Thursday, January 29, 2015

1954 Sao Paulo International Film Festival

When the city of São Paulo reached the ripe age of 400 years on 25 January 1954, it thought it would give itself a splendid gift in the form of an International Film Festival like those that were all the rage in post-World War II Europe. 

Cannes had the most prestigious film festival - started in 1946. Venice had actually started the trend in 1932 but then War disrupted it. Cannes took the lead after the bombings and carnage were over. Punta del Este in Uruguay had had a festival since 1951. Even Berlin the former arch-enemy of democracy had started its own Internationale Filmfestspiele in 1951

São Paulo thought it could shine as a magnet for movie stars even though the city could not boast a seaboard or even a nice river. São Paulo was just a large city with nothing much to show for. Paulistas were hard working and when it came to its 400th year celebrations no holds were barred. São Paulo would have the cake and eat it too from 12 to 26 February 1954.  

Rhonda Fleming (30) was among the younger-set in the American delegation. 

Since the U.S. delegation arrived on Friday, 19 February 1954 - exactly one week after the start of the Festival - things started to catch fire. The action happened mainly around Hotel Jaraguá where most of the stars stayed, Cine Marrocos where most of the films were shown and at the Hotel Esplanada's night club where the stars went to have a little fun after watching so many movies. It was at the night club that most of these photos were taken by photographers Henri Ballot, Indalecio Wanderley, Eugenio Silva and José Pinto for 'O Cruzeiro', the most popular Brazilian illustrated magazine.  

'Gycklarnas afton' (Noites de circo) or 'Sawdust and tinsel' in English - directed by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was planned to open the Festival - but that was over-ruled by the Americans who dictated that an American film would have to open the Fest due to its delegation being the most numerous. So instead of watching the latest European sensation, everyone sat down to a re-hash of a tear-jerker 'The Glenn Miller story' (Musica e lagrimas) with old James Stewart and June Allyson.
Gene Raymond (46) and Jeanette MacDonald (51) wave to their adoring Brazilian fans at Cine Marrocos in S.Paulo.
Joan Fontaine (36 years old) still ravishingly beautiful going up the stairs of Cine Marrocos; Brazilian actor Alberto Ruschel (36) frightens Miss Fontaine with a sudden embrace but soon she regains her poise and they have a chat. Below (right): Miss Fontaine is caught the by the camera of O Cruzeiro having a big mouthful of some Brazilian delicacy.

'Old and grey' seemed to be the name of the game. Everything was old and older. The average age of the delegation was 46 years old. Director Mervyn LeRoy (53 years old) arrived a week earlier than the bulk of the US delegation and gave a few interviews where he denied that the American cinema was in the midst of a crisis. Crisis? What crisis? LeRoy had directed 'Quo Vadis?' a Biblical epic produced by MGM in 1951 with ageing Robert Taylor (50) which made a lot of money but was unwieldy and forgettable.

Even though everyone kept denying it Hollywood was in deep crisis due especially to the advent of TV and the wishy-washy types of screenplays produced there after the Blacklisting started in late 1947. Why would anyone pay top dollars to go out in the cold (or heat) to watch a (dumb) movie if you could just as well stay home and watch what you wanted on the telly?

7 February 1954 - Two weeks before the Festival was to start XX Century Fox gives the people of São Paulo a first glance at its new Cinemascope technique at Cine Republica while Cine Marrocos was getting ready to show all the major Festival films.

Cinemascope would not save old Hollywood nor would Cinerama or any new-fangled contraption invented in a hurry to replace the sheer lack of ideas and a good screenplays.

The Truman Administration had veered to the right politically circa 1947 with the expansion and increase of the Cold War and now Hollywood was paying the price for having toed the line according to US government's policy on Red-baiting... and being dumb and simplistic. The best movies were now being made in Europe and elsewhere, not in the USA.

