Exhibitor Awards For 1950
It’s April 1950, and time to award the top marquee names of the year, as selected by that industry body whose votes count the most ---your motion picture exhibitor. "The Ten Best Money Makers" was a list everyone wanted to be on --- who wouldn’t? This was one occasion when stars always played ball. There’d be neither temperament here --- nor refusal to pose with the citation, as bestowed by Quigley Publications, owner of the industry’s leading trade magazine, Motion Picture Herald. These shots were obviously grabbed during breaks at work, or wherever the stars could be induced to pose with their certificate and (hopefully) smile. Bob Hope was obviously in a good mood that day, as was Betty Grable and Roy Rogers. Bing Crosby looks resigned if not downright surly. Abbott and Costello are beginning to show some age. Is that some gray in Bud’s thinning hair? John Wayne has the good sense to accept the award from the man himself, Hugh Quigley. This star was no fool --- he played a masterful PR game with showmen for nearly five decades, and his career speaks for the fantastic success for having done so. Same for Cary Grant --- he’s looking at that parchment as though it were a Ph.D. from Harvard --- only Cary realizes this sheepskin is a lot more valuable than anything those Ivy Leagurs were handing out. Bogart looks as though he's surprised by the photographer --- this award must have been reassuring for a star heading out the Warner Bros. door for a new career free-lancing. The western winners got their own category. I like George "Gabby" Hayes posed against rows of bound Motion Picture Heralds --- he must have stopped by their office to pick up his certificate. Charlie Starrett was wise enough to know that leading men may come and go, but a kid favorite on horseback rides on forever. No doubt he shared that insight with Bill Boyd, Johnny Mack Brown, Gene Autry, and the rest. These cowboys may have been the smartest ones in the lot. Eight (or less) oaters a year and the rest of the time picking up easy money on the personal appearance trail.