This is an appendix of press coverage I have found about Monty. It is a reference source so if you read it in one go you will find it repetitive. I have used many of these press cuttings to help sort out information on Monty and Stella's chronology and their catalogues of work. The press coverage consists of news items, interviews, commentary, pictures of artworks and also just some simple press announcements of comings and goings. If you have any additional information and news please send me a post in the comments section.
Australasians Who Count in London and Who Counts in Western Australia, a book by Mrs Leonard W. Matters. Pages 74 and 75.
Refers to Arnesby Brown's comment about Monty's 'Twilight' as "the most clever of any young artist's work he had seen, and the most promising". Also refers to portraits of C.W. Pearsall, Lady Moore, Mrs. Shadwell Clarke and Mrs. Herbert Bailey and Children.
10 September, The West Australian
"West Australian Society of Arts Annual Exhibition" describes the 21st Exhibition at St. George's House, St George's Terrace opened by Sir Edward Stone. The article described Monty's 'Twilight Chelsea' as "a diminutive poem in blue" and his charcoal portrait of the Governor of Western Australia, Sir Harry Barron, "certainly the best thing in black and white".
month?, West Australian
"Australian Artists and Their Art" interviews Monty on his schooling in Melbourne, Paris and London and his views on art. The article refers to Monty meeting in London and learning from William Orpen A.R.A., Solomon J. Solomon R.A. and Arnesby Brown R.A. and also to fellow Australians "who have done remarkably well" in London and Paris such as George Lambert, John Longstaff, Emanuel Phillips Fox, George Coates, Arthur Streeton and Will Dyson.
? month, The Evening Sun (Friday...)
"With an Aviator in the Family a Women Gets So Nervous She's Just about Ready to Fly!" features picture of the following portrait miniatures: 'Marjorie, Daughter of John Weeks of N.Y.'; 'Major Arthur M. Waitt'; 'Princess Patricia of Connaught'; 'Cadet Samuel M. Lewis R.E.' and a photograph of Stella. The article states, "Mrs. Marks is, in spite of her youth, one of the best known miniature painters now in this country and since her husband enlisted last July she has made the rather astonishing record of painting a miniature a week for every single week...". It is evident she has thrown herself into her work and "painting better than I ever did before in my life, too." The article reveals she "paints to please her husband" even though he cannot see her work. She lays bare her feelings and then recounts a most romantic letter Monty wrote to her about a dream he had: he had flow his plan to a remote cottage and found her there. The war was over and they would fly away together....." But, the war was not yet over and he was not home.
5 October, The Chronicle Canada (now the Herald Chronicle)
Features Monty's letter to Stella, describing his personal and vivid account of an air raid on a German armaments target.
24 June, Moving Picture World (page 746)
Announced company "formed in the past week" including Montagu Marks' 'The Winmark Producing Company' in New York with a capital of $50,000. His other investors/directors were, Roger Prosser and D.K. Kennard. It also announced the Rockaway Aeroplane Swing Company including 'Nathan Marks' (Kay Harrison's original name) as a director.
[note: why were these companies mentioned in a moving picture focused publication? I need to find out more about what they were intended for]
10 November, Motion Picture Herald (page 26)
"London Film Studio To Cover 97 Acres" reported on the plans to build London Films Productions at Elstree*. "Elstree's claim to be the British Hollywood, and a serious rival to its American original, will be powerfully reinforced when this ambitious plan is in active operations."
[*note: Monty had in fact, and unknown to Korda, already put a deposit down on the Denham site]
"Korda, Marks on Board of Colorgravure Ltd." reported that "Alexander Korda, managing director of London Films and Montagu Marks, director, have joined the board of directors of Colorgravure Ltd., London, and Harry George, secretary of London Films, has become secretary of Colorgravure." The article goes on to state that Korda plans to use the Hillman three-color process controlled by Colorgravure on a feature to be made next spring at the new studio. It also states that London Films "has been associated with Colorgravure, a subsidiary of Gerrard Industries Ltd*., for some time. An Exchange of stock has been arranged."
[*note: Gerrard Industries was headed by Kay Harrison, Montagu Marks' younger brother and Sir Connop Guthrie was a shareholder]
15 July, Variety International News (page 32)
"Unit Production Goes Into Effect In London As Coin Gets Tighter" reports that only a minimum number of London Films are being produced at Denham, with "the balanced supplied by a string of self styled units, Pendennis Picts. (Eric Pommer), Pall Mall Prods (Lothar Mendes), Grafton, Victor Saville et al. Product of most of these will go through United Artists on Korda's ticket". The article continues that Denham Studio's "control situation is complicated by a financial committee, headed by Montague (sic) Marks, which sits in at the studio on behalf of Prudential Assurance interests, okaying or rejecting all expenditure". The article goes on to say how this is hampering Korda and that the "small self-governing production units are the result: their budgets do not need to be submitted to the Prudential watch dogs." The article also says that similar arrangements are happening at other studios.
27 August, The Stage
"Financial News" reports the formation on 24 August of a private company, British and Continental Plays Ltd., with capital of 10,000 pounds. It s purpose was as agents for IP rights of literary and musical works. The directors were named as Alexander Hollander, Mrs. Vera Hollander, Montagu Marks and Edward H. George, with solicitors Allen and Overy.
4 November, The Herald
"Film Manager to Visit Australia" announces the forthcoming visit to Australia of Monty and Stella.
22 November, Ceylon Daily News
"Alexander Korda To Make A Film of The Real Ceylon" features as photograph of Monty with the caption "Mr. Montagu Marks, General Manager of London Films Productions Ltd., who was in Colombo yesterday". The article opens with a statement that Korda "is proposing to send a film unit to Ceylon early next year to produce a techni-colour [sic] film, which he thinks will even surpass "Elephant Boy". It goes onto to describe elements of the proposed film: that it will deal with the tea-industry, "but that this does not mean that the film is going to be a record of the daily life of European tea planters to amuse their kinsman at home. Mr. Korda's intention, it is stated, is to make the film a production of Art, with the beautiful scenery of Ceylon.......and above all the culture that is essentially Ceylonese." The article emphasise that the film would be based on an original story "put to Korda by a novelist interested in Ceylon affairs". Monty is quoted "the proposed film would be a veritable mine of publicity for Ceylon. This has been made possible because of Mr. Korda's attraction for the East. For his stories he looks to the Orient and the public too appreciates his attitude. He is a great artist. He can instil the poetic and musical touch to films: for he is a philosopher and a charming man as well." The article then turns to Monty explaining that "the main idea underlying the efforts to produce films in Empire countries is to bind the Empire together by cultural contact through the films." Monty refers to films as "cultural ambassadors" and says that film producers had a duty "to develop public morals and not to demoralise public minds. The newspapers, the radio and, last but not least, the film, played am important part in shaping the destinies of the world". The article continues with a comparison with America, that had 105,000 theatres versus 7,000 in the Empire, and outlined Monty's mission to "secure a certain amount of preference for British films in Australia". Monty explained that [World War I] gave the US time to build up a flourishing film industry while Britain was preoccupied with war. He said "that was only natural. But now [the British] industry stood on firm ground again. They wanted to recapture the Empire markets." Monty concluded " Now, we intend to place Ceylon (mind you, Ceylon in its reality) before the view of the Empire and is that not an ideal service to the Empire, apart from its economic significance?"
30 November, The News (Adelaide)
"British Films in Australia. Better Treatment To Be Sought" refers to Monty's mission to enquire into the quota system and assist the British film industry. It quotes him as saying. "If the nations of the Empire could agree to protect Empire films, the industry would be greatly assisted. I believe that in certain States there is a quota against English film, which is treated just the same as foreign footage. However, Australian-made productions count as British in the quota law of England against foreign productions. I wish the Federal Government would reciprocate, and thus help production in the Empire."
30 November, (a Perth evening newspaper)
"British Films Send Us a Quota Disciple" refers to Monty "fostering" Empire films. He said "The British Government is taking steps to protect the film industry....if the countries of the Empire would do likewise the industry would materially benefit. I believe that in certain States of Australia there is a quota against English film, treating them on a foreign footing, whereas Australian-made productions count as British, in the quota law of England, against foreign productions.....I wish the Federal Government would reciprocate. It would help production in the Empire". In the article Monty also said "there is no difference between Hollywood and Denham, as far as equipment is concerned. They had a modern studio with seven stages spread over 168 acres of land". Monty went on to state that "Alexander Korda...was the chef architect of the Film Industry in Great Britain, and London Films Productions had steadily built up one of the largest organisations in the world for the production and distribution of motion pictures". The article also refers to Monty hope to arrange the world premières in Australia of "Paradise for Two", "The Return of the Scarlett Pimpernel" and "South Riding".
1 December, The Advertiser, Adelaide
"The article reports that Stella had "luncheon with the Director of the National Gallery in Adelaide, Mr Louis McCubbin, who was a fellow student with her at the Melbourne National Gallery School under Mr. McCubbin's father". It also described how just before leaving for Australia Mr. and Mrs. Marks organised the charity film premier of 'Action for Slander' in a village near their home in the Chilterns. Hundreds of people came from London, including the stars, Clive Brook, Margaretta Scott and Ann Todd, as well as the producer, Victor Saville. "The whole village lined the street for hours".
1 December, The West Australian
"British Films. Claims for a better quota" features a photograph of Monty and refers to his argument concerning Australian quotas: "In the United States there were in round figures 14,500 picture theatres, with a seating capacity of 10,000,000......In the British Empire there were 8,000 theatres with a seating capacity of 5,500,000. The net box office takings from in the United States were, in a recent year, 140,000,000 pounds compared with 35,500,000 pounds in England. If the nations of the Empire could agree, as the British Government is agreeing, to protect the British film industry, the market of 8,000 would go a long way in helping the industry". The article goes on to refer to Monty pointing out that "the figures quoted show the enormous advantages the American industry has over us........War [1st World War] caused the English production to decline and simultaneously the American output increased with great rapidity. The dominant position thus obtained made it difficult for British producers to recover lost ground". Under a subheading "Spreading British Ideas" refers to Monty saying "There could be no doubt that the screen is a very important educational medium, helping in the spread of national ideas, culture ans customs". Monty goes on to quote a 1927 statement by the then President of the Board of Trade "The Cinema is today the most universal means through which national ideas and national atmosphere can be spread, and, even if these be intangible things, surely they are the most important influenced in civilisation. Everyone will admit that the strongest bonds of Empire (outside, of course, the strongest of all, the Crown), are these intangible bonds, a common outlook, the same ideals which are expressed in a common language and a common literature. Should we be content at all if we depended on a foreign literature of foreign press in this country?" Monty refers to Alexander Korda as "a man of genius, an original thinker, and a man who thought in terms of Empire not only for practical reasons, but because of present world trends. It was for this reason that he attracted to him many of the leading men in England. The government was behind him, and it was largely through his influence that the Cinematograph Films Bill was now going through the House of Commons, with all his suggestions embodied in it. He was very well informed about Australia, and was keen when it was decided the he (Mr Marks) should make the present trip. He regarded it as imperative in the public interest of the Empire that the production and distribution of films in the British Empire should be in British hands." The article states Monty as saying that London Films "recently bought* the United Artists organisation, making it one of the largest production and distribution organisation in the world........ It was partly for this reason he had come to Australia. The studios at Denham ceased work for three months.....and this had given him the opportunity of returning to Australia after many years, while Mr Korda went to America."
