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Encyclopedia > Monogram Pictures
Dillinger was a Monogram release in 1945.
Dillinger was a Monogram release in 1945.

Monogram Pictures Corporation was a Hollywood studio that produced and released films, most on low budgets, between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists. Monogram is considered a leader among the smaller studios sometimes referred to collectively as Poverty Row. The idea behind the studio was that when the Monogram logo appeared on the screen, everyone knew they were in for action and adventure. Monogram may refer to: a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol the Hollywood studio Monogram Pictures the scale model maker Monogram Monogram, a record label an appliance line from General Electric Category: ... Image File history File links Dillinger (1945 movie) poster This is a copyrighted poster. ... Image File history File links Dillinger (1945 movie) poster This is a copyrighted poster. ... Dillinger is a 1945 gangster film telling the story of John Dillinger. ... Year 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar). ... ... Allied Artists Pictures Corporation This subsidiary of Monogram Pictures was founded in 1946. ... Poverty Row is a slang term used in Hollywood from the late silent period through the mid-fifties to refer to a variety of mostly short-lived small studios, many clustered in the area of Los Angeles, USA known as Gower Gulch, near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower...

Contents

History

Monogram was created in the early 1930s from two earlier companies, W. Ray Johnston's Rayart Productions (renamed "Raytone" when sound pictures came in) and Trem Carr's Sono-Art Pictures. Both specialized in low budget features and, as Monogram Pictures, continued that policy until 1935 with Carr in charge of production. Another independent, Paul Malvern, released his Lone Star western productions (starring John Wayne) through Monogram. 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... For other persons named John Wayne, see John Wayne (disambiguation). ...


The backbone of the studio in those early days was a father-and-son combination: Robert N. Bradbury, writer and director, and Bob Steele, cowboy actor, were on their roster. Bradbury wrote almost all of the early Monogram and Lone Star westerns. While budgets and production values were lean, Monogram offered a balanced program, including action melodramas, classics, and mysteries. Bob Steele was with WTIC Radio in Hartford, Connecticut for more than 66 years, and dominated the morning radio scene in Southern New England for most of that time. ...


In 1935, Johnston and Carr were wooed by Herbert Yates of Consolidated Film Industries; Yates planned to merge Monogram with several other smaller independent companies to form Republic Pictures. But after a short time in this new venture, Johnston and Carr left, Carr to produce at Universal and Johnston to restart Monogram in 1937. 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Republic Pictures Corporation (aka Republic Entertainment) is an independent film, television, and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution corporation with studio facilities, best known for its specialization in quality B pictures, westerns and movie serials. ...


Monogram's stars

In its early years, Monogram could seldom afford big-name movie stars and would employ either former silent-film actors who were idle (Herbert Rawlinson, William Collier, Sr.) or young featured players (Ray Walker, Wallace Ford). In 1938 Monogram began a long and profitable policy of making series and hiring familiar players to star in them. Frankie Darro, Hollywood's foremost tough-kid actor of the 1930s, joined Monogram and stayed with the company until 1950. Comedian Mantan Moreland co-starred in many of the Darros and continued to be a valuable asset to Monogram through 1949. Juvenile actors Marcia Mae Jones and Jackie Moran carried a series of homespun romances. Crime themes dominated the roster at Monogram in the late thirties and early forties. For example, the very forgettable though endearing Riot Squad (1941) cast Richard Cromwell as a doctor working covertly for the police department to catch the mobsters before his girlfriend Rita Quigley breaks their engagement. Frankie Darro (born December 22, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, United States; died December 25, 1976 in Huntington Beach, California of a heart attack), was an American voice-over artist and character actor, notable for voicing Lampwick in Walt Disneys Pinocchio and other film roles. ... Mantan Moreland (3 September 1902 - 28 September 1973) was a comic and actor most popular in the 1930s and 1940s. ... Richard Cromwell (January 8, 1910 - October 11, 1960) was an American actor, born LeRoy Melvin Radabaugh. ...


