Thomas H. Ince
Thomas Harper Ince was an American silent film producer, director and actor. Ince was responsible for making over 800 films, he revolutionized the motion picture industry by creating the first major Hollywood studio facility and invented movie production by introducing the "assembly line" system of filmmaking. He was the first mogul to build his own film studio dubbed "Inceville" in Palisades Highlands. Ince was instrumental in developing the role of the producer in motion pictures. Two of his films, The Italian, for which he wrote the screenplay, Civilization, which he directed, were selected for preservation by the National Film Registry, he entered into a partnership with D. W. Griffith and Mack Sennett to form the Triangle Motion Picture Company, whose studios are the present-day site of Sony Pictures, he built a new studio about a mile from Triangle, now the site of Culver Studios. Ince's untimely death at the height of his career, after he became ill aboard the private yacht of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, has caused much speculation, although the official cause of his death was heart failure.
Thomas Harper Ince was born on November 16, 1880 in Newport, Rhode Island, the middle of three sons and a daughter raised by English immigrants, John E. and Emma Ince. His father was born in Wigan, England, in 1841, was the youngest of nine boys who enlisted in the British Navy as a "powder monkey", he disembarked at San Francisco, found work as a reporter and coal miner. Around 1887, when Ince was about seven, the family moved to Manhattan to pursue theater work. Ince's father worked as both an actor and musical agent and his mother, Ince himself, sister Bertha and brothers and Ralph all worked as actors. Ince made his Broadway debut at 15 in a small role of a revival 1893 play, Shore Acres by James A. Herne, he appeared with several stock companies as a child and was an office boy for theatrical manager Daniel Frohman. He formed an unsuccessful Vaudeville company known as "Thomas H. Ince and His Comedians" in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. In 1907, Ince met actress Elinor Kershaw and they were married on October 19 of that year.
They had three children. Ince's directing career began in 1910 through a chance encounter in New York City with an employee from his old acting troupe, William S. Hart. Ince found his first film work as an actor for the Biograph Company, directed by his future partner, D. W. Griffith. Griffith was impressed enough with Ince to hire him as a Production coordinator at Biograph; this led to more work coordinating productions at Carl Laemmle's Independent Motion Pictures Co.. That same year, a director at IMP was unable to complete work on a small feature film, so in moment of bravado, Ince suggested to IMP's owner Laemmle of hiring him as a full-time director to complete the film. Impressed with the young man, Laemmle sent him to Cuba to make one-reel shorts with his new stars, Mary Pickford and Owen Moore, out of the reach of Thomas Edison's Motion Picture Patents Company-—the trust, attempting to crush all independent production companies and corner the market on film production. Ince's output, was small.
And, although he tackled many different subjects, he was drawn to Westerns and American Civil War dramas. Clashes between the trust and independent films became exacerbated, so Ince moved to California to escape these pressures, he hoped to achieve the effects accomplished with minimal facilities like Griffith, which he believed, could only be accomplished in Hollywood. After only a year with IMP, Ince quit. In September 1911, Ince walked into the offices of actor-financier Charles O. Baumann who co-owned the New York Motion Picture Company with actor-writer Adam Kessel, Jr.. Ince had found out that NYMPC had established a West Coast studio named Bison Studios at 1719 Alessandro in Edendale to make westerns and he wanted to direct those pictures; the offer came as a distinct shock. I tried to convey the impression; that worked, I signed a contract for three months at $150 a week. Soon after that, with Mrs. Ince, my cameraman, property man and Ethel Grandin, my leading woman, I turned my face westward.
