Columbia Pictures: Centennial Studio Before and After Sony; 2 Success Distinct Stories in 10 Classical Movies.

Commonly known as Columbia Pictures or simply Columbia, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc is an American film studio and production & distribution company that is a member of the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group.

Founded on June 19, 1918 by Harry Cohn, his brother Jack Cohn, and Joe Brandt, CBC Film Sales Corporation it adopted the Columbia Pictures name in 1924.

The successful association with director Frank Capra, Columbia Pictures began to grow in the late 1920s. In a successful association with director Frank Capra, Columbia began to grow in the late 1920s, became one of the primary homes of the screwball comedy. Jean Arthur and Cary Grant, in the 1930s; Rita Hayworth in the 1940s; Rosalind Russell, Glenn Ford, and William Holden also became major stars at the studio.

Columbia is a member of the “Big Six” major American film studios (Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures), one of the leading film studios in the world, was one of the so-called “Little Three” among the eight major film studios of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

The studio was bought by Coca-Cola In 1982, that same year TriStar Pictures was launched as a joint venture with HBO and CBS.
5 years later, TriStar Pictures was sold to Columbia and Columbia became Columbia Pictures Entertainment.
After a brief period of independence with Coca-Cola, the studio was acquired by the Japanese company Sony in 1989.

In these more than 100 years of existence, Columbia has produced several films that have become classic films.

Columbia Pictures: Golden Years Before Sony

Ghostbuster (1984)

Curiosities

In the middle of the film’s initial release, to keep interest going, Ivan Reitman ran a trailer that was basically the commercial the Ghostbusters used in the movie, but the 555 number was replaced with a 1-800 number, allowing people to actually call in. Callers got a recorded message of Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd saying something to the effect of “Hi. We’re out catching ghosts right now.” They got 1,000 calls per hour, 24 hours a day, for six weeks.

Ghostbusters (1984)

PLOT: Three misfit parapsychology research professors that specialize in ghosts, Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), find themselves looking for work after Columbia University terminates their grant.
Before they are kicked out of Columbia, they investigate a haunting at the New York City Public Library and after seeing some symmetrical book stacking they encounter a ghost librarian (the Gray Lady) that runs them out of the Library.
Without a way to share their findings, Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler take matters into their own hands. They start an business named “Ghostbusters”, a “professional paranormal investigation and elimination service”, out of an old firehouse, using a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance dubbed “Ecto-1” to get about the city and hiring Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) to handle the phones and clerical work.

Director: Ivan Reitman
Writers: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 6

Budget: $30,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $13,578,151, 10 June 1984
Gross USA: $242,582,079
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $295,743,767

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Ghostbusters (1984)


Gandhi (1982)

Curiosities

When plans for the film were announced, Sir Richard Attenborough held a press conference in Delhi for the Indian media. There was much concern expressed about how Gandhi, a virtual deity to many Indians, would or should be portrayed on-screen. One female journalist seriously suggested that Gandhi should only be shown as a brilliant white light moving across the screen. An exasperated Attenborough snapped back, “Madam, I am not making a film about bloody Tinkerbell!”

Gandhi (1982)

PLOT: This acclaimed biographical drama presents major events in the life of Mohandas Gandhi (Ben Kingsley), the beloved Indian leader who stood against British rule over his country. Dedicated to the concept of nonviolent resistance, Gandhi is initially dismissed by English officials, including the influential Lord Irwin (John Gielgud), but eventually he and his cause become internationally renowned, and his gatherings of passive protest move India towards independence.

Director: Richard Attenborough
Writer: John Briley
Stars: Ben Kingsley, John Gielgud, Rohini Hattangadi
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture
Won 8 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 20 nominations.

Budget: $22,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $131,153, 12 December 1982
Gross USA: $52,767,889
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $52,767,889

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Gandhi (1982)


Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Curiosities

There was initially tension between Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Hoffman was hearing lots of advance publicity about newcomer Streep and how she was mastering the role and Hoffman felt he was being upstaged. When Streep wanted to change around the dialogue in the restaurant meeting scene, Hoffman became furious. As Hoffman recalled, “I hated her guts. Yes, I hated her guts. But I respected her.” He accepted that Streep wasn’t arguing for what was best for her character, but what was best for the movie.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

PLOT: Kramer vs. Kramer, American dramatic film, released in 1979, that tells the wrenching story of a divorce and custody battle from the point of view of the adults. Ted Kramer (Hoffman) is a high-powered advertising executive who focuses almost exclusively on his work. As the movie begins, he has just landed a large account for his company. After celebrating, he arrives home to his wife, Joanna (Streep), who announces that she is leaving him. Ted does not take her seriously at first but panics when she tells him that she is also leaving their six-year-old son, Billy (Justin Henry).

