Motion Picture Herald Magazine, June 24, 1961:
Way Still Open For Attack On Blue Laws, Says Levy
(Editors note: Blue Laws were the result of religious clout in the government dating back to colonial times regarding keeping stores, shops, just about anything shut on Sunday. “The Puritans believed that a child was born on the same day of the week on which it was conceived. Therefore, the parents of children born on a Sunday were punished for violating the blue law nine months earlier.” Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest, worship. Later there were some exceptions; drug stores and grocery stores. That meant that theaters also had to be closed on Sunday cutting into profits. Most of the blue laws are gone with the notable exception with numerous states still either banning or restricting time of sale of alcohol.)
The recent Supreme Court decisions which held that Sunday blue Laws of Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are not constitutional should be taken as final and conclusive law on the question of constitutionality of the Sunday Blue laws that are on the statue books in 31 other states. This was a new Case Digest prepared by Herman M. Levy, Theatre Owners of America counsel, after completing a study of the high court decision in the Maryland case. The decisions, Mr Levy said are not even final and conclusive law as to all of the issues involved in the Sunday blue laws problems. The Supreme Court left several doors open to future attack, and to different approaches of attack.
The reason for this, he said, is because of strong and indecisive dissents from the majority opinions, which are an asset in future cases in this field before the court; because the court did not pass on all the issues in Sunday legislation, but limited to those issues brought to court and because, in the Maryland case, it dealt only with the constitutionality of a section of the Maryland brought before it. Mr Levy notes that issues which either had not been presented to the court in the Maryland case, or had been insufficiently presented to it, could be raised in any type of case attaching Sunday blue laws.
Motion picture theatres have an additional advantage, he noted, because the three states involved in those cases, under their Sunday legislation exemptions, whether by local option or by hours restriction, etc., permit the showing of motion pictures. And while the Supreme Court did not deal specifically with the subject of motion picture theatres, it did hold those laws constitutional. It is hoped, he observed, that those interests now at work on the testing of Sunday legislation will not be deterred by the explosive effect of these decisions, but will continue with their efforts.
Managers Round Table by Sidney H. Rechetnik, Editor
(Editors notes: The original Cimarron (1931, was based on Edna Ferber’s novel Cimarron picking up three Academy awards. Blacks, Jews, Indians: all hit to the stereotypes typical of the era. “Sabra Cravat refers to American Indians as "dirty, filthy savages" and refuses to allow her son to accept a gift of feathered headgear from a Cravat, has a more sympathetic view, acknowledging that the Indians in the back of the church are not expected to give a monetary contribution to the purchase of a white man's church organ as they have had their land stolen by the white men.” “Yancey's open minded view of non-whites contradicts his urges to participate in claims for newly opened land in the West bought by the government from the Cherokees for far less than its market value – the "Oklahoma Land Rush." Calling the Cherokees dirty savages was bad but stealing their land was good.
“A church meeting highlights views towards Jews. Sol Levy, a Jewish salesman, is unsure of whether he will be allowed to stay in the church meeting, but Yancey states that this will be a non-denominational meeting. Earlier in the movie, Sol is harassed and humiliated by the town gun-slingers, and the townsfolk watch and make no effort to intervene. Eventually, Yancey intervenes.” Wikipedia
Remakes of movies seldom hit to the level of the first. The 1960 remake of Cimarron sure proved that theory. The movie was nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Sound.
The re-write of Cimarron shifted from the original novel. The Cherokees got far better treatment recognizing that they were swindled out of their land in the 1893 Oklahoma land rush. Note the difference in style of the 1931 post-art nouveau poster and the 1960 post-modern poster.)
“Ed Linder Covered Minneapolis with Campaign for MGM’s Cimarron at Gopher Theater”
by Sidney H. Rechetnik, Editor
An all-out campaign by Ed Linder, Gopher Theatre, Minneapolis, Minn., helped put over Metro-Goldwyn’s Cimarron at this house. The showman started his promotion four weeks in advance of opening with lobby and outside displays, which were highlighted by mounted six and three sheets plus on and off colored lights.
A 40x60 was placed in the windows of both Shinders bookstores, the largest such stores in Twin Cities. The entire Minneapolis Public Library System, which includes the new main library as well as 14 branches under the supervision of public relations head Sarah Wallace, used eye catching displays tying in the Edna Ferber book. The displays were embellished with one-sheets, 11x14s, 22x28s, stills and special display cards. This marked the first library tie-up since the recent opening of the new library building in Minneapolis.
The theatre personally contracted 14 major Catholic schools in the area for displays of one-sheets and stills, keyed to the Legion of Decency A-1 rating for the film. Mr. Linder gave the Sisters Superior and The Brothers six passes to be used as prizes in contests among the students. While Mr. Linder suggested a contest on early American history, he gave the instructors a free hand in determining the nature of the competitions. Result was excellent cooperation from the Catholic schools for the play date.
One week in advance of the opening, 15 Gopher News trucks, wholesalers for Bantam books, carried banners with “Read the Book, See the Film” copy, plus opening date credits. Mr. Linder also followed locally on the national Quaker Oats tie-up by setting a special preview of Cimarron for the company’s outlet managers. Some 200 displays in windows and inside stores resulted from this cooperation. A “Who’s Who” in the motion picture contest was used successfully over three local radio stations, WLOL, WDGY and KDWB. This was in addition to the paid advertising used over these outlets. Effective street ballyhoo was arranged by using an old time stagecoach.