Together with his young wife and a small entourage, Ince moved to Bison Studios to begin work immediately. He was shocked, however, to discover that the studio was nothing more than a "tract of land graced only by a four-room bungalow and a barn." Ince's aspirations soon led him to leave the narrow confines of Edendale and find a location that would give him greater scope and variety. He settled upon a 460-acre tract of land called Bison Ranch located at Sunset Blvd. and Pacific Coast Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains, which he rented by the day. By 1912, he had earned enough money to purchase the ranch and was granted permission by NYMP to lease another 18,000 acres in the Palisades Highlands stretching 7.5 miles up Santa Ynez Canyon between Santa Monica and Malibu where Universal Studios was established, owned by The Miller Bros out of Ponca City, Oklahoma. And it was here Ince built his first movie studio; the "Miller 101 Bison Ranch Studio", which the Millers dubbed "Inceville" was the first of its kind in that it featured silent stages, production offices, printing labs, a commissary large enough to serve lunch to hundreds of workers, dres
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in 1924. Under Mayer's management, MGM became the film industry's most prestigious movie studio, accumulating the largest concentration of leading writers and stars in Hollywood. Mayer grew up poor in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, he quit school at 12 to support his family and moved to Boston and purchased a small vaudeville theater in Haverhill, Massachusetts called the "Garlic Box" as it catered to poorer Italian immigrants. He renovated and expanded several other theaters in the Boston area catering to higher end audiences. After expanding and moving to Los Angeles, he teamed with film producer Irving Thalberg, they developed hundreds of high quality story-based films, noted for their wholesome and lush entertainment. Mayer handled the business of running the studio, such as setting budgets and approving new productions, while Thalberg, still in his twenties, supervised all MGM productions. During his long reign at MGM, Mayer acquired many enemies as well as admirers.
Some stars did not appreciate his attempts to control their private lives, while others saw him as a solicitous father figure. He believed in wholesome entertainment and went to great lengths to discover new actors and develop them into major stars. Mayer was forced to resign as MGM's vice president in 1951, when the studio's parent company, Loew's, Inc. wanted to improve declining profits. Mayer was a staunch conservative, at one time the chairman of California's Republican party. In 1927 he was one of the founders of famous for its annual Academy Awards. Mayer was born Lazar Meir to a Jewish family in Mir, Minsk Governorate, Russian Empire. According to his personal details in the U. S. immigration documents, the date was 4 July 1885. In addition he gave his birth year as 1882 in his marriage certificate while the April 1910 census states his age as 26, his parents were Jacob Meir and Sarah Meltzer, he had two sisters—Yetta, born in c. 1878, Ida, born in c. 1883. Mayer first moved with his family to Long Island, where they lived from 1887 to 1892 and where his two brothers were born—Rubin, in April 1888, Jeremiah, in April 1891.
They moved to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada where Mayer attended school. His father started J. Mayer & Son. An immigrant unskilled in any trade, he struggled to earn a living. Young Louis quit school at age twelve to help support his family, he roamed the streets with a cart that said "Junk Dealer", collected any scrap metal he came across. When the owner of a tin business, John Wilson, saw him with his cart, he began giving him copper trimmings which were of no use, Mayer considered Wilson to be his first partner and his best friend. Wilson remembered. Whenever Mayer visited Saint John in years, he placed flowers on Wilson's grave, just as he did on his mother's. "It was a crappy childhood", said Mayer's nephew Gerald. His family was poor, Mayer's father spoke little English and had no valuable skills, it thereby became young Mayer's drive which supported the family. With his family speaking Yiddish at home, his goal of self-education when he quit school was made more difficult. In his spare time, he hung around the York theater, sometimes paying to watch the live vaudeville shows.
He became enamored with the entertainment business. In 1904 the 20-year-old Mayer left Saint John for Boston, where he continued for a time in the scrap metal business, got married, took a variety of odd jobs to support his new family when his junk business lagged. Mayer renovated the Gem Theater, a rundown, 600 seat burlesque house in Haverhill, which he reopened on November 28, 1907 as the Orpheum, his first movie theater. To overcome an unfavorable reputation that the building had, Mayer opened with a religious film at his new Orpheum, From the Manger to the Cross, in 1912. Within a few years, he owned all five of Haverhill's theaters, with Nathan H. Gordon, created the Gordon-Mayer partnership that controlled the largest theater chain in New England. During his years in Haverhill, Mayer lived on 16 Middlesex St. in the city's Bradford section, closer to city center on Temple Street and at 2 1/2 Merrimac St. Mayer lived in a house he built at 27 Hamilton Ave. In 1914, the partners organized their own film distribution agency in Boston.