Boris Karloff brought a touch of class to the Monogram release schedule with his "Mr. Wong" mysteries. This prompted producer Sam Katzman to engage Bela Lugosi for a follow-up series of Monogram thrillers. Katzman hit the bull's-eye with his street-gang series The East Side Kids, which ran from 1940 to 1945. East Side star Leo Gorcey then took the reins himself and transformed the series into The Bowery Boys, which became the longest-running feature-film series in movie history (48 titles). Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) (London, November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969) was an English actor, who immigrated to Canada in the 1910s, best known for his roles in horror films and the creation of Frankensteins monster in 1931s Frankenstein. ... Sam Katzman (July 7, 1901 – August 4, 1973) was an American film producer. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp. ... The East Side Kids were a group of actors who made a series of films and serials released by Monogram Pictures from 1940 through 1945. ... Leo Gorcey (June 3, 1917 - June 2, 1969) is an American actor. ... The Bowery Boys were a group of actors who made a series of films released by Monogram Pictures from 1946 through 1958. ...


Monogram always catered to western fans. The studio released sagebrush sagas with Bill Cody, Bob Steele, John Wayne, Tom Keene, Tim McCoy, Tex Ritter, and Jack Randall before hitting on the "trio" format teaming veteran saddle pals. Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, and Raymond Hatton became The Rough Riders; Ray (Crash) Corrigan, John King, and Max Terhune were The Range Busters, and Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, and Bob Steele teamed as The Trail Blazers. When Universal Pictures allowed Johnny Mack Brown's contract to lapse, Monogram grabbed him and kept him busy through 1952. Buffalo Bill Cody William Frederick Buffalo Bill Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American soldier, buffalo hunter and showman. ... Bob Steele was with WTIC Radio in Hartford, Connecticut for more than 66 years, and dominated the morning radio scene in Southern New England for most of that time. ... For other persons named John Wayne, see John Wayne (disambiguation). ... Tom Keene is an actor born on December 30 1896 in Rochester, New York, died on 4th August 1963. ... Tim McCoy (born April 10, 1891 - died January 29, 1978 ) was an American actor. ... Tex Ritter Tex Ritter (January 12, 1905 – January 2, 1974) was an American country singer and actor. ... Midshipman on the H.M.S. Suprise on the movie and book Master and Commander:Far Side of the World ... Buck Jones (born Charles Gebhart, December 4, 1889, Vincennes, Indiana; d. ... Tim McCoy (born April 10, 1891 - died January 29, 1978 ) was an American actor. ... Raymond Hatton (Birthname: Raymond William Hatton b. ... Ken Maynard Ken Maynard (July 21, 1895 – March 23, 1973) was an American motion picture stuntman and actor. ... Hoot Gibson (August 6, 1892 - August 23, 1962) was a rodeo champion and a pioneer cowboy film actor, director and producer. ... Bob Steele was with WTIC Radio in Hartford, Connecticut for more than 66 years, and dominated the morning radio scene in Southern New England for most of that time. ... Universal Pictures is the main motion picture production/distribution arm of Universal Studios, a subsidiary of NBC Universal. ... Johnny Mack Brown (September 1, 1904 – November 14, 1974) was an All-American college football player and successful film actor. ...


The studio was a launching pad for stars of the future (Preston Foster in Sensation Hunters, Randolph Scott in Broken Dreams, Lionel Atwill in The Sphinx, Alan Ladd opposite Edith Fellows in Her First Romance, Robert Mitchum in When Strangers Marry. The studio was also a haven for established stars whose careers had stalled: Edmund Lowe in Klondike Fury, John Boles in Road to Happiness, Ricardo Cortez in I Killed That Man, Kay Francis and Bruce Cabot in Divorce. Preston Foster (August 24, 1901-July 14, 1970) was an American stage and film actor. ... Randolph Scott (January 23, 1898 – March 2, 1987) was an American motion picture actor whose career spanned from 1928 to 1962. ... Lionel Atwill in Mystery of the Wax Museum Lionel Atwill (March 1, 1885 - April 22, 1946) was an English stage and film actor born in Croydon, London. ... Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 – November 7, 1964) was an American film actor. ... Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997) was an Academy award nominated American film actor and singer. ... Edmund Dantes Lowe (March 3, 1890 - April 21, 1971) was an actor. ... John Boles, Jr. ... Ricardo Cortez, born Jacob Krantz (September 18, 1899 - April 28, 1977), was a film actor from Vienna, Austria. ... Kay Francis (January 13, 1905 – August 26, 1968) was an American actress who, after a brief beginning on Broadway in the 1920s, moved to film and achieved her greatest success between 1930 and 1936. ... Promotional photo for actor Bruce Cabot Bruce Cabot (April 20, 1904 – May 3, 1972) was an American film actor. ...


