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Encyclopedia > Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Type Subsidiary
Founded June 8, 1912
Headquarters Universal City, California, United States
Key people Carl Laemmle, Founder
Ron Meyer, President/COO
Industry Motion pictures
Owner General Electric
Vivendi
Parent NBC Universal
Website www.universalstudios.com

Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios), a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is one of the major American film studios. Its production studios are located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles and Burbank. Distribution and other corporate, administrative offices are based in New York City. Universal is the second longest-lived studio in Hollywood (Viacom's Paramount Pictures is the oldest by only a month). The current official logo for Universal Studios Theme Parks Universal Studios, the film division of NBC Universal, operates a number of theme parks based around the movies it has produced. ... Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio in Universal City, California, and is the original Universal Studios theme park. ... Nanna JuulsgÃ¥rd Andersen is like a indianerhøvding Taken in December 2004, this picture shows a walkway bridge (right) and the giant studio entrance (back) at Universal Studios Orlando. ... Universal Studios Japan USJ2 Universal Studios Japan ) (USJ CO., LTD. TYO: 2142 ) is one of three Universal Studios theme parks, this one in Osaka, Japan. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1920x816, 385 KB)[[[[Image:[[Media: == Headline text == == Summary == [[Universal Studios]] logo in 1080p resolution. ... A subsidiary, in business, is an entity that is controlled by another entity. ... is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... View of Universal City Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County, California that encompasses the 415 acre (1. ... Carl Laemmle Carl Laemmle (January 17, 1867 – September 24, 1939) born in Laupheim, Württemberg, Germany, was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of one of the original major Hollywood movie studios. ... Ron Meyer is a former College and Professional Football Coach. ... For other uses see film (disambiguation) Film refers to the celluliod media on which movies are printed Film — also called movies, the cinema, the silver screen, moving pictures, photoplays, picture shows, flicks, or motion pictures, — is a field that encompasses motion pictures as an art form or as... “GE” redirects here. ... Vivendi SA (formerly known as Vivendi Universal) is a French media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet as well as video games. ... 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 conglomerate formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electrics NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, part of Vivendi Universal. ... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos and other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... NBC Universal is a media and entertainment conglomerate formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electrics NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, part of Vivendi Universal. ... A film studio is a controlled environment for the making of a film. ... View of Universal City Universal City is a community in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles County, California that encompasses the 415 acre (1. ... Flag Seal Nickname: City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Coordinates , Government State County California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area     City 1,290. ... Founded May 1, 1887 Incorporated July 8, 1911 General Information County Los Angeles County, California Latitude Longitude 34°1049 N 118°1942 W Area  - Total  - Water 45 km² (17. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Viacom (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIAb) is an American media conglomerate with various worldwide interests in cable and satellite television networks (MTV Networks and BET), and movie production and distribution (the Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks movie studios). ... Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and distribution company, based in Hollywood, California. ...

Contents

History

The founder of Universal, Carl Laemmle, was a German Jewish immigrant who settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store. On a 1905 buying trip to Chicago, he was struck by the popularity of nickelodeons. 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. 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. 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 also held a monopoly on distribution. Carl Laemmle Carl Laemmle (January 17, 1867 – September 24, 1939) born in Laupheim, Württemberg, Germany, was a pioneer in American film making and a founder of one of the original major Hollywood movie studios. ... For other uses, see Jew (disambiguation). ... Location of Oshkosh, Wisconsin City hall Downtown Oshkosh at U.S. Route 45 Oshkosh Public Museum Mouth of the Fox River into Lake Winnebago. ... Nickelodeon is an early 20th century form of small, neighborhood movie theaters in which admission was obtained for a nickel. ... ... Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 - October 18, 1931) was an inventor and businessman who developed many important devices. ... MPPC stands for Motion Picture Patents Company, also known as the Edison Trust, also known as the First Oligopoly. ...


