Goldwyn Pictures Corporation 1919 - Pre MGM

Goldwyn Pictures Corporation 1919 - Pre MGM

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Goldwyn Pictures Corporation 1919 - Pre MGM
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Beautifully engraved RARE Specimen Certificate from the Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. This historic document was printed by the American Banknote Company in 1919 and has an ornate border around it. This item has the printed names of the company's Trustees including Frank J. Godsol, Moritz Hilder, Henry Ittleson, William Braden and Duncan A. Holmes. It also refers to certain agreements and mentions the names of Samuel Goldwyn, Eugene V. R. Thayer and W. W. Laird. this is the first time we have seen this certificate. Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was formed in December, 1916 by Samuel Goldfish, Edgar and Archibald Selwyn, Margaret Mayo, and Arthur Hopkins. The name was formed by combining the names of Goldfish and Selwyn. The dominant figure in the company was Sam Goldfish, who had been one of the founding partners in the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Film Co. two years earlier. He was forced out of the company in early 1916 when Lasky’s business connection with Adolph Zukor’s Famous Players Film Co. was tightened. Sam Goldfish liked the Goldwyn name so well that he had his name changed to Goldwyn. The Goldwyn Company rented studios in Fort Lee, at first the Solax studios but later the larger Universal studios on Main Street. The first picture released was Polly of the Circus in September, 1917, starring Mae Marsh. Although most of it was shot in Fort Lee, scenes of a horse race were filmed in Ho-Ho-Kus, a circus parade in Englewood, and the early arrival of the circus in Kirksville. Sam Goldwyn remained the dominant figure in the company until September 1920, when he was forced to resign in an ownership struggle. By this time, the company purchased the former Triangle Studios in Los Angeles and had leased two more studios in New York. The operation in Fort Lee was virtually ended. Representative films: Polly of the Circus (1917); Tillie the Scrubwoman (1917); Thirty a Week (1918). Featured players included Mae Marsh, Mabel Normand, Pauline Frederick, Madge Kennedy, Tallulah Bankhead, Marie Dressler, Will Rogers, and E.K. Lincoln. Featured directors included Raoul Walsh, Ralph Ince, and Frank Loyd. Samuel Goldwyn (c. 1882 - 1974) was born Schmuel Gelbfisz, the eldest of six children of a struggling used-furniture dealer, in Warsaw. Sources conflict over the details, but at the age of about 11 he made his way to England, where he was cared for by relatives, and probably arrived in America in 1896. With the surname Goldfish, he made his way to Cloversville, New York, where he became a glove maker/salesman, but was forced out of the business when import tariffs were lowered in 1913. Later thay year, after marrying, Goldfish moved his base of operations to Manhattan, and persuaded Jesse Lasky and Cecil B. De Mille to go into the movie-making business. In 1914 they produced one of he first ever features made in Hollywood, The Squaw Man, and three years later, with the Selwyn brothers, he formed Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. He liked the name so much that he adopted it as his own the next year. In 1922 Goldwyn was forced out of the company, and when it merged with Metro Pictures and Louis B.Mayer to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, he benefitted only as a stockholder. In 1923 he formed his own company, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, and soon acquired a reputation for producing expensive 'quality' movies (SOME LISTED BELOW). He was one of the first producers to hire recognised writers (among them Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis), to write screenplays. He was also noted for introducing many actors who would later become stars, including Will Rogers, Lucille Ball, Gary Cooper, Danny Kaye, and David Niven. GOLDWYN'S MOVIES INCLUDE All Quiet on the Western Front, (1930) Dead End, (1937) Wuthering Heights, (1939) The Best Years of Our Lives, (1946) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, (1947) Guys and Dolls, (1955) Porgy and Bess, (1959) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was formed in 1924 when the theater circuit Loew's Inc., owner of Metro Pictures Corporation, acquired Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures and merged the three companies. The Culver City studio soon became one of the most powerful and most prestigious of the major production companies, superior in both profits and critical acclaim throughout most of the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1950s the studio began to suffer a slow decline, as the changes wrought of the Paramount consent decree made obsolete the studio system MGM had dominated. The studio was purchased by Kirk Kerkorian in 1970. Kerkorian sold off most of the studio assets and, in 1973, shut down the distribution arm of the company. Ted Turner purchased MGM in 1986, then immediately sold the studio to Lorimar Pictures, retaining the film library and script material. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., continues to function as a film production company out of its Santa Monica, California, headquarters.


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