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- Биографические и автобиографические материалы, дневники, письма и т.п. / Gomery Douglas 1999 Laemmle Carl http://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-1800694 /

Gomery Douglas 1999 Laemmle Carl http://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-1800694Gomery Douglas 1999 Laemmle Carl http://www.anb.org/view/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.001.0001/anb-9780198606697-e-1800694



Laemmle, Carlfree
(17 January 1867–24 September 1939)
Laemmle, Carl (17 January 1867–24 September 1939), motion picture pioneer, was born in Laupheim, Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, the son of Julius Baruch Laemmle, a businessman, and Rebekka (maiden name unknown). Laemmle, the tenth of thirteen children, attended public school and at age thirteen was apprenticed to a local storekeeper to learn bookkeeping. But he wanted more. An older brother had immigrated to the United States, and Laemmle followed in 1884. He worked in a department store, on a farm, and as a clerk throughout the Midwest before settling in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he entered the clothing store business. He became a U.S. citizen in 1889.
In 1898 he married Rasha Stern, the niece of his boss; the couple had two children. The Laemmles moved to Chicago and in February 1906 opened a nickelodeon. To guarantee a regular supply of films for his White Front theater on North Milwaukee Avenue, Carl Laemmle became a film distributor. He had to fight to maintain his new business. The major film producers had set up the Motion Pictures Patents Trust; still, Laemmle was able to successfully expand from film exhibition and distribution into filmmaking. In 1909 he established the Independent Motion Picture Company, with studios in New York City. At this time movies were shot silent, out-of-doors, and were twenty minutes long.
His first feature-length major production was Hiawatha (1909), inspired by the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem and starring Florence Lawrence. In less than a decade, as Laemmle made longer and more expensive films, he developed several internationally famous stars, including Mary Pickford. Laemmle earned millions, which enabled the newly titled Universal Studios to move to Los Angeles, and in March 1915 he opened Universal City Studios. In his early fifties, the diminutive Laemmle stood atop the new motion picture industry.
During the next decade Universal City Studios functioned as the largest moviemaking operation in the world. Popular Universal films included Blind Husbands (1919) and Foolish Wives (1922), both directed by Erich von StroheimThe Hunchback of Notre Dame(1923), and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). But “Uncle Carl” grew conservative, consolidated his fame and fortune, and never expanded further—as rivals signed away top stars and executives. Laemmle lost such talents as director John Ford and studio executive Irving Thalberg to expanding competitors. Because of his wife’s death in 1918 and his own brush with death in 1926 (an appendicitis attack during an Atlantic crossing), Laemmle semiretired in 1929 and placed his son, Carl, Jr., in charge of Universal. Even though the younger Laemmle’s only experience had been writing two-reel comedies, he stepped into a position of considerable power as head of production.
The Great Depression brought an end to the Laemmle movie empire. Despite the fact that the company immediately began losing money, Universal under Carl, Jr., earned considerable critical praise for the Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), a daring pacifist tale told from the German point of view. But the studio’s bread and butter remained low-budget films—westerns and melodramas—including such horror film classics as Dracula (1930), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
The Laemmles were never able to develop a strategy to bring customers into theaters during the dark days of the Great Depression. Relentlessly, the corporation moved toward bankruptcy. Eventually, despite all of the senior Laemmle’s efforts to hold off creditors, he could not get out from under the mounting debts his profligate son had accrued in trying to make that one saving blockbuster. In March 1936 Laemmle gave up his beloved movie company to a group of Wall Street investment bankers for in excess of $5 million.
Both Laemmles retired, just as their last major effort, a second of three film versions of Showboat (1936), was being released. Ironically Showboat proved a hit for the new owners. The senior Laemmle played his role as beloved elder statesman of the film business for a few surviving years; he died in Beverly Hills, California.

Bibliography

There are no known papers from either Carl Laemmle, Sr. or Jr. Carl Laemmle, Sr., wrote, “From the Inside: The Business of Motion Pictures,” Saturday Evening Post, 27 Aug. 1927. He also commissioned a laudatory biography, John Drinkwater’s The Life and Adventures of Carl Laemmle (1931). No scholarly, well-researched biography exists, but details of his life can be found in a number of film industry histories: I. G. Edmonds, Big U: Universal in the Silent Days (1977); Douglas Gomery, The Hollywood Studio System (1986); and Clive Hirschhorn, The Universal Story (1983). A helpful obituary is in the New York Times, 25 Sept. 1939.

