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Carl Laemmle


antoniacarlotta
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I made a video about my Uncle Carl Laemmle. A question always on my mind is why his name is not better remembered. People like Walt Disney, William Fox, Louis B Mayer, or Samuel Goldwyn all seem to be names known better these days. Is it just because they put their name in their studio? Or do you think there's another reason for it?

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I made a video about my Uncle Carl Laemmle. A question always on my mind is why his name is not better remembered. People like Walt Disney, William Fox, Louis B Mayer, or Samuel Goldwyn all seem to be names known better these days. Is it just because they put their name in their studio? Or do you think there's another reason for it?

Maybe part of it has to do with the fact that a lot of Universal's early history hasn't been celebrated, like the history of other studios and the men who ran those studios. 

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According to Wkipedia, Carl Jr. was a producer on many of Universal's big hits but spent lavishly on the films and not many made back the money spent. Both Carl & Junior were forced out in 1936. Junior was never in the movie business after that even though he lived over 40 more years.

 

You're welcome.

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I made a video about my Uncle Carl Laemmle. A question always on my mind is why his name is not better remembered. People like Walt Disney, William Fox, Louis B Mayer, or Samuel Goldwyn all seem to be names known better these days. Is it just because they put their name in their studio? Or do you think there's another reason for it?

 

Aside from his last name, William Fox as a person isn't all that well-known, even among film buffs.

 

Walt Disney was a relentless self-promoter, even putting his name on the art in comic books (the Carl Barks saga). Though to be fair, this sort of thing did further the brand.

 

Sam Goldwyn was also a self-promoter, if not to Disney's extent. Some claim many "Goldwynisms" were invented by his publicists.

 

Jack Warner, aside from having his name on the studio, was also the subject of numerous anecdotes. Harry Cohn became a legendary subject for stories even without his name on the studio. Off the top of my head I can only think of one Carl Laemmle quote, after he saw a test of the young Bette Davis: "She has all the sex appeal of Slim Summerville".

 

So Carl Laemmle did not have his name on the studio, was not flamboyantly quotable or colorfully brash, and apparently didn't work to get his name in the papers. That's probably why he ended up with people like Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, the Schenck brothers, and others who have receded from the public memory.

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Aside from his last name, William Fox as a person isn't all that well-known, even among film buffs.

 

Walt Disney was a relentless self-promoter, even putting his name on the art in comic books (the Carl Barks saga). Though to be fair, this sort of thing did further the brand.

 

Sam Goldwyn was also a self-promoter, if not to Disney's extent. Some claim many "Goldwynisms" were invented by his publicists.

 

Jack Warner, aside from having his name on the studio, was also the subject of numerous anecdotes. Harry Cohn became a legendary subject for stories even without his name on the studio. Off the top of my head I can only think of one Carl Laemmle quote, after he saw a test of the young Bette Davis: "She has all the sex appeal of Slim Summerville".

 

So Carl Laemmle did not have his name on the studio, was not flamboyantly quotable or colorfully brash, and apparently didn't work to get his name in the papers. That's probably why he ended up with people like Adolph Zukor, Marcus Loew, the Schenck brothers, and others who have receded from the public memory.

Don't forget the Selznicks, who are somewhat known today. 

 

Part of it has to do with the fact that these people lived many years ago. Succeeding generations will probably know less about who Walt was though they will know what kind of company Disney is. 

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  • 9 months later...

I know this is an old post, but I didn't know where else to post that could be considered appropriate. Does anybody have any clues as to where the picture in this holiday card may have been taken or who the kids are? Might they be child actors, or just local children??

 

Would love if anybody had any leads or clues. My guess is Carl Laemmle sent the card out sometime in the 1930s.

 

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Way back in the early 2000's Universal released their "monster" collections as DVD box sets- a Frankenstein one with Frankenstein, Bride of., Son of, etc even including the Abbott & Costello movies. I recall a Frankenstein set, a Dracula set, a Wolfman set, a Mummy set and a Creature set. Each set has "extra features" too.

 

I thought this was a complete set of Universal "Monster" DVDs. Is that what you are looking for Midnight?

 

TCM has shown all those movies in the past, maybe 4-5 years ago, because I recorded them. Maybe Universal only "rents" them to one station at a time. Right now Svengoolie seems to have exclusive rights to broadcast them.

 

I do know however, the Lon Chaney Jr Inner Sanctum shows that were broadcast on last night's Svengoolie are available for rental because the Cinephile Society has rented one for screening next season.

