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Film Booking Offices of America

film booking offices of america
Film Booking Offices of America FBO, also known as FBO Pictures Corporation, was an American film studio of the silent era, a producer and distributor of mostly low-budget films The business began in 1918 as Robertson-Cole US, the American division of a British import–export company and Robertson-Cole was formed by the English-born Harry F Robertson and the American Rufus Sidman Cole2 Robertson-Cole bought the Hallmark Exchanges formerly the Mutual Exchanges that became known as Exhibitors-Mutual Exchanges from Frank J Hall in 1920 Exhibitors-Mutual/Hallmark had distributed Robertson-Cole product, and acquiring the exchanges gave them the right to distribute their own films plus Hall's product, with the exception of Charlie Chaplin reissues he had the rights to3

Robertson-Cole initiated movie production in the United States in 1920 That year, it incorporated Robertson-Cole Studios, Inc and bought 460 acres in Santa Monica, California to establish a studio The property, which became known as the "RC Ranch", enabled Robertson-Cole to centralize movie production, which previously had been scattered The movie company had relied on equipment rentals to produce motion pictures4 Two years later, a corporate reorganization led to the company's new name, with FBO becoming the official name of the distributing operation and Robertson-Cole Pictures Corp the name of the production operation5 In 1923, the studio contracted with Western actor Fred Thomson, who would soon emerge as one of Hollywood's most popular stars Thomson was just one of numerous screen cowboys with whom FBO became identified

The studio, whose core market was America's small towns, also put out many romantic melodramas, non-Western action pictures, and comedic shorts In 1926, financier Joseph P Kennedy led a group that acquired the company In June 1928, using RCA Photophone technology, FBO became only the second Hollywood studio to release a feature-length "talkie" A few months later, Kennedy and RCA chief David Sarnoff arranged the merger that created RKO, one of the major studios of Hollywood's Golden Age

Contents

  • 1 Business history
    • 11 Foundation and identity
    • 12 Kennedy takes command
    • 13 Sound enters the picture
  • 2 Cinematic legacy
    • 21 Headliners and celebrity casting
    • 22 Western stars
    • 23 Canine stars
    • 24 Short subjects and animation
    • 25 Notable films and filmmakers
  • 3 Notes
  • 4 Sources
  • 5 External links

Business historyedit

Foundation and identityedit

FBO logo from 1924–25

The company that would become FBO began as the US-based movie subsidiary of the British importer, exporter, and film distributor Robertson-Cole This organization was similar in structure to the French Pathé Exchange company, a subsidiary of the French Pathé Frères company From its US headquarters in New York City, R-C Pictures, as it was sometimes known, first entered the American film distribution market In 1919, the company forged an alliance with Exhibitors Mutual Distributing, a corporate descendant of the Mutual Film studio6 The first of R-C's own feature productions to be released was The Wonder Man, directed by John G Adolfi and starring Georges Carpentier, which debuted May 29, 19207 With its move into production, Robertson-Cole established a 135-acre 55-hectare studio in Los Angeles's fortuitously named Colegrove district, then adjacent to but soon to be subsumed by Hollywood8 In January 1921, Robertson-Cole absorbed Hallmark Pictures, which had acquired the Exhibitors Mutual interests the previous year9 The first official Robertson-Cole production shot at the new studio was a February 1921 release, The Mistress of Shenstone, directed by Henry King and starring beautiful Pauline Frederick, a former Paramount and Goldwyn star10 That year, the British owners of the studio entered into a working relationship with Joseph P Kennedy, father of future US president John F Kennedy Joseph Kennedy was then a broker at the New York banking firm of Hayden, Stone, as well as the owner of Maine–New Hampshire Theatres, a small chain of movie houses11 Though he failed to arrange the sale R-C's general partners were looking for, Kennedy's involvement with the studio was far from over

In 1922, Robertson-Cole underwent a major reorganization as the company's founders departed, though the corporation remained under majority British ownership The flagship US distribution business changed its name to Film Booking Offices of America, a banner under which R-C had released more than a dozen independent productions The West Coast studio apparently continued to make films under the Robertson-Cole name for some time, but FBO ultimately became the primary identity of the business for production as well as distribution12 Between the 1922 reorganization and October 1923, one of the company's new American investors, Pat Powers, was effectively in command Powers had previously led his own filmmaking company, part of the multiple merger that created the large Universal studio in 1912 Powers apparently changed the name of Robertson-Cole/FBO to the Powers Studio for a brief period, though there is no record of the company ever having produced or released a film under that banner13 In 1923, the studio launched a series of boxing-themed shorts, Fighting Blood, starring George O'Hara He would become an FBO mainstay, often paired with Alberta Vaughn, in such comedy series as The Pacemakers 1925 Most of O'Hara's and Vaughn's films for the studio were two-reelers—a measure of film length indicating a running time of about twenty minutes

