- Paramount has signed their new discovery Robert Preston to a long term contract and he will make his debut in ‘King of Alcatraz.’ Filming will commence at the end of June. One of their talent scouts had spotted him in a play at the Pasadena Playhouse. [Preston would be in two films for 1938, and three in 1939, including ‘Union Pacific’ and ‘Beau Geste’].
- Opening today – ‘Crime School’ from WB with Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Gang. A ‘B’ picture that did ‘A’ business – brought in for only $250,000.
- Columbia is sending a company to Kanab, Utah to film exteriors for their serial ‘Wild Bill Hickock.’ The cast including Gordon Elliott, Kermit Maynard, Monte Blue, and Carol Wayne will spend 10 days in the area. [Gordon Elliott after this serial going forward would be known as Bill Elliott. He would be hard at work on westerns for Columbia throughout 1939].
- President Harry Warner of WB announced that a new series of Technicolor featurettes will be made with patriotic themes – such as the Declaration of Independence, Clara Barton, Abe Lincoln, etc. He feels that they are needed to combat the subversive and undemocratic forces at work in the country.
- RKO has seven films currently shooting at its Gower St lot, and intends to continue to keep seven going at once through the usually quiet summer period.
- Ed Sullivan details his time on the ‘If I Were King” set at Paramount, and relates the remarks by Basil Rathbone on how he likes being in this film – “It is the first time in years I haven’t kicked a baby or been killed in Reel 4.” [For this historical film set in France of the 15th Century, an enormous Paris street set was built on 73,000 square feet of the backlot].
ON THE MOVE
- Darryl F Zanuck left for NY, from which he and Joe Schenck will sail to Europe. [Schenck ends up remaining stateside, intending to go over later].
- Donald McBride is expected to arrive from NY today at RKO to assume the role of the hotel manager in ‘Room Service,’ a role he fulfilled in the play version.