Paramount News

Last updated

Paramount News is the name on the newsreels produced by Paramount Pictures from 1927 to 1957.

Contents

History

Le Parvo Series K Paramount News Camera, one of two known survived cine apparatuses. Parvo Paramount News.jpg
Le Parvo Series K Paramount News Camera, one of two known survived cine apparatuses.

The Paramount newsreel operation began in 1927 with Emanuel Cohen as an editor. It typically distributed two issues per week to theaters across the country until its closing in 1957. In the early days, Paramount News footage was silent and filmed with Debrie Parvo cameras branded with the unique Paramount logo and slogan "The Eyes of the World". It is estimated that about 15 of those cameras were bought by Paramount, but only a few survive today; one can be seen at Paramount Studios.

Paramount newsreels typically ran from seven to nine minutes, with the average story running from 40 to 90 seconds. At first, when the newsreels were silent, narration was presented via title cards. By 1930, sound had been introduced and voiceover talent (see below) had been hired to provide the narration.

When the news warranted, the entire issue was devoted to one major story, such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor (1941), the historic inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's third term as President (1941), the presentation of a Mid-Century Sports Poll (1950) in which sports figures such as Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Jesse Owens, Jack Dempsey, and Babe Didrikson (among others) were highlighted, or a recap of the All-American college football team of the previous year.

A typical issue began with a "hard" news item and wound its way down to "softer" news items as it progressed, usually ending with a recap of recent sports events.

Paramount cameramen shot some rare exclusive footage, putting Paramount News near the forefront of the competition with other newsreel operations such as Pathé News (1910-1956), Fox Movietone News (1928-1963), Hearst Metrotone News (1914-1967), Universal Newsreel (1929-1967), and The March of Time (1935-1951).

One Paramount News exclusive was the 1937 Republic Steel strike in Chicago. On Memorial Day, May 26, 1937, the strike escalated into a massacre, [1] documented by the 1937 film Republic Steel Strike Riot Newsreel Footage .

Highlights of Paramount News include basketball player Wilt Chamberlain being introduced to the sports world at the age of seventeen, playing high school basketball, and countless special coverage pieces about Paramount movie premieres and stars, including Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Martin and Lewis, Jerry Lewis solo, and Frank Sinatra at New York's Paramount Theater in 1944 with throngs of bobby soxers swooning. However, footage of W. C. Fields on a Paramount set filming International House when the 1933 Long Beach earthquake struck was later revealed to have been faked by that film's crew for publicity purposes.

Paramount mogul Adolph Zukor "presented" (produced) Paramount News and appeared in many of its newsreels throughout the years. The Paramount News slogan was "The Eyes and Ears of the World" ("The Eyes of the World" in its early silent days) and was included in its well-known closing, which featured a cameraman turning a large 35 mm movie camera toward the audience. This was accompanied by a music theme titled "Paramount On Parade", composed by Elsie Janis.

Voiceover talent

Voiceover talent included Gregory Abbott (1900–1981), lead voice for the presentation of news and the only narrator to stay until the series ended in 1957. Bill Slater was a narrator for many years. Other narrators included Gabriel Heatter (who introduced the voiceover talent in a special issue release of Paramount News in the early 1930s, Gregory Abbott being among those introduced), Vincent Connoly, Maurice Joyce, Dennis James (later a TV game show and variety show host), Gilbert Martyn, and Frank Gallop among others.

The sports segments were narrated by Bill Slater in the early years and from 1948 to the end of the Paramount News run in 1957 by ex-athlete and football player Marty Glickman, who later became known as the voice of New York sports and was renowned in sports broadcasting. Other broadcasters such as Johnny Most, Don Dunphy and Jackson Beck lent a hand doing sports voiceovers for a few Paramount News releases; Beck also did a few "hard news" stories as well. Gregory Abbott, Gilbert Martyn, and Maurice Joyce also handled some sports stories.

Awards

Paramount News Issue #37 (1946) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. [2] [3]

Related Research Articles

Voice-over Piece of narration that is not accompanied by an image of the speaker

Voice-over is a production technique where a voice—that is not part of the narrative (non-diegetic)—is used in a radio, television production, filmmaking, theatre, or other presentations. The voice-over is read from a script and may be spoken by someone who appears elsewhere in the production or by a specialist voice actor. Synchronous dialogue, where the voice-over is narrating the action that is taking place at the same time, remains the most common technique in voice-overs. Asynchronous, however, is also used in cinema. It is usually prerecorded and placed over the top of a film or video and commonly used in documentaries or news reports to explain information.

<i>Hindenburg</i> disaster newsreel footage 1937 film

Newsreel footage of the 6 May 1937 Hindenburg disaster, where the zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg crashed and burned down, was filmed by several companies.

Republic Steel Strike Riot Newsreel Footage is a 1937 documentary film which tells the story of a strike at Republic Steel on Memorial Day, May 26, 1937, which escalated into a massacre in which 10 workers were murdered by Chicago police, documented by this film.

Voice acting The act of performing voice-overs to represent a character or provide information

Voice acting is the art of performing voice-overs to represent a character or provide information to an audience. Performers are called voice actors/actresses, voice artists or voice talent. In the UK, voice acting is recognised as a specialized dramatic profession, primarily due to the BBC's long tradition of radio drama production.

Front Page Challenge was a Canadian panel game about current events and history. Created by comedy writer/performer John Aylesworth and produced and aired by CBC Television, the series ran from 1957 to 1995.