[*note: I believe it was a merger rather than a purchase, as described in other press articles]
2 December, The Argus
"British Films Seek Help. Quota in Australia" announces Monty's trip and the reasons for it, including his "hope to interview Government authorities in connection with quota arrangements."
2 December, The Film Weekly
"Montague [sic] Marks, Gen. Man. London Films, Visiting Aust. To Make Production Survey, and Bringing With Him First Copies of the Latest Korda Features" refers to Monty's reasons for visiting Australia and that he was welcomed at Fremantel by Eric Lamb, Western Australia Manager of UA; Stan Perry, Hoyts Resident Manager and "a host of prominent exhibitors and film executives." In addition to the three new films 'South Riding', 'Paradise for Two' and 'The Return of the Scarlett Pimpernel' the article refers to Monty bringing a special 'short' about activities at Denham, "now the largest and most up-to-date studio in Europe".
4 December, The Argus and The Sun News-Pictorial
Both newspapers announce Monty and Stella's visit and that he is on his way to Sydney where "he will discuss with Cecil Marks, General Manager of United Artists (A/asia) Limited, distributor of London Films products, the future plans of his company." The notice also refers to Stella "noted for her miniatures" and that both Stella and Monty are natives of Victoria.
4 December, The Herald
"Returning to Homeland" features a photograph of Monty, announced his and Stella's visit.
4 December, The Age
Announces Monty and Stella's visit to Australia arriving on the Strathaird.
4 December, The Advertiser Adelaide
6 December, The Herald
"Make Films Here. London Magnate Inquiring" refers to London Films' "closer association with United Artists" and the reasons for his visit to Australia. It refers importance of technical perfection in productions. "Mr. Marks likes the Australian films he has seen, but emphasises the need for absolute technical perfection. Exhibitors will turn down even a superb story, with a superb actress in the leading role if the technical side of the film has blemishes."
6 December, The Sydney Morning Herald
6 December, The Advertiser, Adelaide
"Australian Premières for British Film. Three For Early Release" refers to Monty planning to premier 'South Riding', 'Paradise for Two' and 'The Return of The Scarlet Pimpernel' in Australia. It also refers to 'Divorce of Lady X' and 'The Drums' being airmailed to Australia shortly. It goes on to talk about the Technicolor* laboratory built in England "about a year ago" with the capacity to process 250,000 feet a film a week as well as the cost and scale of Denham studios. Before the Technicolor facility was built colour films from Denham studios had to send to be sent to America. Six new large films were planned for next year, including 'Lawrence of Arabia.
[*note: Monty's brother, Kay Harrison, was Managing Director of Technicolor in Europe]
7 December, The Argus
Features a photograph of Monty and recounts the reasons he is visiting Australia. "He expects no difficulty in finding material for scenarios, but would be disinclined to use stories with an 'outback' theme. Monty is quoted as saying "there seems to be a conspiracy to make the typical Australian a 'hayseed'. The average Australian today is as intelligent and as sophisticated as the average man of Paris, London or New York."
7 December, The Age
"Australian Film Production" summaries Monty's views on Australian production and the reasons for his visit to Australia. He is titled as 'General Manager of Imperial Pictures' and makes clear that the decision for "his company to makes films in Australia would depend on the attitude of the Government towards the industry. His company proposed to set up a permanent studio, subject to satisfactory quotas and wages, and the engagement of skilled local technicians." He comments that it "was a great pity that outback stories were considered typical of Australian life" as that type only represented a small percentage of the population.......The Australian today is suave and sophisticated, and could hardly be distinguished from the Londoner or American." He also comments that "the most outstanding development in the film industry was the growth of color films. At present price prevented the general use of color, but eventually all films would be produced in color."
7 December, The Sun News-Pictorial
"Back Home Again" features a photograph of Alexander Korda and write about Monty: "nearly half a century ago a boy was born in South Melbourne whose parents probably planned for him a commercial career, little imagining that one day he would be handling millions as one of the biggest figures in the world's film industry." The writer describes Monty as having"a keen humorous sense and that geniality of a cosmopolitan" and that he "had the happy knack of making himself just one of us." The article refers to Monty's purchase of Denham: "there was no sign of bombastic pride in a stroke of business which even thrilled his friend. Alexander Korda. With the same sang froid he told me how he sat at his office window and watched the tiny wisp of smoke which told of a fire that was to cost his firm many thousands."
7 December, The Herald
"Film Prospects" comments on Monty critical view: "Should we build a local film industry on the foundations of picturesque 'frontier' themes, as America did, or should we skip that period and step into the suave, sophisticated phase?"
7 December, The Sun
"New Film Coy. [sic] In Australia?" has similar content to 'The Age' article of the same day (above).
7 December, (unknown press cutting Melbourne)
"Film Chief Will Investigate Australian Production" features a picture of Monty and similar content to 'The Age' article on the same day (above).
9 December, The Sydney Morning Herald
"Alexander Korda. May Make Film in Australia" refers to Monty saying Korda would probably make a film in Australia in the near future. "He had already made films in India and South Africa, and was now very anxious to make one here". He wanted the picture to be "a sincere portrayal of the country". Monty went on to say "it has been heartbreaking to hear people in Australia saying that American pictures are better than British....They simply do not realise what they are saying. The British industry today is turning out films as good as any in the world". The article also referred to leading American studios coming over to make films there (Britain).
9 December The Film Weekly
"Korda's Still Further Advance by His Link-up With United Artists. His Australian-born Manager Impressively Reviews the Completeness and Perfection of Denham Studios" features a photograph of Monty and refers to details supplied by him on the state of the United Artists deal. It states that Korda and Samuel Goldwyn would be "the formost members of U-A", that "all terms had been agreed" and that "finalisation merely awaits certain more or less formal British and American legal investigations". "Among other things, the association will permit the inter-change of stars, greatly increasing the already world-established strength of London Films Productions Ltd." The article goes on to talk about the purpose of Monty's visit, the possibility of making a film in Australia, but that "the production would have to be something of a widely-embracing character - a picture showing Australia to Australians and the rest of the world and commanding the patronage of London and New York." It mentions the three new films Monty hoped to premier in Australia and the successful films already produced by London Films, including the South African production, 'Sanders of the River', and the Indian production, 'Elephant Boy'." It goes on to describe Denham Studios. "A studio can be merely a building equipped with stages and sound. Mr. Marks emphasises this truth, with a view to illustrating the difference as regards Denham Studios. These reflect, in every respect, the masterful, artistic personality of Korda - the efficiency of the staff, the technical excellence, and everything else that enters into the creation of the perfected product". The fact that "expense represents nothing to Korda" and that "his art is more to him than money" is remarked on. Monty is quoted as commenting "I'm afraid that he will never die rich." The article also has biographical information on Monty: he first left Australia when he was 17 year old; two of his youthful studies "are still in the National Art Gallery (Melbourne)"; his enlistment in the Royal Flying Corps.; his interest in the pictorial side of films and how, on a visit to Britain, he asked R. Hatfield "if there was anyone with whom he might be brought in touch with"; how Hatfield responded "Korda is the only man - the most vital and imaginative man in England. He stands head and shoulders above everybody else. I'll introduce you."; and how when Monty first met Korda they "remained together till 4 o'clock in the following morning".
10 December, The Sun
"Challenge to View Our Latest Film" highlights the response of Clarence Badger of National Studios Pagewood and Ken Hall of Cinesound for Monty to view recent Australian film productions: "it is obvious that Mr. Marks is unfamiliar with recent trends in motion picture production in Australia. Australian studios, during the last five years, has done splendid work in bringing the real Australia to the screen". "I shall be glad to make a private screening of 'Luggers and Lovers' available that he may see our latest efforts....". "I accept Mr. Hall's offer" said Mr. Marks today. "As an Australian, I am keenly interested in pictures produced here."
11 December, Truth
"Society Sups and Sips At South" features a photograph of Monty and refers to him as "a versatile cuss" (since we was an artist and pilot before the film business). It describes a lunch where Monty and Stella were guests of honour, other guests mentioned were: Claude Webb, Waterman, Louis McCubbin and his wife, Miss Pearle, McNally and Mrs. Basil Armitage.
14 December, The Exhibitor's Monthly
"Lon. Films Gen. Mgr. on Local Survey. Montagu Marks Confirms U.A.-Korda Deal: Pounds Sterling 200,000 Establishes 50/50 Setup" features a photograph of Monty in at his office in Denham Studios and refers to his visit "as the personal representative of Alexander Korda". It covers many of the same points as in the 9th December 'Film Weekly' article (above). It mentions that Monty has "two drawings of his own and a miniature of his wife's exhibited in his home town Art Gallery" [The National Gallery in Melbourne]; that "after serving in the RFC during the war he found it difficult to settle down to his palette again"; that "he went into the export business in America instead"; that he met Dr Kalmus of Technicolor. "who introduced him socially to film circles"; and that "Bob Hatfield eventually introduced him to Korda, the two men took to each other, and in 1933 Marks joined Korda's organization". Monty is quoted as saying "A most amazing man. He [Korda] is a fine scholar -reads Greek and Latin and speaks seven or eight languages fluently. England's greatest intellectuals are his intimate friends." Monty then makes a very direct appeal for some Australian exhibitors to reconsider the quality perception of British Films: "Well, speaking about exhibitors, of whom I should speak to you - and may speak straight to them as one Aussie to others - the complex that exists in some quarters about English pictures is all bunk. Perhaps it arises from the fact that this market has had too many pictures that were made exclusively for England. But here's the point: slate a picture by all means if it is bad, but not because it is English. America, France, Sweden and Italy all make bad pictures, and good ones, too. So does England. The producer in every country is after the finest creative and technical brains he can grab, without regard to nationality, and without regard to expense. You should get rid of that complex; it's unfair to England's bigger producers, if it applies to them at all......What do you think Sam Goldwyn has associated himself with Korda for? Because Goldwyn realises that Korda is as good a producer as he is, and that is saying something, since Goldwyn and Zanuck are generally regarded as the two outstanding American producers of today." The article goes on to refer to the latest developments on the English quota legislation, of which Monty had just been informed there were many amendments. "Quota legislation is like a motor car. If you can drive it, it will take you across Australia, but if you can't, it will smash you up. It all depends on the way it is handled." The article comments "Montagu Marks, it will be seen from all this, has absorbed the ideals, ideas and driving force of Korda, without losing his Australian simplicity of personality and conversation. There is not the slightest trace of bunk about him." Towards the end of the article Monty reinforces his argument to the exhibitors be refer to at least four new London Film productions being made in Technicolor and to the stars: "In the important matter of star value, we are catering more strongly for that essential need of exhibitors than ever before in the history of our organization. Among those popular names that will head the cast lists of London Films productions during 1938 are Merle Oberon, Robert Donat, Raymond Massey, .... Binnie Barnes, Edmund Lowe, Jack Hulbert, Leslie Banks, Flora Ronson and Sabu, the sensational child star of 'Elephant Boy'."
15 December, The Sun
"Film Man Is Convinced. 'Luggers and Lovers' A 'Good Job'" describes how Monty turned to Ken Hall after his private viewing of 'Luggers and Lovers' "and with a handshake said "A damned good job". He added "its miles ahead of 'Dad and Dave'". "If Australian producers can make films with the same honesty with which Mr. Hall made this one, they have nothing to fear." On Mr. Hall regretting that the film's star, Elaine Hammill, had since gone to England Monty replied "that the loss of stars did not matter, as one could always get actors, but "you must keep your producers and directors".