Love and Learn 1924 was the tenth installment of The Telephone Girl, a series of shorts starring Alberta Vaughn This was not a serial in the classic sense, as each "chapter" was a stand-alone tale

Now a fully independent businessman, Joseph Kennedy joined the FBO board of directors in 1923, as well By this time, the studio was owned by Graham's of London, a banking firm, and Powers was succeeded by HCS Thomson, a Graham's operative14 Before leaving the board the following year, Kennedy put together a major distribution and production deal between FBO and leading Western star Fred Thomson15 B P Fineman became the studio's production chief in 1924; Evelyn Brent, his wife, moved over from Fox to become FBO's top dramatic star16 In April 1925, FBO vice-president Joseph I Schnitzer signed Thomson to a new contract paying him $10,000 a week equivalent to approximately $136,565 in 2017 dollars17 Thomson was now the highest paid of all cowboy actors, surpassing even the renowned Tom Mix The deal also gave Thomson his own independent production unit at the studio18

As a distributor, FBO's roster of films was about half independent and foreign productions, half its own studio output At the height of its activity 1923–28, it released an average of around 110 features and shorts a year, focusing on distribution to small-town exhibitors and independent theater chains that is, those not owned by one of the major Hollywood studios19 As a production company, Film Booking Offices concentrated on low-budget movies, with an emphasis on Westerns, romantic melodramas, and comedy shorts From its first productions in early 1920 through late 1928, when it was dissolved in a merger, the company produced approximately 400 films under the brand of either Robertson-Cole Pictures or FBO Pictures Between 1924 and 1926, several higher-end productions were made under the rubric of Gothic Pictures The studio's top-of-the-line movies, aimed at major exhibition venues beyond the reach of most FBO films, were sometimes marketed as FBO "Gold Bond" pictures20 Without the backing of large corporate interests, nor the security of its own theater chain, the company faced cash-flow difficulties during its earlier years Short-term loans at high interest rates posed a significant financial drain21

Kennedy takes commandedit

FBO distribution logo from 1926

While still at Hayden, Stone, Kennedy had boasted to a colleague, "Look at that bunch of pants pressers in Hollywood making themselves millionaires I could take the whole business away from them"22 In 1925, he set out to do so, forming his own group of investors led by wealthy Boston lawyer Guy Currier and including Filene's department store owner Louis Kirstein and Union Stockyards and Armour and Company owner Frederick H Prince In August 1925, Kennedy traveled to England with an offer to buy a controlling stake in Film Booking Offices for $1 million The bid was initially rejected, but in February 1926, FBO's owners decided to take the money23 In short order, Kennedy moved his family from Massachusetts to New York City to focus on running his new business He swiftly addressed the company's perennial cash-flow problems, arranging lines of credit and issuing stock in a business division he established, the Cinema Credit Corporation24 By March, he was traveling to Hollywood25 The president of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Association, Will Hays, was delighted by the new face on the scene—in Hays's eyes, Kennedy signified both a desirable image for the industry and Wall Street's faith in its prospects Hays heralded Kennedy as "exceedingly American" historian Cari Beauchamp explains the connotation: "not Jewish," in contrast to most of the studio heads, while celebrating Kennedy's "background of lofty and conservative financial connections, an atmosphere of much home and family life and all those fireside virtues of which the public never hears in the current news from Hollywood"26

Publicity photo of Fred Thomson, FBO's biggest box-office draw during the mid-1920s