See also

More on this topic


Oxford University Press
Laemmle, Carlfree
(17 January 1867–24 September 1939)
Laemmle, Carl (17 January 1867–24 September 1939), motion picture pioneer, was born in Laupheim, Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, the son of Julius Baruch Laemmle, a businessman, and Rebekka (maiden name unknown). Laemmle, the tenth of thirteen children, attended public school and at age thirteen was apprenticed to a local storekeeper to learn bookkeeping. But he wanted more. An older brother had immigrated to the United States, and Laemmle followed in 1884. He worked in a department store, on a farm, and as a clerk throughout the Midwest before settling in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he entered the clothing store business. He became a U.S. citizen in 1889.
In 1898 he married Rasha Stern, the niece of his boss; the couple had two children. The Laemmles moved to Chicago and in February 1906 opened a nickelodeon. To guarantee a regular supply of films for his White Front theater on North Milwaukee Avenue, Carl Laemmle became a film distributor. He had to fight to maintain his new business. The major film producers had set up the Motion Pictures Patents Trust; still, Laemmle was able to successfully expand from film exhibition and distribution into filmmaking. In 1909 he established the Independent Motion Picture Company, with studios in New York City. At this time movies were shot silent, out-of-doors, and were twenty minutes long.
His first feature-length major production was Hiawatha (1909), inspired by the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem and starring Florence Lawrence. In less than a decade, as Laemmle made longer and more expensive films, he developed several internationally famous stars, including Mary Pickford. Laemmle earned millions, which enabled the newly titled Universal Studios to move to Los Angeles, and in March 1915 he opened Universal City Studios. In his early fifties, the diminutive Laemmle stood atop the new motion picture industry.
During the next decade Universal City Studios functioned as the largest moviemaking operation in the world. Popular Universal films included Blind Husbands (1919) and Foolish Wives (1922), both directed by Erich von StroheimThe Hunchback of Notre Dame(1923), and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). But “Uncle Carl” grew conservative, consolidated his fame and fortune, and never expanded further—as rivals signed away top stars and executives. Laemmle lost such talents as director John Ford and studio executive Irving Thalberg to expanding competitors. Because of his wife’s death in 1918 and his own brush with death in 1926 (an appendicitis attack during an Atlantic crossing), Laemmle semiretired in 1929 and placed his son, Carl, Jr., in charge of Universal. Even though the younger Laemmle’s only experience had been writing two-reel comedies, he stepped into a position of considerable power as head of production.
The Great Depression brought an end to the Laemmle movie empire. Despite the fact that the company immediately began losing money, Universal under Carl, Jr., earned considerable critical praise for the Oscar-winning All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), a daring pacifist tale told from the German point of view. But the studio’s bread and butter remained low-budget films—westerns and melodramas—including such horror film classics as Dracula (1930), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
The Laemmles were never able to develop a strategy to bring customers into theaters during the dark days of the Great Depression. Relentlessly, the corporation moved toward bankruptcy. Eventually, despite all of the senior Laemmle’s efforts to hold off creditors, he could not get out from under the mounting debts his profligate son had accrued in trying to make that one saving blockbuster. In March 1936 Laemmle gave up his beloved movie company to a group of Wall Street investment bankers for in excess of $5 million.
Both Laemmles retired, just as their last major effort, a second of three film versions of Showboat (1936), was being released. Ironically Showboat proved a hit for the new owners. The senior Laemmle played his role as beloved elder statesman of the film business for a few surviving years; he died in Beverly Hills, California.

Bibliography

There are no known papers from either Carl Laemmle, Sr. or Jr. Carl Laemmle, Sr., wrote, “From the Inside: The Business of Motion Pictures,” Saturday Evening Post, 27 Aug. 1927. He also commissioned a laudatory biography, John Drinkwater’s The Life and Adventures of Carl Laemmle (1931). No scholarly, well-researched biography exists, but details of his life can be found in a number of film industry histories: I. G. Edmonds, Big U: Universal in the Silent Days (1977); Douglas Gomery, The Hollywood Studio System (1986); and Clive Hirschhorn, The Universal Story (1983). A helpful obituary is in the New York Times, 25 Sept. 1939.

See also

More on this topic


Oxford University Press