17 December, The Sydney Morning Herald
"Smart Audience at 'Balalaika Premiere Last Night" features a photograph of Stella at the Theatre Royal.
20 December, Women
Features a picture of Stella's miniature of Marjorie Williamson. The caption states that "the portrait was painted in Mrs. Mark's studio in New York in 1916, before Marjorie's marriage". The article says that Stella "owes her success with miniatures, which have been constantly exhibited at the Royal Academy, to her thorough training in the technique of drawing with Bernard Hall and McCubbin in Melbourne". It mentions that "Bess Norris Tait and Will Dyson are often visitors at Mr. and Mrs. Marks' home, 'Hengrove', which is 35 miles from London". The article also mentions that "Stella was with her husband when he chose the site at Denham for the [London Films Productions] studios" and refers to their daughter, Patricia, "at present staying with her school friend, Princess Stirby*, in Romania while they are in Australia".
[*note: should be spelt Princess Stirbey"]
20 December, Daily Telegraph
Features a picture of Monty dancing with Miss Margaret Adams, who played the leading feminine role in 'Balalaika'.
22 December, The Sun
23 December, The Film Weekly
"Montague (sic) Marks Entertained by the Council of the British Film Industry" features a picture of Monty with Ralph Smth, Gordon Ellis, Ernest Turnbull, E.G. Blanshard, A.J. Williamson, S.Y. Greisman and Gordon Williams and refers to his meeting with the 'British Film Industry Association of Australia and New Zealand' at 'The Millions Club' in Sydney. "It was the first time in Australia that every major film producing organization in England was represented": Associated British Film Distributors Ltd., Associated Talking Pictures Ltd., Grosvenor Sound Films Ltd., Phoenix Films Productions Ltd., Associated Film Picture Corporation, Mayflower Picture Corporation, British and Dominions Film Corporation Ltd., British Dominion Films Ltd., British Lion Film Corporation Ltd., British Empire Films Ltd., Capitol Films Ltd., Herbert Wilcox Films Ltd., Gainsborough Pictures Ltd. Gaumont British Picture Corporation Ltd., Jack Buchanan Productions Ltd. and London Film Productions Ltd."
22 December, The Bulletin
"A Woman's Letter" refers to Oswald Cheeke giving a party for Monty and Stella at the request of Lord Richard Neville.
23 December, The Labor Daily
"Film Man to Leave For Melbourne" refers to Monty and Stella having Christmas in Melbourne with friends and relatives.
24 December, The Herald
Refers to Monty, General Manager of London Films staying in Melbourne at Menzies Hotel with Stella to visit relatives.
Month?, (a Melbourne newspaper)
"Putting English Films on The Market. Quality Propaganda. Some Box-Office Figures" quotes Monty, "Supposing a law were passed that no American films could be shown in British countries, English studios 'could not make a do of it'. English films must therefore be established all over the world. We cannot compete with America in the general type of picture; we can compete with America only in a technically perfect production. Secondly, we can compete by making pictures essentially British or English in sentiment. London Films has a name for a 'Rolls-Royce' product. Its films are propaganda for English ideals, English manners, English craftsmanship and technique." The article refers to London Films launching this 'propaganda' first with 'The Private Life of Henry the Eighth', which cost 96,000 pounds to make and yielded a box office of 600,000 pounds. It refers 'The Scarlett Pimpernel' as the most successful British film to date, costing 135,000 pounds with a gross return of 2,000,000 pounds. It also refers to 'The Ghost Goes West' yielding 900,000 pounds and 'Sanders of The River' yielding 800,000 pounds. It states that "Things to Come" will show a loss from 60,000 to 70,000 pounds. It also references "subsequent films, such as 'Rembrandt', 'Fire over England' and 'Knight Without Armour' as expensive productions that have done much to establish quality prestige for English productions."
Month? (a Melbourne newspaper?)
"An Artist Takes to Business" refers to Monty as a National Gallery art student "nearly 30 years ago" adding "to the gaiety of the old Aspendale chalet by writing a complete musical comedy in one sunny morning by the beach, with himself as the comedian and young Oriel in one of those also-ran parts. All of those years rolled back with a zip! like a spring blind, and there, at Menzies Hotel yesterday, was the same art student, now Mr. Montague [sic] Marks, general manager of London Films Ltd. (by gosh Monty! Did you people make the 'Man Who Could Work Miracles'? - the finest comedy I ever saw on screen). For "Monty" Marks is a Melbourne boy, who ranged far afield and achieved strange success. An artist in London and New York, then with the Royal Flying Corps in France and a business man after the war - an artist and an aviator in a concern to sell riveting machines!" Monty is quoted "for after the war I simply could not bring myself to paint - it was a 'cissy' job! So I took the offer of $50 a week to help sell machinery, and a year later they sent my to Yokohama, where I landed $1,800,000 dollars worth of orders and earned 50,000 pounds in commission. Yes, I earned it; but they said it would be ridiculous to pay me so much, because if a greenhorn salesman like me could land such orders what could a real American go-getter get? So they compromised on the commission - but I did not do too badly out of it."
December, Cinesound Review News (a cinema news reel)Monty speaks to Australian audiences about London Films Productions, Denham Studios and recent films. On behalf of Alexander Korda he wishes everyone a happy 1938.
1 January, Smith's Weekly
"Australian Film-Mogul" refers to many American film chiefs visiting Australia but that Monty was one of the first English film principles to make the journey. Adding the unique fact that he is Australian born. It comments that his "outstanding career is evidence of what Australians can do on the other side of the world". "As General Manager of London Films he has one of the biggest motion-picture jobs in the industry today."
1 January, The Photoplayer and Talkies
"British Film Executives" features a picture of Monty seated at the centre of film executives similar to that shown in the 23 December, The Film Weekly.
7 January, The Sun
Announces that Montagu Marks, General Manager of London Film Productions, arrived in Melbourne today as is staying at the Hotel Australia.
7 January, The Exhibitor's Monthly
"Did You Read The News Last Month" features a picture of Monty seated at the centre of film executives similar to that shown in the 23 December, The Film Weekly.
12 January, The Sun
"Five London Films in West End Shows" refers to Monty's announcement that five London Film Productions: 'South Riding', 'Paradise for Two', 'The Divorce of Lady X', 'The Squeaker' and 'The Return of the Scarlet Pimpernel' are being shown concurrently in West End cinema's, which he considers a record.
13 January, The Argus, The Sun News-Pictorial and The Herald
Announces that Monty and Mr. Cecil Marks will arrive in Melbourne today to attend the first screening in Australia of 'Paradise For Two'.
13 January, The Age
Announces Monty and Mr. Cecil Marks will arrive in Melbourne today.
20 January, The Film Weekly
"Important U.-A Melb. Openings at the Regent and the Athenaeum" features a picture of Mrs. W. Hampton, Mr. Cecil Marks (General Manager of U.-A) Miss Nancy Lewis, and Mr. and Mrs. Montagu Marks. The article references the Melbourne release of David Selznick's 'A Star is Born' and the Australian première of Alexander Korda's 'Paradise for Two'. It comments that "the enthusiasm with which both public and press have received it ['Paradise For Two'] argues well for its box office success"
30 January, Truth
Features a photograph of Monty and announces his visit to Brisbane. The piece also states that he "has two pictures hung in the Melbourne Art Gallery".
31 January, The Courier-Mail
Announces Monty's visit to Brisbane.
1 February, The Telegraph
"Film Chief Here To Study Local Possibilities For British Pictures" features a photograph of Monty and refers to the purpose of his visit to Australia. It also describes Monty views that "his company seeks to produce films of essentially British and Empire spirit." The article reports that "whether his company produces films in Australia or establishes a permanent studio will depend on the attitude of the Australian Government for quotas, and the conditions under which labour is procurable." It goes on to mention his wife "the former Miss Stella Lewis, of Melbourne, well known miniature painter."
2 February, The Courier-Mail
"Real Australia In Film. Plans of British Producer" features a photograph of Monty and refers to him hoping to make an Australian film "that would show the real Australia with its culture and natural beauty."
2 February, The Telegraph
"Australia Should Have Sunday Shows Says London Film Executive. Suggests Government Subsidy For Local Films. All Colour Films Soon" features as photograph of Monty and a long interview. It reports on Monty's arguments about Sunday evening shows similar to those in the 23rd February Sun article (below). It goes on to describe Monty's views on the sort of films that could be subsidised by a 20% levy on Sunday films: "he would not subsidise films of the mushroom type, such as sometimes are made to provide quota contributions; the films must be of a worth-while type that would find a market abroad as well as in Australia." He is quoted as saying "Entertainment is one thing Australia could sell to the rest of the world. Australia cannot sell manufactured articles in Germany, America and other countries across the seas in competition with local manufacturers, but she could sell entertainment in the form of film productions if the industry were placed on a proper basis. Australia takes millions of feet of film entertainment from America every year but does not sell an inch of film to America." The article goes to say "Ken Hall is an Australian producer whom Mr. Marks picks as outstanding." Regarding Australians' perception of British Films and their preference for American Films, Monty is reported as thinking that this "was born out of the early practice of English film producers to introduce an exaggerated English accent which was a laughable thing to Australian audiences. He, however, was happy to note that the prejudice was being broken down and the Australian public was appreciating the very fine British productions that were [now] coming to this country." The interview the refers to the "bigger productions" of London Films such as 'Night without Armour' and 'Things to Come', "which had each cost 300,000 pounds to produce". It goes on to quote Monty's optimistic view of the British industry: "I think the future of the British film industry is assured for two reasons. In the first place, the British Government is very keen to establish the film industry in England because it recognises that with the newspaper and radio it can be a big vehicle for propaganda in the interests of Great Britain and the British Empire. The second reason is the high educational value of films." The interview continues with Monty disagreeing with Andrew Buchanan's book, 'Film Making from Script to Screen', that "British films are a slavish imitation of production modelled on the American pattern". Monty is quoted as saying, "The story is the most important thing of the film and if we can weave into that story the atmosphere of the open spaces we do it. Pictures in which we did with great success were 'Elephant Boy', 'Sanders of the River' and 'The Man Who Could Make Miracles'. On the other hand our pictures 'Henry VIII' and 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' were not done in any country from the point of view of scenery and they were most successful because the stories appealed to the general theatre-going public." Monty went on to state that "colour is the film of the future. There will be nothing but colour productions in the near future". Monty concludes that London Film Productions to be "seen in Australia this year" would include 'Conquest of the Air', 'Divorce of Lady X', 'The Drum', 'Paradise for Two', 'Action for Slander' and 'South Riding'."
3 February, The Film Weekly
"Montague [sic] Marks For Brisbane" announces Monty's visit to Brisbane by air.