Fineman and Brent both departed FBO around the time of the purchase Kennedy appointed Edwin King as the studio's production chief, but the new owner took a personal hand in guiding the company creatively as well as financially27 Kennedy soon brought stability to FBO, making it one of the most reliably profitable outfits in the minor leagues of the Hollywood studio system Westerns remained the studio's backbone, along with various action pictures and romantic scenarios; as Kennedy put it, "Melodrama is our meat"28 During this period, the average production cost of FBO features was around $50,000, and few were budgeted at anything more than $75,00029 By comparison, in 1927–28 the average cost at Fox was $190,000; at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, $275,00030 One major expense was taken on directly by Kennedy: with several studios competing for Fred Thomson, Kennedy signed him to a personal contract for $15,000 a week This was the highest straight salary for any actor in the industry, matched only by Tom Mix's new arrangement with Fox31 Under the contract, Kennedy struck a deal in early 1927 with Paramount Pictures for the major studio to produce and distribute a series of four Thomson "super westerns" Kennedy participated in the films' financing and profits and the actor's company stayed on the FBO lot Of the four Thomson features that reached theaters in 1927, three were FBO releases32

Sound enters the pictureedit

FBO logo from 1928

The advent of sound film would drastically alter the studio's course: Negotiations that began in late 1927 with the Radio Corporation of America RCA on a deal for sound conversion led to RCA purchasing a major interest in FBO in January 1928 Four months later, as part of a strategy conceived with RCA head David Sarnoff, Kennedy acquired control of Keith-Albee-Orpheum KAO, a vaudeville exhibition chain with approximately one hundred theaters across the United States, and with the Pathé Exchange and Cecil B De Mille's Producers Distributing Corporation under its control33

On June 17, 1928, FBO's The Perfect Crime, directed by Bert Glennon and starring Clive Brook and Irene Rich, debuted34 It was the first feature-length "talkie" to appear from a studio other than Warner Bros since the epochal premiere of Warners' The Jazz Singer eight months before The Perfect Crime, which went into general release on August 4, had been shot silently Using the RCA Photophone sound-on-film system, the dialogue was dubbed in afterward—a process then known as "synthetic sound"35 On August 22, Kennedy signed a contract with RCA for live Photophone recording; more importantly, he also tendered the company an option to buy his governing share of FBO Two months later, RCA had acquired controlling stock interests in both the studio and KAO

On October 23, 1928, RCA announced it was merging Film Booking Offices and Keith-Albee-Orpheum to form the new motion picture business Radio-Keith-Orpheum RKO, with Sarnoff as chairman36 Kennedy, who retained Pathé, was paid $150,000 for arranging the merger on top of the millions of dollars in profit he made from selling off his stock37 Joseph I Schnitzer, ranking FBO vice-president, was elevated to president of the new company's production arm, replacing Kennedy38 William LeBaron, the last FBO production chief, retained his position after the merger, but the new studio, dedicated to full sound production, cut ties with most of FBO's roster of silent-screen performers Movies that Film Booking Offices had either produced or arranged to distribute were released under the FBO banner through the end of 1929 The last official FBO production to reach American theaters was Pals of the Prairie, directed by Louis King and starring Buzz Barton and Frank Rice, released July 1, 1929

Cinematic legacyedit

Headliners and celebrity castingedit

Publicity photo of Evelyn Brent, star of 14 FBO films between 1924 and 1926

The vast majority of FBO/Robertson-Cole pictures, produced during either the silent era or the transitional period of the conversion to sound cinema, are considered to be lost films, with no copies now known to exist Partly in consequence, many of FBO's star actors are barely remembered today

Pauline Frederick was the major headliner of the early R-C days, and Evelyn Brent was FBO's most prized non-Western star16 Warner Baxter, Joe E Brown, and young Frankie Darro were among the other prominent FBO players Anna Q Nilsson starred in two of the studio's larger productions, as did Olive Borden and Douglas Fairbanks Jr FBO's leading star of action and mystery pictures was Richard Talmadge He appeared in eighteen FBO releases, more than half of them produced by his own company Maurice "Lefty" Flynn starred in over a dozen FBO action films, all directed by Harry Garson, who also ran his own production business39 From the studio's pre-Hollywood days in 1920 through 1928, Ralph Lewis starred in more than ten R-C and FBO pictures of various genres Former model Reed Howes, renowned as an "Arrow Collar Man", made his acting debut with FBO after an extensive publicity campaign40

In its earlier years, the studio did not hesitate to take advantage of scandal sheet–worthy events After the death of celebrated Paramount actor Wallace Reid, brought on by morphine addiction, his widow, Dorothy Davenport, signed on as producer and star of a cinematic examination of the sins of substance abuse: Human Wreckage, released by FBO in June 1923, five months after Reid's death, featured Davenport billed as Mrs Wallace Reid as the wife of a noble attorney turned dope fiend41

