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    »The Academy Awards«

  • TorontoSEO 8:16 PM on May 27, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , Academy Awards, Auditorium, envelope, , , , The Academy Awards, The Academy Awards The Academy Awards, , ,   

    The Academy Awards

    The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are the most prestigious and popular film awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science or AMPAS situated in Beverly Hills, California started it in May 1929. PricewaterhouseCoopers since 1935 have managed the balloting process. In 1941 the confidential envelope system started which exists till this date. This was how the phrase “the envelope please” became famous. The members of this academy are invited by the Board of Governors to join. The membership has fifteen branches each based on the different categories of awards.

    The gold plated statuettes are also presented as the Academy Award of Merit. It has a black metal base and weights 8.5 lb and 13.5 inch tall knight holding a crusader’s sword standing over a film reel with five spokes, which represent the five main categories of awards. It was created by George Stanley and Alex Smith and since then the Oscars have been manipulated only once. Forty Oscars are made for each annual Academy Awards in Chicago, Illinois. They are presented every year for movies, which have been produced in the last twelve months. The seventeen-month qualifying period was introduced to consider films released in a single calendar year in the year 1932. And since then this time period has been taken into consideration. The minimum length of the movie should be forty minutes and the minimum resolution should be 1280×720 so as to qualify as a feature-length.

    The Academy Awards were held on Thursdays until 1954. From 1959 – 1998 they were held on Mondays except for few exceptions. It started to be held on Sundays from 1999. For nearly sixty years the Academy Awards were held in later March or early April. Since 2004 it is being held in late February or early March. The very first awards ceremony was held at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. The Ambassador Hotel and Biltmore Hotel were the venues till early 1940s. Next venue was Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which was followed by the Shrine Auditorium. In 1949 the awards were presented at the Academy Award Theater. For the next ten years the venue was Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Next in line was Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica. Then the ceremony was shifted back to Los Angeles in 1968 at the Los Angeles Music Center and Shrine Auditorium and it was held there until 1988. In 2002 it was finally shifted to Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

    Oscars recognizes talents in field such as acting, screenwriting, production, direction and technician. The awards categories can be broadly described as Best Production award, Best Director award, Best Actor award, Best Actress award, Best Supporting actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay award. The only three movies that have won awards in all the categories are “It Happened One Night”,” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Silence of the Lambs”. This achievement is also known as the Big Five or Oscar Grand Slam. Three films hold the record for winning most number of Oscars, which are “Ben-Hur” in 1959, “Titanic” in 1997 and “The Return of the King” in 2003. On the awards night, invitees walk the red carpet in their best dresses, which create a fashion statement. The whole ceremony is broadcasted live on television all over America except Hawaii and Alaska, the first ever broadcast was in 1953 on NBC channel. There are performances by the nominees of the Best Original Song category and countless other performances. The telecast attracts over a billion viewers from all over the world as claimed by the Academy.

     

  • »Arnold Schwarzenegger A Short Bio«

  • TorontoSEO 8:16 PM on May 26, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: actor, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger A Short Bio, , , Governor of California, , , , , ,   

    Arnold Schwarzenegger A Short Bio

    Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger born in Austria is a very versatile actor along with being a great bodybuilder and now a politician and the Governor of California. He was the second son of his parents. His father being a police officer taught him great values and brought him up in a very strict and disciplined environment.

    Arnold had a great sports personality like his father. He had an ambition to be a body builder from his childhood and thus he began bodybuilding at the age of fifteen when he joined the soccer team of Austria. At the age of eighteen, in 1965 he joined the army and that’s when he became serious about his body and started taking a strict diet. While in the army he took part in the Mr. Junior Europe contest in 1965 and won the competition. From then on there was no looking back for him. He won enormous number of professional titles after which he went to take part in the 1968 Mr. Universe competition. He won that one too and also became the youngest winner, at the age of twenty. He even won the Mr. Olympia titles consecutively for six years but lost to Sergio Oliva when he competed for the first time. He was given the nickname “The Austrian Oak” for his great body. He then left the competition saying that he wanted to give a chance to other talents too. George Butler made a documentary on Arnold’s body building training named Pumping Iron. Besides body building being his ultimate dream, he entered Hollywood with his first movie “Hercules Goes to New York” in the year 1970. He won the Golden Globe Award for best new actor for his performance in the movie Stay Hungry, in 1976. His character in “Conan” movie required him to train vigorously and all the horse riding, sword training and running made him so strong that he required only eight weeks training for the competition. This time too, he won it. But it led to a controversy that the competition didn’t support talent but popularity.

