More on Hammer Films/Abominable Snowman
Posted August 25, 2011on:
This is a continuation of a discussion between Robert J.E. Simpson and Sam Sherman regarding Hammer Films and “The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas”.
Sam Sherman has been actively involved in all aspects of film production and distribution for over 50 years, and is an encyclopedia of film knowledge.
Robert J.E. Simpson is from Northern Ireland and is working on a PhD which will lead into one or two books about Hammer Films/Exclusive Films. His PhD twitter feed is at www.twitter.com/exclusivephd, and there is a website which will be updated soon at www.exclusivefilms.co.uk.
Thanks for that. Completely fascinating. I’ve never looked at the extant Hammer files on Snowman, so this is very intriguing reading.
I’m well aware that Hammer’s corporate dealings are a minefield. Even worse when you consider how much of the paperwork was discarded (I think we’ve talked about that before). I see a note on my files from Hammer regarding IIP’s stake, but many companies have a stake in Hammer product so that’s not particularly surprising.
Just had a browse through some of my Hammer books here. The authorised history THE HAMMER STORY certainly mentions Buzz as Lippert’s uncredited production company as part of the last in the Hammer/Lippert co-production deals.
I’m not disputing Clarion was a slightly different set-up to Hammer, but it was part of the Hammer group of companies. I’ve got paperwork relating to that.
According to my records here, Intercontinental certainly contracted Tucker, but it was Exclusive that contracted the producer and script, and Hammer Film Productions Ltd the rest of the cast (including Cushing), and the studio facilities. Obviously there’s more, and I see yet more mention of the litigation (as I say, first time I’ve ever looked at that dispute), but Hammer were most certainly involved. And Hammer’s name was heavily featured on contemporary advertising for the film, and the onscreen credits.
Below is Sam’s response.
Re: THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN OF THE HIMALAYAS (herein AS)
Please forward this information as required.
As a party to this project I have all of the legal paperwork and documents supporting the background of this film..
Clarion Films Ltd. was mainly owned by James Carreras and had a different corporate incorporation and legal setup than Hammer Film Productions Ltd.
AS was a co-production of Buzz Productions Inc. (the main producers) (as owned by
Robert Lippert, William Pizor and Irwin Pizor) and Clarion Films Ltd. 20th Century Fox was the sole distributor of the film world-wide, excluding UK and Japan. Note- the film was partially financed on the British end by the Eady plan.
Irwin Pizor acquired the Lippert interests and inherited his father (William Pizor’s ) interests. My company, Independent-International Pictures Corp., acquired all of the Buzz interests from my business partner Irwin Pizor. AS is not a Hammer Production and is setup differently than any Hammer film in such regards.
Hammer claimed to have acquired the Clarion interests to this film and in settlement of certain disagreements amongst Hammer, Fox and Buzz, Fox agreed to discontinue world distribution of this film (excluding UK and Japan.) In further settlement of such, my company acquired all world rights to this film, which it currently owns, with the exception of UK, Japan and US/Canada.
The film was unsuccessful when first released and considered a failure. When we took over the Buzz interests the film was heavily in the red. Since acquiring the Buzz interests we were helpful in promoting the film as a quality product and such production is now no longer in the red.
In my opinion AS is a fine production and one of the better such films Carreras and his companies were involved with.
James Carreras was a longtime friend and business associate of William Pizor and Irwin Pizor who were very important in the international film business and brought him in touch with Robert Lippert through distributing Lippert films in the UK and setting up a number of British coproduction’s between Carreras and Lippert.