Posts Tagged ‘Classic Movies’
No way…I’m still finding too many interesting movies to release on DVD/Blu-ray.
Hard to believe Kit Parker Films just celebrated its 45th year in the distribution of classic motion pictures! Back in 1971 the 16mm non-theatrical industry was thriving, but it was largely owned by corporations which were passionate about money, but dispassionate about films, and the quality of the film prints showed it. I saw a niche to be filled — renting out quality prints at affordable prices, and Kit Parker Films was born.
The 16mm library expanded throughout the years until home video made inroads into the industry — the quality of VHS was marginal at best, but the price was right. By the 90s I branched out into the 35mm theatrical arena, eventually becoming the go-to source for classics in the 35mm film format.
In the late 1990s I realized the days of projecting celluloid were going to be replaced by DVDs, so slowly phased out the “old” KPF, and in 2001 began purchasing the copyrights to vintage films. Over the next 15 years my collection grew to include hundreds of feature films, television programs, serials and shorts. Many of my acquisitions required a great degree of patience and detective work to clear rights and locate suitable elements, but those efforts unearthed many films that had seen little or no exposure for decades.
Launching my library on DVD was a success, but like other producers, my profit was far too diluted by wholesalers, and their related “expenses” that I had to pay for, but that was the traditional method media (starting with books) made its way to stores and customers for over 100 years.
Amazon has been amazing for people like me who don’t like to go to stores. By 2015 they were by far the #1 seller for my DVDs. Over time I noticed that some items I’d buy would say “Sold by ‘Acme Company’” and “Fulfilled By Amazon.” Amazon is making 90% of my DVD sales…I had a lightbulb moment! I can’t say why it took so long for me to figure out I could sell exclusively through Amazon, pay their fulfillment fee and continue to grow my business.
This means I can continue to augment my release schedule and continue to take a chance on projects that may not even recoup their costs. How many people are going to buy a silent serial, or an obscure cult film? In this business you never know, but I’ve built my career on taking new risks.
So, I did it, and my new company, The Sprocket Vault, was born. Although TSV was created originally to sell my own DVD/Blu-rays, other producers have started approaching me to sell theirs…so my company is growing, and that means lots of new releases of interest for you.
I WANT YOU!
TO LIKE TSV ON FACEBOOK
The subject was “hazing,” and no studio would touch it…
Paul Henreid (“Casablanca”,) wanted a hard-hitting exposé of a problem he felt needed to be addressed…hazing. He pitched it to the studios, and each time was met with an emphatic “No.” So he financed, produced, directed, and starred in it. When he screened the completed picture for the studios, it was the same story…none would touch it. With his options and money running out, he sold the movie outright to producer/distributor, Robert L. Lippert, known for small-town, family-friendly B movies, the exact opposite of “The Tall Lie.” Lippert also released it under the more familiar title “For Men Only.” Although the small towns were shocked by it, business was brisk in college towns.
“Tod” (Robert Sherman,) a gentle pledge is forced to swim in freezing water until he almost drowns…and that’s before the main titles even start! In his screen debut, Russell Johnson, beloved captain of “Gilligan’s Island,” plays “Ky,” the sadistic president of the fraternity. Vera Miles (“Psycho”,) also in her first film, appears as Tod’s girlfriend. Tod’s grades plummet because of the unrelenting abuse. His professor, played by Henreid, takes notice and ponders whether hazing and the forthcoming “Hell Night” might have something to do with it. Nonetheless, he recommends that Tod’s mother sign a release to let her son take part in the final initiation. Big mistake.
“Hell Night,” the fraternity initiation of all initiations, starts off with the relatively tame ripping of the pledges’ clothes and painting their faces. Then comes the final initiation…shoot a puppy; this is 1952! (His friend “Beanie” (James Dobson) wants to be inducted into the fraternity so bad he stoops to drinks blood drawn from a live puppy.) Although Tod refuses, he is subsequently ostracized, hounded to his death as a coward. This prompts Henreid to push for an investigation and reforms, but is met with resistance and organized destruction of evidence, supported by college administrators and past pledges, bent on saving the good name of the college.
Censorship was an issue. Various state censor boards objected, but the distributors emphasized that it was an “exposé” and “educational,” an argument that generally had positive results. Then there was the UK where animal cruelty, real or implied, was strictly prohibited. Exclusive (Hammer) Films, the distributor throughout England, managed to get the picture passed without cuts by adding a lengthy written prologue (included in the DVD) revealing the evils of hazing.
Available on DVD from VCI Entertainment: http://www.vcient.com
I don’t remember not doing business with VCI.
Bill Blair, Rebecca Garza-Ortiz (nee Blair) 
Betty Scott 
Bob Blair [early 1970s]
Don Blair [1970s]
Our relationship began 40 years ago, after I started Kit Parker Films in 1971. I contacted VCI, then known as United Films, a 16mm film distributor like KPF, only larger, and I licensed my first studio films. Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United Films’ CEO was Bill Blair*, a consummate film buff who passed his love-of-film genes onto his children.
