Movie News, Views and Issues

Movies were often promoted through product tie-in ads featuring one of the film's stars. The women's and movie fan magazines were particularly thick with them. For instance in the April issue of Photoplay you would have found:
  • An ad for Mennen Baby Powder featuring a photo of Claudette Colbert, George Brent and baby Michael Ward in a scene from "Tomorrow Is Forever"
  • Bing Crosby, star of "Road to Utopia," for Calox Tooth Powder
  • Judy Garland, star of "Ziegfeld Follies," for Lux Soap
  • Frances Langford star of "The Bamboo Blonde," for Max Factor Pan-Cake Makeup
  • Virginia Mayo, star of "The Kid From Brooklyn," for Jergens Lotion
  • Andrea King, star of "Shadow of a Woman," for Le Sonier Refillable Powder Mitts
  • Ida Lupino star of "Devotion," for Westmore Lipsticks
  • Sonny Tufts star of "Miss Susie Slagle's," for Fleers Candy-Coated Peppermint Gum

An article in the same issue of Photoplay, carrying the byline of producer Sam Goldwyn, worried that movies glorifying criminals would turn postwar teenagers into juvenile delinquents. Whether Goldwyn, famous for his difficulties with the English language, was the actual author is questionable. It points out that immediately after the First World War, the youth of the day became gangsters or Jazz Age playboys and boozers and warned that this phenomenon might be repeated this time around. The article calls for the movie industry to do its part keeping kids morally upright by turning out wholesome fare.

Juvenile delinquency was a hot topic at this time. Ed Sullivan devoted his entire column in the April 18 Daily News to an exhortation urging young men and women to go to church and turn away from a life of crime. The Sunday Times carried excerpts from a radio program on the effect of radio melodramas on impressionable youth. The odd thing about all this concern was that the crime rate had dropped sharply during the war years, mostly because the young men most likely to commit crimes were otherwise engaged. Crime would pick up in the postwar period now that young men were home again and at loose ends.