AS VI(C ORY APPROACHES
T'elv-Thirt .,ul, Rlporl
By W\IL H. H.\V;, Presideni
To THE MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS
AND DISTRIBUTORS OF AMERICA, INC.
MARCH 26, 1945
S91 28 WEST 44TH STREET, NEW YORK 18, N. Y.
THE GIFT OF
Motion Picture Prodkcers
& Distributors of America
MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS AND DISTRIBUTORS
OF AMERICA, INC.
BRAY STUDIOS, INC.
J. R. BRIY
CAGNEY PRODUCTIONS, INC.
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORP.
E. B. HATRIC
CECIL B. deMILLE PRODUCTIONS, INC.
CECrL B. uDrEILE
WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS INC.
ALTERTR E. DiSNEY
EASTMAN KODAK CO.
THuoMAS J. HAFCRAVE
EDUCATIONAL FILMS CORP. OF AMERICA
E.RLE W. H.MMONS
ELECTRICAL RESEARCH PRODUCTS
DIV. OF \ WESTERN ELECTRIC CO.
T. K. STEVENSON
FIRST NATIONAL PICTURES, INC.
ALBERT H. WARNVwE
EDWARD A. GOLDEN PRODUCTIONS, INC.
EDn.ARD A. GOLDEN
I Iow,\A'u HtiGHrs
NICHOLAS NM. SCIENCE
PARAMOUNT PICTURES, INC.
B.RN m B.,LN,,AN
(Contiiucd on following pag )
PRINCIPAL PICTURES CORP.
RCA MANUFACTURING CO., INC.
H. B. SNooK
RELIANCE PICTURES, INC.
HARRY M. GOEZ
RKO RADIO PICTURES, INC.
N. PETER RATITON
HAL ROACH STUDIOS, INC
HUNT STROMBERG PRODUCTIONS
PAUL H. TEru
TWENTIETH CENTURY-FOX FILM CORP.
UNITED ARTISTS CORP.
E. C RAF-rTR
UNIVERSAL PICTURES CO., INC.
NATE J. BLUMBERC
HARRY M. WmARNER
HAL WALLIS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
JOSEPH H. HAZEN
WALTER WANCER PICTURES, INC.
WARNER BROS. PICTURES, INC.
ALBERT H. W\ARNER
WLL H. HAYs, President
JOSEPH I. BPr.EN, Vlce-Pre'ident
CARL E. MhILUKEN, Secretary
GEORGE BoRTI1ncK, Trelsurer
F. W. DUVALL, Asst Treasurer
AS VICTORY APPROACHES
TWENTY-THIRD ANNUAL REPORT
By WILL H. HAYS, President
to the lMotion Picture Producers
and Distributors of America, Inc
MARCH 26, 1945
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. AT THE TLRNINC POINT . . .
II. CorNTNUirNc W.R ACTIVITIES .. ..
Newsreels . . . . .
III. THE VERDICT OF THE POLLS . . .
Short Subjects . . . .
IV. FREEDOM FOR THE WORLD'S SCREENS .
V. FREEDOM'S RESPONSIBILITY . . .
VI. THE USES OF ENTERTAINMENT . .
VII. DEPARTMENTAL ACTIVITIES . . .
Production Code Administration .
Title Registration Bureau . .
Advertising Code Administration .
International . . . .
Community Service . . .
Films in Education . . .
Conservation . . . .
Theatre Service and Trade Relations .
Public Information . . .
Trade Press . . . . .
Technical Progress . . .
Holl\- ood . . . . .
Personnel . . . . .
VIII. REDEDIC. N . . . . .
. . . 9
. . . 13
. . 17
. . . 20
. . . 23
. . . 25
. . . 29
. .. . 31
. . . 34
. . . 34
. . .. 37
. . . 38
. . . 39
. . . 40
. . . 42
. . 46
. . 46
. . . 47
. . . 49
. . 51
. . 52
. . . 54
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT
MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS
AND DISTRIBUTORS OF AMERICA, INC.
March 26, 1945
I. AT THE TURNING POINT
As this report is written, the curtain is going down on the tragedy
of war and destruction which has dominated a flaming Europe for
more than five years. Great as is this task which still lies ahead of
us, we also seem to be approaching the beginning of the end of the
war in the Pacific. Even before these climaxes are reached, we are
plunged into the manifold problems of the post-war world.
At one of history's great turning points, we do well to look
both backward and forward.
As we review the protean role our industry has played in the
war effort, we note the services which must continue until the
day victory is completely won. Until that day, no other goal is
By actual demonstration during these war years, the screen
has shown not only how significant are its functions as a medium
of entertainment and communication, but also how important a
weapon of training and education films have become.
Our theatres have been marshalled as a unit in a program of
war activities of the utmost importance to the production front.
Both the technical apparatus and the technicians of our studios
have been of strategic assistance to our military leaders. Wave
after wave of entertainment talent has gone from HollNvwood to
every camp, outpost and military hospital in the world, bringing
healing recreation to our armed forces.
These things, and many more reported by die War Activities
Committee of the Motion Picture Industry, are still work in prog-
ress from which there will be no withdrawal or slackening so long
as the need persists. And at the same time, the industry, watching
vigilantly for the dawn of peace, is alive to its post-war oppor-
tunities and responsibilities.
The movies will emerge from the war an even more vital
industry. The normal total of the motion picture audience will have
been definitely increased. The ever-rising quality of film enter-
tainment has drawn into steady patronage thousands and thou-
sands of people who were before only casual movie-goers, una' are
of the progress the screen had been making year after year. This
is the reward not only of excellence in entertainment, but for the
social progress made by films, with the industry's increasing sense
of responsibility to the public which it serves.
When peace comes we shall be in a position to mobilize and
use the new techniques which the films have developed in war-
time. Even during the war the use of the screen in education has
been definitely widened, and will continue to expand.
Reconversion from war to peace will necessitate the retrain-
ing of millions to find their places in our peacetime economy. To
help in this, we shall bring to bear the extraordinary experience
gained during the war in the production of training films. The
astonishing range and variety of such films produced during the
past four years indicate what can be done in the rehabilitation of
veterans and in their readjustment to civilian life. Such training
will give new life. new hope and self-respect to the thousands who
need vocational orientation to overcome their physical disabilities.
Our pictures can also play a large part in meeting community)
problems which result from war youth conservation, the prob-
lems of resettlement of war-uprooted populations, improved hous-
ing and similar civic developments.
Furthermore, specialized film production will have a task to
perform in economic reconstruction after the war. If we can make
training films for the innumerable mechanical and technical pro-
cesses of war, we can make films to train new workers and teach
older ones new skills, as well as to demonstrate war-born changes
in manufacturing methods.
Peace will bring problems to the motion picture industry as
well as occasions for extended service. We knew that the flood of
wartime motion picture attendance would sometime reach a peak
from which it would tend to recede. It may be that it has reached
that peak in 1944. The reconstruction and expansion programs an-
nounced by studios and theatres during the past year are evidence
that the industry alertly faces this fact.
It would be folly to ignore the greatly advanced production
costs \\ which the industry will have to carry after the war, the prob-
lems incident to substantial redistributions of the working popu-
lation, the capital investments that will be needed to carry out the
rehabilitation plans of the industry, and the difficulties which will
have to be faced in regaining a fair proportion of our foreign
markets in a devastated world.
Finally, there is the ever-present problem of self-discipline
which we may expect to be increased by the war's effect upon
moral standards. We shall need to maintain an unbroken front of
These are sobering problems. Nevertheless, I believe that our
opportunities will be greater than our problems. Motion pictures
have grown up. Their vision now includes all our life and reality,
as well as pleasurable illusion. The progress made so far is an
indication that the screen can play an even more important role
in the world of tomorrow, if self-regulation is its guardian and
public service its standard.
This is not to suggest that we have solved all our problems or
reached our final goal. There are, indeed, still many discrepancies
between our purposes, declared and inherent, and our perform-
ance. These are to be overcome gradually only by honest, vigorous,
and continuous effort. Our purposes are, however, definite and
determined, and they are understood. They shall be pursued to
full performance, and modified to apply to the limitless problems
ahead the value of experience and the efficacy of honest, zealous
II. CONTINUING WAR ACTIVITIES
The American motion picture industry mobilized for national
defense within the week after Dunkirk and enlisted for the dura-
tion within a week after Pearl Harbor. Through the War Activities
Committee every branch of the industry continues to render in-
creasingly important and effective war service.
The seven major divisions of the Committee include 16,000
theatres, the twelve national distributing organizations, all the
producing companies, the talent guilds of Hollywood, the five
newsreel organizations, the entire trade press, the public relations
division (including more than 500 members with a representative
in every city of 10,000 or more), and an international division with
sub-committees in such widely separated points as London, Cairo,
Bombay and Melbourne.
Among the first to sense the gravity of the mounting crisis of
war, this industry has been among the foremost in the quality and
quantity of its service at home and overseas. This service, of course,
will continue until final victory on the battlefield and at the peace
The officers and members of this Association, representing im-
portant factors within the industry, have actively supported the
entire war service program. carried on in the name of the industry
as a whole, and described fully in the annual reports of War
Activities Committee-Motion Picture Industry for 1942, 1943,
1944. entitled Movies At War. The following statistical informa-
tion, based upon the most recent of the Committee's annual re-
ports,0 highlights the types of war service in which the industry
has been most effective.
*For more detailed information regarding the industry's war service, see Movies At
War, Vol. 111, 1944-the illustrated report published by War Activities Committee--
Motion Picture Industr, 1501 Broadwas, New York 18, N. Y.
16 mm. Gift Films for Showings in Combat Areas
By December 31, 1944, a total of 24,867 prints of feature pic-
tures and 26,341 prints of short subjects on 16 nun. film had been
delivered to representatives of the armed services for free show-
ing to persons in uniform overseas. They are seen daily by an
estimated audience of 1,450,000 men and women at 3,500 different
exhibitions-in jungles, caves, and tents, and on the warships of
From the entire releasing schedule of all the producing com-
panies, officers of the armed services select the 156 feature pic-
tures each year deemed most entertaining to our forces in all
combat areas. At present 117 prints of each subject selected are
delivered to the Overseas Motion Picture Service. whereas at the
beginning of the project four prints of each subject were thought
sufficient. This illustrates how the gift service has been expanded
to meet the needs of total war in all parts of the world.
