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Introductory Speech by Will H. Hays (1926)

This was the first in a program of shorts that accompanied the premiere of Don Juan (1926) in which Will H. Hays, President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, introduces the audience to the Vitaphone sound system.


Will H. Hays


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Cast overview:
Will H. Hays ... Himself


The Honorable Will H. Hays, President of the Motion Picture Producers & Distributors of America, speaks directly into the camera about the important new technology to enhance the motion picture going experience, namely Vitaphone which allows the synchronization of the picture on screen with sound. Its development is important if only because of the importance of the motion picture as the chief amusement to millions in the American public. It allows the inclusion of music directly into the motion picture, music which already plays an important role in the motion picture in the pre-Vitaphone era. However, it allows symphonic music to be incorporated, which many of the small hamlets across the country could not afford to provide in their own movie houses. Vitaphone was developed by the Western Electric and Bell Telephone Companies, and is also greatly attributed to the work of Warner Bros. Pictures. Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

6 August 1926 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Honorable Will H. Hays Welcomes Vitaphone in an Address See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Vitaphone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Will H. Hays was the first president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, serving from 1922 to 1945. Under Hays' leadership, the MPPDA adopted the Motion Picture Production Code in 1930 and began strictly enforcing it in 1934. The Production Code was the set of industry moral guidelines that spelled out what was acceptable and unacceptable content for films produced for a public audience in the United States. Because of his leadership role in the MPPDA, the Production Code was also popularly known as the "Hays Code." From 1934 to 1954, the code was closely identified with Joseph I. Breen, the administrator appointed by Hays to enforce the code. In 1968, after several years of gradually declining enforcement, the Production Code was replaced by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) film rating system. See more »


[first lines]
Will H. Hays: My friends, no story ever written for the screen is as dramatic as the story of the screen itself. Tonight, we write another chapter in that story.
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Featured in Hollywood: End of an Era (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

History and a Great Man
9 March 2008 | by SifihorseSee all my reviews

I have to totally disagree with Mr Fry's comment. Will H Hays was the Democratic Party Chairman, presidential campaign manager and Postmaster General before becoming the First President of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Associationtaking what later was called the "Hays Commission". The nation wanted to regulate films, and asked him to do it. He walked and talked with the great of Hollywood from the 20s to the 50s. Some call what he did censorship and others call it regulation. Either way he did what was asked of him in service to his country.

Could you have done better, or sounded any better introducing the first sound recording of a movie? I think not! Will Hays is a great figure in the history of movies. I have talked to people who knew and respected him in our small Indiana town. To judge his life on this short piece of film is unthinkable. I think he did magnificently! People, watch this snip of history and learn about the man in it!

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