Record #1177

Date:
28/11/1938
Record Type:
Memo
From/By:
Dr Arthur H. DeBra
To:
Carl E. Milliken
Reel:
Reel 12
Frame Start:
12-0186
Frame End:
12-0190
Legacy ID:
1187
Legacy Year:
1938
Legacy Index:
Films for Democracy
Comments:
EDITORIAL COMMENT: A small piece of evidence - to go, perhaps, with some of the Harmon stuff, that some voices, at least, were being raised within the MPPDA about a perceived need for movies to address issues other then those of ""pure entertainment."" Possibly this provides us with a context in which to put Quigley's book and its insistent message about the purpose of the screen, and also the advertising stuff, where another possible function and activity of the screen is being recognized.

DeBra reports on the organization "Films for Democracy" (earlier "Frontier Films'), which wants to make entertainment films on a non-profit basis to counter the growing influence of fascist and reactionary groups. It has an impressive list of supporters, including filmmakers, politicians, academics, etc. "It would be impossible to get the distinguished people who agreed to act as sponsors interested in this enterprise unless there were a need for more progressive treatment of current social problems."

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Long Description:

Films for Democracy -- Paul Strand identified as its principal. DeBra memo on it is disparaging of the organization as having failed to raise much money for its projects. He then wants to redirect the energies of the sponsors: "It would be impossible to get the distinguished people who agreed to act as sponsors interested in this enterprise unless there were a need for more progressive treatment of current social problems than our films are presenting. Why wouldn't it be a good idea to have one of the companies get this group to serve as sponsors of some such films as The Life of Emile Zola?"

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