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Pictures Of Us

The pictures listed in this select list of photographs are in the Still Picture Branch of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Most are part of the Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (Record Group 111) and Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (Record Group 165). The records include photographs from the Mathew B. Brady collection (Series Identifier 111-B), purchased for $27,840 by the War Department in 1874 and 1875, photographs from the Quartermaster's Department of the Corps of Engineers, and photographs from private citizens donated to the War Department.

The United States sued to restrain violations of 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act by (1) five corporations which produce motion pictures and their respective subsidiaries or affiliates which distribute and exhibit films and own or control theaters, (2) two corporations which produce motion pictures and their subsidiaries which distribute films, and (3) one corporation engaged only in the distribution of motion pictures. The complaint charged that the first group of defendants conspired to and did restrain and monopolize interstate trade in the exhibition of motion pictures in most of the larger cities of the country and that their combination of producing, distributing and exhibiting motion pictures violated 1 and 2 of the Act. It also charged that all of the defendants, as distributors, conspired to and did restrain and monopolize interstate trade in the distribution and exhibition of films. After a trial, the District Court granted an injunction and other relief.

6. The District Court's finding that the exhibitor defendants had "pooling agreements" whereby normally competitive theaters were operated as a unit, or managed by a joint committee or by one of the exhibitors, the profits being shared according to prearranged percentages, and that these agreements resulted in the elimination of competition pro tanto both in exhibition and in distribution of feature pictures, is sustained. P. 334 U. S. 149.

10. The District Court's findings that certain "formula deals" covering the exhibition of feature pictures in entire circuits of theaters and certain "master agreements" covering their exhibition in two or more theaters in a particular circuit unlawfully restrain

11. The findings of the District Court with reference to "franchises" whereby exhibitors obtain all feature pictures released by a distributor over a period of more than a motion picture season are set aside so that the court may examine the problem in the light of the elimination from the decree of the provision for competitive bidding. Pp. 334 U. S. 155-156.

20. Motion pictures, like newspapers and radio, are included in the press whose freedom is guaranteed by the First Amendment; but the problem involved in these cases bears only remotely, if at all, on any question of freedom of the press, save only as timeliness of release may be a factor of importance in specific situations. Pp. 334 U. S. 166-167.

22. Vertical integration of producing, distributing, and exhibiting motion pictures is not illegal per se; its legality depends upon (1) the purpose or intent with which it was conceived, or (2) the power it creates and the attendant purpose or intent. Pp. 334 U. S. 173-174.

The major film studios owned the theaters where their motion pictures were shown, either in partnerships or outright. Thus specific theater chains showed only the films produced by the studio that owned them. The studios created the films, had the writers, directors, producers and actors on staff (under contract), owned the film processing and laboratories, created the prints and distributed them through the theaters that they owned: In other words, the studios were vertically integrated, creating a de facto oligopoly. By 1945, the studios owned either partially or outright 17% of the theaters in the country, accounting for 45% of the film-rental revenue.

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