    Arnold’s movies didn’t click at the box office until he did “Terminator” in 1984, which was followed by other hits like “Twins”, “Total Recall”, “Commando” and “Kindergarten Cop”. He started a construction firm whose profits were used to fund another small business of mail order of fitness material such as books and videocassettes. He even got a degree in business and international economics from the Wisconsin University to take his business to a further higher level. Within few years was living a luxurious life. He even wrote articles for body building magazines, Muscle & Fitness, and Flex. After being appointed as the governor he was promoted as the executive editor of both the magazines.

    His first affair was with Barbara Outland Baker who was an English teacher but they split in 1974. After that Arnold dated Maria Shriver, niece of former president John F. Kennedy for eight years and then got married to her in 1986 and they live together ever since then and the couple have four children. In August 2003 he announced his decision to stand for the elections of Governor of California. He was elected on October 7, 2003 and he replaced Gary Davis with nearly 3.4 million votes in his favor. He was re-elected again in November 2006. He is a republican. He was ranked among the top hundred people who shaped the world by time. He continues to perform his duty as the Governor of California and is being lauded for bringing in many reforms.

     

  • »Michael Jackson A Short Bio«

  • TorontoSEO 8:16 PM on May 25, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , Jermaine, Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson A Short Bio, , , ,   

    Michael Jackson A Short Bio

    Born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was the seventh child of the family of nine. They were six brothers and three sisters – Sigmund, Toriano, Jermaine, Marlon, Michael, Steven, Rebbie, Janet and La-Toya. He started his career by becoming the lead singer of the band Jackson 5, at the age of five. Jackie, Jermaine, Tito and Marlon were the other band members.

    They played at local parties and clubs and also entered competitions which allowed them to grow as a band. They got their big first big break in 1968 when Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers heard about the Jackson 5 and got them auditioned for Berry Gordy of Motown Records. They were signed immediately and they moved to California. “I want you back”, “The love you save” and “I’ll be there” were among their first few singles which became huge hits of America. They made fourteen albums with Motown till 1976 and Michael Jackson recorded four other albums. They later signed up with Epic and their group name was changed to The Jacksons, as Jackson 5 was the copyright of Motown. They made a total of six albums with Epic many of them being great hits until 1984.

    Michael met Quincy Jones on the sets of “The Wiz”, which was also his film debut. He played the role of crow along with Diana Ross who played Dorothy. He made “Off The Wall” with Quincy, who was the producer. It was the first album whose all four songs were US #1 singles and was a hit all over the world. “Thriller” was the largest selling album of all time, which was released in 1982. Over fifty million copies of the album were sold worldwide and the album had seven hits.

    Michael Jackson laid great emphasis on the videos. He called them as short films of his albums and chose the best producers and directors to work with. He even used special effects and the latest technologies, his hit song Billie Jean was a good example of this. Excellent choreography was combined with detailed make-up to make this fourteen minute long video. This short film boosted the sales of the album, Thriller and it became the world’s largest selling home video.