 Walter Pidgeon is mobbed by the crowd as he arrives at a function. 
Eric Johnston, President of the Motion Pictures Association of America, a US government apparatchik (boss) who supervised the US delegation travel to Brazil; Ann Miller with S.Paulo governor Lucas Nogueira Garcez.
Newspaper, radio & TV owner Assis Chateaubriand (62) with socialite Alice Moraes Barros Campello who opened her house to the Hollywood stars; Erich von Stroheim (69) won a retrospective of his earlier films made in Hollywood and Europe.
'The Ann Miller Show' at the Hotel Esplanada's night club. 
Ann Miller blows a whistle; inhales a popular party-popper (lança-perfume)
Ann Miller dances away at the sound of a Brazilian samba
the Black tambourine player gets carried away with Ann Miller's performance.
Jean Louis Caldeira, a local play-boy, the son of some big shot tries to woo Miss Miller who was definetely having a ball.
Fred MacMurray (46) escorts June Haver (27) to one of the sessions at Cine Marrocos. Brazilian press reported that MacMurray & Haver were having a romance. Fred had become a widower in June 1952.
grueling schedule at União Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos: Fred MacMurray signs autographs to delighted students of English-as-a-foreign-language.
Fred meets Tonia Carrero at a cocktail party.
Jane Powell (25) the youngest member of the US delegation signs autographs away... being watched by director Mervyn LeRoy (with a pipe hanging from his mouth). 
Jane Powell 
Jane Powell dancing with Jacinto de Thormes a popular gossip-columnist; suddenly Jacinto tries to kiss Jane who strategically gets her face away... Mr. de Thormes loses his balance and both come crashing on to the dance floor to everyone's amusement and his chagrin.
Jane Powell lies on the dance-floor after successfully averting a stolen kiss from Jacinto de Thormes, her dance partner; on the right Edward G. Robinson (59) peck-kisses Jane Powell on the lips, a task Mr. de Thormes could not have achieved!
Doris Monteiro who appeared in the film 'Carnaval em Caxias' ready to be released descends the stairs of Cine Marrocos; Brazilian star Aurora Duarte causes some commotion at the Festival...
Janet Gaynor (47) arrives at Cine Marrocos smiling and leaves it crying after watching  an Argentine tear-jerker; Gaynor was the first actress to be granted an Academy Award for best actress (1927); dashing Jeffrey Hunter (27) was the youngest U.S. male star here with his wife Barbara Rush (27) even if the caption says otherwise.
Jeffrey Hunter & Barbara Rush 
Edward G. Robinson was almost 70 years old but showed that age was not an excuse for being sedate.
Edward G.Robinson strolls the grounds of Jardim da Luz accompanied by a photographer and Mr Paulo Ayres Filho, director of União Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos, an English-language school in Sao Paulo.

'Pega ladrão!'
Cuban-Mexican spit-fire Ninon Sevilla (25) was out-of-sorts due to her jewlery having been taken away by some mysterious robber. The police would not have a clue as to whom they were looking for... and Ninon was not amused at all.
singer Wilma Bentivegna and Ninon Sevilla (in a better mood) at the Festival. 

I Festival de Cinema do Brasil – Retrospectiva Erich von Stroheim

Tendo em vista o grande número de solicitações recebidas, quer pelo Museu de Arte Moderna quer pelo Festival de Cinema do Brasil decidiu-se transferir  a ‘Retrospectiva Eric Von  Stroheim’ da sala de projeções do Museu para o cinema Marrocos.

A comissão executiva do Festival comunica ao público que os ingressos avulsos para as sessões no cinema Marrocos serão colocadas à venda no Trocadero, das 12 as 14 horas, no dia da sessão.  Em virtude da amplitude do Festival e seu caracter de manifestação internacional será impossível à Comissão Executiva reservar um número de ingressos fixo, variando as disponibilidades da sala de dia para dia.

Os ingressos serão vendidos a 50 cruzeiros para as sessões da tarde e de 100 para as sessões da noite. Nos dias 12 (sexta-feira) a 26 (sexta) de Fevereiro quando serão realizadas as sessões solenes de abertura  em encerramento não serão vendidos ingressos avulsos, sendo todos os lugares, à exceção dos dos assinantes, reservados para as autoridades nacionais e estrangeiras e para convidados especiais da Comissão.

Jornal ‘O Estado de S.Paulo’  - 7 Fevereiro 1954.

Edward G. Robinson (69) was perhaps the most friendly of the Hollywood stars visiting S.Paulo in 1954. Jeanette MacDonald (51) - wearing a mink coat at the height of a Brazilian summer  - looks at the camera and is not acknowledged by the caption.

Mr.Robinson was the only member to the delegation who found the time to go and visit São Paulo's Art Biennial. He teamed up with director Mervyn LeRoy who had arrived a week earlier in S.Paulo and painted the town red. Eddie visited the daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo', bought a lot of local phonographic records and tried to speak the native language. He ended up being the most popular of all the members showing that a little good-will will take you the extra mile.