7 February, Auckland Star
"British Films. Reciprocity Need. Combating Competition. Where America Gained." features a photograph of Monty and says that he arrived this morning by the Monterey on his first trip to New Zealand. The article outlines Monty's historical analysis of how America has gained its dominant position. It opens, "the need for Empire-wide reciprocity in the production and exhibition of films as a bulwark against foreign competition was stressed by Mr. Montague [sic] Marks". It goes on to directly quote him, "those who regard the cinema as a cheap form of popular entertainment see no necessity for worrying about the national integrity of the screen. Yet those same people would be the first to clamour if the Press were to pass under the control of foreign interests". The article then points out that in America there are 14,500 theatres, but approximately only 8,000 in the whole of the Empire, with a seating capacity of less the half America's. "Box office returns in America for a year totalled 140,000,000 pounds, while for the same period England netted 35,000,000 pounds". Monty comments that "the British film industry welcomes American competition, but first must be assured of Empire production. Before the war, the film production of Europe and America was a matter of equal progress. Each continent was developing along individual lines and the British films were so flourishing that 25% of those released in English theatres in 1914 were home-made". The article goes on to state that due to the outbreak of the war English (and European) production came to a standstill. For the next two year, before America joined the war, Hollywood and New York became "the centre of the film universe, a position which has remained to this day to a large extent". After the war British films were back on a rising tide but, the advent of the talkies, an American invention, gave America another two year advantage. Finally, Monty describes the impact of the quota system: "the year 1928 was a year of double import for the British industry. That year the Film Quota Act came into effect. On the one hand British motion pictures reached international fame - on the other the motion picture in England descended to the wretched level of the 'quota quickie'. This fungus growth has been largely responsible for the present slow up in English film production". Monty goes on to point out "that diffidence on the part of foreign film renters had not had a good effect." The article concludes that the new Chromatograph Films Bill, introduce in Parliament last November, would ensure quota films of a higher standard. "If a film failed to comply with the minimum cost clause of 15,000 pounds it could not count as quota. Monty quotes a sentiment, expressed by Mr. Stanley, president of the Board of Trade, in the House of Commons: "I want the world to be able to see British Films true to British life, accepting British standards and spreading British ideals*."
[*note: a very direct statement about the soft power and propaganda power of film]
8 February, The New Zealand Herald
"British Films. Executive's Visit. Dominion Production. A Possibility This Year" mentions Monty and Stella being met off the Monterey in Auckland by Mr. B. Allen of United Artists (Australasia) and that they will "leave for Wellington today". The rest of the article is similar to that from 12 February, Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune (see below).
9 February, New Zealand Free Lance
"Survey of Field. Film Personality's Visit" features a photograph of Monty and refers to the business reasons for his visit to Australasia and that "whether his company produces films in the Australasian territory or establishes a permanent studio will depend on the attitude of the Governments for quotas, and the conditions under which labour is procurable.". The article ends by mentioning Stella, "a well-known painter of miniatures".
12 February, The Evening Post
"British Films And Work of Korda. Mr. Marks's Tribute" features a photograph of Monty and reports on his business reasons for his "extended tour of the Antipodes". It reports on Monty "has no script for an Australian or New Zealand film, and is without any preconceived ideas as to the best kind of film which could be produced in the Commonwealth or Dominion. He is, however, opposed to the use of the proverbial outback character. The modern New Zealander can be as sophisticated as the European." "Alexander Korda always says there is one story - Adam and Eve. Obviously this story was to be found as much in Auckland and Wellington as anywhere else." The article goes on to reference the three latest films that Monty has brought with him (the reels had been flown to Marseilles for him to collect on route) and that he hopes to "present one here - in other words give it a world première." The article concludes with Monty recounting Kords's earlier the successes, 'Henry The Eighth', 'Sanders of the River', 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' and 'The Ghost Goes West'. "Unhesitatingly he declares that the Denham Studies, directed by Korda, to be the best in England". "Denham Studios reflect the masterful artistic personality of Korda... Expense represent nothing to Korda. From year to year his work has brought him gold medals. But an infinitely greater pleasure is derived by him being satisfied with the pictures he produces. He lives for his work."
12 February, Hawke's Bay Herald-Tribune
"Film May Be Produced in N.Z. This Year" reports on the business reasons for Monty' visit and that "he [also] intends visiting Christchurch and Dunedin". "During his visit [he] will take particular note of conditions in the film industry throughout the Dominion." Referencing London Films' earlier productions in Africa and India, Monty said "there was every possibility of a picture being produced either in New Zealand or Australia or possibly in both countries this year.....There were many stories of New Zealand which had a world-wide interest......It was not his intention to film New Zealand's geysers or thermal regions - they could be left to the guide books, but it would be Mr. Marks purpose to get the "feel" of the country. His impressions would be conveyed to his colleagues when he returned to England." The article goes on to report on Monty's view about the differences between Australian and New Zealand audiences: that London Films have box office success in New Zealand but not Australia. "We have a high regard for the intelligence of the New Zealand people because they appreciate the same type of films that we do ourselves." "The same could not be said of the Australians. Films of the type appreciated in England and New Zealand were regarded as 'high brow' [in Australia]. Monty continues he is "at a loss to explain the Australian attitude. The Australian exhibitor was very luke-warm to towards the British product for reasons which, at best, seem obscure. The same pictures are received very well in the United States, and the Australians as a rule were only too willing to show their appreciation of films that had been successful in America." The article concludes with Monty's comments about Korda: "Although a Hungarian by birth, he had become thoroughly saturated with the Empire viewpoint, and, like all other British film producers, he was greatly concerned at the influence of American companies. He thought British theatres should be in a position to control what came into them." "It was Mr. Korda who saved the industry in Great Britain.....the Cinematography Film Act introduced in to the House of Representatives [sic] was largely his work.....and, if the bill was passed, no picture which counted for quota would cost less than 15,000 pounds. This stipulation would prevent the production of films that were technically bad - one of the chief criticisms levelled at the production of some of the mushroom companies of the past."
12 February, Wanganui Herald
"British Films. Reciprocity Need. Combating Competition. Where America Gained." carries the same article as the 7 February Auckland Star.
12 February, Wanganui Chronicle
"Town Talk. Nails and Pictures" refers to a couple of detailed facts about Denham Studies. Monty is quoted, "we employ 500 carpenters at Denham Studios and they use over a ton of nails daily". He also is stated "that the studios at Denham had cost, when equipped, over 1,000,000 pounds, and the electric light plant cost 100,000 pounds."
12 February, The Christchurch Star-Sun
"British Film Industry. Reciprocity Issue. Effect Of Quota Act. American Competition" features a photograph of Oliver Stanley and carries the same article as the 7 February Auckland Star.
12 February, The Argus Weekend Magazine (article by Montague Marks)
"The Truth About British Films" is a full page article written by Monty and featuring a photograph with the caption, "Attending a preview in London. Left to right :- Mr. Montague Marks, Ann Todd, Margaretta Scott, and the famous director, Victor Saville", and a photograph of Korda with the caption, "England's greatest film producer - Alexander Korda. He put every penny he had into producing 'The Private Life of Henry VIII' and achieved unexpected fame."
Since this is written by Monty I quote it in full.
[note: Monty's pre-World War II ideas may seem alien to a modern reader, but I believe they should be viewed in the context of the time they were written. His explicit references to controlling media and not letting it get into the wrong hands is no less relevant today than yesterday. Monty knew full well the power of the new media of cinema and, in a dangerous time, was determined to harness it in the service of what, in his view, was fair and decent.]
"Why The Empire Must Come to the Rescue" by Montagu Marks, the Melbourne artist, who is now general manager of London Films. Ltd.
Any survey of the British motion picture must take into consideration its past history, its present reconstruction, and its all-important future. The future of the British film industry is indeed the reason for my presence in Australia.
Alexander Korda, head of our London Films Ltd., the Empire's largest motion picture producing organization, regards it as imperative in the public interest of the Empire that both the production and the exhibition of films should be in the hands of British people. There should be no domination from abroad of any unit of the film industry. British companies must control what British people view.
These statements appear drastic. But they are based upon the real significance of the cinema.
Ever since the first film cameras rolled, the leaders of all alert nations have recognised - and exploited - the power of the cinema for spreading racial culture and racial ideals. So the cinema can play a unique part in strengthening those intangible bonds which link our Empire together, those bonds of a common loyalty, a common language, and a common aspiration towards preserving both democracy and peace.
Those who regard the cinema as a cheap form of popular entertainment see no necessity in worrying about the national integrity of the screen. Yet those same people would be the first to clamour if either the Press or the wireless - those parallel forms of education and entertainment - were to pass under the control of foreign interests. It is that alienation from which the British Parliament and the British film producers plan to rescue the British motion picture.
Their ambitions do not reach as far as Empire entertainment entirely supplied by British films. Such ambition would war directly against common sense, and against the practical statistics of the fourth largest industry in the world.
They are, instead, seeking an Empire market which, unhampered either by national or State restrictions, shall flourish with ever-increasing profit to all countries taking part.
They are aware that Empire reciprocity must first be established in the motion picture sphere. Without reciprocity no adequate control of the Empire market can be obtained. This reciprocity spirit is, unfortunately, lacking in many otherwise helpful communities. It is a matter which should receive the deliberate consideration of all Empire Governments.
England alone cannot achieve her aim. A comparison of the industry in England and America proves the truth of this. The United States, alone has 14,500 theatres, whereas there are approximately only 8,000 motion picture houses in the whole of the Empire. The seating capacity of the American theatres is just twice that of the Empire houses. Small wonder that the American film industry, with its net annual box office takings in a recent year reaching 140,000,000 pounds, while England for the same period took just 35,500,000 pounds, has an enormous tactical advantage.
The British film industry welcomes American competition, but must first be assured of Empire production. The situation in Australia to-day under your Films Quota Act, where British film footage is for all practical purposes treated as foreign footage, with the exception of exemption from the exhibitors' rejection clause, is very different from that in England. Since its inception in 1927, and in its new form now passing through Parliament, the British quota has given absolute parity of treatment to the Australian-made picture.
The establishment of film quota in England has been responsible for the amazing dual career pursued by the British motion picture itself in the last 10 years.
On the one hand it has reached brilliant international fame through the works of such producers as Alexander Korda, Victor Saville, Alfred Hitchcock and Herbert Wilcox. Such glamorous stars as Charles Laughton, Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, Robert Donat, Binnie Barnes, Vivien Leigh, Gracie Fields, Jessie Matthews, and Anna Neagle have been set in the film sky. Comedians like Rex Harrison and George Formby have made English comedy international. The exchange between England and Hollywood of actors and directors has further strengthened the international trend of the industry at Home.
On the other hand, the motion picture in England has descended to the wretched level of "the quota quickie". This fungus growth has been largely responsible for the present slow-up in English film production.
The Quota Film Act may be likened to a motor-car in the hands of a lunatic driver; by itself and properly driven it is a very excellent motor- car!
The position of the independent section of the English film industry in relation to the quota came under serious review in 1936 at the insistence of the Board of Trade.
Lord Moyne was appointed to enquire into the whole position. The Moyne Committee report formed the basis for the new Cinematograph Film Bill, which was introduced to Parliament in November by Mr. Oliver Stanley, President of the Board of Trade.
Upon this bill, which has been in the hands of a Standing Committee and which has been amended through the action of all sections of the industry, is focused the attention of the whole British film interest. The purpose of the bill is to secure continuous and profitable film production which will enhance the prestige of British pictures.
This bill has been so framed as to ensure that future quota films be either expensive or good. If a film fails to comply with the minimum cost clause of 15,000 pounds it cannot count as quota.