    The trademark moonwalk was performed by Michael Jackson for the first time in the year 1984. He won eight Grammies in one night for the album “Thriller” and the narrative work on ET Storybook, breaking all records. He announced, on December 9, 1984 that he is splitting with The Jacksons on his last concert of The Jackson’s Victory tour. After that he released his next album in 1987 named “Bad”. Michael also wrote his autobiography in 1987 which talked in detailed about his personal life and singing career. He was given the title of the Artist of the Decade for his albums “Thriller” and “Bad”. He released his fourth album “Dangerous” in collaboration with Sony Music in 1991. After his first solo world tour in 1987 he took off for another world tour in 1992. His song “Heal the World” was written on the pages of history and won the hearts of many. In the same year he started Heal the World Foundation for the homeless and orphan children of the world.

    His marriage with Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of the legendry Elvis Presley lasted for only one and a half year and they were divorced in 1996. During that period he released his fifth album “History” in 1995. To promote that album this time he took a world tour for two years. Debbie Rowe was his second wife and also his nurse when he was getting treatment for skin disorder. They had a child named Prince Michael Joseph Jackson Jr. who was born on February 13, 1997. The next year they were gifted with a daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson who was born on April 3, 1998.

    “Blood on the Dance Floor” was his sixth solo album, which was released in 1997. He also made a thirty eight minute short film named Ghost to promote his album, in which he played five different characters. He reunited with his the Jacksons on his concert in New York to celebrate his thirteenth anniversary as a solo artist. Many other superstars shared the stage with him like Whitney Houston, Destiny’s Child, Shaggy and others. He released” Invisible” and “You Rock My World in 2001”.
    Jackson had his own share of controversies in recent years when he was accused of child abuse charges. After going through years of trauma he was finally found not guilty. Jackson now lives in a Middle Eastern country called Bahrain with his brother Jermaine far away from the shadow of the public and God only knows when he will return to the music again.

     

  • »Cary Grant A Short Bio«

  • TorontoSEO 8:16 PM on May 24, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: Cary, Cary Grant, Cary Grant A Short Bio, Hepburn, , Paramount, , , , ,   

    Cary Grant A Short Bio

    One of the greatest actors that Hollywood has ever seen Cary Grant was born on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, U.K. His original birth name was Archibald Alexander Leach. Cary Grant was a tall, handsome and Charismatic person. No wonder why everyone during that era wanted to be like him. The actors had an average lower middle class childhood. It got even tougher after his mother was sent to a mental institution after she fell mentally ill when he was only 9 years old. But this fact had not been told to him until he reached his late twenties. He dropped out from school at the age of fourteen to join Bob Pender’s troupe of comedians by lying about his age and forging the signature of his father on the letter he submitted to join the troupe.

    The troupe enabled him to learn many skills including pantomime and acrobatics. He toured many English counties with the Pender Troupe. The destiny beckoned him and he was selected to go to the U.S. along with seven other Pender Troupe boys. Cary performed in the show called Good Times on Broadway, which ran for good 456 performances. This gave him enough opportunity to show his talent and to get used to the country. Then he left the Troupe and gave a screen test at Paramount Pictures in 1931. This is when he changed his name to Cary Grant from Archibald Alexander Leach.

    Cary Grant debuted in Hollywood in “This is the Night” which was released in 1932. After this movie Cary Grant was the automatic choice for Mae West in her movies “I’m no Angel” and “She done him wrong”, both releasing in the year 1933. But the real break came to him in the movie “Sylvia Scarlett” in the year 1935 with the actress Katharine Hepburn, the actress who happened to be his co-star in many of his forthcoming movies. It is with the help of this movie that Grant proved his mettle and was looked at as an actor to look forward to and tipped as the next Hollywood star. After his contract with Paramount Pictures came to an end in 1937 he decided not to join any Studio, which was standard at that time, and work independently by choosing his own scripts to work for. The move resulted in Grant giving some of the finest and most memorable comedies ever. Some of his famous comedies include “Bringing up Baby” and “Holiday”, both released in the year 1938 with none other actress Katharine Hepburn; “My Favorite Wife” and “The Awful Truth” in the year 1940 with Iren Dunne; “Gunga Din in 1939 with Victor McLagen and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; “His Girl Friday” in 1940 with Rosalind Russell and “The Philadelphia Story” in 1940 with Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepbum again.

