Way of the Dragon
The Way of the Dragon is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film written and directed by Bruce Lee, who stars in the lead role. This is Lee's only complete directorial film; the film co-stars Nora Miao, Robert Wall, Hwang In-shik, with Chuck Norris playing his debut screen role. Way of the Dragon was released in Hong Kong on 30 December 1972. In Rome, Chen Ching-hua and her uncle Wang experience trouble with their restaurant from a crime boss who wants their property; when Chen refuses to give it up, the boss sends gangsters there to scare away the customers. Appealing to an uncle in Hong Kong, Chen receives help in the form of a young martial artist, Tang Lung. On his first arrival he is disoriented by his new surroundings and appears to be nothing but a country bumpkin. Disappointed, Chen asks what help he can be, but Tang confidently assures her that he is capable enough. At the restaurant, Tang learns that the staff have begun to learn karate, much to the annoyance of Quen, an employee who favors Chinese Kung Fu.
Tang advises Quen to make use of anything that works. Before long, the gangsters appear at the restaurant and threaten the customers away while Tang is using the bathroom. Upset by Tang's poor timing, the staff question the usefulness of his style; when the gangsters return, the staff engage the thugs in a fight, only to be beaten. However, Tang single-handedly defeats them. Uncle Wang warns them that the gangsters will seek revenge. Chen and Tang grow closer, she takes him on a tour of Rome, though Tang is unimpressed by the city. Ho, the crime boss's subordinate, takes the restaurant staff hostage. Ho tells him to go back. However, when his men escort Tang outside, Tang fights back and defeats the thugs with his two nunchakus, followed by the help of the restaurant staff. Tang warns Ho not to return, the thugs leave the restaurant; the staff celebrate their victory, but the gang boss threatens to have Tang killed unless he leaves by Chinese New Year, Uncle Wang urges Chen to convince Tang to leave.
When Tang refuses to abandon the restaurant, an assassin tries to kill him from a nearby rooftop with a sniper rifle. Fidgety from nearby fireworks, Tang survives the attempt, he tracks down and defeats the assassin after tricking him into wasting his ammunition. When he returns to the apartment, he finds. Assuming that Ho has kidnapped her, Tang goes to the boss' headquarters with the restaurant staff, defeating his men. Tang issues a final warning to the boss to leave the restaurant alone; the staff again celebrate, but a telegram for Tang cuts this short when they learn that he has been summoned back to Hong Kong. Tang assures them. Ho hires two martial artists to challenge Tang - Japanese and American karate masters who refuse to work together; when the mafia boss indicates that money is no issue, Ho recruits a world-class martial artist named Colt. Ho leads some of the restaurant staff to an isolated spot under the pretence of a truce, where the two martial artists ambush them; these defeat the staff, until Tang intervenes and leaves the staff to finish the last one off.
Meanwhile Ho lures Tang away to fight Colt at the Colosseum. Left behind, Uncle Wang knifes the two remaining members of the staff, as he wants to sell the restaurant to the crime boss and return to Hong Kong a rich man. In a decisive ten-minute battle, Tang disables Colt; when Colt refuses an opportunity for mercy, Tang kills him with reluctance. As Tang and Ho return, the mob boss shoots both Ho and Uncle Wang; the police drive up, led by Chen, arrest the boss as he tries to kill Tang. With the matter resolved, Tang sets out to return to Hong Kong; as he leaves, Quen tells Chen. Bruce Lee as Tang Lung Nora Miao as Chen Ching-hua Paul Wei as Ho Tony Liu as Tony Unicorn Chan as Jimmy Chuck Norris as Colt Chin Ti as Quen Robert Wall as Fred Hwang In-Shik as Japanese karateka Wu Ngan as Waiter Robert Chan as Robert Tommy Chen as Thomas Malisa Longo as Italian beauty Anders Nelsson as Thug Andre E. Morgan as Restaurant guest John Derbyshire appears in the film as one of the mafia thugs. Bruce Lee formed his own production company, Concord Production Inc. with Golden Harvest founder Raymond Chow, Way of the Dragon was the company's first film.
