Record #1249

Date:
16/04/1930
Record Type:
Letter
From/By:
Col. Jason S. Joy
To:
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel:
Reel 8
Frame Start:
8-1806
Frame End:
8-1811
Legacy ID:
1260
Legacy Year:
1930
Legacy Index:
MPPDA - Production Code

Evidence of early studio cooperation with the Code; description of distribution and functions of personnel in early Code machinery. Note job of Douglas Mackinnon in relation to short subjects; also Paramount desire to have their own man attached to Joy. Supervision of trailers discussed.

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Long Description:

16 April 1930 Joy to Hays on the immediate implementation of the Code: "With the exception of Paramount and MGM, which put the Code into effect immediately, nothing happened at the other studios until after the Code's ratification in New York. Immediately upon receipt of word from Winnie Sheehan, Sol Wurtzel called me down to the Studio and in from of his association producers, supervisors, writers and directors stated that he had a part in drafting the Code, that he meant business and that he intended to make sure that his studio should live up to it. Contrary to his statements at the meetings here he told his associates that he wanted every script sent to us, and of course, have us see every picture before it went to the laboratory. Since then we have read four or five scripts and have seen an equal number of pictures. It has been interesting to observe that following the screening of each picture their first question has always been: "What changes are necessary in order that the Code may be observed?" Similar meetings at the Directors' branch of the Academy, Paramount, WB, RKO, MGM, Path. ... "You already know about the meeting of the Directors' Branch of the Academy. The 20 or 30 who attended were very earnest and were concerned only that the other branches, particularly the writers and the supervisors, should cooperate with them in living up to the Code." Schulberg and Warner held meetings with their staff 15 April 1930, Le Baron held one 16 April 1930, Thalberg will hold one 16 April 1930 "All of the studios pretty much as a matter of routine, although some of them still have to be queried once in a while, are sending in their scripts, are accepting our advice on them and are acceding to our suggestions regarding the finished picture. If this thing goes on as it has started there is reason to believe that no trouble will come from the pictures. The chief danger will lie in our own apprehension which only can be checked by you when you observe that we are bulging out a little too much in any one direction {???}" Jack Wilson: "His principal function is the drafting of the innumerable letters which go to the studios after we have conferred together on the scripts" MacKinnon handles short subjects. "Both of the girls, Betty Neely and Florence Sell, are developing into rapid and critical readers ... Jim Fisher is fitting in nicely as a reviewer. He is as critical as any of us and has, by reason of his long experience in New York, a better conception of the public's reaction than anyone we could have found out here. ... Mrs. Winter is happy and unhappy by turns, with the happy side exhibited most of the time. Her position is difficult and is being well managed. John Hutchings runs the shop and keeps us all in our respective channels.

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