Mervyn LeRoy (right) at the cocktail party given in his honour by Luiz Carlos Mesquita (centre) from daily 'O Estado de S.Paulo' - columnist Claudio Abramo is seen on the left. Mervyn gives an interview to the paper where he shows he is actually lost in the desert. LeRoy was old and basked on the past glories of his early films and didn't have much of a clue what was happening at the moment.

Post-War Hollywood was becoming irrelevant at a fast pace. The House Un-American witch-hunt only added to the woes of beleaguered Hollywood. They black-listed and banned their brightest talents (see The Hollywood Ten) and now the European cinema was leaving Hollywood in pre-history. Times were a-changing fast and those old people were lost.

LeRoy had filmed 'Quo Vadis?' in 1951, a Biblical super-production which had been a box-office bonanza but was as old as anything. Hollywood producers thought if the screens were bigger they in themselves would attract the crowds back away from their television sets. Cinemascope proved to be a short-lived panacea for the real problem: pettiness, lack of talent and imagination! Cinerama was even worse than Cinemascope as it was unwieldy and unattractive. Hollywood was in deep shit and denial.

Every time LeRoy - and anyone else for that matter - repeated: 'Hollywood is not in a crisis!' it meant exactly the opposite! Hollywood was in trouble and everyone knew it... and they couldn't do anything about it. Having veered to the right and allowing a dickhead like Senator McCarthy do his circus in Washington only exacerbated everyone's problems. In the end, the Hollywood Ten were the real victors of such a despicable chicanery.

Jornal ‘O Estado de S.Paulo’ – 14 Fevereiro 1954.

O cinema norte-americano não está em crise’  - declarações de Mervyn LeRoy, o diretor de ‘Quo Vadis?

- O cinema americano não está em crise nem está ameaçado de morte pela televisão – começou  declarando Mervyn LeRoy famoso diretor de Hollywood ontem, 13 fevereiro 1954, às 17 horas, enquanto tomava assento no salão de entrevistas do Trocadero e acendia seu charuto com um sorriso esportivo.

Grande foi o aglomerado de jornalistas e repórteres de radio e TV ao redor do realizador norte-americano que, nos últimos 15 anos, contratado pela Metro tem apresentado muito grandes êxitos de público com ‘Waterloo Bridge’ de 1940 (A ponte de Waterloo)), ‘Random harvest’ de 1942 (Na noite do passado), ‘Madame Curie’ de 1944, 'Johnny Eager’ film-noir de 1941, ‘Little women’ de 1949 (Quatro destinos), ‘Lovely to look at’ de 1952 (O amor nasceu em Paris).

Todas essas películas foram, em princípio, muito comerciais, mas é preciso não esquecer que, em seus primeiros tempos na Warner Brothers, Mervyn LeRoy foi um dos mais categorizados realizadores de filmes do chamado tipo social, como ‘Little Caesar’ de 1931 (O pequeno Cesar) que tornou Edward G. Robinson famoso da noite p'ro dia, ‘I am a fugitive from a chain gang’ de 1932 (O fugitivo);  ‘Five star final’ de 1931 (Sede de escândalo), ‘Oil for the lamps of China’ de 1935 (Oleo para as lâmpadas da China) e ‘They won’t forget’ de 1937 (Esquecer, nunca!), fita com a qual ele ‘descobriu’ Lana Turner.  

Aliás, sobre sua recente volta à Warner, frisa o conhecido diretor que nesse Studio se sente mais ‘em casa’, muito embora tenha boas lembranças do tempo em que trabalhava na MGM, companhia onde poderá voltar qualquer dia.

Entre algumas de suas fitas preferidas, LeRoy inclue ‘Since you went away’ (Desde que partiste) 1944 de John Cromwell e ‘The best years of our lives’ (Os melhores anos de nossas vidas) 1946 de William Wyler muito condizem com seu estilo, além de declarar que foi influenciado pelo diretor Alfred E. Green que fez ‘Disraeli’ (1929), ‘Dangerous’ (1935), ‘Copacabana’ (1947) etc.