    Grant retired at the age of 62 from movies to take his new role of a father. Grant had a rocky married life. He was married five times. All his marriages ended in divorce except his last when he was survived by his wife after his death in 1986. He had only 1 child, a daughter from his fourth wife Dyan Cannon. He had a very close friendship with Randolph Scott for which many doubted him as a homosexual, which apparently he wasn’t. According to some of the people who were close to him say that he shared a brotherly relationship with him and thus should not be doubted as something sexual. Grant was nominated twice for the best actor in Oscar but never won any award. But he was honored with a special Oscar in 1969. Though Grant died due to a stroke in November 29, 1986 he left behind a legacy of comedy movies behind for generations to come. The Empire Magazine of U.K. ranked Cary Grant the 7th most popular movie stars of all time, which he truly deserves.

     

  • »Charlie Chaplin A Short Bio«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 23, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: Artists, award, Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin A Short Bio, , , , , , ,   

    Charlie Chaplin A Short Bio

    What could be said about this great and prolific actor? An article isn’t sufficient to describe the life of this immortal legend. A library of books written on him may still fall short of portraying the life of this never to be forgotten hero of Hollywood who gave innumerable memorable movies to us. Though he rose to fame mostly due to his silent movies but he conveyed so many things that many actors couldn’t do through speech. Charles Spencer Chaplin popularly known as Charlie Chaplin was born in Walworth, London, U.K. on April 16, 1889. The people had given him nick names like Charlie, Charlot and The Little Tramp.

    Charlie Chaplin was born in the family of entertainers. His parents Charles and Hannah Chaplin were musical entertainers. No wonder why he took to stage so early. He was only five years old when he had to sing a song on his mother’s behalf as she became ill. There was no stopping this boy who toured in a musical called “The Eight Lancaster Lads” at the age of eight. The wonder kid continued his marvelous work appearing in “Giddy Ostende” at London’s Hippodrome. After that he worked with Fred Karno who had an English Vaudeville Troupe until the age of twenty-four. The troupe also brought him to New York in 1921 at the age of twenty one. He got his first break in December 1913 with Mack Sennet of Keystone. He moved to Hollywood, California the every next month to begin his long carrier both as actor and director. Charlie Chaplin’s first movie was “Making a Living” which released in February 1914. He acted and directed about thirty-five films with Keytone before moving to Essanay in 1915 where he did another fourteen films. Then he signed up with Mutual in 1916 and did another 12 films. He worked with Mutual until 1917. Then again next year he joined First National, which was later, acquired by Warner Bros. After a year i.e. in the year 1919 Charlie Chaplin formed United Artists collaborating with Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. Then he gave his first ever full-length movie “The Kid” in 1921 produced under the banner of United Artists which was directed by him.

    Charles Chaplin won a special award in 1929 Oscar Awards for his excellence in Writing, Producing, Directing and Acting for the movie “The Circus” which was released in 1928. Charlie Chaplin has the premiere of his 1931 movie “City Lights” in London where he stayed until 1932 and then returned to U.S. Chaplin’s next movie was five years called “Modern Times which was released in 1936. The movie was one of the biggest all time hits. He made another movie after four years by name “The Great Dictator” in 1940 in which he portrayed as Hitler, which was criticized by many. But the film created a stir at the box office and also won many awards. He made Monsieur Verdouz in 1947 and released a talkie in 1952 called “Limelight” which is still remembered as his best talkie.

    Chaplin had his share of controversies too. The U.S. Authorities accused him of spreading communism through his movies. After being devastated by these allegations he left for Switzerland. While being outside U.S. he produced two more films “A King in New York” in 1957 and his last film “A Countess from Hong Kong” in 1967. It saw a bad end to this wonderful artist’s works when it flopped on the box office, which was the only failure that the great actor had in his professional career. He tried his hands at new scores in 1969 including “The Kid” and “The Circus”. Academy Award honored him for his contribution to the film industry in 1972. Queen Elizabeth II knighted Charlie Chaplin in 1975. Charlie Chaplin ascended to peace on Christmas Day of 1977 while in his sleep leaving an era of artistic brilliance behind him and cherished memories to the avid viewers of his movies.