Newsreel Film genre

A newsreel is a form of short documentary film, containing news stories and items of topical interest, that was prevalent between the 1910s and the mid 1970s. Typically presented in a cinema, newsreels were a source of current affairs, information, and entertainment for millions of moviegoers. Newsreels were typically exhibited preceding a feature film, but there were also dedicated newsreel theaters in many major cities in the 1930s and ’40s, and some large city cinemas also included a smaller theaterette where newsreels were screened continuously throughout the day.

Movietone News is a newsreel that ran from 1928 to 1963 in the United States. Under the name British Movietone News, it also ran in the United Kingdom from 1929 to 1979, In France also produced by Fox-Europa, in Australia and New Zealand until 1970, and Germany as Fox Tönende Wochenschau.

<i>The March of Time</i> American short film series from 1935 to 1951

The March of Time is an American newsreel series sponsored by Time Inc. and shown in movie theaters from 1935 to 1951. It was based on a radio news series broadcast from 1931 to 1945. The "voice" of both series was Westbrook Van Voorhis. Produced and written by Louis de Rochemont and his brother Richard de Rochemont, The March of Time was recognized with an Academy Honorary Award in 1937.

<i>She Was an Acrobats Daughter</i>

She Was an Acrobat's Daughter is an animated short in the Merrie Melodies series, produced by Vitaphone Productions and released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. on April 10, 1937. This animated short was directed by I. Freleng and produced by Leon Schlesinger.

<i>Television Newsreel</i>

Television Newsreel was a British television programme, the first regular news programme to be made in the UK. Produced by the BBC and screened on the BBC Television Service from 1948 to 1954 at 7.30pm, it adapted the traditional cinema newsreel form for the television audience, covering news and current affairs stories as well as quirkier 'human interest' items, sports and cultural events. The programme's opening title sequence, featuring a graphic of the transmission mast at Alexandra Palace with the title revolving around it, became a well-known image of the time. The theme tune was "Girls in Grey" by Charles Williams and played by the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra. It was published by Chappell on one of its mood music records - it was not specifically written for the newsreel but composed during World War Two for the Women's Junior Air Corps.

Castle Films was a film distributor founded in California by former newsreel cameraman Eugene W. Castle (1897–1960) in 1924. The company pioneered the production and distribution of films for home projection. It became a subsidiary of Universal Pictures and was eventually renamed Universal 8 from 1977 before folding in the early 1980s due to competition from home video.

Pathé News

Pathé News was a producer of newsreels and documentaries from 1910 to 1970 in the United Kingdom. Its founder, Charles Pathé, was a pioneer of moving pictures in the silent era. The Pathé News archive is known today as British Pathé. Its collection of news film and movies is fully digitised and available online.

<i>Tokio Jokio</i>

Tokio Jokio is a 1943 Looney Tunes propaganda short directed by Norman McCabe. The cartoon is notorious and controversial for its racist depictions of Japanese people.This is also noted for being the final Norman McCabe cartoon.

<i>Universal Newsreel</i>

Universal Newsreel was a series of 7- to 10-minute newsreels that were released twice a week between 1929 and 1967 by Universal Studios. A Universal publicity official, Sam B. Jacobson, was involved in originating and producing the newsreels. Nearly all of them were filmed in black-and-white, and many were narrated by Ed Herlihy. From January 1919 to July 1929, Universal released International Newsreel, produced by Hearst's International News Service—this series later became Hearst Metrotone News released first by Fox Film Corporation 1929–1934 and then by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer beginning in 1934.

Look at Life was a regular British series of short documentary films of which over 500 were produced between 1959 and 1969 by the Special Features Division of the Rank Organisation for screening in their Odeon and Gaumont cinemas. The films always preceded the main feature film that was being shown in the cinema that week. It replaced the circuit's newsreel, Universal News, which had become increasingly irrelevant in the face of more immediate news media, particularly on television with the launch of ITN on the Independent Television service, which began broadcasting in parts of the United Kingdom in 1955.

William Alland American actor, producer, writer, and director

William Alland was an American actor, film producer and writer, mainly of Western and science-fiction/monster films, including This Island Earth, It Came From Outer Space, Tarantula!, The Deadly Mantis, The Mole People, The Colossus of New York, The Space Children, and the three Creature from the Black Lagoon films. He worked frequently with director Jack Arnold. Alland is also remembered for his acting role as reporter Thompson, who investigates the meaning of "Rosebud" in Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941).

Charles Knox Manning was an American film actor. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts and died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. He and Annette North Manning are interred at Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura, California.

Ira H. Morgan

Ira Harry Morgan was an American cinematographer. He successfully transitioned from silent movies to sound films. He filmed famed animal-trainer Frank Buck’s film Tiger Fangs (1943).

<i>The Golden Twenties</i> 1950 documentary produced by Richard de Rochemont

The Golden Twenties is a 1950 American documentary film, which used footage from the March of Time newsreels. It is the only film credited to Time Inc., although their newsreel division, the March of Time, produced four films, and this film was produced by the March of Time producer, Richard de Rochemont. While composed of existing footage, the film was narrated by five different people: Frederick Lewis Allen, Robert Q. Lewis, Allen Prescott, Red Barber, and Elmer Davis.

German Concentration Camps Factual Survey is the official British documentary film on the Nazi concentration camps, based on footage shot by the Allied forces in 1945.

References

  1. Memorial Day Massacre of 1937 Archived 2008-05-13 at the Wayback Machine at the Illinois Labor History Society Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "NY Times: Paramount News Issue #37". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2008-11-24.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "The 19th Academy Awards (1947) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved May 29, 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)