Over time I grew to know Bill, his son Bob and Genell (Bob’s wife) as I frequently called them in the days when I was distributing movies to the Pacific Islands. Another Blair son, Don, toiled in the shipping department. Betty Scott, worked behind the scenes and wrote the checks. Many years passed before I personally met everyone in the flesh.
In the late 1970s, United Films was one of the first to realize that the future was in selling pre-recorded VHS and Betamax (remember?) tapes. United Films became VCI Entertainment, a pioneer in what we now take for granted…”Home Video.” At first they only licensed movies from various producers and paid them a percentage of each video sold. Then they realized by producing their own movies they could keep all the money:
Voila…VCI’s first in-house production — “Blood Cult” (1985) (3.3 out of 10 on IMDb). During the days of “sell-through,” it retailed for $59.95 ($130 in 2014 dollars) and made a bundle because these tapes were primarily purchased by rental stores like Blockbuster, West Coast Video, and countless independents hungry for product. The era of inexpensive “sell through” DVD’s hadn’t blossomed as yet. Their other in-house low-budget video productions were also successful, although not among the AFI’s 100 greatest American movies of all time.
Today, VCI is one of the oldest independent home video companies, and its story is worthy of a book, but none of the Blair’s have time to write a chapter.
United/VCI left the 16mm business in the early 1980s, whereas I continued representing studios and independent producers non-theatrically and theatrically until 2001. I was one of the last men standing in that field before celluloid became obsolete.
That didn’t end my relationship with VCI, but revived it.
I began buying rights to old movies and licensed them to VCI for DVD distribution. Not sure if we wrote a formal contract…a handshake in Oklahoma is firmer than a written contract.
40 years later, who do I still work with with VCI? I’m on the phone with Bob Bair, Don Blair, and Betty Scott. Genell (she could write jokes for Don Rickles), and Don’s wife, Jill, figured one film nut in the family was enough. However, their “retirement” recently ended when they were recruited to caption the VCI library for the hearing impaired. Unfortunately, Bill Blair passed away in 2006.
Another Blair son, David, previously worked for Sony, and had a client so important he moved to its home town…Wal-Mart, in Bentonville, Arkansas. Now he’s in charge of VCI’s sales while living in Atlanta. I’ve only met him once, but there is no doubt he is the right man for the job.
OK, let’s take a tour of VCI in Tulsa Oklahoma:
It is an unassuming single-story building on the outskirts of Tulsa (trivia: the most inland seaport in the United States) with offices fronting a warehouse.
Entering VCI’s lobby you’re greeted by a display filled with DVD’s, posters, and a big photograph of VCI’s founder, Bill Blair, with the statement, “Our Leading Man.”
To the right is Betty Scott’s office, with a John Wayne standee to greet you. She and I are kindred spirits because we both started out in “show business” as film inspectors. I shudder at the thought of her retiring. Although I’ve never looked behind her desk, Bob and Don probably have affixed her leg to a ball and chain.
Next office: Bob, conductor of the “orchestra.” The Maestro sits at a desk stacked with teetering papers and DVDs. I can’t imagine how many emails he receives every day. Sometimes a dozen in one day from me! Maybe if Betty writes me an extra big royalty check, I’ll send him and Genell on a long vacation; they deserve one.
Next stop is the control room — similar to the space station. It’s where the restoration, authoring, and graphic design are created. There are computers and monitors all over the place, and I can’t tell you how they do one single thing. All I know is film splicers have gone the way of the buggy whip. Tiffany Beseau-Clayton is the head rocket scientist, and there is Ben Hosterman, and his brother, Greg Hosterman, known as the “graphics guy.” They all belie the popular psychology belief that individuals are either “right brain” (creative) or “left brain” (logical). They are always open to suggestions…no egos at VCI.
Jason Blair, Bob and Genell’s son, works next door replicating special order DVD-R’s.
And then you walk into their warehouse. Wow…manna from heaven for film buffs; a warehouse filled with DVD’s awaiting shipment to customers like (hopefully) you. It’s the domain of Bill Blair’s daughter, Rebecca Garza-Ortiz (who wears many hats,) her husband Steve, and daughter, Olivia.
There are many reels of old film Bill once tried to sell me four decades ago. For years Bob’s been telling me that someday he’s going to ship it all to an archive, but the same cans and boxes have sat there for as long as I remember. Someday never seems to come.
Now pass through the swinging door and meet Penny Brokaw. She handles billings and is the voice of the person who takes your order. I think she has a ball and chain under her desk, too. As you’ve gathered by now, VCI is a pleasant place to work.
In the next office is Exec V.P., Don Blair. He has even more paper stacked on his desk than Bob. Don says he has a TV with Roku in every room in his house. I believe it. His favorite two topics are: sales are going to be off the charts next year (hopefully true) and VCI doesn’t get credit due for its quality restoration work (always true.)
Last is the conference room where Bob, Don and I, and often joined by our friend and collaborator, Steve Durbin, have spent many an hour talking about business, often digressing into tales about various colorful characters and crooks whom we’ve all dealt with throughout the years. We used to sit around grousing about our various physical maladies until Bob said we were complaining like a bunch of old men. If the shoe fits… (But, we did stop complaining.)
