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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
See full technical specs »

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.
See more »


Featured in Hollywood: End of an Era (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

While he wasn't the most charismatic of people, this is a super important film!
9 December 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film is super important in the history of film, though I must admit that it's not the sort of film you could either rate nor recommend to most of your friends...unless your friends are film historians or history teachers. But I am very glad that Turner Classic Movies decided to show it because it was the first sound film shown to a general audience. In fact, it's the first released film by the Vitaphone unit of Warner Brothers...and for that reason alone I am thrilled it has been preserved.

The film features the head of the Production Code office, Will Hays. Hays' job was at that time mostly ceremonial and the studios pretty much made whatever they wanted (up until the new, strengthened Production Code was put into effect in July, 1934). So, since he was the face of the studios and he seemed to be doing very little in this capacity, he was asked to speak...and that's all that the film consists of...Hays speaking to the audience with a rather long- winded speech.

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