It is significant to note that films with deep spiritual emphasis
hold marked appeal for our soldiers in Germany and Italy, Levte
and Luzon, our marines on Saipan and Iwo Jima, and our sailors,
coastguardsmen, and seabees, who man the world's mightiest fleet
on the seven seas.
To the end of 1944 the industry's gift film program is conserva-
tively estimated to represent a figure of $2-1.800,000, in which
producers, distributors, manufacturers of raw stock, and the vari-
ous laboratories have all participated.
In addition, some 1,100 theatres at training camps in the
United States, operated by the U. S. Army' Motion Picture Service.
exhibited current Hollywood productions to a vast audience of
trainees at a nominal admission fee.
War Information Films
A total of 114 special releases to December 31. 194-1. constitute
a substantial contribution by this medium to the task of keeping
our citizens informed on various phases of the war effort. Twenty-
four short subjects or special odd length films appeared on the
screens of 16,000 pledged theatres during 1944, including appeals
for the Red Cross and the National War Fund, recruiting subjects
for Cadet Nurses. SPARS, WAVES and WACS, information on
rationing, taxes, inflation, gasoline and food, and combat reports
such as THE MARINES AT TARAWA. MEMPHIS BELLE, THE BATTLE
FOR NEW% BRITAIN, THiE BATTLE OF THE R I ARIANAS, LIBERATION OF
ROME, THE ROBOT BOMB, and TARGET JAPAN.
Producing companies have continued to make subjects for the
OW\ and other vwar agencies without cost. Distributors have sup-
plied gratis 6S7 prints of each of these subjects; staffs of film ex-
changes have devoted tens of thousands of hours to several million
bookings and inspections; and theatres, in spite of blackouts and
curfews, have faithfully included these subjects in their crowded
screen programs, even though queues of patrons were waiting
restlessly for a program change to provide them with seats.
Three War Loan drives during 1944 furnished the seasoned
war workers of this industry fresh opportunities to apply proved
leadership. superb showmanship, and aggressive salesmanship to
the primary tasks of the home front. Officials of the national gov-
ernment, including the Secretary of the Treasury and the head
of the War Finance Committee, have publicly acclaimed the con-
tribution of the motion picture industry to the success of these
war loan drives.
During the year there were 15,110 "Bond Premieres" in the
nation's theatres. For these premieres the distributors furnished
the films and the exhibitors waived cash receipts in favor of free
admissions for bond purchasers. Throughout the year, thousands
of theatres sold "E" Bonds to millions of patrons with the theatre
constituting the only sales outlet available to war workers nights,
Sunday and holidays. Mr. Ted Gamble. National Director of the
War Finance Division of the United States Treasury Department,
recently said: "Although motion picture theatres represent less than
ten percent of the issuing agents throughout the country, they are
directly or indirectly responsible for more than twenty percent of
the sales of individual 'E' Bonds."
Thus the motion picture industry gave away the only com-
modity it had for sale-its films and its theatre seats. The value of
these premieres alone during 1944 exceeded 15 million dollars,
to which must be added millions more spent in advertising cam-
paigns, adjustments of production schedules to pernut star par-
ticipation, and millions of hours of salaried employees' service
spent in selling and promoting the purchase of war bonds.
Contributions to National Philanthropies
Show business-long noted for its generosity-established new
records for contributions from the industry and its patrons during
1944. A total of $6,793,060.04 was delivered to the American Red
Cross, representing theatre collections from patrons of $5,501,450,
contributions from Hollywood of $657,379, and corporate con-
tributions from the industry of $634,231.04.
Similarly, in the 194-1 March of Dines campaign, the sum of
$4,667,520 was secured, more than doubling the 1943 collection
for victims of infantile paralysis, and representing 42.8., of the
entire amount received by the National Foundation for Infantile
Paralysis in 1944. Theatres with a total of nine million seats col-
lected an average of 54 cents a seat from 55 million patrons.
The industry likewise participated acti\ ely in the drive for the
National War Fund, with a total war chest contribution from
Hollywood alone of $1.170.407.67, this being one-seventh of the
entire Los Angeles total and representing contributions by 24,741
members of our industry.
According to the Third Annual Report" of the Hollywood
*The Third Annual Report of the Hiliv-ood Victor, Conimttee r.f the Motion
Picture Industry is obtairnble by rTLting to 4-15' North Beverly Drie. Beverly
Victory Committee (organized three days after Pearl Harbor as
a vehicle for all-out talent participation in the %war effort), 3,671
individual artists made -11,463 personal appearances in 6,070 dif-
ferent events. Screen personnel traveled more than 4,000,000
miles, spent 1,430 weeks on the "foxhole circuit" overseas, and
made more than 18,000 personal appearances in hospitals and
camps in the United States. During the closing months of 1944,
for example, there were 68 different tours of army general hos-
pitals. At the present time 50 wounded American fighting men
are being returned to the United States every hour. In the months
and years to come, visits by actors and actresses to these hospital-
ized heroes will continue to prove of increasing pleasure and thera-
No previous year in history was so filled with soul-stirring
events for newsreel coverage as 1944. Our newsreels pictured the
great drama of our time as enacted on the battlefield as well as
in the conference room. The camera gave us front seats from
which to view history as it was being made.
The newsreels pictured for us the great battle scenes of the
war in the Pacific-the conquest of Tarawa, Guadalcanal and the
Marianas; the retaking of the Philippines, the recapture of Manila,
and the release of the internees and prisoners there; and most
recently, the unsurpassable heroism of our forces at Iwo Jima. The
cameras followed our troops in the invasion of Europe-the land-
ing and the establishment of the beachhead in Normandy; the
break-through at St. Lo and the dash across France; the liberation
of Paris, and the Russian offensive which has rolled its forces up
to the gates of Berlin. And again, they have enabled both civilians
and soldiers to witness the epoch-making political events which
took place at the Crimea Conference and at the Conference of the
Americas at Chapultepec. Through the eyes of the camera, the
citizens of our country followed every step in a tense presidential
During the past year one camera crew after another was with-
drawn from studios and added to the photographic services at-
tached to the Army, Na\y, Mauines and Air Force, as our military
leaders realized the importance of gathering, preserving, and pre-
senting in pictures the momentous e ents of this crucial year in
the world's histon'. Neter before have noncombatants been able
to associate themselves so realistically in what heretofore had been
exclusively the experience of professional soldiers in battle.
In a year in which front-page events almost inundated the
newvsreels, the newsreel editors had to meet many problems of
selection. Because of the shortage of raw stock, the newsreels were
reduced from an average of 900 feet in December, 1941, to 800
feet, then 750, and now to 700 feet per issue. The following table
gives an approximate representation of newsreel footage devoted
to various types of subject matter during the year:
War news on the European fronts 35%
Pacific battle area ... 18%
Domestic war activities 16%c
Training and maneuvers at home. 4
Preparation of Allies for the war 7-
Captured German and Japanese footage .. 2v
Domestic politics 8
Sports ... 6%
Styles and fashions ....
Miscellaneous coverage .. 8. c
The presidential campaign in 1944 presented unusual problems
of balancing. Every effort was made, and successfully, by our
nev.sreel editors to see that the candidates of both great parties
were afforded equal opportunity for the presentation of their
political ideas and ideals. The net result was a thoroughly diver-
sified news coverage of this most important wartime political cam-
paign and a completely democratic portrayal of our political
No report of the pictorial gathering of the news of the world
in 1944 would be complete without a tribute to the cameramen
%% ho performed so vital and heroic a mission. In their effort to gi e
us a vivid picturization of what took place on all the world's
perilous battlefronts, many cameramen were killed at their posts of
duty. The man with die camera took the same risks and paid the
same price as the man with the gun. None of us can ever forget
the picture made by one cameraman as he filmed another camera-
m-n shooting his last take in the Peleliu Islands at the height of
III. THE VERDICT OF THE FOLLS
In recent years we have observed a steady trend toward wider
popular approval and enjoyment of films which have greater artis-
tic merit. Each year a larger number of the films rated by com-
petent critics as the year's best have also been the pictures which
won the blue ribbon of boxoffice success. There could be no more
rewarding response to our efforts to raise the level of popular
appreciation of fibn artistry. The increasing supply of better films
each year certainly deserves an increasing public demand for bet-
ter pictures. The work of our Conmmunity Service Department
aimed at improving the quality of demand thus cooperates with
the industry's efforts toward improving the quality of its pro-
As long ago as 1916, a great educator and psychologist, Pro-
fessor Hugo Munsterberg of Harvard University, wrote as follows
in his book The Photoplay:
"No art reaches a larger audience daily, no aesthetic influence finds
spectators in a more receptive frame of mind. On the other hand, no
training demands a more persistent and planful arousing of the mind
than the aesthetic training, and never is progress more difficult than
when the teacher adjusts himself to the mere liking of the pupils. The
country today would be without any symphony concerts or operas if it
had only received what the audience believed at the moment they liked
best. The aesthetically commonplace will alwn.\ triumph over the sig-
nificant unless s .stematic efforts are made to reinforce works of true
beauty. The mo mig picture audience could onl b. slow steps be brought
from the tasteless and 'ulear eccentricities of the first period to the best
photoplays of today, and the best plus of today can be nothing but the
beginning of a great upward movement v.hich we c.-n hope for in the
photoplay. Hardly any teaclhin c.n mean more for our community than
the teaching of beauty where it reaches the masses "
That was a prophetic recognition of the cultural benefit which
the motion picture screen would increasingly confer upon the
community by its aesthetic cultivation of vast numbers of people
not reached by other arts. EBen so, Professor Munsterberg could
not have anticipated the expanding efforts in this phase of corn-
munity service which has been one of the cardinal undertakings
of this Association since its founding.
The record of last year's productions outruns the most sanguine
prophecy. That record can most strikingly be presented by sum-
marizing the results of annual nation-wide polls which selected
the outstanding films of the year.