Many home video companies have come and gone over the years. Sure, I’ve had other companies ask to distribute my movies. Maybe I’d make more money, but would the graphics be right? Would I get paid? Why bother?
I’ve got an Oklahoma handshake.
*See previous blog.
Kit Parker Films DVD’s available from: http://www.vcient.com
(c) 2014 Kit Parker Films
Who produced or co-produced almost 250 feature films and is virtually unknown today?
That man is Robert L. Lippert (1909-1976), who did just that in 25 years, from 1945-1969.
Between 1945-1956 he also distributed more than 100 of his own productions (most of which are owned by my company, Kit Parker Holdings, LLC) and another 100 films produced by others.
Compiling this filmography more difficult because some Lippert films made after 1959 were not credited to any of his production companies.
Titles in bold are Lippert productions or co-productions. The rest were produced by others and only distributed by Lippert.
Key: R: Reissue, D: Distributor only, TV: Independent production purchased outright by Lippert expressly for use on television.
Distributors: LP: Lippert Pictures, SG: Screen Guild Productions (subsequently known as Lippert Pictures), RS: RegalScope (Regal Films), API: Associated Producers, Inc., Fox: 20th Century-Fox, ARC: American Releasing (later known as AIP, American International Pictures), WB: Warner Bros. RS and API are Lippert production companies financed by Fox.
“Hammer”: Lippert Pictures-Exclusive Films/Hammer Films co-productions
Italicized titles are owned by Kit Parker Films and available on DVD from VCI Entertainment: www.vcient.com
- 13 FIGHTING MEN (1960) API-Fox
- 20,000 EYES (1961) API-Fox
- ABDUCTORS, THE (1957) RS-Fox
- ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, THE (1957) Buzz Productions/Hammer, Fox
- ACTORS AND SIN (1952) Limited TV distribution rights only, LP-D
- AIR PATROL (1962) API-Fox
- AIR STRIKE (1955) LP
- ALASKA PASSAGE (1959) API-Fox
- ALI BABA NIGHTS (R-1953) UK: Chu Chin Chow, 1934, LP-D
- ALLIGATOR PEOPLE, THE (1959) API-Fox
- AMBUSH AT CIMARRON PASS (1958) RS-Fox
- APACHE CHIEF (1950) LP
- APACHE WARRIOR (1957) RS-Fox
- ARSON, INC. (1950) LP
- AS YOU WERE (1951) LP
- BACHELOR IN PARIS (1952) UK: Song of Paris, LP-D
- BACK DOOR TO HELL (1964) US-Philippines, Fox
- BACK FROM THE DEAD (1957) RS-Fox
- BAD BLONDE (1953) UK: Flanagan Boy, Hammer, LP
- BADLANDS OF MONTANA (1957) RS-Fox
- BANDIT ISLAND (1953) 3-D Short Subject, LP
- BANDIT QUEEN, THE (1950) LP
- BAR 20 JUSTICE (R-1947) 1938, SG-D
- BARON OF ARIZONA, THE (1950) LP (DVD: Criterion Collection) *
- BATTLE AT BLOODY BEACH, THE (1961) Fox
- BELLS OF SAN FERNANDO (1947) SG
- BIG CHASE, THE (1954) LP
- BIG SHOW, THE (1961) API-Fox
- BLACK GLOVE, THE (1954) UK: Face the Music, Hammer, LP
- BLACK PIRATES, THE (1954) US-Mexico, LP
- BLACK WHIP, THE (1956) RS-Fox
- BLACKOUT (1954) UK: Murder by Proxy, Hammer, LP
- BLOOD AND STEEL (1959) API-Fox
- BLOOD ARROW (1958) RS-Fox
- BORDER RANGERS (1950) LP
- BORDER VIGILANTES (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- BORDERLAND (R-1946) 1937, SG-D
- BOY! WHAT A GIRL! (1947) SG-D
- BROKEN LAND (1962) API-Fox
- BUFFALOBILL RIDES AGAIN (1947) SG-D
- BURNING CROSS, THE (1947) SG-D
- BUSH PILOT (1947) SG-D
- CABINET OF CALIGARI (1962) LP-Fox
- CALL IT MURDER (R-1947) Orig.: Midnight, 1934, SG-D
- CALL OF THE FOREST(1949) LP-D
- CAPTAIN KIDD (R-1952) 1945, LP-D
- CASE OF THE BABY SITTER (1947) Featurette, SG
- CASSIDY OF BAR 20 (R-1947) 1938, SG-D
- CATTLE EMPIRE (1958) Fox
- CHINA GATE (1957) Fox
