|Founded||Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA (June 8, 1912)|
|Headquarters||Universal City, Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Key people||Carl Laemmle, Founder|
Ronald Meyer, President / Chief Operating Officer
Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is a major American motion picture company. A subsidiary, in business matters is an entity that is controlled by a bigger and more powerful entity The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 68 - The Roman Senate accepts emperor Galba. 536 - St Silverius becomes Pope (probable Year 1912 ( MCMXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County California, that encompasses the 415 acre ( Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the This article is about Carl Laemmle the founder of Universal Pictures. Ron Meyer is an American Entertainment executive and former talent agent President is a Title leaders of Organizations companies, Trade unions universities, and countries. A chief operating officer or chief operations officer ( COO) is a Corporate officer responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the Corporation For other uses of this term see Industry (disambiguation An industry (from Latin industrius, "diligent industrious" Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over Property, which may be an object, land/real estate, Intellectual property VIVENDI is a software package for care management and staff organisation published by the German software company CONNEXT and introduced in 1995 A holding company is a company that owns part all or a majority of other companies' outstanding Stock. NBC Universal is a media and Entertainment company formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric 's NBC with Vivendi Universal A website (alternatively web site or Web site, a back-construction from the Proper noun World Wide Web) is a collection of Web pages NBC Universal is a media and Entertainment company formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric 's NBC with Vivendi Universal The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Its production studios are located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California. Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County California, that encompasses the 415 acre ( Distribution and other corporate offices are based in New York City. The City of New York Universal is the second longest-lived studio in Hollywood (Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures is the oldest by a month). Viacom ( ( short for " Vi deo & A udio Com munications" is an American Media conglomerate with various worldwide interests Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California.
The founder of Universal was Carl Laemmle (pronounced [ˈlɛmliː]), a German Jewish immigrant who settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store. This article is about Carl Laemmle the founder of Universal Pictures. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Oshkosh is a city in Winnebago County, Wisconsin, United States, located where the Fox River On a 1905 buying trip to Chicago, Illinois, he was struck by the popularity of Nickelodeons. Year 1905 ( MCMV) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Chicago (ʃɪˈkɑːgoʊ is the largest City by population in the state of Illinois and the American Midwest of the United States. For the Nickelodeon Theatre in Columbia, SC, see the page on the Columbia Film Society. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the take for the day. Within weeks of his Chicago trip, he gave up dry goods to buy the first of several nickelodeons. Dry goods are products often Textiles and clothing The term "soft goods" is also sometimes utilized For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for any Trust-produced film they showed. Year 1908 ( MCMVIII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year On the basis of Edison's patent on the electric motor used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, and attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. It was believed that the productions were meant to be used for another company but they turned it down. Soon Laemmle and other disgruntled Nickelodeon owners decided to avoid paying Edison by producing their own pictures. In June 1909, Laemmle started the Yankee Film Company with partners Abe and Julius Stern. Year 1909 ( MCMIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting That company quickly evolved into the Independent Moving Picture Company, or IMP. Laemmle broke with Edison's custom of refusing credit to actors. By naming the stars of films, he was able to attract many of the leading players of the time, contributing to the creation of the star system. In 1910, he actively promoted Florence Lawrence, then known as "The Biograph Girl," in what may be the first instance of a studio using a film star in its marketing. Year 1910 ( MCMX) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year starting Florence Lawrence ( January 2, 1890 &ndash December 28, 1938) was a Canadian inventor and Silent film actress who
On June 8, 1912, Laemmle merged IMP with eight smaller companies to form the Universal Film Manufacturing Company, introducing the word "universal" into the organization's name. Events 68 - The Roman Senate accepts emperor Galba. 536 - St Silverius becomes Pope (probable Year 1912 ( MCMXII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year starting Laemmle was the primary figure in a partnership that included Mark Dintenfass, Charles Baumann, Adam Kessel, and Pat Powers. Patrick Power can refer to the following persons Patrick Power, a Canadian politician Patrick Power (Australian, a former Deputy Senior Eventually all would be bought out by Laemmle. (Baumann and Kessel partnered with Mack Sennett for their highly successful Keystone Film Company. Mack Sennett ( January 17, 1880 &ndash November 5, 1960) was an Academy Award -winning director and was known as the innovator ) The new Universal studio was a horizontally integrated company, with both movie production and distribution capacity (the company lacked a major circuit of exhibition venues, ownership of which would become a central element of film industry integration in the following decade). In Microeconomics and Strategic management, the term horizontal integration describes a type of ownership and control The company was incorporated as Universal Pictures Company, Inc. in 1925.
Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood area. Its first logo was an Earth with a Saturn-like ring and the text in a bold Kentucky font. In later years it was replaced by a model to ultimately to today's CGI animation. Computer animation Computer-generated imagery (also known as CGI) is the application of the field of Computer graphics or more specifically 3D computer graphics In 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre (0. Year 1915 ( MCMXV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year 9-km²) converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood. Studio management now became the third facet of Universal's operations, with the studio incorporated as a distinct subsidiary organization. Unlike other movie moguls, Laemmle opened his studio to tourists. Universal became the biggest studio in Hollywood, and remained so for a decade. However, it sought an audience mostly in small towns, producing mostly inexpensive melodramas westerns, and serials. Melodrama refers to theatre in which music is used to increase the spectator's emotional response or to suggest character types The Western is a fiction Genre seen in Film, Television, Radio, Literature, Painting and other Visual arts. Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials or Film serials, were Short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a Feature
Despite Laemmle's role as an innovator, he was an extremely cautious studio chief. Unlike rivals Adolph Zukor, William Fox, and Marcus Loew, Laemmle chose not to develop a theater chain. Adolf Zukor, born Adolph Cukor, ( January 7, 1873 &ndash June 10, 1976) was a film mogul and founder of Paramount William Fox may refer to William Fox (England (fl 17th century Paymaster of the Forces of England William Johnson Fox Marcus Loew ( May 7, 1870 &ndash September 5, 1927) was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the Motion picture He also financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. This policy nearly bankrupted the studio when actor-director Erich von Stroheim insisted on excessively lavish production values for his films Foolish Wives and Blind Husbands, but Universal shrewdly got some of its money back by launching a sensational ad campaign that attracted moviegoers. Erich von Stroheim ( September 22, 1885 &ndash May 12, 1957) was an Austrian star of the silent film age lauded for his directorial Foolish Wives ( 1922) is an American Drama Silent film written and directed by Erich von Stroheim. Character actor Lon Chaney became a huge drawing card for Universal in the 1920s, appearing steadily in dramas. Lon Chaney may refer to Lon Chaney Sr (1883-1930 Lon Chaney Jr His two biggest hits for Universal were The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris is an 1831 French novel written by Victor Hugo. Year 1923 ( MCMXXIII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Phantom of the Opera (in French, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra) is a French Novel by Gaston Leroux. Year 1925 ( MCMXXV) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. During this period Laemmle entrusted most of the production policy decisions to Irving Thalberg. Irving Grant Thalberg ( May 30, 1899 – September 14, 1936) was an Academy Award -winning American Film producer Thalberg had been Laemmle's personal secretary, and Laemmle was impressed by Thalberg's cogent observations of how efficiently the studio could be operated. Promoted to studio chief, Thalberg was giving Universal's product a touch of class, something it seldom had during the silent era.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hired Thalberg away from Universal, and without his guidance Universal became a second-tier studio, and would remain so for several decades.
In 1926, Universal opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak. Year 1926 ( MCMXXVI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Joseph Pasternak ( September 19, 1901 – September 13, 1991) was a Hungarian -born American film director in Hollywood This unit produced three to four films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and then Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe. Year 1936 ( MCMXXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Hungary (Magyarország 'mɔɟɔrorsaːg) officially in English the Republic of Hungary ( Magyar Köztársaság, literally Magyar (Hungarian Republic Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich Hi and welcome to Wikipedia! Please understand that this article is frequently vandalized and vandalism is reverted immediately With the advent of sound, these productions were made in the German language or, occasionally, Hungarian or Polish. In the U. S. , Universal Pictures did not distribute any of this subsidiary's films, but at least some of them were exhibited through other, independent, foreign-language film distributors based in New York, without benefit of English subtitles. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous Nazi persecution and a change in ownership for the parent Universal Pictures organization resulted in the dissolution of this subsidiary.
By 1927, Charles B. Mintz, a film producer and distributor, took control of Margaret J. Year 1927 ( MCMXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Charles B Mintz ( November 5, 1889 – December 30, 1939) was an American Film producer and distributor who took control Winkler's Winkler Pictures, after marrying Winkler. Margaret J Winkler (or M J Winkler) was one of the key figures in silent animation history, having a crucial role to play in the histories of Max and Mintz commissioned or, Mintz threatened, he would make the films himself. Disney refused the offer and returned to California. California ( is a US state on the West Coast of the United States, along the Pacific Ocean.
As an alternative to Oswald, Iwerks and Disney created what became Disney's trademark, Mickey Mouse. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is an Anthropomorphic Rabbit Animated cartoon character created by Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney for films Mickey Mouse is a comic animal Cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company. The mouse contained many of Oswald's characteristics and soon soared to popularity following the release of Disney's first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. Steamboat Willie ( 1928) is an Animated cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse released on November 18, 1928. This moment effectively launched the Disney empire, while Universal became a relatively minor player in movie animation after Oswald.