Laemmle created a diary entry and sent it to a company to be published in a newspaper. The entry read 'If I am smiling then I may not mean it, although happy smiles make you think thoughtfully.' (A big thank you to Alex C for this information)


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. 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, and contributed to the creation of the star system. Most notably, 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. Florence Lawrence (b. ...


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. Laemmle was the primary figure in a partnership that included Mark Dintinfass, Charles Baumann, Adam Kessel, and Pat Powers. Eventually all would be bought out by Laemmle. The new studio was a horizontally integrated company, with both movie production and distribution capacity (though 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). The name was later changed to Universal Pictures Company, Inc. is the 159th day of the year (160th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Patrick A. Powers was an Irish-American businessman. ... In microeconomics and strategic management, the term horizontal integration describes a type of ownership and control. ...


Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood area. In 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre (0.9-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 melodramas, cheap westerns, and serials. A melodrama, in the broadest sense, is a serious drama that can be distinguished from tragedy by the fact that it is open to having a happy ending. ... Broncho Billy Anderson, from The Great Train Robbery The Western movie is one of the classic American film genres. ... DVD front cover for The Adventures of Captain Marvel, one of the most celebrated serials for both Republic Pictures and of the sound era in general. ...


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. He also financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. By 1925, Universal had lost its role as the biggest studio to MGM. This was in part due to the talents of a former Universal producer, Irving Thalberg, who left after MGM offered him more money. By the end of the 1920s, Universal was a second-tier studio and would remain so for several decades. Cukor Adolf (Adolph Zukor) (January 7, 1873–June 10, 1976) was the founder of Paramount Pictures Studios, and one of the greatest film moguls of all time. ... William Fox could refer to the following persons: William Fox – Prime Minister of New Zealand on four occasions in the 19th century Wilhelm Fried, better known with his adopted name William Fox – founder of the Fox Film Corporation (now 20th Century Fox) William Fox Talbot – a pioneer... Marcus Loew Marcus Loew (May 7, 1870–September 5, 1927) was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM. Born into a poor Jewish family in New York City, circumstances dictated he go to work at... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ... Irving Grant Thalberg (May 30, 1899 - September 14, 1936) was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. ...


In 1926, Universal also opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak. This unit produced 3 to 4 films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and then Austria in the face of Hitler's increasing domination of central Europe. 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. Nazi persecution and a change in ownership for the parent Universal Pictures organization resulted in the dissolution of this subsidiary. Joseph Pasternak (September 19, 1901 – September 13, 1991) was a Hungarian-born American film director in Hollywood. ...


"Oswald" fallout gives rise to "Mickey Mouse" and the Walt Disney empire

Contentious business dealings involving Universal over a cartoon character changed the course of entertainment history.


By 1927, Charles B. Mintz, a film producer and distributor, took control of Margaret J. Winkler's Winkler Pictures, after marrying Winkler. Mintz commissioned a new all-animated series for production that would be distributed through Universal Pictures. The series, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, was created by animator Ub Iwerks, an original partner of the then-unknown Walt Disney. A young Disney, in the years before gaining worldwide acclaim, earlier entered into a contract with Winkler for producing cartoon shorts. In the spring of 1928, Disney traveled to New York in hopes of negotiating a higher fee for the product. Charles B. Mintz (1896 - January 4, 1940) was an American film producer and distributor, who took control over Margaret J. Winklers Winkler Pictures after marrying her in 1924. ... 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 Dave Fleischer, Pat Sullivan, Otto Messmer and Walt Disney. ... An Oswald the Lucky Rabbit movie poster from 1927. ... A publicity photograph (circa 1929) of Ub Iwerks and his most famous co-creation, Mickey Mouse. ... For the company founded by Disney, see The Walt Disney Company. ...


Yet while Iwerks created the "Oswald" character, which had enjoyed a successful theatrical run, Universal - and not Disney - owned the rights to it. This gave Mintz leverage in actually demanding that Disney accept a lower fee for producing the property or Mintz would make the films himself. Disney refused the offer and returned to California.