- COLLEGE CAPERS (1953) 3D short subject, LP
- COLORADO RANGER – TV: Guns of Justice (1950) LP
- COME BE MY VICTIM, half-hour TV abridgement of Danger Zone (1951), LP
- CONVICTS AT LARGE (1938) LP-TV
- COPPER SKY (1957) RS-Fox
- COWBOY, THE (1954) LP
- CREEPING UNKNOWN, THE (1965) UK: Quatermass Xperiment, Hammer, UA
- CROOKED RIVER – TV: The Last Bullet (1950) LP
- CURIOUS ADVENTURES OF MR. WONDERBIRD, THE (1953) France: Bergère et le ramoneur, 1952, Dubbed, LP-D
- CURSE OF THE FLY (1965) Fox
- DALTON GANG, THE (1949) LP
- DANGER ZONE (1951) LP
- DAY IN THE COUNTRY, A (1953) 3-D short subject filmed in 1941 as Stereo-Laffs, LP-D
- DAY MARS INVADED EARTH, THE (1963) API-Fox
- DEADLY GAME, THE (1954) UK, Third Party Risk, Hammer, LP
- DEATH VALLEY (1947) SG
- DEERSLAYER, THE (1958) Fox
- DEPUTY MARSHAL (1949) LP
- DESERT HELL (1958) RS-Fox
- DESIRE IN THE DUST (1960) Fox
- DESPERADOES ARE IN TOWN, THE (1956) RS-Fox
- DOG OF FLANDERS, A (1959) Fox
- DRAGON OF DEATH, half-hour TV abridgement of Mask of the Dragon (1951), LP
- EARTH DIES SCREAMING, THE (1964) UK, Fox
- ESCAPE FROM RED ROCK (1957) RS-Fox
- EVERYBODY’S DANCIN’ (1950) LP
- FAMILY AFFAIR (1956) UK: Life with the Lyons, 1954, LP-D
- FANGS OF THE WILD aka Follow the Hunter (1954) LP
- FAST ON THE DRAW – TV: Sudden Death (1950) LP
- FBI GIRL (1951) LP
- FELICIA (1964) API-Fox
- FINGERPRINTS DON’T LIE (1951) LP
- FINGERPRINTS, half-hour TV abridgement of Fingerprints Don’t Lie (1951), LP
- FIRE ALARM (1932) Orig.: Flames LP-TV
- FIREBRAND, THE (1962) API-Fox
- FIVE GATES TO HELL (1959) Fox
- FLAMING FRONTIER (1958) Canada, Fox
- FLESH AND LEATHER, half-hour TV abridgement of Stop That Cab (1951), LP
- FLIGHT TO FURY (1964) US-Philippines, Feature Film Corp. of America
- FLIGHT TO NOWHERE (1947) SG
- FLY, THE (1958)
- FORTUNE IN DIAMONDS, A (1951)UK: The Adventurers, LP-D
- FORTY GUNS (1957) Fox
- FRANCIS OF ASSISI (1961) API provided guided only, Fox
- FRECKLES (1960) API-Fox
- FRONTIER GAMBLER (1956) ARC
- FRONTIER GUN (1958) RS-Fox
- FRONTIERSMEN, THE (R-1947) 1938, SG-D
- G.I. JANE (1951) LP
- GAMBLER AND THE LADY (1952) UK, Hammer, LP
- GANG WAR (1958) RS-Fox
- GHOST DIVER (1957) RS-Fox
- GHOST SHIP (1952) UK, 1951, LP-D
- GIRL FROM CALGARY, THE (1932) LP-TV
- GLASS TOMB, THE (1955) UK: The Glass Cage, Hammer, LP
- GOD IS MY PARTNER (1957) RS-Fox
- GOD’S COUNTRY (1947) SG
- GRAND CANYON (1949) LP
- GREAT JESSE JAMES RAID, THE (1953) LP
- GREAT WHITE HUNTER, THE (R-1953) Orig.: The Macomber Affair,1947, LP-D
- GUNFIRE (1950) LP
- HAND OF DEATH , THE (1962) API-Fox
- HARBOR LIGHTS (1963) API-Fox
- HARPOON (1948) SG-D
- HAT BOX MYSTERY, THE (1947) Featurette, SG
- HEART OFARIZONA(R-1948) 1938, SG-D
- HEAT WAVE (1954) UK, House Across the Lake, Hammer, LP
- HELL HARBOR(1930) LP-TV
- HELL ON DEVIL’S ISLAND (1957) RS-Fox
- HELLGATE (1952) LP-D
- HER ENLISTED MAN (R-1935) Orig.: Red Salute,1935, SG-D
- HERE COME THE JETS (1959) API-Fox
- HIDDEN GOLD (R-1948) SG-D
- HIGH POWERED RIFLE, THE (1960) Fox
- HIGHWAY 13 (1948) SG
- HI-JACKED (1950) LP
- HILLS OF OLDWYOMING(R-1946) 1937, SG-D
- HOLIDAY RHYTHM (1950) LP
- HOLLYWOODBARN DANCE (1947) SG-D
- HOLLYWOODTHRILL-MAKERS (1954) LP-D
- HOLLYWOOD VARIETIES (1950) LP
- HOPALONG CASSIDY ENTERS (R-1946) Orig.: Hop-a-long Cassidy, 1935, SG-D
- HOPALONG CASSIDY RETURNS (R-1946) 1936, SG-D
- HOPALONG RIDES AGAIN (R-1946) 1937, SG-D
- HORROR OF IT ALL, THE (1964) UK, Fox
- HOSTILE COUNTRY – TV: Outlaw Fury (1950) LP
- HOUSE OF THE DAMNED (1963) API-Fox
- I SHOT BILLY THE KID (1950) LP
- I SHOT JESSE JAMES (1949) LP (DVD: Criterion Collection)
