Producers Releasing Corporation
Early Television Rights

 

Producers Releasing Corporation's film library was always a mystery to me. The little studio, much maligned, just seemed like a staple of the public domain world, never defined like Republic and, to a lesser degree, Monogram.

Curious as I was, the best way to document what happened to the library was to follow the trail of television distributors.

The filmography presented is simple. Each title has the year of release and what company handled its distribution, with the odd comment here and there. These distributors are summarized by the following chain:

Ziv > Hygo > M. C.: Ziv Television Programs, Inc., then Hygo Television Films, Inc., then M. C. Pictures, Inc.

Film Vision is Film Vision Corp. (sometimes spelled Film-Vision).

Wilton/AAP > MPTV: Wilton Pictures, Inc./Associated Artists Productions, Ltd., then Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.

Essex/Flamingo > MPTV: Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc., then Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.

MPTV is Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.

Madison is Madison Pictures, Inc., which reissued the majority of the PRC library.

Formed in late December 1945, Madison was helmed by Armand Schneck, a former supervisor of branch operations for PRC, and previously an executive with Pathé Laboratories, a subsidiary of Pathé Industries.

PRC was incorporated as a Pathé subsidiary in November 1943 but had the purse strings previously, the company's Pathé Laboratories having acquired the controlling interest in PRC by early 1942.

At one time PRC was owned and operated by its franchise holders, with Pathé helping out financially after each film was completed.

Schneck purchased from Pathé various distribution rights in perpetuity to PRC's 1940–1941 and 1941–1942 programs in late 1945, just before the formation of Madison Pictures; the 1942–43 and 1943–44 programs in 1947; and the 1944–1945 and 1945–1946 programs in 1949, which unlike the first two contracts did not include TV rights.

TV rights to the 1944–1945 and 1945–1946 programs were under license from Pathé in perpetuity to Wilton Pictures, Inc., distributed exclusively by Eliot Hyman's Associated Artists Productions, Ltd.

In 1948 Hyman had formed Telinvest, Inc., a New York financing syndicate created to acquire film rights for TV distribution by AAP, and Wilton Pictures was probably a Telinvest subsidiary.

A lawsuit in 1951 divulged that Telinvest had acquired 81 features in the deal with Eagle-Lion. In October 1949, Walter Batchelor, a New York agent who also handled radio and TV packages before his death in 1950, contended that an oral agreement was made to purchase the films' TV rights for $90,000, and shortly after were instead sold to Telinvest.

Hyman sold the majority of Telinvest-AAP's film library for $1.5 million in June 1951 to David Baird's non-profit Lansing Foundation, which then immediately sold it to Matthew Fox to form the core of Motion Pictures for Television, Inc., the company joining forces with an established TV distributor, Flamingo Films, Inc.

Matthew “Matty” Fox was a Universal vice-president who in 1947 was instrumental in the formation of the company's 16mm subsidiary, United World Films, Inc., which made available some of its shorts to TV the same year. Fox resigned from Universal at the start of 1951, soon to form MPTV with help from Erwin H. Ezzes, former vice-president in charge of sales of United World.

PRC's 1946–47 and 1947–48 programs were also acquired by Matthew Fox, shortly after his management team saved the privately-held, near-bankrupt United Artists, which in April 1951 had purchased Eagle-Lion Classics, Inc., a Pathé subsidiary encompassing the old PRC. Eagle-Lion had purchased Film Classics, Inc. in June 1950, hence the company's new name.

United Artists acquired 226 films from Eagle-Lion: 177 American and 49 foreign features, with Pathé retaining ownership to about 20 of the total. Eight or nine had yet to be released, and four or five were still in production.

The deal entailed much of Eagle-Lion's inventory of features, past, present and future, the total greatly diminished, however, since Madison Pictures had PRC's large pre-1946–47 backlog. Pathé did retain rights to a batch of Eagle-Lion “oldies” that were left over after the sale, unrelated to the 20 or so they kept, but these were not PRC titles.

The bulk of PRC-Eagle Lion's 1946–47 and 1947–48 programs, as mentioned, would go to Matthew Fox who personally negotiated the UA deal with Pathé. Before Fox's MPTV had the films, many were already on the tube by April 1950, and most by March 1951, distributed by Essex Films, Inc.

