Francisco "Pancho" Villa was a Mexican revolutionary general and one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution. As commander of the División del Norte," in the Constitutionalist Army, he was a military-landowner of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua. Given the area's size and mineral wealth, it provided him with extensive resources. Villa was provisional Governor of Chihuahua in 1913 and 1914. Villa can be credited with decisive military victories leading to the ousting of Victoriano Huerta from the presidency in July 1914. Villa fought his erstwhile leader in the coalition against Huerta, "First Chief" of the Constitutionalists Venustiano Carranza. Villa was in alliance with southern revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who remained fighting in his own region of Morelos; the two revolutionary generals came together to take Mexico City after Carranza's forces retreated from it. Villa's heretofore undefeated División del Norte engaged the military forces of Carranza under Carrancista general Álvaro Obregón and was defeated in the 1915 Battle of Celaya.
Villa was again defeated by Carranza, 1 November 1915, at the Second Battle of Agua Prieta, after which Villa's army collapsed as a significant military force. Villa subsequently led a raid against a small U. S.–Mexican border town resulting in the Battle of Columbus on 9 March 1916, retreated to escape U. S. retaliation. The U. S. government sent U. S. Army General John J. Pershing on an expedition to capture Villa, but Villa continued to evade his attackers with guerrilla tactics during the unsuccessful, nine-month incursion into Mexican sovereign territory; the mission ended when the United States entered World War I and Pershing was recalled to other duties. In 1920, Villa made an agreement with the Mexican government to retire from hostilities, following the ouster and death of Carranza, was given a hacienda near Parral, which he turned into a "military colony" for his former soldiers. In 1923, as presidential elections approached, he re-involved himself in Mexican politics. Shortly thereafter he was assassinated, most on the orders of Obregón.
In life, Villa helped fashion his own image as an internationally known revolutionary hero, starring as himself in Hollywood films and giving interviews to foreign journalists, most notably John Reed. After his death, he was excluded from the pantheon of revolutionary heroes until the Sonoran generals Obregón and Calles, whom he battled during the Revolution, were gone from the political stage. Villa's exclusion from the official narrative of the Revolution might have contributed to his continued posthumous popular acclaim, he was celebrated during the Revolution and long afterward by corridos, films about his life, novels by prominent writers. In 1976, his remains were reburied in the Monument to the Revolution in Mexico City in a huge public ceremony not attended by his widow Luz Corral. Villa told a number of conflicting stories about his early life, his "early life remains shrouded in mystery." According to most sources, he was born on 5 June 1878, named José Doroteo Arango Arámbula at birth.
His father was a sharecropper named Agustín Arango, his mother was Micaela Arámbula. He grew up at one of the largest haciendas in the state of Durango; the family's residence now houses the Casa de Pancho Villa historic museum in San Juan del Rio. Doroteo claimed to be the son of the bandit Agustín Villa, but according to at least one scholar, "the identity of his real father is still unknown." He was the oldest of five children. As a child, he received some education from a local church-run school, but was not proficient in more than basic literacy, he quit school to help his mother. He became a bandit at some point early on, but worked as a sharecropper, butcher and foreman for a U. S. railway company. According to his dictated remembrances, published as Memorias de Pancho Villa, at the age of 16 he moved to Chihuahua, but soon returned to Durango to track down and kill a hacienda owner named Agustín López Negrete who had raped his sister, afterward stealing a horse and fleeing to the Sierra Madre Occidental region of Durango, where he roamed the hills as a thief.
He became a member of a bandit band headed by Ignacio Parra, one of the most famous bandits in Durango at the time. As a bandit, he went by the name "Arango". In 1902, the rurales, the crack rural police force of President Porfirio Díaz, arrested Pancho for stealing mules and for assault; because of his connections with the powerful Pablo Valenzuela, a recipient of goods stolen by Villa/Arango, he was spared the death sentence sometimes imposed on captured bandits. Pancho Villa was forcibly inducted into the Federal Army, a practice adopted under the Diaz regime to deal with troublemakers. Several months he deserted and fled to the neighboring state of Chihuahua. In 1903, after killing an army officer and stealing his horse, he was no longer known as Arango but Francisco "Pancho" Villa after his paternal grandfather, Jesús Villa. However, others claim, he was known to his friends as La Cucaracha or. Until 1910, Villa is said to have alternated episodes of thievery with more legitimate pursuits.
