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February 07, 1957 - Image 13

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Thursday February 7 1957


Page Thirteer

H ollywood Ifltration
Old Mo0ies Are Often More Popular Than 'Live' TV Shows
Distressed Producers Are Discovering

TORTURED-Greer Garson, a popular 'suffering' heroine during
the 1940's is currently making the television rounds in some of
her best 'agony' films. In 'Random Harvest' (top) Ronald Cole-
man's amnesia makes her life unbearable, and in 'Mrs. Miniver'
bottom) Walter Pidgeon and Blitz bombs upset her.

r "ELEVISION. in the middle of
iIts dreariest and most unimag-
inative season, has finally discov-
ered the way to keep audiencs
home and away from movie the-
aters: show old movies.
The "old movies" are pre-l648!
films made by most of the itasor
studios. In many -cities, they have
more atteniance than i top
"live" television shows.
Their success Sas excited :mall
television stations who cinnit af-
ford sell knon it-formers. ii
has also distres-i ithe tip n t
works. wvho nuw hw e to comp ,El
wit h their old it it he Io
in a new use.
JESPITE tie iantatic SUC-
ce'- thee Hilollywood illms
have done li tt a iiise the leel
of television prog rmming. For
every Ninotchka. there are dozens
of entries like Julia Misbehaves
and The Passion Flower. Recently,
a real "stinker." the Clark Gable-
Lana Turner starrer, Honky Tonk,
proved a one night sensation.
The television movie goer ahso
has his share of problems. Many
films are cut to shreds. A showing
of Rita Hayworth's Tonight and
Every Night a few weeks ago re-
vealed television mechanics had
reduced the film to a masts-al r-e-
vue, omitting some ofthe msima -
portant musical numbers and com-
pletely leaving out any semblnce
of dramatic development.
The average "movie show'" has
an hour and a half on the air.
With ommercials, station identi-
fications and program creri s,
films running 100 minutes and
more get cropped to 75 minutes--
if the sponsor is lenient.
FURTHER. the Hollywood stu-
dios have continued to work in
"package deals," a process that
reveals most American films hte
either become outdated, serving
only as sentimental memories, or
are hopelessly poor. Metro-G ld-
wyn-Mayer has sold 740 of is
films to television Included ar
most of Greta Garbo's films. some
of the best musicals the studio
produced and a good many excel-
lent driamatic offerings But some-
thing like 500o i 600 of these woiks
aie trite productions. mans of
which were flops in thei first tries
at movie theaters
Bad or good- these films ai e a
tribute to that vegetative venrii-
le in the American soul that con-
ceives of "relaxation" as the end
of life. They are also a neiresis to
the television industry wich in
'five years has ieached the level of
mediocitty it took the Americ-a
cinema fifty years to attam.

COMPETITIVE-Frank Sinatra (left) and Gene Kelly fight over
Kathryn Grayson in 'Anchors Aweigh,' a lively musical of the
mid-forties. A 139-minute film, 'Anchors Aweigh' must either be
drastically cut to fit limited programming, or be the subject of a
television 'spectacular.'

JUBILANT-Among MGM's 740 films sold to TV are most of the
studio's extravagant musical offerings. Judy Garland and Peter
Lawford cavort in the Ziegfeld era of 'Easter Parade (top) and
Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell take time off from singing and
dancing in 'Broadway Melody of 1940' (below).

INQUIRING-Joseph Cotten and Loretta Young in one of the
few quiet scenes from 'The Farmer's Daughter' a satire on na-
tional politics and politicians. Miss Young, who now stars in her
own sascarine television series, won an Academy Award for her
work in this film, a vivid example of what television cannot offer,.

NOSTALGIC-Greta Garbo's films ace ba k to delight another
generation. At top is Miss Garbo with Melvin Dougla in her bril- -i-
liant drunk scene from 'Ninotchka,' a 1940's satire on Com-
munism even more timely today. At bottom is Miss Garbo in a CONFLICT-Ingrid Bergman and Warner Baxter in a scene from one of Miss Bergman's earliest
scene from an earlier picture, 'Grand Hotel,' with John Barry- American films, "Adam Had Four Sons." Most of Miss Bergman's film triumphs have been made

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