Interrogado sobre o cinerama, o diretor de ‘Quo Vadis?’ considera-o um sistema eficiente com o qual muitas boas coisas poderão ser feitas. Disse que gosta de dirigir qualquer assunto que possua elementos de sinceridade e emoção. Quanto à questão do realismo no cinema, é de opinião que toda fita tem que possuir a sua dose do mesmo e que este é mais uma questão de sinceridade ao focalizar um assunto do que, por exemplo, questão de filmagem em locais naturais.

14 February 1954 - No ‘Palacio do Festival’ (Cine Marrocos) - ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ (Música e lágrimas) - A fita norte-americana ‘Musica e lágrimas’ (The Glenn Miller Story) foi escolhida para a sessão inaugural do I Festival de Cinema do Brasil. A escolha não foi feliz, mas parece ter resultado de uma solicitação de Eric Johnston, chefe da delegação norte-americana (Motion Picture Association of America) no sentido de serem as suas as principais fitas inscritas (‘Julius Caesar’ de Joseph L. Mankiewicz, ‘Hondo’ (Caminhos ásperos) de John Farrow e ‘How to marry a millionaire’ de Jean Negulesco) que serão exibidas após a chegada da delegação norte-americana dia 19 Fevereiro 1954. Restavam para a abertura ‘Roman holiday’ (A princesa e o plebeu) de William Wyler, já exibida em Veneza e ‘The Glenn Miller Story’ (Musica e lágrimas). A Universal International quis homenagear , com essa fita, um dos maiores chefes de orquestra dos Estados Unidos, falecido em 1944, num desastre de avião.

14 February 1954 -  Ingmar Bergman's 'Gycklarnas afton'  (Noites de circo) that had been planned as the Festival's opening night until it was overruled by the Motion Picture Association of America - was finally shown at Cine Marrocos on the 3rd night; on the right: Erich von Stroheim Retrospective's program.  

16 February 1954 - Realizou-se ontem, às 18 hs., no Cine Marrocos, a homenagem a Erich von Stroheim. O nomumental cinema foi tomado por verdadeira multidão desejosa de ver o grande diretor ora entre nós. Alberto Cavalcanti, diretor de 'O canto do mar' e Ernest Lindgreen, critico e historiador do cinema britânico falaram da importância do homenageado, que agradeceu. Von Stroheim falou em inglês. Mostrou-se logo de início muito sensibilizado pelo acolhimento que vinha tendo em S.Paulo, frisando que jamais recebera tantas atenções nos países que visitara. Falando sobre as dificuldades de filmar 'Greed' (Ouro e ambição), a amarga história de Frank Norris, disse que tornou-se profética, pois produzida ha 30 anos (1924), continha já todos os elementos do chamado 'reo-realismo' que ora triunfa no cinema europeu

                                      16 Feb 1954                                18 February 1954

19 February 1954 (Friday) – Marcada para as 19:00 hs, o desembarque da delegação norte-americana, o avião da Braniff denominado ‘Hollywood Special’ sofreu sensível atraso e o pessoal só desceu no Aeroporto de Congonhas as 21:10.

Era simplesmente extraordinária a multidão que se aglomerava na entrada do aeroporto, onde reforçadíssimos cordões de isolamento continham os milhares de fans ali agrupados.

No Hotel Jaraguá

Desde as primeiras horas da noite era grande o número de fans desejosos de verem de perto os idolos da tela norte-americanos junto à entrada do Hotel Jaraguá. Eram precisamente 22:10 quando o 1º carro da comitiva que trazia os artistas despontou na Rua Martins Fontes, conduzindo Jane Powell a qual foi imediatamente reconhecida pelo público, o qual rompeu em aplausos. Graciosa e miúda, Jane, cercada por um verdadeiro cordão de isolamento de guardas, alcançou em dois pulos o hall do Hotel.

O 2º carro a chegar foi o de Rhonda Fleming, a qual, muito clara e ruiva, mal teve tempo de corresponder aos aplausos, sendo imediatamente levada para o interior do prédio.

Em 3º lugar chegou Walter Pidgeon. O popular astro muito displiscente e bem-humorado, tento corresponder aos aplausos e aclamações, sendo, porém, imediatamente arrastado, também, para o interior.

Robert Cummings e esposa, Fred McMurrayIrene Dunne, Ann Miller, Janet Gaynor, June  Harver e Jeffrey Hunter chegaram a seguir, sendo todos calarosamente aplaudidos.