Villa's outlook on banditry changed after he met Abraham González, the local representative for presidential candidate Francisco Madero, a rich hacendado turned politician from the northern state of Coahuila, who opposed the continued rule of Díaz and convinced Villa that through his banditry he could fight for the people and h
James Wong Howe
Wong Tung Jim, A. S. C. Known professionally as James Wong Howe, was a Chinese American cinematographer who worked on over 130 films. During the 1930s and 1940s, he was one of the most sought after cinematographers in Hollywood due to his innovative filming techniques. Howe was known as a master of the use of shadow and one of the first to use deep-focus cinematography, in which both foreground and distant planes remain in focus. Born in Guangzhou, Howe immigrated to the United States at age five and grew up in Washington, he was a professional boxer during his teenage years, began his career in the film industry as an assistant to Cecil B. DeMille. Howe pioneered the use of wide-angle lenses and low-key lighting, as well as the use of the crab dolly. Despite the success of his professional life, Howe faced significant racial discrimination in his private life, he became an American citizen only after the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943, due to anti-miscegenation laws, his marriage to a white woman was not recognized in the United States until 1948.
Howe earned ten nominations for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, winning twice for The Rose Tattoo and Hud. He was selected as one of the ten most influential cinematographers in a survey of the members of the International Cinematographers Guild. On May 25, 2018, Google honored Howe with a doodle on its homepage. Howe was born Wong Tung Jim in Taishan, Canton Province, China in 1899, his father Wong Howe moved to America that year to work on the Northern Pacific Railway and in 1904 sent for his family. The Howes settled in Pasco, where they owned a general store. A Brownie camera, said to have been bought at Pasco Drug when he was a child, sparked an early interest in photography. After his father's death, the teenaged Howe moved to Oregon to live with his uncle and considered a career as a bantamweight boxer. After compiling a record of 5 wins, 2 losses and a draw, Howe moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in hopes of attending aviation school but ran out of money and went south to Los Angeles.
Once there, Howe took several odd jobs, including work as a commercial photographer's delivery boy and as a busboy at the Beverly Hills Hotel. After a chance encounter with a former boxing colleague, photographing a Mack Sennett short on the streets of Los Angeles, Howe approached cinematographer Alvin Wyckoff and landed a low-level job in the film lab at Famous Players-Lasky Studios. Soon thereafter he was called to the set of The Little American to act as an extra clapper boy, which brought him into contact with silent film director Cecil B. DeMille. Amused by the sight of the diminutive Asian holding the slate with a large cigar in his mouth, DeMille kept Howe on and launched his career as a camera assistant. To earn additional money, Howe took publicity stills for Hollywood stars. One of those still photographs launched Howe's career as a cinematographer when he stumbled across a means of making silent film star Mary Miles Minter's eyes look darker by photographing her while she was looking at a dark surface.
Minter requested that Howe be first cameraman, director of photography, on her next feature, Howe shot Minter's closeups for Drums of Fate by placing black velvet in a large frame around the camera. Throughout his career, Howe retained a reputation for making actresses look their best through lighting alone and resorted to using gauze or other diffusion over the lens to soften their features. Howe worked as a cinematographer from 1923 until the end of the era of silent film. In 1928, Howe was in China shooting backgrounds for a movie; the project he was working on was never completed, when he returned to Hollywood, he discovered that the "talkies" had supplanted silent productions. With no experience in that medium, Howe could not find work. To reestablish himself, Howe first co-financed a Japanese-language feature shot in Southern California entitled Chijiku wo mawasuru chikara, which he photographed and co-directed; when that film failed to find an audience in California's nisei communities or Japan, Howe shot the low-budget feature Today for no salary.
Director/producer Howard Hawks, whom he had met on The Little American, hired him for The Criminal Code and director William K. Howard selected him to be the cinematographer on Transatlantic. Howe's innovative work on Transatlantic reestablished him as one of the leading cinematographers in Hollywood, he worked continuously through the 1930s and 1940s on several movies a year. Howe gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be difficult to work with overruling and berating other members of the film crew. In a 1945 issue of The Screen Writer, Howe stated his views of a cameraman's responsibility, writing in The Cameraman Talks Back that "he cameraman confers with the director on: the composition of shots for action, since some scenes require definite composition for their best dramatic effect, while others require the utmost fluidity, or freedom from any strict definition or stylization. Howe's broad view of a cinematographer's responsibilities reflected those established for first cameramen in silent films and continued through the studio era where most directors were contract employees in charge of actor performances.