In 2006, after almost 80 years, NBC Universal sold all Disney-produced Oswald cartoons back to Disney, in return for the release of then-ABC TV sportscaster Al Michaels from his contract so he could work on NBC's Sunday night NFL football package. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The American Broadcasting Company ( ABC) is an American Television network. Alan Richard Michaels (born November 12, 1944) is an American Television Sportscaster. The National Broadcasting Company ( NBC) is an American Television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly Television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on However, Universal kept the Oswald cartoons that Walter Lantz produced for them from 1929 to the mid-1930s. Walter Benjamin Lantz ( April 27 1899 &ndash March 22 1994) was an American Cartoonist and Animator, best Year 1929 ( MCMXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The 1930s were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression.
In 1928, Laemmle, Sr. Year 1928 ( MCMXXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. made his son, Carl, Jr. head of Universal Pictures as a 21st birthday present. Carl Laemmle Jr ( 28 April 1908 &ndash 24 September 1979) was in charge of production at Universal Studios from about 1928 to 1936 Universal already had a reputation for nepotism—at one time, 70 of Carl, Sr. Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward relatives and friends based upon that relationship rather than on an objective evaluation of ability Meritocracy or suitability 's relatives were on the payroll. Many of them were nephews, resulting in Carl, Sr. being known around the studios as "Uncle Carl. " Ogden Nash famously quipped in rhyme, "Uncle Carl Laemmle/Has a very large faemmle. Frederic Ogden Nash ( August 19, 1902 &ndash May 19, 1971) was an American Poet best known for writing pithy and funny "
To his credit, "Junior" Laemmle persuaded his father to bring Universal up to date. He bought and built theaters, converted the studio to sound production, and made several forays into high-quality production. His early efforts included the 1929 part-talkie version of Show Boat, the lavish musical Broadway (1929) which included Technicolor sequences, the first all-color musical feature (for Universal); King of Jazz (1930); and All Quiet on the Western Front, winner of the "Best Picture" Academy Award for 1930. Year 1929 ( MCMXXIX) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A part-talkie film is a film which was made during the early sound era (anywhere from 1927 to 1930 which is partly a Silent film and partly a Talkie. Show Boat ( 1929) is a film based on the novel by Edna Ferber. Broadway is a 1929 film directed by Pál Fejös from a play by George Abbott, Phillip Dunning and Jed Harris. Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation King of Jazz ( 1930) is a motion picture starring Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra Year 1930 ( MCMXXX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. All Quiet on the Western Front is a War film based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name. The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS to artists working "The Oscar" redirects here for the film see The Oscar (film. Laemmle, Jr. also created a successful niche for the studio, beginning a long-running series of monster movies, affectionately dubbed: Universal Horror, among them Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. Universal Horror is the name given to the distinctive series of Horror films made by Universal Studios in California Frankenstein is a Horror film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and very loosely based on the novel of the same name Dracula is a classic 1931 Horror film directed by Tod Browning and starring Béla Lugosi as the title character The Mummy is a 1932 horror classic from Universal Pictures directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a The 1931 six-sheet (81-by-81-inch) poster for Frankenstein is considered to be the most valuable movie poster in the world. Year 1931 ( MCMXXXI) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. There is only one copy of this poster known to exist. Other Laemmle productions of this period include Imitation of Life and My Man Godfrey. Imitation of Life is a 1934 American Drama film directed by John M My Man Godfrey is a Screwball comedy film released in by Universal Pictures, directed by Gregory LaCava.
Ironically, Universal's forays into high-quality production nearly broke the company. Taking on the task of modernizing and upgrading a film conglomerate in the depths of the depression was risky, and for a time Universal slipped into receivership. Administrative receivership is a procedure in the United Kingdom whereby a creditor can enforce security against a company's assets in an effort to obtain The theater chain was scrapped, but Carl, Jr. held fast to distribution, studio and production operations. The end for the Laemmles came with a lavish remake of its 1929 success Show Boat, featuring several stars from the Broadway stage version, which began production in late 1935. Show Boat ( 1936) is a film based on the musical by Jerome Kern (music and Oscar Hammerstein II (script and lyrics and Broadway theater, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 39 large professional theaters with 500 seats or more located Year 1935 ( MCMXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. However, Carl, Jr. 's spending habits alarmed company stockholders, especially after the costly flop of the western epic Sutter's Gold earlier in the year. They would not allow production to start on Show Boat unless the Laemmles obtained a loan. Universal was forced to seek a $750,000 production loan from the Standard Capital Corporation, pledging the Laemmle family's controlling interest in Universal as collateral. It was the first time in Universal's 26-year history that it had borrowed money for a production. Production problems resulted in a $300,000 overrun. When Standard called the loan in, a cash-strapped Universal couldn't pay. Standard foreclosed and seized control of the studio on April 2, 1936. Events 68 - Galba, Governor of Hispania, names himself legatus senatus populique Romani, breaking the line of Year 1936 ( MCMXXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Universal's version of Show Boat was released in 1936 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest film musicals of all time. However, it was not enough to save the Laemmles, who were unceremoniously removed from the company they had founded.