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Way back in the early 2000's Universal released their "monster" collections as DVD box sets- a Frankenstein one with Frankenstein, Bride of., Son of, etc even including the Abbott & Costello movies. I recall a Frankenstein set, a Dracula set, a Wolfman set, a Mummy set and a Creature set. Each set has "extra features" too.

 

I thought this was a complete set of Universal "Monster" DVDs. Is that what you are looking for Midnight?

 

TCM has shown all those movies in the past, maybe 4-5 years ago, because I recorded them. Maybe Universal only "rents" them to one station at a time. Right now Svengoolie seems to have exclusive rights to broadcast them.

 

I do know however, the Lon Chaney Jr Inner Sanctum shows that were broadcast on last night's Svengoolie are available for rental because the Cinephile Society has rented one for screening next season.

There's also an Invisible Man set. And none of them have the Abbott and Costello films included. I have all the sets sitting on my shelf.

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    I've been buying some DVD's from the Universal Vault series lately and I noticed that they are

all Paramount films.

     Why doesn't Universal put out some of the Laemmle Universal films on DVD

They have put out "Mystery of Edwin Drood" and "Secret of the Blue Room" - these are actually Universals.  Maybe more, but I just can't think of any offhand. Why don't they put out many more? Because quite frankly, many of them are very odd. I like them, but then I am an old film buff. There is a reason that the Laemmles lost Universal in 1936, and it just wasn't because they blew their bankroll on "Showboat". Now some of these old Universals are good - "Air Mail" and "Radio Patrol" come to mind - but some are just awful such as "What Men Want". Plus since Paramount was more prosperous in the 1930s and 1940s they probably have better film elements with which to work.

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    I've been buying some DVD's from the Universal Vault series lately and I noticed that they are

all Paramount films.

     Why doesn't Universal put out some of the Laemmle Universal films on DVD?

 

I have a number of films from the Universal Vault series, the majority of them Paramount. However, among the Universals that I have are Mississippi Gambler, Flame of Araby, It Ain't Hay, a couple of Maria Montez films and Flesh and Fantasy, so there have been some.

 

It seems to me that Paramount had more big titles than Universal. That may be the reason why there may be from that studio.

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They have put out "Mystery of Edwin Drood" and "Secret of the Blue Room" - these are actually Universals.  Maybe more, but I just can't think of any offhand. Why don't they put out many more? Because quite frankly, many of them are very odd. I like them, but then I am an old film buff. There is a reason that the Laemmles lost Universal in 1936, and it just wasn't because they blew their bankroll on "Showboat". Now some of these old Universals are good - "Air Mail" and "Radio Patrol" come to mind - but some are just awful such as "What Men Want". Plus since Paramount was more prosperous in the 1930s and 1940s they probably have better film elements with which to work.

I guess it is true that Universal didn't have the output or well known films that Paramount had.

In fact, until I became more of a film buff I only knew Universal for their horror films.

Did they even have a roster of stars on their payroll besides Boris and Bela during the Laemmle era?

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I made a video about my Uncle Carl Laemmle. A question always on my mind is why his name is not better remembered. People like Walt Disney, William Fox, Louis B Mayer, or Samuel Goldwyn all seem to be names known better these days. Is it just because they put their name in their studio? Or do you think there's another reason for it?

I'm sure you will find many people here who not only know of Carl but revere him. I for one can more more about him to appreciate than I could if I thought about people like Spielberg or others around now. He was a great asset to films and the ones he was involved in are still amazingly influential. Be proud of your family connection to one of the greats! 

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I'm sure you will find many people here who not only know of Carl but revere him. I for one can more more about him to appreciate than I could if I thought about people like Spielberg or others around now. He was a great asset to films and the ones he was involved in are still amazingly influential. Be proud of your family connection to one of the greats! 

Thank you! I am proud, and try to make sure to honor that as much as I can. Which I know sounds cheesy, but I just wish people knew more about my Uncle and the great things he did, both in film and in his humanitarian efforts. I appreciate your words so much.

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I put up another video! This one is about the 1915 serial The Broken Coin, and I actually have a "broken coin" that was given out that year as a promotional tool! Now, I have 2 questions for you all! 

 

1. I know the serial is considered lost, but has anybody seen any clips anywhere? I haven't found any, but there are some pretty random pictures (they look like screen caps!) out there in the world, so I'm thinking maybe some of the film survives somewhere?

 

2. Carl Laemmle is listed as an actor in this film! Supposedly he plays the Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. Has anybody ever heard anything else about Carl acting before this? I haven't, but it would be pretty amazing to find out he put himself in his films!  :P

 

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