Cinema: New Picture, Dec. 23, 1946

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While Frank Capra was still wearing Signal Corps eagles, he began to discuss independent production with Samuel J. Briskin, onetime vice president of RKO and Columbia. Early in 1945, Liberty Films was incorporated. Briskin took on the job of executive management, leaving Capra free to do all the details of picture making—from story selection to final film editing. With the machinery set up, it seemed a pity not to ask in a couple of other topnotch directors. George Stevens (Penny Serenade, The More the Merrier) is already at work. William Wyler (Mrs. Miniver, Wuthering Heights), under contract to make one postwar picture for Samuel Goldwyn, turned out the excellent The Best Years of Our Lives before he could join up.

Liberty, which will distribute through RKO, plans at least one picture a year from Capra, Wyler and Stevens. The company's published credo includes some sensationally un-Hollywooden notions. If its talented producer-directors can live up to these intentions, moviegoers are in for a glorious new era:

¶ Stars are secondary: "story value will have foremost precedence in production. . . ."

¶ No one is going to hurry: "quality of product both from an artistic and an entertainment standpoint is to come first."

¶ "Cost will in no way be highlighted or exploited as an indication of the entertainment value of a Liberty Film."

* Still unreleased contenders for 1946 honors: MGM's The Yearling, David O. Selznick's Duel in the Sun.

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