The Producer: David O. Selznick (Film Daily, 1939)
"Observers of the career of David O. Selznick see his enterprises this year the culmination of a dream....The most lavish motion picture project ever conceived, Gone With the Wind, is already acknowledged as Selznick's chef d'oeuvre and the picture destined to mark the peak of cinema progress during the past 50 years. Executives of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which company released the picture, as well as those of Selznick International who have seen it, are unanimous in declaring it the greatest picture ever made, and the most frequent comment heard today from those who have observed it in production is 'No one could have made it but Selznick.'"
Selznick produced blockbuster after blockbuster. He was awarded two Academy Awards during his Hollywood reign for 'Outstanding Production': one for Gone With the Wind in 1939 and another one year later for Rebecca.
Growth and Expansion at the Walt Disney Company (Film Daily, 1939)
Herein is a 1939 article from a defunct Hollywood trade magazine marking the construction of a 20 acre facility for the Disney studio in Burbank, California:
"By 1930, the Walt Disney studio had grown in fantastic fashion. Instead of the 25 employees of 1929, there were now 40 people...By the end of the year there were 66 employees...In 1931 the total number of personnel had jumped to 106...When 'The Three Little Pigs' came along in 1933, the studio had grown 1,600 square feet of floor space in 1929, to 20,000 square feet. A hundred and fifty people were now turning out the Disney productions... In 1937, all the employees were still jostling each other... From around 600 employees in the summer of 1937, the organization had grown to almost 900 by the winter of 1938."
Charlie Chaplin Joins With Pickford, Fairbanks and Griffith to Form United Artists
(Film Daily, 1939)
Restless with the manner in which the film colony operated, Chaplin joined forces with three other leading Hollywood celebrities to create United Artists; a distribution company formed to release their own films. Attached is a printable history of United Artists spanning the years 1919 through 1939 which also outlines why the organization was so original:
"[United Artists] introduced a new method into the industry. Heretofore producers and distributors had been the employers, paying salaries and sometimes a share of the profits to the stars. Under the United Artists system, the stars became their own employers. They had to do their own financing, but they received the producer profits that had formerly gone to their employers and each received his share of the profits of the distributing organization."
Technicolor (Film Daily, 1939)
"Technicolor - conceived at Boston Tech and born in a rail way car in 1917, attained its majority, properly enough, 28 years later when Dr. Herbert Thomas Kalmus, president and founder, received the 1938 Progress Award from the Society of Motion Picture Engineers at its annual convention."
"The story of Technicolor begins in 1915 when Dr. Kalmus and his associates became interested in a color process. Dr. Kalmus' task was to find a suitable name, and, a Boston Tech man himself, he combined "Technique," the engineering school's class annual, and Color and so was born Technicolor."
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Paul Terry: The Other Animator (Film Daily, 1939)
A short profile on Paul Terry, torn from the pages of a prominent Hollywood trade rag:
"During Paul Terry's notable career in the film industry, he has produced more than 1,000 pictures. In October of the current year he celebrates 25 years of continuous work in the cartoon field, which he helped to pioneer."
"Today, the fountain of Terry-Toons is a thoroughly modern studio in New Rochelle, employing some 130 hands, all skilled in the imparting of life, voice and voice expression to the characters created on the drawing boards."
The March of Time: Newsreel Journalism (Film Daily, 1939)
The attached magazine article first appeared in the long-forgotten Hollywood trade rag Film Daily and concerns the 1930s newsreel production company "The March of Time":
"Since the beginning of the motion picture, the newsreel has been recognized as a vital medium of public information. Movie goers demand it. But, by the very nature of its technique and the swiftness with which it brings today's events to the screen, the newsreel can give little more than headline news. And so it has created among movie-goers a desire to see more."
"It was this desire 'to see more' that led the founders of 'The March of Time' to launch their new kind of pictorial journalism...The first issue appeared in some 400 theaters throughout the United States on February 1, 1935."
A Profile of Shirley Temple (Film Daily, 1939)
"As a phenomenon in the history of the show business and among all children, Shirley Temple (1928 - 2014) stands as absolutely unique. For four successive years she has led all other stars in the film industry as the number one box office attraction of the world. But Shirley's influence has been wider than this - there is no country in the world, both civilized and uncivilized where at some time or another her pictures have not been shown."
"In a few weeks Shirley's fan mail reached avalanche proportions, with with the result in her next film, Bright Eyes, Shirley was starred. The old contract was torn up and the Temples were given a new one."
Director Alfred Hitchcock (Film Daily, 1939)
"Now at work on his first American motion picture [since arriving in Hollywood], the glossily rotund Hitchcock, whose gelatinous appearance and jocose manner belie his sinister intent, and who brightly eyes all comers with a sort of controlled effervescence, happily declares that his first Hollywood opus will surpass anything he has yet done to keep an audience poised on the edges of its chairs."
Click here to read about Marilyn Monroe and watch a terrific documentary about her life.
Ginger Rogers (Film Daily, 1939)
A single page article on the topic of Ginger Rogers (1911 – 1995) and her career as it had progressed up to the year 1939:
"Virginia Katherine McMath is the real name of this famous star and she was born in Independence, Missouri, on July 16, but most of her childhood was spent in Fort Worth, Texas."
"She is five feet, four inches tall and weighs 108 pounds. She never has to diet because dancing keeps her in perfect condition. Dancing is listed as her very favorite hobby, too."
"She had her first taste of real success on the screen with the winning roles in 'Gold Diggers of 1933' and '42nd Street'."
Click here to read about the young Lucile Ball.
Hugh Harmon & Rudolf Ising: Animators (Film Daily, 1939)
A short account regarding Hugh Harman (1903 – 1982) and Rudy Ising (1903 – 1992) who were a team of Oscar winning animators best known for founding the animation studios at Warner Brothers and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
"In the last decade the animated cartoon has developed from its early grotesque form to its present lofty state and this development is really a miracle in art and achievement in entertainment... The significance of the animated cartoon can be realized only when we consider its world wide appeal and power of influence."
The same year this article went to press, Harmon-Ising produced their much admired anti-war cartoon, Peace on Earth.
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The Founders of the Hollywood Film Colony Gather Together
(Film Daily, 1939)
A notice from the pages of a 1939 Hollywood trade publication announced an organization for the silver-haired alumni of Hollywood's silent film business:
"Early this summer there came into existence a new organization known as Picture Pioneers, consisting of veterans who have been in the industry 25 years."
Click here to read about the movie moguls of 1919.