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The Half Naked Truth

The Half Naked Truth(1932)


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The Anatomy of Ballyhoo was an account detailing the exploits of late press agent Harry Reichenbach. The working title of this film was Phantom Fame. According to reviews, Bartlett Cormack was a co-screenwriter on the production. His name, however, was apparently removed from the final film credits. According to a Film Daily news item, Jay Eaton and Hal Crane were cast members, but their participation in the final film has not been confirmed. An early draft of the film's screenplay elicited many censorship suggestions from Jason S. Joy of the MPAA, who wrote to producer David Selznick in September 1932. According to Joy's letter, the lines, "I'll spank your bottom," "There used to be, but it went Republican," "I ain't got that far with her yet," "I will not turn my tail and run" and "Plant these where they will do the most good," were questionable, as were the words "eunuch" and "punk." In addition to many other suggestions, Joy recommended that "the nudist business" be shot in a way as to assure "no exposure" or views of leering faces. Most of Joy's suggestions were taken by Selznick, and very few of the "objectionable" lines or bits were left in the script. According to RKO production records, during filming, actor Lee Tracy provoked the ire of Selznick because of his repeated late arrivals and absences from the set. In a "strictly confidential" October 8, 1932 inter-office memo, Selznick recommended that, "for the good of the company and the industry," a legal suit be brought against Tracy for the total amount of monies he had cost the studio. Selznick suggested serving Tracy with the lawsuit "on the set as soon as the last scene has been finished, and in front of the entire company." As threatened, RKO withheld $3,500 from Tracy's final paycheck and then filed a $10,000 "conciliation" suit against him through the Conciliation Committee of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on October 14, 1932. Dr. Frederic Bergstrom, speaking to the press on behalf of Tracy, stated that Tracy was suffering from a nervous breakdown and that his set absences had been the result of stomach disorders. In spite of Selznick's stated desire to run Tracy "out of the industry," RKO finally settled the suit out of court. By agreement, RKO paid Tracy $1,500, half of his withheld salary, and promised that, if he behaved himself during production, he would be rewarded with the other half as a bonus upon completion of his next RKO movie. In October 1936, Tracy completed filming on Wanted! Jane Turner and requested his promised bonus.