PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment

Infobox Company
company_name = PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
PolyGram Pictures, Inc.
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Inc.
PolyGram Film Productions, B.V.
company_type = Corporation
location_city = Universal City, Los Angeles, California & London England
founder = Philips
owner = Philips (1979-1999)
Universal Studios (1999)
foundation = May 8, 1979
dissolved = 1999 into Universal Studios
divisions = Working Title Films
Interscope Communications
Propaganda Films
Gramercy Pictures
PolyGram Television

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (PFE) (aka PolyGram Films and PolyGram Pictures) was a London-based Anglo-Dutch film studio, founded in 1979 as a European competitor to Hollywood, but eventually sold and merged with Universal Pictures in 1999.

Among its most successful films were "Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994) and "Fargo" (1996). From 1989 to 1997 they co-produced with Warner Bros. the original Batman movie series directed by Tim Burton & Joel Schumacher, and starring Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney.

The Dutch music company PolyGram (owned by Philips) created PFE in 1979 to consolidate its existing film companies. It invested US$200 million with the intention of developing a European film studio that could produce and distribute films internationally on a scale to match the major Hollywood studios.

Following the style of its music business, the company produced films through a number of creatively semi-autonomous 'labels', such as Working Title Films in the UK and Propaganda Films and Interscope Communications in the United States – It also built up it own network of distribution companies.

Film production within Polygram differed from traditional Hollywood studios, in that power to make ('green light') a film was not centralised in the hands of a small number of executives, but instead was decided by negotiations between producers, management and marketing. PFE President, "Michael Kuhn", claimed that "movies sort of green lit themselves."

The company was based in the United Kingdom, and invested heavily in British film making — some credit it with reviving the British film industry in the 1990s. Despite a successful production history, Philips decided to sell PFE to the beverage (liquor) conglomerate Seagram in 1999.

PFE's assets were merged into Seagram's existing film studio, Universal Pictures. Most of its library of films produced up until 1996 is now controlled by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Universal owns the rest of the post-1996 films and the library from 1996 to 1999 including PolyGram Television.

Production companies

*Working Title Films (UK), acquired by PFE in 1991.
*Propaganda Films (US), acquired in 1991.
*Interscope Entertainment (US)
*A&M Films
*Island Pictures
*Cinéa (France)

Distribution company

In 1993, PolyGram partnered with Universal Pictures to create a joint venture called Gramercy Pictures. Gramercy primarily distributed PolyGram films in the USA. After PolyGram's absorbing into Universal in 1999, Gramercy merged with October Films to form USA Films, which eventually became Focus Features.

elected films

Among the films directly produced by PFE were:
*"Backbeat" (1994)
*"Land and Freedom" (1995)
*"Home for the Holidays" (1995) (distributed theatrically by Paramount Pictures in the US.)
*"When We Were Kings" (1996)
*" Trainspotting" (1996)
*"The Relic" (1997) (distributed by Paramount Pictures in the US.)
*"Spiceworld" (1997) (distributed by Columbia in the US.)
*"Hard Rain" (1998) (distributed by Paramount Pictures in the US.)
*"Barney's Great Adventure" (1998) (co-production with Lyrick Studios)
*"Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" (1998)
*"Arlington Road" (1999)
*"Thomas The Tank Engine & Friends" (1997)

Working Title Films

*"London Kills Me" (1991)
*"Map of the Human Heart" (1992)
*"Posse" (1993)
*"The Young Americans" (1993)
*"Romeo Is Bleeding" (1994)
*"The Hudsucker Proxy" (1994) (co-production with Warner Bros.)
*"Four Weddings and a Funeral" (1994)
*"Dead Man Walking" (1995)
*"French Kiss" (1995) (co-production with 20th Century Fox)
*"Fargo" (1996)
*"Bean" (1997)
*"The Borrowers" (1998)
*"The Big Lebowski" (1998)
*"Elizabeth" (1998)
*"Notting Hill" (1999)

Propaganda (Gold Circle Films)

*"Candyman" (1992) (co-production with TriStar Pictures)
*"Bob Roberts" (1992)
*"Kalifornia" (1993)
*"Barb Wire" (1996)
*"Sleepers" (1996) (co-production with Warner Bros.)
*"Slate Below" (1997)
*"The Game" (1997)
*"Being John Malkovich" (1999)

Interscope (Saturn Films)

(Note: Most of these films were distributed by The Walt Disney Company and are still owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures unless otherwise noted)
*"The Air Up There" (1994)
*"Terminal Velocity" (1994)
*"Jumanji" (1995, with TriStar Pictures)
*"Operation Dumbo Drop" (1995, co-production with Disney)
*"Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995, Disney's Hollywood Pictures division distributed the film in the U.S. and PolyGram in all other countries; Disney owns U.S. rights while some international rights are with MGM)
*"Kazaam" (1996)
*"What Dreams May Come" (1998, distributed by PolyGram)
*"Very Bad Things" (1998, distributed by PolyGram)

Gramercy

*"Dazed and Confused (1993)
*"Double Dragon" (1994)
*"Canadian Bacon" (1995)
*"" (1996)
*"Guy" (1997)

Manga Entertainment

*"Ghost in the Shell" (1996)

References

* Michael Kuhn, "One Hundred Films and a Funeral: The Life and Death of Polygram Films", Thorogood, 2002. ISBN 1-85418-216-1.


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