Howe was nominated for an Academy Award in 1944 in the "Best Cinematography: Black-and-White" category for his work on the movi
The Academy Awards known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership; the various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more referred to by its nickname "Oscar". The award was sculpted by George Stanley from a design sketch by Cedric Gibbons. AMPAS first presented it in 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; the Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953. It is now seen live worldwide, its equivalents – the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, the Grammy Awards for music – are modeled after the Academy Awards. The 91st Academy Awards ceremony, honoring the best films of 2018, was held on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre, in Los Angeles, California.
The ceremony was broadcast on ABC. A total of 3,072 Oscar statuettes have been awarded from the inception of the award through the 90th ceremony, it was the first ceremony since 1988 without a host. The first Academy Awards presentation was held on 16 May 1929, at a private dinner function at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people; the post-awards party was held at the Mayfair Hotel. The cost of guest tickets for that night's ceremony was $5. Fifteen statuettes were awarded, honoring artists and other participants in the film-making industry of the time, for their works during the 1927–28 period; the ceremony ran for 15 minutes. Winners were announced to media three months earlier; that was changed for the second ceremony in 1930. Since for the rest of the first decade, the results were given to newspapers for publication at 11:00 pm on the night of the awards; this method was used until an occasion when the Los Angeles Times announced the winners before the ceremony began.
The first Best Actor awarded was Emil Jannings, for his performances in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. He had to return to Europe before the ceremony, so the Academy agreed to give him the prize earlier. At that time, the winners were recognized for all of their work done in a certain category during the qualifying period. With the fourth ceremony, the system changed, professionals were honored for a specific performance in a single film. For the first six ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years. At the 29th ceremony, held on 27 March 1957, the Best Foreign Language Film category was introduced; until foreign-language films had been honored with the Special Achievement Award. The 74th Academy Awards, held in 2002, presented the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. Since 1973, all Academy Awards ceremonies have ended with the Academy Award for Best Picture. Traditionally, the previous year's winner for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor present the awards for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, while the previous year's winner for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress present the awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
See § Awards of Merit categories The best known award is the Academy Award of Merit, more popularly known as the Oscar statuette. Made of gold-plated bronze on a black metal base, it is 13.5 in tall, weighs 8.5 lb, depicts a knight rendered in Art Deco style holding a crusader's sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes. The five spokes represent the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Directors and Technicians; the model for the statuette is said to be Mexican actor Emilio "El Indio" Fernández. Sculptor George Stanley sculpted Cedric Gibbons' design; the statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favor of Britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy, plated in copper, nickel silver, 24-karat gold. Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones; the only addition to the Oscar since it was created is a minor streamlining of the base.
The original Oscar mold was cast in 1928 at the C. W. Shumway & Sons Foundry in Batavia, which contributed to casting the molds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy and Emmy Award's statuettes. From 1983 to 2015 50 Oscars in a tin alloy with gold plating were made each year in Chicago by Illinois manufacturer R. S. Owens & Company, it would take between four weeks to manufacture 50 statuettes. In 2016, the Academy returned to bronze as the core metal of the statuettes, handing manufacturing duties to Walden, New York-based Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry. While based on a digital scan of an original 1929 Oscar, the statuettes retain their modern-era dimensions and black pedestal. Cast in liquid bronze from 3D-printed ceramic molds and polished, they are electroplated in 24-karat gold by Brooklyn, New York–based Epner Technology; the time required to produce 50 such statuettes is three months. R. S. Owens i
Wallace Fitzgerald Beery was an American film actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill opposite Marie Dressler, as Long John Silver in Treasure Island, as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa!, his titular role in The Champ, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Beery appeared in some 250 films during a 36-year career, his contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer stipulated in 1932 that he would be paid $1 more than any other contract player at the studio. This made Beery the highest-paid actor in the world, he was uncle of actor Noah Beery Jr.. For his contributions to the film industry, Beery was posthumously inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star in 1960, his star is located at 7001 Hollywood Boulevard. Beery was born the youngest of three boys in 1885 in Clay County, near Smithville; the Beery family left the farm in the 1890s and moved to nearby Kansas City, where the father was a police officer. Wallace Beery attended the Chase School in Kansas City and took piano lessons as well, but showed little love for academic matters.
