amply evident by the record of the industry during 1935.

(b) Processes to Develop Appreciation
of Quality Motion Pictures.
The open door maintained by the industry to enable educational,
social, religious and other groups to classify motion pictures and pro-

mote theatre attendance on the basis of proper social and educational
standards is a development that continues to grow in significance.
It is notable that reviews of motion pictures issued by American public
groups are circulating in twenty or more foreign countries, including
India, Australia, China and South Africa. In addition, it may be
recorded, that during 1935 public information material furnished
directly by the Association was multiplied enormously through the
activities of socially-minded civic, educational and religious leaders.

During the period under review more than io,ooo public addresses
were made by local motion picture chairmen and motion picture
council leaders based on current news and other information regard-
ing the character of film productions; more than one hundred radio
stations carried an estimated total of 4,000 radio broadcasts by these
leaders recommending current pictures upon the basis of their artistic
and social values; approximately five hundred newspapers with a com-
bined circulation of more than 20,000,000 carried lists of recommended
pictures issued by various central previewing committees; scores of
chain telephone committees organized by local councils carried the
news of pictures of outstanding social value to the key people in
many communities.

In every possible respect our educational activities have been
related to the problem of raising the level of motion picture apprecia-
tion and harnessing greater public support to the pictures of the better
kind. Even casual consideration of the phenomenon of 1935-class
pictures of the highest artistic merit not only accepted but encouraged
by the attendance of mass audiences-will indicate that this remark-
able development did not "just happen." It came about through the
establishment of machinery and the development of procedures over
the course of years, through persistently and consistently organized
effort, through the vast contributions made by social, educational
and religious forces, and through the high standards of public respon-
sibility developed in the organized motion picture industry by means
of self-regulation. Our first duty is to make certain the high quality

of our own product; our obligation no less is to co-operate in sympathy
and understanding with these responsible groups.

The function of the screen as a medium of news and informa-
tion was markedly advanced during the past twelve months by the
character and range of the newsreels. A year of extraordinarily signifi-
cant events in our own country and in the world at large has been
mirrored authentically and impartially to the millions of the motion
picture audience.
The story of the nation's rise from the depths of depression, the
progress of the Italo-Ethiopian war, the crisis in the League of Nations,
the resurgence of Germany, the tragic implication of a world arming
for the next conflict, the death of King George and the accession of
King Edward in England, are among the notable historical documents
which the newsreels during the year have made for posterity.

Short Subjects
The short subject, keeping pace with the general upward trend in
motion picture quality, has shown a marked rise in artistic and enter-
tainment standards. Music and the use of color were the features of
many of these subjects produced during the year. Travel, humor,
sports and educational themes predominated.


Both in the educational by-products of the screen's vast entertain-
ment service and in the direct contribution made by the industry
to the development of the motion picture as an arm of technical and
general education, progress is to be noted for the year.
Photoplay appreciation classes inaugurated by public schools and
similar institutions; the use as supplementary teaching material of the

greater literary, historical and dramatic films produced by the indus-
try; character-building studies taken from outstanding productions
which featured themes of high spiritual and social value, were included
in such activities.

The fact that the subjects used in the character-building projects
were not specially filmed for the purpose, but were actual excerpts
from existing photoplays, demonstrates the rise in social importance
of the modern motion picture screen. All educators acquainted with
the enterprise are agreed that the industry has made available to them
an important body of character-education material.

The movement is likewise progressing for the development of
those techniques required to make the motion picture film a teaching
medium to supplement the printed textbook and the lecture. It is a
purpose of the highest educational and cultural importance. Having
co-operated with projects that already have resulted in the production
of surgical, scientific and religious films of this character, this Asso-
ciation has consistently encouraged such movements, in accordance
with the pledged purpose of the industry to develop "the educational
as well as the entertainment values and general usefulness of the
motion picture."

Film Archives

The completion of the National Archives Building in Washing-
ton is finally bringing the opportunity to the industry to perpetuate
its contributions to the historical records of our time by the film docu-
ments it has created. This has long been our hope as well as our
insistence. Through the progress of the art, the history of con tern por-
ary events may now be preserved for future generations with the vivid-
ness, realism and certitude of life. This is the only means of recording
the pageant of history in the living tempo of the times in which the
events occur. The American motion picture industry has produced
and has in its vaults countless miles of newsreels and historical sub-
jects reporting the outstanding events and picturing the great figures

in the international arena during this, the most stirring period, per-
haps, of world history. Moreover, the entertainment screen is con-
stantly adding highly artistic and authoritative reproductions of the
American scene as described in the written records of history.