- I’LL GET YOU (1953) UK: Escape Route, LP
- IN OLD MEXICO(R-1948) 1938, SG-D
- IRON MASK, THE (R-1953) 1929, Silent, with added sound track, LP-D
- IT HAPPENED IN ATHENS (1962) Fox
- JEWELS OF JEOPARDY, half-hour TV abridgement of The Roaring City (1951), LP
- JOHNNY THE GIANT KILLER (1953) France, Jeannot l’intrépide, Dubbed, LP-D
- JUNGLE GODDESS (1948) SG
- JUNGLE, THE (1952) LP
- KENTUCKY JUBILEE (1951) LP
- KILLER DILL (1947) SG-D
- KING DINOSAUR (1955) LP
- KING OF THE TURF (R-1948) 1939, SG-D
- KRONOS (1957) RS-Fox
- LAST MAN ON EARTH (1964) Italy-USA, AIP
- LAST OF THE WILD HORSES, THE (1948) LP
- LAST SHOT YOU HEAR (1969) UK, Fox
- LAW OF THE PAMPAS (R-1948) 1939, SG-D
- LAW OF THE SEA (1931) LP-TV
- LEAVE IT TO THE MARINES (1951) LP
- LIMPING MAN, THE (1953) UK, LP-D
- LITTLE BIG HORN (1951) LP
- LITTLE SAVAGE (1959) US-Mexico, API-Fox
- LITTLE SHEPERD OF KINGDOM COME (1961) API-Fox
- LOAN SHARK (1952) LP
- LONE TEXAN (1959) RS-Fox
- LONESOME TRAIL, THE (1955) LP
- LONG FALL, THE, half-hour TV abridgement of Pr 23 (1951), LP
- LONG ROPE, THE (1961) API-Fox
- LOST CONTINENT, THE (1951) LP
- LURE OF THE SWAMP (1957) RS-Fox
- MAN BAIT (1952) UK: The Last Page, Hammer, LP
- MAN FROM CAIRO, THE (1953) Italy-UK-USA, Guidance only, LP
- MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS (R-1950) Orig.: Babes in Toyland, 1934, LP-D
- MARK OF THE LASH (1948) SG-D
- MARSHAL OF HELDORADO – TV: Blazing Guns (1950) LP
- MASK OF THE DRAGON (1951) LP
- MASSACRE (1956) Fox
- MIRACLE INHARLEM(1948) SG-D
- MISS ANNIE ROONEY (R-1948) 1942, SG-D
- MISSING WITNESS, THE, half-hour TV abridgement of Fingerprints Don’t Lie (1951), LP
- MONSTER FROM THE OCEAN FLOOR (1954) LP-D
- MORO WITCH DOCTOR (1964) Philippines: Amok, API-Fox
- MOTOR PATROL (1950) LP
- MOZART STORY (1948) Germany-Austria: Wen die Gotter lieben, Dubbed, SG-D
- MR. ROBINSON CRUSOE (R-1953) LP-D
- MR. WALKIE TALKIE (1952)
- MURDER GAME (1965) UK, LP-Fox
- MURDER, INC. (1960) Fox
- MY DOG SHEP (1947) SG
- NAVAJO (1952) LP-D
- NIGHT TRAIN TO PARIS (1964) UK, Fox
- NORMAN CONQUEST (1953) UK:MarkPlaza605, LP-D
- NORTH OF THE BORDER (1947) Featurette, SG
- NORTH OF THERIO GRANDE (R-1946) 1937, SG-D
- NORTHWEST TRAIL (1945) SG
- OMOO-OMOO THE SHARK GOD (1949) LP-D
- ON FOUR WHEELS, half-hour TV abridgement of Stop That Cab (1951), LP
- OPERATION HAYLIFT (1950) LP
- OREGON TRAIL (1959) Fox
- ORIENTAL CLUE, THE half-hour TV abridgement of Mask of the Dragon (1951), LP
- OUTLAW COUNTRY (1949) SG
- OUTLAW WOMEN (1952) LP-D
- OUTLAWS IN THE DESERT (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- PAID TO KILL (1954) UK, Five Days, Hammer, LP-D
- PARTNERS OF THE PLAINS (R-1948) 1938, SG-D
- PERILS OF THE JUNGLE (1953) LP -D
- PHANTOM OF THE JUNGLE (1955) LP-D
- PIER 23 (1951) LP
- PIER OF PERIL, half-hour TV abridgement of Pier 23 (1951), LP
- PIRATE SUBMARINE (1952) France: Casabianca,1951, dubbed, LP-D
- PIRATES ON HORSEBACK (R-1946) 1941, SG
- PRAIRIE, THE (1947) SG-D
- PLUNDER ROAD (1957) RS-Fox
- POLICE COURT (1932) LP-TV
- POLICE NURSE (1963) API-Fox
- PRIDE OF THE WEST (R-1947) 1938, SG-D
- PROJECT MOON BASE (1953) LP-D
- PURPLE HILLS, THE (1961) API-Fox
- QUEEN OF SHEBA, THE (1952) Italy: La Regina di Saba, 1952, Dubbed, LP-D
- QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS (1947) SG
- QUIET GUN, THE (1957) RS-Fox
- RACE FOR LIFE (1954) UK: Mask of Dust, Hammer, LP
- RACKETEERS (R-1948) Orig.: People’s Enemy, 1935, SG-D
- RADAR SECRET SERVICE (1950) LP
- RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA (1964) Fox
- RANGE WAR (R-1948) 1938, SG-D