As an alternative to Oswald, Iwerks created what became Disney's trademark, Mickey Mouse. The mouse contained many of Oswald's characteristics and soon soared to popularity following the release of Disney's first sound cartoon, Steamboat Willie. This moment effectively launched the Disney empire, while Universal became a relatively minor player in movie animation after Oswald. Mickey Mouse is an Academy Award-winning comic animal cartoon character who has become an icon for The Walt Disney Company. ... Steamboat Willie (1928) is an animated cartoon featuring Mickey Mouse released on November 18, 1928. ...


In 2006, after almost 80 years, NBC Universal sold Oswald back to Disney, in return for acquiring the contract of then-ABC TV sportscaster Al Michaels to work NBC's Sunday night NFL football package. The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) operates television and radio networks in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada. ... Alan Richard Michaels (born November 12, 1944) is an American television sportscaster. ... This article is about the television network. ... NBC Sunday Night Football is a weekly television broadcast of Sunday evening National Football League games on NBC that began airing on Sunday, August 6, 2006 with the pre-season opening Hall of Fame Game. ...


Keeping leadership of the studio in the family

In 1928, Laemmle, Sr. made his son, Carl, Jr. head of Universal City Studios as a 21st birthday present. Universal already had a reputation for nepotism—at one time, seventy of Carl, Sr.'s relatives were on the payroll. To his credit, Carl, Jr. 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" award for 1930. 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. Other Laemmle productions of this period include Imitation of Life and My Man Godfrey. Carl Laemmle Jr. ... Look up nepotism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Show Boat is the name of a musical film based on the stage musical of the same name by Oscar Hammerstein II, which was adapted from 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. ... Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc. ... The King of Jazz is a motion picture, starring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra (Paul Whitemans nickname was the King of Jazz, hence the films name). ... For the films, see All Quiet on the Western Front (1930 film) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1979 film). ... A gallery of classic Universal monsters Universal Horror is the name given to the distinctive series of horror films made by Universal Studios in California from the 1920s through to the 1950s. ... Frankenstein is a 1931 science fiction film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and very loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. ... Dracula is a 1931 horror film produced by Universal Pictures Co. ... Boris Karloff as Ardath Bey AKA Prince Imhotep in The Mummy. ... Imitation of Life is a 1934 film directed by John M. Stahl, adapted by William Hurlbut from Fannie Hursts novel Imitation of Life. ... My Man Godfrey is a screwball comedy film released in 1936 by Universal Pictures. ...


The Laemmles lose control

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. 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 Show Boat, featuring several stars from the Broadway stage version, which began production in late 1935. However, Carl, Jr.'s spending habits alarmed company stockholders, especially after the costly flop of 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. 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. For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... is the 92nd day of the year (93rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Standard Capital's J. Cheever Cowdin took over as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors and instituted severe cuts in production budgets. 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. 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. Only the films of young singer Deanna Durbin were given reasonably high budgets, under the control of Joe Pasternak upon his emigration from Europe; 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. Fortunately, just when Durbin outgrew her screen persona, the studio signed the comedy team of Abbott and Costello (Bud Abbott and Lou Costello) to a long-term contract. A string of low-budget hits beginning with "Buck Privates" (1941) placed Abbott and Costello among the top box office draws in the country, improving Universal's bottom line even more than Durbin's glossy productions had. Other low and medium budget fare dominated through the years of World War II, when the studio's roster included many cast-off Paramount players like Mae West, W.C. Fields, and Marlene Dietrich. The studio also churned out various sequels for each of its monsters. 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. John Cheever Cowdin (1889 - September 16, 1960) (also known as Cheever Cowdin or J. Cheever Cowdin) was an American financier and sportsman who was a head at Standard Capital Corporation of New York City and Chairman of Ideal Chemicals. ... William Wyler (July 1, 1902 – July 27, 1981) was a prolific, Oscar-winning motion picture director. ... Margaret Sullavan Margaret Brooke Sullavan (May 16, 1911 - January 1, 1960) was an American actress. ... Deanna Durbin (born Edna Mae Durbin on December 4, 1921, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to English immigrant parents) was a popular young singer and actress in Hollywood films of the 1930s and 1940s. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... William Alexander “Bud” Abbott (October 2, 1895 – April 24, 1974) was an American actor, producer and comedian born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. ... Lou Costello, born Louis Francis Cristillo, March 6, 1906 - March 3, 1959), was an American actor and comedian best known as half of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, with Bud Abbott. ... Buck Privates is the 1941 comedy/World War II film that turned Bud Abbott and Lou Costello into bonafide movie stars. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... MAE-West is a major Internet peering point located in San Jose, California. ... W. C. Fields (January 29, 1880 - December 25, 1946) was an American comedian and actor. ... Marlene Dietrich IPA: ; (December 27, 1901 – May 6, 1992) was a German-born American actress, singer, and entertainer. ... Walter Wanger (July 11, 1894 - November 18, 1968) was an important American film producer. ... Friedrich Christian Anton Fritz Lang (December 5, 1890 – August 2, 1976) was an Austrian-German-American film director, screenwriter and occasional film producer, one of the best known émigrés from Germanys school of expressionism. ...


