Record #1123

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Reel 11
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EDITORIAL COMMENT: Zanuck's letter is a classic of the genre. See also 11-0465 -- 11-0467.

Zanuck wants to make a kidnapping story, Snatched, which is against industry policy. The MPPDA musters as much information as possible about the reception of kidnapping films, as ammunition against the proposal. Zanuck responds.


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Long Description:

Memos on kidnapping, including letter, Zanuck to Breen, 12 June 1935: "As per our conversation yesterday, I am going to have dinner next week with Jim Farley and Attorney General Cummings in New York and will tell them my story in detail. ... I note in the letter I received today, from the excerpt in the Annual Report dated February 1935, that the only two points that are at all violated in my story in connection with the kidnapping are the ones 'B' and 'C', but of course, these objections are overcome by the general theme of the story. I also note that in the other items listed, such as No. 6, that this report says there must be at no times any display of machine guns. Good Heavens, every picture I have seen so far is loaded with nothing but machine guns. As a matter of fact, almost every one of the items in your list have, in one picture or another recently been violated which, of course, is no excuse for me to violate them, and I don't intend to without the full approval of everyone concerned, as I feel the picture we are going to make under the title of Snatched or Bill No. L-16472-A will actually be the first picture produced that will conclusively and definitely prove to even an imbecile that kidnapping, even if successfully engineered, is utterly futile."

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