To DeWitt Emery [Letter 338]

Item Reference Code: 139_E4x_004_001

Date(s) of creation

April 17, 1948


DeWitt Emery


[Page 1]
April 17, 1948

Mr. DeWitt Emery
Small Business Economic Foundation
122 W. Monroe Street
Chicago 3, Illinois

Dear DeWitt:

Thank you for your letter of April 7.

I am glad that you agree with my analysis of your comic book. If you continue with it, I shall certainly be glad to have you send it to me before publication and to help you with it in any way I can.

Thanks for your nice compliment to my “Manifesto of Individualism.” I don’t think it would be adviseable to use the Manifesto now, it’s not complete enough for the subject which it covers. If you remember, it was written just as an outline for our proposed intellectual organization at the time. If I were to issue a booklet on this theme now, I would like to make a much more thorough job of it, and I cannot undertake to do it at this moment.

If you would like to use some material of mine, I wonder whether the SCREEN GUIDE FOR AMERICANS would serve your purpose. I think you could reprint it as a pamphlet of your Economic Foundation and send it out to your members. I would have to ask the consent of the Motion Picture Alliance, but I am sure they would be glad to let you do it. Since we did not copyright the booklet, we would be glad to have it reprinted and distributed by anyone who agrees with us.

I believe it should interest your members, because the ideas it contains are of much wider application than merely to the movies. Also, I think the fight

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Mr. DeWitt Emery
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April 17, 1948

for Americanism in the movies is a very important one and affects, not just Hollywood, but the whole country. There has been so much publicity and so much nonsense on this issue that a clear-cut stand on it would be extremely important.

I believe that it is up to the American public to bring about the production of movies preaching Americanism. The Reds are screaming their heads off, putting up a disgusting kind of smear and pressure campaign in order to intimidate Hollywood producers and stop them from making anti-communist movies. You may have heard about the campaign the Reds are now conducting against the picture, THE IRON CURTAIN. Our side, which is the majority of the country, is indignant against Red influences in pictures, but has done nothing about it.

Ideas cannot be forced or outlawed by legislation. It is preposterous to expect some sort of law to stop the Red influence in Hollywood. It can be stopped only by the public. The producers have the right to make any kind of movies they wish. And the public has the right to patronize these movies or not. That is the only way in which any issue can be settled in a free enterprise society. Therefore, it is up to the public to know clearly what they want or do not want to see in pictures—and then to act accordingly.

That is why I think that the SCREEN GUIDE FOR AMERICANS would be a valuable booklet for you, if you want to reprint it and get behind a campaign for American movies. Your members, the small businessmen, represent the real bulk of the movie going public—and the class which has been most consistently insulted on the screen. If they decided to take a stand on this issue and make themselves heard—believe me, Hollywood would take notice and your organization would be accomplishing a real patriotic service.

Let me know if this idea appeals to you. Have you done anything about reprinting the review of THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES from PLAIN TALK MAGAZINE? Let me know what you have decided about that and about the question of defending businessmen on the screen.

As for me, I am busy writing what will be, I hope, the first truly pro-American picture ever produced. You may have read in the papers that Warner

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Mr. DeWitt Emery
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April 17, 1948

Bros. are now going to put THE FOUNTAINHEAD into production—and I am back at the studio writing the final screenplay. It is coming along wonderfully. One can never be sure of anything in Hollywood until a picture is finished, but, so far, every indication is that the picture will be produced properly and uncompromisingly. Warner Bros. are one of the few studios that have taken a clear-cut and honest stand against Communism. If all goes well, as I hope, you will see a real Manifesto of Individualism on the American screen. I don’t have to tell you how much the country needs it at present.

With best regards,



Ayn Rand