Monogram did create and nurture its own stars. Gale Storm began her career at RKO Radio Pictures in 1940 but found a home at Monogram. Storm had been promoted from Monogram's Frankie Darro series and was showcased in crime dramas (like Cosmo Jones, Crime Smasher (1943) opposite Richard Cromwell and radio's Frank Graham in the title role) and a string of musicals to capitalize on her singing talents (like Campus Rhythm and Nearly Eighteen, both 1943). Another of Monogram's finds during this time was British skating star Belita, who conversely starred in musical revues first and then graduated to dramatic roles. Josephine Owaissa Cottle (born April 5, 1922), better known as Gale Storm, is an American actress/singer. ... The classic logo of RKO Radio Pictures. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Richard Cromwell (January 8, 1910 - October 11, 1960) was an American actor, born LeRoy Melvin Radabaugh. ... Frank Porter Graham (14 October 1886 - 16 February 1972) was a Democratic U.S. Senator from the state of North Carolina between 1949 and 1950. ... Belita Jepson-Turner (October 25, 1923 - December 18, 2005) was an Olympic skater and film actress. ...


Series films and success

Monogram continued to experiment with series; some hit and some missed. Definite hits were Charlie Chan, The Cisco Kid, and Joe Palooka, all proven movie properties abandoned by other studios and revived by Monogram. Less successful were the comic-strip exploits of Snuffy Smith, the mysterious adventures of The Shadow, and Sam Katzman's comedy series co-starring Billy Gilbert, Shemp Howard, and Maxie Rosenbloom. 1938 titlecard Number One Son with the seat of his pants on fire in Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese-American detective created by Earl Derr Biggers, reportedly in part under inspiration from the career of Chang Apana. ... The Cisco Kid was a popular radio, television and film series based on the fictional Western character created by author O. Henry in his short story The Caballeros Way, published in 1907 in the short story collection Heart of the West. ... The comic-strip heavyweight boxing champion Joe Palooka, drawn by Ham Fisher changed his appearance to fit the reigning real-life champ -- until the coming of African-American Joe Louis in the 1930s, after which Palooka remained a cowlicked blond. ... Snuffy Smith has been for many years the predominant character in the syndicated newspaper comic strip Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, created by Billy DeBeck and later drawn by Fred Lasswell from 1942 until 2001 (when Laswell died). ... This article is about the fictional character. ... Billy Gilbert was an American comedian and actor most known for his odd and unusual sneeze routines. ... Samuel Shemp Howard / (Horwitz) (March 17, 1895 – November 22, 1955) was part of the Three Stooges comedy team. ... Maxie Rosenbloom, born September 6, 1903 in Harlem, New York City, United States – died March 6, 1976 in South Pasadena, California, was a boxing champion and film actor. ...


Later Monogram very nearly hit the big time with Dillinger, a sensationalized crime drama that was a runaway success in 1945. Monogram tried to follow it up immediately (with several "exploitation" melodramas cashing in on topical themes), and did achieve some success, but Monogram never became a respectable "major" studio like former poverty-row denizen Columbia Pictures. Dillinger is a 1945 gangster film telling the story of John Dillinger. ... The Columbia Pictures logo from 1993 to the present Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. ...


The complete Monogram filmography (1931-52) is annotated in The Monogram Checklist by Ted Okuda, [1].


Allied Artists

Producer Walter Mirisch began at Monogram after World War II as assistant to studio head Samuel "Steve" Broidy. He convinced Broidy that the days of low-budget films were ending, and in 1946, Monogram created a new unit, Allied Artists Productions, to make costlier films. At a time when the average Hollywood picture cost about $800,000, Allied Artists' top expenditure of $250,000 was still small-time (although a definite upgrade from Monogram's $90,000 budgets). But, Mirisch said later, it allowed them to make 'B-plus' pictures, which were released along with Monogram's established line of B fare. By 1953, Mirisch's prediction about the end of the low-budget film had come true thanks to television, and the Monogram brand name was finally retired. The company was now known as Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. Walter Mirisch (born November 8, 1921 in New York City, New York) is an American film producer in Hollywood, California. ... Year 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full 1946 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Allied Artists Pictures Corporation This subsidiary of Monogram Pictures was founded in 1946. ... Allied Artists Pictures Corporation This subsidiary of Monogram Pictures was founded in 1946. ...