Since Universal made mostly low budget films for many years, it was one of the last major studios to begin using full Technicolor. 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. Technicolor was also used in Universal's 1944 remake of the classic melodrama, Phantom of the Opera with Claude Rains and Nelson Eddy. Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc. ... Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar. ... Jon maddog Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International [1], a non-profit association of computer vendors who wish to support and promote the Linux operating system. ... Maria Montez was the stage name of María África Gracia Antonia Vidal de Santos Silas (June 6, 1912, Barahona, Dominican Republic - September 7, 1951, Paris, France). ... The title character as depicted by Lon Chaney, Sr. ... Claude Rains (November 10, 1889 – May 30, 1967) was a British-born theatre and film actor, who later held American citizenship, best known for his many roles in Hollywood films. ... Nelson Eddy Nelson Ackerman Eddy (born June 29, 1901; died March 6, 1967) was an American singer who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. ...


Universal-International

After the war, looking to expand his American presence, the British entrepreneur J. Arthur Rank bought a one-fourth interest in Universal in 1945. While trying to improve the quality of the studio's output, he instigated a merger in 1946 with a struggling American independent production company, International Pictures. William Goetz, a founder of International, was made head of production at the renamed Universal-International Pictures Inc., which also served as as an import-export subsidiary, and copyright holder for the production arm's films. Goetz, a son-in-law of Louis Mayer decided to bring "prestige" to the new company by stopping the studio's serial (film) and B picture units, (films under 65 minutes), and ended many of Universal's famous "monster" and "Arabian Nights" films. Distribution and copyright control remained under the name of Universal Pictures Company Inc. Because of Rank's association with it, Universal-International became responsible for the American distribution of such British screen classics as David Lean's Great Expectations (1946 film) and Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948 film). Goetz set out an ambitious schedule. While there were to be a few hits like The Egg & I, The Killers, and The Naked City, the studio still struggled. By the late 1940s, Goetz was out, and the studio reverted once more to the low-budget fare it knew best. Once again, the films of Abbott and Costello, including Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, were among the studio's top-grossing productions. 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. Joseph Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank (December 23, 1888 – March 29, 1972) was a British industrialist and film producer, and founder of the Rank Organisation, now known as The Rank Group Plc. ... William Goetz William Goetz (March 24, 1903 – August 15, 1969) was a Hollywood film producer and studio executive. ... Louis Burt Mayer (July 4, 1882[1] – October 29, 1957) was an early film producer, generally cited as the creator of the star system within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in its golden years. ... DVD front cover for The Adventures of Captain Marvel, one of the most celebrated serials for both Republic Pictures and of the sound era in general. ... The King of the Bs, Roger Corman, produced and directed The Raven (1963) for American International Pictures. ... Queen Scheherazade tells her stories to King Shahryar. ... Sir David Lean, KBE (March 25, 1908 – April 16, 1991) was an English film director and producer, best remembered for big-screen epics such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Doctor Zhivago . ... Great Expectations is a 1946 British film directed by David Lean and based on the novel by Charles Dickens. ... Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM, (IPA: ; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and four-time Emmy winning English actor, director, and producer. ... Hamlet is a 1948 film adaptation of the William Shakespeare play Hamlet. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Killers, also known as Ernest Hemingways The Killers is a black and white film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and starring Burt Lancaster. ... The Naked City is a 1948 black-and-white film noir directed by Jules Dassin. ... Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (onscreen title: Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein) is a 1948 comedy/horror film directed by Charles Barton and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. ... It has been suggested that Decca Music Group be merged into this article or section. ...


