Harry Cohn

Harry
Harry Cohn (July 23, 1891 – February 27, 1958) was the co-founder, president, and production director of Columbia Pictures Corporation.wikipedia
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Columbia Pictures

ColumbiaColumbia Pictures CorporationColumbia Studios
Harry Cohn (July 23, 1891 – February 27, 1958) was the co-founder, president, and production director of Columbia Pictures Corporation.
What would eventually become Columbia Pictures, CBC Film Sales Corporation, was founded on June 19, 1918 by Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn, and Joe Brandt.

It Happened One Night

motion picture screenplay
Columbia was unable to shake off its stigma as a Poverty Row studio until 1934, when director Frank Capra's Columbia comedy It Happened One Night swept the Academy Awards.
It Happened One Night is a 1934 pre-Code American romantic comedy film with elements of screwball comedy directed and co-produced by Frank Capra, in collaboration with Harry Cohn, in which a pampered socialite (Claudette Colbert) tries to get out from under her father's thumb and falls in love with a roguish reporter (Clark Gable).

Jack Holt (actor)

Jack Holt Jack HoltFrancelia Billington, Jack Holt
Most of Columbia's early work was action fare starring rock-jawed leading man Jack Holt.
The series came to an end when he argued with studio chief Harry Cohn.

Lost Horizon (1937 film)

Lost Horizon1937Lost Horizon'' (1937 film)
Columbia released a few "class" productions each year (Lost Horizon, Holiday, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,The Jolson Story, Gilda, All the King's Men, etc.), but depended on its popular "budget" productions to keep the company solvent.
The serious financial crisis it created for Columbia Pictures damaged the partnership between Capra and studio head Harry Cohn, as well as the friendship between Capra and Riskin.

Frank Capra

CapraesqueCapra-esqueCapra
Columbia was unable to shake off its stigma as a Poverty Row studio until 1934, when director Frank Capra's Columbia comedy It Happened One Night swept the Academy Awards.
He took a position with another minor San Francisco studio, and subsequently received an offer to work with producer Harry Cohn at his new studio in Los Angeles.

Poverty Row

Poverty Row studio
Columbia was unable to shake off its stigma as a Poverty Row studio until 1934, when director Frank Capra's Columbia comedy It Happened One Night swept the Academy Awards.

The Jolson Story

The Al Jolson StoryJolson Story, The
Columbia released a few "class" productions each year (Lost Horizon, Holiday, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,The Jolson Story, Gilda, All the King's Men, etc.), but depended on its popular "budget" productions to keep the company solvent.
Filming was already under way as a black-and-white feature when studio chief Harry Cohn, impressed by the scenes already filmed, decided to start the project all over as a Technicolor production.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Mr Smith Goes to Washington1939 filmfilm of the same name
Columbia released a few "class" productions each year (Lost Horizon, Holiday, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,The Jolson Story, Gilda, All the King's Men, etc.), but depended on its popular "budget" productions to keep the company solvent.
Joseph P. Kennedy, the American Ambassador to Great Britain, wrote to Capra and Columbia head Harry Cohn to say that he feared the film would damage "America’s prestige in Europe", and because of this urged that it be withdrawn from European release.

Song plugger

song-pluggerpluggingsong pluggers
After working for a time as a streetcar conductor, and then as a song plugger for a sheet music printer, he got a job with Universal Pictures, where his brother, Jack Cohn, was already employed.
Movie executive Harry Cohn was a song plugger.

All the King's Men (1949 film)

All the King's Men1949film
Columbia released a few "class" productions each year (Lost Horizon, Holiday, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,The Jolson Story, Gilda, All the King's Men, etc.), but depended on its popular "budget" productions to keep the company solvent.
Robert Parrish was brought onboard by Rossen and Columbia Studios head, Harry Cohn, to see what he could do.

Rita Hayworth

HayworthCheetah HayworthMargarita Cansino
Columbia's own stars generally rose from the ranks of small-part actors and featured players (Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, Julie Bishop, Lloyd Bridges, Bruce Bennett, Jock Mahoney, etc.).
Studio head Harry Cohn signed her to a seven-year contract and tried her out in small roles.

The Three Stooges

Three StoogesStoogeHis Stooges
Moe Howard of the Three Stooges recalled that Cohn was "a real Jekyll-and-Hyde-type guy... socially, he could be very charming."
Realizing this, Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn used the Stooges as leverage, as the demand for their films was so great that he eventually refused to supply exhibitors with the trio's shorts unless they also agreed to book some of the studio's mediocre B movies.

Jean Arthur

Gladys Georgianna Greene
Columbia's own stars generally rose from the ranks of small-part actors and featured players (Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks, Julie Bishop, Lloyd Bridges, Bruce Bennett, Jock Mahoney, etc.).
Director Frank Capra recalled producer Harry Cohn's description of Jean Arthur's imbalanced profile: "half of it's angel, and the other half horse."