Allied Artists did retain a few vestiges of its Monogram identity, continuing its popular Stanley Clements action series (through 1953), its B-Westerns (through 1954), its Bomba, the Jungle Boy adventures (through 1955), and especially its Bowery Boys comedies (through 1957). For the most part, however, Allied Artists was heading in new, ambitious directions under Mirisch. Stanley Clements (born Stanislaw Klimowicz) (July 16, 1926 - October 16, 1981) was an American actor and comedian. ... Bomba, the Jungle Boy was a series of American boys adventure books produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate under the pseudomnym Roy Rockwood and published by Cupples and Leon in the first half of the 20th century in imitation of the successful Tarzan series. ... The Dead End Kids were six young actors from New York who appeared in Sidney Kingsleys play Dead End in 1935 on Broadway. ...


For a time in the mid-1950s the Mirisch family had great influence at Allied Artists, with Walter as executive producer, his brother Marvin as head of sales, and brother Harold as corporate treasurer. They pushed the studio into big-budget filmmaking, signing contracts with William Wyler, John Huston, Billy Wilder and Gary Cooper. But when their first big-name productions, Wyler's Friendly Persuasion and Wilder's Love in the Afternoon were box-office flops in 1956-57, studio-head Broidy retreated into the kind of pictures Monogram had always favored: low-budget action and thrillers. William Wyler (July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was a prolific, Oscar-winning motion picture director. ... John Marcellus Huston (August 5, 1906 – August 28, 1987) was an American film director and actor. ... Billy Wilder (June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-born, Jewish-American journalist, screenwriter, film director, and producer whose career spanned more than 50 years and 60 films. ... Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was a two-time Academy Award-winning American film actor of English heritage. ... Friendly Persuasion stars Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer, Robert Middleton and Phyllis Love. ... Love in the Afternoon may refer to either of two films: Love in the Afternoon, a 1957 film directed by Billy Wilder Love in the Afternoon, a 1972 film directed by Eric Rohmer ...


Monogram/Allied Artists survived by finding a niche and serving it well. The company lasted until 1979, when runaway inflation and high production costs pushed it into bankruptcy. The Monogram/Allied Artists library was bought by television producer Lorimar; today a majority of this library belongs to Time Warner. Lorimar Productions was a American television production company, active from 1968-1993. ... Time Warner Inc. ...


Probably the best-known tribute paid to Monogram came from French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard, who dedicated his 1959 film A Bout de Souffle (Breathless) to Monogram, citing the studio's films as a major influence. François Truffauts New Wave film Jules et Jim The New Wave (French: la Nouvelle Vague) was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced (in part) by Italian Neorealism. ... Jean-Luc Godard (French IPA: ) (born 3 December 1930) is a French filmmaker and one of the most influential members of the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave. Born to Franco-Swiss parents in Paris, he was educated in Nyon, Switzerland, later studying at the Lycée Rohmer, and the...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Monogram Pictures - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (620 words)
Monogram Pictures Corporation was a Hollywood studio that produced and released films, most on low budgets, between 1931 and 1953, when the firm completed a transition to the name Allied Artists.
Monogram is considered a leader among the smaller studios sometimes referred to collectively as Poverty Row.
Mainly Monogram was the home of the motion picture series, producing Charlie Chan, Trail Blazers, Range Busters, Rough Riders, The Cisco Kid, Bomba the Jungle Boy, Joe Palooka (based on the then-popular comic strip), and The East Side Kids, later the Bowery Boys.
monogram: Definition and Much More From Answers.com (638 words)
A monogram is a motif made by overlapping or combining two or more letters or other graphemes to form one symbol.
Monograms are often made by combining the initials of an individual or a company, and may be used as recognizable symbols or logos.
Monograms of the names of monarchs are used as part of the insignia of public organizations in kingdoms, such as on police badges.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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