Other provisions cover every trade requirement. It is to be regretted only that the bill disregards the recommendation of the Moyne committee that a check should be imposed on the process of transferring control of nominally British undertakings to foreign hands.
This Government step to solve our problems was made largely at the suggestion of Alexander Korda. of London Films Ltd. Mr Korda not only influenced the preparation of the bill but contributed to its most constructive clauses.
The position of Alexander Korda in the English motion picture industry is unique. In six years he has built up one of the largest producing and distributing film companies in the world. No chapter of screen history is as fascinating as that which tells the prologue to London Films. That prologue is the production of 'The Private Life of Henry VIII', the worlds most praised and most censured film.
'Henry VIII' has been blamed, amusingly enough, for bringing the fly-by-night producer into the business and, with him, the tragically unwary small investor. As a matter of cold fact, 'Henry VIII' brought legitimate finance to the industry's support.
It was certainly a cheaply produced picture. It did represent a terrific gamble on the part of Alexander Korda, his business associated, and the cast. Every penny owned by Korda and his friends was expended to reach the required sum, small though that amount seems today.
It was not the fault of 'Henry VIII' that the fly-by-nights emulated our weakness. These men could not, and cannot, emulate our strength - that unique combination of original content, cultured thought, with business acumen, which distinguishes the brain behind London Films.
Through its net earnings of 175,000 pounds and its world-wide release that one picture founded London Films, and incidentally pioneered successful competition in the American film market. Each of the prestige pictures made by my company since that day has blazed a new entertainment path in England.
The sophisticated comedy 'The Ghost Goes West', the typically English adventure in 'Sanders of the River' and 'The Scarlet Pimpernel', the biographical integrity of 'Rembrandt', the far flung location setting of 'Elephant Boy' were all new to local industry.
To-day five London Films' productions are being shown simultaneously in the West End. They include 'South Riding', from Winifred Holtby's famous novel, and our first Technicolor comedy, 'The Divorce of Lady X'.
London Films' Denham has been called:-
"the Grand Hotel of European Studios: five Union Jacks fly above it, but its guests and permanent residents speak twice as many languages."
The present situation of the British motion picture is nevertheless of paramount importance to the British producer. His attitude as been most fittingly described in the words of Mr. Oliver Stanley, the President of the Board of Trade, who expressed the sentiments of the entire industry in his speech introducing the new Cinematography Films Bill to the House of Commons: -
"We are on defence as Westerners and as democrats: the decadence of the West is just as much the talk of the bazaars of the East as the decay of democracy is the stock leader of the newspapers of the dictatorships. Wherever in the world a film, by its lack of taste or lack of character, by showing an exotic and an eccentric minority, by showing the fantastic in the guise of the normal, gives colour to either of these beliefs, then it is weakening our defences. I do not want our defences to be made in Hollywood. I want the world to be able to see British films true to British life, accepting British standards, and spreading British ideals."
At the end of Monty's article is the following biographical detail: "Mr. Montagu Marks is a Melbourne* man and a former student of the National Art Gallery. After living as an Artist in New York he joined the Royal Air Force* and on demobilisation he became a business executive in the United States. That work led him to the Far East, but the combination of artistic talent and commercial training brought him inevitably to the film industry of Great Britain, where he had the good fortune immediately to be associated with Alexander Korda, the Hungarian art critic and journalist, who was destined to become the greatest cinema producer in the British Empire. With Mr. Korda as producer, and Mr. Marks as general manager, London Films Limited, the largest producer of films in England, has made some magnificent pictures, including 'Catherine the Great', 'Henry VIII', 'Rembrandt', 'Fire Over England' and the latest Technicolor film, 'Wings of the Morning'. In this article Mr. Marks, colleague at the National Art Gallery of Mr. Louis McCubbin, now Director of the Adelaide Art Gallery, and the late Mr. Penliegh Boyd, gives an inside view of the film industry in Great Britain."
[*note: Monty was born in Perth and during WWI the Royal Air Force was the Royal Flying Corp.]
14 February, The Dominion*
"Propaganda Of The Film. Maker's Responsibilities. English Executive in Dominion" describes Monty as "one of the most important men behind the cameras in the British Moving Picture Industry". It details the business reasons for Monty's visit and then goes on to deeper thoughts: "Mr. Marks is a strong believer in the propaganda power of the screen and the responsibility of producers to their nation's interests and to their own ethical creeds. In this they were like the editors of newspapers, with their own standards of proper conduct such as editors had, he said, except that what each film producer published had a far greater circulation then any newspaper. In fact some of the greatest producers, including Korda and Daryl Zanuck, had been journalists. The film could be a highly concentrated form of propaganda. The reader of a newspaper had the option of choosing what in the paper he would read......but the patron of a moving-picture theatre took his seat in a darkened hall and had to read all his "paper" from front to back. The film had none of the authority of the newspaper, but it had something much more subtle, the power to sway emotions." In a paragraph headed "Propaganda in Entertainment" Monty illustrates "the manner in which propaganda crept into films, sometimes purposefully some accidentally. Mr. Marks referred to one of his own company's latest productions, 'The Return of the Scarlett Pimpernel'. It concludes with a toast, "To England and Freedom". That associated two ideas in the minds of the audience." Monty goes on to comment on the "subtle propaganda" created by negative characterization of Englishmen in some American pictures, which depict "a despicable, highly affected Englishman of a type unknown to the English." ""When we make a picture we do not make the Americans seem bad," Mr Marks said. "We must hang together, America and England." "If the Fascist nations become supreme they would covet such places as Australia and New Zealand rather than crowded England."" Monty went on to make an argument of how "Empire" films could benefit New Zealand's tourism. He suggests that it was the novels and entertainment literature that attracted "the attention of people to a country rather than the advertisements and folders in a hotel vestibule, and so it was the entertaining films such as 'Man of Aran' and 'Elephant Boy' that filled people with thoughts of distant countries rather than the travelogues". "The strongest propaganda in the world is entertainment". In conversation Monty suggested that New Zealand should allow films to be shown on Sundays and collect a percentage of the revenue. "Suppose at the end of a year or two years New Zealand had 100,000 pounds and it said to producers all over the world 'We offer 100,000 pounds to the best picture made in New Zealand in the centenary year, 1940'...." The article continued with Monty's comments on distribution (theatre ownership): ""I am not sure we do not need a chain of theatres throughout the British Empire - Canada, Australia, India and New Zealand" said Mr. Marks when he was asked if he had reached any conclusions as the result of his tour. "It would possibly be an ideal thing if a British company controlled a theatre in each town and could say what pictures were to be shown in it. It need not exclude the product of other nations." "What would be said if all the newspapers were controlled by a foreign newspaper owner of anti-British tendencies?". The article concludes with Monty commenting that the negotiations that had been ongoing in American between Korda and the other Unites Artists shareholders had ceased.
[*note: another encapsulation of Monty's thoughts as the world was rapidly become a more dangerous place.]
14 February, The Press
"Empire Market For Films. Aims of Industry in Britain. Distribution Network Being Considered. Visiting Associate of Alexander Korda." refers to Montagu Marks' "distress at the domination of foreign interests in the film market in New Zealand, and a doubt whether at present English films were being given "a fair break" in the Dominions." The interview reports that "the interests he represents were considering a the establishment of a distribution network to cover England, Canada, South Africa, India, Australia and New Zealand." Monty views on the British film industry and propaganda are then quoted verbatim from his 12 February, The Argus Weekend Magazine article (see above). The interview went on to report how Monty emphasised London Films approach: "The first thing that counted...was what went on the screen, no matter what the cost. The guiding and creative genius was Korda. who worked to his own sincere conception of what a film ought to be - not pandering to crude tastes merely for the sake of the box office. The box office was necessary: without it films could never be produced. But Korda was willing to take risks for the sake of his own creative vision. Korda's position was unique. In six years he had built up one of the largest producing and distribution companies in the world. No chapter of screen history was so fascinating as that which told the rise of London Films."
14 February, The Times Palmerston North, N.Z.
"New Zealand Theatres Excellent. Visit of English Authority" reports on an interview with Monty and on the business reasons for his visit. It said that "arrangement had been made to screen his pictures throughout New Zealand through Amalgamated Theatres Ltd. Commenting on New Zealand Theatres Monty is quoted, "They are excellent. In England we tend to build cheaper theatres, seating about 1,000 people, and to have more of them. All the public wants is a comfortable seat and a good picture. In England most theatres open right onto the pavement. We have no spacious foyers in our theatres like you have here. The article concludes that "Mr. Marks sails from Auckland on February 15 for India* [sic], on his return to England."
[*note: Monty first returned to Australia]
15 February, The Dominion
"Film Executives Visit. Mr. M. Marks Welcomed at by the 33 Club" reports that Mr. L . Quinn, General Manager of J.C. Williamson Theatre Corporation, said "how pleased the film industry was to welcome such a high executive as Mr. Marks. The club had been formed to bring both sides of the industry together." The article continues that Sir Benjamin Fuller welcomed Monty on behalf of the theatre side and joked that they would only approve films costing over 100,000 pounds. Mr. E. Ruttledge, Vice-President of the club said "he had been amazed that Mr. Marks, who was interested mainly in production, should also have such an inside knowledge of the other two sections of the industry." Mr. Marks responded "I was amazed to find you had such a successful club here - its typical of New Zealand to do the impossible." He also remarked that per capita London Films box office receipts in New Zealand were equal to England. "He felt the Empire should give British pictures preference or at least an even break - New Zealand did so but Australia unfortunately did not. I do not think we in England realise the tremendous possibilities in New Zealand."
17 February, The Film Weekly
Announces that Monty arrived in Auckland and was met by New Zealand Manager of United Artists, B. Allen.
17 February, The New Zealand Observer
"Korda, Human Dynamo. Montague [sic] Marks Tells of Korda's Genius and Compelling Personality" features a photograph of Montagu Marks with the caption, "He is an Australian and proud of it" and Alexander Korda with the caption, "He swears in Hungarian and English". The article reveals some interesting comments by Monty about working with Korda. Monty "confesses that the real beauty of ...[time]... spent in the far places of the world is that it gives him an opportunity to get away from Alexander Korda for a while. Not that Mr. Marks and "Alex" as he calls him, are not best of friends, but he has been working with Korda unremittingly for the past four years. Korda is a human dynamo, and human dynamos are rather fatiguing things to work with." The article goes on to explain that Monty "looks after the business side of London Films, but as Korda is actually Managing Director, and the business side of his colossal schemes has an embarrassingly vital effect on the welfare of the company Mr. Marks and Mr. Korda work hand in glove, as it were." "Korda is 'terrific'", says Mr. Marks, "the biggest man in the film industry in Great Britain, he does not hesitate to be rude - the prerogative of big men." "Periodically when his plans are not working out too well, he has terrific rows with anyone who happens to be within range, swears luridly in very bad English or Hungarian, tears his hair, and then when he get what he wants, becomes in a second a very charming gentleman again." ".... the 'Korda touch' in some many London Films productions, is indeed, Mr. Marks explains, the direct result of the impact of Korda's genius." The article goes on reportMonty illustrating this point by describing the process that made 'Elephant Boy' so successful. "Robert Flahertly, who is as brilliant documentary photographer, went out to India and returned with thousands of feet of elephants. Zoltan Korda.....also went out to India, returning with still more elephants. Executives spent days in projection rooms viewing it all and endeavouring to reduce it to a coherent story. Day after day they looked at elephants, until Mr. Marks, for one dreamed of big elephants and little Indian boys. Then Korda came to the rescue, went through thousands of feet of film, cutting, grafting, adding here and there, until in am amazingly short space of time, there emerged the fine picture that was 'Elephant Boy.'"