It would be a disservice to posterity if we failed to organize this
moving, living, talking record so that historical and educational mate-
rial may be made available to educators, film creators and students of
the future. The purpose of a film library in the National Archives
Building in Washington, as an important step in the right direction,
is therefore to be commended.

Progress of Self-Regulation in
Motion Picture Production

The processes of self-regulation with regard to our Production
Code were further extended during the past twelve months. A number
of foreign producers desiring American distribution and wishing to
keep their pictures within the production standards set up by the
American industry are being given the advantage of our facilities in
this respect. Similar co-operation on a complete and effective basis has
been extended to producers of American pictures not now affiliated
with the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc.
Your Association has kept the doors open to all who are desirous of
maintaining the standards established and perfected by the organized
industry during the course of many years, to effect progressive im-
provement in the production of all motion picture entertainment
wherever or by whomsoever made.

Equally significant, and economically important, was the largely
increased activity imposed upon the Association by the growing prac-
tice of consultation, conference, suggestion and advice with regard to
prospective screen material in order that objectionable features, if any,
may be made apparent in advance of production. Much wasted effort
and great expense are thus avoided, by eliminating the necessity of

corrections later when Code violations might be discovered in the
finished film.

The following figures summarize the continuous activity during
the year of our Production Code administration both in Hollywood
and in New York:

Books, synopses, plays and stories analyzed . . 263
Number of scripts studied . . . . . 103
Number of pictures reviewed . . . . 1507*
Number of consultations . . . . . 1833
Number of written opinions expressing the Associa-
tion's reasoned judgment relative to stories, scripts,
pictures, etc. . . . . ...... 5358

(*Includes completed pictures which, because of changes, deletions,
or retakes suggested, have been reviewed more than once. Also in-
cludes 71 feature pictures produced and released prior to July 15,
1934, and submitted for approval before re-issue.)
There has been a gratifying increase in the number of original
source materials considered-books, synopses, plays and stories; and
most significant has been the increase from 2602 in 1934 to 5358 in
1935 in the number of written opinions submitted to the studios.
Important also is the increase in the number of scripts offered and
studied in 1935 over previous years.In 1935 therewere i103 as compared
with 822 in 1934, with 613 in 1933 and with 441 in 1932. The increase
indicated this year is 34 percent over 1934; 80o percent over 1933 and
150 percent over 1932.

The following table is interesting as indicating the source mate-
rial for the 519 feature-length pictures produced in 1935 and approved
under our Production Code during the same calendar year:

From original screen st
From stage plays .
From novels . .
From biographies .
From short stories
Miscellaneous . .


Total Percent
. . .. 244 47.01
. . 41 7.90

. 142


. . . 3 .58
. . . 37 7.13
. . . 52 10.02

519 1OO.00

Higher Standards of Entertainment Promotion

The co-operative effort of the industry to raise the quality of its
advertising to the higher standards of motion picture production took
on increased range and scope during 1935.

The large-scale project which reached its full form with the com-
pletion in 1933 of our Advertising Advisory Council has been gener-
ally accepted as a striking contribution to the better advertising move-
ment generally.

The extent of this effort and the co-operation it has received are
made evident by the following table of operations during 1935:

Material submitted:
ioo,810 stills (West Coast) . .
2,500 stills (East Coast) . .
401 press books . . .
12,450 advertisements . .
12,1oo exploitation ideas . .
1I,Ioo miscellaneous accessories .
2,044 posters . . .
867 trailers . . . .

Discarded or revised to mees
standards prescribed by Adver-
tising Code:
* I5
* 62

These figures cover only source material. For good or bad, motion
picture advertising is multiplied thousands of times each day by indi-
vidual exhibitors. The Council has had encouraging success in per-
suading occasional offenders in the field to bring their local advertis-
ing adaptations and "stunts" wholly into line with the national policy
of cleanliness in the screen's show window.

The vast strides made by the industry and the emergence of the
motion picture into higher entertainment levels have greatly extended
the field and function of the industry's advertising and publicity. The
critical world echoes with the praise of fine pictures. We have pro-
duced screen features which demand the interest and respect of the
most cultivated elements of our population. But from the standpoint
of the public as a whole, the wrong kind of advertising can put the
wrong kind of face value on the pictures offered.

The easy assumption that the merely suggestive, alluring or capti-
vating in illustration or copy was enough to "sell" a picture, regard-
less of its content, could not be quickly exploded in the days when the
public simply went "to the pictures," not to selected or considered
motion picture entertainment. The fetish that the bigger the adjective
the better the impression created upon the public mind was more the
result of competition than of comprehension. It is a satisfaction to see
such concepts passing.

