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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Film Classics was an American film distributor active between 1943 and 1951.[1] Established by George Hirliman and Irvin Shapiro, the company initially concentrated on re-releases of earlier hits by other producers, including Hal Roach, Alexander Korda, Samuel Goldwyn, David O. Selznick, and Edward Small,[2] but began to handle new independent productions of a generally low-budget nature, starting in 1944.

George Hirliman left Film Classics in 1944 to enter the new field of television, then still in its experimental stages. Irvin Shapiro also moved on, establishing a film import-export concern. The new company president was Joseph Bernhard; under Bernhard, Film Classics began producing new, original features in 1947.

In October 1947 Film Classics was purchased outright by Cinecolor, to promote its color process in its own feature films. Joseph Bernhard, president of Film Classics, became vice president of Cinecolor.[3] Seven months later, Cinecolor president and founder William Crespinel stepped down, and Bernhard assumed the Cinecolor presidency on May 15, 1948.[4] In 1950, Film Classics merged with Eagle-Lion Films; the new firm, Eagle-Lion Classics, was itself absorbed by United Artists in 1951.



  1. ^ Anthony Slide, The New Historical Dictionary of the American Film Industry. Routledge, 2014, p. 72.
  2. ^ Scott MacGillivray, Laurel & Hardy: From the Forties Forward. Second edition: New York: iUniverse, 2009, p. 174-175. ISBN 978-1-4401-7239-7.
  3. ^ Motion Picture Herald, "Cinecolor Takes Film Classics," Oct. 18, 1947, p. 20.
  4. ^ Boxoffice, "Color Films to 70% Soon, Joseph Bernhard Predicts," April 24, 1948, p.20.

This page was last edited on 10 June 2023, at 02:20
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