Essex was a short-lived company formed in early 1950, helmed by former PRC president Harry H. Thomas, who left the company in 1947 to pursue independent production and, with his theater interests, distribution.

The firm had 51 PRC-Eagle Lion titles, 41 of which are listed herein. Essex initially planned to reissue the films but there was more money to be made with TV, especially with skyrocketing prices for broadcast rights.

The 51 films were actually purchased outright from Eagle-Lion by Flamingo Films in the latter part of 1950 for $250,000, Essex apparently operating as a subsidiary company of Joseph Harris, a millionaire-industrialist who bankrolled and was advisor of MPTV during its inception, and the co-founder of Flamingo in March 1949.

Flamingo's origins go back to 1946 with the formation of Film Highlights, Inc., which acquired domestic 16mm rights to 50 features, four serials and a large number of shorts and cartoons from Universal Pictures. In 1948, with Joseph Harris as board chairman, Film Highlights set up a TV division, Television Highlights, Inc.

Helmed by Seymour Weintraub, Television Highlights initially acquired a group of British shorts that Joseph Harris was planning to sell in the 16mm field. Along with Weintraub's friends, David Wolper and James Harris (Joseph's son), the three sold the films to the 15 stations operating at the time. By mid-1950, Flamingo had 14 features, 10 serials, and various shorts and cartoons.

Film Highlights, it should be noted, was formed by Martin Ross, who co-founded National Television Associates, Inc. in 1954.

The Eagle-Lion, non-PRC titles in the Essex/Flamingo block were: “Adventures of Casanova,” “Assigned to Danger,” “Behind Locked Doors,” “The Cobra Strikes,” “In This Corner,” “It's a Joke, Son!,” “Love From a Stranger,” “Out of the Blue,” “Red Stallion of the Rockies,” and “Repeat Performance.”

Not part of the Eagle-Lion sale was their Hollywood studio, which PRC had purchased in August 1943 from a subsidiary of Western Electric, the plant previously known as the Fine Arts Studio, and before that the Grand National Studio. Chesapeake Industries, the new name for Pathé Industries in April 1952, would sell the 4½-acre, six-stage studio in late 1953.

Previous to selling their studio, the company incorporated a subsidiary in February 1952, Pathé TV Corp., with plans of producing, distributing and financing syndicated film programs. Tentative production plans were announced but the company quickly faded.

In December 1953, MPTV bought out Flamingo and the two companies parted ways; Eliot Hyman revived AAP on his own in August 1954. Matthew Fox's MPTV now owned Flamingo's PRCs and much of AAP's library, including the Telinvest PRCs, the films all part of his Western Television Corp., a holding company formed in 1952 as an offshoot of Flamingo Films Western Division Corp.

The founders of Flamingo Films, who reportedly made a bid to take over Eliot Hyman's Telinvest in 1951 before merging with AAP, aligned itself for a few months in 1954 with the fledgling National Telefilm Associates. Flamingo was then revived in April as a subsidiary of Joseph Harris' newly formed Essex Universal Corp., or The Harris Group as it was also known.

MPTV's name would more or less disappear when Guild Films Company, Inc. became the sub-distributor of the library in early 1955, through its MPTV Films, Inc. subsidiary, under license by Western Television Corp. In 1958 the latter became a division of Matthew Fox's Television Industries, Inc., formerly C. & C. Television Corp.

Film Vision Corp. was created by Jerome Balsam, the son-in-law of Armand Schneck. Very much a family affair, Balsam was also supervisor of Madison Pictures' state rights exchanges, formed to reissue the company's 228 PRC titles.

Other companies involved in the corporately entwined family of Schneck-Balsam, which included Jules B. Weill and Alexander J. Beck (another son-in-law of Armand Schneck): B. & B. Pictures Corp., J. & J. Pictures Corp., and Commodore Pictures Corp.

In early 1948 Balsam assigned TV rights to the 1940–1941 and 1941–1942 PRC programs to Budd Rogers, who leased them to Ziv Television Programs, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of the Frederic W. Ziv Company, which previously handled only radio transcriptions.