The signs of a new day are noted earnestly by the promotional
and advertising men of our industry. We are dealing with many pic-
tures, in which the thrilling feats of science, the great moments of
history, the finest examples of literature, the mystifying problems of
life, and the inspiring music of the masters are the motifs of the new

We are dealing with an audience which today includes an infinite
variety of class groups drawn to the motion picture theatre by the
better entertainment that is becoming predominant upon the screen.
We propose to hold the respect as well as the attendance support of

these new segments. They include the community leadership which
brings to (he industry its deserved measure of support from school,
home, church and many other institutions now co-operating in the
better-picture movement throughout the United States.We need states-
manship as well as salesmanship in our better advertising efforts.

Some producers have erred, and erred greatly, in their conclu-
sions that pictures can be "too good" from an artistic standpoint,
because in some instances pictures critically hailed as artistic triumphs
ha'e died miserably at the box-office. The probabilities are greater that
the exploitation was "too bad" than that the pictures were "too good."

It is significant that more than one such product of our studios,
hailed this year in superlative terms for dramatic intensity and artistry,
and given at first a disappointing box-office reception, found its
public through guidance by critical opinion and has been built up to
solid commercial success. And the fact is that every previous artistic
"failure" in the industry paved the way, through its advertising influ-
ence, for the greater artistic and commercial successes that followed.

The rise is to be noted, therefore, of a new day of advertising
effort in which the right product will be "sold" to the right audience
in the right way. Some of the distinctive methods recently adopted to
introduce the truly great picture sufficiently in advance of exhibition,
the greater artistry that has marked the exploitation of our greater
products, and the recognition that wholesomeness and good taste are
creative stimuli, are welcome signs of such an era.

Title Registration

During the year much thought has been given to improving
further and amplifying the method of title registration and to the
co-ordination of the activity with the Production Code administration.
A new set of Governing Memoranda has been adopted which it is
believed will aid in sustaining the high standard of titles which has

been developed. There were registered during the year a total of 3,312

Trade Practices

In an industry that does not really manufacture a product but
creates entertainment in a form that can be reproduced on the motion
picture screen, which does not permanently distribute but which
really routes dramatic, musical and other spectacles in relation to time,
place and areas covered, which does not sell but rents its product
to the theatre for a given "run," which in fact has sheer art as an essen-
tial constituent element-in such an enterprise it is obvious that trade
practices must be generic to the unique conditions imposed by the art
and the industry. In such complex relationships endless opportunities
exist for friction, irritation and litigation.
The bases of the trade practice structure for the industry promoted
since the formation of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors
of America have been conciliation and arbitration.
Conciliation has avoided acrimonious disputes and ruinous delays
in countless instances.
Arbitration procedures built up over a period of years vastly
reduced litigation in the industry and effected large saving for all
It is important to note that the Federal Court commended the fair-
ness and social value of the arbitration procedures which brought
about these results, although constrained to find some of the industry
procedures to be in conflict in certain respects with existing interpre-
tations of law.
Many of the important principles implied under a completely
integrated scheme of industry self-regulation were included in the
all-embracing code adopted by the industry under the NRA Act.
And a very sincere attempt was made to develop the greatest good
for all factors during the period of the operation of that law.

During the past year an exhaustive survey and study has been
made, with progress toward a plan built upon purely co-operative
processes in which mediation and conciliation will play the larger
part. No industry has stronger pillars of self-regulation to build upon,
and success is indicated if the co-operative spirit is pursued.

Technical Advancement

Technical progress in the industry continued apace during the
year. Even higher definition of image and sound was achieved as
the result of technical developments. Considerable progress was
noted in extending the range and frequency of sound recording and
reproduction, and many theatres are being re-equipped for the pro-
duction of the higher quality sound now being recorded on the film.
Further research is being continued on such problems as the relation
between photography and the processing of film, the illumination of
the screen, printing densities, and other processes and methods.

The use of color received considerable emphasis during the year.
Plans to date call for the production of ten or more all-color features
in 1936.

Much has been accomplished also in the development of micro-
photographic duplication methods. Important use is foreseen of this
process by governmental institutions and other organizations in con-
nection with their records. For instance, by means of micro-photog-
raphy a year's issue of a metropolitan newspaper may be reproduced in
toto upon a strip of film less than i,ooo feet long-legible with suitable

Conservation Activities

The fire prevention service maintained for the industry has given
us foremost place in the field of safety and conservation. This fact has

been referred to by fire prevention engineers on many occasions during
the past twelve months.

In 1935 two inconsequential fires occurred in film exchanges in
the United States. No film was involved in either case, the fires being
due to other causes. The total monetary loss was $8.oo00. This is rather
significant when we remember that over 27,000 miles of film are
handled each day in the exchanges in this country alone.