Standard Capital's J. Cheever Cowdin took over as president and chairman of the board of directors, and instituted severe cuts in production budgets. John Cheever Cowdin ( 1889 - September 16, 1960) (also known as Cheever Cowdin or J Gone were the big ambitions, and though Universal had few big names under contract, those it had been cultivating, like William Wyler and Margaret Sullavan, now left. William Wyler ( July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was a four-time Academy Award -winning motion picture director Margaret Brooke Sullavan ( May 16, 1909 – January 1, 1960) was an Academy By the start of World War II, the company was concentrating on smaller-budget productions: westerns, melodramas, serials and sequels to the studio's horror classics.
Producer Joe Pasternak, who had been successfully producing light musicals with young sopranos for Universal's German subsidiary, came to America and repeated his tried-and-true formula. Teenage singer Deanna Durbin starred in Pasternak's first American film, Three Smart Girls (1936). Deanna Durbin (born December 4, 1921) is a Canadian Singer and Academy Award -winning actress from Hollywood Three Smart Girls ( 1936) is a musical Comedy film. The Craig sisters played by Barbara Read, Nan Grey and Deanna The film made a fortune and restored the studio's solvency. If any one star can be said to have kept Universal in business during the late 1930s, it was Durbin, despite her often being woefully miscast as a young teenager when she was, clearly, a fully adult woman. As Durbin outgrew her screen persona and pursued more dramatic roles, the studio signed 13-year-old Gloria Jean for her own series of Pasternak musicals; she went on to star with Bing Crosby, W. C. Fields, and Donald O'Connor. Gloria Jean (born Gloria Jean Schoonover on April 14, 1926 in Buffalo New York) is an American Singer and actress Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby ( May 3, 1903 &ndash October 14, 1977) was an Academy Award winning American Popular W C Fields ( January 29, 1880 &ndash December 25, 1946) was an American Juggler, Comedian, and Actor Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor ( August 28, 1925 &ndash September 27, 2003) was an American Dancer, Singer
Universal could seldom afford its own stable of stars, and often borrowed talent from other studios, or hired freelance actors. James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Margaret Sullavan, and Bing Crosby were some of the major names that made a couple of pictures for Universal during this period. James Stewart may refer to Actors James Stewart (actor (1908&ndash1997 Hollywood movie actor and USAF Brigadier General Marlene Dietrich maɐˈleːnə ˈdiːtrɪç (December 27 &ndashMay 6) was a German -born American Actress, Singer and Entertainer Margaret Brooke Sullavan ( May 16, 1909 – January 1, 1960) was an Academy Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby ( May 3, 1903 &ndash October 14, 1977) was an Academy Award winning American Popular Some stars came from radio, including W. C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, and the comedy team of Abbott and Costello (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello). William (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo performed together as Abbott and Costello, an American comedy duo whose William Alexander “Bud” Abbott ( October 2, 1895 – April 24, 1974) was an American Actor, producer and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo; March 6, 1906 - March 3, 1959) was an American Actor and Comedian Abbott and Costello's military comedy Buck Privates (1941) hit like a bombshell, catapulting the former burlesque comedians to unprecedented popularity. Buck Privates is the 1941 comedy / World War II film that turned Bud Abbott and Lou Costello into bonafide movie stars They became the biggest movie stars in America, improving Universal's bottom line even more than Durbin's glossy productions had.
