Record #559

Record Type:
Newspaper article
W. Ward Marsh, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Reel 6
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Books and Plays
Additional text in Transcription. Article is 06-0849 to 06-0850.

Article "ONE MOMENT, PLEASE! An Ambassador from the Hays Office Notes Worries Caused by the Talkies, Podunk and the Revue-Type Film." Dated 27 October-1929 (?? article is undated, but Hays' reply indicates it was published on 29 September 1929). Additional comment by Milliken.


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Milliken on "The Cock-Eyed World", and concern over imitations: "If we get many pictures like this one, I am frank to say I don't know what action we will be compelled to take, but it is safe to say it will be drastic." Editorial: "I do hope that you can see that the Hays office is alive to the situation and that it is considering Podunk along with the main stems ... If the Hays office fears imitations of "The Cock-Eyed World", and perhaps it should, then it should be permitted additional authority. The producers should all agree not to fashion any plots after "The Cock-Eyed World" until the nation's reaction has set in." "As you know ... when the screen found its voice, the entire world for us was turned upside down. Even now, we are not certain where we stand. By `we,' I mean the industry. It is not certain what kind of material can be used, what kind of stories will become popular, nor even what can be done with this new instrument or agent. We feel it is the greatest thing which has ever come to us. "Now, as you also know, when the first turnover came we felt we were at loss for talent. We had to have those who could talk, recite lines: in all, those who know a great deal about stage acting. "You know what has happened. We are flooded with vaudeville wisecrackers, musical comedy entertainers, and a host of others who are so accustomed to entertaining Broadway that they have the feeling anything goes in pictures. "Our first step has been to try to correct this. You see many things which do not offend you, but you are not far from Broadway. You have Euclid Avenue and practically the same kind of theatrical entertainment New York has. Perhaps you do not get quite so much of it, but you do have it. "Now, we are not playing to Broadway and Euclid Avenue or any of the great thoroughfares of the world alone. Our audiences are many. Our patrons are made up of multitudes from every walk of life. We are exactly at that point where we are introducing the great musical revues to the cross-roads of the country, places which have never seen a revue before, and we have to reckon on the reception we are going to get. "Don't you see what this turnover means? We must tone down the vaudeville wise-cracker, make him understand that he is not only going on Broadway but into Podunk where the folks aren't accustomed to the sight of girls not fully clothed and where the wise-crack, which is amusing to you and thousands of others, may create offense. Don't let anyone tell you our tasks are easy just now."

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