He ran away from home twice, the first time returning after a short time, quitting school and working in the Kansas City train yards as an engine wiper. Beery ran away from home a second time at age 16, joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant elephant trainer, he left two years after being clawed by a leopard. Wallace Beery joined his older brother Noah in New York City in 1904, finding work in comic opera as a baritone and began to appear on Broadway as well as summer stock theatre, he appeared in The Belle of the West in 1905. His most notable early role came in 1907. In 1913, he moved to Chicago to work for Essanay Studios, his first movie was a comedy short, His Athletic Wife. Beery was cast as Sweedie, a Swedish maid character he played in drag in a series of short comedy films from 1914-16. Sweedie Learns to Swim co-starred Ben Turpin. Sweedie Goes to College starred Gloria Swanson. Other Beery films from this period included In and Out, The Ups and Downs, Cheering a Husband, Madame Double X, Ain't It the Truth, Two Hearts That Beat as Ten, The Fable of the Roistering Blades.
The Slim Princess, with Francis X. Bushman, was a feature. Beery did The Broken A Dash of Courage, both with Swanson. Beery was a German soldier in The Little American with Mary Pickford, directed by Cecil B. De Mille, he did some comedies for Mack Sennett, Maggie's First False Step and Teddy at the Throttle, but he would leave that genre and specialize in portrayals of villains prior to becoming a major leading man during the sound era. In 1917 Beery portrayed Pancho Villa in Patria at a time. Beery was a villainous German in The Unpardonable Sin with Blanche Sweet. For Paramount he did The Love Burglar with Wallace Reid. Beery was the villain in five major releases in 1920: 813. Beery continued his villainy cycle that year with The Last of the Mohicans. Beery had a supporting part in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with Rudolph Valentino, he was a villainous Tong leader in A Tale of Two Worlds and was the bad guy again in Sleeping Acres, Wild Honey, I Am the Law, which featured his brother Noah Beery Sr..
Beery had a large then-rare heroic part as King Richard I in Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks in the titular role. The movie was a huge success and subsequently spawned a sequel the following year starring Beery in the title role. Beery had an important unbilled cameo as "the Ape-Man" in A Blind Bargain starring Lon Chaney Sr. and a supporting role in The Flame of Life. He played King Philip IV of Spain in The Spanish Dancer with Pola Negri. Beery starred in an action melodrama, Stormswept for FBO Films alongside his elder brother, Noah Beery Sr.. The tagline on the movie's posters was "Wallace and Noah Beery - The Two Greatest Character Actors on the American Screen." Beery played his third royal, the Duc de Tours, in Ashes of Vengeance with Norma Talmadge did Drifting with Priscilla Dean for director Browning. Beery had the titular role in Bavu, about the Russian Revolution, he co-starred with Buster Keaton in the comedy Three Ages, the first feature Keaton wrote, produced and starred in.
Beery was a villain in The Eternal Struggle, a Mountie drama, produced by Louis B. Mayer, who would become crucial to Beery's career, he was reunited with Dean and Browning in White Tiger played the title role in the aforementioned Richard the Lion-Hearted, a sequel to Robin Hood based on Sir Walter Scott's The Talisman. Beery was in The Drums of Jeopardy and had a support role in The Sea Hawk for director Frank Lloyd, The Signal Tower. Beery signed a contract with Paramount Pictures, he had a support role in Adv
John Ernst Steinbeck Jr. was an American author. He won the 1962 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his realistic and imaginative writings, combining as they do sympathetic humour and keen social perception." He has been called "a giant of American letters," and many of his works are considered classics of Western literature. During his writing career, he authored 27 books, including 16 novels, six non-fiction books, two collections of short stories, he is known for the comic novels Tortilla Flat and Cannery Row, the multi-generation epic East of Eden, the novellas Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony. The Pulitzer Prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath is considered Steinbeck's masterpiece and part of the American literary canon. In the first 75 years after it was published, it sold 14 million copies. Most of Steinbeck's work is set in central California in the Salinas Valley and the California Coast Ranges region, his works explored the themes of fate and injustice as applied to downtrodden or everyman protagonists.
