Record #182

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MPPDA - Committee on Public Relations
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Reports of Public Relations Committee meetings throughout 1924.


Adaptations from books (14), Childrens matinees (21), The Formula (15), Titles (10) Show all keywords…



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Committee on Public Relations - address by Hays in his frank style in which he is suggesting that he is only signing another 3-year contract because of the resolution on books and plays having gone through. He lists the problems: Flaming Youth the real problem and creator of considerable difficulties - made worse by Daughters of Today - an independent production - West of the Water Tower, Black Oxen (both of these innocuous but based on bad books - includes some figures making the argument that Better Films aren't selling while salacious titles are - the first occurrence of this argument. This argument, of course, has the useful side-effect of imposing a moral burden of responsibility on the Committee, as being under some obligation to make them pay. Hays points out that some projected titles aren't as bad as they sound, e.g. in Bedroom Window they're looking out, not in. Says 1921 the year of the largest receipts on motion pictures. The Formula, which is not for publication, "is called restraint of trade, but it is within the law." (8) Here he sounds very much as in March 1933, and it's one of his better performances in keeping these guys behind him, to the point where they pass a resolution urging him to re-sign the contract. Hays mentions "the 40 or 50% that don't go to motion pictures"(14). Mr. Matthews who, according to West, "is an expert on good reading" argues for surveys, such as conducted by the people who make 10 books. Woolworth's have given a contract for 25m. copies for the Reader's Library - Hays suggests a tie-up - titles listed - this stuff is worth developing. Deputy from San Francisco argues that the public doesn't know what it wants, and that Flaming Youth etc. attract because the average film is "so inane and insipid," so they hope the other will be something out of the ordinary.(20)There's a nice reference of Hays' to how difficult The Admiral Chrichton is to say.In Joy's account of his activities is a note (31 - p.5) saying "Resisted the effort of Associated Exhibitors to line the GFWC up with its program. Succeeded finally in turning that effort into our own channel." Also involved in legislation at a state level to produce uniform legislative conditions for children's matinees, and working to support NY legislation to allow children under 16 into theatres unaccompanied. His account also gives evidence of his negotiation with PTA, American Penwomen, American Legion, DAR., etc. GFWC 1924 biennial meeting was in L.A. Also stuff on children's matinees, their effect on local attitudes and box office - claims that movies are an adult entertainment, only 12.5% of audience are under 16 - plan to use older pictures which can be re-used to minimize costs in children's matinee activities.

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