The sixty pictures listed below were named for excellence in
the Twenty-third Annual Poll conducted by Film Daily, which
received ballots from 479 representative critics and commentators
on newspapers, magazines, syndicates, and radio stations. The
sixty pictures are listed in the order in which they were chosen by
the critics' votes.
To correlate the selections of the critics with judgments of ap-
proval by the public, we have marked with asterisks those titles
which also appeared on lists of the top boxoffice attractions -
according to polls taken or statistical evaluations made by the
Quigley Publications' annual Fame, by the Showman's Trade Re-
view, and by Boxoffice Barometer. The list published by Fame rep-
resents a calculation of the 25 top money-making pictures in the
period between October, 1943 and September, 1944; the list pub-
lished by the Showman's Trade Review is constructed from a poll
of exhibitors and contains 35 titles; the list published by Boxoffice
Barometer contains 106 titles, al of which rated well above normal
in the business they did at the boxoffice.
The number of asterisks following a picture's title indicates
whether it appears in one, two or three of these boxoffice listings.
The following enumeration therefore shows not only the correla-
tion of the three evaluations based on boxoffice success, but also
measures the high'degree of agreement between public taste and
critical approval: GOING MYe W\AY7,"* SONG OF BERNADErTE,''
MADAME CUrIJE,' DRAGON SEED, "' SINCE YOU WENT AwAY,* '
WHITE CLIFFS OF DoV'En,"' C.AsLIGirr, A GUY NAMED JOE,***
STORY OF DR. WASSEtLL,*** LIFEBOAr," LASSIE COMF. HOME,"
DOUBLE INDEMNITY,"" ARSENIC AND OLD LACE,'" NMrACLt. OF
IMORGAN'S CREEK,*** DESTINATION TOKYO,"' MnR. SKErFING-
TON,** SEE HERE, PRIVATE HARGRO\.'L," AN EYuE.* Tim SUL-
LIVANS,** ADVENTURES OF MARK TW.AIN." COVER CGIL.'* LADY
IN'ITE DARK,*** TWO GmRLS ANA SAILOR, '" HI-IME IN INDIANA,"
UP IN ARMS,*** HAIL THE CONQUERNl G Hic no,' GUADA.LC.AN.L
DIARY,* NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART. THOUSANDS CHElR," *
PURPLE HEART,*** OLD ACQUAINTANCE:,* Eve OF ST. MARK.
LOST ANGEL,* THE UNINVITED,* JANIE. AN AMRICAN ROMA.-_C"C,
CASANOVA BROWN,* THE LODGER,** H.\iPP LAND.' NorTH nSTARn.
FLESH AND FANTASY,** BATHING BEAUTY,T' TENDER COMRADE,'
WING AND A PRAYER, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY,''* PASSAGE TO Nl.n-
SEILLES,** MASK OF DIMITRIOS, BETWEEN TwO \\ORLrDS, IN Oun
TIME,* PHANTOM LADY, WOMAN LN ImE WVINDOV', BUFFALO
BILL,*** IMPATIENT YEARS,* ONCE UPON TIME.* KIISMET, Stnow
BUSINESS,** SHINE ON, HARVEST MOON," ADDRESS UN:NO. N.'
THE BRIDGE OF SAN Luis REY, THE HITLERn GANG.
Of the foregoing 60 pictures cited in the 1945 critics' polls,
five were released late in 1943. To this list should be added a num-
ber of late 1944 films which received critical acclaim but which
were released too late to be mentioned on any of the nation-wide
polls: THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO. MEET ML LN ST. Louis. N.A-
TIONAL VELVET, LAURA, KEYS OF THE KINGDOM, MRS. PARKJNGTON.
And special citation should be given to tw.'o extra-length films
which have not as yet been widely exhibited at popular prices:
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS and WILSON.
Of the 60 pictures selected by the critics for their artistic ex-
cellence, 48 were on one or more of the three lists of boxoffice
successes. Of these, 22 were on all three lists, 14 on two lists, and
12 on only one list. Furthermore, of the top ten films according to
the judgment of the critics, six were also among the top ten chosen
by the exhibitors, seven appeared on all three listings of the most
popular successes of the year; and each of the top ten praised by
the critics occurred on at least two of the three boxo[fice enumera-
Sports do much more than effect a balance in the theatrical
program with respect to him lengths. They add a wide variety
of subject matters and modes of treatment. It is in the field of shorts
that we[ have ceen the amazing in entions of the animated cartoon
which epitomize, in some ways, the 'ern essence of the cinematic
art. And also in shorts there ha\ e been many experimental devel-
opments in the pictorialization of historic. scientific, biographic,
and even economic themes.
One of the results of the experimental ingenuity which has been
exercised in the creation of short subjects has been the develop-
ment of new ideas and techniques for educational films. Another
result has been the development of what has come to be called
the "documentary" film films which are sometimes of greater
length than the usual short subject, sometimes even assuming the
importance of feature-length pictures.
Though they have been mentioned elsewhere in connection
with the account of the organized war activities of the industry,
the following. six documentaries have such extraordinary merit
as film creations that they deserve repeated praise: MEMPHIS BELLE,
Arrarc. THE BATTLE OF NEW BRITAIN, WITH THE MARINES AT
T.MX iw.\ B.ArLE FOR TE fr M.Il.N.\s. TUNISIAN VICTORY.
No less worthy of citation, though less breathtaking in the ex-
ploitation of the camera, are other short subjects produced in
1944. I enumerate them in three lists. The first list cites well-known
series of short subjects: the second the outstanding animated car-
toons. also of serial character; the third is a list of individual shorts
of unusual merit:
(1 PETE SMITH SPFCIALTIES. MARCH OF TIME, MUSICAL PA-
nRADEs. TECHNICOLOn SPECLULS, THIS IS AMERICA, THE PASSING
PARADE. ALL-Sr.AR COM.EDIEs, SPEAKING OF ANIMALS.
(2) \\'ALT DISNEY CARTOONS. BUCS BUNNY SPECIALS. NIERRIE
MXILODIES, POPEIT, GEORCE PAL PiI'I'ETOONS, TERnrITOONS. MGM
C.mRTOONS. \WALT LA.%N CAniLTNEs and COLOR RHA-PSODLES.
(3) HALF WAY TO HEAVEN, NIONKEY BUSINESS, MEXICAN
MAJESTY, BLUE GRASS GENTLEMEN, Tins IS TOMORROW, THE LADY
FIcHTS BACK, PLEDGE TO BAT.AAN, IT HAPPENED IN SPRING.IELD,
WORLD WITHOUT BORDERS, EAGLE \S. DRAGON, COLOR RHAPSODY,
NEw AMERIANS, ON GUARD and Doc, CAT.AND CANARv.
IV. FREEDOM FOR THE WORLD'S SCREENS
In mobilizing the talents and skills that produce the maximums
in entertainment, the motion picture industry has served more
than the American audience and our own theatre structure. We
know that competition for the greatest possible playing time on
the screens of the world inevitably raises the standards of the
art, creates a greater follow ing for films, and benefits economically
the motion picture industries of ever country. American films
enrich even market in which they are shown. Much of the theatre
structure of other countries depends largely upon the flow of films
from Hollywood, but we have no monopoly of artistry or enter-
prise, and our theatres intelligently welcome films from every pro-
duction center in the world, measuring them by the only appro-
priate standard-merit as entertainment. The-unhampered flow of
entertainment from nation to nation is both a challenge and an
opportunity for producers everywhere.
In addition to these economic considerations, it is a fact that,
as the world approaches the task of peace and reconstruction, every
channel of communication, ever means of education, every agency
of information, must be freed from restraints which would prevent
them hrom functioning in the interests of a free and peaceful world.
In this task, the screen will have a gleat and growirig part to play.
People recently liberated from the yoke of the conqueror will
be hungry' for newvs. The spiit of men, drooping after a deadly
and long-protracted struggle. must be remspired. Their minds and
hearts will need vitalizing reeducation.
The peace we hope for ultimately will rest upon the support
which public opinion gives to the plans and arrangements of
statesmen. Good pictures produced anywhere can serve as ambas-
sadors of good will. They will help to establish that common bond
of sympathy and understanding for cooperation among the peo-
ples of the world. They can do much to cement the peace which
the great powers are now planning.
Speaking before the 100th session of the United Nations infor-
mation Board in Washington on January 4. 1945, Mr. Elmer Davis
'The world's infomnatior, agI.'rnci.' li.Le prrogr:,-sed prodli;iousl s rince
:he last peace' settlement a quaCrter of .a centrirv ago.... ie rmoion
picture. whiic was j quaint enilrvo it the last peace conference. 1ha
become one of the most powerful agencies of international now. ledge
and intelligence, free of an\ of the limitations of language and v.ith all
the appeal that comes fr,.im actually *eein: events.
"It is of ital importance how tl!e Lnited Nations Information sert ices
are eventually organized.... There can I.e io place in them for aniy
restricted or prohibited functions. The world of tomorrow must be a
\\orlI of the lieest flow o'f news and information amoni its dJlferent
No one can deny that one important condition of the peace to
come is agreement among the victorious nations to keep free all
the channels of communication. withoutt such freedom there can-
not be understanding and confidence and witliout confidence a;.;d
understanding there can be little of that unity so indispensable for
world peace. The motion picture industry therefore is vitally inter-
ested in world-wide recognition of the right to freedom for all
mediums of expression, because no one medium of communication
can thrive apart from free expression in all.