As well as acting as its producer, Lee wrote the script, directed the film and played percussion on the soundtrack. The film was intended as only for the Asian market, but was "responsible for maintaining the momentum of martial arts films in America". What makes it memorable is the treatment of the fight in the Colosseum, with Chuck Norris making his film debut there. Lee filmed it "in long takes, he used dramatic lighting, making both of them look larger-than-life." The film earned HK$5,307,350.50 at the Hong Kong box office, beating previous records set by Lee's own films, The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, making it the highest-grossing film of 1972 in Hong Kong. Its Hong Kong gross was equivalent to US$1,031,154. In the United States and Canada, the film earned US$5.2 million in rentals. In France, it became the eighth highest-grossing film of 1974, with 4,002,004 box office admissions. At an average ticket price of 12.22 F, it grossed 48.9 million F in France. In Germany, it was the 13th highe
Anthony "Big Tony" Peraino was a New York mobster in the Colombo crime family who financed the ground-breaking pornographic film Deep Throat. Peraino got his nickname "Big Tony" due to his weight. Anthony and his brother Joseph are the sons of Prohibition era Mafia boss Giuseppe Piraino; the Peraino brothers' father was a member of the Sicilian Mafia and immigrated to the United States from Sicily around 1911 after escaping from the Palermo prison where he had been sentenced to 25 years. At some point the spelling of the Piraino family name was changed to its present spelling. Joe Piraino settled in New York around 1911, but it is unknown if he was married upon his arrival. What is known is that Anthony was born 4 years after his father's arrival from Sicily, that his father joined his fellow Sicilian countrymen in New York's Italian underworld and started to climb the ranks of the New York Mafia. By 1930, Piraino had become the boss of the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn area rackets, taking over bootlegging and extortion activities once controlled by boss Frankie Yale.
Piraino was said to be an associate and ally of powerful New York Mafia boss Salvatore Maranzano, on the night of March 27, 1931, Piraino attended a "bootleggers summit" in Brooklyn, where Maranzano was murdered as he left the meeting. Maranzano is suspected of being another casualty of the Castellammarese War, but his death could have been the result of separate Mafia conflict, occurring within the Brooklyn bootlegging community. Author and Mafia historian Patrick Downey has theorized that Piraino may have in fact been the patriarch of the Profaci crime family, the precursor to the Colombo crime family, because Piraino's criminal interests, Brooklyn territory and several members of his group were absorbed into the group led by Brooklyn-based Mafia leader and Maranzano ally, Joseph Profaci, a theory, supported by some, dismissed by others. Another strong fact that lends to Downey's theory is that both of Piraino's sons--Anthony and Joseph--became members of the Profaci-Colombo crime family.
Tony Peraino was a "made man" member of the Profaci crime family most sometime before the books were closed for membership in the late 1950s, like his father he climbed the ranks of the New York Mafia to become one of Colombo crime family's biggest earners. Peraino helped develop pornography into one of organized crime's biggest moneymakers after narcotics and labor racketeering, he was aided by his brother Joe "The Whale" Peraino, his sons Louis "Butchie" Peraino and Joseph C. Peraino, his nephew, Joseph Peraino; the Peraino family financed and produced the most profitable pornographic film of all time — Deep Throat, starring the first porn star Linda Lovelace. Louis produced his father Anthony loaned him the initial $22,500 in production costs; the Perainos used a unique procedure by leasing the employees for all proceeds. To ensure compliance, they sent their own employees or associates known as "checkers" to run the movie houses. Anthony and Louis used profits from Deep Throat to build a vast financial empire in the 1970s that included, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, "ownership of garment companies in New York and Miami and investment companies".
The Perainos controlled various adult and porn industry interests based in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida, from adult bookstores, to peep shows and adult movie theaters. Joseph Peraino became involved in the distribution of another successful pornographic film, The Devil in Miss Jones, from his base of operations in California's San Fernando Valley, Peraino would maintain a tight grip on the Colombo crime family's interests in the porn industry well into the 1990s. From the time of Deep Throat's release in 1972, prosecutors started going after the Peraino family. In 1975, Anthony and his brother Joseph were convicted for conspiracy to distribute Deep Throat. In 1976, Anthony was convicted on conspiracy to ship obscene material interstate; this conviction was for the distribution of Deep Throat on video tape. However, before he could be sentenced, he jumped bail and disappeared for the next five years to Italy. In February 1979, as part of the MIPORN Operation, FBI agents raided adult movie theaters, retail stores, offices across the country.