A maior aclamação da noite na porta do Hotel Jaraguá estava, porém, reservada a Edward G.Robinson, que muito simpático e expansivo, fez questão de parar e tirar o chapéu para corresponder aos aplausos e gritos de entusiasmo dos seus fans, os quais, a todo custo tentavam abraça-lo sendo contidos por uma verdadeira muralha de guardas-civis e agentes policiais.

Logo a seguir chegou, sob um novo estrondo de palmas, Jeanette Mac Donald, muito loura – tão loura quanto seu marido Gene Raymond – seguidos por Joan Fontaine, que sempre graciosa, tentou, também, agradecer aos aplausos , sendo, porém, práticamente carregada para os elevadores.   

21 February 1954 - recently inaugurated Cine Arlequim, on Av. Brigadeiro Luiz Antonio, 1401 was chosen by the Motion Picture Association of America to show all their films while the Festival was on.

Cine Marrocos on Rua Conselheiro Crispiniano where most of the films were shown; Palacio Trocadero in the foreground, where interviews and press conferences took place.
Theatro Municipal on the left and Hotel Esplanada on the right whose night-club was busy everynight while the Festival lasted.

Mr. Eric Johnston, the man who introduced the infamous Blacklist banning 'Communist-sympathisers' from working in the US movie industry as of 1947. 

21 February 1954 - Mr. Eric Johnston, the president of the Motion Picture Association of America and head of the US delegation had promised a press conference with all the Hollywood stars since they arrived on 19 February 1954 but nothing of the sort has happened so far. Instead of the stars, he was the only one who appeared at the conference at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

Mr. Johnston who has ties with the Eisenhower Administration and is a sort of 'aparatchik' of the Establishment having been instrumental in the setting up of the famous Blacklist that banned dozens of 'communist sympathysers' from working in the film industry.

In September 1947, the motion picture industry came under sharp criticism by the House Un-American Activities Committee for allegedly permitting known communist sympathizers to include pro-communist messages in motion pictures. Spurred by red-baiting members of the MPAA as well as a fear of government censorship, Johnston agreed to institute a blacklist.

On 25 November 1947, Johnston was part of a closed-door meeting with 47 motion picture company executives at New York City's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that resulted in the 'Waldorf Statement'. Johnston issued a two-page press release that marked the beginning of the Hollywood blacklist.

Mr. Eric Johnston was friendly with the Brazilian journalists who did not have the right questions to ask him so the press conference turned into a 'chat' where he spatiated about the newest technologies like Cinemascope, Cinerama, 3-D, panoramic screen etc. that would rescue the US film industry from its present plight due to the competition of television and from the European cinema that is proving more exciting than the tread-of-the-mill made in Hollywood.

Mr. Eric Johnston alongside MGM big-shot Louis B.Mayer in Washington during his testimony at the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings in 1947. Note that Mr. Johnson is striking his favourite pose just like the one he did at the press conference in S.Paulo (see the newspaper clip above).

The day Hollywood died! The Hollywood Ten were victms of a show-trial in Washington-DC that would put to shame any dictatorship in the world. Here they are in November 1947 waiting to be fingerprinted in the US Marshal's office after being cited for 'contempt of Congress'. Front row from left: screenwriter & director Herbert Biberman; attorneys Martin Popper & Robert W. Kenny, Albert Maltz, Lester Cole. Middle row: screenwriter Dalton Trumbo; screenwriter John Howard Lawson; screenwriter Alvah Bessie; screenwriter Samuel Ornitz. Back row: screenwriter Ring Lardner Jr.; director Edward Dmytryk and producer & screenwriter Adrian Scott. 

Finalmente ontem, 23 Fevereiro 1954, pouco depois das 11:00 horas, no salão grande do Palacete Trocadero, realizou-se a entrevista coletiva dos artistas e técnicos do cinema norte-americano à imprensa.

O cenarista e produtor Collier Young, autor de fitas inteligentes como ‘Act of violence’ (Ato de violencia) de 1948, e outras produções da companhia cinematográfica de Ida Lupino, a princípio, sentou-se ao lado de Joan Fontaine, sua esposa, mas retirou-se logo a seguir.

Em 1º lugar tomou a palavra, em nome da delegação, o ator Walter Pidgeon, presidente do Sindicato dos Atores de Cinema (Screen Actors Guild).  Quanto à propalada crise que teria surgido no cinema yankee devido à popularidade da televisão, declarou ele que ‘crise’ era uma palavra muito forte.