Mayer paid D. W. Griffith $25,000 for the exclusive rights to show The Birth of a Nation in New England. Although Mayer made the bid on a film that one of his scouts had seen, but he had not, his decision netted him over $100,000. Mayer partnered with Richard A. Rowland in 1916 to create Metro Pictures Corporation, a talent booking agency, in New York City. Two years Mayer moved to Los Angeles and formed his own production company, Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation; the first production was 1918's Virtuous Wives. A partnership was set up with B. P. Schulberg to make the Mayer-Schulberg Studio. Mayer's big breakthrough, was in April 1924 when Marcus Loew, owner of the Loew's chain, merged Metro Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn's Goldwyn Pictures Corporation, Mayer Pictures into Metro-Goldwyn. Loew had bought Metro and Goldwyn some months before, but could not find anyone to oversee his new holdings on the West Coast. Mayer, with his proven success as a producer, was an obvious choice, he was named head of studio operations and a Loew's vice president, based in Los Angeles, reporting to Loew's longt
Sir Alexander Korda was a British film producer and director and screenwriter, who founded his own film production studios and film distribution company. Born in Hungary, where he began his career, he worked in the Austrian and German film industries during the era of silent films, before being based in Hollywood from 1926 to 1930 for the first of his two brief periods there; the change led to the divorce from his first wife, the Hungarian film actress María Corda, who could not make the transition because of her strong accent. From 1930, Korda was active in the British film industry, soon became one of its leading figures, he was the founder of London Films and, post-war, the owner of British Lion Films, a film distribution company. Korda was the first filmmaker to have been granted a knighthood; the elder brother of Zoltan and Vincent, Alexander Korda was born as Sándor László Kellner in Pusztatúrpásztó, Austria-Hungary. Born into a Jewish family, his parents were Ernesztina Weisz. Zoltan, a film director and Vincent, an art director had careers in the film industry working with their elder brother.
After the death of his father, Korda began writing film reviews to support his family. Korda changed his family name from Kellner to Korda—from the Latin phrase "sursum corda" which means "lift up your hearts". Korda became an important film figure through his film magazines Pesti Mozihét and Világ; this led to invitations to write film screenplays. Korda's first film script was for Watchhouse in the Carpathians, which he helped direct; when the First World War broke out, Korda was excused from military service in the Austrian Army because he was short-sighted. Korda made a film with The Duped Journalist, he directed Tutyu and Totyo, The Officer's Swordknot and Lyon Lea. Korda established a film company named building it into one of the largest in Hungary, his first film for them was a big success. He followed it with The Grandmother, Tales of the Typewriter, The Man with Two Hearts, The One Million Pound Note, Struggling Hearts, The Laughing Saskia, Miska the Magnate, St. Peter's Umbrella, The Stork Caliph, Magic.
Korda regarded Harrison and Barrison as his best film. He made Faun, The Man with the Golden Touch, Mary Ann. During the Hungarian Soviet Republic, Korda made Ave Caesar!, White Rose and Neither at Home or Abroad. His final Hungarian film was Number 111. In October 1919, Korda was arrested during the White Terror that followed the overthrow of the short-lived Communist government, the Hungarian Democratic Republic, because he had participated in its government. After his release, he left Hungary for Austria, never returned to his country of birth. After leaving Hungary, Korda accepted an invitation from Count Alexander Kolowrat to work for his company Sascha-Film in the Austrian capital Vienna. Korda worked alongside Kolowrat, who had attracted several leading Hungarian and German directors into his employment, on the historical epic The Prince and the Pauper; the film was a major international success and inspired Korda with the idea of making "international films" with global box office appeal.