Anthony's two sons were arrested in the New York office of their company, Arrow Film and Video, charged with interstate shipment of obscenity in the form of hardcore videos. Louis received six years in prison and Joseph C. received three years. In 1981, in poor health, Anthony turned himself in to authorities. In 1982 in Memphis, Anthony was sentenced to ten months in prison and $15,000 in fines for his 1976 conviction and for jumping bail. With the Perainos under siege from law enforcement, a dispute between the Peraino brothers over their pornography and business empire was settled in favor of Anthony by the administration of the Colombo crime family. On January 4, 1982, gunmen chased down Anthony's brother Joseph and nephew Joseph Jr. in a residential area of Gravesend and shot them. Joseph Jr. was killed, Joseph Sr. was left paralyzed. In 1986, Anthony was involved in producing and distributing pornography out of Florida, he and Louis controlled the Gamecock, in Broward County, Florida. In September 1996, Anthony Peraino died in California of natural causes.
List of Italian-American mobsters Deep Throat Inside Deep Throat Americanmafia.com.
Universal Pictures is an American film studio owned by Comcast through the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Founded in 1912 by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane, Jules Brulatour, it is the oldest surviving film studio in the United States, the world's fifth oldest after Gaumont, Pathé, Nordisk Film, the oldest member of Hollywood's "Big Five" studios in terms of the overall film market, its studios are located in Universal City and its corporate offices are located in New York City. Universal Pictures is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America, was one of the "Little Three" majors during Hollywood's golden age. Universal Studios was founded by Carl Laemmle, Mark Dintenfass, Charles O. Baumann, Adam Kessel, Pat Powers, William Swanson, David Horsley, Robert H. Cochrane and Jules Brulatour. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the day's takings.
Within weeks of his Chicago trip, Laemmle gave up dry goods to buy the first 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 Trust-produced films they showed. Based on the Latham Loop used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. Soon 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 Julius Stern; that company evolved into the Independent Moving Pictures Company, with studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where many early films in America's first motion picture industry were produced in the early 20th century. Laemmle broke with Edison's custom of refusing to give screen credits to performers. By naming the movie stars, he attracted many of the leading players of the time, contributing to the creation of the star system.
In 1910, he promoted Florence Lawrence known as "The Biograph Girl", actor King Baggot, in what may be the first instance of a studio using stars in its marketing. The Universal Film Manufacturing Company was incorporated in New York on April 30, 1912. Laemmle, who emerged as president in July 1912, was the primary figure in the partnership with Dintenfass, Kessel, Swanson and Brulatour. All would be bought out by Laemmle; the new Universal studio was a vertically integrated company, with movie production and exhibition venues all linked in the same corporate entity, the central element of the Studio system era. Following the westward trend of the industry, by the end of 1912 the company was focusing its production efforts in the Hollywood area. On March 15, 1915, Laemmle opened the world's largest motion picture production facility, Universal City Studios, on a 230-acre converted farm just over the Cahuenga Pass from Hollywood. Studio management 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 largest studio in Hollywood, remained so for a decade. However, it sought an audience in small towns, producing inexpensive melodramas and serials. In its early years Universal released three brands of feature films—Red Feather, low-budget programmers. Directors included Jack Conway, John Ford, Rex Ingram, Robert Z. Leonard, George Marshall and Lois Weber, one of the few women directing films in Hollywood. Despite Laemmle's role as an innovator, he was an cautious studio chief. Unlike rivals Adolph Zukor, William Fox, Marcus Loew, Laemmle chose not to develop a theater chain, he financed all of his own films, refusing to take on debt. This policy nearly bankrupted the studio when actor-director Erich von Stroheim insisted on excessively lavish production values for his films Blind Husbands and Foolish Wives, but Universal shrewdly gained a return on some of the expenditure by launching a sensational ad campaign that attracted moviegoers.
