Record #709

Record Type:
Letter and enclosure/s
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Albert Warner, Vice president and treasurer of Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.and treasurer of Vitaphone Corporation, Warner Bros.
Harry Warner, President, Warner Bros.
Jack Warner, Head of Production, Warner Bros.
Reel 9
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Warner Bros.

WB non-observance of Production Code and Advertising Code particularly over the Sex Appeal Sextette includes copy of advert for them in Variety 25 June 1930


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Long Description:

"I want to write this most intimate personal letter to you while you are here together, and appeal to you in the most earnest way, not officially, but just man to man. I want to appeal to you as friends on whom I know I can depend as well as appeal to you in your positions of great influence in the industry which you occupy and as the guardians of millions of dollars. Especially do I want to appeal to you as square shooters and men whom I am proud to call my friends." Concerns over 1. advertising matter for the Sex-appeal Sextette -- encloses critical editorial from Houston Chronicle 2. "Warners and First National are the only studios not carrying out the agreement for Uniform Interpretation. A more serious phase of it is that a failure to take advantage of this joint machinery which the companies have developed will bring criticism and censorship losses to the company not using it. The California heads of most of the companies have gone out of their way recently to advise us of their appreciation of what the Code saves them in time and money, not only in censorship matters, but in selecting, rejecting and preparing scripts for production. ... If the Code had been followed, or the machinery agreed to be used for the UI had been used, I think without a doubt the Vitaphone short HONOLULU would not have been made. We have to be continually careful, of course, in avoiding matter which by foreign nationals is regarded as offensive, such as some of the lines in NANCY OF NAPLES and the line in GOLDEN DAWN -- "sing like the wops in Italy". These are minor matters, but sometimes they cause real trouble among the foreign population here, and thins like this are possibly noticed when the machinery is used. I have been happy to receive from Mr. Beetson today a telegram advising that Mr Zanuck has assured him again that the studios will comply with the agreement, and I know if Mr. Jack will take the time in the pressure to follow this up, it will be all right." 3. Titles: Concerned about WOMAN HUNGRY, BAD WOMAN, RED HOT SINNERS, EX-MISTRESS (concerned inquiry about that from Wingate -- Hays is going to read it and wants at least one of them to read it, too. MGM put EX-WIFE through the formula and there was no criticism of the result,DIVORCEE. Paramount have agreed not to use EX-LOVER. "I do hope before this picture is made under the title EX-MISTRESS that you will consider the complications, and determine to treat it, if it has to be made at all, as Metro treated EX-WIFE. This kind of use of the word "mistress" in a title is, of course, a new and most serious suggestion regardless of how the picture might be "cleaned up". I am wondering how the use of the term "mistress" in the title could be justified. ...I cannot harmonize EX-MISTRESS and THE SEX-APPEAL SEXTETTE with what I know is in the hearts of the Warner Brothers and what the public thinks of them, what I know them to be and the splendid productions which have made the name Warner Brothers immediately suggest pictures like DISRAELI."

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