It’s Up to You Mr. Howard! (1943)
It’s Up to You Mr. Howard!
Between You and Me
by The Editor [Hubert Cole]
It is always refreshing to talk with Leslie Howard.
We met after a private showing of The Gentle Sex, which he directed with such skill and unerring taste, and we plunged into a discussion on films.
Howard always talks common sense.
There is none of that obscure high falutin’ nonsense that some folks label “Art.”
He has both feet on the ground, but he never underrates the intelligence of picturegoers.
I asked him what his next film will be.
He confessed that at the moment it is still in its embryonic stage, but it will deal with the future.
That is, it will try to envisage what might– or what should– happen when the men and women come back from war to peace.
That is something well worth doing.
Leslie Howard doesn’t need to be told that the screen is probably the most potent medium for the transmission of ideas.
He knows it is his duty to give the people intelligent entertainment, but he knows that he has a responsibility.
I believe Howard will be one step ahead of America if he can get into production soon.
Because producers in America are also thinking about the entertainment the fighting men and women will want when they come home.
Said Harry Warner the other day: “One need not be pompous to share the knowledge that this is a violently changing world.
“The glamour era has vanished. Glamour belonged to a decade which brought us this war.
“We ought to leave it far behind and forget it as quickly as possible.”
Qnd when the head of a famous production firm expresses himself in that way it is a prologue to action.
America is somewhat ashamed of the false notions her motion pictures have given to the world.
They dislike the idea that the normal Americans are supposed to elevate wealth and luxury as fine ideals, no matter how they are acquired.
Too many pictures have discredited their true national life.
A number of sensible producers are looking ahead– as Leslie Howard is doing here.
Pictures in future will have to make contact with post-war realities.
This generation and the next will not exempt the movies from their resposibility.
When the men and women who have fought come back home they will expect the fulfilment of those things for which they fought.
The cinema can help if producers look ahead as Leslie Howard is doing.
It’s up to you, Mr. Howard, to help our fighting men and women from becoming disillusioned civilians.
And it is up to other producers to do as Mr. Howard is doing.
(Picturegoer, May 15, 1943)