RKO Radio Pictures: A Titan Is Born
"Enjoying exclusive access to RKO archives before they were dispersed to the winds, Rick Jewell has crafted a powerful and unprecedented company history that is rich in detail and sharp in insight. Pinpointing both industry ambitions and corporate shenanigans, Jewell offers a tale both gripping and instructive. A major contribution to Hollywood studio history in the classic era."
—Dana Polan, author of Scenes of Instruction: The Beginnings of the U.S. Study of Film
“Richard Jewell has written a definitive portrait of a major Hollywood studio during the heyday of the movies. Enriched by a lode of archival material, Jewell’s RKO story reconstructs the dynamics of the studio system; its stresses and strains; its logistical challenges; and its in-house rivalries. Some big names are vividly brought to life: David Sarnoff, Pandro Berman, Fred Astaire, Katharine Hepburn, Orson Welles, to name a few. Jewell interweaves RKO’s corporate maneuverings and production agenda with great skill. A more compelling history of a Hollywood major is hard to imagine.”
—Tino Balio, author of The Foreign Film Renaissance on American Screens, 1946–1973
“A painstakingly researched and lucidly written business history of RKO Studios from its founding through 1942, Richard Jewell’s RKO Studios: A Titan is Born not only traces the shifting economic fortunes of the studio that gave us King Kong, the Astaire-Rogers musicals, and Citizen Kane but also fills an important gap in our understanding of how the studio system survived and at times even thrived during the Golden Age of Hollywood.”
—Charles Maland, author of Chaplin and American Culture
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Academy of Motion April Astaire-Rogers audience August B. B. Kahane became began box-office budget Citizen Kane company’s continued contract cost Cukor David Sarnoff David Selznick December Depinet director distribution Exhibitors Herald-World feature February film final Floyd Odlum Fred Astaire George Schaefer Ginger Rogers Gunga Gunga Din Harry Edington head Hearst Hollywood Ibid industry J. R. McDonough J.J. Nolan January Joseph Breen June Katharine Hepburn Kennedy Koerner LeBaron Lee Marcus Leo Spitz M. H. Aylesworth March memorandum Merian Cooper Merlin Aylesworth million Motion Picture Arts Motion Picture Herald movie Music Hall Nelson Rockefeller October Orson Pandro Berman Paramount play production chief profits Radio City Radio Pictures Rathvon receivership release reorganization reported RKO board RKO executives RKO Pathe RKO production RKO’s Schmus Schnitzer screen script September shooting stars story studio talent telegram theaters tion ture Warner Bros weeks Welles’s York