Howard Hughes receiving congratulations from the California and Hollywood
American Legion Post Commanders, 1952, for his highly (self) publicized
"war on Hollywood communists." Hughes fired screenwriter Paul Jarrico who
had written the screenplay for RKO's forgettable Meet Me in Las Vegas
(another vehicle for Jane Russell) after Jarrico was subpoenaed to
testify before the House Un-American Activities Commitee. After Jarrico
refused to answer the Committee's questions, Hughes had his name removed
from the film's credits, which was protested by Jarrico and the Screen
Writer's Guild. Hughes answered characteristically with a lawsuit claiming
that Jarrico had, by refusing to testify, violated the standard morals
clause in his contract with RKO. Although Hughes was acclaimed as a hero
by the anti-communists of the day, the incident left Hughes with a bad odor
Air combat scene from "Hells Angels" The movie was originally shot as a
silent movie. The sound and the ingénue starlet Jean Harlowe were added
(1) . . .
The studio has lost a fortune since he took it
over, (2) it makes virtually no pictures at all
Hughes: (2) is
pretty rough. We made enough pictures to carry our distribution set up.
White: I think
you made the magnificent sum of 5 pictures in one year but I can't
remember which year it was.
suppose you didn't count the independent productions. Those should be
considered part of the total.
White: Even if
you count independent productions - it is far less than was planned at the
beginning of the year.
number of releases planned is exaggerated for exhibitors - you know that.
Can't you say something to the effect, "However, since taking over RKO the
studio has lost money?"
compromise with you.
Hughes: I object
to "fortune" and "virtually no pictures."
Hated by a
large majority of the film colony
Hughes: I think
"large majority" is going a little far. I think it is true that you could
say "by a substantial number of the film colony."
Lollabrigida and Ursula Theis
Hughes: I think
this is very harmful, I wish you would see your way clear to change it. I
want to have further discussion with you on this later. I never went out
with Ursula Theis in my life, and we may wind up in a lawsuit with
Lollobrigida with regard to her contract, so let's not make her madder
than she is. Anyway she wouldn't be saying those kind things about me.
White: I will take out Theis and Lollabigida entirely.