- RED DESERT (1949) LP
- RENEGADE GIRL (1947) SG
- RENEGADE TRAIL (R-1948) 1939, SG-D
- RETURN OF GILBERT AND SULLIVAN, THE (1952) (Short Subject)UK, LP-D
- RETURN OF JESSE JAMES, THE (1950) LP
- RETURN OF MR. MOTO (1965) UK, Fox
- RETURN OF THE FLY (1959) API-Fox
- RETURN OF WILDFIRE, THE (1948) SG
- RIDE A VIOLENT MILE (1957) RS-Fox
- RIDERS OF THE TIMBERLINE (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- RIMFIRE (1948) LP
- RINGSIDE (1949) LP
- RIVER BEAT (1954) UK, LP
- ROAD TO THE BIG HOUSE (1947) SG-D
- ROARING CITY (1951) LP
- ROCKABILLY BABY (1957) RS-Fox
- ROCKETSHIP X-M (1950) LP
- ROLLING HOME (1947) SG
- ROOKIE, THE (1959) (oversaw production) Fox
- RUSTLER’S VALLEY (R-1946) 1937, SG-D
- S.O.S. SUBMARINE (1948) Italy: Uomini sui fondo, 1941, Dubbed, SG-D
- SAD HORSE, THE (1959) API-Fox
- SANTA FE MARSHAL (R-1948) 1940, SG-D
- SAVAGE DRUMS (1951) LP
- SCARED TO DEATH (1947) SG
- SCOTLAND YARD INSPECTOR (1952) UK: Lady in the Fog, Hammer, LP
- SECRET OF THE PURPLE REEF, THE (1960) API-Fox
- SECRET OF THE WASTELANDS (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- SECRET PEOPLE, THE (1952)UK, LP-D
- SEPIA CINDERELLA (1947) SG-D
- SEVEN WOMEN FROM HELL (1961) API-Fox
- SHADOW MAN, THE (1953) UK: Street of Shadows, Hammer, LP
- SHE DEVIL (1957) RS-Fox
- SHEP COMES HOME (1948)
- SHOOT TO KILL (1947) SG-D
- SHOWDOWN AT BOOT HILL (1958) RS-Fox
- SHOWDOWN AT SUNUP (1949) Short subject, LP
- SIEGE, THE (1954)Spain, 1950, Agustina de Aragón, 1950, dubbed, LP-D
- SIERRA BARON (1958) Fox
- SILENT CALL, THE (1961) API-Fox
- SILENT RAIDERS (1954) LP-D
- SILVER ON THE SAGE (R-1947) 1939, SG-D
- SILVER STAR (1955) LP
- SIMBA (1955) LP-D
- SINS OF JEZEBEL (1953) LP
- SISTERS IN CRIME, half-hour TV abridgement of The Roaring City (1951), LP
- SKY HIGH (1951) LP
- SKY LINER (1949) LP
- SLASHER, THE (1953) UK: Cosh Boy, LP-D
- SLIGHTLY DANGEROUS (1950)UK, LP-D
- SNIPER’S RIDGE (1961) API-Fox
- SON OF A BADMAN (1949) LP-D
- SON OF BILLY THE KID (1948) LP-D
- SON OF ROBIN HOOD (1958) Fox
- SPACE MASTER X-7 (1958) RS-Fox
- SPACEWAYS (1953) UK, Hammer, LP
- SQUARE DANCE JUBILEE (1949) LP
- STAGECOACH TO FURY (1956) RS/Fox
- STAGECOACH WAR (R-1948) 1940, SG-D
- STEEL HELMET, THE (1951) LP (DVD: Criterion Collection)
- STICK TO YOUR GUNS (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- STOLEN FACE (1952) UK, Hammer, LP
- STOP THAT CAB (1951) LP
- STORM RIDER, THE (1957) RS-Fox
- STREET IS MY BEAT, half-hour TV abridgement of Stop That Cab (1951), L
- STRONGHOLD (1952) Mexico-USA co-production, LP-D
- SUNSET TRAIL (R-1947) 1939, SG-D
- SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE-MEN (1952) LP
- SURF PARTY (1964) API-Fox
- SWINGIN’ ALONG aka Double Trouble aka Johnny One Note (1961) Fox
- TALES OF ROBIN HOOD (1951) LP
- TALL LIE aka For Men Only (1952) LP
- TALL TEXAN, THE (1953) LP
- TERROR SHIP (1954)UK: Dangerous Voyage, LP-D
- TERROR STREET (1953) UK: 36 Hours, Hammer, LP
- TESS OF THE STORM COUNTRY (1960) Fox
- TEXAS TRAIL (R-1947) 1937, SG-D
- THAT TENNESSE BEAT (1966) Fox
- THAT’S MY BOY aka Forbidden Music (R-1948)UK: Land Without Music, 1936, LP-D
- THERE IS NO ESCAPE (1948) SG-D
- THEY WERE SO YOUNG (1954) W. Germany-USA, LP
- THIRD VOICE, THE (1960) Fox
- THREE DESPERATE MEN (1951) LP
- THREE MEN FROM TEXAS(R-1946) 1940, SG-D
- THUNDER IN THE PINES (1948) SG
- THUNDER ISLAND (1963) API-Fox
- THUNDER OVER SANGOLAND (1955) LP-D
- THUNDER PASS (1954) LP
- THUNDERING JETS (1958) RS-Fox
- TOUGH ASSIGNMENT (1949) LP
- TRAIL DUST (R-1946) 1936, SG-D
- TRAIL OF THE MOUNTIES (1947) Featurette, SG