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. 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. 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. This kind of arrangement would become the rule for many future productions at Universal, and eventually at other studios as well. U.S. vs. ... The Music Corporation of America was a United States based corporation in the music business. ... Lew Wasserman (March 15, 1913 - June 3, 2002) was a Hollywood agent and studio executive credited with first creating and then taking apart the studio system in a career spanning more than six decades. ... For other persons named James Stewart, see James Stewart (disambiguation). ... Winchester 73 is an American western movie from 1950. ...


MCA takes over

Logo during the MCA days

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. 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 Studios subsidiary. 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. 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. Image File history File links Unilogo3. ... Image File history File links Unilogo3. ... The Music Corporation of America was a United States based corporation in the music business. ... 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. ... Revue Studios was founded in 1943 by MCA to produce live shows. ... Doris Mary Ann von Kappelhoff (born April 3, 1924)[1] is an American singer, actress, and animal welfare advocate known as Doris Day. ... Lana Turner (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1995) was an Academy award-nominated American film actress. ... This article is about the British actor. ...


The actual, long-awaited takeover of Universal Pictures by MCA finally took place in mid-1962, and the production subsidiary reverted in name to Universal Pictures, while the parent company became MCA/Universal Pictures Inc. Universal-International Pictures Inc. remained a subsidiary only engaged in export/international release of Universal product. In addition, Revue Studios became known as Universal Television. As a last gesture before getting out of the talent agency business, virtually every MCA client was signed to a Universal contract. 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. An innovation of which Universal was especially proud was the creation in this period of the made-for-television movie. This article is about the television network. ... Prime time is the block of programming on television during the middle of the evening. ...

Gate to Universal Studios, Hollywood.

Though Universal's film unit did produce occasional hits, among them Airport, The Sting, American Graffiti, and a blockbuster that restored the company's fortunes, Jaws, Universal in the 1970s was primarily a television studio. 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. In the early 1970s, Universal teamed up with Paramount Pictures to form Cinema International Corporation, which distributed films by Paramount and Universal worldwide. It was replaced by United International Pictures in 1981, when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer joined the fold. 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. In 1990, MCA created MCA/Universal Home Video Inc. to enter the lucrative videotape and later DVD sales industry. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 389 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (415 × 639 pixel, file size: 128 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 389 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (415 × 639 pixel, file size: 128 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This article is about the 1973 film involving con artists. ... American Graffiti is a 1973 film directed by George Lucas. ... It has been suggested that Orca (Jaws boat) be merged into this article or section. ... Film poster for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (20th anniversary) E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 science fiction film that tells the story of the young boy Elliott who befriends an alien being trapped on Earth and trying to find his way home. ... This article is about the first film in the Back to the Future trilogy. ... Jurassic Park is a 1993 science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. ... 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) and Universal Studios (then a division of the Music Corporation of America - or MCA - now part of NBC Universal) in the early 1970s to distribute the... United International Pictures (UIP) is a joint venture of Paramount Pictures (owned by Viacom) and Universal Studios (owned by NBC Universal), to distribute some of the two studios films outside United States (including territories) and Canada. ... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... This article is about the film studio. ... Twentieth (20th) Century Fox Film Corporation (known from 1935 to 1985 as Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation) is one of the six major American film studios. ... Bottom view of VHS videotape cassette with magnetic tape exposed Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. ... Size comparison: A 12 cm Sony DVD+RW and a 19 cm Dixon Ticonderoga pencil. ...