Radio Daily Tenth Annual Edition of “Shows of Tomorrow” — 1949–50:

An attractive list of 42 [sic] Features and 35 Western films produced since 1941. All processed by Ziv exclusively for TV on 16 mm. film. The list offers comedy, mystery, thrillers, dramatic selections—such as “Reg'lar Fellers,” with Roscoe Ates, Sarah Padden, Billy Lee and Carl Switzer—“Law of the Timber” with Marjorie Reynolds, Monte Blue and J. Farrell McDonald, etc. Western group include 35 films such as “Billy the Kid” series, Lone Rider, Frontier Marshalls [sic]. Each film has been carefully selected and processed and offers good family entertainment, for an excellent programming selection.
Availability: Film.
Running Time: 60 minutes.
Client Suitability: All types.
Cost: Based on market.
Number of Episodes Available: 42 Feature films & 35 Western films.
Audition Facilities: Film.
Date Created and/or Produced or Filmed: Produced exclusively for TV.
Submitted by: Ziv Television Programs, Inc., 1529 Madison R., Cincinnati 6, O.

Radio Daily, March 1, 1948, reported Ziv's acquisition of the PRCs in one short sentence, devoid of any fanfare, stating the company “acquired tele rights to 76 full-length movie features.” Film Daily, February 27, 1948, erroneously reported Ziv's 76-film acquisition as “from several distributors.”

Ziv granted ABC the right to “transmit” 41 of the films to their stations on an 18-month lease, the first film debuting at 8:30pm, October 2, 1948, on WJZ-TV, New York, ABC's first owned-and-operated station.

In 1952 Ziv, which was concentrating on TV production, then turned the leased rights over to the newly formed Hygo Television Films, Inc.

With the agreement's seven-year expiration the films returned from Hygo to Jerome Balsam, who formed M. C. Pictures, Inc. in 1955 with Jules B. Weill, a seasoned TV distributor. Billboard, February 19, 1955, unbiased by the little studio, called it “One of the history-making packages of features and Westerns in TV.”

Almost all the Madison reissue dates have been culled from the National Screen Service Poster and Accessories Number Log, referenced as NSS herein. Of the 228 films that Madison acquired from the 1940–1946 programs, 224 were listed.

I have used the IMDb—“a modern source” as the American Film Institute likes to call it—for the other four missing from the NSS log. Keep in mind that the IMDb is rife with omissions when it comes to PRC's TV distributors, but someone entered generally accurate information on the Madison reissues.

The only notable mistakes in the IMDb are “The Fighting Vigilantes,” listed with a 1951 reissue by Madison but the film was from the 1947–48 program, part of the Essex/Flamingo package, and the omission of “Sheriff of Sage Valley,” which appeared in the NSS log as Madison.

After “Texas Renegades” was completed in late December 1939, productions by Producers Pictures ceased due to a financial crisis, and resumed as Producers Releasing Corporation in mid-April 1940 with “I Take This Oath.”

With the financial crisis, Pathé Laboratories held first lien on the seven features made by the bankrupt Producers Pictures Corp. All but one of these films, the entirety of their short 1939–1940 program, are a mystery, however, when it comes to their TV distributors.

Listed by order of production, released by Producers Distributing Corporation, the films are “Torture Ship,” “Hitler—Beast of Berlin” (and its variants), “Buried Alive,” “The Invisible Killer,” “Mercy Plane,” “The Sagebrush Family Trails West,” and “Texas Renegades.”

After Madison acquired the first block of films in 1945, Film Daily reported, “Included among the product are the 1940–1941 and the 1941–1942 programs of PRC,” perhaps inferring there were other titles.

When the 1940–1941 and 1941–1942 programs—41 features and 35 westerns according to the contract—returned to Jerome Balsam in 1955, the trades reported 80 titles in the package: 45 features and 35 westerns.

The four additional titles were “Convention Girl,” “Flirtation,” “White Heat,” and “Hell's Devils,” the first three released in 1934, unrelated to PRC. “Hell's Devils” was the retitled “Hitler—Beast of Berlin,” which Armand Schneck reissued in 1947.

The Billboard, June 21, 1952:

Three Motion Pix Are
Made Available for TV

NEW YORK, June 14.—Three motion picture feature films, independently produced between 1934 and 1936, are being made available for TV for the first time via A. S. Productions here. At the same time, the firm is issuing for general release the Alan Ladd film “Hell's Devils.” This full-length theatrical feature was edited down to one-hour length and shown on the Schlitz Playhouse series last fall. Three films being made available for TV for the first time are “Flirtation,” “Convention Girl,” and “White Heat.”