American pictures continue to receive generous support on the
screens of the world, notwithstanding the marked rise of picture pro-
duction in other lands. Our outstanding productions still command
the interest and tribute of world-wide audiences for their artistic and
entertainment merit.

Nevertheless, the wave of intense nationalism sweeping many
European countries continues to raise increasingly difficult obstacles
to the distribution of American films abroad. Foreign governments
have exempted their film industries from duties on imported machin-
ery, and from taxes and internal duties on domestically-produced pic-
tures. In many cases such productions are developed under actual
government subsidies.

In contrast to restrictive policies elsewhere is the open door main-
tained by our own theatres for films from abroad and also the rivalry
welcomed and encouraged by the American motion picture industry
for the production, distribution and exhibition of the finest in film
entertainment. During the year 1935, there was a total of 241 foreign-
produced films shown in the United States. In 1934 the total was 174.

There were approximately 1200 feature pictures made throughout
the world during the last year. Of these some 640 originated in Euro-
pean or English studios, England being the largest contributor with

163, France 135, Germany 129, Spain 5o, Czechoslovakia 30, Italy 30,
Hungary 15, with other countries supplying the remainder. Egypt,
India, China, Japan, Australia, the Argentine and Mexico are now
among the producing nations.

To date more than thirteen countries have placed some form of
quota or contingent laws in effect, aimed directly at the distribution
of foreign-made pictures. In the face of the problems developing in
foreign distribution, our Film Boards and similar organizations abroad
are functioning in a constructive and co-operative spirit.


During 1935 there were 826 additional theatres placed in regular
operation throughout the country, adding 379,383 seats to the nation's
motion picture theatres. There now remain 1519 theatres unequipped
to reproduce sound pictures, almost all of which are closed indefinitely
and most of which are obsolete buildings in obscure locations.

At the end of 1935 there were 15,378 theatres operating in the
United States. There were more than 400 theatre circuits of four
houses or more, and these operated 5,656 theatres. The five major
circuits operated 1,094 theatres.

Central Casting Corporation

The Central Casting Corporation, co-operatively organized to
facilitate employment of "extras" by the industry, was ten years old
on Jan uar st, 1936. The California State Labor Department recently
completed a survey of this work. Dr. Louis Bloch, principal statisti-
cian for the Department, said in his report:

"After careful examining of available data, I feel confident
that the Central Casting Corporation has proved of immense
benefit to the extras and that it has accomplished the objec-

tives for which it has been established, with the exception of
that of decasualization."

Dr. Bloch's proposal that the registered list of extras should be cut
down to a number who might earn modest support through such work
has been favorably recommended to the industry. In the calendar year
just past the number of placements of extras rose from 219,857 in 1934
to 278,486 in 1935, an increase of 26%. This does not mean a propor-
tionate increase of opportunity in view of the casualness of such

During the ten years of operation of the Central Casting Corpora-
tion there have been 2,531,563 placements. Wages paid amounted to
$22,591,446. Considering the conditions that existed ten years ago,
when thousands of extra players were forced to make the rounds of
studios often located miles apart, and often compelled to pay as much
as 7% of their salaries to commercial employment agencies, this free
and centralized bureau for the placement of extra players, established
after the survey which the Russell Sage Foundation generously made
at our request, has justified itself socially as well as economically.

Employment of Minors in Motion Picture Industry

At a time when child labor is still a social problem, the motion
picture industry may congratulate itself upon conditions in this
respect obtaining in our studios.

"The finest conditions and regulations in the world govern.
ing the employment of minors in industry are those to be
found in the motion picture industry."

The above-quoted statement has been subscribed to by Vierling
Kersey, Director of the California State Department of Education, and

Guy M. Hoyt, Director of Attendance and Employment of Minors
Section of the Board of Education of the city of Los Angeles. They are
directly engaged with this problem in the State of California.

All in all, it would seem that the record established by the industry
during the past twelve months justifies confidence in still greater
progress ahead.

The new standards of artistry attained by the screen this year are
a tribute to the creative personnel of the industry. The constantly
higher level of intelligence to which motion pictures are advancing
means much to the future of the art and the welfare of society. Such
developments extend the artistic and dramatic range of the screen and
bring new elements of attendance to the motion picture theatre.

It is a tribute just as full to the great and growing success which
the co-operation given to the industry by educational, social and reli-
gious leadership has effected in the standards of motion picture appre-
ciation. The processes of criticism, selection and education have
enlarged, not restricted, the artistic and dramatic opportunities of the
screen; they have increased, not decreased, motion picture attendance.

In these results lies the true significance of our steady progress
on the planned path of self-regulation. It is a path on which the twin
necessities of a constantly improving quality of supply and a constantly
rising standard of demand are moving forward together. It means an
industry built upon a wider basis of public service and an art that can
rise to the highest social ends.