Depois de Pidgeon foi a vez de Jane Powell, que discorreu sobre sua carreira desde adolescente em filmes musicais da MGM. Ann Miller confessou que prefere aparecer em filmes musicais e não em dramas.

Jeanette Mac Donald explicou que gostaria de fazer uma nova fita com seu antigo par Nelson Eddy, mas que os estúdios ainda não encontraram uma boa história que se adapte ao gênero de ambos.

Joan Fontaine teve ocasião de se referir às suas relações fraternais com Olivia de Havilland, de cujos êxitos declara estar orgulhosa. 

Edward G.Robinson declarou que os produtores independentes têm feito muitas experiências que têm contribuido para elevar o nível artístico do cinema.

A Fred Mac Murray perguntaram sobre seu romance com June Haver durante o Festival. Declarou ele que os fans deviam dar-lhes um pouco de tempo. June Haver, já sentindo a 'barra-pesada' que seu romance com Mac Murray poderia causar à sua carreira em Hollywood, referiu-se ao auxilio que os artistas têm recebido de sua particular amiga Louella Parsons (temida fofoqueira dos jornais de Randolph Hearst) bem como à profunda fé católica da referida noticiarista. Miss Haver, com essa declaração, já estava tentando apaziguar a ira de Louella que, provavelmente, desaprovaria o romance dela com Fred.

Jeffrey Hunter declarou apreciar o lado humanitário do convite para visitar a Penitenciária do Estado, porém, que, como membro de uma delegação, para isso dependia da decisão dos organizadores de programa do Festival, tirando, assim, o cú da reta.  

Barbara Rush informou que a fita em que mais gostou de atuar foi ‘Magnificent obsession’ (Sublime obsessão) ainda inédita no Brasil, rodada originalmente em 1935 com Irene Dunne e Robert Taylor para a Universal.

Walter Pidgeon, novamente inquirido sobre assuntos politicos, declarou acreditar na sinceridade de propósitos do senador Joseph Mc Carthy, o homem que via comunistas escondidos debaixo das camas.

Inquirido sobre a reação à saida de Charles Chaplin dos Estados Unidos, Robert Cummings respondeu que não conhece o referido cômico pessoalmente, mas somente através da leitura de jornais. Disse que, como não usa bola de cristal, não sabe porque ele deixou o país. E que a reação do publico norte-americano foi nula; pelo menos – segundo confessou – a sua foi.

Irene Dunne explicou que a influência da Igreja Católica no cinema é ponderável e benéfica.

Palacete Trocadero, where the eagerly awaited press conference took place.

The so-much waited press conference was a lacklustre affair. A bunch of washed-up faded stars of yesteryear uttering a lot of useless information. Walter Pidgeon vouching for alcoholic braggart Joe McCarthy! B-films actor Robert Cummings dismissing Charles Chaplin as a 'non-entity'! Irene Dunne praising the reactionary North-American Catholic Church as 'beneficial' to the movies. Even June Haver asked forgiveness from gossip-witch Louella Parsons for having been in a romance with Fred Mac Murray! A pathetic non-event!

Errol Flynn who would not deign to show up his face at any official function, probably was right in shutting himself up in his hotel room and getting himself into an alcoholic stupor most of the time.

Errol Flynn arrived 2 days before the Festival closed and refused to take part in any official functions in the Festival which closed up shop on Friday, 26 February 1954.

Differently from Cannes, Berlin, Venice and other festivals, São Paulo did not declare any movie as 'winning' the Festival. A bit of a anti-climax but it probably was the best policy otherwise some US trash would have 'won' São Paulo's first and only Film Festival ever.

February the 27th, 1954.

To the people of São Paulo.

We are deeply appreciative of the graciousness with which the people of this beautiful city have welcomed us.

In the fastest growing city of the world, it has been most understandably impossible for each and everyone of us to do, and participate in, all of the things which we would so much have enjoyed.

Our stay here has been altogether too brief, but we have had time enough to perceive that you are a generous people, an understanding people, and as one of our group so aptly put it ‘the ... est people’.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Irene Dunne, Errol Flynn, Joan Fontaine, Walter Pidgeon, Rhonda Fleming, Jeffrey Hunter, Barbara Rush, Fred Mac Murray, Adrian, Jane Powell, June Haver, Ann Miller, Gene Raymond, Jeanette Mac Donald, Robert Cummings, Edward G. Robinson.