When the biggest movie star in the world, Rudolph Valentino, split from his wife, Natacha Rambova, she was swiftly enlisted by the studio to costar with Clive Brook in the sensitively titled When Love Grows Cold 192642 Under Kennedy's control, studio production shifted away from provocative fare in an attempt to brand the studio's films as suitable for the "average American" and the entire family: "We can't make pictures and label them 'For Children,' or 'For Women' or 'For Stout People' or 'For Thin Ones' We must make pictures that have appeal to all"43 Though Kennedy ended the scandal-sheet specials, FBO still found occasion for celebrity casting: One Minute to Play 1926, directed by Sam Wood, marks the film debut of football great "Red" Grange44

Western starsedit

The Cowboy Cop 1926 was headlined by Tom Tyler The most prolific of FBO's many Western stars, Tyler appeared in 29 movies for the studio

Central to the FBO identity were Westerns and the studio's major cowboy star, Fred Thomson In both 1926 and 1927, he ranked number two in the Exhibitors' Herald survey of the "Top Stars of the Year," right behind Tom Mix45 With Thomson's personal contract with Kennedy due to expired in mid-1927,46 Kennedy—sending that Thomson had reached the peak of his popularity and seeing a financial opportunity for FBO—arranged a four-picture deal with Paramount Pictures, one of the major Hollywood studio The deal essentially ceded Thomson to the rival studio For FBO's guarantee of $75,000 in financing per picture, Thomson would star in Paramount productions In return, Paramount would return the $75,000 in financing plus an additional $100,000 to FBO and pay Thomson's $15,000 a week salary47

In 1928, Kennedy replaced Thomson by signing Tom Mix, whose contract with William Fox's Fox Film Corporation had expired Mix played hard-to-get, threatening to move to Argentina to make films or joining the circus, but eventually, he signed with FBO but eventually left for Universal due to salary disputes with the studio He said of Kennedy that he was a "tight-assed, money-crazed son-of-a-bitch"48

FBO's second-biggest long-running Western star was Tom Tyler According to a June 1927 report in Moving Picture World:

With Tom Tyler rapidly taking the place recently vacated by Fred Thomson, FBO's program of western pictures is taking a place second to none in the industry Tyler has made rapid strides during his two years with FBO and with his horse 'Flash' and dog 'Beans' has become one of the leading favorites on the screen49

In addition to these three big names there was also Harry Carey, still a major star when he made several films for the studio in 1922–23 The other cowboy stars of FBO included Bob Custer, Bob Steele, and teenager Buzz Barton

Canine starsedit

One of the studio's most reliable Western headliners was a dog: Ranger50 The fabled Strongheart starred in FBO's White Fang 1925, and Rin Tin Tin had one of his earliest roles in My Dad 192251

Short subjects and animationedit

FBO's many shorts—the popular George O'Hara and Alberta Vaughn series, and scores of others—are largely forgotten Of particular historical interest are two independently produced series of slapstick comedies with important performers: FBO put out several shorts in 1924–25 made by Joe Rock and starring Stan Laurel, before his famous partnership with Oliver Hardy In 1926–27, the company distributed more than a dozen shorts by innovative comedian/animator Charles Bowers52

In addition to the work of Charles Bowers, FBO was a distributor of other significant animated films Between 1924 and 1926, FBO released the work of John Randolph Bray's cartoon studio, including the "Dinky Doodle" series created by Walter Lantz53 From 1925 to 1927, the studio put out approximately three dozen animated adaptations of George Herriman newspaper comics directed by William Nolan, featuring characters from Herriman's famed Krazy Kat strip FBO picked up the Krazy Kat cartoons from the distribution team of Margaret Winkler and her husband, Charles Mintz In 1926, FBO struck a deal with the Winkler–Mintz operation for another series, one that, like Bowers' shorts, involved both animation and a live performer: the "Alice Comedies," of which FBO would put out over two dozen, were created by two young animators, Ub Iwerks and Walt Disney54

Notable films and filmmakersedit

James Pierce in FBO's Tarzan and the Golden Lion 1927, which brought the famous character back to the big screen for the first time in six years Tarzan would remain a Hollywood fixture for the next four decades

