CARL LAEMMLE SR. - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 08/14/1929 - HFSID 255011
Sale Price $680.00
CARL LAEMMLE SR.
The film mogul signs a typed letter to columnist Jimmy Starr, asking him to finally define the word 'Hokum', which was being used in the film industry at the time.
Typed letter signed: "Carl Laemmle" as President, 1p, 7½x11. New York, 1929 August 14. On letterhead of Universal Pictures to columnist Jimmy Starr, "Record", Los Angeles. In part: "Every so often something comes up in this business which only widespread publicity and comment can decide. It is such a matter which I am going to propound to you as an authority on moving pictures. I think it is high time to define the term Hokum which is so extensively used in every branch and every quarter of the moving picture business. Production departments use it--salesmen use it--publicity men use it-- and above all I find moving picture critics use it. The difficulty is that everyone apparently uses the term Hokum differently. I asked one of our production men what he understood by the term Hokum. He replied, 'Sure fire stuff, but not original'. That doesn't seem to embrace my thought so I asked a sales authority. His answer was, 'Some bit of business or some story device that is known to be untrue to life but is put into the picture deliberately to fool the public'. This definition doesn't satisfy me either...I have heard people apply the term Hokum as something good; others apply it as something bad...I am going to ask your help...." Carl Laemmle, Sr. (1867-1939), a German immigrant who started in Chicago building nickelodeons, busted the film "Trust" system by independently joining with others. He created the star system and founded Universal Pictures in 1912. Circa 1915, Laemmle built his Universal City on 230 acres in north Los Angeles, which became the first municipality devoted to the manufacture of films. Over the years he was known for producing quality films and stars. He took his company public on the NYSE in 1925, four years before this letter and sold his interest to a syndicate for $5.5 million in 1936. Folds, 1 vertical fold touches the first "m" of signature. Fine condition.
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