     

  • »Clark Gable A Short Bio«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 21, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: Clark Gable, Clark Gable A Short Bio, , , , , , Thalberg, , ,   

    Clark Gable A Short Bio

    William Clark Gable who is popularly known as Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in a small town called Cadiz in Ohio. Clark Gable was also known by nicknames such “Gabe” and “The King”. Clark Gable had five marriages. The first two ended in divorce with Josephine Dillon and Ria Langham respectively. The third marriage took place with Carole Lombard but that too was short lived as she died after three years of marriage. Clark Gable married Sylvia Ashley nearly 7 years after the death of his third wife. But that too ended within 3 years of marriage. His last wife survived Clark Gable when he died of a heart attack on November 16, 1960.

    Clark Gable’s had a miserly childhood. He was only seven months old when his mother passed away. He quit his school at the age of 16 and began working in a tire factory in Akron, Ohio. Still his tough days were not over. He worked in stock companies, oil fields and sold ties. It was after watching the play The Bird of Paradise that he wanted to be an actor. In the year 1924 Clark Gable was able to reach Hollywood somehow with the help of Josephine Dillon who was a theater manager of Portland, Oregon who also coached him on acting. Josephine Dillon who later on became his first wife who was twelve years senior to him played an important role in helping Clerk Gable enter Hollywood.

    Lionel Barrymore the famous actor and the director recommended Gable to MGM’s Irving Thalberg that he be screen tested. After the screening Irving Thalberg was not impressed particularly with his looks. But the studio eventually hired him after several screen tests in 1930. He worked as a co-actor with Joan Crawford in 1931 film Dance, Fools, Dance. Public liked his on screen chemistry with Jean Harlow in Red Dust in 1932 which took to top of the popularity chart. There was a spat between Gable and MGM as refused to do assignment for which he was heavily punished by loaning him out to low rent paying Columbia Pictures. Again his destiny wanted him to be a star, working with Columbia Pictures in Frank Capra’s “It happened One Night” Gabel won an Oscar which was one of the best romantic comedies to be ever produced.

    He was called back by MGM with far more intense roles in movies like “Mutiny on the Bounty” in 1935 and “Gone with the Wind” in 1939 for which he was nominated to Oscar for best actor role. Gable left Hollywood for three years after his third wife Carole Lombard died in a plane crash along with her mother. He joined Army Corps and served Europe during World War II. He starred in “Adventure” in 1945, which was highly promoted, as his comeback movie. But the film had a lukewarm response. MGM thought that Gable’s salary is too high and thus did not renew his contract with the studio. He starred in many unnoticeable films there on during 1940’s and 1950’s. During the filing of his last movie “Misfits” in 1961 he announced that he is going to become a father. But to his misfortune he passed away without seeing his son. Clark Gable was laid to rest in the shrine he built for his third wife Carole Lambord and her mother in their memory. He may be gone but to us he remains a legend even to this day and forever.

     

  • »The Grammy Awards«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 20, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , Grammy award, Grammy Awards, , , , , , The Grammy Awards, , ,   

    The Grammy Awards

    The Grammy Awards are being hosted on an annual basis to honor best music talent in the record industry and is considered equivalent to Academy Awards. Originally called as the Gramophone Awards it was started by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Usually held in February, it constitutes nearly twenty genres of music with hundred and eight categories. The categories can be broadly described as Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Artist of the Year to name a few. Regular members of the voting committee are Jon Bon Jovi, Beyonce Knowles, Prince and Paul Simon. The Recording Academy and record companies choose the works of artist who are really talented. Over hundred and fifty members review this selection and assign the works to their proper category. The members of each category who are experts in their respective fields reviews them and votes for the nominees. Deloitte Touche, who are the major independent accounting firm, then tabulates the ballots. The works, which have been produced in a time limit of past twelve months, are considered, starting from October 1.