An impressive development in our generation is the broader
understanding of the first Article in the Bill of Rights. It is coming
to be realized that freedom of films and radio. as ell as free speech
and a free press, is intended by the spirit of that law. This trend
is confirmed by many signs. I mention the new Constitution of
the State of Missouri in whose Bill of Rights there is the declara-
tion that "no law shall be passed impairing the freedom of speech,
no matter by wlhat means communicated"; and also the Senate
Concurrent Resolution 53 (in tle 2nd Session of the 7Sth Con-
gress) which says:
"That the Cungress of the United States expresses its belief in the world-
mide right of interchange of news by news gathering aurn d i.trib.iting
agenriles, whether indik du.l or .isociare. biL ainy ( al.y nis. without dis-
crimninar ion as to sources. distribution. rates, or charges: and that this
right Jshuldi br: protict:tJ i i\ international compact "
The words I have italicized signify the intention of legislatures to
include screen and radio aloniZ with the press as fundamental
mediums of expression anid communication. That intention was
recently explicitl'v declared in a historic statement which %'as
made at the Chapultepec Conference held in Mleico Citv. The
Inter-American Conference recommends:
"i I Thl.t tle ,Aneric:n Republics recognize their essential obligati.:11
to cnar.ritee to their people free arnd impartial acce:; to sources of in-
(2) That hairtig this guiar-ntee in \ie, they undertake upon the con-
clusion of the war the earliest possible abandonment of those nmeaiures
of ctrnsorship and of CoULTrol o\ er the .ern ices of tie preys, mnotiinr pictui ce
ancl radio which ha~ e been necessary in wartime to cumb.it sub!ersI'.-'
political tactics anid espionage acti itics of the Axis State-."
The extent to which nations have learned some of the bitter
lessons of this war will be manifested. I believe, by the extent to
which the' are willing to ensure the satisfaction of the democratic
demand for uncensored news, commentary, and entertainment.
If there be obstacles to the foreign showing of American films
after the war. thev will be obstacles unwisely erected by govern-
ments. not by peoples. Good entertainment is universal tender.
The world audience has long welcomed our pictures :nd eagerly
looks forward to the productions of our studios. Cartels. restric-
tions, and freezing are rot merely restraints upon the industry.
They are restraints which tend to frustrate the entertainment needs
of peoples everywhere.
There is cultural reciprocity inherent in the exchange of film
entertainment which must never be endangered by the intrusion
of self-serving propaganda. American pictures obviously help inter-
pret American civilization to the peoples of the world. Siiilarly,
British pictures are reflections of British culture. And the native
culture of other countries, manifested in the films they produce,
are valuable contributions to world entertainment and cultural
interchange. International understanding so necessary for world
peace, is promoted. But neither films nor any other means of infor-
mation, education or entertainment can hope to perform their max-
imum service if they abandon their integrity. That would return us
to the Babel which breeds misunderstanding and animosity. The
vitality of all our democratic processes depends upon freedom of
communication among free men.
V. FREEDOM'S RESPONSIBILITIES
No freedom is an unconditional liberty. Art is truly for art's
sake only when it is also for man's sake. The freedom necessary to
produce the best according to technical standards of excellence
is limited by the condition that moral and social standards also
measure the worth of works of art. Hence, artistic freedom must
be a freedom which accepts responsibilities and duties without
feeling any loss of privilege.
The industry again renews its pledge that, through self-disci-
pline, its products will never violate the canons of sound morality
and public decency. Only in this way can it continue to deserve
the freedom it earnestly tries to use wisely.
So great is the service of entertainment, so many are the values
with which it is entrusted, that nothing must ever be allowed to
interfere with or encroach upon the performance of that service.
We know that without self-regulation in the processes of produc-
tion, artistic freedom would have withered under externally im-
posed restraints. We know that without a responsible liberty, the
screen could not have been safeguarded from abuse and misuse.
Not only would the art have suffered, but the industry would have
lacked the incentive, the power and the will to discharge its mani-
fold social duties.
In a recent address. Mr. Eric Johnston, President, U. S. Cham-
ber of Commerce. pointed out that it has been fashionable in cer-
tain quarters during the last quarter century "to question moral
values, to debunk traditional virtues, to rationalize brutalities, to
make excuses for moral indignities." The motion picture industry
has determined not to yield to such sophistry.
"A lot of us forgot," said Ir. Johnston, "that our code of morals,
respect for truth and fair dealing, are not arbitrary laws imposed
upon us from without. They are the product of thousands of years
of human experience-the quintessence of the wisdom of the ages.
To violate these codes brings disaster as surely as the violation of
physical laws of nature brings disease and death."
We in the motion picture industry do not allow ourselves to
forget these facts. \We have based our Production Code upon re-
spect for the natural moral law and ihae made its saetncit the
maxim of our self-regulation. As producers of family entertain-
ment, we have won a signal v\ictorv over the wartime pressures and
temptations which tended to relax the standards we have set up
for ourselves. \\'e have proved that even during the most savage
war in history there \were no themes or situations tha:t could not
be dramatically treated within the limits of decency and goo,1
taste; that even the accents of wartime realism 'do not require us
to hurl profanity at children in motion picture theatres, thus gi\-
ing it the approval of custom or example.
VI. THE USES OF ENTERTAINMENT
The recognition of the right and of the need of the motion pie-
ture for freedom, and the proper acceptance of its responsibility,
are all conditions precedent to the possibility of the development
of the screen's maximum usefulness.
Entertainment is one of [the stark necessities of both social and
individual life-a necessity which ranks \ith the sustenance of die
body and its protection by clothing and shelter, with the care of
physical and mental health, with the cultivation of the mind and
spirit by education and religion.
In the dynamic relationship between work and leisure, enter-
tainment is useful because without recreation-the re-creation of
our energies-our -itality would soon be depleted, less of the world's
work would get done, and even less \would be well done. Without
the relaxing and recreating ministry of entertainment. the strains
and stresses of work carr over into leisure hours, leisure is not
enjoyed and, on the contrary, becomes a burden, heavy with bore-
dom and ennui, as enervating as work itself is depleting. Proper
entertainment is the remedy' to keep the frow n off the face of ci\ili-
Entertainment not only has this fundamental utility, which
gives it the rank of a necessity in our social economy, but it also
is a matter of great seriousness to those \who realize tie influence
of entertainment upon the hearts and minds of men, upon their
individual characters and their social dispositions. As I have pointed
out many times before, motion pictures which are good as enter-
tainment are good in other ways. Their utility as entertainment is
inseparable from the services ithe render in the fields of informa-
tion and education, inspiration and elevation. These are not by-
products of entertainment. They are woven into the \ery fabric of
entertainment-essential ingredients of its goodness as entertain-
Humanity is so constituted that amusement has always been
a necessity. But at no past time could its practical importance be
as imperative as in modern society. The urban and industrial con-
ditions of modem life have multiplied many times the need for
wholesome entertainment. Were such recreational facilities not
available for the multitudes, the unwholesome would rush in to
fill the vacuum of idle hours. and to answer the need for relaxation.
Just as you serve the leisure hours of the multitude with right
diversion, so you rivet the girders of society.
History amply reveals that something like Gresham's law ap-
plies to amusements as ell as to money-the bad turning up wher-
ever the good is lacking. The level of its most popular amusements
provides one of the most significant measures of the level of civili-
zation, and especiaUl of the culture of cities. One need only think
of Rome in its decline under the Caesars. In the era of "bread and
circuses' Rome suffered as much from the corruption of its amuse-
ments as from the scarcity of its foodstuffs.
To call the motion picture the characteristic medium of demo-
cratic and industrial ci% ilization is to recognize two things: that
motion pictures could not have begun or flourished under other
conditions, and that this form of civilization demanded just an
instrumentality having the power w which belongs to motion pic-
tures. It would seem to be one of the happiest coincidences of
history that the invention and development of motion pictures
should have coincided with that nued for entertainment on the
vast scale which springs from the concentrations and pressures
of modem society.
As we look forward to the future prosperity of democratic so-
ciet.y as we look forward to the peace of the world which all men
of good will conceive in terms of wuiversal neighborliness resulting
from citizenship in a common society. we appreciate the values
which motion pictures have for helping to build toward that future.
They have already builded in the direction of an "international
community," for through the universal language of pictures men
of every race, creed and nationality everywhere have shared innu-
merable common, vital experiences, with mutual emotional sym-
pathies, and in a manner to develop mutual understanding.
Yet all this would mean nothing if the entertainment which the
screen provides the world over were not morally sound and hu-
manly wholesome. It would mean nothing if with the passing years
films did not manifest an unfailing tendency to reach higher levels
of artistry and if, with technical advances, they did not use their
powers to maximize all the other values implicit in good entertain-
ment-die education of the mind, the cultivation of the spirit, the
invigoration of a sense of community.
Not simply because entertainment is a necessity on an ever-
increasing scale in the modem world, but rather because whoever
undertakes to satisfy mankind's need for recreation is in a position
to benefit humanity and serve the community in so many other
ways, the motion picture industry must always recognize its obli-
gation to deliver all the goods which good entertainment can
VII. DEPARTMlENTAL ACTIVITIES
PRODUCTION CODE ADMILNISTRInTON
That better pictures have come w'itli higher moral standards is
significant both artistically and socially. The vigilance to see that
both the spirit and letter of our Production Code are reflected in all
productions not ornlv hnas paid dividends in artistic excellence but
has gained social recognition for the screen and has brought pro-
tection to the industry from unfair restraints which otherwise
would have made artistic progress impossible.
Reflecting the general disorder and moral disturbance due
to war, a noticeable tendency toward moral la'.itv lhas mani-
fested itself in the materials submitted for filming, as well as for
other public presentations. It is reflected most frequently in pointed
lines of dialogue, characterization, or incidental situations, and
not infrequently in bnsic plot motivation. It filters into lyrics for
songs, and into scripts for almost every type of picture-comedies.
musicals, mysteries, as well as dramas. The Production Code
Administration, in fulfillment of its responsibility, has uniformly
and impartially rejected all such unacceptable material.
In the following tables a summary is given of last year's activi-
TOTAL NUMBER OF FEATURE PICTURES APPROVED BY
THE PRODUCTION CODE .DMIN ISTiRATION
FROM 1935 TO 1944, INCLUSIVE
Produced by: 1985 1936 1937 19.9 1939 154) 1941 1J4l 1913
U. S. (Member
Companies) 334 :337 339 3 32 066 325 403 CG9 2,3
Companies) 169 229 228 109 161 154 113 147 141
Companies 6.1 55 11 54 57 44 '22 30 20
Total ........ 564 021 609 545 584 523 569 546 -117
Reissues ................ 33S 142 55 49 12 7 4 2 0
In addition to the 442 feature pictures indicated, a total of 567
short subjects were approved, of which 514 were produced by
member companies in the United States and 51 by non-member
companies in the United States. Two short subjects were produced
by member companies abroad.
