Cosmopolitan Productions,
wikipedia | 2013-01-15 14:50
Cosmopolitan Productions, also often referred to as Cosmopolitan Pictures, was an American film company based in New York City from 1918 to 1923 and Hollywood until 1938.
Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst formed Cosmopolitan in conjunction with Adolph Zukor of Paramount after his bid for entry into the motion picture business was rebuffed by United Artists.The advantage of Paramount having a production deal with Cosmopolitan was that they had the film rights to stories that had appeared in the wide variety of Hearst's magazines, including Cosmopolitan magazine that the company was named after as well as Harpers Bazaar and Good Housekeeping. Thus the stories arrived pre-sold to the public who were familiar with them through reading them in the magazines.Hearst's magazines would also advertise and promote the films.
For its studio complex, Hearst acquired Sulzer's Harlem River Park and Casino at 126th Street and Second Avenue but a fire in February 1923 destroyed the complex.
Cosmopolitan heavily promoted the career of Hearst's lover, the actress Marion Davies. She appeared in twenty-nine silent and seventeen talking films with the company.
Due to disagreements with Paramount in the distribution of the Cosmopolitan Pictures in block booking venues, Hearst left Paramount to have his films released by other studios. Starting in 1923, they were distributed or co-produced by MGM until 1934 when a disagreement with Louis Mayer over the film Marie Antoinette led Cosmopolitan to go to Warner Bros..
Robert G. Vignola is a director strongly associated with Cosmopolitan Productions. He directed several films there, including 1922's extravagant When Knighthood Was in Flower, which at a cost of $1.8 million, was the most expensive picture ever made at the time. Director King Vidor made three comedies with Cosmopolitan: Show People (1928), The Patsy (1928) and Not So Dumb (1930), each starring Davies. One film without Davies was The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932, MGM).
Other important directors worked briefly with Cosmopolitan, such as John Ford with Young Mr. Lincoln (released 1939) and Howard Hawks with Ceiling Zero (in 1936).
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