Kennedy had no illusions about his studio's place in the realm of cinematic art A journalist once complimented him on FBO's recent output: "You have had some good pictures this year" Kennedy jocularly inquired, "What the hell were they"55 In her history of RKO, author Betty Lasky points to the pre-Kennedy Broken Laws 1924, directed by Roy William Neill and starring Dorothy Davenport again billed as Mrs Wallace Reid as exemplifying the rare "unforgettable picture of the higher caliber" put out by FBO56

Among the studio's action movies, one standout production was a 1927 Tarzan picture Author Edgar Rice Burroughs declared, "If you want to see the personification of Tarzan of the Apes as I visualize him, see the film Tarzan and the Golden Lion with Mr James Pierce"57 The Film Daily reviewer wrote that the movie "has a rather new order of thrills and atmosphere that might prove distinctly attractive"57 The two-reeler West of Hot Dog 1924, according to historian Simon Louvish, contains "one of Stan Laurel's finest gags," involving a level of cinematic technique that bears comparison to Buster Keaton's classic Sherlock, Jr58

Some of the studio's most impressive releases were foreign productions In 1927, FBO picked up for US distribution a celebrated Austrian biblical spectacular made three years earlier: Die Sklavenkönigin The Slave Queen, aka Moon of Israel had already won its director, Michael Kertész, a job with Warner Bros59 In Hollywood, he would change his name to Michael Curtiz Una Nueva y gloriosa nación 1928, the most successful film in the history of Argentine silent cinema, was shot in Hollywood and distributed in the United States by FBO as The Charge of the Gauchos60

A masked Brent in the title role of Lady Robin Hood 1925, directed by Ralph Ince61 Her cowering foe is played by Boris Karloff, who appeared in six FBO pictures between 1925 and 1927

One of the two cinematographers of Una Nueva y gloriosa nación was Nicholas Musuraca, who established his career at Film Booking Offices With RKO, Musuraca would become one of Hollywood's most respected cinematographers

Among FBO's other offscreen talent, the best known director to work regularly at the studio was Ralph Ince, younger brother of famous filmmaker Thomas H Ince Pulling double duty on occasion, Ralph Ince starred in four of the fourteen films he made for FBO One production in which Ince served in both capacities was particularly well received: Chicago After Midnight 1928 was described by the New York Times as "an unusually well-acted and adroitly directed underworld story"62 After The Mistress of Shenstone, Henry King directed two more R-C films with Pauline Frederick, also in 1921: Salvage and The Sting of the Lash63 Tod Browning directed two Gothic Pictures specials in 1924 starring Evelyn Brent: The Dangerous Flirt and Silk Stocking Sal64

From 1921 to 1924, William Seiter directed a half-dozen FBO releases, some produced directly for the studio, others independently Between 1922 and 1926, Emory Johnson produced and directed at least eight films for FBO Historian William K Everson has pointed to Seiter and Johnson as two of the overlooked directorial talents of the silent era65

Screenwriter Frances Marion, who would win two Oscars in the 1930s, penned ten of the FBO pictures starring her husband, Fred Thomson Editor Pandro S Berman, son of a major FBO stockholder, cut his first film for the studio at the age of twenty-two; he would go on to renown as an RKO producer and production chief Famed RKO costume designer Walter Plunkett was also an FBO graduate