AMOUNT AND CHARACTER OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR
CONSIDERATION AND CONSULTATION IN 1944
Num btr of books considered ....................................... 11
Num be.r ot plai -scriptc considered............... ......... ............ 14
Number of s' rfnopses considcrcd .................................... 134
Nuribei r .f le.dture scrpt; considered ................. .......... ... 869
Number of additions aid changes considered......................... 1,617
Number .:,t short subject scripts, including serials, considered 319
Approximate number of consultations on features and short
su b jects ............................ ....... .................. .... .. .. ....... .. 1 6 5
Number of letters and opinions written, dealing with stories,
scripts, reviews, etc. for features and short subjects .......... 3,739
Number of short subject scripts, including serials, read ........... 555
The following tables show a breakdown of the types and kinds
of feature-length films approved m 1944. as compared to those ap-
proved in 1943:
Melodrama 1943 1944
A action ....................... ........... 1I 20
A adventure ............................ 2 :3
Comedy ............ ......... 9 21
Juvenile .................... 8 6
Detective-Mystery .............. 7 7
Murder-Mystery .................... 22 33
Social Problem ................... 1S 7
Romantic ......................... 1 0
Fantasy ........................... 1 0
Spy Mystery ....................... 1 0
W ar ................................. 0 4
M musical ......................... .. 0 1
Psychological-Mystery .......... 1
Action ............................ 78 71
M ystery ............... ............. 1 10
M musical ................. ..... .... 4 4
Action ........................... ....... 12 5
Biographical .............. ....... S 5
M musical ................. ............4 31
Romantic ......................... 2 6
Social Problem .................. 63 39
Comedy ................ .......... 1 9
R religious .............................. 1 3
Psychological ........................ 0 4
W ar ........ ....... .......... 0 4
Action ............................ 2 5
Social Problem ...................... 5 0
Prison .................................. 0 0
Romantic 29 42
Musical 67 56
Juvenile 13 6
Fnrce-Murder Mystery 2 11
Farce-Comedy 9 20
Farce-Horror 0 1
Honor 16 13
florror-Psychological 0 2
Cartoon 1 1
Documentary 5 4
Fantasy 2 1
Historical 1 1
Travelogue 0 1
Sport 1 0
Romantic Musical .2 0
Musical . . 1 0
Tor.u.s .417 442
During the year 1944 no appeals were taken on decisions ren-
dered by either the Hollywood Division or the Eastern Division of
the Production Code Administration.
TrmE REGISTRATION BUREAU
Our Title Registration Bureau now has an unreleased registra-
tion file numbering about 10,000 titles and a release tite file num-
bering over 45,000 as well as a similarity file containing more than
130,000 cards. The service is in daily use. More than 300 titles were
cleared for non-member companies alone in 1944, for pictures to be
submitted to the Production Code Administration, and 2,645 were
registered for member companies. There was a constantly grow-
ing correspondence resulting from frequent readjustment of titles
occasioned by waivers of priorities by different companies, 'waivers
of extensions of time by reserve registrants. \withdrawals of regi;--
tered titles, notices of remakes and reissues of pictures previously
released, transfers of titles from reserve to priority position, etc.
ADVERTISING CODE ADMINISTITITION
The past year saw the motion picture industry maintaining, it
not actually improving, its position both in the moral content of its
advertising and in its general appeal and effectiveness. Through
self-regulation, all branclles of the industry have continued a sius-
tained vigilance against the pressure for "letting down" so evident
in wartime. It is significant that out of more than S5.000 stills, onl'
something like 7/10ths of 1-:.. had to be rejected for Adiertising
Code regulations. Although elaborate campaigns on big feature
pictures brought the total number of advertisements submitted
under the Advertising Code to a figure a little above that of the
preceding year-9,410 against 9.243-there was no rejection of any
completed press book, as there was none for the previous yeai.
The following table will indicate the materials handled during
the past twelve months in the operations of the Advertising Code
SUMMARY OF SUBMISSIONS AND REJECTIONS-19-14
Material Co'lsidcrcJ Discarded
on Submisi'ion or R:t.ir.cd Perccntages
Stills-Hollywood ... .5,503 675 .5i
Stills-New York ..... 1,556 25 1.61
Advertisements ..... 9.410 231 2.4%
Publicity Stories ..... 8.127 1 -
Exploitation Ideas 6.15S -1 -
Posters ........ ... 1,2,5 56 4.37
Other Accessories ... 5.350 4 -
Trailers ................. :320
Trailer Copy ........... 47 1 -
Completed Press Bools ;37" -
'(120 Non-Member Company Productfi ns
(277 Member Company Froducrions)
It is evident that the position which American pictures have
won by artistic excellence and popular acceptance on the theatre
screens of the world is of great importance in the promotion of
democratic ideals. Our pictures are a product and symbol of these
The problem of worldd markets for our films after the war is,
however, more than an industry problem. It is. in addition, a prob-
lem of international communications. If a true spiiit of cooperation
is eventually to be built after the present struggle, the need of a
free press, a free screen and freedom for every other channel of
communication cannot be over-emphasized.
The American motion picture industry, sired and nourished by
pri iate enterprise, seeks only unhampered access to foreign mar-
kets, subject to the same conditions %which apply to their native and
to other foreign productions. Our State Department has announced
an enlightened policy that places our government firmly behind
the principle of unhampered transit for all mediums of expression.
including press, motion pictures, cables, and radio. Such a police\
is a powerful asset to world understanding and world peace.
It is clear that the principle of unfettered communication on a
world-wvide scale must be implemented by acts, not words. Dis-
criminatory tariffs, excessive customs duties. konthi.ents. quotas,
price fixing, remittance taxes, frozen funds, exchange restrictions,
loyaltv taxes. dubbing taxes, registration fees. import duties to sub-
sidize domestic industry, discriminatory censorship fees, political
censorship, ideological control, import licenses added to import
duties, special taxation piled upon normal taxes, prohibition or lim-
itation of remittances, requirements for foreign domestic produc-
tion in order to obtain permits for the importation and release of
American films, excessive re% enue taxation and a hundred and one
unofficial exactions are mines laid in the path of the free inter-
change of motion picture information and entertainment. At pres-
ent 5S countries have some form of legislation. restriction or control
that impedes the free distribution of our films.
Certainly. the difficulties occasioned by economic conditions
due to world-wide dislocation, shortage of foreign exchange,
shortage of raw stock, are problems that have our own svmpa-
thetic consideration and cooperation in the postwar period. Brit-
ish and other productions, held to a minimum during the war
years, can be expected greatly to expand and add to their op-
portunities for world exhibition. Better pictures produced any-
where can only result in greater audiences for motion pictures, to
the ultimate benefit of producers anywhere. Those are problems
of cooperation and competition which the American motion pic-
ture industry recognizes. Our industry has not suggested either
government subsidy or tariff protection, but it does continue to
need, and is grateful for receiving, understanding and support by
all the governmental agencies concerned with the export of Amer-
ican films to the world market. The deliberate barriers erected
against the free transit of information, education and entertain-
ment across frontiers certainly should be removed in the interests
of world cooperation and world understanding. The basic strength
of our position in regard to foreign markets is that the peoples of
the world have favored and continue to like the productions of our
studios. The American motion picture industry currently faces
many serious problems, indeed, in the maintenance of its foreign
trade. Some of them are unprecedented. In detail, they are unpre-
dictable. Our International Department, under the direction of
Gov. Carl E. Milliken, is alert to the situation.
During the year. I have met with many community leaders who
have sought the most earnest approach to the problems of the
reconstruction period and the part which the film may play in such
projects. On November 16. 1944. at a meeting of community
leaders which ran through the day and evening, it was recognized
that the primary social function performed by the industry is en-
tertainment; that mass entertainment on the scale and quality pro-
vided by motion pictures accomplishes a ministry of recreation and
stimulation from which the community draws vitally to help meet
its tasks. Beyond this. howe ecr, are definite welfare needs for which
community leaders must look for aid to the screen as to other
mediums of entertainment, information and education.
Among the subjects which elicited emphasis from educators,
welfare workers and others, in addition to those of reconver-
sion, youth conservation and international relations previously
referred to in this report, were films dealing with the problems of
full employment; the education of the agricultural citizen as to
the conditions of urban living; the romance of American life and
achievements under our own institutions of freedom; films stress-
ing the lessons of unity among the peoples of varying origins and
creeds that make up America; themes relating to the protection of
health and welfare: pictures dealing with the problems of leisure
and with the difficulties confronting people of retirement age who
must learn to face the future; inspirational themes that would help
to rebuild children who have been damaged morally and emotion-
ally by the bitter experiences of war; films dealing with life on the
farm and in the small town which are the core of our nation, directed
to the problems of migration and restlessness; films that touch upon
the problems of the adolescent boy and girl, upon return to normal
home life and school life after earning wartime wages; themes
with reference to the readjustment of women now receiving inde-
pendent incomes from wartime work, when they return home as
wives and mothers under normal conditions; the problem of hasty
marriages, and war widows and war babies; and pictures on nutri-
tional education in the interest of public health."
The previewing of pictures and their assessment from the social
standpoint has been an important activity of representative groups
of women's organizations, religious and educational bodies, and
other groups. The interest of such organizations in the previewing
.work has been steadily increasing during the past year.
One new and important group was formed in 1944-the Mo-
tion Picture Council of Protestant Women sponsored by The
*The essence of my remarks m opening this Community Sernice conference, )lter
publihed as an article in the N'cu York Tinmc. is reprinted a' an appendiL to this
Christian Herald and under the chairmanship of Mrs. Daniel A.
While most of the previewing committees in New York and
Hollywood represent national organizations such as the General
Federation of Women's Clubs, National Society of the Daughters
of the American Revolution and the International Federation of
Catholic Alumnae, the importance of committees representing
local motion picture councils cannot be overestimated. In the
Greater New York area alone there are four such councils. with
definite programs in the field of previewing forthcoming motion
pictures, and centering attention on socially important elements in
The work of our community program entails a constant flow of
information from our Hollywood office and elsewhcie to cduica-
tional and religious institutions, to magazines, newspapers and
radio stations. The work now directed by Mrs. Alice E\ :ns Fields
of our Hollywood office includes the distribution of socially and
educationally significant news of Hollyw\\' od-a service that is \wel-
comed by many universities, audio-visual aid dep.art ents of large
city schools, motion picture councils, public and school libraries.
as well as by sustaining radio programs.