During the war years Universal did have a co-production arrangement with producer Walter Wanger and his partner, director Fritz Lang, but their pictures were a small bit of quality in a schedule dominated by the likes of Cobra Woman and Frontier Gal. Walter Wanger ( July 11, 1894 – November 18, 1968) was an Academy Award -winning American Film producer Friedrich Christian Anton "Fritz" Lang ( December 5, 1890 &ndash August 2, 1976) was an Austrian German - American Cobra Woman is a 1944 south-seas melodrama/adventure film directed by Robert Siodmak, and starring Jon Hall, Sabu, veteran character Universal's customer base was still the neighborhood movie theaters, and the studio continued to please the general public with low- to medium-budget comedies, musicals, adventures, westerns, and serials. The studio also fostered a number of series: The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys action features and serials (1938-43), the comic adventures of infant Baby Sandy (1938-41), Hugh Herbert comedies (1938-42), horror thrillers with Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Invisible Man, and The Mummy (1939-45), Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in Sherlock Holmes mysteries (1942-46), teenage musicals with Gloria Jean, Donald O'Connor, and Peggy Ryan (1942-43), and screen adaptations of radio's Inner Sanctum Mysteries (1943-45). The Dead End Kids were a group of young actors from New York who appeared in Sidney Kingsley 's Broadway play Dead End in 1935 Dead End Kids and The Little Tough Guys were a group of actors who made a series of films and serials released by Universal Studios from 1938 through 1943 Hugh Herbert ( August 10, 1887 &ndash March 12, 1952) was a motion picture comedian Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, generally known as Frankenstein, is a Novel written by the British author Mary Shelley Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary Antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. The Wolf Man is a 1941 Horror film written by Curt Siodmak and produced and directed by George Waggner, starring Lon Chaney Not to be confused with Invisible Man, a novel written by Ralph Waldo Ellison Basil Rathbone, MC (13 June 1892 – 21 July 1967 was a South African-born English Actor most famous for his portrayal of Sherlock Nigel Bruce ( February 4 1895 &ndash October 8 1953) was a British Character actor on stage and screen best known Sherlock Holmes is a famous fictional detective of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who first appeared in Publication in 1887 Margaret O'Rene "Peggy" Ryan ( 28 August 1924, Long Beach California &ndash 30 October 2004, Las Vegas Nevada Inner Sanctum Mysteries was a popular Old-time radio program that aired from January 7, 1941 to October 5, 1952. Since Universal made mostly low-budget films for many years, it was one of the last major studios to begin using full Technicolor. Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation The studio first made use of the three-strip process in 1942, when it released the entertaining Arabian Nights, the first of a series of Technicolor spectaculars starring Jon Hall and Maria Montez. Jon Hall ( February 23, 1915 &ndash December 13, 1979) was an American Film Actor. María Montez ( June 6, 1912 - September 7, 1951) was a Dominican -born Motion picture actress who gained fame and popularity Technicolor was also used in Universal's 1944 remake of the classic melodrama, Phantom of the Opera with Claude Rains and Nelson Eddy. The Phantom of the Opera (in French, Le Fantôme de l'Opéra) is a French Novel by Gaston Leroux. William Claude Rains (10 November &ndash30 May) was an English award-winning Actor and Film star whose career spanned 47 years Nelson Ackerman Eddy ( June 29, 1901 - March 6, 1967) was an American singer who appeared in 19 Musical films
In 1945 the British entrepreneur J. Arthur Rank, hoping to expand his American presence, bought into a four-way merger with Universal, the independent company International Pictures, and producer Kenneth Young. Joseph Arthur Rank 1st Baron Rank ( December 22 1888 &ndash March 29 1972) was a British industrialist and Film producer The new combine, United World Pictures, was a failure and was dissolved within one year. Rank and International remained interested in Universal, however, culminating in the studio's reorganization as Universal-International. William Goetz, a founder of International, was made head of production at the renamed Universal-International Pictures Inc. William Goetz ( March 24, 1903 – August 15, 1969) was an American Hollywood Film , which also served as an import-export subsidiary, and copyright holder for the production arm's films. Goetz, a son-in-law of Louis B. Mayer decided to bring "prestige" to the new company by stopping the studio's low-budget production, including "B" musicals, comedies, and westerns (films under 65 minutes) and serials, and curtailed Universal's famous "monster" and "Arabian Nights" series. Louis Burt Mayer (born Lazar Meir July 4, 1884 &ndash October 29, 1957) was an early Film producer, most Distribution and copyright control remained under the name of Universal Pictures Company Inc.
Goetz set out an ambitious schedule. Universal-International became responsible for the American distribution of Rank's British productions, including such screen classics as David Lean's Great Expectations and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet. Sir David Lean KBE ( 25 March, 1908 &ndash 16 April, 1991) was an English Film director and producer Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean and based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Laurence Kerr Olivier Baron Hamlet is a British film adaptation of William Shakespeare 's play Hamlet, directed by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. Broadening its scope further, Universal-International branched out into the lucrative nontheatrical field, buying a majority stake in home-movie dealer Castle Films in 1947, and taking the company over entirely in 1951. Castle Films was a home-movie distributor founded in California by former Newsreel cameraman Eugene W For three decades, Castle would offer "highlights" reels from the Universal film library to home-movie enthusiasts and collectors.
The production arm of the studio still struggled. While there were to be a few hits like The Egg & I, The Killers, and The Naked City, Universal-International's new theatrical films often met with disappointing response at the box office. The Egg and I is a 1947 film directed by Chester Erskine, and starring Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray and Marjorie Main The Killers ( 1946) is an American Film noir about the investigation of a mob murder The Naked City is a 1948 Black-and-white Film noir directed by Jules Dassin. By the late 1940s, Goetz was out, and the studio reverted once more to the low-budget fare it knew best. The inexpensive Francis the Talking Mule and Ma and Pa Kettle series became mainstays of the new company. Francis the Talking Mule was a Mule celebrity featured in seven movie comedies in the 1950s Ma and Pa Kettle were the featured characters in a series ofpopular light comedic movies in the 1940s and 1950s Once again, the films of Abbott and Costello, including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, were among the studio's top-grossing productions. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (which has the onscreen title Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein) is a comedy / Horror film But at this point Rank lost interest and sold his shares to the investor Milton Rackmil, whose Decca Records would take full control of Universal in 1952. Decca Records is a British Record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis.