Character actor Lon Chaney became a drawing card for Universal in the 1920s, appearing in dramas. His two biggest hits for Universal were The Phantom of the Opera. During this period Laemmle entrusted most of the production policy decisions to Irving Thalberg. Thalberg had been Laemmle's personal secretary, Laemmle was impressed by his cogent observations of how efficiently the studio could be operated. Promoted to studio chief, Thalberg was giving Universal's product a touch of class, but MGM's head of production Louis B. Mayer lured Thalberg away from Universal with a promise of better pay. Without his guidance Universal became a second-tier studio, would remain so for several decades. In 1926, Universal opened a production unit in Germany, Deutsche Universal-Film AG, under the direction of Joe Pasternak; this unit produced three to four films per year until 1936, migrating to Hungary and 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 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 othe
Dark Star (film)
Dark Star is a 1974 American science fiction comedy film directed by John Carpenter and co-written with Dan O'Bannon. It follows the crew of the deteriorating starship Dark Star, twenty years into their mission to destroy unstable planets that might threaten future colonization of other planets. Beginning as a University of Southern California student film produced from 1970 to 1972, the film was expanded to feature film length by 1974, when it appeared at Filmex before receiving a limited theatrical release in 1975, its final budget is estimated at $60,000. While unsuccessful with audiences, it was well received by critics and continued to be shown in theaters as late as 1980; the home video revolution of the early 1980s helped the film achieve "cult classic" status, O'Bannon collaborated with home video distributor VCI in the production of multiple versions on VHS, DVD. The feature film debut for both Carpenter and O'Bannon, it was produced and scored by Carpenter, while O'Bannon acted as editor, production designer, visual effects supervisor and appeared as Sergeant Pinback.
In the mid-22nd century, mankind has begun colonizing the far reaches of the universe. Armed with artificially intelligent "Thermostellar Triggering Devices," the scout ship Dark Star and its crew have been alone in space for 20 years on a mission to destroy "unstable planets" which might threaten future colonization of other planets; the ship is in a state of deterioration and frequent system malfunctions, only the voice of the ship's computer for company. The Dark Star′s commanding officer, Commander Powell, was killed during hyperdrive as a result of an electrical short-circuit behind his rear seat panel, but remains aboard the ship in a state of cryogenic suspension; the ship's remaining crew consists of its new commanding officer, Lieutenant Doolittle, Sergeant Pinback, Corporal Boiler, Talby. As the tedium of their tasks over 20 years has driven them "around the bend", they have created distractions for themselves: Doolittle a surfer from Malibu, has constructed a musical bottle organ.
Pinback plays practical jokes on the crew members, maintains a video diary, has adopted a ship's mascot in the form of a mischievous "beach ball"-like alien who refuses to stay in a storage room, forcing Pinback to chase it around the ship. Pinback claims he is liquid fuel specialist Bill Frug, who inadvertently took the "real" Sergeant Pinback's place after he committed suicide by jumping into a fuel tank. En route to their next target, the Dark Star is hit by a bolt of electromagnetic energy during a storm, resulting in yet another on-board malfunction, with "Thermostellar Bomb #20" receiving an order to deploy; the ship's computer convinces Bomb #20 that the order was in error, persuades the bomb to disarm itself and return to the bomb bay. Talby notes the malfunction, investigates the fault, he discovers a damaged communications laser in the emergency airlock while the crew is engaging in their next bombing run. While Talby attempts to repair it, the laser malfunctions, blinding Talby and knocking him unconscious, causing extensive damage to the main computer, damaging the bomb release mechanism on Bomb #20.
Due to the damage to the ship's computer, the crew members cannot activate the release mechanism and attempt to abort the drop. After two prior accidental deployments, Bomb # 20 refuses to abort the countdown sequence; the computer activates dampers to confine the blast to a diameter of one mile, but, all it can do at the moment. As Pinback and Boiler try to talk the bomb out of blowing up underneath the ship, Doolittle revives Commander Powell, who advises him to teach the bomb the rudiments of phenomenology. After donning a space suit and exiting the ship to approach the bomb directly, Doolittle engages in a philosophical conversation with Bomb #20 until it decides to abort its countdown and retreat to the bomb bay for further contemplation; when attempting to assist Doolittle in re-entering the ship, Pinback inadvertently jettisons Talby out of the airlock. As Doolittle tries to rescue the now-conscious Talby, Pinback addresses the bomb over the intercom in another attempt to disarm it. Doolittle has mistakenly taught the bomb Cartesian doubt and, as a result, Bomb #20 determines that it can only trust itself and not external input.