March o,


Public Opinion 1935-36 on the New Heights Reached by the Art

"Our hearts have lifted as we have wit-
nessed the superb artistry, the high drama, the
intense love interest, the sheer beauty, the
gripping action of several masterpieces ... the
pictures are not dull; they are brilliant. No,
they are not namby-pamby; they have punch
and plenty of it."-Boston (Mass.) Traveler.

"People of all ages can take new interest
in the movie theatre as a place where one
may find entertainment which is intelligent
and artistic, which offers sentiment and gen-
uine romance and in not a few cases is even
inspiring. And in spite of the early wails and
sneers of people who ought to have known
better we have not yet seen any indication of
a serious lapse into ineptness, prudishness or
the maudlin mood."-Detroit Free Press.

"There was a time when motion pictures by
and large could be indicted as juvenile and
calculated to appeal only to the mentally im-
mature, but that time definitely has passed."
-Baltimore Evening Sun.

"Motion pictures in the past year made
more progress along the lines of artistic
achievement and general entertainment values
than in almost any similar period in their
history . ."-Jersey City (N. J.) Journal.

"No future chronicler of the nineteen thir-
ties can fail to note the gains made by the
motion picture industry during the last few
years. The films have become artistic as well
as articulate and are developing a rich heri-
tage of fiction, biography and drama." -
Dayton (Ohio) Herald.

"The producers have given us not only
cleaner films, but productions boasting of
finer technique, better drama and excellent
entertainment . ." Rochester (N. Y.)
Catholic Courier.

"And now in 1935 the movies celebrate the
feature-film's coming-of-age with the first full
transcription to the sound screen of a Shake-
spearean play. Note that this is a real coming-
of-age, in achievement as in years. Just as no
actor has won his spurs until he has done
justice to a Shakespearean role so no theatre
form can claim full distinction until it has
done justice to a Shakespearean play."-New
Haven (Conn.) Journal-Courier-Times.

"The year has proved two things, first, that
the motion picture industry can produce art
in pictures, and, second, that the public will
patronize these pictures when they are pre-
sented. The past year has witnessed some
notable productions, pictures in which the
absence of the sex motive was predominate."
-Salt Lake City Tribune.

"In recent years there has been a tremen-
dous advance in the quality of motion and
sound pictures . the number of exception-
ally well produced and acted pictures has
increased so greatly in the past two years that
no one, going once a week to the cinema,
could see them all . ."-Rochester (N. Y.)
Times Union.

"The new trend has spread in the musicals
which no longer depend so much on elabor-
ateness, artificial choreography, nudity, sen-
sational water scenes, and all that sort of
thing, as upon good taste, wit, grace, humor,
and the human element."-Boston American.

"The artistic development of the movies
has been extremely satisfactory during the
past year . The striking demonstration of
a public demand for the elimination of vul-
garity spurred the cinema to seek to retrieve
public confidence by proving its skill in mak-
ing wholesome films that still dealt realistic-
ally with life." Omaha (Neb.) World-

On the New Era of Screen Entertainment

"*The cinema is now beginning to capture
more of life tr'clf. and to contain more of a
me,,aec for the mental and ipirtrual man. It
ha, mr:,-ed into the deeper and saner Ameri-
cmn concept of life.
"'The rotiocin picture is one of man's most
adaptble agencies of expression, and iLs pos-
,ibiliers ais uch are pracdtclly unlimited. It
can plumb sers deep depths in the human
makeup "-Coli.mirs Ga. ) Ledger-Enquirer.

"Mr Ha,s em.phaiizes the theory that
'qualis, can be produced in quantirv and that
generous' supportt car be enlisted for it.' On
such a program the motion picture producers
of America cin defend upon the united sup-
port c.f the pre .:, the pulpit and dihe leaders of
tbouclit in the country and can build towards
a greater ind more prosperous industry."-
. tl,; ,.;. Cors:lt'irwrs.

"The American mcuon picture industry
undoubtedly ha, made serious mistakes, but
throucho-ut Lts hiiiory it has :howDn marked
tcpacji5 for adlustr.ent. That hai saved it
from ronrinu.ne nmy mistake indefinitely. The
present irend toward, entertainment plus in-
telligence pr':.miise to benefit not only the
industry but its public."-Kan;as City, Mo.,

"The m':'les hase become the universal
amu.ement for the seriau,.minded a3 well as
tho;e ih.:, enio, pleasure, in a lighter vein,
the, orTer an outlet f..r the emotion; and, in
thecr fin,.h and braui% of production, appeal
to tihe irtisic sene."--j.'uo, Fuoige (La.)
S,.:e Ti,,e;.