Born Yesterday (1950 film)

Born Yesterday1950 film of the same name1950
The characters played by Broderick Crawford in All The King's Men (1949) and Born Yesterday (1950), both Columbia pictures, are allegedly based on Cohn, as is Jack Woltz, a movie mogul who appears in The Godfather (1972).
Ironically, Kanin frequently stated that Harry Brock was modeled on Columbia production chief Harry Cohn, with whom Kanin had a long and testy relationship.

Curly Howard

CurlyJerry HowardJerome Howard
According to biographer Michael Fleming, Cohn forced Curly Howard of the Stooges to keep working after suffering a series of minor strokes, which likely contributed to a further deterioration of Howard's health and his eventual retirement and early death.
(It did not help that Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn would not allow the Stooges to make feature-length films like contemporaries Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and Abbott and Costello.)

Abner Zwillman

Abner "Longy" ZwillmanAbner "Longie" ZwillmanLongy Zwillman
He had a long-standing friendship with Chicago mobster John Roselli, and New Jersey mob boss Abner Zwillman was the source of the loan that allowed Cohn to buy out his partner Brandt.
Zwillman dated actress Jean Harlow at one time and got her a two-picture deal at Columbia Pictures by giving a huge cash loan to studio head, Harry Cohn.

John Roselli

Johnny RoselliJohn "Handsome Johnny" RoselliFilippo "John 'Handsome Johnny' Roselli" Sacco
He had a long-standing friendship with Chicago mobster John Roselli, and New Jersey mob boss Abner Zwillman was the source of the loan that allowed Cohn to buy out his partner Brandt.
The extensive influence the Outfit had over Hollywood is best illustrated in 1948 when boss Tony Accardo told Roselli to force powerful Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn into signing then-unknown actress Marilyn Monroe to a lucrative multi-year contract.

Mary Castle

Cohn wanted to groom Mary Castle as Hayworth's successor.
Harry Cohn, boss of Columbia Pictures, was said to have envisioned Castle as a replacement for Hayworth, who had married Prince Aly Khan and was rearing a family.

Leonore Annenberg

LeonoreLeonore CohnLeonore "Lee" Cohn
His niece was Leonore "Lee" Cohn Annenberg, the wife of billionaire publishing magnate Walter Annenberg of Philadelphia.
She and her younger sister were raised in Fremont Place, an upper-class neighborhood of Los Angeles, by her uncle Harry Cohn, the founder of Columbia Pictures.

Joan Perry

Joan Harvey
Cohn was married to Rose Barker from 1923 to 1941, and to actress Joan Perry (1911–1996) from July 1941 until his death in 1958.
On September 30, 1941, she wed Harry Cohn in New York City.

Studio system

Hollywood studio systemstudio eraGolden Age of Hollywood
Cohn was the last Hollywood movie mogul of the studio system era, retaining power after the departures of such rivals as Darryl F. Zanuck and Louis B. Mayer.
Although RKO was an exception, the heads of studios on the west coast, the 'movie moguls', had mostly been in place for some years: Louis B. Mayer at MGM, Jack L. Warner at Warner Bros., Adolph Zukor at Paramount, Darryl F. Zanuck (at 20th Century Fox from 1935), Carl Laemmle at Universal, and Harry Cohn at Columbia.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr.Sammy Davis JrSammy Davis, Jr
In a BBC documentary, Sammy Davis Jr - The Kid in the Middle, along with the titular star's episode of TVOne's Unsung Hollywood, it was disclosed that Cohn, in order to end Kim Novak's relationship with a black man, had mobsters threaten Sammy Davis, Jr. with blinding or having his legs broken if he did not marry a black woman within 48 hours.
Because Novak was white, Harry Cohn, the president of Columbia, gave in to his worries that racist backlash against the relationship could hurt the studio.

Bob Thomas (reporter)

Bob ThomasThomas, Bob Bob Thomas
Acclaimed as the dean of Hollywood reporters, Bob Thomas had been writing about the movie business for the Associated Press since the days when Hollywood was run by the men who founded it: Jack L. Warner, Darryl F. Zanuck, Harry Cohn, and Louis B. Mayer.

Walter Annenberg

Walter H. AnnenbergWalterAnnenberg
His niece was Leonore "Lee" Cohn Annenberg, the wife of billionaire publishing magnate Walter Annenberg of Philadelphia.
Lee was a niece of Harry Cohn, the founder and president of Columbia Pictures.

Red Skelton

The Red Skelton ShowFreddy the FreeloaderRichard Bernard "Red" Skelton
Cohn's well-attended funeral was the subject of the famous (perhaps apocryphal) quote attributed to Red Skelton: "It proves what Harry always said: Give the public what they want and they'll come out for it."
Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures also praised Skelton, saying, "He's a clown in the old tradition. He doesn't need punch lines. He's got heart."