23 February, The Sun
"Sydney Sundays Are Boring. Cinema Proposed Cure" describes an interview with Monty where he suggests that cinema's should be open on Sunday with part of the takings going towards the creation of a fund to subsidise Australian film productions. He is quoted as saying "Everywhere is that same puritan Sunday - something that you would not find in cities overseas. I don't know how you stand it." He goes on to comment that when 5pm to 8pm Sunday showings were proposed in London "there was a loud protest, but the scheme went through and now there are talkie programmes every Sunday with 15% of the proceeds set aside for various charities authorised by the London County Council. Here in Australia I would suggest a 20% deduction, the money to go to the Federal Government for subsidising Australian productions. In this country are many worthwhile organizations struggling to make pictures against tremendous odds. Here is a logical solution of their difficulties. I know that you people want a brighter Sunday - I have spoken to them about it. In this way you would not only bring greater happiness but also perform a national service. Thousands are on the beach every Sunday. Others play golf or go driving. I dozens of ways the day is given up to pleasure. Surely pictures could do additional harm, but must help to overcome boredom". The interview goes on to report on Monty's suggestion that "when Australia makes a trade agreement with the United States it should insist on that country taking at least 1,000,000 pounds of Australian films annually since the American film industry tool at least 2,000,000 pounds annually from Australian audiences. A more reciprocal arrangement would give an incentive to Australian production and a new industry opened up.
25 February, Daily Telegraph
"Evil Days For British Film Folk. Thousand Attend Commons Debate" reports on the quota issue between Britain and Australia with amendments that, in an attempt to help jobs in Britain, would disadvantage Australia. Monty is quoted as trying to reassure Australia: "Up to the present Australian or Empire film has counted as quota against foreign film in England. I am quite positive that there will be no laws passed in England that will discriminate against Empire film."
2 March, The Advertiser, Adelaide
"Future of British Films. Industry Discredited by Shoddy Films." reports on Monty's statement that "many of the commonest and shoddiest of British Films were bought by American interests and distributed in the Dominions for the purpose of damaging the British film industry." The article continues that 'amendments to British film legislation recently announced would, he thought, prevent this practice from continuing. Under the existing law, he said, picture houses were obliged to screen 25% of British films. To keep within the quota, American distributors bought cheap British films at 1 pound a foot and exhibited them in the mornings while theatres were being cleaned. Afterwards these films were exported overseas.". Monty concluded that ".... whatever failures there had been in the past, there was none that a single good film could not correct."
March (exact day unknown), (unknown Press Cutting)
"Film Quota Bill. Australia Will Benefit" reports that Monty, "who will leave on his return to England on Tuesday", will recommend financial assistance to the production of films in Australia. It goes on to quote his very direct views on the misuse of the quota system and the recently passed legislation to correct it: "It is utterly impossible to expect to produce in Australia any films to compete on the overseas market at a cost of only a few thousand pounds, which has hitherto been the case in Australia. The effect of the new British amending legislation affecting film quotas will be to stimulate production in Australia and other parts of the Empire of high grade films. The old quota system introduced in 1927 provided that the footage of foreign film had to be compensated to 25% by films made in the Empire, and to comply with this quota American capital and artists established themselves in England. They produced a class of film often shown to charwomen before 9 a.m. by exhibitors merely to comply with the act. These films when sent abroad as British products naturally caused tremendous revulsion of public opinion against British films, which nearly wrecked the industry. Amending legislation which has been passed provides that films made for the quota must be made by British nationals or people representing Great Britain. Now I can give assurance that this will prevent American exploitation of the industry and force British producers to seek to amalgamate forces with Australian producers to comply with the new quota legislation." The article concludes, "Mr. Marks deplores the stagnation on Sundays in so many centres where films could pleasantly and profitably exhibited on that day to enable the Australian film industry to be subsidised. He suggest that, just as in England, where Sunday cinemas are permitted upon contribution of 15% to charity, so in Australia the could provide a percentage to aid Australian film."
March (exact day unknown), (unknown Press Cutting)
"Proposal For Film Bank. Would Aid Industry. UK Expert's Idea" reports on Monty's idea for "the establishment of a film bank to provide capital for the production of world-class films in Australia." "Mr. Marks who is returning to London after a visit to Australian capitals, claims that unless Australian producers can afford to spend 75,000 pounds or even 100,000 pounds on one picture, this country can never hope to consolidate itself on the world market." His suggestion is summarised as follows: "That to provide sufficient money to make pictures of that class. a Government Film Bank should be established; That the bank should obtain funds from the receipt of 20% of gross box office returns from Sunday night picture programmes throughout Australia; That it should make loans of up to 80% of the total cost of production to approved producing organisations; That the Government, having established the film industry on a sound basis, should engineer reciprocal arrangements with American and British distributors for the exchange of films, even on a basis as low as 80-20." Monty pointed out that this would subsidise the Australian industry at no cost to Australian taxpayers and "actually at the expense of overseas interests." He suggested that "the maximum net box office return for one film in Australia was about 8,000 pounds, and a film made for that sum would not be suitable for overseas distribution." He went on to suggest "a board of experts, either from England or Australia, to investigate applications for loans from three angles - story, cast, and budget." Periodical reports on the progress of production would be made. The income from the film would be assigned to the bank until the advance and interest had been paid, and further proceeds would go to make the company self-supporting." Monty pointed out that "one of the aims of the new Film Bill in England was to prevent the importation of second rate American executives and played-out American "stars" to produce low-grade pictures in England.....He believed that Australian producers would not find it necessary to import players and technicians once they had been given a start by Federal aid. Referring to his statement that his company might make films in Australia, Mr. Marks said that he would send a number of key men here, but it would make arrangements with an Australian company for actual production, and would thus help the Australian industry."
5 March, The Mirror
"Where Are The Gilgies? Perth Boy Asks. After 25 Years." The article is a take on Monty's early life in Perth and his dreams. It features a photograph of Monty with the caption "Montague [sic] Marks......his dreams came true. The simple delight which comes from visiting the old home town is bringing to him a sublime thrill and, although the swamps where the gilgies once lived are gone for ever, the man of today looks with pride upon the great buildings which make the city today, standing as they do, monuments to confidence and unrelaxing progress. With the dreamy expression of the artist, Montague [sic] Marks remarked "I will be sorry to leave; there is poetry in Perth."" The article opens with how sad Monty is that he could not find the gilgies in the swamps he remembers from his boyhood. It goes on to say he was a dreamer and other boys found him "different". To fit in he would pretend to hunt for crabs with a spear "but he was never known to hoist from the waters an impaled crab painfully struggling to escape its boyish captor's weapon. Montague [sic] Marks never could bear the thought of causing pain, for he has all the artist's abhorrence of inflicting suffering, especially on wild things, whether they were birds, animals or fish." The article talks about his wanderlust and "like, artists in olden times, he worked his way around the world, painting his way from place to place.......and New York finally griped him.""Putting his brush and palette aside.....he soon found himself a leader in commerce. His New York success drew him to England, and in the Empire's capital he became General Manager of London Films Productions Ltd. and is today one of the big factors in the world of British film production." "The boy who dreamed of first being an artist then dreamed of being a business leader - a dream which came true. He is still dreaming, now of establishing the film industry in his native country on a sound basis - a basis so sound that on it will rise a super-structure which will command world attention for Australian products." Monty is quoted, "Hurl doubts to the wind; this doctrine of "can't" does not embrace the creed on which a nation is built. Do not heed those that tell you there can never be an Australian film industry, for their prototypes in earlier times said there could never be a steel industry and some even said there would never be a gold industry in Western Australia. Take courage from Australia's achievements of the past and go forward with confidence to establish a film industry as part of the industrial activities of Australia." The article then reports that "companion on his upward climb to commercial fame is his younger brother Nate* who 25 years ago left the 'Daily News' office to move forward to bigger places of population and with his brother to give proof that little old Perth produces the kind of boy that can win fame and honour in matching his natural abilities with the greatest intellects in big city centers of the world." The article concludes "and so Monte [sic] Marks, the man of today, whose career is being crowned with dazzling success is getting quiet, simple thrills revisiting or reconstructing the scenes of the happiest days of his life, his early boyhood in old Perth."[*note: 'Nate', Nathan Marks, who changed his name to Kay Harrison (after his mother's maiden name, Harris) was Managing Director of Technicolor Europe.]
? (unknown date), The Sunday Times (Perth)
"London Film Executive Was Schooled in Perth. Cane Marks Still." reports on a very personal interview by Monty. It states he went to Highgate Hill school. "He left school aged 12 carrying with him a scar - which retains to this day - by a master breaking his can on his hand." Monty is quoted, "I was never much good at spelling, and our master.....promised the class a cut for each and every mistake. I made 21!" The article continues that "on leaving school he worked with Phil Goatcher, a scenic artist, hoping to receive a training in painting, but his heart was broken by having to clean out paint pots and sticky brushes instead of doing the work in which he was so keenly interested." The it reports that aged 13 his parents moved to Southern Cross "to join the frantic search for gold and that it was there that Mr. Marks witnessed a scene which he intends to incorporate in a future film. They arrived in the town just before the pipeline was put through." Monty is quoted, "I remember the tremendous excitement that ran through the town as the pipe gang approached. The women locked themselves in their hessian tents and we saw the men swarming into the town like a small army. And believe me, they were tough!" The article concludes "until he was 16, Mr. Marks remained in Southern Cross, cradling for gold but with little success. He then left for Melbourne to once again pursue his art studies."
9 July, Variety Daily (front page)
"$2,000,000 Said To Back New Albion Film Co,-" reported from London July 8 that "Sir Adrian Baille (sic) member of Parliament, and Montague (sic) Marks, head of Albion films, a new company [had] believed to have secured $2,000,000 from Swiss interests."
13 July, Variety International News (page 13)
"New $2,000,000 London Pic Co" reports the announcement on 12 July that Albion Films was being formed by Sir Adrian Baillie MP and Montague (sic) Marks, involving "over $2,000,000 with capitol secured fro Swiss interests".
9 August, The Sun News Pictorial
"Our Own Pictures" by Jonathan Swift features a photograph of Ken Hall and reports on his and Mr. Norman B. Rydge, managing director of Cinesound, asking for nothing more "than that fair comparison with Hollywood's best should be made about their biggest effort, 'The Broken Melody'." It concludes with a criticism of Monty for not bringing British Productions to Australia or his promised world premières. In a somewhat snide remark it ends "might I suggest that he receives a reminder about these things in case he has mislaid his diary?"*
[*note from Anthony Pettifer: London Film Productions' financial woes, the quota issue and increasing geopolitical instability prevented Monty's ability to follow up, however much in his heart he wished to. Monty left London Films Productions sometime before 12 July 1938 when he set up Albion Films with Sir Adrian Baillie. By November his association with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. was in the open, with the intention to make films around the world (including Australia). In 1945 Korda bought the film rights to Moore Raymond novel, Smiley. After some false starts the film was finally produced by London Films in Australia in 1956. Poignantly it was the last film Korda ever produced.]
