University Authorities Balk at Oomph Girl Premiere at U. T.
Officers Afraid of Bad Publicity From Ann Sheridan-Lampoon Reconciliation
If the world premiere of Ann Sheridan's forthcoming starring vehicle "It All Came True" is held at the University Theatre at the end of this month it won't be because Harvard officials aren't doing their best to prevent it.
But even if University Hall succeeds, as seems likely now, in keeping the oomph girl from coming to the University Theatre, Warner Brothers is still seriously considering having the first showing of her new picture in a Boston theatre and thus cashing in on the national publicity which began with the Lampoon's innocent crack at Miss Sheridan a few weeks ago.
Harvard Scared of Ann
College officers, frightened by visions of Ann the Oomphy posing for photographers on John Harvard's lap, object to the proposed premiere here on the grounds that it would expose Harvard to a blast of undignified publicity and are applying pressure from all sides to head Warner Brothers off.
The Ann Sheridan build-up began about two weeks ago when Lowell Thomas referred to the Lampoon's poke at Miss Sheridan as "least likely to succeed." An alert Hollywood publicity man saw his chance and got her to issue a counterblast at the Lampoon, and the big-time publicity began.
It was then that the idea of bringing her to Cambridge originated, this time in the mind of a New York Warner Brothers press agent, who hot-footed it up to Cambridge to look over the ground and plan for the floodlights and grandstands which would accompany Miss Sheridan's debut in Harvard Square.
Although the locale of the Sheridan premiere will not be decided definitely for a day or two yet, the Warner Brothers publicity machine by last week was hitting on all 12 cylinders, firing press releases, Sheridan statements, and fake tie-up stories involving Yale, Princeton, and Boston University.
Only yesterday a Warner Brothers operative in Boston persuaded some undergraduates to steal a seal and plant it in a student's room, and tried to drag Ann Sheridan into the picture by saying, "This seal has more oomph than the Lampoon" to every reporter he could find.
But the gags weren't to stop here. Among the Warner office schemes was a plan to invite W. Russell Bowie, Jr. '41, Lampoon President, out to Hollywood for a weekend to visit Ann Sheridan. Despite the fact that the movie company was to pay all expenses including plane fare both ways, the Lampoon refused.
When and if La Sheridan came to Cambridge, the Warner crew hoped to effect a public reconciliation between Ann and the Poon by having Lampoon editors and the oomph girl pose for the press in intimate and forgiving attitudes.