    For many years the venue for the Grammy Awards was The Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California that was also the home of the Oscars. But once the categories began expanding, the venue was shifted to the Staple Center, Los Angeles, California. The nominees and other non-presenting attendees are expected to pay for the ticket to attend the ceremony. In 2007, the entree fee for the members was $750, which later went up to $2500. To attend the official post party, additional $250 should be paid. All the attendees get a gift bag with lots of goodies in it like perfumes, jewelry, CDs and gift certificates with the Grammy award seal.

    The ceremony is telecast live on television and there are several live performances by renowned artists. The first Grammy Awards was aired on ABC channel in 1971. Presently it is being aired on CBS channel. On February 10, 2008, the fiftieth Annual Grammy Awards will be celebrated at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

    From time to time, the Grammy Awards have been blamed that they consider only the mainstream music and do not take alternative groups into consideration. The rumor was further heightened by criticism that the big record companies are influencing Grammy Awards. Many even say that Grammy Awards doesn’t honor the artist’s talent; rather it’s just held to promote the music industry as a whole and never understood the sentiments of the common people. The critics also blame the Grammy Awards to use this platform for advertising the recording industry. Many also question the nominating and the voting process from time to time.

    Sir Georg Solti received the largest number of Grammy awards in a year. He was the conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and he received a total of thirty-one Grammys. U2 is the band, which received the most number of Grammys, a total of twenty-two. In a single night Rick Rubin won the maximum awards. He received five awards at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards. Grammy Awards have even faced fraud when the reality of the pop group Milli Vanilli came to light. The group just lip-synced the song sung by someone else, which resulted in their Grammies being taken back from them instantly. But the awards still go on attracting people from all walks of life.

     

  • »History of Paramount Pictures«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 19, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: History of Paramount Pictures, , Paramount Pictures, Pictures, , Publix, , , , ,   

    History of Paramount Pictures

    Paramount Pictures Corporation owned by media conglomerate Viacom was founded in the year 1912. The founder Adolph Zukor of Famous Players Film Company decided to make feature films that would fulfill the demands of immigrants. By the mid of next year he made five successful films. In the same year Jesse L. Lasky founded Lasky Feature Play Company and hired Cecil B. DeMille for his first movie “The Squaw Man”. Both these production companies sought help of Paramount Pictures to release their movies. Paramount Pictures was a new company at that time and was a merger of many small firms by W. W. Hokinson. The idea was appreciated and the new company, Famous Players-Lasky, got a good start. Lasky and his brother-in-law, Goldfish became in charge of the production, along with DeMille. Hiram Abrams was responsible for the distribution where as Zukor made plans for the development of the company. The company soon touched great heights. In 1916, Zukor decided to talk about the merging of the three companies with Lasky and Hodkinson. Public can take guided tour into the Paramount Studios situated in Hollywood, California.

    Zukor made the first slogan of the company “Famous Players in Famous Plays”. He was the man behind successful actors like Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Mary Pickford, Wallace Reid and Gloria Swanson. Paramount Pictures were the first to introduce the concept of block booking; this meant that if a particular firm wanted to buy the rights of a particular actor, they were also required to buy the other productions of Paramount Productions for that year. This concept proved to be a huge success and boosted the company’s sale.

    Under the leadership of Zukor, Paramount had huge success. He was responsible for building number of theaters which had nearly two thousand screens altogether. He also had big investments in radio and in 1926 he gained control over the Balaban & Katz chain. Barney Balaban became the president and Sam Katz handled the Paramount Publix theater chain. The company’s name, Famous Players-Lasky was changed to Paramount-Publix Corporation, in 1927. Due to the success of Publix theater chain the name was changed to Paramount-Publix Corporation in 1930.

