January 8, 2011 | 2:55
Studio executive Walter Wanger (d. 1968) describes how World War II is affecting the motion picture industry in this Nov. 15, 1942, article. He notes that movie audiences are increasing, and suggests that because of gas rationing, the local movie house will become the leading entertainment center.
Wanger also describes the effect of a $5,000 limit on movie sets [$65,094.52 USD 2009] in terms of recycling materials and notes that costumes are being made of less expensive materials. The importance of conserving film stock means more rehearsals and fewer takes, he says. And he also notes moviemakers’ response to the loss of actors (and extras) to the military.
Wanger apparently died of a heart attack in his New York apartment, where he lived quietly after a rather turbulent career, which culminated in the 1962 Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton opus/debacle "Cleopatra."
He served 102 days at a county prison farm for the 1951 shooting of agent Jennings Lang over an alleged affair with Wanger’s wife, Joan Bennett. His prison experience prompted him to produce the film "I Want to Live," about the Barbara Graham case. He was also president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.