On ecers -ide one hear: litle but praise
of ihat the indumtrr hi, done to meet the
requirements cf decent public enrimenr. ....
The efortn, of the moon picture industry to
i'%e ihe public clear ind stnmulanng enter-
itriment are derersing of the highett com-
mendJiron . -ilarrtrd (Con ) Ccurant.

"No one will deny that motion pictures
have taken a decided upward swing. Splendid
pictures; settings which are breath-taking in
their exquisite beauty or rugged grandeur;
stories that move steadily forward and upward
to a worthy climax; historical events in
graphic portrayal; humor wholesome and
clean;-yes, there are movies these days which
the morally and religiously sensitive person,
the intellectual and fastidious person can
wholeheartedly enjoy." St. Louis (Mo.)
Evangelical Herald.

"A new American movie has been born and
it has been a good thing not only for the
movies but for the public at large. Movie
producers have taken thought to the kind of
pictures they produce. They have brought to
the screen some of the immortal stories of all
time and have given a new meaning and a
new significance by the manner in which it
was possible to treat them."-Grinnell (Iowa)

"Steady patrons of the motion picture thea-
ters . must be rejoicing in the recent
trend of the producers to bring to life once
more the great novels of the 19th and early
20th centuries. . Congratulations are in
order for the improvement in the motion
picture which has been brought about in the
last few months."-Binghamton (N. Y.) Sun.

"The record of the year is something to be
proud of, and as other newspapers suggest,
the public, demanding and patronizing the
splendid, wholesome, interesting entertain-
ment offered, has shown an advance in cul-
ture."-Jacksonville (Fla.) Times-Union.

"It is with a sense of keen personal and
social delight that we have watched the grad-
ual evolution of the motion picture theatre
from its not-so-long abandoned plane of
sensationalized sex-madness to a definite level
of cultural achievement. We hail the new era
in motion pictures."-Gastonia (N.C.) Gazette.

On the Success of Self-regulation in the Motion Picture Industry

"We are apt to forget just how great a
miracle it is that we should be able to find
romance, comedy, history, or tears of sym-
pathy right around the corner from our
homes, presented with a dramatic excellence
that seems to improve each year. The making
of a photoplay is an intense, exciting, high
speed operation conducted by creative people.
If we hamper these people by trying to ad-
minister iron-clad rules under which they
must work, we will accomplish nothing ex-
cept to kill the entertainment value, the artis-
tic value and the great educational power of
the motion picture."--Mrs. Leo B. Hedges,
Motion Picture Chairman, California Congress
of Parents and Teachers, in Los Angeles

"A more wholesome atmosphere has be-
gun to pervade the screen theatre. The silly
and often tawdry pictures of the past are
being superseded by more serious and better-
acted plays of the present. Whether current
programs indicate a lasting change of heart on
the part of the producer remains to be seen.
That the moving picture industry by an en-
lightened change of policy is attracting a
public hitherto immune to its charms there
can be no doubt. It is a good sign. It may
even signalize the beginning of a new era."
-Toronto Mail & Empire.

"What is 'indecency'? Now that a great
many people have been looking at the cinema
through a microscope, they have discovered
something which they had not before realized.
They find that it is often a very difficult task
to make a moral estimate of a picture; and
they are vaguely pained when gleeful critics
compare the resultant differences of opinion
and make caustic references to geographic
morality, etc.
"But should this state of affairs be so
astonishing? If bespectacled theologians dis-
pute about the morality of human acts calmly
dissected and displayed in the theological lab-
oratory, why should not judges of the movies,
clerical or lay, be expected to differ at times in
their opinions about human acts warmly pic-
tured in the flesh?"-America.

"A glance at the titles of the more talked-
of motion pictures which have appeared in
the last year or two or which are booked for
the near future, is highly revealing.
"Assuredly the business as well as the art
of motion pictures has opened a new chipper
and a new deal, though not as suddenly as
casual observers may assume. Years ago Will
H. Hays said to his board of directors of the
Motion Picture Producers and Distributors
of America: 'Every picture produced upon a
higher standard of entertainment value is lift-
ing by that much the standard of public appre-
ciation for pictures of the better kind, which,
in turn, must lift the standard of achievement
by the motion picture industry'."-Atlanta

"The casual, as well as the persistent movie-
goer, is aware of steady advance in screen
plays . The total score is good and justified
the claim the movies now make to adult
patronage. The progress made, and plans for
tomorrow, are wholly encouraging."-Omaha

"Recent expressions from those groups
which united in a drive to improve the qual-
ity of motion picture entertainment suggest
that Hollywood has responded with a real
effort... The moving picture industry should
be rewarded for this willingness to conform
to higher standards."-Providence News-

"You have portrayed in the recent series of
pictures dealing with the so-called G-Men a
type of law enforcement officer of whom any
true American may be justly proud and you
have brought through the medium of your
industry to practically every home in America
a realization that crime truly does not pay.
"I want to take this opportunity to express
to you publicly not only my official, but my
personal appreciation of the obligation under
which I feel to you for having created a
great public sentiment of law enforcement
consciousness, counteracting in great measure
that wave of consciousness that had permeated
the American public for many years."-Mr. J.
Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau ol
Investigation, U. S. Department of Justice.