Director: Robert Benton
Writers: Avery Corman (from the novel by), Robert Benton (written for the screen by)
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Won 5 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 23 nominations.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture
Nominee for the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

Budget: $8,000,000 (estimated)
Gross USA: $106,260,000
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $106,260,000

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)


Lawrence da Arábia (1962)

Curiosities

This movie was banned in many Arab countries as they felt they were misrepresented. Omar Sharif arranged with President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt to view the movie to show him there was nothing wrong with the way they were portrayed. Nasser loved the movie and allowed it to be released in Egypt, where it went on to become a monster hit.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PLOT: Lawrence of Arabia begins in 1935. We see, what appears to be a young T. E. Lawrence working on a motorcycle before taking a ride in the English countryside. Lawrence speeds along the road before having to suddenly swerve to avoid heading some bicyclists. Lawrence careens off the road and is killed. The scene changes to his memorial service where a reporter tries to gain insights into Colonel Lawrence from the attendees, but other than some political platitudes, no one comments substantially about the man who was “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Director: David Lean
Writers: T.E. Lawrence (writings), Robert Bolt (screenplay)
Stars: Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
Won 7 Oscars. Another 23 wins & 14 nominations.
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture
Winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $20,846, 22 September 2002
Gross USA: $45,306,425
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $45,710,874

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


Columbia Pictures - The Guns of Navarone  (1961)
The Guns of Navarone (1961)

Curiosities

Because the stars were all too old for their characters, the movie was nicknamed “Elderly Gang Goes Off to War” by the British press.

During shooting, Gregory Peck and David Niven became close friends, bonding initially over Peck’s ability to consume vast quantities of brandy, which the actors used to “stay warm” while filming in a cold studio tank, without muffing a line. Their families visited each other frequently in later years, and Peck would deliver the eulogy at Niven’s funeral.

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

PLOT: This spectacular World War II epic finds 2,000 trapped soldiers on a Greek island by Nazi invaders. Their only hope of escape is by boat. A small party led by Mallory (Gregory Peck) must make it by the radar station and immense firepower at Navarone. Miller (David Niven) is the demolition expert needed to sabotage the fortress. The men must scale the massive cliffs in order to blow up the enemy stronghold. Anthony Quinn plays the Greek resistance officer who battles with Mallory. Stanley Baker, Richard Harris and James Darren also star in the $6,000,000 production. Musical score is provided by Dimitri Tiompkin. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Writers: Alistair MacLean (novel) (as Alistair Maclean), Carl Foreman (written for the screen by)
Stars: David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations.
Nominee for the Academy Award for Best Picture
Winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $20,846, 22 September 2002
Gross USA: $45,306,425
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $45,710,874

Source: IMDB More curiosities about The Guns of Navarone (1961)

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Columbia Pictures: Great Years After Sony

Bad Boys (1995)

Curiosities

The two leads were originally intended for Eddie Murphy and Wesley Snipes.

Directorial debut of Michael Bay.

Bad Boys (1995)

PLOT: Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are two Miami cops who watch as 100 million dollars in heroin, from the biggest drug bust of their careers, is stolen out of the basement of police headquarters. This puts them hot on the trail of French drug lord Fouchet (Tchéky Karyo), who leaves a trail of bodies in his wake and only one witness, Julie Mott (Téa Leoni), who quickly teams up with our heroes. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Director: Michael Bay
Writers: George Gallo (story), Michael Barrie (screenplay)
Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Boyle
1 win & 3 nominations

Budget: $19,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $15,523,358, 9 April 1995
Gross USA: $65,807,024
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $141,407,024

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Bad boys (1995)


Men in Black (1997)

Curiosities

The “known aliens” visible on the screen include Al RokerIsaac MizrahiDanny DeVito, director Barry SonnenfeldChloe Sonnenfeld (Barry’s daughter), Sylvester StalloneDionne WarwickNewt GingrichAnthony RobbinsGeorge Lucas, and executive producer Steven Spielberg.

