Monday, 14 February 2011

GM - Research on low budget film distributors

  • They are an independent film productions-distribution corporation with studio facilities.
  • Created by Herbert J. Yates, a long time investor in film and music properties and founder and president of Consolidated Film Industries.
  • Republic was the result of a union of six smaller Poverty Row studios.
  • It operated from 1934 until 1959 and was relaunched in 1986
  • Best know for its specialisation in westerns, movie serials and B films emphasizing mystery and action.
  • Was responsible for financing a Shakespeare film, Orson Welles’ Macbeth (1948) and several John Ford films during the 1940s and early 1950s
  • Developed the careers and star status of John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers
  • In its early years it was sometimes labelled a ‘poverty row’ company due to its primary products being B movies and serials
  • However Republic often showed more interest in these types of films, therefore provided larger budgets than many of the larger studios were doing, and certainly more than other independents were able to.
  • They produced many ‘hillbilly’ and rural musicals and comdies featuring Bob Burns, the Weaver Brothers and Judy Canova that were popular in various areas of the United States.
  • Republic made most of its films in black and white however it occasionally would produce a higher-budget film such as The Red Pony (1949)
  • During the late 1940s and 1950s, Yates utilized a low-cost Cinecolor type process called Trucolor in many of his films, notably Johnny Guitar (1954)
  • In 1956 Republic came up with their own widescreen film process, Naturama with The Maverick Queen as the first film made in the process
  • Was one of the first Hollywood studios to offer its film library to television
  • In 1951 they agreed with Hollywood Television Service to sell screening rights in its vintage westerns and action thrillers. Many of these films were edited to fit in a one hour television slot
  • It became apparent that Republic was well suited for television series production however the company did not have the finances or vision to do so
  • As the demand and market for B-pictures declined, Republic began to cut back, slowing the production from 40 features a year in the early 1950s to 18 in 1957.

The most celebrated of Republics serials 'The Adventures of Captain Marvel' film serial

Today, CBS Television Studios owns most ancillary rights to Republic’s television output while sharing the copyrights with Republic. The theatrical side is owned outright by Viacom’s Paramount Pictures. The television distribution of the Republic theatrical films is by Trifecta Entertainment & Media (under license from Paramount)

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