Parade of top pictures neatly ties up with consistent
box-office pull of three big names – Gloria Romero, Nestor de Villa, Zaldy
Zshornack. “Sino Ang May Sala?” leads
pack with whopping record.
ONCE again, new box office champions are announced by the
Kislap-GRAPHIC poll. As in the past
seven years, the gate receipts of all pictures released in the first-run
theaters for local movies in Manila during the past movie year were
studied. The poll is based on the
returns reported to the Bureau of Internal Revenue on a ten-day run of each
film at Life or New Dalisay, and sometimes Center Theater. Returns from advanced showings, premieres, or
previews are not included.
Generally, the weakness or strength of a picture in
Manila serves to gauge its reception in the provinces, with some outstanding
exceptions, of course. What’s more, the
returns from Manila first-run theatres generally give back the producer more than
one half or even all of the entire cost of production and promotion. Hence, the interest attached to this poll.
The 1957 gross receipts prove that local movies are
getting bigger and better. Color
spectacles and efforts to introduce something new paid off. In 1957, the champions made P725,293.70, with
the topnotcher garnering P83,154 and the tailender grossing P49,073. Last year’s returns were bigger by
P188,324.30 than those of 1956 when the top ten moneymakers totaled
P536,969.40, with the top picture making P71,176 and the tenth placer P47,913.
In leather jacket, Romeo Vasquez belabors boy he doesn't like in "Sino Ang May Sala?" biggest moneymaker in 1957.
TWO new movie companies landed in the top ten with their
maiden ventures: Vera Perez Pictures
making the top of the heap with its debut piece, Sino Ang May Sala, and Champion Pictures making fifth with its Kandilang Bakal. What LVN has started in full scale, the
full exploitation of color possibilities for local movies, paid off handsomely
for all local studios. Two color
pictures; namely, Paru-Parong Bukid and
Turistaare in the lineup, while Day of the Trumpetwould have made it
for Premiere too, except that, officially, it is a 1958 release and therefore
not in the running.
Two “several-stories-in-one” made the grade; namely, Bicol Expressand Mga Anak Ng Diyos. Each of
the Big 3 movie companies can boast of a picture which was made abroad, all of
them with a berth in the poll, namely Hongkong
Holiday, Turista, and Sweethearts.
Sino Ang May Sala, an
all-star cast, is number 1 in this year’s top ten with its total income of
P83,154. Maiden venture of a new movie
company, the Vera-Perez Corporation, this was released through Sampaguita
Pictures. Based on a novel written by
Dr. Fausto Galuran, touching on the sore problem of juvenile delinquency, this
movie was hailed not only for being a grosser but also for frankly dealing with
one of the social ills of the age:
juvenile delinquency. Megged by
Armando Garces, stars Rogelio de la Rosa, Paraluman, Gloria Romero, Ric
Rodrigo, Lolita Rodriguez, Luis Gonzales, Rosa Mia, and Van de Leon all
underplayed their roles to jet-propel to almost positive stardom Romeo
Vasquez. The movie formally introduced
the Vera-Perez Pictures to the public through an invitational premiere, which
turned out to be a social event attended by no less than the former First Lady,
Mrs. Luz Magsaysay.
Ric Rodrigo and Gloria Romero enact scene in "Hongkong Holiday." Gloria is Sampaguita's most valuable property.
SAMPAGUITA Pictures captured second and third places
respectively with Hongkong Holidayand
Paru-Parong Bukid. Hongkong Holidaywas reportedly the first
of the “Holiday…” series that the company plans to make every year. Grossing P82,793.40 in ten days, its run was
extended to 20 days to make P132,000 for Sampaguita. This first co-production venture of
Sampaguita was filmed in its entirety in Hongkong and starred Gloria Romero,
Ric Rodrigo, Paraluman, and Dolphy. It
was directed by Mar S. Torres and from the time its unit left Manila, a
coordinated publicity was launched. The
fans were invited to the airport, an early teaser was shot, rickshaws and
quaint Chinese novelties were made much of .
This movie was only P400 short of the winner.
Although a remake, Paru-Parong
Bukidplaced third with P78,070.
Sampaguita Pictures’ first color production (processed at LVN color
laboratory and directed by Armando Garces).
This time, Gloria has Luis Gonzales as her country swain. Based on an original story by Catalino V.
Flores, the movie highlighted three types of dances as introduced by Ruben
Nieto. Dolphy was a star in this picture
too. Fans claim that this movie proved
that Gloria is several millions times lovelier in color than in black and
Fourth place goes to LVN’s Turista, a Nida Blanca-Nestor de Villa starrer shot in its entirety
in Japan, the land of cherry blossoms.
Capturing in beautiful Eastman color the picturesque country, this
Felicing Constantino directed movie made much of LVN’s most popular love team’s
dancing and singing fame and grossed P77,769.20. Jamin Alcoriza choreographed the dances for
the local scenes, but actual nightclub scenes in Tokyo highlighted the
picture. Bimbo Danao and Luisa Montesa
co-starred with Nida and Nestor. Mt.
Fuji and the cherry blossoms came out beautifully in color. Atsuko Kindaichi was another highlight of the
movie, but she failed to come for the Premiere.
launched Champion Pictures sensationally.