During the year our regular field service was continued nor-
mally. Mr. Irvin E. Deer, our Midest field representative de-
livered more than 186 addresses during the twelve month.-, con-
ducted 50 group conferences, and in furthciance of this work
engaged in consultations with 930 community leaders.
FILMS IN EDUCATION
As we review the record of the past \eali, perhaps the most sig-
nificant trend is the increasing recognition of the importance of
motion pictures as a factor in education. Thi. stems not only from
the expanding utility of 16 mm. film, but also from the increased
fidelity, wholesomeness, range and quality of theatrical pictures.
Of course the use of training films in all the .war services has given
this trend still greater impetus. Both students and instructors hait
learned the value of films as a teaching device in wartime. They
ma\' be expected to bring back with them an eagerness to use mo-
tion pictures in the classroom.
The anticipated increased postwar interest in the use of films
bv educational institutions is beginning to be realized. There is an
increasing number of requests for service from schools and school
systems, as well as from institutions which are looking to us for
the first time for film materials to be used in their instructional
Much of this film service is rendered through Teaching Film
Custodians. Inc., which is now distributing to several thousand
schools and school systems 16 mm. prints of the theatrical short
subjects made available by the various member companies. One of
the most gratifying phases of this distribution is evidenced by the
degree to which many of the subjects are apparently becoming a
permanent part of the teaching program in schools. This is shown
by the increasing demand from year to year for many of the sub-
jects first made available at the inception of this service.
Another type of expansion during the past year was the exten-
sion of this distribution program into Canada, from which repeated
requests have come to permit educational film libraries in Canada
to share in these film resources. A request was also received from
the Union of South Africa that the companies permit the use of
these short subjects in the government schools of that English-
speaking ally. Enabling permissions were granted by our member
companies and this territorial expansion of our field of service is
now in operation.
Obviously the use of teaching films must go side by side with
the training of teachers themselves in the use of materials in this
form. A most constructive activity of the past year has been par-
ticipation in all-day institutes for teachers. A very effective start
has been made by tie State University of Iowa in the promotion
of institutes which will actually help in such training. A similar
program is in progress and is being organized by the University
of Illinois and in Kansas, the State University has organized a sim-
ilar series of meetings.
Throughout the past year the program of the Commission on
Motion Pictures in Education has been taking form. This is the
group which came into being just a year after a series of confer-
ences between leaders of the industry and representatives of the
American Council on Education. As now constituted the Commis-
sion membership is as follows:
Mark A. May, Director of the Institute of Human Relations at Yale
Wallace W. Athood. President of Clark University:
Mary D. Barnes. Principal of i'm. Livingston School No 10. Livingston,
George S. Counts, Teachers College, Columbia University;
Edmund E. Day, President of Cornell University;
Willard E. Givens, Executive Secretary of the National Education Asso-
George N. Shuster, President of Hunter College;
A. L. Threlkeld, Superintendent of Schools in Montclair, New Jersey.
The first project of the Commission is a series of films on global
geography and continuing conferences among the members of
the Commission is resulting in the development of other film series
designed to cover fields of large educational significance. During
the past year there have been developments in other directions
which may result in extensive production for the visual education
field. Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, Inc. has acquired the W\est-
ern Electric Co. project known as ERPI Classroom Films and has
established with the University of Chicago a relationship \vhich
may result in the production of visualized curricula in specific
areas. Eastman Kodak Co. has presented as a gift to the University
of Chicago silent Eastman classroom films which will be distributed
by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films.
The film production program of the Office of Education of the
United States, which aided the training of millions of workers in
defense industries, has demonstrated to factory management the
effectiveness of this type of apprentice training. Plans have re-
sulted for the continuance of this type of trade school on factory
time after the war need is over.
Another area of interest which has been developed during the
year is films in religious education. More than a year ago, the mem-
ber companies, through the Association, indicated a willingness
to consider a cooperative project with the International Council
of Religious Education. Church interest in the project continues
and it is probable that actual use of film materials selected from
theatrical short subjects will begin during the spring of 1945.
Church interest was expressed also from another source. Un-
der the leadership of the American Bible Society a group of dele-
gated representatives from the 19 denominational boards met on
October 5, 1944, and organized the Protestant Commission on
Films. We were invited to share in their discussions. Subjects for
consideration were the production of short educational pictures
dealing with the programs of the church for use in institutional
education of their constituency; development of the use of film
materials in the regular program of the church school.
The industry's wartime development of the techniques of
purely instructional films for the speedier and more effective train-
ing of men in industrial and military skills will magnify the future
power of vocational training both in schools and factories, as well
as the efficiency of industry itself.
It is a pleasure to note the time and effort which important fig-
ures of industry are giving to the production of pictures planned
for education on health, medicine, dental care, nutrition, agricul-
ture and other subjects of social value. This is an important phase
of postwar reconstruction and is obviously a service that should
be welcomed by schools, colleges and universities, L-y fanners.
teachers, nurses, doctors, dentists and other professional and ci-
Recognizing increased risks due to manpower shortages, pres-
sures, increased overtime and greater burdens on the fihn ex-
changes, our Conservation Department redoubled its vigilance
during the year in the endeavor to keep fire hazards in film ex-
changes to a minimum.
In 1944 not a single fire occurred in the 241 exchanges which
are owned and operated by our member distributing companies.
The loss record for these motion picture exchanges over a ten-year
period, it is to be noted. was six inconsequential fires, with aggre-
gate damage amounting to $275.
All exchanges in the United States were inspected once each
month by a rotating committee of local branch managers and in
most distributing centers local fre officials accompanied the branch
managers. All 32 distributing centers were visited at least twice
and our inspection trips encompassed a traveling distance of more
than 87,000 miles. The technical secretary of the National Fire
Protection Association has declared:
"The Motion Picture Producerrs and Distril,utors of Americ. h:ive a very
well organized fire prevention progrrnl and ha.e been rem.rk:ably suc-
cessful in keeping down fire lsses."
THEATRE SERVICE AND TRADE RELATIONS
An interesting phenomenon of motion picture attendance is the
indication that movies have become America's sumnmer-time
amusement, at least during this vwar period. This is directly con-
trary to the prevailing belief in a fall and winter theatrical season.
A study of the seasonal variations in theatre receipts on the basis
of tax reports definitely shows that during each of the last three
years the theatres did above the annual monthly average business
in June, July and August and less than the annual monthly average
business in January, February and March.
Notwithstanding manpower difficulties, shortages of equip-
ment and supplies and even product shortage due to sharply cur-
tailed production schedules. the operation of our theatre structure
was conducted with unfailing courtesy and cheerful welcome.
Theatres do not have preferredd customers." No one pays m're
than the posted prices for a seat in any movie and ever) one can
see the show who wants to. first come, first served.
Federal and state taxation in addition to the federal tax on
admissions continues to be a serious burden on the theatre struc-
ture. This might ha\ e become confiscatory had it not been for the
intelligent presentation of the theatres' problem by leading ex-
hibitors of die nation who brought the facts to the attention of the
appropriate Congressional committees.
The welfare of the motion picture industry in the long run de-
pends as much upon good trade relations and good labor relations
as upon any other factor. There is no room for greed in distributor-
exhibitor relations. Both serve the same public.
Both the East Coast and the West Coast organizations of our
Public Information Committee, consisting of directors of publicity
and advertising of the member companies of the Association, con-
tinued to develop their spccial functions during the year. Most
helpful has been the consideration given by members of this group
to the impact of individual company publicity, advertising and
exploitation on the industry as a whole. Such self-discipline is in
the interests both of the rno\ it public and the industry at large. The
progress of the coordination. by Mr. Arthur H. De Bra, of the vari-
ous phases of these extended activities has been notable.
The series of News Letters published by the Committee con-
tained much factual material about the industry as well as the be-t
public opinion focused on films during the cyar. Mr. Charles
Francis Coe. Counsel for the Association, following the program
of the Public Infonnation, Comnittee, made ten key addresses dui-
ing thLe year. His appearances in Cleveland. Cincinn:iti. Chicago.
Baltimore, Minneapolis, Kansas City. Dallas. Oklahoma City, Den-
ver and St. Louis were well attended and useful. Also maintained
during 1944 was our program of field representatives aiding the
promotion of authentic information and facilities for cooperation,
desired by community leaders and interested groups.
The Committee aided in the preparation and placing of adver-
tising for the Red Cioss, Bond drives, and in other w ar services.
The prime philatelic event of 194-4 was the issue of a motion pic-
ture commemorating stamp. This stamp was issued simultaneously
in New York and Hollywood. The Committee helped in this recog-
nition of tie industry's achievements.
Special note must be taken of the public information contribu-
tion made by the W'ar Activities Committee. An outstanding fea-
ture of this w'as tho series of public addresses made by Mr. Francis
S. Hamnon who. on leave from this Association, is serving as Execu-
tive Vice Chairman of the War Activities Committee. Following
the 4"3 speeches delivered in 1943, Mr. Harmon gave 24 formal
add-esses in 1944. including in his nationwide itinerary major meet-
ings at Albany, Miami Beach. New Haven. Boston. Washington.
Oklahoma Cit'. Tulsa, San Antonio, Indianapolis. Wilmington. Los
Angeles. New York, Detroit and Buffalo.
The war has brought us new appreciation of our trade press.
No other industry is better served. Our twelve trade publica-
tions. all national in scope-four of them dailies-provide our wide-
spread industry personnel with better information, faster, than the
trade media of any other comparable business enterprise. This was
important and essential to the functioning of the motion picture
mdustry in time of peace; and it has been essential in time of war.
For the historian who undertakes to review the contribution
made by the American motion picture industry to the successful
prosecution of this war. the volumes of our trade press will be an
archive worthy of his study. In them he will find the progressive
stages through which the industry advanced in the augmented
discharge of its war responsibility. He will find also an explanation
of how the momentum was developed to carry over the top the
various Bond campaigns, United Nations drives, subscriptions for
the Red Cross, the March of Dimes. National War Fund drives.
and the many other functions of our War Activities Committee.