Korda's next two films, Masters of the Sea and A Vanished World, were both nautical-set adventures based on Hungarian novels. By that stage, Korda had grown irritated with Kolowrat's interference with his work and left Sascha to make an independent film and Delilah, set in the world of opera; the film was made with large crowd scenes. The lengthy shooting schedule lasted 160 working days; the film was unsuccessful. Unable to find further backing for his film projects, Korda travelled to Germany. Korda raised funding for the melodrama The Unknown Tomorrow. With backing from Germany's biggest film company, UFA, Korda returned to Vienna to make Everybody's Woman. While there, he began work on his next film, the historical Tragedy in the House of Habsburg, which portrayed the Mayerling Incident, it earned back around half of its production cost. He followed this with another melodrama. Korda had frequent problems with money, had to receive support from friends and business associates. Korda had cast his wife Maria Corda as the female lead in all his German-language films and to a large degree, his productions depended on her star power.
Korda cast her again in A Modern Dubarry, which adapted the life story of Madame Du Barry, based on an original screenplay by Lajos Bíró. The film may have intended to highlight Maria Corda's star potential to Hollywood. Korda made his final German film Madame Wants No Children for the Berlin-based subsidiary of the American studio Fox. Although made it was released before A Modern Dubarry. In December 1926 after receiving an offer of a joint contract from the American studio First National and his wife sailed for the United States on board the steamer Olympic. Once they reached Hollywood, both struggled to adapt to the studio system. Korda had to wait some time before gaining his first directorial assignment, his first American film was a drama titled The Stolen Bride. Korda was chosen; the film starred the American actress Billie Dove, rather than Korda's wife. After The Stolen Bride's moderate success, Korda was brought in to work on the comedy The Private Life of Helen of Troy
The Great Ziegfeld
The Great Ziegfeld is a 1936 American musical and drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and produced by Hunt Stromberg, it stars William Powell as the theatrical impresario Florenz "Flo" Ziegfeld Jr. Luise Rainer as Anna Held, Myrna Loy as Billie Burke; the film, shot at MGM Studios in Culver City, California in the fall of 1935, is a fictionalized tribute to Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. and a cinematic adaption of Broadway's Ziegfeld Follies, with elaborate costumes and sets. Many of the performers of the theatrical Ziegfeld Follies were cast in the film as themselves, including Fanny Brice and Harriet Hoctor, the real Billie Burke acted as a supervisor for the film; the "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" set alone was reported to have cost US$220,000, featuring a towering rotating volute of 70 ft diameter with 175 spiral steps, weighing 100 tons. The music to the film was provided by Walter Donaldson, Irving Berlin, lyricist Harold Adamson, with choreographed scenes; the extravagant costumes were designed by Adrian, taking some 250 tailors and seamstresses six months to prepare them using 50 pounds of silver sequins and 12 yards of white ostrich plumes.
Over a thousand people were employed in the production of the film, which required 16 reels of film after the cutting. One of the biggest successes in film in the 1930s and the pride of MGM at the time, it was acclaimed as the greatest musical biography to be made in Hollywood and still remains a standard in musical film making, it won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture for producer Hunt Stromberg, Best Actress for Luise Rainer, Best Dance Direction for Seymour Felix, was nominated for four others. Although the film still is praised for its lavish production and as a symbol of glamour and excess during the Golden Age of Hollywood, today The Great Ziegfeld is seen less favorably and is considered by many critics to be excessively showy and too lengthy at over three hours. MGM made two more Ziegfeld films – one entitled Ziegfeld Girl, starring James Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, which recycled some footage from The Great Ziegfeld, in 1946, Ziegfeld Follies by Vincente Minnelli.
In 1951, it produced a Technicolor remake of Show Boat, which Ziegfeld had presented as a stage musical. The son of a respected music professor, Florenz "Flo" Ziegfeld Jr. yearns to make his mark in show business. He begins by promoting Eugen Sandow, the "world's strongest man", at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, overcoming the competition of rival Billings and his popular attraction, belly dancer Little Egypt, with savvy marketing. Ziegfeld returns to his father and young Mary Lou at the Chicago Musical College, departs to San Francisco, where he and Sandow are deemed frauds for putting on a show in which Sandow faces a lion who falls asleep as soon as it is let out of the cage. Flo travels to England on an ocean liner, where he runs into Billings again, laughing at a newspaper article denouncing him as a fraud. Flo discovers. Despite losing all his money gambling at Monte Carlo, Flo charms Anna into signing with him instead, pretending that he doesn't know Billings. Anna twice sends him away for his rudeness and for being broke, before revealing that she appreciates his honesty.
