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Stoll Pictures was a British film production and distribution company of the silent era, founded in April 1918.
During the early to mid-1920s it was the largest film company in Britain and one of the biggest in Europe. Its major domestic rival was the Ideal Film Company. Stoll's films were primarily made at its Cricklewood Studios, although the smaller Surbiton Studios were also used during the early years of the company's existence.The company takes its name from its founder Sir Oswald Stoll, better known today as a theatre owner.
Stoll produced a series of expensive films during the early 1920s such as The Four Feathers and The Prodigal Son at a cost of £37,000 was at the time the most expensive British production ever.The film's original release length of 18,454 feet made it the longest commercially made British film. The studio was a major victim of the Slump of 1924 and cut back production, relying on several co-productions with European firms. The company became particularly known for its film series such as Fu Manchu and Sherlock Holmes. The company ran its own magazine Stoll's Editorial News .
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The Selig Polyscope Company was an American motion picture company that was founded in 1896 by William Selig in Chicago. The company produced hundreds of early, widely distributed commercial moving pictures, including the first films starring Tom Mix, Harold Lloyd, Colleen Moore, and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Selig Polyscope also established Southern California's first permanent movie studio, in the historic Edendale district of Los Angeles. Ending film production in 1918, the business, based on its film production animals, became an animal and prop supplier to other studios and a zoo and amusement park attraction in East Los Angeles until the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Sir Oswald Stoll was an Australian-born British theatre manager and the co-founder of the Stoll Moss Group theatre company. He also owned Cricklewood Studios and film production company Stoll Pictures, which was one of the leading British studios of the Silent era. In 1912, he founded the Royal Variety Performance a now-annual charity show which benefits the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund.
Metro Pictures Corporation was a motion picture production company founded in early 1915 in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a forerunner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company produced its films in New York, Los Angeles, and sometimes at leased facilities in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It was purchased in 1919.
Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC), originally British International Pictures (BIP), was a British film production, distribution and exhibition company active from 1927 until 1970 when it was absorbed into EMI. ABPC also owned approximately 500 cinemas in Britain by 1943, as well as a station on the ITV television network. The studio was partly owned by Warner Bros. from about 1940 until 1969; the American company also owned a stake in ABPC's distribution arm, Warner-Pathé, from 1958. It formed one half of a vertically integrated film industry duopoly in Britain with the Rank Organisation.
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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. It was founded in 1920 as Robertson–Cole (U.S.), the American division of a British import–export company formed by the English-born Harry F. Robertson. Robertson-Cole bought the Hallmark Exchanges from Frank G. 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 which he had the rights to.
The B movie, whose roots trace to the silent film era, was a significant contributor to Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s. As the Hollywood studios made the transition to sound film in the late 1920s, many independent exhibitors began adopting a new programming format: the double feature. The popularity of the twin bill required the production of relatively short, inexpensive movies to occupy the bottom half of the program. The double feature was the predominant presentation model at American theaters throughout the Golden Age, and B movies constituted the majority of Hollywood production during the period.
Julius Hagen (1884–1940) was a German-born British film producer who produced more than a hundred films in Britain.
Harold Marvin Shaw was an American stage performer, film actor, screenwriter, and notable director of the silent era. A native of Tennessee, he worked professionally in theatrical plays and vaudeville for 16 years before he began acting in motion pictures for Edison Studios in New York City in 1910 and then started regularly directing shorts there two years later. Shaw next served briefly as a director for Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) in New York before moving to England in May 1913 to be "chief producer" for the newly established London Film Company. During World War I, he relocated to South Africa, where in 1916 he directed the film De Voortrekkers in cooperation with African Film Productions, Limited. Shaw also established his own production company while in South Africa, completing there two more releases, The Rose of Rhodesia in 1918 and the comedy Thoroughbreds All in 1919. After directing films once again in England under contract with Stoll Pictures, he finally returned to the United States in 1922 and later directed several screen projects for Metro Pictures in California before his death in Los Angeles in 1926. During his 15-year film career, Shaw worked on more than 125 films either as a director, actor, or screenwriter.
Islington Studios, often known as Gainsborough Studios, were a British film studio located on the south bank of the Regent's Canal, in Poole Street, Hoxton in the former Metropolitan Borough of Shoreditch, London between 1919 and 1949. The studios are closely associated with Gainsborough Pictures which was based there for most of the studio's history. During its existence Islington worked closely with its sister Lime Grove Studios in Shepherd's Bush and many films were made partly at one studio and partly at the other. Amongst the films made at the studios were Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, Will Hay comedies and Gainsborough Melodramas.
Cricklewood Studios, also known as the Stoll Film Studios, were British film studios located in Cricklewood, London which operated from 1920 to 1938. Run by Sir Oswald Stoll as the principal base for his newly formed Stoll Pictures, which also operated Surbiton Studios, the studio was the largest in the British Isles at that time. It was later used for the production of "quota quickies". In 1938, the studios were sold off for non-film use.
George Clark (1888-1946) was a British film actor and film producer during the silent era. For many years Clark worked with the British star Guy Newall, whom he had met during the First World War. Together they founded Lucky Cat Films and later George Clark Productions, securing a distribution arrangement with the larger Stoll Pictures.
Surbiton Studios were a British film studio located in Surbiton, then on the outskirts of London. The studio was one of several opened during the boom in British production following the First World War. It was opened in 1918 and its first film was released in January 1919. Its owners were Stoll Pictures which became one of the largest British film company of the early 1920s.
Astra Films was a British film production and distribution company of the silent era. It was set up in Leeds following the First World War by the film director Herbert Wilcox, his younger brother Charles Wilcox and H.W. Thompson, a leading figure in film distribution in the North of England. After the company's initial success, Wilcox left the firm to set up on his own and rose to become one of the most successful independent producer-directors in the world. After a merger the company released films under the name Astra-National.