Though Decca would continue to keep picture budgets lean, it was favored by changing circumstances in the film business, as other studios let their contract actors go in the wake of the 1948 U.S. vs. Paramount Pictures, et al. case. United States v Paramount Pictures, Inc, 334 US 131 ( 1948) (also known as the Hollywood Antitrust Case of 1948, the Paramount Leading actors were increasingly free to work where and when they chose, and in 1950 MCA agent Lew Wasserman made a deal with Universal for his client James Stewart that would change the rules of the business. MCA Inc (or Music Corporation of America) was an American Corporation in the music and television businesses Lew Wasserman (born Lewis Robert Wasserman, March 22, 1913, Cleveland Ohio - June 3, 2002, Beverly Hills California was a James Maitland Stewart (20 May 1908 – 2 July 1997 popularly known as Jimmy Stewart, was an American Film and stage Actor Wasserman's deal gave Stewart a share in the profits of three pictures in lieu of a large salary. When one of those films, Winchester '73 proved to be a hit, Stewart became a rich man. Winchester '73 is an American Western movie released by Universal Pictures in 1950. This kind of arrangement would become the rule for many future productions at Universal, and eventually at other studios as well.
By the late 1950s, the motion picture business was in trouble. The combination of the studio/theater-chain break-up and the rise of television saw the mass audience drift away, probably forever. Television ( TV) is a widely used Telecommunication medium for sending ( Broadcasting) and receiving moving Images, either monochromatic The Music Corporation of America (better known as MCA), mainly a talent agency, had also become a powerful television producer, renting space at Republic Studios for its Revue Productions subsidiary. MCA Inc (or Music Corporation of America) was an American Corporation in the music and television businesses Republic Pictures (also known as Republic Entertainment Inc) is an independent film television and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution Universal Media Studios ( UMS, formerly NBC Universal Television Studio is the TV production arm of the NBC Universal Television Group. After a period of complete shutdown, a moribund Universal agreed to sell its (by now) 360-acre (1. 5 km²) studio lot to MCA in 1958, for $11 million, renamed Revue Studios. Universal Media Studios ( UMS, formerly NBC Universal Television Studio is the TV production arm of the NBC Universal Television Group. Although MCA owned the studio lot, but not Universal Pictures, it was increasingly influential on Universal's product. The studio lot was upgraded and modernized, while MCA clients like Doris Day, Lana Turner, and Cary Grant were signed to Universal Pictures contracts. Doris Mary Anne von Kappelhoff (born April 3, 1922) is an American Singer, actress, and animal welfare advocate known as Lana Turner ( February 8, 1921 &ndash June 29, 1995) was an Academy Award -nominated American Film
The actual, long-awaited takeover of Universal Pictures by MCA, Inc. finally took place in mid-1962 as part of MCA -Decca Records merger (Universal's then parent company), with MCA as surviving corporation. Decca Records is a British Record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Universal-International Pictures, the production subsidiary reverted in name back to Universal Pictures. As a last gesture before getting out of the talent agency business, virtually every MCA client was signed to a Universal contract. In 1964 MCA formed Universal City Studios, Inc. to take over the motion pictures and television arms of Universal Pictures Company and Revue Productions (officially renamed Universal Television in 1966). Universal Media Studios ( UMS, formerly NBC Universal Television Studio is the TV production arm of the NBC Universal Television Group. And so, with MCA in charge, for a few years in the 1960s Universal became what it had never been: a full-blown, first-class movie studio, with leading actors and directors under contract; offering slick, commercial films; and a studio tour subsidiary (launched in 1964). But it was too late, since the audience was no longer there, and by 1968, the film-production unit began to downsize. Television now carried the load, as Universal dominated the American networks, particularly NBC (which later merged with Universal to form NBC Universal; see below), where for several seasons it provided up to half of all prime time shows. The National Broadcasting Company ( NBC) is an American Television network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Prime Time is the major News analysis current affairs and Politics programme broadcast on Radio Telefís Éireann in Ireland An innovation of which Universal was especially proud was the creation in this period of the made-for-television movie.