Ziegfeld promises to give her "more publicity than she dreams of" and to feature her alongside America's most prominent theatrical performers. At first, Anna's performance at the Herald Square Theatre is not a success. However, Flo manages to generate publicity by sending 20 gallons of milk to Anna every day for a fictitious milk bath beauty treatment refusing to pay the bill; the newspaper stories soon bring the curious to pack his theater, Ziegfeld introduces eight new performers to back her. Audience members comment on how the milk must make her skin beautiful and the show is a major success. Flo sends Anna flowers and jewelry and a note saying "you were magnificent my wife", she agrees to marry him, flaunting her new diamonds to her fellow performers. However, one success is not enough for the showman, he has an idea for an new kind of show featuring a bevy of blondes and brunettes, one that will "glorify" the American girl. The new show, the Ziegfeld Follies, an opulent production filled with beautiful women and extravagant costumes and sets, is a smash hit, is followed by more versions of the Follies.
Ziegfeld tries to make a star out of Audrey Dane, plagued with alcoholism, he lures Fanny Brice from vaudeville, showering both with lavish gifts. He gives stagehand Ray Bolger his break as well. Mary Lou, now a young woman, visits Ziegfeld, who doesn't recognize her and hires her as a dancer; the new production upsets Anna, who realizes that Flo's world does not revolve around just her, she becomes envious of the attention he pays to Audrey. She divorces him after walking in on a drunk Audrey at the wrong moment. Audrey walks out on the show after an angry confrontation. Broke, Flo borrows money from Billings for a third time for the new show. Flo soon marries her; when she hears the news, a heartbroken Anna telephones pretends to be glad for him. Flo and Billie have a daughter named Patricia. Flo's new shows are a success, but after a while, the public's taste changes, people begin to wonder if the times have not passed him by. After a string of negative reviews in the press, Flo overhears three men in a barber's shop saying that he'll "never produce another hit".
Stung, he vows to have four hits on Broadway at the same time. He achieves his goal, wit
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, Louis B. Mayer Pictures. In 1971, it was announced that MGM was to merge with 20th Century Fox, but the plan never came to fruition. Over the next 39 years, the studio was bought and sold at various points in its history until, on November 3, 2010, MGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. MGM emerged from bankruptcy on December 20, 2010, at which time the executives of Spyglass Entertainment, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, became co-chairmen and co-CEOs of the holding company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; as of 2017, MGM co-produces, co-finances, co-distributes a majority of its films with Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.
MGM Resorts International, a Las Vegas-based hotel and casino company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MGM", was created in 1973 as a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company was spun out in 1979, with the studio's owner Kirk Kerkorian maintaining a large share, but it ended all affiliation with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1986. MGM was the last studio to convert to sound pictures, but in spite of this fact, from the end of the silent film era through the late 1950s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the dominant motion picture studio in Hollywood. Always slow to respond to the changing legal and demographic nature of the motion picture industry during the 1950s and 1960s, although at times its films did well at the box office, the studio lost significant amounts of money throughout the 1960s. In 1966, MGM was sold to Canadian investor Edgar Bronfman Sr. whose son Edgar Jr. would buy Universal Studios. Three years an unprofitable MGM was bought by Kirk Kerkorian, who slashed staff and production costs, forced the studio to produce low-budget fare, shut down theatrical distribution in 1973.
