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To Walter Wanger
March 13, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Dear Mr. Wanger:
Your letter of March 4th was singularly appropriate as it arrived just after my preview of the sex hygiene film.1 The forceful manner in which this difficult subject is presented leaves such a profound and lasting impression that I feel certain its effects will be far-reaching. With this picture as a criterion and the rapidly expanding Signal Corps facilities, I think my concern as to the quality or type of future training films has been greatly modified. Mr. Gordon Mitchell has conferred with the War Department and, as a result of this exchange of views, a number of minor matters have been satisfactorily adjusted.2 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has reason to be proud of its contribution to this important phase of our preparations for defense.
As to the other ways in which the motion picture industry may cooperate with the Army, apart from training, you will be interested to know that these are now heading up to the Bureau of Public Relations under Major General Robert C. Richardson, Jr. Insofar as the War Department is concerned, this Bureau will in effect constitute the clearing house—except for training—which you recommend in your letter and will, I am sure, serve to effectively coordinate all other motion picture involvements of the Army. We will keep Mr. Mellett fully informed of these activities.
I hope you will have no hesitancy in writing either to me or to General Richardson regarding any suggestions you may have in mind. We will be grateful for your assistance.
I am looking forward to meeting Mr. Zanuck on his arrival here. Incidentally, I hope on your next visit east you will have lunch with me so that we can talk things over a little more expansively.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. In a telegram congratulating Darryl F. Zanuck, Marshall said: “Film on sex hygiene has been personally delivered by Captain Gordon Mitchell and previewed by representatives of my office and Office of Surgeon General. They are unanimous in their expressions of approval and commendation.” (Marshall to Zanuck, March 6, 1941, NA/RG 407 [Unclassified, 413 (2-16-41)].) Not all the film’s viewers were pleased, however, and in July Marshall wrote to Bishop John F. O’Hara of the Roman Catholic Army and Navy Diocese: “I have just approved the detailed action to amend the film on Sex Hygiene to emphasize the importance of continence in accord with certain of your suggestions.” (Marshall to O’Hara, July 10, 1941, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Wanger wrote to clarify certain points which had arisen during his February conversation with Marshall (see Marshall to Wanger, February 24, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-377 [2: 429-30]) and to reiterate his opinion that “it might be worthwhile to consider some clearing-house, in Washington, representing the Government’s various branches, which might serve to advise each of the Government’s branches of the film work being done by the other—in order to prevent duplication and double-effort.” At the top of Wanger’s lengthy letter, Marshall wrote: “I want to reply. He is the most impressive type I have met in a long time.” (Wanger to Marshall, March 4, 1941, NA/RG 407 [General, 413 (2-16-41)].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr.(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 444-445,