The Impact of Universal Studios

2397 WordsFeb 9, 201310 Pages
The Universal Impact Universal Pictures, or Universal Studios, has been around for a little over a century and it is currently regarded amongst the top six movie studios in America. It grosses billions of dollars in revenue annually and produces major hits and movie stars. Universal is also owned by a giant media conglomerate known as NBC Universal, which is quite different from its humble beginnings. This paper will provide a brief insight into the relationship between Universal Pictures and its impact on the movie industry along with how Universal became a big name in Hollywood. The man who started it all was Carl Laemmle. Born in Württemberg Germany, Laemmle was the tenth of thirteen children, eight of which died of a cruel epidemic…show more content…
Unlike MGM or Warner Bros., short subjects had always been a fundamental part of Universal’s production strategy. In an effort to remove itself from its near-bottom industry ranking, the company flirted occasionally with the prestige feature market during the 1930s, usually to its financial detriment. During this decade it did its best financially when it concentrated on its primary business: turning out low-budget features at high speed. Universal’s short subject releases maintained this philosophy throughout the 1930s with amazing consistency, considering the turnover in management (including the ouster of Laemmle and his son, Carl, Jr, in 1936). Early in the 1930s, the studio’s emphasis was shifted to two-reel comedies, starting with the likes of Slim Summerville, Arthur Lake and Benny Rubin as starring comedians. The Universal two reelers took a decidedly interesting swing when former Hal Roach studio manager Warren Doane was hired in 1932 to organize a production unit. Doane, in turn, brought in Roach employees James W. Horne, a young George Stevens and Alf Goulding as directors, as well as a long-time member of Charles Chaplin’s staff, Albert Austin. The unit lasted until 1934, with Stevens leaving for RKO quite a bit earlier. Unfortunately most of these
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