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Film Bulletin (01/Dec/1941) - Studio Size-Ups: Universal





"Exhibitor good-will comes from exhibitor profits, and exhibitor profits come from good boxofflce pictures."

So stated William A. Scully at a recent sales meeting in Chicago. Other points emphasized at the confib: a pronouncement by Scully that henceforth greater latitude would b? extended to branch managers in settling local sales questions without home consultations; a declaration by Blumberg that original increases in the company's production budget for 1941-42 have been upped an additional three million dollars to provide for such pictures as "Saboteur." directed by Alfred Hitchcock; "The Spoilers." with Marlene Dietrich, and "River Lady"; and a report from Matthew Pox that the 1941-42 program is nearly 70'; completed.

Gloria Jean will be rushed into a pair of Deanna Durbin stories — bought before marriage pushed the striking star out of "little girl" roles. . .Hollywoodites are wondering if U's plan to star Lon Chaney, Jr. in a "Frankenstein" sequel is good showmanship in view of the Monster's association with Boris Karloff. This department believes a change would materially increase interest. . .Robert Cummings will make 3 pictures a year under a readjustment of his contract. . .Ronald Colman is the latest star to move his make-up kit out to Universal City. He will appear in "The Life and Death of Francis Newsome," a Bruce Manning production .. .U is going to release Walter Wanger's "The Eagle Squadron."

A pre-holiday production boom is getting underway here, with at least a half dozen top productions scheduled for the starting signals within the next 30 days. Two new Frank Lloyd productions, "The Saboteur" and "The Spoilers" will be launched December 1 and December 15, respectively. Alfred Hitchcock will direct Robert Cummings and Priscilla Lane in the romantic leads of "Saboteur." Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott and John Wayne are in "The Spoilers."

On November 30, William Seiter will start "Fired Wife" which may or may not have Rosalind Russell in the title role — depending on her reaction to the script. Gregory La Cava is slated to start "The Sheltered Side" on December 15.

IN PRODUCTION—"The Wolf Man" (Claude Rains-Marie Ouspeilskaya), "Temporary Bride" (Jane Prazee-Robert Paige), "Mississippi Gambler" (Kent Taylor), "Tough as They Come" (Dead End Kids).