    By 1932 Zukon left all his old partners behind as the company was facing bankruptcy due to the enormous expansion projects. A bank reorganization team, consisting of Otto Kahn and John Hertz took over the company but kept Zukon in the company. After dealing with bankruptcy, the company was named Paramount Pictures, Inc. and Barney Balaban became the chairman. Many actors and singers were roped in and on a yearly basis; the company was producing nearly seventy movies a year. They also tried their hand at cartoon and the two characters, Popeye the Sailor and Betty Boop became an instant hit.

    The government was having problems with the block booking, so the company decided to end it in 1940, after which the company’s production went down to twenty movies a year. While the company was making an effort to attract audience during the World War II, the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department reopened the case, U.S. vs. Paramount Pictures and the Supreme Court ordered the split of the company into two. Due to the loss of theater chains, the position of Paramount Pictures was very unstable and the company was sold to Gulf and Western Industries.

    Paramount collaborated with Universal Studios to form Cinema International Corporation in 1970. They began producing for television. After the realease of movies “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever”, the interest in movies were back again. Paramount Pictures began making albums when they purchased rights for Paramount Records. Cinema International Corporation became United International Pictures, in 1981, which was renamed as Paramount Communications in 1989. Paramount became a prominent name in Hollywood once again and gave tough competition to its rivals. Some survived by moving to another place like Warner Bros. and some closed down like for instance RKO.

     

  • »History of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 19, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: Fox Film Corporation, History of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, , , , , , , , , Twentieth, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation   

    History of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

    The California based Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation formed after the merger of two companies Fox Film Corporation and Twentieth Century Pictures in 1935. Darryl F. Zanuck, Raymond Griffith, William Goetz and Joseph Schenck started the Twentieth Century Pictures in 1933 and the Fox Film Corporation’s founder was William Fox who founded it in the year 1915.

    William Fox built many theaters and created many legends in his impressive career. Sound Fox bought the rights of a German film sound processing technique and Fox was able to produce movies with music and effect track in 1926. The company was growing and more land was required for expanding. He bought around three hundred acre of land in Beverly Hills where he built the Movietone City. After the death of his rival, Marcus Loew, William thought of buying Loew’s Inc. It had nearly two hundred theaters and also MGM studios under it. The deal was made and the companies were officially merged in 1929. But the owner of MGM studios, Louis B. Mayer, wasn’t happy with this idea and he revolted by calling on the Justice Department’s anti-trust unit and using political influence. Luck wasn’t on William’s side and he was injured in a car crash and by the time he was back to normal again the stock market crashed and he was totally bankrupt. He lost all his fortune and was even had to go to jail. The only way out was to merge with another larger company. This is when the merger of Twentieth Century and Fox took place. Fox had nearly two hundred theaters under its belt, but at that time the Twentieth Century was in better financial condition, so the name of the new company was Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, which began functioning on May 31, 1935. Schenck became the chief executive and Zanuck was the head of production. The leading actor of this company Will Rogers was killed in a plane crash and the leading actress Janet Gaynor also began losing popularity. Zanuck then decided to sign up new artists with some fresh talent. That was when Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, Henry Fonda, Sonja Henie, and Don Ameche became a part of the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation. They made many musical-dramas and movies on famous biographies, which became huge hit with the audiences.

    The fortune of the company was rising rapidly and it became the third profitable studio of America, by overtaking RKO and MGM. During the World War II, Zanuck went to serve the country and his partner William Goetz took over the company. He made many lighthearted movies. But after Zanuck returned from the war, he wanted to produce some serious entertainment and made movies like “Gentleman’s Agreement”, “Pinky”, “Wilson” and “Boomerang” which also fell into adult films category.

    After the World War, public were more attracted to television. Fox started experimenting on new ideas so as to bring the crowd back to the theater. With the help of three projectors the movie was projected on a huge concave curve, which created the illusion of three-dimensional character. The effect was achieved without polarized glasses with the help of French anamorphic projection, and this feature was named Cinemascope. They made other theater owners to switch to this technology and also bore the conversion costs. “The Robe” and “How to Marry a Millionaire” were the first experimental films using this technology. After seeing their success other rival studios also adopted this technique. Although this attracted audiences for a while the numbers started to diminish again by 1956. The same year Zanuck announced his resignation.

