Record #255

Date:
22/10/1925
Record Type:
Articles/essays
From/By:
Lamar Trotti, Assistant to Colonel Jason S. Joy
Reel:
Reel 2
Frame Start:
2-1110
Frame End:
2-1183
Legacy ID:
255
Legacy Year:
1925
Legacy Index:
Trotti, Lamar - Special Articles
Comments:
EDITORIAL COMMENT: It's unclear what their route of dissemination was. There is some legible evidence on individual frames as to the purpose for which each of these articles was intended. It's unclear what their route of dissemination was. There is some legible evidence on individual frames as tothe purpose for which each of these articles was intended. Presumably Trotti was hired as the writer Joy advocates in Frames 02-0948 to 02-0968. In ""Entertainment Values of Motion Pictures,"" Trotti produces a relatively curious version of the Formula, which might, in its foregrounding of Hays' role, suggest something about the way Hays' name was used so consistently prominently in this period. Is there some suggestion that Hays was using all this activity as a potential political base - that he would become publicly much more prominent, to a point where, having achieved some comparable ""public service"" to Hoover's during the war, he could, after a period of three or six years, re-enter politics? Certainly he kept up his political contacts - and that seems possible. What ought to be noted about the following passage is the way that it constructs a role for Hays, personally, as censor - quite in contradiction to the arguments standardly produced about how three censors could be expected to make judgements for the public at large.

Tract after tract about the enlightening power of motion pictures, by Lamar Trotti. Includes "The Attitude of the Church Toward Motion Pictures'; "The Bible in Motion Pictures'; writing scenarios; "The Great Good of Pictures'; teaching with motion pictures; pictures and international relations (mentions the Italian ambassador's involvement with Metro-Goldwyn's Romola); treatment of animals; "Entertainment Values of Motion Pictures'; etc.

Keywords

Adaptations from books (14), Animals (7), Children (43), Exhibition (47), Foreign locations (2), Motion pictures and international relations (10), Motion pictures and religion (21) Show all keywords…

Scans

Long Description:

One sentence from "Motion pictures and international understanding": Let those critics who wish say our happy endings are not compatible with art. But to the downtrodden these happy endings are beacon lights of hope." (4 or 2, depending on which version.) In one on education, he quotes Hays on the child and the movies:  "Of course no one can reasonably demand that all motion pictures be constructed to fit the psychology of the 11-year-old boy or girl. The primary purpose of motion pictures is entertainment for the mature, and certain of life's problems and situations, perhaps not just the things for juvenile observation, must be picturized if we are to have any drama in our photoplays. The general run of motion pictures are not now and never will be intended especially for the 12-year-olds. If all pictures were made suitable for the adolescent mind, the grown ups would not patronize the motion picture theatres and if the theatres had to rely for their maintenance on the patronage of children, they would soon pass out of existence. Every thoughtful person, parents and guardians included, will accept that fact."We exercise some supervision over what our children hear or read and we will do the same thing in respect to the motion picture which they shall see. There is a very definite parental responsibility in the situation and this responsibility can not and should not be shifted to the exhibitors and producers of pictures."In "Entertainment Values of Motion Pictures," "The motion picture industry has made substantial gains in many ways during the last few years, but in no way has the public as a whole been more served, perhaps, than in the action taken by the producers last year in banding together to bar the prevalent type of book and play from being picturized. We are all aware of the tendencies in the so-called modern novel and then what we may lightly term, the Broadway farce. The theme is standard apparently. Last spring the motion picture producers in Mr. Hays organization - and I mention his organization because of the pictures produced 85% are made by his members - met and decided that they would not allow certain books and plays to be made into pictures. They agreed, voluntarily, that when books or plays were submitted to them about which questions might be raised, the book or play should immediately be sent to Mr. Hays for his judgement. Then, if it is his opinion that it should not be pictured, if the 50,000,000 weekly patrons would not be properly served by it, other members are notified and given the opportunity and privilege of rejecting the rights. More than 100, nearer 150 books and plays were thus kept from the screen last year. Of course there are still some pictures and some scenes to which exception may be taken but some of these were bought and produced before this agreement went into effect and the gain far offsets them."Also identifies George Reid Andrews as chairman of the religious and education committee of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America (FCCCA).Untitled article, "prepared for Mr. Smith" (?) 06-10-1925: Dreams for sale - cheap: "The motion picture industry has caught the fancy of the people. It has brought them happiness and brought it cheaply. It has brought them vistas of new lands and new ideas, and brought them economically. It has brought them closer together, amused them, afforded them joys and benefits which time and distance and the narrow confines of daily life had denied them. And it has brought them all these things at a cost with the reach of every man, woman, and child in America. "The strange out-of-the-way places of the world have been place at the doors of the man who wants to see but who is prevented by lack of fund for travel. The world of fashion has been placed before they eyes of the woman who wants to know but who, outside the movies, can never know it. To the sick, to the lame, to the old, to the young, to the rich, and to the poor alike, it has brought that thing which everyone in his heart wants most. And the response has been that 50 million men, women, and children each week have gone their ways into a moving picture theatre of America along in search of the world's greatest and most priceless product - happiness." (4) This also contains statistics on share distribution for anonymous companies, and claims for the picture palaces, which are now in towns as well as cities, and have there "added materially to the satisfaction of people with their home towns and have given them a new civic pride which augurs well for the future of the smaller towns and cities of America. These houses often become community centers where symphony concerts - spread, many argue, because of the movie's diffusion of the knowledge of good music - are given, civic meetings held, and city improvements launched." (5) Also a few recurring metaphors: the motion picture industry's history "reads like a page from the Arabian Nights and its accomplishments like the workings of the genii Aladdin's lamp" (11) and of the industry pioneers as being like Forty-Niners, but "today no industry can boast higher ethics or ethics more conscientiously lived up to by the great majority of those employed in the making of motion pictures than this, the youngest of industries." (12)

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