This movie, based on a Pablo Gomez serial, raked in P76,677. Directed by Consuelo P. Osorio, it stars Jose
Padilla, Jr., Lilia Dizon, and Reynaldo Dante.
During its run, a Studebaker Champion was raffled off but the bigger
attraction of the run was reportedly the accompanying short which depicted the
death of President Magsaysay.
Left: Against background of cherry blossoms, Nestor de Villa and Nida Blanca smile in Turista," one of the top ten. Right: Shirley Gorospe does a split for Zaldy Zshornack, Premiere's hottest star, in "Sweethearts." In this picture, Zaldy rocked 'n' rolled with Lisa Gaye, Hollywood celebrity.
Sixth place goes to Bicol
Express, Premiere’s all-star movie, with P72,095. This Premiere moneymaker is a 7-in-1 affair,
handled by seven different directors with seven different casts for seven
different little stories that take place as the Bicol Express runs from Manila
The star roll includes Zaldy Zshornack, Pancho Magalona,
Efren Reyes, Leopoldo Salcedo, Eddie del Mar, Danilo Montes, Cesar Ramirez,
Tita Duran, Alicia Vergel, Olivia Cenizal, Tessie Quintana, Cielito Legaspi,
and Carol Varga, under the following directors, Gerry de Leon, Eddie Romero,
Cirio Santiago, Chat Gallardo, Teodorico Santos, Efren Reyes, and Josefino
Cenizal. This was Premiere’s anniversary
presentation for 1957.
stars the real life sweethearts Zaldy Zshornack and Shirley Gorospe netted
P63,990. Shot in Hollywood by Gerry de
Leon it is perfect romantic fodder for the teenagers of the country. Hailed as a probable new Tita-Pancho love
team, Zaldy and Shirley sang, danced, and romanced to their fans’ delight. Lisa Gaye was another attraction in the
picture and the Zshornack die-hards simply swooned when Zaldy rocked ‘n’ rolled
with the American queen of the rock ‘n’ roll.
All the famous spots in Hollywood reached the local movie fans via this
movie, and how they lapped it up.
Mga Anak Ng Diyos, another
Vera-Perez smash hit, landed eighth with P50,790. This is a trilogy held together by a common
factor, the orphanage where each of the three principal characters came
from. Handled by three different
directors, Mar S. Torres, Armando Garces, and Conde Ubaldo, Lolita Rodriguez,
Rita Gomez and Gloria Romero were starred.
Susan Roces and Romeo Vasquez, the company’s first star for the year,
Ninth place goes to the very popular radio serial Krisalis written and directed by Susana
de Guzman, with P50,218. This movie
stars Nestor de Villa with Charito Solis.
Sharing star billing are Delia Razon and Jaime de la Rosa. Krisalis
marked the first radio premiere to be held.
LVN once again comes in for 10th spot, with Sebya, Mahal Kitaanother popular radio
serial which was rushed by Nestor de Villa and Nida Blanca before they enplaned
for Tokyo for Turista. Based on the radio show made popular over
CBN by Sylvia La Torre, Sebyaalso
stars comedians Pugo and Bentot, members of the original radiocast. This musical made P49,073, only P651.60 ahead
of Tingnan Natinwhich missed making
the top ten. This last was also a
Nida-Nestor starrer, shot in color and for Magnascope screen. Its playdate greatly affected its returns –
Dec. 20 to Dec. 29. Any movie that comes
out from the 15th to the 23rd of December generally
suffers a slump from which it is difficult to recover no matter how terrific
the picture is.
Other pictures which made above forty thousand pesos but
fell short of the top ten were Veronica,
Pretty Boy, Bituing Marikit, and Pusakal.
A REVIEW of the poll reveals Gloria Romero as the movie
queen of Sampaguita Pictures in 1957.
She starred in all of the company’s box office champions, opposite Ric
Rodrigo, Luis Gonzales or Juancho Gutierrez.
At LVN, Nestor de Villa is proving he can stand on his own, for he was
the leading man in all three moneymakers, opposite either Nida Blanca or
Charito Solis. The consistent star for
Premiere Productions is Zaldy Zshornack, labeled the hottest star of the
company. He was in all the box office champions
of the company. Now he may be ranked
side by side with Efren Reyes and Pancho Magalona, the top attractions of the
Just to show how effective local pictures are, it was
reported that a boom in trips to Tokyo and Hongkong took place with the release
of the two big co-production deals of LVN and Sampaguita. While it may be true that young stars like
Gloria, Nestor and Zaldy brought in the money, it cannot be denied that Rogelio
de la Rosa, now a senator, is also an important factor in the success of Sino Ang May Sala. He was one of the many stars who graced
its outstanding cast.
Most of the stories which became moneymakers last year
were original stories, later on serialized either in a magazine or over the
radio. Looks like comic strips have
passed their heyday. Only Kandilang Bakalmade it.
movies achievement for 1957, romped away with the best director, best
photography, best screenplay award, at the recent film festival in Tokyo, and
although it did not make the top ten, it gave local movies prestige. Time and again, the present movie colony has
been invited to show at Edinburgh, Cannes, New York, and elsewhere.