On the Social Progress of the Screen

"The average motion picture fan might
have difficulty in recalling a single film in
the last two or three months to which he
could find objection on the ground that it
was offensive to morals. Opportunities for
pictures of great dramatic possibilities have
not been exhausted. Literature is still able to
older tales of earlier generations that can be
filmed to advantage."-Sioux City Journal.

"There can be no question but the moral
tone of the moving pictures has grown re-
markably. We have noticed that approved
pictures in our city have brought very con-
siderable more revenue to the box-office than
did the questionable pictures." Omaha
I Neb.) True Voice.

"There is no more heartening feature of
modern entertainment than the marked im-
provement in the grade of the best moving
pictures now available to the public. The in-
dustry has discovered that decent pictures will
pay. The public has found out that decent
pictures can be altogether delightful." -
Dallas Journal.

"According to Mrs. James F. Looram, mo-
tion picture chairman of the International
Federation of Catholic Alumnae, 'Since last
July our organization has been able to endorse
96 per cent of the product of major film
tludios.' Educating the quality of public de-
mind, while the producers worked with us to
improve entertainment to meet this demand,
has solved the problem. Our organization
realizes that the function of pictures is for
entertainment only."-New York American.

"Now, despite the absurdity of the New
Psychology, it is being made the basis for a
-ast amount of pseudo-scientific literature.
The book to which I have referred, dealing
with supposed effects of movies on our chil-
dren, is a prime example. It combines pseudo-
pwychological study with what is known as
c~e study.
"What happens is that the New Psychol-
c--ists try to find out what is wrong with a
b.:'y, and study him. They talk to him and
"rite down what he says, and then they study
hi, past career. They find out whether he is
in the habit of killing cats, pulling their tails
out, or shooting birds, and so on, whatever

a child does. It would not look very good for
anybody to have this kind of a study made of
his past."-Raymond Moley, Editor of Today.

"Think back over the pictures you have
seen during the past year and you will remem-
ber an unusually high percentage of clean
entertainment. One Father Donnelly paid an
unusual tribute to Hollywood cooperation in
this campaign when he wrote recently in a
Catholic magazine that 'Producers have lived
up to their promises with admirable fidelity.
They have shown a splendid spirit of coopera-
tion with the official leaders of the Legion of
Decency.' This is high praise from such a
source."-Denver Rocky Mountain News.

"The movies are cleaner morally than they
have been for a decade, which is to say for
half their span of life."-New Orleans (La.)

"For the last two years, and a little longer,
the trend of the motion picture industry has
been in the direction of better films . What
the producers have accomplished surpasses the
fondest expectations of the advocates of more
wholesome, more instructible and more enter-
taining pictures."-Greensboro(N. C.)Record.

"Thoughtful people are generally agreed
that a change for the better has marked the
output of motion pictures in the last twenty
months. Nor has this been anything but a
blessing to the producers themselves. By im-
provement in tone, thousands of new clients
have been added. There are today a large
number of pictures of unexceptionable merit
and moral atmosphere."-Philadelphia (Pa.)
The Presbyterian.

"Human history is a story of actions and
reactions, in morals and in other things. We
have been going through a period when the
light seemed to have gone out of the sky,
when art and literature apparently recognized
no such thing as decency in the relations be-
tween men and women, and when the drab
pessimism of the 'young intellectuals' held
the stage. From many sources we gather that
we have passed the bottom of the dip and
that a more normal view of life in the movies,
on the stage, and within the covers of book
may be expected for the next half century or
longer."--Cincinnati Times-Star.

On the Encouraging Rise in Public Taste

"The taste of movie-goers has apparently
undergone a radical change, a change of
which recentpains to clean up Hollywood
are a symptom rather than a cause. Producers
guessed, and guessed rightly, that the public
had had its fill of sexationalism and was
eager to return to the simple life."-Cincin-
nati Times Star.

"Hollywood is a barometer of public taste.
The pendulum has swung back from artifi-
ciality towards sincerity. Bad manners, fast
habits, extravagant living, promiscuous pet-
ting and free love are ceasing to be 'smart'."
-Los Angeles Times.

