Also in those 1949 Quick predictions, a prediction that puzzles me…
Front-Page Movie: One of the 1950’s most exciting films will be made from Bob Sylvester’s yet-to-be-published novel, Second Oldest Profession. Four studios are bidding for it — a shocker about a reporter who rises to editor.
The novel was published, as titled, by Robert Sylvester in 1950 — and, according to what I could see in journalism chatter, the book included the ethical dilemma of “an advice columnist who gets actively involved with reader.” The paperback, at least, sensationalized the newsman’s novel with a bawdy cover and tag line: “Hard Men and Soft Women in the World’s Roughest Business.”
Just the sort of romantic film fodder you could envision from vintage Hollywood, right? But what happened to the film…
There’s evidence that 20th Century-Fox bought the rights to Sylvester’s book in the April 4th, 1950 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
And in the April 1, 1950 issue of Boxoffice (under Four Literary Purchases Recorded for the Week, page 30), there’s this brief but detailed report:
To 20th Century-Fox went “The Second Oldest Profession,” a novel by Robert Sylvester and concerned with the newspaper business. With Otto Preminger assigned to produce – and – direct, the vehicle is being shaped as a starring subject for Gregory Peck when he returns to the U.S. from his current British assignment, Warners’ “Captain Horatio Hornblower”
Boxoffice, April 1, 1950
But I’ve never heard of a film titled The Second Oldest Profession — and even if 20th Century-Fox would have opted to skip the promotional favor of a recognizable title, I can’t find any film by either Preminger or Peck which fits the bill… Even Robert Sylvester’s IMDB record is bereft of any mention of The Second Oldest Profession.
So, for all the fanfare & the bidding war, I guess the film was never made? If you know otherwise, I’d love to hear from you — otherwise it’s just one more prediction Quick seems to have gotten wrong.