7 November, Motion Picture Daily (front page)
"Fairbanks May Produce Here For U.A. List" reported on "British Interests" discussing with Fairbanks "the possibility of putting up $2,500,000 or more for organizing a company to produce films here for release through United Artist, in which Fairbanks is a stockholder and member of the board." "Prominently mentioned as interested in the possible venture are Sir Adrian Baillie and Montague Marks. Marks is head of Albion Film Corp. of London. The latter is on his way .....(continued on page 7)*
[*note: need to get a copy of page 7]
11 November, Motion Picture Daily
"Fairbanks Plans Three Productions For U.A. Release" reported on three films to be made "during 1939 for United Artists release, in association with Albion Films Ltd of London. Montague Marks, general manager of Albion, arrived yesterday on the Normandie." In New York on 10 November Monty met with Murray Silverstone, executive head of United Artists and then flew on the same day to Hollywood to confer with Douglas Fairbanks. Marks referred to Albion Films as a "holding company" for Douglas Fairbanks Productions "and while for the present it would limit itself to financing Fairbanks, it will later include other producers." The article mentioned that Albion might finance a production program for Mary Pickford. It reports Monty as saying that "Fairbanks will produce in Hollywood and Denham Studios. London". "Seven story properties have been lined up, from which three will be selected for the first years program. The films are intended to be completed in time for release on United Artists 1939-40 schedule. The article then gives background on Sir Adrian Baillie and Monty.
11 November, Variety Daily (front page)
"Briton in for 3-Pic Deal With Fairbanks" reported on Monty's arrival in Hollywood ("due tomorrow") to confer with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and that "unless obstacles arise" they would both leave Hollywood on 15 November and sail together from New York on the 20 November.
16 November, Variety (page 2)
"Monatgue Marks and Fairbanks Sr., In Anglo-H'Wood Production Unit" reported on Monty's arrival in Hollywood and revealed the formation of two new production units: Albion Films Ltd. and Douglas Fairbanks Productions Ltd. :"They will make a minimum of three pictures in Hollywood and London on an estimated total budget of $2,500,000, release via United Artists". The article states that the first picture would be shot at either Denham or Pinewood. "Seven stories or plays have so far been purchased by the Marks-Fairbanks group." The article continued by reporting that the US legal side was still to be finalised and "may take some time for all points, involving as they do American, British and Continental financing, to be satisfactorily concluded."
16 November, Variety Daily (front page)
"Fairbanks - Marks Confab Near End - " reported that United Artists indicated that the daily conferences between Fairbanks and Monty were "nearing a close" and Albion Pictures would produce three features ..... (continued on page 3*)
[*note: need to get a copy of page 3]
17 November, Variety Daily (front page, banner headline)
"Fairbanks in $2,500,000 Pic Deal. 3 Pic Albion Pact Near Inking-" reported that C.E. Ericksen, Fairbanks' representative in Hollywood, that a "decision on the proposed three picture deal between Douglas Fairbanks and Montague Marks of the Albion Corporation of London, to be financed for approximately $2,500.000, will be reached in New York early next week." and that Mark and Fairbanks left by train Tuesday...... (continued on page 2*)
[*note: need to get a copy of page 2]
18 November, Variety Daily (front page)
"Fairbanks, Korda Plans Up To UA-" reported "on the United Artists directors and stockholders meeting tomorrow [Friday 19 November] that would "take up" Fairbanks and Montague Marks new productions and "also hear Alexander Korda's proposition for two separate organizations, first to make 'A's for UA and 'B's for outside distributors."
21 November, Variety Daily (front page)
'Fairbanks, Marks Deal Awaits Eng. Inking -" reports (following the U.A meeting in 19th) that "indications are that the pact won't be sealed until Fairbanks and Marks reach London early December. They sail from New York (26)." "Stories are set, but details as to where films will be made, budgets, directors, writers and players are lacking".
23 November, Variety
Notes Montagu Marks and Douglas Fairbanks sail from New York to London on 26 November on the SS Normandie.
7 December, London Evening Standard
"New Company Plans Three Super Films" reported that the aim of new 'Fairbanks International' production company "whose formation was announced in the Evening Standard yesterday, will be to produce only super films in England and America." Three films planned for the 1939 season where: 'The Californian', 'The Tenth Women', an episode in the life of Byron, and a remake of 'The Three Musketeers', which Douglas Fairbanks Snr. will direct, but not act in. The article states that, "the new company has been formed by Mr. Fairbanks and Sir Adrian Baillie, MP. Associated with them are Mr. John Hay Whitney and Mr. David O. Selznick, of the Selznick-Whitney group, which is providing American capital, Mr. Montague [sic] Marks and Mr. George Archibald. The company has 500,000 pounds* at its disposal."
7 December, Variety
"Form Fairbanks Int'l To Produce 3 Films" reported that "Fairbanks International, new producing unit of United Artists," was announced yesterday (Tues) by cable from London. The article was similar to that in 4 December Evening Standard (above), except for quoting the capitol in US$ at $2,500,000. It concluded by noting that "Marks leaves England for N.Y. on Saturday (10) while Fairbanks leaves three weeks later, to complete organizing plans and make arrangements for the starts on 'Californian'."
7 December, Variety Daily
"Fairbanks Forms Co. In London - "reported on the December 6 announcement of Fairbanks International and mentions all key people involved.... (continued page 2*)
[* note: need to see page 2.]
7 December, press cutting source unknown
"British Funds Launch Douglas Fairbanks as Movie Producer" reported that United Artists announced the formation of Fairbanks International. The initial capital is $2,500,000 with Sir Adrian Baillie, Montagu Marks and Swiss investors named as the financier behind the company. It also stated that the company would use studios in Culver City, Denham, Pinewood or continental Europe.
7 December, The Film Daily (front page)
"Whitney, Selznick Interests In Fairbanks Firm" reported on the Fairbanks International announcement, it added a clarification that Selznick International (as distinct from the Selznick-Whitney Group?) did not contemplate making any financial investment*....."
[* note: need to read the rest of the article 'continued on page 7', which I do not have at present.]
? press cutting source unknown
"Fairbanks is Back as Film Producer. Ends Absence From Picture World For New Company" reports on Fairbanks' "cable from London to United Artists, with which he will be associated" announcing Fairbanks International. It states the three pictures planned for 1939 and reports on the financial backing from "the Selznick-Whitney Group in United Artists, from British capitol represented by Sir Adrian Baillie and Montagu Marks, and from Swiss investment interests.... The initial capital will be $2,500,000"
7 December, Motion Picture Daily (front page)
"Fairbanks May Produce at SI Coast Studios" reported on negotiations about Selznick International possibly obtaining a participating interest "in the new company being formed by Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., in return for use by the latter of the S-I studio and production facilities". The article state that S-I has not and will not make a financial investment in the Fairbanks company and that negotiations will continue when Fairbanks and Montague marks return to New York from Europe....continued on page 7*
[* note: need to read the rest of the article 'continued on page 7', which I do not have at present.]
10 December, Motion Picture Herald (page 53)
"Four Groups in Fairbanks Unit" reported that Murray Silverstone, U.A operating head in New York, announced on Tuesday the formation of Fairbanks International with the new company being financed in the same way as described in earlier articles and with Selznick International participated via use of its studios rather than cash.
16 December, Variety Daily (page 3)
"Bevy of Show Folk In From Europe: Pascal to MG -" reported that tonight (15 December) people arriving in New York "from Europe included Lili Damita, Joe McConville, Joe Friedman, Monatgue Marks and Gabriel Pascal." "Montague Marks, financier is vague about everything. He is going to the coast Saturday to confer with UA execs, including those of David O Selznick and Jock Whitney outfits".
16 December, press cutting source unknown
"Studio and Screen. Shaw Films and Wendy Hiller - Aldous Huxley on Hollywood - An International Film Company" reports in Fairbanks International with similar wording to 4 December London Evening Standard article.
19 December, Time
Reported on Fairbanks International quoting capitol of $2,500,000 from American, English and Swiss backers and that the films would be distributed by Unites Artists.
21 December, Variety (page 3)
"Montague Marks To Coast for New FI Co. Huddles with Selznick" reported that Monty "one time organizer of London Films and now associated with Douglas Fairbanks.......arrived from London last week and left promptly for the Coast to see United Artists officials and others concerned with the new enterprise. 'The Californian'.......will be made on the Selznick lot in Culver City." "Marks and David O. Selznick will discuss [the] extent to which Sleznick International will participate in the Fairbanks program."
[Note: Also reported in 21 December Variety, Korda was on the Coast at the same time having meetings with United Artists. Did they meet?]
24 December, Motion Picture Herald, In The British Studios (page 34)
"International" reports on the formation, funding and planned films of Fairbanks International. In addition to listing Douglas Fairbanks, John Hay Whitney, David O. Selznick, Sir Adrian Baillie and Montagu Marks the article includes George Archibald, director of United Artists in Britain and of Odeon Theatres, as being associated with the new company.
30 December, Variety Daily
"Douglas Fairbanks Due (8) On Production Set Up; Marks In Town - " stated that Fairbanks would arrive around Jan 8 to "attend the United Artist annual stockholders meeting. He will lay before his partners in corporation definite plans for for production of three pictures here and in England for release through UA. Montague Marks, who is associated with Fairbanks in production plans, already is here."
9 January, The Film Daily
"Fairbanks Off For Coast; First Film 'Tenth Woman' reported on Sir Adrian Baillie meeting with Fairbanks and attending the U.A. board meeting. The article went on to report three planned films: the first, 'Tenth Woman, to start production in 6 weeks, directed by Raoul Walsh, had a budget of $600,000; the second, "also to be made in Hollywood", 'The Californian', would have an estimated budget of $750,000; the third, probably 'The Three Musketeers' to cost about $1,000,000 would be produced in France or England. "The Selznick studios probably will be used for domestic production."
9 January, Motion Picture Daily (page 4)
"Korda To Produce Chiefly On Coast" continued an article from the front page reporting on Korda's production plans and United Artists sessions with Maurice Stevenson, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. The article then goes on to say that "James Mulvey, eastern head of the Goldwyn office; Emanuel Silverstone, business representative of Alexander Korda; James Roosevelt, vice president of Samuel Goldwyn.......J.J. Milstein, business representative of Hal Roach......Richard Dwight .... Harris, Koegel and Caskey, attorney for Goldwyn.....and Maurice Silverstone... have all "gone to the Coast". It commented that "New York and California banks have indicated to their respective United Artists producer clients their willingness to finance the respective films of these producers. Under the subheading, "Has British Backing", the article continued "This is in addition to financing furnished to Korda from London interests and to Fairbanks and his associates, also by British interests. Later in the article it is stated "The coming year, under the operation of Maurice Silverstone, will see the greatest number of producers the United Artists roster has had so far. It includes Charles Chaplin, Alexander Korda, Samuel Goldwyn, David Selznick, Walter Wagner, Hal Roach, Edward Small and Douglas Fairbanks". "Some financial matters are still to be smoothed out and likely to conclude during the big conclave of United Artists officials in Hollywood." The article then concludes with a piece on Fairbanks International under the heading, "Fairbanks Tells Plans". It indicated that Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Sir Adrian Baillie arrived 6 January on the SS Washington and that Douglas Fairbanks Jr. will star in three films that his father will produce and direct for Albion Films Ltd. It then continues "Details for the first film will be completed with Montagu Marks, general manager of Albion, who has been on the coast several weeks, preparing for the start of operations awaiting Sir Adrian and Fairbanks." The article also reported that on 7 January Sir Adrian and Fairbanks had conferred with John Whitney , chairman of Selznick International (SI) and all thee would continue their discussion on the train from New York to coasts [Hollywood]. The deal was described as SI acquiring equity in Fairbanks International in return for the use of SI studios and "no cash would be involved". The article stated that "Albion Films Ltd. the parent company of Fairbanks International, plans six films a year for the British Empire in addition to the large budget films planned by Fairbanks. The Empire Films would cost about $150,000 each for British release through the United States". The piece concluded that 'the Californian' had been shelved and that the first film would be 'The Tenth Women' made in Hollywood. The second to be made in Denham "probably next summer" would be the 'Three Musketeers'; and "the third may also be made in London".