Notesedit

  1. ^ Sherwood 1923, p 150; Ellis and Thornborough 1923, p 262
  2. ^ "SCREEN; AGAIN THE IMPORT TAX" New York Times Retrieved 25 January 2014 
  3. ^ "Robertson-Cole Buys" PDF Variety Retrieved 25 January 2014 
  4. ^ "Inceville: Robertson-Cole Buys a Ranch; Purchases 460 Acres of Land in Santa Monica, Cal" Retrieved 25 January 2014 
  5. ^ "Silent Studios Directory - R" Learn About Movie Posters Archived from the original on 2013-11-11 
  6. ^ Goodwin 1987 describes Robertson-Cole as an "American motion picture firm" p 341, which was functionally true after a certain point, but Jewell 1982 makes clear that the company was founded in Britain and that its American operations were run by Britishmen through 1922 p 8 As Goodwin and Jewell concur, majority ownership of FBO remained in British hands until 1926
  7. ^ For a description of the film, see the anonymous New York Times review, May 30, 1920 available online
  8. ^ The studio's address was and remains 780 Gower Street See Finler 1988, p 12, for a map showing the FBO studio later owned by RKO, Desilu, and now CBS Paramount Television in relation to the other main Hollywood production facilities Finler misidentifies Melrose Ave, which runs east-west along the south of the studio, as "Beverly Boulevard" Gower St runs north-south along the studio's western side
  9. ^ Lyons 1974, p 90 n 123
  10. ^ For descriptions of the film, see the reviews in Moving Picture World March 5, 1921 and Variety March 18, 1921
  11. ^ Goodwin 1987, p 342
  12. ^ See, eg, "FBO Announces" 1925 for evidence that the studio was primarily identified as FBO by no later than summer 1925 Though Robertson-Cole apparently remained the primary production brand for a period after the 1922 reorganization, Lasky 1989, p 13 and Jewell 1982, p 8 both indicate that the entire film business was incorporated that year as Film Booking Offices of America Inc Beauchamp 1998 refers to Kennedy's 1926 takeover of "R-C Pictures Corporation and Film Booking Office of America" p 180 These various references suggest that, from 1922 forward, R-C or Robertson-Cole Pictures Corp was the legal name of FBO or Film Booking Offices of America Inc's studio subsidiary Logos from 1927 and 1928 the latter pictured in the article reading "FBO Pictures Corp" suggest that the corporate name of the studio operation was changed after the Kennedy purchase
  13. ^ Lasky 1989, p 13; Jewell 1982, p 8
  14. ^ Lasky 1989, p 13
  15. ^ Beauchamp 1998, pp 157–58 See also John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum/Joseph P Kennedy #136 descriptive summary of material from the inventory of the late president's papers; refer to "Biographical Note" Retrieved May 6, 2007
  16. ^ a b Jewell 1982, p 8
  17. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project "Consumer Price Index estimate 1800–" Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Retrieved January 2, 2017 
  18. ^ Beauchamp 1998, p 168
  19. ^ Beauchamp 1998, p 157
  20. ^ "FBO Announces" 1925
  21. ^ Lasky 1989, pp 12–13, 14–15; Beauchamp 1998, p 180
  22. ^ Quoted in Lasky 1989, p 12
  23. ^ Goodwin 1987, pp 342, 343; Beauchamp 1998, p 180; Lasky 1989, p 13 Crafton 1997 writes that the business Joseph Kennedy purchased in February 1926 was "a small Hollywood studio, Robertson-Cole, and its New York distributor, Film Booking Office FBO" p 136 This is potentially misleading, even aside from the misspelling of FBO's name; the available evidence demonstrates that Film Booking Offices was already the studio operation's primary identity, even though it might still have been registered as R-C Pictures Corporation or some variation thereof Crafton's nomenclature is belied by his own earlier listing of the significant US film production companies of the mid-1920s, among which he names "Film Booking Office FBO," not Robertson–Cole p 68
  24. ^ Lasky 1989, pp 14–15; Goodwin 1987, p 344
  25. ^ Goodwin 1987, pp 345, 346