Convinced that only it exists, that its sole purpose in life is to explode, Bomb #20 detonates. The Dark Star is destroyed, Pinback and Boiler are killed instantly. Commander Powell is flung into space encased in ice, Talby and Doolittle are blown in opposite trajectories. Talby drifts into the Phoenix Asteroids, destined to circumnavigate the universe for eternity; as Doolittle loses contact with Talby, he sees. Realizing he will burn up upon entering its atmosphere, he drifts into debris from the Dark Star, finds a surfboard-shaped hunk of debris, "surfs" down into the atmosphere, dying as a falling star. Lieutenant Doolittle – Brian Narelle Sergeant Pinback – Dan O'Bannon Boiler – Cal Kuniholm Talby – Andreijah "Dre" Pahich Commander Powell – Joe Sanders Computer – Barbara "Cookie
A three-dimensional stereoscopic film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception, hence adding a third dimension. The most common approach to the production of 3D films is derived from stereoscopic photography. In this approach, a regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspectives, special projection hardware or eyewear is used to limit the visibility of each image to the viewer's left or right eye only. 3D films are not limited to theatrical releases. 3D films have existed in some form since 1915, but had been relegated to a niche in the motion picture industry because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3D film, the lack of a standardized format for all segments of the entertainment business. Nonetheless, 3D films were prominently featured in the 1950s in American cinema, experienced a worldwide resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s driven by IMAX high-end theaters and Disney-themed venues.
3D films became successful throughout the 2000s, peaking with the success of 3D presentations of Avatar in December 2009, after which 3D films again decreased in popularity. Certain directors have taken more experimental approaches to 3D filmmaking, most notably celebrated auteur Jean-Luc Godard in his films 3x3D and Goodbye to Language; the stereoscopic era of motion pictures began in the late 1890s when British film pioneer William Friese-Greene filed a patent for a 3D film process. In his patent, two films were projected side by side on screen; the viewer looked through a stereoscope to converge the two images. Because of the obtrusive mechanics behind this method, theatrical use was not practical. Frederic Eugene Ives patented his stereo camera rig in 1900; the camera had two lenses coupled together 13⁄4 inches apart. On June 10, 1915, Edwin S. Porter and William E. Waddell presented tests to an audience at the Astor Theater in New York City. In red-green anaglyph, the audience was presented three reels of tests, which included rural scenes, test shots of Marie Doro, a segment of John Mason playing a number of passages from Jim the Penman, Oriental dancers, a reel of footage of Niagara Falls.
However, according to Adolph Zukor in his 1953 autobiography The Public Is Never Wrong: My 50 Years in the Motion Picture Industry, nothing was produced in this process after these tests. The earliest confirmed 3D film shown to an out-of-house audience was The Power of Love, which premiered at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles on 27 September 1922; the camera rig was a product of the film's producer, Harry K. Fairall, cinematographer Robert F. Elder, it was filmed dual-strip in black and white, single strip color analglyphic release prints were produced using a color film invented and patented by Harry K. Fairall. A single projector could be used to display the movie but anaglyph glasses were used for viewing; the camera system and special color release print film all received U. S Patent No. 1,784,515 on Dec 9, 1930. After a preview for exhibitors and press in New York City, the film dropped out of sight not booked by exhibitors, is now considered lost. Early in December 1922, William Van Doren Kelley, inventor of the Prizma color system, cashed in on the growing interest in 3D films started by Fairall's demonstration and shot footage with a camera system of his own design.
Kelley struck a deal with Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel to premiere the first in his series of "Plasticon" shorts entitled Movies of the Future at the Rivoli Theater in New York City. In December 1922, Laurens Hammond premiered his Teleview system, shown to the trade and press in October. Teleview was the first alternating-frame 3D system seen by the public. Using left-eye and right-eye prints and two interlocked projectors and right frames were alternately projected, each pair being shown three times to suppress flicker. Viewing devices attached to the armrests of the theater seats had rotary shutters that operated synchronously with the projector shutters, producing a clean and clear stereoscopic result; the only theater known to have installed Teleview was the Selwyn Theater in New York City, only one show was presented with it: a group of short films, an exhibition of live 3D shadows, M. A. R. S; the only Teleview feature. The show ran for several weeks doing good business as a novelty, but Teleview was never seen again.