The studio continued to produce five to six films a year that were released through other studios United Artists. Kerkorian did, commit to increased production and an expanded film library when he bought United Artists in 1981. MGM ramped up internal production, as well as keeping production going at UA, which included the lucrative James Bond film franchise, it incurred significant amounts of debt to increase production. The studio took on additional debt as a series of owners took charge in early 1990s. In 1986, Ted Turner bought MGM, but a few months sold the company back to Kerkorian to recoup massive debt, while keeping the library assets for himself; the series of deals left MGM more in debt. MGM was bought by Pathé Communications in 1990, but Parretti lost control of Pathé and defaulted on the loans used to purchase the studio; the French banking conglomerate Crédit Lyonnais, the studio's major creditor took control of MGM. More in debt, MGM was purchased by a joint venture between Kerkorian, producer Frank Mancuso, Australia's Seven Network in 1996.
The debt load from these and subsequent business deals negatively affected MGM's ability to survive as a separate motion picture studio. After a bidding war which included Time Warner and General Electric, MGM was acquired on September 23, 2004, by a partnership consisting of Sony Corporation of America, Texas Pacific Group, Providence Equity Partners, other investors. In 1924, movie theater magnate Marcus Loew had a problem, he had bought Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919 for a steady supply of films for his large Loew's Theatres chain. With Loew's lackluster assortment of Metro films, Loew purchased Goldwyn Pictures in 1924 to improve the quality. However, these purchases created a need for someone to oversee his new Hollywood operations, since longtime assistant Nicholas Schenck was needed in New York headquarters to oversee the 150 theaters. Approached by Louis B. Mayer, Loew addressed the situation by buying Louis B. Mayer Pictures on April 17, 1924. Mayer became head of the renamed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with Irving Thalberg as head of production.
MGM produced more than 100 feature films in its first two years. In 1925, MGM released the extravagant and successful Ben-Hur, taking a $4.7 million profit that year, its first full year. In 1925, MGM, Paramount Pictures and UFA formed a joint German distributor, Parufamet; when Samuel Goldwyn left he sued over the use of his name. Marcus Loew died in 1927, control of Loew's passed to Nicholas Schenck. In 1929, William Fox of Fox Film Corporation bought the Loew family's holdings with Schenck's assent. Mayer and Thalberg disagreed with the decision. Mayer was active in the California Republican Party and used his political connections to persuade the Justice Department to delay final approval of the deal on antitrust grounds. During this time, in the summer of 1929, Fox was badly hurt in an automobile accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash in the fall of 1929 had nearly wiped Fox out and ended any chance of the Loew's merger going through. Schenck and Mayer had never gotten along, the abortive Fox merger increased the animosity between the two men.
From the outset, MGM tapped into the audience's need for sophistication. Having inherited few big names from their predecessor companies and Thalberg began at once
Santa Anita Park
Santa Anita Park is a Thoroughbred racetrack in Arcadia, United States. It offers some of the prominent horse racing events in the United States during the winter and in spring; the track is home to numerous prestigious races including both the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap as well as hosting the Breeders' Cup in 1986, 1993, 2003, 2008, 2009, from 2012 to 2014, plus 2016. In 2011, Santa Anita's ownership was moved to The Stronach Group. Frank Mirahmadi is the current track commentator. Santa Anita Park was part of "Rancho Santa Anita,", owned by former San Gabriel Mission Mayor-Domo, Claudio Lopez, named after a family member, "Anita Cota." The ranch was acquired by rancher Hugo Reid, a Scotsman. It was owned by multimillionaire horse breeder and racer Lucky Baldwin. Baldwin built a racetrack adjacent to the present site in what is today Arcadia, outside of the city of Los Angeles, in 1904, it closed in 1909 and burned down in 1912. In 1933, California legalized parimutuel wagering and several investor groups worked to open racetracks.
In the San Francisco area, a group headed by Dr. Charles H "Doc" Strub was having trouble locating a site. In the Los Angeles area, a group headed by movie producer Hal Roach was in need of further funds; these two groups combined and the newly formed Los Angeles Turf Club opened the present day track on Christmas Day in 1934, making it the first formally-established racetrack in California. Architect Gordon Kaufmann designed its various buildings in a combination of Colonial Revival and a type of art deco known as Streamline Modern, painted in Santa Anita's signature colors of Persian Green and Chiffon Yellow. In February 1935, the first Santa Anita Handicap was run; the race's $100,000 purse, largest of any race in the United States until that time, produced its nickname the Big'Cap. In its heyday, the track's races attracted such stars Betty Grable, Lana Turner, Edgar Bergen, Jane Russell, Cary Grant, Esther Williams, other stars. Bing Crosby, Joe E. Brown, Al Jolson, Harry Warner were all stockholders.