Matsushita and Vivendi

Anxious to expand the company's broadcast and cable presence, longtime MCA head Lew Wasserman sought a rich partner. 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. 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. Lew Wasserman (March 15, 1913 - June 3, 2002) was a Hollywood agent and studio executive credited with first creating and then taking apart the studio system in a career spanning more than six decades. ... Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. ... The Seagram Company Ltd. ... 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. ...

Western set at Universal Studio in Hollywood

To raise money, Seagram head Edgar Bronfman Jr. sold Universal's television holdings, including cable network USA, to Barry Diller. (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. The media conglomerate became Vivendi Universal, while MCA Records was absorbed by UMG subsidiary Geffen Records in 2003, thus effectively ending the existence of the MCA name. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3540x2340, 846 KB) Summary Western Set at Universal Studio Hollywood CA. Source: Taken by User:Ipsingh Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3540x2340, 846 KB) Summary Western Set at Universal Studio Hollywood CA. Source: Taken by User:Ipsingh Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Barry Diller at the Web 2. ... Vivendi SA (formerly known as Vivendi Universal) is a French media conglomerate with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications, the Internet as well as video games. ... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Vivendi Universal (VU) is a French conglomerate active in media and communications with activities in music, television and film, publishing, telecommunications and the Internet. ... 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 operates as one third of UMGs Interscope-Geffen-A&M label group. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


NBC Universal

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. 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. “GE” redirects here. ... NBC Universal is a media and entertainment conglomerate formed in May 2004 by the combination of General Electrics NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, part of Vivendi Universal. ...


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 Snyder, left the company in early 2006 to head up DreamWorks. Snyder was replaced by Marc Shmuger, a veteran Universal and studio executive. Shmuger is well respected in the industry, with a reputation for being very bright and opinionated. Some question his experience in dealing with talent. With no blockbusters on Universal's 2006 slate, Shmuger's tenure will be defined by what the studio develops in the next few years.


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, 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 Grazer. ... Amblin Entertainment logo. ... Morgan Creek Productions, founded in 1988 by its Chairman, CEO and Producer/Presenter, James G. Robinson, is a film studio most notable for such blockbuster hits as Young Guns and In a varied 17-year history that has seen the Santa Monica, California-based company shift domestic distribution bases from... Current company logo, introduced in 1999. ... StudioCanal (aka Le Studio Canal, Canal Plus, Canal + Distribution, and Canal+ Image S.A.), is a French-based production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world. ... Shady Acres Entertainment is a production company of Tom Shadyac is co-production company of Shady Acres Entertainment production company of the Universal Studios Motion Pictures Group. ...


Universal's library

Universal, like any other major movie studio, owns a considerable library. It owns almost 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 when MCA 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. ... EMKA, Ltd. ... State of the Union is a 1946 Pulitzer Prize winning play by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay, which was adapted into a 1948 film directed by Frank Capra. ... Liberty Films was an independent production company founded by Frank Capra. ... Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock KBE (August 13, 1899 – April 29, 1980) was an iconic and highly influential British-born film director and producer who pioneered many techniques in the suspense and thriller genres. ...


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 is the art house films division of Universal Pictures, and acts as both a producer and distributor for its own films and a distrubutor for foreign films. ... October Films was a independent film production company and distributor founded in 1991 by Bingham Ray and Jeff Lipsky as a means of distributing the 1990 film Life Is Sweet. ... PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (PFE) was a London-based film studio, founded in 1991 as a European competitor to Hollywood, but eventually sold and merged with Universal Pictures in 1999. ... MGM logo Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer or MGM, is a large media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of cinema and television programs. ...


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. ... “WB” redirects here. ... Rope (1948) is an Alfred Hitchcock classic film notable for its single location covered in what appeared to be just a few continuous shots. ... This article is about the film production company. ...


