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  1. en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Sam_KatzmanSam Katzman - Wikipedia

    Sam Katzman (July 7, 1901 – August 4, 1973) was an American film producer and director.Katzman produced low-budget genre films, including serials, which had disproportionately high returns for the studios and his financial backers.

    • July 7, 1901, New York City
    • 1933–1973
    • Film producer and director
    • August 4, 1973 (aged 72), Hollywood
    • Early Life and Career
    • Monogram Pictures
    • Move to Columbia
    • Katzman's Directors
    • Hollywood Blacklist
    • Final Years

    Born in New York City to Abraham and Rebecca Katzman, Katzman entered the film industry shortly before World War I, as an errand boy at the old Fox Film Corporation, which was then making low-budget short films at their studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey. As a mail carrier, prop boy, and laboratory messenger, carrying cans of exposed film back and forth to the lab, Katzman quickly learned all the angles of the low-budget film business, and gradually rose to the rank of assistant director. Fox let Katzman go in a wave of cutbacks just before the company merged with 20th Century Pictures. He thus became an independent producer and created his first venture, a feature-length film, His Private Secretary (1933), which he wrote himself. John Waynewas featured in the picture, which Katzman made in six days at an overall cost of $13,000. From this modest beginning, Katzman never looked back. Low-budget producers usually made outdoor westerns and action pictures, saving money on sets and using...

    Monogram Pictures, a small but prolific independent studio, specialized in low-budget films for neighborhood theaters. Monogram manufactured much of its own product, but also released films made by independent producers. Sam Katzman sold Monogram on a juvenile delinquency series, to cash in on the successful cycle of the Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys melodramas. Katzman's series, The East Side Kids, caught on almost immediately, and before long many of the original Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys joined Katzman's series. The East Side Kids films gradually evolved from noisy melodramas to roughneck comedies. Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Billy Benedict, and Ernie 'Sunshine' Sammy Morrisonwere mainstays of Katzman's East Side troupe. Katzman branched out with companion series for Monogram. He partnered with Jack Dietz to produce Bela Lugosi thrillers, and comedy features with Harry Langdon, Billy Gilbert, and Shemp Howard. When Leo Gorcey demanded doubl...

    In 1945 Katzman accepted a contract from Columbia Pictures to produce adventure serials and, soon after, feature films. For two years he worked for both Monogram and Columbia, grinding out serials and low-budget features at a truly torrential pace. In 1947 he joined Columbia full-time, with a series of four Jean Porter musical comedies and another two Gloria Jean vehicles. Columbia's arrangement with Katzman was straightforward: Katzman selected the properties; Columbia approved the scripts and financed the productions; Katzman made the films using the studio personnel and resources; and Columbia gave Katzman 25% of the profits. The Katzman unit occupied the former Tiffany Picturesstudio, now Columbia property. One of Katzman's specialties at Columbia was taking a major news story, popular trend, or musical craze and making a film about it. He worked so quickly that the film could play theaters while the topic was still hot, ensuring big profits. One of his first pictures of this ty...

    Katzman’s directors were either on their way up, or trailing off at the end of their careers. Studio veterans Arthur Dreifuss, Lew Landers. and William Berke were good, workmanlike directors, and old hands at directing "B" comedies, musicals, and mysteries. Serial specialist Spencer Gordon Bennet, whose career went back to the silent-film days, speedily churned out action fare for Katzman. Richard Quine, on the other hand, would go on to “A” features, most memorably with The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956), which starred Judy Holliday and Paul Douglas, and established Quine’s career as a major Columbia director. Future horror director William Castle was still developing his own style as a director, and Katzman allowed Castle to cut his directorial teeth on a series of low-budget films. Fred F. Searswas a former actor in Columbia "B" pictures, who assisted behind the scenes on Katzman's serials, and was promoted to full-fledged director. But working for Katzman could be very tough indeed....

    Katzman also made it a practice to employ screenwriters who were involved with the House Un-American Activities Committee blacklist during the Cold War era. Many producers followed this practice, but Katzman, with his insatiable need for screenplays, was more deeply involved in using “blacklisted” talent than most. Blacklisted scenarist Bernard Gordon, for example, wrote Castle’s The Law vs. Billy The Kid (1954) as “John D. Williams,” as well as Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (Fred F. Sears, 1956), Edward L. Cahn’s Zombies of Mora Tau (1957), Leslie Kardos’s The Man Who Turned to Stone (1957), and Sears’s Escape from San Quentin(1957) as “Raymond T. Marcus,” all of which were produced by Katzman. For Katzman, the important thing was that a person worked reliably, efficiently, and inexpensively; if a writer fit these criteria, Katzman was interested. In all his films, Katzman created a sealed, hermetic universe, within which his characters could operate with generic impunity. There wer...

    As the 1960s continued, Katzman would make several films at MGM with Elvis Presley, including Gene Nelson’s Harum Scarum (1965), with a budget of $2,400,000 and an 18-day schedule. Presley received $1,000,000, while the rest of the cast split a paltry $200,000; the rest of the budget went entirely to production costs. But the Elvis films did not reflect Katzman’s true approach to filmmaking. Whereas Columbia's Twist Around the Clock, made just three years earlier, had cost a mere $280,000, now Katzman was forced to deal with a budget that was nearly 10 times that amount. The fun, and the maverick vision that had brought Katzman to Hollywood, had vanished. Katzman’s final films were marginal, and the assembly-line production system that had served him so well now seemed out of step with the times. For the first time, Katzman was unable to adapt to changing circumstances. Katzman died on August 4, 1973, in Hollywood. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City...

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  3. Leonard Katzman was born in New York City on September 2, 1927, to a Jewish family. He began his career in the 1940s, while still in his teens, working as an assistant director for his uncle, Hollywood producer Sam Katzman.

    • Producer; screenwriter; director
    • Sherril Lynn Rettino, Mitchell Wayne Katzman, Frank Katzman, Gary Klein
    • 1940s–1996
    • Ethan Klein (grandson)
  4. www.imdb.com › name › nm0441947Sam Katzman - IMDb

    Sam Katzman, Producer: Amateur Crook. New York-born Sam Katzman entered the film industry as a prop boy at age 13, and worked his way up the ladder, learning virtually every facet of film production before becoming a producer himself. Starting out producing action/adventure serials (where he got the nickname "Jungle Sam"), Katzman's output encompassed virtually every genre imaginable....

    • Sam Katzman
  5. Mini Bio (1) New York-born Sam Katzman entered the film industry as a prop boy at age 13, and worked his way up the ladder, learning virtually every facet of film production before becoming a producer himself. Starting out producing action/adventure serials (where he got the nickname "Jungle Sam"), Katzman's output encompassed virtually every ...

    • July 7, 1901 in New York City, New York, USA
    • Jungle Sam
  6. Sam Katzman. Hall went on to make a number of films for producer Sam Katzman, who had a set-up at Columbia Pictures. Their association began with Last of the Redmen (1947), an adaptation of Last of the Mohicans, for which he had been borrowed from Sam Goldwyn.

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