Though Universal's film unit did produce occasional hits, among them Airport, The Sting, American Graffiti, Earthquake, and a blockbuster that restored the company's fortunes, Jaws, Universal in the 1970s was primarily a television studio. Airport is a 1970 film based on the 1968 Arthur Hailey novel of the same name. The Sting is a 1973 Caper film set in September 1936 and revolving around a complicated plot by two professional grifters ( Paul American Graffiti is a period Coming of age film directed by George Lucas, and written by Lucas Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Earthquake is a 1974 action adventure / disaster / Thriller film that achieved huge box-office success continuing the Disaster film Jaws is a 1975 thriller / horror Film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley 's best-selling Weekly series production was the workhorse of the company. There would be other film hits like E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, and Jurassic Park, but overall the film business was still hit-and-miss. This article is about the 1982 film For the term "ET" which redirects here see ET. Back to the Future is a 1985 science fiction Comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg. Jurassic Park is a 1993 Science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Michael In the early 1970s, Universal teamed up with Paramount Pictures to form Cinema International Corporation, which distributed films by Paramount and Universal worldwide. Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. Cinema International Corporation (CIC was a film distribution company started by Paramount Pictures (then owned by Gulf+Western, now a unit of Viacom) It was replaced by United International Pictures in 1981, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer joined the fold. United International Pictures (or UIP; now known as Paramount Pictures International) is a Joint venture of Paramount Pictures (owned by UIP began distributing films by start-up studio DreamWorks in 1997, and MGM subsequently dropped out of the venture in 2001, letting 20th Century Fox internationally distribute its films. DreamWorks LLC, also known as DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, or DreamWorks Studios, is a major American Film studio In 1990, MCA created MCA/Universal Home Video Inc. to enter the lucrative videotape and later DVD sales industry. Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto Magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. DVD (also known as " Digital Versatile Disc " or " Digital Video Disc " - see Etymology)is
Anxious to expand the company's broadcast and cable presence, longtime MCA head Lew Wasserman sought a rich partner. Lew Wasserman (born Lewis Robert Wasserman, March 22, 1913, Cleveland Ohio - June 3, 2002, Beverly Hills California was a He located Matsushita Electric, the Japanese electronics manufacturer. Around this time, the production subsidiary was renamed Universal Studios Inc. Matsushita provided a cash infusion, but the clash of cultures was too great to overcome, and five years later Matsushita sold control of MCA/Universal to Canadian liquor distributor Seagram. For the rapper Seagram, see Seagram Miller The Seagram Company Ltd Hoping to build a media empire around Universal, Seagram bought PolyGram in 1999 and other entertainment properties, but the fluctuating profits characteristic of Hollywood were no substitute for the reliable income stream of hard liquor. PolyGram was the name from 1972 of the Major label recording company started by Philips as a holding company for its music interests in 1945
To raise money, Seagram head Edgar Bronfman Jr. sold Universal's television holdings, including cable network USA, to Barry Diller. Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr (born May 16, 1955) formerly CEO of Seagram and vice-chairman of Vivendi Universal, has been CEO of Warner Music USA Network (commonly referred to as USA) is an American Cable television channel with about 89 million household subscribers as of 2005 Barry Diller (born 2 February 1942 is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp and the media executive responsible for the creation of (These same properties would be bought back later at greatly inflated prices. ) In June 2000, Seagram itself was sold to French water utility and media company Vivendi(which owns StudioCanal). VIVENDI is a software package for care management and staff organisation published by the German software company CONNEXT and introduced in 1995 StudioCanal Image SA (aka Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image) is a French -based production The media conglomerate became Vivendi Universal. A media conglomerate describes companies that own large numbers of companies in various Mass media such as Television, Radio, Publishing, VIVENDI is a software package for care management and staff organisation published by the German software company CONNEXT and introduced in 1995 Afterward, Universal Pictures acquired the United States distribution rights of several StudioCanal's films, such as Mulholland Drive (which received an Oscar nomination) and Brotherhood of the Wolf (which became the second-highest-grossing French-language film in the United States in the last two decades). The United States of America —commonly referred to as the StudioCanal Image SA (aka Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image) is a French -based production Mulholland Drive is a 2001 Mystery film written and directed by David Lynch that exhibits elements of Film noir and Surrealism "The Oscar" redirects here for the film see The Oscar (film. Brotherhood of the Wolf, also known by its French title Le Pacte des loups (literally " The Pact of the Wolves " French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Universal Pictures and StudioCanal also co-produced several films, such as Love Actually(an $40 million-budgeted film that went on grossing $246 million worldwide). StudioCanal Image SA (aka Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image) is a French -based production Love Actually is a 2003 British Romantic comedy Film written and directed by Richard Curtis.
MCA Records was absorbed by UMG subsidiary Geffen Records in 2003, thus effectively ending the existence of the MCA name. MCA Records was an American -based record company owned by MCA Inc Universal Music Group (UMG is the largest Business group and family of Record labels in the Recording industry. Geffen Records is an American Record label, owned by Universal Music Group, and operated as one third of UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M label Year 2003 ( MMIII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar.