The twelve papers and magazines comprising the Trade Press
Division of the War Activities Committee, since May 1942, have
contributed 831-: pages of advertising to the industry's war effort,
which measured in dollars represent '$272,934. Even more impor-
tant, however, is the fact that 1.3,554 columns of news and editorial
comment was specifically directed toward war service projects of
Our trade press succeeded not only in placing a premium on
cooperation in the war effort but through explaining to the rank
and file of our personnel the necessity for the contractions and
restrictions on our normal functioning, helped materially to keep
the stream of entertainment unimpaired.
During the last half of 1944. Eastman Kodak Company an-
nounced that two new sound recording films were available, one
specificaUly for variable area recording and the other specifically
for variable density recording. Each film provides a better medium
for recording each respective type of sound track utilizing avail-
able equipment. Neither film requires special exposure nor process-
ing but each film does produce a sound track of higher quality,
better frequency registration, and lower noise level than that ob-
tained before. In addition, it is not necessary to record sound with
a near ultra-violet source.
Film manufacturers have altered fine grain duplicating nega-
tive films so that these materials can be processed under condi-
tions the same as or simulating the processing of camera negative
materials. This simplifies laboratory practice for numerous motion
picture producer laboratories. The current fine grain positive ma-
terials (depending upon die facilities in any given motion picture
laboratory can be processed in either positive or negative con-
tinuous developing machines. These changes in the manufacture
of finls for various purposes have in some cases increased thb
economy of the practices to which each applies and added pho-
tographic and sound quality improvements.
The facilities of the Electrical Besearch Products Division of
Western Electric Company, Inc. continue to be directed to the
development of equipment vital to the war effort.
Engineering progress during the year of 1944 has been limited
for the same reasons that progress has been limited for the past
three years. Many of the engineering personnel of the producer,
distributor and exhibitor companies of the motion picture indus-
try and of film, equipment and accessory manufacturers have been
devoting the major portion of their time and experience to the war
effort. In the circumstances, only skeleton forces are available for
development of new projects to improve the quality of picture and
sound appearing on motion picture screens.
In late 1943, technicians in the motion picture industry com-
plied with the request of the Armed Forces to prepare specifica-
tions for motion picture equipment, accessories, processes, and
film that could be utilized for procurement purposes. This assign-
ment has already resulted in the completion of more than 35 Amer-
ican War Standards, many of which have become Joint Army and
Navy Specifications now being used by the Procurement Divisions
of the Armed Forces to purchase motion picture equipment, acces-
sories and film. Specifically, some of these completed projects are:
16 mm. Service Model Projection Equipment, which meets all de-
mands of the Armed Forces; Control Methods for the Processing
of 16 mm. Release Prints; Test Films for Determining the Char-
acter of the Picture Aperture and Lenses of 16 mm. Projectors;
Service Model Exposure Meters, etc.
Other specifications are in preparation for both 16 mm. and
35 mm. motion picture equipment, accessories, processes and film.
As the Armed Forces are now purchasing equipment, accessories,
film and prints by these specifications and as many of these specifi-
cations will become American Standards in the postwar period, it
is believed these procedures will add improvement to the picture
and sound quality on the motion picture screens of the theatre.
From the aerial photographers, engaged in military map-mak-
ing, conies news of the use of stereographic or vectographic mo-
tion pictures, the results of which remind the viewer of the old-
fashioned stereoscope that thrilled us in our childhood. These pic-
tures not only disclose new camouflaged gun emplacements but
reveal old Roman roadways, long forgotten in England, made for
wars in ancient times. Another still secret camera, by taking pic-
tures at an oblique angle, presents a completely distorted scene but
a scene that once corrected enables the teclmicians to measure
exactly the height of a small building or a mountain, its distance
above sea level, and, conversely, reports the exact altitude of the
plane that made the photographs.
Finally, not to let entertainment for entertainment's sake be
outdone by the dual achievement of military and civilian engi-
neers. Donald Duck presented us with "phantasmagoria." The in-
terchange of animation with reality in THE THREE CABALLEROS,
the use of animated characters against rear projection of talent in
the flesh and vice versa, combined for the first time with multiple
photography% impinged on a single negative in a remarkable new
camera, holds much of promise not only for entertainment but for
The Association of Motion Picture Producers in Hollywood
continued many activities during the year in support of the na-
tional war effort. Motion picture stars were furnished for the 4th,
5th and 6th national War Bond drives, and the industry, through
the Holl'wood Victory Committee. organized star appearances
for the entertainment of the armed forces abroad and to the Army
camps in die continental United States. As usual, the industry in
Hollywood made an outstanding record in national charity drives
in 1944. It contributed to the national war chest the sum of .51,170.-
400: to the Red Cross the sum of $658.000 and to the 1944 Infantile
Paralysis campaign die sum of $49.000.
During the past year the functions of the Call Bureau w~cre
transferred to the Central Casting Corporation, resulting in greater
efficiency. The operations of the Central Casting Bureau for 1944
can be summarized by the following figures:
Placements in terms of total man-days 324,925
Cross earnings of thoce placed $4,129,083.66
A' erage dadly wage $ 12.71
The Motion Picture Labor-Management Transportation Com-
mittee, established under OPA rules, continued to function
throughout 1944 to the general satisfaction of both the studios and
the studio employees. The system developed for necessary gas
rationing applications, etc., by film employees and executives,
earned the praise of the OPA which recently inspected the system.
With staff re-arrangements necessitated by wartime conditions,
Mr. George Borthwick, Treasurer and Assistant Secretary of the
Association, was given, in addition to the mass of detailed work
involved in our many Association activities, the post of General
Manager. This has resulted in greater efficiency.
Recognizing the emphasized necessity for the greatest care in
the administration of the Production Code, the director Mr. Joseph
1. Breen, was this year designated, for that work, as Vice President
and Director of the Production Code Administration.
After eleven years of able and loyal service as a member of the
staff of the Association, Lester Thompson retired as Director of the
Advertising Code Administration and was succeeded by Gordon
White, long associated with the industry. Regret at Mr. Thompson's
withdrawal and appreciation of the valuablee work he had per-
formed were expressed in a resolution by the Board of Directors.
From our small, compact Association a large proportion of the
male personnel has gone to war. Former members of the staff and
office force are serving their country in the Army, the Navy, the
Marines and the Seabees. Men from this group were at Pearl Har-
bor. Guadalcanal, in the Marshalls; one had two engines of his
bomber shot out over Berlin, but managed to get back to Allied
terry itory where he and his companions bailed out safely. In addi-
tion, sons of staff members were wounded at Tarawa, on the coast
of Normandy and at Iwo Jima.
The ranking member of this Association group now is Kenneth
V'. Clark. lead of our Public Information Department, on leave.
Commissioned as a Major, he went through the African campaign,
later going with the Fifth Army to Italy. There, as a Lt. Colonel,
he sei "ed as Public Relations Officer for General Mark Clark. Per-
forming notable service-frequently under fire-he was awarded
the "Legion of Merit" and made a full Colonel. Recently detached
from the Fifth Army, Colonel Clark has been given a more im-
portant assignment at Allied Force Headquarters of the Mediter-
ranean Area. Every man who went from this Association has served
his country well. \'e are proud of each and all of them.
When this Association was organized twentv-three years ago.
we faced a situation, both at home and abroad, analogous to the
one we are now approaching.
We were then still in the uneasy da\s of a great war's after-
math. Its moral, political and economic repercussions were still
violent. In the moral sphere particularly, we were in the throes of
what unfortunately seems to be a natural consequence of war's
violence and strain-a marked relaxation of standards, which al-
ways tends to confuse liberty with license.
Then, as now, industry leaders had an emphasized realization
of the immeasurable significance of motion pictures and of the
opportunities which abounded for the development of far-reach-
It was under such circumstances, and confronting such needs
;:d opportunities, that we began the experiment of self-regula-
tion in the motion picture industry. We sought to save liberty from
its counterfeits and to make motion pictures point upward toward
ever good implicit in their capacity to serve man and society.
We had to struggle then against the trend of lapsing standards.
A similar trend now seems to be developing as a result of analogous
conditions. We cannot slut our eves to the fact that there is again
a resurgence against moral restraints, an impatience with the in-
hibitions of conscience, and that this destructive force is being
Not only from long experience but from the firmness of reso-
lution which has been reinforced through these years, the Asso-
ciation is prepared to meet tle exigencies of this situation. What
we began almost a quarter of a century ago has developed into an
institution so vital, and has created a program of practices so fruit-
fuJ, that the present challenge will find us quite conscious of the
task. We will not be satisfied merely to hold the gains of a quarter
century's growth. The line of progress imposes upon us the impera-
tive necessity to expand and intensify all the Association's efforts
and its departmental activities.
Throughout the series of my annual reports, certain funda-
mental truths have been repeatedly emphasized. It cannot be too
often stressed that if the moral content of motion pictures be not
right. poison is fed into the blood stream of society; that artistic
standards must constantly be raised and entertainment values con-
stantly bettered: and that, remembering the principal serx ice of
motion pictures to be entertainment, their collateral usefulness
must also be extended and intensified. We have these truths in
mind at each critical step in the development of self-regulation.
At each stage we have had to integrate our will to do. Through that
will, loyal to its objective. much has been done. Deep appreciation
is felt by us all for the cooperation within and without the industry
which las made this possible.
Many undertakings which now seem feasible could not have
been attempted until it was first established that art and prudence
in motion pictures do not necessarily conflict: that morality in enter-
tainment is quite compatible with its enjoyment and its best serv-
ice, even as there is no incompatibility between purity in food and
its nourishment, or between honesty and success. Along with this
we have established the fact that the twin necessities of improv-
ing the quality of supply and raising the quality of demand which
supports good pictures are interlocking factors which must be and
can be augmented simultaneously. There can no longer be any
question that morally sound pictures are good entertainment and
Through the years we have demonstrated that the industry can
regulate itself. By constant acceptance of the industry's duties
and responsibilities, we have earned die right to freedom from
external restraints or interference, which would impair the qual-
ity of the motion picture art and the effectiveness of its service.