In 1940, Seabiscuit won the Santa Anita Handicap in his last start. In 1942, racing at Santa Anita was suspended due to the Second World War. Santa Anita was used as an "assembly center" for Japanese Americans excluded from the West Coast. For several months in 1942, over 18,000 people lived in horse stables and military-style barracks constructed on the site, including actor George Takei a young boy. After the track reopened in 1945, it went through the postwar years with prosperity. A downhill turf course, which added a distinctly European flair to racing at Santa Anita, was added in 1953. Due to its proximity to Los Angeles, Santa Anita has traditionally been associated with the film and television industries; the racetrack sequences in the Marx Brothers 1937 classic A Day at the Races were filmed there, The Story of Seabiscuit with Shirley Temple was filmed on location in 1949. It was featured in A Star Is Born. Several stars, including Bing Crosby, Spencer Tracy, Errol Flynn, Alex Trebek, MGM mogul, Louis B.
Mayer, have owned horses. The 1958 Santa Anita Derby was attended by 61,123 people, making the attendance that day a record crowd, they had come to watch Silky Sullivan win -- going away. The 1960s brought about a major renovation of Santa Anita Park, including a much-expanded grandstand as well as major seating additions. In 1968, Del Mar Racetrack relinquished its dates for a fall meeting. A group of horsemen including Clement Hirsch intervened and established the not-for-profit Oak Tree Racing Association. Oak Tree had no facilities of its own and rented Santa Anita Park for its first autumn meeting in 1969; the Oak Tree Association became. This meet ran from the end of September until early November. Many key stakes races were held during the Oak Tree Meeting, including many preps to the Breeders' Cup races; the Oak Tree meet relocated to Hollywood Park for 2010 but the California Horse Racing Board awarded the fall dates to Santa Anita in its own right in 2011. This prompted a renaming of many stakes races held at the fall meeting that were associated with Oak Tree.
For example, the Norfolk, Yellow Ribbon, Lady's Secret, Oak Leaf, were renamed at the FrontRunner, Awesome Again, Rodeo Drive and Chandelier respectively. Prosperity continued at Santa Anita throughout the 1980s. In 1984, Santa Anita was the site of equestrian events at the 1984 Olympics; the following year, the track set an attendance record of 85,527 people on Santa Anita Handicap Day. However, recognizing the potential revenue boon to the State of California, the California Legislature expanded off track betting, bring operating betting parlors within closer driving distance of the race-day tracks. While the Santa Anita meeting could still draw large crowds, attendance had decreased by a third. Only 56,810 people were at the park for Santa Anita Derby Day 2007 to witness a Grade I event. In 1997, Santa Anita Park was acquired by Meditrust when it purchased the Santa Anita Companies for its unique real estate investment trust paired share corporate structure. Following the elimination of the special tax treatment accorded Pair Share REITs, Meditrust sold the track to Magna Entertainment Corp.
In 2006, Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita cohosted the Sunshine Millions, a day of competition with $3.6 million in stakes races between horses bred in the State of Florida and those bred in the State of California. At Santa Anita standardbred racing was conducted. At Santa Anita Park's European-style paddock there are statues of jockeys George Woolf, Johnny Longden, Bi
Mack Sennett was a Canadian-American film actor and producer, studio head, known as the King of Comedy. Born in Canada, he started in films in the Biograph company of New York, opened Keystone Studios in Edendale, California in 1912, it was the first enclosed film stage, Sennett became famous as the originator of slapstick routines such as pie-throwing and car-chases, as seen in the Keystone Cops films. He produced short features that displayed his Bathing Beauties, many of whom went on to develop successful acting careers. Sennett's work in sound-movies was less successful and he was bankrupted in 1933, he was presented with an honorary Academy Award for his contribution to film comedy. Born Michael Sinnott in Richmond Ste-Bibiane Parish, Canada, he was the son of Irish Catholic John Sinnott and Catherine Foy, married 1879 in Tingwick, Québec; the newlyweds moved the same year to Richmond. By 1883, when Michael's brother George was born, John Sinnott was working in Richmond as an innkeeper. John Sinnott and Catherine Foy had all their children and raised their family in Richmond a small Eastern Townships village.