- TRAIN TO TOMBSTONE (1950) LP
- TREASURE OF MONTE CRISTO (1949) LP
- TROMBA: THE TIGERMAN (1952)Germany: Tromba, 1949, Dubbed, LP-D
- TWELVE HOURS TO KILL (1960) API-Fox
- TWILIGHT ON THE TRAIL (R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- TWILIGHT WOMEN (1953) UK: Women of Twilight, TV title: Another Chance, LP-D
- TWO LITTLE BEARS (1961) Fox
- UNDER FIRE (1957) RS-Fox
- UNDERCOVER AGENT (1953)UK: Counterspy, LP-D
- UNHOLY FOUR, THE (1954) UK: The Stranger Came Home, Hammer, LP
- UNKNOWN TERROR, THE (1957) RS-Fox
- UNKNOWN WORLD (1951) LP-D
- VALLEY OF THE EAGLES (1951)UK:ValleyofEagles, LP-D
- VALLEY OF THE REDWOODS (1960) API-Fox
- VARIETIES ON PARADE (1951) LP
- VILLA (1958) Fox
- WALK A TIGHTROPE (1964) US-UK, API-Paramount
- WALK TALL (1960) API-Fox
- WAYNE MURDER CASE, THE (1932) Orig.: A Strange Adventure LP-TV
- WE WANT A CHILD! (1954)Denmark: Viv vil ha’ et bam, Dubbed, LP-D
- WEST OF THE BRAZOS (1950) LP
- WESTERN PACIFIC AGENT (1950) LP
- WHERE THE NORTH BEGINS (1947) Featurette, SG
- WHITE FIRE (1954)UK: Three Steps to the Gallows, 1953, LP-D
- WHITE GODDESS (1953) LP-D
- WHITE PHANTOM (1949) Short subject, LP
- WIDE OPEN TOWN(R-1946) 1941, SG-D
- WILD ON THE BEACH (1965) Fox
- WILDFIRE (1945) SG
- WINGS OF DANGER (1952) UK; Dead on Course, Hammer, LP
- WITCHCRAFT (1964) UK, Fox
- WOLF DOG (1958) RS-Fox
- WOMAN WHO WOULDN’T DIE, THE (1965) UK, WB
- WOMANHUNT aka WOMAN HUNT (1962) API-Fox
- WOMEN OF PITCAIRN ISLAND, THE (1956) RS-Fox
- YELLOW CANARY, THE (1963) Fox
- YES SIR, MR. BONES! (1951) LP
- YOUNG AND DANGEROUS (1957) RS-Fox
- YOUNG GUNS OF TEXAS (1962) API-Fox
- YOUNG JESSE JAMES (1960) API-Fox
- YOUNG SWINGERS, THE (1963) API-Fox
Sources: Motion Picture Herald, Film Daily Yearbook,U.S. Copyright Office, Maury Dexter, Robert L. Lippert, Jr. and the Kit Parker Films-Lippert Collection at the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Please bear with me while I get over my passion for compiling lists!
I’ve spent weeks putting together a filmography pictures produced by various companies controlled by Robert L. Lippert. So far there are over 300 (!) productions spanning a 20 year period commencing in 1945. It’s been interesting, fun, and definitely time-consuming! My goal is to make this information definitive…not an easy task given many of the movies were made anonymously. Look for it soon. In the meantime I offer you the lists below.
Lippert Pictures: Unrealized Or Retitled Projects
During 1947-49, Lippert Pictures, and its predecessor, Screen Guild Productions, announced titles to trade publications become available in the “next season,” implying they were in production, or close to it, or “in preparation,” which was another way of saying little, if anything had been prepared other than the main title.
During my interviews with producers Maury Dexter and Robert L. Lippert, Jr., I was told by both that Lippert, Sr., almost always came up with a title before commissioning the screenplay, but did occasionally change his mind, ending up releasing the picture under another title. For example, the announced title, “The Ghost of Jesse James,” could have been changed to “The Return of Jesse James,” which actually was released. At this point we’ll never know which titles were abandoned, or actually released under other titles.
I’ve always wondering what a Lippert production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, much less directed by Samuel Fuller, in CineColor, or a Wizard of Oz sequel would have looked like had Lippert Pictures actually produced them!