At this important point in the irjdustry's career, we know that
motion pictures are now approaching the maturity of their skills
-partly as a result of years of effort and experience, and partly due
to the impulse which the war has gi\en to the development of
technical facilities, opening up means of usefulness in areas here-
tofore unknown or unrecognized.
No postwar trend of laxity or license, condoning itself in the
good name of liberty, will weaken or overcome our determination
to keep the screen a free medium by keeping it an honest and re-
spectable one. In the future, as in the past, it will be through a
voluntary dedication of our wills and energies that we shall be
faithful to that trust. It will be through the conscience of self-
regulation that liberty will control its course at every turn, answer-
ing to the rudder in order to avoid the rock. Above all, it will be
through entertainment enriched by all values appropriate to it,
and not by subordinating entertainment to any ulterior aim, that
motion picture studios and theatres will deliver the best to the most.
Because of all this, and because we persist in the will to do.
we may look to the problems ahead with confidence in the efficacy
of our self-regulation.
To effect these purposes, we are increasing the intensity of the
industry's concern with all the possibilities of the art's scope and
striving. We must apply this increased intensity to all of the ordi-
nary areas of the industry's activities; and beyond that %e must
attempt to exhaust the possibilities of constructive work in all
fields of collateral service. Failing to do this would mean failure
to develop the full usefulness of American motion pichtres at the
moment of their greatest opportunity to serve all the peoples of
the world in a manner which will be a positive and dehnite con-
tribution to the construction of a better society.
We have already begun to move forward in extending the Asso-
ciation's operating machinery and amplifying its personnel. Plans
for many new and enlarged activities have been made and are
in process of execution. We are prepared to do much more. The
time is now. We will pursue these objectives to their complete
WILL H. H.AYS
The welfare of the community is the common concern of all citizens. Not
only is this true in their individual capacities for public service, but in their
affiliation with the various organizations which perform the social functions
on which the life of the community depends. Industry and business, no less
than the learned professions, no less than churches, schools, and hospitals,
perform indispensable social functions. According to the division of labor
and the distinction of functions, each branch of industry serves the com-
munity in its own special way, and it serves the community well in proportion
as it does its own job to the best of its ability.
Community service must be conceived as embracing every sort of con-
tribution which can be made to serve the common good. In each case the
primary contribution flows from the performance of a specialized function,
but there are often many by-products of that function which have great
social utility. Community service consists secondarily, then, in developing
these by-products to the fullest degree of their beneficence.
The special social function performed by the motion picture industry is
entertainment. Entertainment is also the primary contribution which motion
pictures make in the service of the community. To understand this in its most
dynamic significance, one need only imagine all the movie theatres of the
country suddenly closed down and then consider the drastic social conse-
quences which would almost immediately follow. Mass entertainment on the
scale and of the quality provided by motion pictures accomplishes a ministry
of re-creation and stimulation from which the community draws vitality almost
as much as from its basic foodstuffs. Entertainment, like medicine and educa-
tion, safeguards and strengthens the public health and sanity.
But entertainment must not be narrowly conceived. To be good as enter-
tainment, a motion picture must be good in other ways. It must be morally
sound. It must be artistically effective. Whether it be comedy or tragedy.
realistic or fanciful, it must reflect significantly on the great themes and situa-
tions of human life, even as it draws upon these for its subject matter. Unless
it be significant and through its significance stirs our emotions and engages
our minds, a motion picture does not really entertain us at all, for it does not
hold our attention.
Entertainment cannot be divorced from significance and, therefore, it
cannot do its work of recreation without also doing other things. Stimulating
us, both emotionally and mentally, it yields other values: information and
education, inspiration and, at its best. elevation. It does these things in the
very process of entertaining. These are not by-products of entertainment.
They are integral elements of its goodness as entertainment.
In my last annual report I tried to explain what enabled the motion
picture to become the most popular art and the most effective entertainment
for the widest and most varied audience that any art has ever been privileged
to serve. The "reason why" of this potency is simply that motion pictures
draw upon many, if not all, of the major arts and so represent a ma\imization
of the elements of human entertainment. By its very nature a consolidation of
all the other arts, the motion picture is a synthetic achievement. The com-
ponent arts supplement and reinforce each other and thus reach a larger
audience more effectively than falls under the influence of any one of these
This maximization of artistic values explains the effectiveness of motion
pictures as entertainment; their effectiveness as entertainment explains their
immense popularity; that popularity in turn explains their influence upon all
ages and classes of men the world over, and through that influence the motion
picture industry is able to perform all of the incidental community services
which are the natural by-products of its primary and essential sen ice of
From the very beginning the organized industry recognized that the social
usefulness of the motion picture depends upon, but is not in any sense limited
to, its merits as entertainment. I have said that I thought it would be just as
smart to hate the motion pictures used only for entertainment as it would be
to have the English language used only for novels.
The charter of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America
specifies that its object be. not only to establish and maintain the highest
possible moral and artistic standards in motion picture production but also to
develop their educational as well as their entertainment value and to increase
their general usefulness.
For many years now this Association has maintained a Community Service
Department, concerned %%ith the educational aspects of motion pictures, both
in the sphere cf strictly pedagogic or classroom films and also in the field of
entertainment films, many of which have inherent educational elements.
In the latter connection, our aim has been to raise the level of popular
appreciation, to increase the public demand for better films, as %%ell as to
improve the quality of the product The extraordinary success of this phase
of our undertaking is indicated by the fact that in the course of years there
has been an increasing corLnergence of popular taste and critical or aesthetic
appraisal-an uiteresting thing. \'e have noted that each year a larger number
of the films rated by competent critics as the year's best are also pictures
which hate wonr the blue-ribbon of boxoffice success. Thus the work done
by our Community Service Department m its nation-wide promotion of certain
specially selected films each year at once serves the pubhe good and the good
of the motion picture art.
The classroom use of entertainment films has been a by-product of the-
atrical motion picture production. It has been fostered by the industry through
the '.work of the Teaching Film Custodians. Since 19:30. more than six thou-
sand 16 mm. reels of theatrical short subjects have been made available for
exhibition in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges in e'erv state of
the Union. Certainly that is a community service.
In order to pruoide visual material in the field of social studies, the indus-
try has cooperated % ith the Commission on Human Relations of the Pro-
gressive Education Association. Excerpts from certam types of feature pictures
have been made for use m school guidance programs, with special emphasis
on such topics as human welfare and civic responsibility. Similarly, to prot ide
visual aids for the teaching of English and American literature, shorter t versions
have been made of some of the feature films based on literary classics. Amer-
ican history is another field in which the u;e of excerpted materials from fea-
ture films has extended the scope of visual education. These accomplishments
are but the beginning of a wider and more varied pedagogic adaptation of en-
tertainment films for classroom use. Here is an almost limitless field in w which
the industry recognizes its opportunity and obligation for community service.
During the war the industry has developed the techniques of the purely
instructional film. for the speedier and more elfectl~e training of men in both
industrial and military skills. These developments widl magnify the future
power of ocational training, both in schools and factories, as well as the
efficiency of industry itself. This effect, we think, is a community service.
The extraordinary efficacy of such instructional films naturally redoubled
the already great interest in the pedagogic use of the screen, on the part of
both the motion picture industry and the educational profession. The war
demonstrated the immeasurable advantages of visual training in man, fields
of knowledge and skill. It gate new impetus to technical ingenuity in the
motion picture industry and so developed its production knowv hox.'." At the
invitation of the American Council on Education, representatives of the in-
dustry have participated in discussions of the post-war role of the screen in
educational institutions. This eventuated im the formation of the Commission
on Motion Pictures in Education, which is undertaking a five-year program of
study whereby the educational profession and the industry will learn how
to be of mutual assistance in aiding the future production of pedagogic films
in the best interests of education.
More than any other single thing, education holds the key to peace, for
peace depends on the reasonableness of enlightened minds and the good
will of humanized hearts. It is just that simple. Whatever augments the facili-
ties of education to meet its post-war challenge performs a community service
on a world-wide scale.
Still another sort of community service is the aid given to the various
pre-viewing groups which issue reports to their constituent members on the
content and quality of current motion pictures. The publication of these esti-
mates and appraisals guides intelligent appreciation of motion picture values
and tends to raise the quality of the demand. One of the by-products of this
pre-viewing work is the preparation and publication of study aids for the
use of club groups, schools, and colleges. Through these study aids, the motion
picture audience, both in and out of school, has become interested in and
attentive to the art of motion pictures, with a consequent cultivation of good
taste and critical judgment. And that, too, is a community service.
To elevate the quality of the demand for better pictures is a significant
achievement only on the presupposition of an unrelaxed vigilance over the
quality of the supply. Ever since the inception of the Production Code, the
whole effort of its administration has labored to this end: to safeguard the
moral soundness of our production and, beyond this, gradually to raise the
standards of both moral and artistic integrity. Though the spheres of artistic
competence and moral prudence are distinct and though, if allowed to
separate, they often become antagonistic, mutual understanding between
artist and moralist can be created by carefully guided cooperation in the very
process of production.
Under the operation of the Production Code, such reciprocity and supple-
mentation have been the signal victory of self-regulation in the motion picture
industry. Self-regulation, moreover, has been the industry's bulwark of free-
dom, the freedom of expression so sacred to art as well as to thought. If the
motion picture art had not been kept free by self-regulation, it would have
inevitably suffered in the strait-jacket of externally-imposed censorship restric-
tions. Not only would the art have languished, but the industry would have
lacked the incentive, the power, and the will to discharge its manifold social
responsibilities. With freedom, we have witnessed a quarter-century of prog-
ress more amazing than any story told on the screen; without it, the record
would have been a dismal one.
With this in mind, the industry annually renews its pledge that, through
self-discipline, its productions will never violate the canons of sound morality
and public decency, and thus it will continue to deserve the freedom it has
tried to use wisely. No post-war trend of laxity or license, condoning itself in
the good name of liberty, will weaken or overcome our determination to keep
the screen a free medium by keeping it an honest and respectable one. That
will be in the future, as it has always been in the past, the supreme community
service of the industry.