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Hughes in Hollywood

Howard Hughes receiving congratulations from the California and  Hollywood American Legion Post Commanders, 1952, for his highly (self)  publicized "war on Hollywood communists."
Howard Hughes receiving congratulations from the California and Hollywood American Legion Post Commanders, 1952, for his highly (self) publicized "war on Hollywood communists."

Howard Hughes receiving congratulations from the California and Hollywood American Legion Post Commanders, 1952, for his highly (self) publicized "war on Hollywood communists." Hughes fired screenwriter Paul Jarrico who had written the screenplay for RKO's forgettable Meet Me in Las Vegas (another vehicle for Jane Russell) after Jarrico was subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Commitee. After Jarrico refused to answer the Committee's questions, Hughes had his name removed from the film's credits, which was protested by Jarrico and the Screen Writer's Guild. Hughes answered characteristically with a lawsuit claiming that Jarrico had, by refusing to testify, violated the standard morals clause in his contract with RKO. Although Hughes was acclaimed as a hero by the anti-communists of the day, the incident left Hughes in a bad odor in Hollywood.

On set of The Outlaw,1940.
On set of The Outlaw, 1940.

Air combat scene from "Hells Angels" (pictured above). The movie was originally shot as a silent movie. The sound and the ingénue starlet Jean Harlowe were added later.

(1) ...The studio has lost a fortune since he took it over, (2) it makes virtually no pictures at all

Hughes: (2) is pretty rough. We made enough pictures to carry our distribution set up.

White: I think you made the magnificent sum of 5 pictures in one year but I can't remember which year it was.

Hughes: I suppose you didn't count the independent productions. Those should be considered part of the total.

White: Even if you count independent productions - it is far less than was planned at the beginning of the year.

On set of The Outlaw,1940.
On set of The Outlaw, 1940.

Hughes: The number of releases planned is exaggerated for exhibitors - you know that. Can't you say something to the effect, "However, since taking over RKO the studio has lost money?"

White: I'll compromise with you.

Hughes: I object to "fortune" and "virtually no pictures."

Hated by a large majority of the film colony

Hughes: I think "large majority" is going a little far. I think it is true that you could say "by a substantial number of the film colony."

Gina Lollabrigida and Ursula Theis

Hughes: I think this is very harmful, I wish you would see your way clear to change it. I want to have further discussion with you on this later. I never went out with Ursula Theis in my life, and we may wind up in a lawsuit with Lollobrigida with regard to her contract, so let's not make her madder than she is. Anyway she wouldn't be saying those kind things about me.

White: I will take out Theis and Lollabigida entirely.

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