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United Artists Corporation – 1919


United Artists 1919 D.W Griffith Mary Pickford Charlie Chaplin (Seated) and Douglas Fairbanks Signing The Incorporation Papers Of United Artists On 5th February 1919
At the suggestion of B.P. Schulberg, Douglas Fairbanks pointed out to his wife “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford and to friend Charlie Chaplin that the enormous salary rises they were successfully demanding were making the margin of profit on their films dangerously low, and that there might come a time when, despite their popularity, they would actually constitute liabilities to their employers. Why not form – with him and D.W. Griffith – a company to produce and distribute their own pictures, enabling them to keep all the profit for themselves. They were convinced and in 1919, the United Artists Corporation was formed.
United Artists was the logical conclusion the the star system. When he heard of it, Richard Rowland, head of Metro, commented, “The lunatics have taken charge of the asylum.” But the head keeper was no loony. Though Fairbanks, at first was the least powerful of the four, took the most active part in the affairs of the company. In the mid-twenties, he enticed Joseph M. Schenck to head the administrative affairs of the corporation, bringing with him Norma and Constance Talmadge, who were soon followed by Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore and Buster Keaton. As long as Fairbanks was alive. United Artists made a profit.

marypickfair

February 8, 2021 - Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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