"I am a rebel. I make a picture to please me. If it pleases me, there is a chance it will please others. But it has to please me first."
He has been dubbed Hollywood's lone wolf... Samuel Goldwyn.
GOLDFISH!! haha .. Samuel Goldwyn, was born Schmuel Gelbfisz, on a scorching summer day on August 17th, 1879, in Warsaw, Poland (now Russia.). A curious child, Sam was always looking for something. As a child he specialized in digging in the dirt. (as an adult too..he knew your dirt before you walked through his studio gates.) Never waivering to show family what he had found first hand...'some of it was pretty interesting to say the least,' recalls his uncle Jon. "He was destned to be the best damn golddigger the world had ever seen." It might have been a good passage for him had the filmming bizz not got 'hold of him in later years. At age 15, young Goldwyn's father died. It seemed to be an epiphany for him and he left Warsaw for London, England via foot. Upon arrival he found himself doing odd jobs before securing work in a blacksmith shop. He would stay in England, living here with family, the next four years. He had made up his mind to come to America not long after arrival in Engand. Working and saving every penny, at age 19 ... he, along with his older sister, boarded that great immigrant boat with so many touting the American dream. Following a friends advice, he got off the ship in Canada, fearing they would refuse him entry in his first intended destination of Long Island, New York. is sister stayed on-board and went on to NY. In Canada, he worked doing odds and ends in design and the garment industry. This led to a job selling gloves and a transfer to Manhattan. Life was becoming successful for Sam... He became a US citizen in 1902.
In 1913, at the age of 33, acting upon an invite by his brother-in-law, Jesse Lasky, he took a visit to a nickelodeon would change his carrer path forever. He had become obsessed with nickelodeons and was going to see as many films as his free time would allow. He was facinated at the whole process. Lasky who was already a stage manager, was already interested in the film bizz. Upon Sam's new involvment, together they formed the Jessie Lasky Feature Play Company...with a dream of creating the first ever feature length film. They then hired an aspiring playwright that Jesse had worked with as a stage producer in Vaudeville. It was a sweet operation. DeMille in charge of the actual filmmaking, Lasky the producer, and Goldwyn the seller of the films to nickelodeons. It was a winning ticket. Sam had a growing repuatation of a great businessman and earned great merits from the nickelodeon owners. If you went to one of Samuel Goldwyn's films, if nothing else .. you'd come away remembering this!! The Jesse Lasky Feauture Play Company soon caught the eye of fellow filmmaker, Adolf Zukor, and through a merging partnership...The Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company became Famous Players-Lasky company...and eventually Paramount Pictures from a line by Lasky himself.
Not one to stay focused on a thriving company long, Sam sold his shares in the company to start his own company...Samuel Goldwyn Pictures. It was a company he had already started in pieces from The Jesse Lasky Company. Sam had problems working in partnership with others. He wanted to be the one running the full show. It wasn't long before he would sell the company bearing his own name. A fellow by the name of Marcus Loew who was famed for keeping the name of any establishment he bought...(unless it was a theater, then it took on his name.) He also had a stipulation that he could release his films under his namesake company. As we all know, Loew, through a merger, created the mega studio, Metro Goldwyn Mayer. In 1955, and much to Louis Mayer's NON-approval. Sam acted upon that stipulation to create his only produced film through MGM, Oscar winning Guy's and Dolls. He would then return to Paramount..where he would get on a brief musicals kick.
He lived here..and now you can too!!
There is absolutely NO DOUBT the tremendous effect Samuel Goldwn had on Hollywood. He was perhaps the ONLY Hollywood Founding Father, who successfully negotiated Hollywood's beginnings through several different venuues. Known for his "Goldwynisms," and witty sense of humor. His legacy is perhaps among the wellest known and confusing of all Hollywood's founding fathers.
Goldwyn never really retired, 'per-se', he worked and had a hand in 'the industry' until the time of his death. He did however, enjoy his final years. He lived out those final years here. In 1971, he was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Pres. Richard Nixson. He died January 31, 1974. Great sadness from Hollywood rightfully ensued. Due to his jumping from studio to studio track, his son, Sam Goldwyn, Jr., created the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation. It preserves the dignity and integrity of Goldwyn's fims and contributions to the industry. It also to this day provides ongoing funding to the Motion Picture Television Country House and Hospital. Visit his grave here and leave your virtual flowers and comments.
In the 1980s, Samuel Goldwyn Studios was sold to Warner Brothers. There is a theater named for him in Beverly Hills and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1631 Vine Street There is a GREAT film called Goldwyn out that tells his story ... get it today!!