In 1922, Frederic Eugene Ives and Jacob Leventhal began releasing their first stereoscopic shorts made over a three-year period. The first film, entitled Plastigrams, was distributed nationally by Educational Pictures in the red-and-blue anaglyph format. Ives and Leventhal went on to produce the following stereoscopic shorts in the "Stereoscopiks Series" released by Pathé Films in 1925: Zowie, Luna-cy!, The Run-Away Taxi and Ouch. On 22 September 1924, Luna-cy! was re-released in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film system. The late 1920s to early 1930s saw little interest in stereoscopic pictures. In Paris, Louis Lumiere shot footage with his stereoscopic camera in September 1933; the following March he exhibited a remake of his 1895 short film L'Arrivée du Train, this time in anaglyphic 3D, at a meeting of the French Academy of Science. In 1936, Leventhal and John Norling were hired based on the
Netflix, Inc. is an American media-services provider headquartered in Los Gatos, founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is its subscription-based streaming OTT service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house; as of January 2019, Netflix had over 139 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 60.55 million in the United States, over 148 million subscriptions total including free trials. It is available worldwide except in mainland China as well as Syria, North Korea and Crimea; the company has offices in the Netherlands, India and South Korea. Netflix is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America. Netflix's initial business model included DVD sales and rental by mail, but Hastings abandoned the sales about a year after the company's founding to focus on the DVD rental business. Netflix expanded its business in 2007 with the introduction of streaming media while retaining the DVD and Blu-ray rental service.
The company expanded internationally in 2010 with streaming available in Canada, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean. Netflix entered the content-production industry in 2012. Since 2012, Netflix has taken more of an active role as producer and distributor for both film and television series, to that end, it offers a variety of "Netflix Original" content through its online library. By January 2016, Netflix services operated in more than 190 countries. Netflix released an estimated 126 original series and films in 2016, more than any other network or cable channel, their efforts to produce new content, secure the rights for additional content, diversity through 190 countries have resulted in the company racking up billions in debt: $21.9 billion as of September 2017, up from $16.8 billion from the previous year. $6.5 billion of this is long-term debt. In October 2018, Netflix announced it would raise another $2 billion in debt to help fund new content. Netflix was founded on August 29, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California, by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings.
Randolph worked as a marketing director for Pure Atria. Randolph was a co-founder of MicroWarehouse, a computer mail order company, was employed by Borland International as vice president of marketing. Hastings, a computer scientist and mathematician, sold Pure Atria to Rational Software Corporation in 1997 for $700 million in what was the biggest acquisition in Silicon Valley history, they came up with the idea for Netflix while commuting between their homes in Santa Cruz and Pure Atria's headquarters in Sunnyvale while waiting for government regulators to approve the merger, although Hasting has given several different explanations for how the idea was created. Hastings invested $2.5 million in startup cash for Netflix. Randolph admired the fledgling e-commerce company Amazon and wanted to find a large category of portable items to sell over the Internet using a similar model, they rejected VHS tapes as too expensive to stock and too delicate to ship. When they heard about DVDs, which were first introduced in the United States on March 31, 1997, they tested the concept of selling or renting DVDs by mail, by mailing a compact disc to Hastings' house in Santa Cruz.
When the disc arrived intact, they decided to take on the $16 billion home video sales and rental industry. Hastings is quoted saying that he decided to start Netflix after being fined $40 at a Blockbuster store for being late to return a copy of Apollo 13, but this is an apocryphal story that he and Randolph designed to explain the company's business model and motivation. Netflix was launched on April 14, 1998, as the world's first online DVD rental store, with only 30 employees and 925 titles available, the entire catalogue of DVDs in print at the time, through the pay-per-rent model with rates and due dates that were similar to its bricks-and-mortar rival, Blockbuster. Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1997, dropped the multiple-rental model in early 2000. Since that time, the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees and handling fees, or per-title rental fees. In 2000, when Netflix had just about 300,000 subscribers and relied on the U.
S. Postal Service for the delivery of their DVDs, they were losing money and offered to be acquired by Blockbuster for $50 million, they proposed that Netflix, which would be renamed as Blockbuster.com, would handle the online business, while Blockbuster would take care of the DVDs, making them less dependent on the U. S. Postal Service; the offer was declined. While they experienced fast growth in early 2001, both the dot-com bubble burst and the September 11 attacks would occur that year, affecting the company badly and forcing them to lay off a third of their employees. However, sales of Apple products took off as they became more affordable, selling for about $2,000 around Thanksgiving time, becoming one of that year's most popular Christmas gifts. By early 2002, Netflix saw a huge increase in business from rental to laptop DVD users. Netflix initiated an initial public offering on May 29, 2002, selling 5.5 million shares of common stock at the price of US$15.00 per share. On June 14, 2002, the company sold an additional 825,000 shares of common stock at the same price.