Linda Fiorentino “won” her role in Men in Black (1997) in a poker game with Barry Sonnenfeld. Afterwards, he warned her she would not be in any nude scenes.

Men in Black (1997)

PLOT: While chasing down a criminal, NYPD James Edwards, realises the guy is not really just a guy. He is taken under the wing of Agent K, one of the best agents of the Men in Black. Meanwhile a bug has landed and taken the body of a human man, he hijacks a exterminator truck and heads off to find a universe. The bodies go to the morgue where Dr. Laurel Weaver, discovers that they are not aliens. After much chasing around, they find the universe around the collar of one of the ambassador’s cat, Orion. Source: moviemistakes.com.

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Writers: Lowell Cunningham (comic), Ed Solomon (screen story)
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Linda Fiorentino
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 39 nominations

Budget: $90,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $51,068,455, 6 July 1997
Gross USA: $250,690,539
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $589,390,539.

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Men in Black (1997)


Casino Royale (2006)

Curiosities

To prepare for the role, Daniel Craig read all of Ian Fleming‘s novels and talked with Mossad and British Secret Service agents who had served as advisers on Munique (2005).

The idea of the Palazzo sinking house was a concept conceived by screenwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who had seen coverage of the leaning Tower of Pisa stabilized in its footings, propped up by gigantic bladders full of air. They also conceived the concept of the bleeding eye for Le Chiffre.

Casino Royale (2006)

PLOT: James Bond’s first 007 mission takes him to Madagascar, where he is to spy on a terrorist Mollaka. Not everything goes as planned and Bond decides to investigate, independently of the MI6 agency, in order to track down the rest of the terrorist cell. Following a lead to the Bahamas, he encounters Dimitrios and his girlfriend, Solange. He learns that Dimitrios is involved with Le Chiffre, banker to the world’s terrorist organizations. Secret Service intelligence reveals that Le Chiffre is planning to raise money in a high-stakes poker game in Montenegro at Le Casino Royale. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Director: Martin Campbell
Writers: Neal Purvis (screenplay), Robert Wade (screenplay)
Stars: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 26 wins & 44 nominations.

Budget: $150,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $40,833,156, 19 November 2006
Gross USA: $167,445,960
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $616,501,619

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Casino Royale (2006)


Angels & Demons (2009)

Curiosities

As well as providing the voice over for the film’s teaser trailer (using an American accent), Alfred Molina (who played Aringarosa in the previous movie The Da Vinci Code (2006)) provides the opening voice over for Angels and Demons (2009), this time in his native English accent.

The theme “Chevaliers De Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer, in The Da Vinci Code (2006) was used again in the film now called “503” and later it was re-used in Inferno (2016) now called “Life Must Have Its Own Mysteries”. Hans Zimmer composer of the three films, called it as the official Robert Langdon theme.

Angels & Demons (2009)

PLOT: Although the book Angels and Demons was written before the novel The Da Vinci Code, the movie transpires after the events of the earlier movie. Hanks stars as professor Robert Langdon, the most respected symbologist in the United States, who uses his knowledge in order to decode a symbol on the skin of a murder victim. The clues put him on the trail of an international conspiracy involving the Catholic Church. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Director: Ron Howard
Writers: David Koepp (screenplay), Akiva Goldsman (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer
1 win & 5 nominations.

Budget: $150,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $46,204,168, 17 May 2009
Gross USA: $133,375,846
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $485,930,816

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Angels & Demons (2009)


Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (2019)

Curiosities

This is Luke Perry‘s last film. Perry suffered a massive stroke in late February 2019, and died March 4th. Scott Lancer is a homage to Wayne Maunder and his role in Lancer (1968). Maunder died on November 11, 2018, ten days after filming wrapped on this movie.

Quentin Tarantino described Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as “the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman.”

Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (2019)

PLOT: Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature film is a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), former star of a western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor… Sharon Tate. Source: Rotten Tomatoes.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie
Nominated for 10 Oscars. Another 102 wins & 292 nominations.

Budget: $90,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend USA: $41,082,018, 28 July 2019
Gross USA: $142,062,729
Cumulative Worldwide Gross: $373,901,302

Source: IMDB More curiosities about Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (2019)

2 Comments

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