    Buddy Adler fitted into the shoes of Darryl Zanuck but he also died after a year. Others who followed couldn’t do anything to bring success to the company. Producer Walter Wagner convinced Elizabeth Taylor to star in “Cleopatra” and the movie proved to be a hit. Actress Marilyn Monroe was also roped in to work in “Something’s Got to Give”. But due to her untimely death the film was left uncompleted. Other movies were also rushed and Spyros Skouras the successor of Buddy Adler wasn’t able to manage the company properly. Zanuck returned back again and somehow made the directors to take him back. He made his son Richard Zanuck the president. At first Zanuck was able to give big hits like “The Sound of Music” but his credential were questioned again there string of flops after that. Eventually he was removed from the company and president Dennis Stanfill and production head Alan Ladd, Jr. pulled the company back. Many investors joined the bandwagon and great hits were produced ever after that.

     

  • »History of Universal Studios«

  • TorontoSEO 8:03 PM on May 18, 2007 Permalink |
    Tags: , History of Universal Studios, Independent, , , , , , , , Universal City Studios, Universal Pictures, Universal Studios   

    History of Universal Studios

    Universal Studios or Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios is one of the largest American film studios. It was established in 1906 when Carl Laemmle started his first theater in Chicago. He started by playing short silent movies. He later switched to production and distribution. To start the production of his own films, he opened the Independent Moving Picture Company in New York in 1909. His first work, Hiawatha, was released in the same year.

    Laemmle’s dream was to make his presence felt all over America. His next target was the west where he bought the Nestor Studio in Hollywood. He formed the Universal Film Manufacturing Company on June 8, 1912. This company which was New York based, incorporated the already existing Independent Moving Picture Company and five other companies into it. By that time he had already conquered the east and the west coast of America and now he decided to centralize his production companies. He asked Isadore Bernstein to buy plots in Los Angeles. The two hundred and thirty acre land bought became the Universal City, the entertainment center of the world. Although film production here began in 1914 and in 1915 it was officially inaugurated on March 15, 1915. The first production of this studio was Damon and Pythias. Many films were released after the studio opened including comedies, drama, action, and adventure.

    Some of the popular movies that were produced in this studio are “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Dracula”, “Bride of Frankenstein”,” The Phantom of the Opera”, “The Mummy”, and “All Quiet on the Western Front”. Laemmle developed a habit of inviting guests to watch the movie making procedure and to give suggestions to improve them. It then became a tradition at Universal studios, and later temporarily visitors were banned because of the disturbances on the sets.

    Carl retired in 1936 and sold the company to Standard Capital Company. In 1946, Universal merged with International and it was named as Universal-International. In 1947, the company produced “Hamlet” which won the Best Picture Academy Award. In 1952, Universal-International was sold to Decca Records. Decca Universal gave many hits in Milt Rackmil. Music Corporation of America, Inc. bought the Universal City studio and shifted its studio there and both the companies merged officially in 1962. Jules Stein was the founder of MCA, Inc., who was later joined by Lew Wasseman in 1936. At first this company prepared bands to perform in clubs and parties. Later it became the leading talent agency and conquered the entertainment world. They made motion pictures and also serials for television. Later they also ventured into the world of musical entertainment around 1960s to 1980s. The tradition of tours was started once again.

    The company was taken over by Matsushita Electrical Industrial Company Ltd. in 1991. The Seagram Company Ltd. Bought large number of shares in 1995 and MCA Inc. was finally named as Universal Studios on December 10, 1996. The Universal International television operations merged with USA Networks in 1998. At the end of the year the company took over PolyGram and Universal Music Group became the largest music company in the world. The Seagram collaborated with Vivendi and Canal in June 2000 and today Universal Studios is a part of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.

     
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