Burdened with debt, in 2004 Vivendi Universal sold 80% of Vivendi Universal Entertainment (including the studio and theme parks) to General Electric, parent of NBC. The resulting media super-conglomerate was renamed NBC Universal, while Universal Studios Inc. NBC Universal is a media and Entertainment company formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electric 's NBC with Vivendi Universal remained the name of the production subsidiary. Though some expressed doubts that regimented, profit-minded GE and high-living Hollywood could coexist; as of 2007 the combination has worked. The reorganized "Universal" film conglomerate has enjoyed several financially successful years. As presently structured, GE owns 80% of NBC Universal; Vivendi holds the remaining 20%, with an option to sell its share in 2006.
In late 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures swooped in to acquire DreamWorks SKG after acquisition talks between GE and DreamWorks stalled. Universal's long time chairman, Stacey Snider, left the company in early 2006 to head up DreamWorks. Snider was replaced by then-Vice Chairman Marc Shmuger and Focus Features head David Linde.
Over the years, Universal has made deals to distribute and/or co-finance films with various small companies, such as Imagine Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment, Morgan Creek Productions, Working Title Films (and DreamWorks), StudioCanal, Shady Acres Entertainment, Mark Platt Productions, and Beacon Communications LLC. Imagine Entertainment is a Film and Television Production company founded in 1986 by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Amblin Entertainment' is an American film and television Production company founded by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Morgan Creek Productions is an American film studio that has released box-office hits like Young Guns, Major League, True Romance Working Title Films is a British film production company based in London, England. StudioCanal Image SA (aka Le Studio Canal+, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image) is a French -based production Tom Shadyac (born December 11, 1958 in Falls Church Virginia) is an American Comedian, producer, director
Universal, like any other major movie studio, owns a considerable library. It owns every feature and short produced by the company, as well as almost all TV shows Revue/Universal made. In addition, Universal owns almost all of the pre-1950 sound features originally made by Paramount Pictures—these films came under Universal ownership in 1962, when MCA bought US Decca - MCA, in turn, had purchased the films in 1957 via its in-name only division EMKA, Ltd. (This library also includes the 1948 MGM film State of the Union, which was acquired by Paramount after its purchase of Liberty Films), as well as a few Alfred Hitchcock features originally released by Paramount. Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. State of the Union is a 1948 film adaptation written by Myles Connolly and Anthony Veiller of the Russel Crouse, Howard Liberty Films was an independent motion picture production company founded in California by Frank Capra and Samuel J Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 Universal also owns the Walter Lantz Productions library of cartoons featuring Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, and other popular characters. Walter Lantz Productions was an American Animation studio It was in operation from 1929 to 1972 and was the principal supplier of animation for Universal Studios Woody Woodpecker is an animated cartoon character, an Anthropomorphic Woodpecker who appeared in theatrical Short films produced Chilly Willy is a Cartoon character, a diminutive Anthropomorphic Penguin living in Fairbanks, Alaska, although the species is native
The company owns the libraries of Focus Features' ancestors USA Films, October Films, and the 1996-1999 films by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (MGM owns most of the pre-1996 PolyGram library, though Universal owns a few films from that era as well) and its subsidiaries, as well as (through parent NBC Universal) much of the post-1973 NBC library of shows and made-for-TV movies. Focus Features (formerly USA Films, Universal Focus and Good Machine) is the art house films division of NBC Universal 's Universal October Films was a US Independent film production company and distributor founded in 1991 by Bingham Ray and Jeff Lipsky PolyGram Filmed Entertainment ( PFE) (aka PolyGram Films and PolyGram Pictures) was a London -based Anglo - Dutch
It also owns several films made by others, including some pre-1952 United Artists material, an Alfred Hitchcock feature originally released by Warner Bros. - Rope, and the UK rights to most of the RKO Pictures library. This article is about the film studio Previously it was affiliated with a cinema chain bearing its name now owned by Regal Entertainment Group. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc (or Warner Bros, Warner Bros Pictures) is one of the world's largest producers of Film and Rope ( 1948) is an Alfred Hitchcock classic film notable for its single location edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot taking
Universal was created from the merger of Laemmle's IMP with several smaller film-production businesses. This is a partial listing of films produced and/or distributed by Universal Pictures, the main motion picture production / distribution arm of Universal Crash Bandicoot is a platform game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation Spyro the Dragon is a Platform game developed by Insomniac Games for the PlayStation. is a racing game for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable. These companies (and their proprietors) included:
For several years some of these junior partners carried considerable weight within Universal; inevitably factions and rivalries were the rule. At least one version of corporate history claims that the twenty-year-old Irving Thalberg rose so quickly because he told subordinates that he alone spoke for Carl Laemmle in making production decisions, while the others were more concerned with battling among themselves.