At that time, Michael's grandparents were living in Québec. Michael Sinnott moved to Connecticut, he lived for a while in Northampton, where, according to his autobiography, Sennett first got the idea to become an opera singer after seeing a vaudeville show. He claimed that the most respected lawyer in town, Northampton mayor Calvin Coolidge, as well as Sennett's own mother, tried to talk him out of his musical ambitions. In New York City, Sennett became an actor, dancer, set designer, director for Biograph. A major distinction in his acting career overlooked, is the fact that Sennett played Sherlock Holmes 11 times, albeit as a parody, between 1911 and 1913. With financial backing from Adam Kessel and Charles O. Bauman of the New York Motion Picture Company, Michael "Mack" Sennett founded Keystone Studios in Edendale, California in 1912; the original main building, the first enclosed film stage and studio constructed, is still there today. Many important actors cemented their film careers with Sennett, including Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Charles Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Roscoe Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd, Raymond Griffith, Gloria Swanson, Ford Sterling, Andy Clyde, Chester Conklin, Polly Moran, Louise Fazenda, The Keystone Cops, Bing Crosby, W. C.
Fields. Mack Sennett's slapstick comedies were noted for their wild car chases and custard pie warfare in the Keystone Cops series. Sennett's first female comedian was Mabel Normand, who became a major star under his direction and with whom he embarked on a tumultuous romantic relationship. Sennett developed the Kid Comedies, a forerunner of the Our Gang films, in a short time, his name became synonymous with screen comedy which were called "flickers" at the time. In 1915, Keystone Studios became an autonomous production unit of the ambitious Triangle Film Corporation, as Sennett joined forces with D. W. Griffith and Thomas Ince, both powerful figures in the film industry. Beginning in 1915, Sennett assembled a bevy of women known as the Sennett Bathing Beauties to appear in provocative bathing costumes in comedy short subjects, in promotional material, in promotional events such as Venice Beach beauty contests; the Sennett Bathing Beauties continued to appear through 1928. In 1917, Sennett gave up the Keystone trademark and organized his own company, Mack Sennett Comedies Corporation.
Sennett went on to produce more ambitious comedy a few feature-length films. During the 1920s, his short subjects were in much demand, featuring stars such as Louise Fazenda, Billy Bevan, Andy Clyde, Harry Gribbon, Vernon Dent, Alice Day, Ralph Graves, Charlie Murray, Harry Langdon, he produced several features with his brightest stars such as Mabel Normand. Many of Sennett's films of the early 1920s were inherited by Warner Bros. Studio. Warner Bros. merged with the original distributor, First National, added music and commentary to several of these short subjects. Many of the films of this period were destroyed due to inadequate storage; as a result, many of Sennett's films from his most productive and creative period no longer exist. In the mid-1920s, Sennett moved to Pathé Exchange distribution. Pathé had a huge market share, but made bad corporate decisions, such as attempting to sell too many comedies at once. In 1927, Paramount and MGM, which were Hollywood's two top studios at the time, took note of the profits being made by smaller companies such as Pathé Exchange and Educational Pictures.
So, Paramount and MGM decided to resume the distribution of short subjects. Hal Roach signed with MGM, but Mack Sennett remained with Pathé Exchange during hard times, which were brought on by the competition. Hundreds of other independent exhibitors and movie houses of this period had switched from Pathe' to the new MGM or Paramount films and short subjects. Sennett made a reasonably smooth transition to sound films, releasing them through Earle Hammons's Educational Pictures. Sennett experimented with color. Plus, he was the first to get a talkie short subject on the market in 1928. In 1932, he was nominated f