Hollywood Renegades Archive

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

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The SIMPP State of the Union for 1953

The Report of Society President Ellis Arnall

January 22, 1953

To the Society Members:

It was most encouraging to me during my recent trip to the Coast to see that the banner of independent production is flying high despite all the problems the members of the Society have faced during the past few years. So long as independent producers can continue to turn out pictures which the whole industry, as well as the general public, salutes and applauds, I have confidence in the future of our business and independent motion picture production in particular.

I am sure it is an inspiration to all of us to see the many honors now being heaped on several of the pictures recently produced by our members.

Samuel Goldwyn has done it again with his wonderful production HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN and I note with mounting admiration the almost daily new awards which are coming to him and to his great picture.

Stanley Kramer's HIGH NOON has appeared on all the lists of the best pictures of the year. Just recently, I vas happy to see that the New York critics put it on top as the best picture of the year and cited it for high honors in other categories.

Harry Popkin' s THE THIEF has again proved that independent producers are willing to venture something different. This unusual picture has carried off many honors since its release several months ago.

Walt Disney's THE STORY OF ROBIN HOOD AND HIS MERRIE MEN has also garnered many outstanding awards throughout the year and is without doubt the best adventure film produced during the past twelve months.

I know that all of these pictures, performances, and other credits concerning them are bound to show up in the Academy nominations and the final awards.

Also, I am encouraged to note the technical improvements and ingenuity on the part of people in our industry to develop something new and different. Sol Lesser has taken the lead with his third dimensional process, Tri-Optican. Along this same line, we have had Natural Vision and Cinerama. Any and all of these can mean that there is still a bigger and better future ahead for the motion picture industry.

I think also that the mounting desire on the part of the public for better television programs may very well result in some kind of practical and workable subscription television. This would greatly increase the probability for financial returns many times over the present possibilities. A number of our people are very active in the television field. With all of these media being explored as never before, the next few years should see many changes and independent producers are in an exceedingly excellent position to take advantage of them.

It is my feeling that during the coming year it would be well to concentrate on undertaking to fully utilize the foreign motion picture markets. With the domestic situation clouded, we must not miss any chance for the Bale of our pictures abroad. Many of the foreign markets have not yet been fully exploited.

We in the Society hope to accelerate our activities in these fields during the coming year and it is our hope and purpose to work assiduously to increase foreign revenues to the extent that time and resources will permit.

Early this month Gunther Lessing, Chairman of the Executive Committee, and I conferred in San Francisco with Joe Alioto, our attorney in the Society's Detroit litigation. We are in high hopes that 1953 will see this important legal action successfully concluded and the relief we seek fully obtained. It is our purpose to constantly aid in the opening up of competitive opportunities for our people in the domestic distribution and exhibition fields.

The Society continues active in the Council of Motion Picture Organizations and the Motion Picture Industry Council of Hollywood. We especially are grateful to Gunther Lessing as Chairman of the Executive Committee, to James A. Mulvey as Chairman of the Distribution Committee, and to Marvin Faris, our efficient Executive Secretary, for their efforts in behalf of the welfare and advancement of the best interest of the independent motion picture producers who are members of the Society.

With such outstanding product as Walt Disney's PETER PAN and THE SWORD AND THE ROSE, Aspen Productions' RETURN TO PARADISE, Spiegel's MELBA, Cagney's LION IN THE STREETS, and other top quality pictures already finished and ready for release, it is easy to see that our members are continuing to set the pace. I am confident that during this year many more great pictures will be produced by our group and will take their place among Hollywood's most superior product.

I believe that this will be a good year for the Society and I take this occasion to thank you and all of those who have labored in behalf of independent motion picture production for your fine cooperation and splendid support. If I can be of any possible service, command me.

With all good wishes, I am

Sincerely yours ,

[signed] Ellis Arnall


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