"Wagon Train" actor Ward Bond was an intensely active member. Director producer Sam Wood (1883-1949) was its first president. Despite his film achievements, Wood's contribution to American cinema have been largely ignored perhaps because of his dedication to conservativism. His testimony before the HUAC in 1947 angered liberals since it helped underline the perception of Communist infiltration in the film industry.
Wood directed such diverse films as the classic Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera (1935) and the poignant Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). In the 40s, he turned out hits such as Our Town (1940), Kitty Foyle (1940), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Command Decision (1948), and the moving drama, Kings Row (1942) starring Ronald Reagan. Wood also was an early assistant to legendary director Cecil B DeMille.
Sam Wood's daughter is actress K. T. Stevens (who was married 24 years to actor Hugh Marlowe---The Day The Earth Stood Still). KT Stevens appears as Mrs O'Brien in the famous I Love Lucy segment in which Lucy pretends she is a chair. Son CHRIS MARLOWE is a sportscaster, and captained the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal Volleyball team.
Chris Marlowe with the Reagans.
The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals was formed in the early 1940s by some of Hollywood's high-profile conservatives including director Sam Wood, Walt Disney, and Leo McCarey. When the House Un-American Activities Committee investigated the motion picture industry, the "friendly witnesses" came largely from the Alliance. Below is the organization's "Statement of Principles."
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.
We believe in, and like, the American way of life: the liberty and freedom which generations before us have fought to create and preserve; the freedom to speak, to think, to live, to worship, to work, and to govern ourselves as individuals, as free men; the right to succeed or fail as free men, according to the measure of our ability and our strength.
Believing in these things, we find ourselves in sharp revolt against a rising tide of communism, fascism, and kindred beliefs, that seek by subversive means to undermine and change this way of life; groups that have forfeited their right to exist in this country of ours, because they seek to achieve their change by means other than the vested procedure of the ballot and to deny the right of the majority opinion of the people to rule.
In our special field of motion pictures, we resent the growing impression that this industry is made of, and dominated by, Communists, radicals, and crackpots. We believe that we represent the vast majority of the people who serve this great medium of expression. But unfortunately it has been an unorganized majority. This has been almost inevitable. The very love of freedom, of the rights of the individual, make this great majority reluctant to organize. But now we must, or we shall meanly lose "the last, best hope on earth."
As Americans, we have no new plan to offer. We want no new plan, we want only to defend against its enemies that which is our priceless heritage; that freedom which has given man, in this country, the fullest life and the richest expression the world has ever known; that system which, in the present emergency, has fathered an effort that, more than any other single factor, will make possible the winning of this war.
As members of the motion-picture industry, we must face and accept an especial responsibility. Motion pictures are inescapably one of the world's greatest forces for influencing public thought and opinion, both at home and abroad. In this fact lies solemn obligation.
We refuse to permit the effort of Communist, Fascist, and other totalitarian-minded groups to pervert this powerful medium into an instrument for the dissemination of un-American ideas and beliefs.
We pledge ourselves to fight, with every means at our organized command, any effort of any group or individual, to divert the loyalty of the screen from the free America that give it birth. And to dedicate our work, in the fullest possible measure, to the presentation of the American scene, its standards and its freedoms, its beliefs and its ideals, as we know them and believe in them.
Leading Hollywood conservative Walt Disney.