"Perhaps it would be even more logical to
congratulate the great mass of movie patrons
who have, contrary to some earlier predic-
tions, revealed a real taste for higher quality
and cleaner film productions. It is very diffi-
cult, if not impossible, to effect any enduring
and substantial reform without general sup-
port from the persons concerned in that
reform."-Butte (Mont.) Standard.

"Within the last year the motion picture
producers have done much to stimulate inter-
est in grand opera by presenting films in
which well known opera singers have been
"The picture producers tell us they have
been going slowly with these opera pictures
in the matter of allowing their stars to sing
too many arias from the immortal works of
the operatic repertoire. We believe the time is
ripe when the opera stars should be permitted
to sing the operatic music which is their na-
tural forte. In this way the public will arrive
more rapidly at an appreciation of the mag-
nificence of opera." South Bend (Ind.)

"Too much praise can hardly be accorded
the very real achievement in the industry.
The motion picture is by far the best public
laboratory in which the reactions of the
American nation are easily discernible. There
is real promise in improved taste and de-
mand for the type of pictures once ignored in
favor of sex and slaughter."-Dallas Morning

"It will please you to know that the public
at last is waking up to the fact that clean
movies can be entertaining. The trend in mo-
tion pictures is entirely up to the public. If
the public will support that sort of picture,
the producers naturally are eager to make
them."-Boston Traveler.

"The Memphis Better Films Council is
pointing with quite pardonable pride to the
fact that the public has come around to pat-
ronizing motion pictures upon which the
council has placed the stamp of approval.
"A year ago it was a rare phenomenon to
find an 'approved picture' doing business at
the box office. But Motion Picture Herald's
compilation of the box office champions for
the first six months of 1935 shows to of the
13 winners to be pictures approved by the
Memphis Council.
"It speaks well, both for the movie industry
and for the movie-going public, that the
trend of taste has improved." Memphis
(Tenn.) Commercial Appeal.

"The movie going public of the American
people, which means most of us, has met the
recent challenge in screen reform in no un-
certain fashion. We need to select our movies
as we do our books and our places of travel,
if we would know them at their best, taking
it also as something in the line of pleasant
duty to discourage the bad by building up
the patronage of the good."- Knoxville
(Tenn.) Journal.

r ,rrn dlir
l I icuJri
:ja', i ire
..' le',rnn r.
motion pI,:ure
connection % ir
EpreidiDl thro
"VWh nore
the w.ork it S
Tol:to., or [he
th ire oo'i p1
through i sorr
orite ,[ r it
HouinoU: | T7td

More peor.
ShAl.cpe.are. R
V> ho hie conur
"The movies
for the current

Date Due


W C[.


reducingg of great
tew dramatic litera-
- industry has been
. This achievement
is a pleasure to call
tertainments still in

:s are no longer an
e appearing in con-
remarkable facili-
tainment and edu-
roperly and more
mux Falls (S. D.)

Edti--.ional a. wivell as Entertainment Progress

s car: looioon' presses with "There is signal proof that the movies
c, rhe decline of one whose have emerged from a period of adolescence
but ples~;nt fidr, memories, into adulthood. The recent establishment in
th; Lhe practice of showing New York of the Modern Art Film Library
, in :chocl: and colleges in will immediately increase the prestige of the
h courr:e of ;rud. is rapidly films in those quarters which consider a seri-
u.tIour d'ie country. ous interest in them a sign either of affecta-
ple;ant rmelhod of studying tion or intellectual decay. The final recogni-
h e, D en r tion of the films by the secondary schools-
hker'pre, -, keni Barrie or the outcome of their growing responsibility
_r:,nd open inr linht opera in the establishing of social values-was in-
nme, could be u-ir,_ed thean evitable."-San Francisco Bulletin.
Ln[ moIie fearurirj the fav-
:hould be irtiructive." -
1D Po.-t
"The recent avalanche of improved moving
pictures has sent hundreds of enthusiasts to
le loda, Lno.x of Dickens, the library, seeking the stories they have seen
o:ani nd other literry lights on the screen. If anyone doubts the power of
ibuted to filr.i than did before the motion picture as an educational factor
he should witness the varied types of bor-
rowers demanding 'The Fountain,' 'Count of
are undoubtedly responsible Monte Cristo,' 'Resurrection,' 'Great Expecta-
vogue for biographical and tions,' and many others."-Cleveland (Ohio)
I as well as historical novels." Plain Dealer.

-s look forward to the
ET f pictures will be shown
CARD IN POCKET ms inorderthebetter
CARD IN rPOCKE Is with the habits of
historical scenes. And,
arriculum, movies not
but also in the cinema
elevate the thoughts
see them."-Jasper


-1. [ .--

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