10 January, Motion Picture Daily
Reported that Sir Adrian Baillie "fought the films act when it when into affect last spring and is said to oppose the quota protection of the British industry". He was reported to believe in cooperation between the British and American film industries that will break down barriers and lead to free trade. He thought this was the only way to progress work successfully, "as attempts to strengthen British production by various measures have not been very successful and British investors have become cautious about financing English companies". The article concludes that Sir Adrian was previously secretary at the British Embassy in Washington and had visited Hollywood in "1935 to study Technicolor and when the English subsidiary was organized the same year, he became vice-chairman of Technicolor Ltd."
11 January, Variety International News (page 11)
"Columbia, Albion's Quota Film Huddles" reported that Albion Films Ltd. of London "Sir Adrian Baillie, president, will produce six pictures annually for the British Empire market at an approximate cost of S150,000 dollars each. Baillie will confer with Montague Marks, general manager of Albion, in Hollywood today (Wednesday) on the '39-40 program." The 'British producer stated on his arrival from Europe that the British quota hasn't done much good."
29 January, press cutting (unknown source)
"Miss Bennett Fetes Elsa Maxwell" by Chester Paul reports on a dinner given by Constance Bennett in honor of Elsa Maxwell who was a house guest of Douglas Fairbanks and his wife. In addition the guests included: the Earl of Warwick, Sir Adrian Baillie, Baron Erik Barnekow, Messrs and Mmes Darryl Zanuck, Hunt Stromberg, Jay Paley, Charles Feldman, William Goetz, Jack Warner, Charles Boyer (Pat Paterson), Samuel Goldwyn, Cedric Gibbons (Dolores Del Rio), Mervyn LeRoy, Hal Roach, Lew Schreiber, Gary Cooper, Pleydle-Boverie, Messrs. A.C. Blumenthal, Robert Riskin, Sid Grauman, Anderson Lawler, David Niven, Gregory Ratoff, Joseph Schenck, Cary Grant, Richard Barthelmess, Montague (sic) Marks, Brian Aherne, Noel Coward, John Jacob Astor, Gilbert Roland, Misses Kay Francis, Marlene Dietrich, Merle Oberon, Norman Shearer, Heather Thatcher, Phyllis Brooks, Vicki Gordon and Loretta Young.
14 February, Variety
"Marks Due Soon For Fairbanks Britisher -" reported that "Montague Marks, British Associate of Douglas Fairbanks Sr...... is due here from London in two weeks, when final details will be set forth for outfits initial production for United Artists."
23 February, The News (Adelaide, South Australia)
"Fairbanks Back in Films to Produce" gives more details of Fairbanks International productions and mentions Sir Adrian Baillie as Chairman of British Technicolor and owner of Albion Films Ltd.
24 March, Motion Picture Daily
Announced that Sir Adrian and Lady Baillie "sail on the Queen Mary today".
13 December, press cuttings (unknown sources)
"Death of Fairbanks Stuns Associates in Film World" includes a section titled "Plans Disclosed" quotes Fairbanks' business manager E.C. Erickson "Fairbanks death came almost on the very eve of his return to the motion picture industry. Several years ago Fairbanks organized Fairbanks International to produce adventure pictures in different parts of the world in natural, native settings. This plan fell through and he set about organizing a new company [also called Fairbanks International] to produce 'The Californian'. "The deal on this with United Artists release was almost signed last Saturday."
"Death Blocks Realization of Long-Cherished Ambition" reports that "Fairbanks did not live to see the day for the realization of his greatest ambition - to become a producer of films in their native settings. When he retired from the screen as a star and more or less severed his association with United Artists, he wanted his last connection with the screen industry as a businessman. It was his desire to throw his wealth into a production company, Fairbanks International, which he formed in 1938. Fairbanks had planned for his company to make productions throughout the world, using real settings. But before he launched on this new venture he wanted to learn, first hand, about what goes on behind the scenes. This he was studying when he died."
22 March, Variety (page 53)
"Argosy Pictures Set Up London Office" reported the same information as 'Boxoffice" (below). It added that "Marks fly (sic) here [Hollywood] from London last week, and after two days of confabs with Cooper returned to England over the weekend.
3 April, Boxoffice
"Opens London Office" reported from Hollywood that Monty, "English Executive formerly with G. Arthur Rank" was appointed representative of Argosy Pictures, the John Ford-Merian C. Cooper company."
25 January, Variety (page 5)
"Wanger Registers British Prod. Co." reports from London on the formation of a new production company "presumably to film Greta Garbo starrer 'Lover and a Friend'", adapted from Balzac's 'Duchesse de Langeais'. "Listed as co-directors are Joan Bennett, Montague (sic) Marks and Sir Edwin Herbert. British financing was from Romulus Films and dollars from Telinvest.
18 July, Variety Daily
"Hollywood Inside" reported that "Paul Henreid and Montague Marks have postponed 'Rendezvous in Vienna' until a year from now."
8 November, Variety (page 24)
"Nassours Source" reported that Paul Henreid and the Nassours, HN-Productions, may make 'Rendezvous in Vienna' in Austria next summer. It described the story as "a postwar yarn" by Robert Hill. The article stated that "Henreid, who will star in the venture, revealed that British interests, headed by Montague (sic) Marks will participate in the films financing. Marks was formally associated with Walter Wanger and J. Arthur Rank."
11 November, Boxoffice
"Nassour Bros. Plan Independent Films" reports of the plan of the Nassour Bros and Paul Henreid to make 'Rendezvous in Vienna' and that "Montague Marks head of the British producing firm, Film Locations, may also participate.
6 August, Variety
'London' reported that Mike Frankovich and Montagu Marks had acquired the western hemisphere and European rights to 'Aan', India's first Technicolor film.
29 April 1953, New York Times
"Miss Crain, Wayne To Do 'Brunettes'" reported that Richard Sale would create a sequel to "Gentleman Prefer Blonds", "Gentleman Marry Brunettes", "under the banner of Film Locations, Ltd., a British company in which Montague (sic) Marks and Mike Frankovich are associated.". The picture would be shot in Technicolor on location in Paris, Naples, Rome, Verona, Pisa and London. On June 2, 1953, Hollywood Reporter noted that Frankovich was arriving in Hollywood to finalize the deal with Sale*.
[*Note: however, eventually the film was not produced by Film Locations Ltd. but by Russ-Field Corp. Also on 16 1953 March Hollywood Reporter stated that Sale was to direct the film for Alexander Korda.]
13, 20 and 27 November, Variety Daily
Monty listed, along with Colin Lisslie, as Associate Producer of 'Fire Over Africa', starring Maureen O'Hara and produced by Mike Frankovich.
1 January, Monthly Film Bulletin (page 121)
Notice about the release of 'Malaga'. Montagu Marks and Colin Lesslie were listed as co-producers (Frankovich was not listed).
24 July, Picturegoer (page 19)
"Malaga" is reviewed and the credits show the producers as Colin Lesslie and Montague Marks (Frankovich was not listed).
17 March, press cutting (unknown source)
"Henreid Again Plans Austrian Venture" Edwin Schallert reported that Paul Henreid "is (again) making plans to undertake 'Rendezvous in Vienna' to be produced by himself with Montague (sic) Marks with British backing in Austria". "The star will play a musician and the Salzburg Festival will feature in the story by Robert Hill."
17 March, Variety (page 3)
"Henreid Re-activates Foreign 'Rendezvous'" reports that the picture that "will be co-produced by Henreid and Montague Marks with British backing, was originally scheduled for production last year." "It will be shot at the Salzburg Festival".
24 March, Variety (page 4)
"Hopes To 'Rendezvous With Ingrid Bergman" reported that "Paul Henreid has sent a 'Rendezvous In Vienna" script to Ingrid Bergman, with offer to star opposite Henreid in his projected indie production." The article reported that Montague Marks was his co-producer.
? January, The Daily Express
Reports that Monty has quote, "just done a portrait of Lieut-Commander Michael Parker. Parker a fellow Australian flew off to America Tuesday. It is a very frank portrait. As frank as Annigoni's of Prince Philip."
4 February, The Daily Express
"Not as a Playboy" features a photograph of Monty alongside his oil portrait of Michael Parker and reports that "Monty wanted to paint his friend as he really is - not as a playboy, but as a stern manager of affairs."
18 July, The Irish Times
"Australian Artist Holds Exhibition" reports on Monty's exhibition at Brown Thomas Little Theatre opened by Douglas White, Australian Charge d'Affaires.
18 July, Irish Independent
Similar report as in The Irish Times
Mid 1960s ?
? date, unknown press cutting"Atmospheric quality in Artists Work" by 'D.R.' reviews 40 works of Monty's exhibited at the Brown Thomas Little Theatre, Dublin "from Connemara landscapes to a view of the industrial Ruhr.....If the traditional mood of the Kerry and Galway locale is not always captured as satisfactorily as one would wish, there is much to admire in the atmospheric qualities of such paintings as 'Calm Before Storm', 'Sunday Morning' and 'Snow on Neisen. The study of a motion picture director - the only one treating a human subject - with a green hat, large cigar and loud tycoonish look is splendidly in character and there is a stark and ominous aura emanating from a few works in which the elements are the inspiration."
? date, unknown press cutting"Paintings Reflect Artists Life" by 'C. G. Hamilton' reviews Monty's work exhibited at The Gainsborough Gallery. It states that "in retirement, this man, once famous in Australia and abroad...... does with quiet pleasure, no longer concerned with public esteem or thought of profit. Art has sweetened and enriched his life, and now brightens his old age. Young painters could learn here the skill in seeing and setting down the essentials with sound proportion and tasteful emphasis helps the artist's message to reach the beholder, without resort to boring detail."
10 August, BBC One Television
"The Golden Years of Alexander Korda" (produced in 1968 directed by Robert Vas) includes an interview with Monty describing how the money to build Denham Studios was first made available by the Prudential and of the disastrous fire before completion of the studios, which was ironic since it was also insured by the Prudential.
20 October*, Screen International (page 130)
"Must It Be The End of Denham Studios" reports on the imminent closure of the now disused studios. Concerning the founding of Denham Studios, the article states, "with the help of Montagu Marks of United Artists**, the distributors with whom Korda was by now associated, he persuaded Prudential that it would be far more economic to build new studios for London Films than to go on hiring expensive studio space elsewhere".
[note: *5 weeks after Monty's death. **I am not aware that Monty had connections with United Artists prior to meeting Korda.]