kitparkerfilms

“Talk’s Cheap, Action’s Expensive” …

Posted on: April 4, 2014

talk's cheap

 

…producer-exhibitor Robert L. Lippert’s mantra and, appropriately, the title Mark Thomas McGee’s biography/filmography of the man and his films as published by BearManor Media.   I’m a B-movie aficionado, and this book is a real page-turner.

 

“I’m not in this for personal glory, I’m giving the public and the exhibitors the films they want for purely commercial reasons.”  – Robert L. Lippert

 

Robert L. Lippert, produced close to 250 feature films, including “The Steel Helmet” (1951), and “The Fly” (1958), and distributed scores more on behalf of other producers.  He launched the careers of Samuel Fuller, James Clavell, and others; and owned a theatre circuit of well over 100 theatres.  But, he flew under the radar to the degree that only hard-core movie buffs even know him.  My company owns all rights to over 100 Lippert productions, and I tried to shed at least some light on Lippert and his films in my blogs and DVD special features, but Mark does the job right.

 

Mark McGee wasn’t given an easy task:  Lippert shied away from giving interviews, and only two people who worked with Lippert are still living, actress Margia Dean, and production head/producer/director Maury Dexter.  Mark really did a lot of digging and I believe has revealed almost  everything about Lippert that isn’t lost to time.

 

Lippert’s biography is intertwined with Mark’s observations about the films as separated into four main chapters dealing with Lippert’s four production companies: Screen Guild Productions and Lippert Pictures (produced and distributed in-house), Regal Films, Inc., and Associated Producers (produced for release through Fox).  I think this was the appropriate method because in real life it was truly hard to separate Lippert the man from his movies (and his theatre circuit.)

 

Lippert seldom had artistic pretentions.  Many of his productions are at best less than notable — certainly by and large ignored by the critics.  Mark lists every, and describes most, Lippert film.  I really enjoyed the comments of exhibitors who actually played the films.  This was back in the day when every small-town theatre manager stood in the lobby and said goodnight to patrons as they exited.  Sometimes the managers hid, but most times the audiences for whom Lippert produced his films were more than satisfied.  Less sophisticated audiences during the 1940s and early 1950s often preferred Lippert productions over those from the major studios.  Don’t believe me?  Read the book!   I read every one of those critiques in one sitting.  Better than a box of See’s Candies.

 

Lippert productions and co-productions available on DVD from VCI Entertainment:

 www.vcient.com

Key: Theatrical distributors: LP = Lippert Pictures; SG = Screen Guild Productions; Hammer = Lippert/Hammer Films Co-production

APACHE CHIEF (1950) LP

ARSON, INC. (1950) LP

AS YOU WERE (1951) LP

BAD BLONDE (1953) UK: Flanagan Boy, Hammer, LP

BANDIT QUEEN, THE (1950) LP

BIG CHASE, THE (1954) LP

BLACK GLOVE, THE (1954) UK: Face the Music, Hammer, LP

BLACK PIRATES, THE (El pirata negro) (1954) US-Mexico, LP

BLACKOUT (1954) UK: Murder by Proxy, Hammer, LP

BORDER RANGERS (1950) LP

CASE OF THE BABY SITTER (1947) Featurette, SG

COLORADO RANGER – TV: Guns of Justice (1950) LP

COWBOY, THE (1954) LP

CROOKED RIVER – TV: The Last Bullet (1950) LP

DALTON GANG, THE (1949) LP

DANGER ZONE (1951) LP

DEADLY GAME, THE (1954) UK, Third Party Risk, Hammer, LP

DEPUTY MARSHAL (1949) LP

EVERYBODY’S DANCIN’ (1950) LP

FANGS OF THE WILD aka Follow the Hunter (1954) LP

FAST ON THE DRAW – TV: Sudden Death (1950) LP

FBI GIRL (1951) LP

FINGERPRINTS DON’T LIE (1951) LP

GAMBLER AND THE LADY (1952) UK, Hammer, LP

GLASS TOMB, THE (1955) UK: The Glass Cage, Hammer, LP

GREAT JESSE JAMES RAID, THE (1953) LP

GUNFIRE (1950) LP

HAT BOX MYSTERY, THE (1947) Featurette, SG

HEAT WAVE (1954) UK, House Across the Lake, Hammer, LP

HELLGATE (1952) LP-D

HIGHWAY 13 (1948) SG

HI-JACKED (1950) LP

HOLIDAY RHYTHM (1950) LP

HOLLYWOOD VARIETIES (1950) LP

HOSTILE COUNTRY – TV: Outlaw Fury (1950) LP

I SHOT BILLY THE KID (1950) LP

I’LL GET YOU (1953) UK: Escape Route, LP

JUNGLE GODDESS (1948) SG

JUNGLE, THE (1952) LP

KENTUCKY JUBILEE (1951) LP

KING DINOSAUR (1955) LP

LEAVE IT TO THE MARINES (1951) LP

LITTLE BIG HORN (1951) LP

LOAN SHARK (1952) LP

LONESOME TRAIL, THE (1955) LP

MAN BAIT (1952) UK: The Last Page, Hammer, LP

MAN FROM CAIRO, THE (1953) Italy-UK-USA, LP

MARSHAL OF HELDORADO – TV: Blazing Guns (1950) LP

MASK OF THE DRAGON (1951) LP

MASSACRE (1956) Fox

MOTOR PATROL (1950) LP

MR. WALKIE TALKIE (1952)

OPERATION HAYLIFT (1950) LP

OUTLAW COUNTRY (1949) SG

PAID TO KILL (1954) UK, Five Days, Hammer, LP-D

PIER 23 (1951) LP

QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS (1947) SG

RACE FOR LIFE (1954) UK: Mask of Dust, Hammer, LP

RADAR SECRET SERVICE (1950) LP

RENEGADE GIRL (1947) SG

RETURN OF JESSE JAMES, THE (1950) LP

RIMFIRE (1948) LP

RINGSIDE (1949) LP

ROARING CITY (1951) LP

SAVAGE DRUMS (1951) LP

SCOTLAND YARD INSPECTOR (1952) UK: Lady in the Fog, Hammer, LP

SHADOW MAN, THE (1953) UK: Street of Shadows, Hammer, LP

SILVER STAR (1955) LP

SINS OF JEZEBEL (1953) LP

SKY HIGH (1951) LP

SKY LINER (1949) LP

SQUARE DANCE JUBILEE (1949) LP

STOLEN FACE (1952) UK, Hammer, LP

STOP THAT CAB (1951) LP

THEY WERE SO YOUNG (1954) W. Germany-USA, LP

THREE DESPERATE MEN (1951) LP

THUNDER IN THE PINES (1948) SG

TRAIN TO TOMBSTONE (1950) LP

TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO (1949) LP

UNHOLY FOUR, THE (1954) UK: The Stranger Came Home, Hammer, LP

VARIETIES ON PARADE (1951) LP

WEST OF THE BRAZOS (1950) LP

WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT (1950) LP

WILDFIRE (1945) SG

WINGS OF DANGER (1952) UK; Dead on Course, Hammer, LP

YES SIR, MR. BONES! (1951) LP

Lippert productions directed by Samuel Fuller arevailable on DVD from the Criterion Collection

BARON OF ARIZONA, THE (1950) LP

I SHOT JESSE JAMES (1949) LP

STEEL HELMET, THE (1951) LP

Contact:  kit@kitparker.com

(c) 2014 Kit Parker Films

 

 

 

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