List of films

This is a partial listing of films produced and/or distributed by Universal Pictures, the main motion picture production/distribution arm of Universal Studios, a subsidiary of NBC Universal. ...

Notes on early partners

Universal was created from the merger of Laemmle's IMP with several smaller film-production businesses. These companies (and their proprietors) included:

  • Champion Motion Picture Co., Mark Dintinfass, president
  • Nestor Motion Picture Company, David Horsley
  • The New York Motion Picture Company, Charles Baumann and Adam Kessel, proprietors
  • Powers Motion Picture Co., Pat Powers, president
  • Rex Motion Picture Co., William Swanson

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. Christie-Nestor Studios, Hollywood, 1913 The Nestor Motion Picture Company of Bayonne, New Jersey, owned by David Horsley and his brother William, opened the first motion picture studio in Hollywood in the Blondeau Tavern building at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street in the fall of 1911. ... Patrick A. Powers was an Irish-American businessman. ...


See also

HD-DVD disc HD DVD (for High Density Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical media format which is being developed as one standard for high-definition DVD. HD DVD is similar to the competing Blu-ray Disc, which also uses the same CD sized (120 mm diameter) optical data... List of assets owned by General Electric: // GE Commercial Finance GE Consumer Finance GE Healthcare GE Industrial GE Infrastructure NBC Universal NBC Universal (NBC merged with non-music entertainment assets of Vivendi Universal - GE has 80% controlling share) NBC - National Broadcasting Company NBC radio network (managed by Westwood One) The... This is a list of assets owned by Vivendi Universal. ... Much of the worlds assets, particularly in the media industry, are concentrated in the hands of a small number of large corporations. ... This is a partial listing of films produced and/or distributed by Universal Pictures, the main motion picture production/distribution arm of Universal Studios, a subsidiary of NBC Universal. ... A List of film serials by studio, separated into five major studios and the remaining minor studios. ... A gallery of classic Universal monsters Universal Horror is the name given to the distinctive series of horror films made by Universal Studios in California from the 1920s through to the 1950s. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Universal Studios Hollywood is a movie studio in Universal City, California, and is the original Universal Studios theme park. ... Universal Studios Japan USJ2 Universal Studios Japan ) (USJ CO., LTD. TYO: 2142 ) is one of three Universal Studios theme parks, this one in Osaka, Japan. ... Universal Studios Singapore is located within the Resorts World Integrated Resort in Sentosa, Singapore. ... Universal Studios Dubai is a proposed Universal theme park located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. ... Nanna Juulsgård Andersen is like a indianerhøvding Taken in December 2004, this picture shows a walkway bridge (right) and the giant studio entrance (back) at Universal Studios Orlando. ... Universal Studios South Korea is a future theme park to be constructed in the vicinity of Seoul, South Korea. ... Title card for Your Studio and You Your Studio and You is a comedy short film created in 1996 by Matt Stone and Trey Parker and commissioned by comedic filmmaker David Zucker. ... This article is about the TV series. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Matthew Richard Matt Stone (born May 26, 1971) is an American animator, screenwriter, film director, voice actor and actor. ...

References

  • Bruck, Connie. When Hollywood Had a King. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
  • Drinkwater, John. The Life and Adventures of Carl Laemmle. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1931, illustrated.
  • Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills - map Providencial and Water Development
  • Los Angeles Library Photo Collection "Bird-Eye View of Universal City" 1911
  • Los Angeles Library Photo Collection "Nestor Studios" .
  • Mordden, Ethan. The Hollywood Studios. New York: Fireside, 1989.
  • McDougal, Dennis. The Last Mogul: Lew Wasserman, MCA and the Hidden History of Hollywood. New York: Crown Publishers, 1998.
  • Schatz, Thomas. The Genius of the System. New York: Pantheon Books, 1989.
  • Sklar, Robert. Movie-Made America. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery is located at 6300 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles, California, on the south edge of the San Fernando Valley by Burbank (and on the north side of the Santa Monica Mountains from Hollywood). ...

External links

  • Universal Studios

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