Steinbeck was born on February 1902, in Salinas, California. He was of German and Irish descent. Johann Adolf Großsteinbeck, Steinbeck's paternal grandfather, shortened the family name to Steinbeck when he immigrated to the United States; the family farm in Heiligenhaus, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, is still named "Großsteinbeck." His father, John Ernst Steinbeck, served as Monterey County treasurer. John's mother, Olive Hamilton, a former school teacher, shared Steinbeck's passion for reading and writing; the Steinbecks were members of the Episcopal Church, although Steinbeck became agnostic. Steinbeck lived in a small rural town, no more than a frontier settlement, set in some of the world's most fertile land, he spent his summers working on nearby ranches and with migrant workers on Spreckels sugar beet farms. There he learned of the harsher aspects of the migrant life and the darker side of human nature, which supplied him with material expressed in such works as Of Mice and Men, he explored his surroundings, walking across local forests and farms.
While working at Spreckels Sugar Company, he sometimes worked in their laboratory, which gave him time to write. He had considerable mechanical fondness for repairing things he owned. Steinbeck graduated from Salinas High School in 1919 and went on to study English Literature at Stanford University near Palo Alto, leaving without a degree in 1925, he traveled to New York City. When he failed to publish his work, he returned to California and worked in 1928 as a tour guide and caretaker at Lake Tahoe, where he met Carol Henning, his first wife, they married in January 1930 in Los Angeles, with friends, he attempted to make money by manufacturing plaster mannequins. When their money ran out six months due to a slow market and Carol moved back to Pacific Grove, California, to a cottage owned by his father, on the Monterey Peninsula a few blocks outside the Monterey city limits; the elder Steinbecks gave John free housing, paper for his manuscripts, from 1928, loans that allowed him to write without looking for work.
During the Great Depression, Steinbeck bought a small boat, claimed that he was able to live on the fish and crab that he gathered from the sea, fresh vegetables from his garden and local farms. When those sources failed and his wife accepted welfare, on rare occasions, stole bacon from the local produce market. Whatever food they had, they shared with their friends. Carol became the model for Mary Talbot in Steinbeck's novel Cannery Row. In 1930, Steinbeck met the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, who became a close friend and mentor to Steinbeck during the following decade, teaching him a great deal about philosophy and biology. Ricketts very quiet, yet likable, with an inner self-sufficiency and an encyclopedic knowledge of diverse subjects, became a focus of Steinbeck's attention. Ricketts had taken a college class from Warder Clyde Allee, a biologist and ecological theorist, who would go on to write a classic early textbook on ecology. Ricketts became a proponent of ecological thinking, in which man was only one part of a great chain of being, caught in a web of life too large for him to control or understand.
Meanwhile, Ricketts operated a biological lab on the coast of Monterey, selling biological samples of small animals, rays, starfish and other marine forms to schools and colleges. Between 1930 and 1936, Steinbeck and Ricketts became close friends. Steinbeck's wife began working at the lab as secretary-bookkeeper. Steinbeck helped on an informal basis, they formed a common bond based on their love of music and art, John learned biology and Ricketts' ecological philosophy. When Steinbeck became upset, Ricketts sometimes played music for him. Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold, published in 1929, is loosely based on the life and death of privateer Henry Morgan, it centers on Morgan's assault and sacking of the city of Panama, sometimes referred to as the'Cup of Gold', on the women, fairer than the sun, who were said to be found there. Between 1930 and 1933, Steinbeck produced three shorter works; the Pastures of Heaven, published in 1932, consists of twelve interconnected stories about a valley near Monterey, discovered by a Spanish corporal while chasing runaway Indian slaves.