Titles announced as being available “next season”
20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA – Project sold to Walt Disney
ABILENE KID, THE
ALGIER’S AMBUSH – George Raft
COME OUT FIGHTING
DEAD END CANYON
GHOST OF JESSE JAMES
GREAT JEWEL ROBBERY, THE
ISLE OF ZORDA
KING OF THE SAFECRACKERS
PARK ROW *
SON OF SHEP
WOMAN WITH A GUN – Paulette Goddard
* Samuel Fuller eventually produced in 1951 for U.A. release
Titles announced as being “In Preparation”
DALTON’S LAST RAID, THE
DAREDEVILS OF THE HIGHWAY
I WAS KING OF THE SAFECRACKERS
STRANGER IN THE HOUSE
TALES OF CAPT. KIDD
ABILENE KID, THE
WESTERN BARN DANCE
WIZARD OF OZ, THE – Series
Posted May 16, 2011on:
Unlike my other two “Film Friends I Miss,” Bill never wrote an autobiography. He was modest, so it would have been out of character for him. Fortunately, his son, Bob, wrote an affectionate, biographical piece on his father and his brainchild, we all know today as VCI Entertainment. Combining Bill’s biography with VCI’s history made sense to me since Bill and VCI were so intertwined that sometimes it wasn’t always possible for me to separate the man from the business.
Bill Blair-Biography/VCI Entertainment-history:
It was almost four decades ago when I first spoke with Bill, two years after I founded my 16mm (Bill called it “16 em em”) library, Kit Parker Films. This was before there was such a thing as home video. All I had to offer were movies in the public domain, so it was important to move up a notch by offering copyrighted ones. No one was willing to sell me any, at least that I could afford.
Bill founded United Films, also a 16mm distributor, only big-time, renting out many copyrighted movies from major studios. I called and asked if he would sell me several “A-” RKO movies. He agreed, even gave me a real good deal, especially considering it put me in competition with him for those movies. He was a nice man to do that, and, as you can see, I never forgot it. He let me buy more movies, and then more. It didn’t take long for me to realize that Bill worked with me not only because he was a nice guy, but because he knew I was a kindred spirit…a film nut…just like him. A friendship developed, that would which continue for over 30 years, right up until his passing.
Some time later we couldn’t come to an agreement on the price of some Dick Tracy serials. Somehow he worked into the conversation that he had, as he called it, a “bad ticker.” I took that to mean exactly what he wanted me to, that he really didn’t care if the deal went through or not, because he wasn’t going to be around much longer to care about it. I figured out years later that he was saying that to make me worry about losing the deal for fear he really didn’t care. Bill got his way, even though he wanted the deal as much as me. It was just one of his ways of negotiating. He tried the “bad ticker” routine later on, but by then I had caught on. If I pressed him I wonder if he would have grasped his chest pretending to have a heart attack, just like Fred G. Sanford did in “Sanford and Son”?
BTW, he did have a bad (physical) heart, but it managed to serve him well for another three decades-.
Another of his mid-west style negotiating tactics was to speak real slow and work into the conversation that he was just a “Slow mule from Oklahoma,” or just plain “Okie.” This was to get you to think he was a rube ripe for the picking, but in reality, at the end of the day, he’d end up with all the chips!
I don’t want to paint Bill as someone who took advantage of a 25 year old’s naïveté. The extra money he got from me was peanuts. He loved toying with me because I think I reminded Bill of himself at the same age…a kid who “had” to have those movies.
Later in the 1970s VCI got out of the 16mm film business and VCI became the first firm to produce movies specifically for the video market. In fact, they made the very first one. Don’t ask me the names because I’ve been pretty successful at erasing his made-for-video movies completely from my mind. He asked me what I thought of an early one…all I could say was it was “innovative.”
Ten years later he produced a picture called “The Last Slumber Party,” which was really gawd awful. Again he asked me what I thought, and I just paused until he blinked, and admitted, “I know, I know, it’s a piece of s**t.”
I didn’t actually meet Bill in person until around 2000. As expected, he was modest and unassuming, and I already knew he had the bedside manner of a country doctor. By now I had a reputation for clearing rights to hard to find movies, and helped him get some of his favorites, such as the Benedict Bogeaus collection**. Coincidently, they were “A-” RKO releases he had wanted for years, and it was as if I gave him the moon…just the way I felt when I got those other “A-” RKO’s from him three decades before. Believe me; I was just as happy to help him, because it gave me a chance to make him really happy. After all, he always was good to me.
Bill was beyond being a film buff, he was a film nut, and his enthusiasm was absolutely infectious. Film buffs, and nuts, alike; owe a lot to him and his team for locating, restoring and releasing hard to find movie favorites on DVD. His sons inherited that passion, and continue searching out the movies Bill always wanted, but were always just out of his grasp. I know he appreciates that.
Bill Blair lived his dream, made his passion a vocation, got to work with all the movies he wanted, and was loved by his family, employees, and people like me.
I miss Bill Blair.
The Benedict Bogeaus RKO Collection, all in Technicolor: “Appointment in Honduras,” “Silver Lode,” “Passion,” “Cattle Queen of Montana,” “Escape toBurma,” “Pearlof the South Pacific,” “Tennessee’s Partner,” and “Slightly Scarlet.” I recommend them.