  26. ^ Quoted in Beauchamp 1998, p 180 See also p 197; Lasky 1989, p 14 For Hays and Kennedy's earlier association, see Goodwin 1987, p 341
  27. ^ Lasky 1989, p 15 Crafton 1997 misleadingly implies that Kennedy immediately installed William LeBaron as production chief after his takeover of FBO p 136 In fact, as Jewell 1982 describes, King was the first head of production named by Kennedy, with LeBaron assuming the job in 1927 p 9
  28. ^ Quoted in Goodwin 1987, p 348
  29. ^ Goodwin 1987, p 348; Jewell 1982, p 9
  30. ^ Finler 1988, p 36
  31. ^ Beauchamp 1998, pp 210, 211; Koszarski 1990, p 116
  32. ^ Beauchamp 1998, pp 211, 227
  33. ^ "Cinemerger" 1927; Lasky 1989, pp 24–26 Note that the statement in Jewell 1982 referring to "the 700 K-A-O Theatres in the US and Canada" p 10 is wildly inaccurate and may well be a typo Lasky 1989 says "several hundred theaters" p 25, Beauchamp 1998, citing Lasky, says "three hundred theaters" quote: p 228, cite: p 414 n 41—figures belied by Time magazine's contemporary data see "Cinemerger"
  34. ^ For a description of the film, see the anonymous New York Times review, August 6, 1928 available online According to Crafton 1997, The Perfect Crime "premiered June 17, 1928 and opened at the Rivoli on August 4" p 140
  35. ^ Crafton 1997, pp 140, 304
  36. ^ While all other latter-day published sources give October as the date of the merger, Crafton 1997 states, "The new holding company, Radio-Keith-Orpheum, was formed on 21 November 1928" p 142
  37. ^ Lasky 1989, pp 33–34
  38. ^ Jewell 1982, p 10
  39. ^ For more on Flynn, see Christgau 1999, pp 55–59
  40. ^ Corneau 1969, p 85
  41. ^ Schaefer 1999, p 224
  42. ^ Goodwin 1987, p 341
  43. ^ Quoted in Goodwin 1987, p 347
  44. ^ Hall 1926 See also Heritage Vintage 2004b, p 121
  45. ^ Beauchamp 1998, p 224
  46. ^ Lasky 1989, p 17; Beauchamp 1998, p 227
  47. ^ Beauchamp, Cari 2010 Joseph P Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years New York: Knopf pp 164–65 ISBN 1400040000 
  48. ^ Quirk, Lawrence J 1996 The Kennedys in Hollywood Taylor Publications p 303 ISBN 978-0878339341 
  49. ^ Moving Picture World, June 11, 1927
  50. ^ The suggestion by Goodwin 1987 that, during Kennedy's tenure, FBO made "a dozen dog pictureseach year" p 348 is exaggerated Ranger, the studio's only canine headliner of the Kennedy era, starred in sixteen pictures over the course of three years From before the Kennedy era through 1928, Beans had featured roles in a number of Tom Tyler/Frankie Darro Westerns For examples of how such films were marketed, see Heritage Vintage 2004a, p 79, and Heritage Vintage 2005, p 35 In the latter, note that the text accompanying the reproduced poster of Tom and His Pals 1926 incorrectly identifies the film as a Paramount picture; note also that, despite what the text implies, this was not the first film teaming Tyler and Darro
  51. ^ For a description of the former, see Sandburg 1925, pp 270–271 For a description of the latter, see Janiss Garza, "My Dad" Allmovie review; part of New York Times website Retrieved May 9, 2007
  52. ^ For more on Bowers' work with FBO, see Crafton 1993, p 362 n 39
  53. ^ Crafton 1993, pp 186, 187; Langer 1995, pp 105, 259 n 40 For posters of two Bray/Lantz cartoons distributed by FBO, see Heritage Vintage 2004b, p 51
  54. ^ Crafton 1993, p 285; Langer 1995, p 259 n 39
  55. ^ Quoted in Lasky 1989, p 14
  56. ^ Lasky 1989, p 14
  57. ^ a b Quoted in Fenton 2002, p 107
  58. ^ Louvish 2001, pp 171–72
  59. ^ Kemp 1987, p 173
  60. ^ Finkielman 2004, p 84
  61. ^ For a description of the film, see Buehrer 1993, pp 43–44
  62. ^ Hall 1928
  63. ^ For a description of the former, see the review in Variety, June 17, 1921 For descriptions of the latter, see the reviews in Harrison's Reports October 1, 1921 and Variety October 21, 1921
  64. ^ For a brief description of the former, see Sullivan 1986, p 60 For a description of the latter, see Langman 1998, p 88
  65. ^ Everson 1998, p 142