In 1933 Steinbeck published The Red Pony, a 100-page, four-chapter story weaving in memories of Steinbeck's childhood. To a God Unknown, named after a Vedic hymn, follows the life of a homesteader and his family in California, depicting a character with a primal and pa
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
Viva Zapata! is a 1952 biographical film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando. The screenplay was written by John Steinbeck, using Edgcomb Pinchon's book Zapata the Unconquerable as a guide; the cast includes Jean Peters and, in an Academy Award-winning performance, Anthony Quinn. The film is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death. To make the film as authentic as possible and producer Darryl F. Zanuck studied the numerous photographs that were taken during the revolutionary years, the period between 1909 and 1919 when Zapata led the fight to restore land taken from common people during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz. Kazan was impressed with the Agustín Casasola collection of photographs and he attempted to duplicate their visual style in the film. Kazan acknowledged the influence of Roberto Rossellini's Paisan. Emiliano Zapata is part of a delegation sent to complain about injustices to corrupt longtime President Porfirio Díaz, but Díaz dismisses their concerns, driving Zapata to open rebellion, along with his brother Eufemio.
He in the south and Pancho Villa in the north unite under the leadership of naive reformer Francisco Madero. Díaz is toppled and Madero takes his place, but Zapata is dismayed to find that nothing is changing. Madero offers Zapata land of his own while failing to take action to distribute land to the campesinos who fought to end the dictatorship and break up the estates of the elites. Zapata seeks no personal gain. Meanwhile, the ineffectual but well-meaning Madero puts his trust in treacherous General Victoriano Huerta. Huerta first takes Madero captive and has him murdered. Steinbeck meditates in the film on the tempting military force and political might, which corrupts men; as it becomes clear that each new regime is no less corrupt and self-serving than the one it replaced, Zapata remains guided by his desire to return the peasants their robbed lands, while forsaking his personal interests. His own brother sets himself up as a petty dictator, taking what he wants without regard for the law, but Zapata remains a rebel leader of high integrity.
Although he is able to defeat Huerta after Madero's assassination, as a result of his integrity, Zapata loses his brother, his position. Although in the end Zapata himself is lured into an ambush and killed, the film suggests that the resistance of the campesinos does not end. Rumors begin that Zapata never died, but is instead continuing to fight from the hills, feeding the campesinos a sense of hope; as several scenes suggest, over the years, the campesinos have learned to lead themselves rather than look to others to lead them. Marlon Brando as Emiliano Zapata Jean Peters as Josefa Zapata, his wife Anthony Quinn as Eufemio Zapata Joseph Wiseman as Fernando Aguirre Arnold Moss as Don Nacio Alan Reed as Pancho Villa Margo as Soldadera Harold Gordon as Francisco Ignacio Madero Lou Gilbert as Pablo Frank Silvera as Victoriano Huerta Florenz Ames as Señor Espejo Richard Garrick as Old General Fay Roope as Porfirio Díaz Mildred Dunnock as Señora Espejo Henry Silva as Hernández, the peasant who challenges'president' Zapata Ross Bagdasarian as officer Filming took place in various locations, including Durango, Colorado.
The film tends to romanticize Zapata and in doing so may distort the true nature of the Mexican Revolution. Zapata fought to free the land for the peasants of the other southern Mexican states. Additionally, the movie inaccurately portrays Zapata as illiterate. In reality, he received an education. John Steinbeck wrote; the original screenplay was written by the author and the book contains a newly found introduction by Steinbeck, the original proposed screenplay, the official movie script. Barbara Leaming writes in her biography of Marilyn Monroe that the actress tried and failed to obtain a part in this picture due to Darryl F. Zanuck's lack of faith in her ability, both as an actress and as a box office draw. Viva Zapata! received favorable reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 67% critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 6.3/10. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times gave a favorable review and noted that the film "throbs with a rare vitality, a masterful picture of a nation in revolutionary torment has been got by Director Elia Kazan."
Variety, on the other hand, criticized the direction and script: "Elia Kazan's direction strives for a personal intimacy but neither he nor the John Steinbeck scripting achieves in enough measure." The late Senator John McCain listed Viva Zapata! as his favorite film of all time. Anthony Quinn won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; the film was nominated for: Best Actor in a Leading Role – Marlon Brando Best Writing and Screenplay – John Steinbeck Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White – Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller, Thomas Little, Claude E. Carpenter Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture – Alex North Marlon Brando won the 1953 BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor; the film was nominated for Best Film from any Source. At the 1952 Cannes Film Festival, Brando won for Best Actor, while Elia Kazan was nominated for the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. Elia Kazan was nominated for a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures in 1953.
Mildred Dunnock was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1953. The film is recognized b