After incurring substantial losses during its first few years, Netflix posted its first profit during fiscal year 2003, earning US$6.5 million profit on revenues of
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. In its original incarnation, as RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chain and Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America studio were brought together under the control of the Radio Corporation of America in October 1928. RCA chief David Sarnoff engineered the merger to create a market for the company's sound-on-film technology, RCA Photophone. By the mid-1940s, the studio was under the control of investor Floyd Odlum. RKO has long been renowned for its cycle of musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the mid- to late 1930s. Actors Katharine Hepburn and Robert Mitchum had their first major successes at the studio. Cary Grant was a mainstay for years; the work of producer Val Lewton's low-budget horror unit and RKO's many ventures into the field now known as film noir have been acclaimed after the fact, by film critics and historians.
The studio produced two of the most famous films in motion picture history: King Kong and Citizen Kane. RKO was responsible for notable co-productions such as It's a Wonderful Life and Notorious, it distributed many celebrated films by animation producer Walt Disney and leading independent producer Samuel Goldwyn. Maverick industrialist Howard Hughes took over RKO in 1948. After years of disarray and decline under his control, the studio was acquired by the General Tire and Rubber Company in 1955; the original RKO Pictures ceased production in 1957 and was dissolved two years later. In 1981, broadcaster RKO General, the corporate heir, revived it as a production subsidiary, RKO Pictures Inc. In 1989, this business with its few remaining assets, the trademarks and remake rights to many classic RKO films, was sold to new owners, who now operate the small independent company RKO Pictures LLC. In October 1927, Warner Bros. released the first feature-length talking picture. Its success prompted Hollywood to convert from silent to sound film production en masse.
The Radio Corporation of America controlled an advanced optical sound-on-film system, Photophone developed by General Electric, RCA's parent company. However, its hopes of joining in the anticipated boom in sound movies faced a major hurdle: Warner Bros. and Fox, Hollywood's other vanguard sound studio, were financially and technologically aligned with ERPI, a subsidiary of AT&T's Western Electric division. The industry's two largest companies and Loew's/MGM, with two other major studios and First National, were poised to contract with ERPI for sound conversion as well. Seeking a customer for Photophone, in late 1927 David Sarnoff general manager of RCA, approached Joseph P. Kennedy about using the system for Kennedy's modest-sized studio, Film Booking Offices of America. Negotiations resulted in General Electric acquiring a substantial interest in FBO—Sarnoff had already conceived of a plan for the company to attain a central position in the film industry, maximizing Photophone revenue. Next on the agenda was securing a string of exhibition venues like those the leading Hollywood production companies owned.
Kennedy began investigating the possibility of such a purchase. Around that time, the large Keith-Albee-Orpheum circuit of theaters, built around the then-fading medium of live vaudeville, was attempting a transition to the movie business. In mid-1927, the filmmaking operations of Pathé and Cecil B. De Mille had united under KAO's control. Early in 1928, KAO general manager John J. Murdock, who had assumed the presidency of Pathé, turned to Kennedy as an adviser in consolidating the studio with De Mille's company, Producers Distributing Corporation; this was the relationship Kennedy sought. After an aborted attempt by Kennedy to bring yet another studio that had turned to him for help, First National, into the Photophone fold, RCA was ready to step back in: the company acquired Kennedy's stock in both FBO and the KAO theater business. On October 23, 1928, RCA announced the creation of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corp. holding company, with Sarnoff as chairman of the board. Kennedy, who withdrew from his executive positions in the merged companies, kept Pathé separate from RKO and under his personal control.
RCA owned the governing stock interest in 22 percent. On January 25, 1929, the new company's production arm, presided over by former FBO vice-president Joseph I. Schnitzer, was unveiled as RKO Productions Inc. A week it filed for the trademark "Radio Pictures". Looking to get out of the film business the following year, Kennedy arranged in late 1930 for RKO to purchase Pathé from him. On January 29, 1931, Pathé, with its contract players, well-regarded newsreel operation, Culver City studio and backlot, was merged into RKO as Kennedy sold off the last of his stock in the company he had been instrumental in creating. RKO began production at the small facility FBO shared with Pathé in New York City while the main FBO studio in Hollywood was technologically refitted. In charge of production was William LeBaron, who had held the same position at FBO; the new company's two initial releases were musicals: The melodramatic Syncopation, which completed shooting before FBO was reincorporated as RKO, premiered on March 29, 1929.
The comedic Street Girl debuted July 30. This was billed as its first to be shot in Hollywood. A few nonsinging pictures followed. RKO spent on the lavish