Note: Many sources including Douglas Crafton and Cari Beauchamp, cited herein give FBO's full name incorrectly as "Film Booking Office of America"; the proper name is Film Booking Offices of America, as can be verified by reference to multiple versions of the company's official logo For the correct spelling, see also two books contemporary with the studio: Sherwood 1923, pp 150, 156, 158, 159, etc; Ellis and Thornborough 1923, p 262

Sourcesedit

  • Beauchamp, Cari 1998 Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press ISBN 0-520-21492-7
  • Buehrer, Beverley Bare 1993 Boris Karloff: A Bio-Bibliography Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press ISBN 0-313-27715-X
  • Christgau, John 1999 The Origins of the Jump Shot: Eight Men Who Shook the World of Basketball Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press ISBN 0-8032-6394-5
  • "Cinemerger" anon 1927 Time, May 2 available online
  • Corneau, Ernest N 1969 The Hall of Fame of Western Film Stars Hanover, Mass: Christopher Publishing House ISBN 0-8158-0124-6
  • Crafton, Donald 1993 Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1898–1928 Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press ISBN 0-226-11667-0
  • Crafton, Donald 1997 The Talkies: American Cinema's Transition to Sound, 1926–1931 New York: Charles Scribner's Sons ISBN 0-684-19585-2
  • Ellis, Don Carlos, and Laura Thornborough 1923 Motion Pictures in Education: A Practical Handbook for Users of Visual Aids New York: Thomas V Crowell
  • Everson, William K 1998 American Silent Film New York: Da Capo ISBN 0-306-80876-5
  • "FBO Announces Tom Tyler as 'Surprise' Western Star" anon 1925 Moving Picture World, August 8
  • Fenton, James W 2002 Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan: A Biography of the Author and His Creation Jefferson, NC: McFarland ISBN 0-7864-1393-X
  • Finkielman, Jorge 2004 The Film Industry in Argentina: An Illustrated Cultural History Jefferson, NC: McFarland ISBN 0-7864-1628-9
  • Finler, Joel W 1988 The Hollywood Story New York: Crown ISBN 0-517-56576-5
  • Goodwin, Doris Kearns 1987 The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga New York: Simon & Schuster ISBN 0-671-23108-1
  • Hall, Mordaunt 1926 "'Red' Grange's First Film," The New York Times, September 6 available online
  • Hall, Mordaunt 1928 "An Irish Mother Bootleggers and Night Clubs," The New York Times, March 6 available online
  • Heritage Vintage Movie Poster Signature Auction #603 Dallas: Heritage Vintage Movie Posters, 2004a ISBN 1-932899-15-4
  • Heritage Vintage Movie Poster Signature Auction #607 Dallas: Heritage Vintage Movie Posters, 2004b ISBN 1-932899-35-9
  • Heritage Vintage Movie Poster Signature Auction #624 Dallas: Heritage Vintage Movie Posters, 2005 ISBN 1-59967-004-6
  • Jewell, Richard B, with Vernon Harbin 1982 The RKO Story New York: Arlington House/Crown ISBN 0-517-54656-6
  • Kemp, Philip 1987 "Curtiz, Michael," in World Film Directors, Volume 1: 1890–1945, ed John Wakeman New York: H W Wilson, 172–181 ISBN 0-8242-0757-2
  • Koszarski, Richard 1990 An Evening's Entertainment: The Age of the Silent Feature Picture, 1915–1928 Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press ISBN 0-520-08535-3
  • Langer, Mark 1995 "John Randolph Bray: Animation Pioneer," in American Silent Film: Discovering Marginalized Voices, ed Gregg Bachman and Thomas J Slater Carbondale: Southern Illinois Univ Press, 2002, pp 94–114 ISBN 0-8093-2402-4
  • Langman, Larry 1998 American Film Cycles: The Silent Era Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press ISBN 0-313-30657-5
  • Lasky, Betty 1989 RKO: The Biggest Little Major of Them All Santa Monica, Calif: Roundtable ISBN 0-915677-41-5
  • Louvish, Simon 2001 Stan and Ollie: The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy New York: St Martin's ISBN 0-312-26651-0
  • Lyons, Timothy James 1974 1972 The Silent Partner: The History of the American Film Manufacturing Company, 1910–1921 New York: Arno Press ISBN 0-405-04872-6
  • Sandburg, Carl 1925 "White Fang," in The Movies Are: Carl Sandburg's Film Reviews and Essays, 1920–1928, ed Arnie Bernstein Chicago: Lake Claremont Press, 2000, pp 270–71 ISBN 1-893121-05-4
  • Schaefer, Eric 1999 "Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!": A History of Exploitation Films, 1919–1959 Durham and London: Duke University Press ISBN 0-8223-2374-5
  • Sherwood, Robert Emmet 1923 The Best Moving Pictures of 1922–23 Boston: Small, Maynard
  • Sullivan, Jack, ed 1986 The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and The Supernatural New York: Viking ISBN 0-670-80902-0

External linksedit

  • The Silent Films of FBO Pictures comprehensive listing of silent features produced by FBO/Robertson–Cole and released between 1925 and 1929—see also The Early Sound Films of Radio Pictures for FBO sound productions released in 1928 the list does not clearly indicate the several FBO sound productions released in 1929; both part of Vitaphone Video Early Talkies website

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