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Plenty of reasons for Kqrda^s ear-to-ear grin
., from our film correspondents
LONDON (Special). — A recent photo graph of Sir Alex ander Korda Dublished in
London newspapers shows him bestowing an outsize smile in the direction of the camera lens. Sir Alexander had just re turned from the United States, and there was plenty of reason for the immensity of the grin that bisected his fea tures from ear to ear, for he had obtained a net advance payment of £375,000 on future earnings of his three newest London film productions. They are 'An Ideal Husband,' with Paulette Goddard; 'Anna Karenina.' with Vivien Leigh; and 'Mine Own' Executioner,' with Burgess Meredith. The £.375,000 is the largest single payment ever received by a British film company, and tcill be paid to the Treasury, which should, in recognition of Korda' s feat, make him a life mem ber of the 11 a.m. tea circle at Whitehall. The film mogul estimates that the three films will bring .back net American earnings of be tween £750,000 and £1,250,000. This is apart from returns from
the Empire and the rest of the overseas market. Three more London film pro ductions — 'Bonnie Prince Charlie,' 'The Lost Illusion,' and 'The Winslow Boy,' are to be distributed in the U.S. on the same terms^ — net advance pay ment of £375,000. 'I am very pleased and en couraged by the result of this trip,' said Korda. 'There is a blct opportunity for us to get dol lars and I am going to carry on pushing our films over there.' ' * ' ? ? 'DONNIE Prince Charlie' has cost a bonnie sum — £600,000 no less. David Niven. who plays the kilted prince, returned to Holly wood some weeks ago after having completed his role, but the final shot was made at Shep parton only a few days ago with Flora Macdonald (Margaret Leighton in her first screen role) standing on a convincing piece of windswept Scottish scenery gazing out to a synthetic sea. ' Shepparton is on the Thames upstream from London. Director Anthony Kimmins has only to take a few exterior scenes in Scotland to give this techni coloured chunk of romantic his tory the final touch of authen ticity, and, after editing, it should be ready. Sir Alexander intends to plunge ahead in the super-colossal class and despite what effects this policy may have on the balance sheets of the home exhibitors, who want more films to fill their gap, it seems he will have the benediction of the Treasury. ? * ' * DRITAIN'S answer to Walt Disney will be announced by Mr. J. Arthur Rank next month. The answer has been provided by Disney's former right-hand man, David Hand, who for two and a half years has been working at the Bourne End (Buckinghamshire) studios 6n British-made animated cartoons. The first feature relating the private life of the Cuckoo is ready —and soon we'll be meeting the first of an entirely new series of animal cartoons. Mr. Hand wants audiences to
decide which one they like best and the most popular will be guided to stardom. If anybody says 'Mickey Mouse' they'll be ostracised, no doubt, but perhaps they cannot be blamed If they do. For there is a remarkable similarity in the products of Mr. Hand to those of Mr. Disney, which after all is not a matter for wondering. ' ? Cheers, anyhow, for a new British enterprise. U0LLYW00D (Special): Francis S. Harmon, vice-president of the Motion Picture Association of America, reports that Russia, where American films have no regular outlet, has attempted to buy three pictures— a Pancho Villa film, which, he said, Soviet pro paganda would cite as evidence of American oppression in Mexico, a Lily Pons musical made during the depression which had a background of un employment, and a Tarzan pic ture which he believed the Rus sians would say exemplified the 'opiate of escapism,' which is: fed to the American people. U'AN JOHNSON, for the second time in his career, is portraying a living person on the screen — and in both instances the person de picted has lost a leg. Johnson's latest role is Monty Stratton, trie famous basebair player in 'The Story of Monty Stratton.' Stratton underwent a leg amputation, after a hunting accident at the peak of his baseball career. i , * ? * . ; CANBERRA, Fri.— Aus- tralia will be losing some unique and popu lar film 'shorts unless something can be done to reverse the de cision to close the Canadian National Film Board offices in Sydney and Melbourne. R. R. Garran. Federal Presi dent of the United Nations' As sociation of Australia, feels strongly about it. and is looking for backing in an endeavour to have the decision reversed. 'The Canadian films are among the best exports from any Empire country,' he says. He also pays tribute to the help given by Canadian Film Board librarians in helping schools and voluntary organisa tions build up film libraries of their own.