A. S. Productions would have been Armand Schneck Productions, another one of his corporate entities, although apparently never mentioned in any other trade journal.

A 1963 edition of the TV Feature Film Source Book, published by the Broadcast Information Bureau, lists the four releases by A. S. Productions as part of the M. C. Pictures library. The total, 80 features, is reflected in the advert above, published in the 1956 International Television Almanac.

As listed in the advert, 39 of the PRC titles were edited into 30-minute featurettes.

Four titles were listed in the NSS log as Armand Schneck instead of Madison: “Hell's Devils,” “Mercy Plane,” “The Sagebrush Family Trails West,” and “Texas Renegades,” evidence that Schneck had in the least most of the 1939–1940 program.

All but “Hell's Devils” were listed in the NSS log with their original release dates for some reason. The other three films, “Torture Ship,” “Buried Alive,” and “The Invisible Killer,” were not listed but it starts from 1940 onwards.

The 1963 edition of the TV Feature Film Source Book lists the distributors of “Torture Ship,” “Buried Alive,” “The Invisible Killer,” “Mercy Plane,” “The Sagebrush Family Trails West,” and “Texas Renegades” with question marks or the films are simply not included. A 1972 edition, the only other I have access to, provides few clues also.

Most of the 1939–1940 program was on TV by 1950, and all by 1951, coinciding with the formation of Film Vision Corp.

Film Vision is listed in the 1952 Motion Picture Production Encyclopedia, published by The Hollywood Reporter, with 51 features and 37 westerns. The contract, however, was for 40 features and 34 westerns.

Sponsor's Fall Facts Basics, July 1956, lists Film Vision with 48 features and 36 westerns, those numbers repeated in the 1965 International Television Almanac. Yet the 1963 TV Feature Film Source Book lists, with titles, only the 40 features and 34 westerns in the contract.

So Film Vision was distributing at least 10 additional titles, which I suspect could possibly include the other six features in the 1939–1940 program. But TV rights could have been with a company not affiliated with Schneck.

What is apparent, from doing searches in New York City TV listings, is that the films were out of general circulation by the end of the 1950s.

Their distribution remains a gray area.

Commonly listed as 1939 releases, “The Invisible Killer” was released on January 31, 1940 (filming started October 31, 1939), and “Mercy Plane” on April 5, 1940 (filming started November 15, 1939).

Film Vision's two-page advert in the September 1950 issue of Television Magazine, which listed many of the company's PRC titles. The contract was for 40 features and 34 westerns. Sponsor, September 2, 1950, stated the company had 36 westerns, and I can not help but think the extra two were “The Sagebrush Family Trails West” and “Texas Renegades.”

An advert for Associated Artists Productions, Ltd. in the April 17, 1950, issue of Broadcasting-Telecasting. The fine print states “Also sole distributor for WILTON PICTURES, INC.,” the holding company for the TV rights of Madison Pictures' third contract, although corporately unrelated.

Wilton acquired three additional features from Eagle-Lion than Madison's third contract of 78 titles, but I do not know what they were. Likely the TV rights expired and did not end up in Western Television's library.

The majority of AAP's library was from Monogram and PRC, advertised in February 1950 as “the largest catalog of Hollywood-produced-film for television.” Sponsor, July 17, 1950, listed the company with 270 features and 98 westerns, a number that would grow to about 500 features by early 1951.

In April 1950, WPTZ, Philadelphia, purchased over 200 features from AAP, in what Billboard called “the largest film deal ever consummated by a local television station.” The total was 232 features (32 were westerns), excluding 66 westerns previously sold to the station by AAP.

Associated Artists was formed in 1949 by Eliot Hyman, but he had been making sales to New York stations previously under the Telinvest name. Hyman entered the motion picture business through International Theatrical and Television Corp., formed in 1944 by George Hirliman in association with a group headed by the former.

ITTC was created to exploit what would be a post-war boom in 16mm activities, with plans of forming a state rights exchange system, manufacturing projectors and pre-fabricated theaters, and acquiring various film libraries for TV and their 16mm outlets.

In January 1946 the company was advertised as having “the largest 16mm sound library in the world,” with 3,000 titles of shorts, serials and features.

In 1945 ITTC acquired Walter O. Gutlohn, Inc., formed in 1933, a prominent 16mm distributor which handled Monogram and a few other studios' product. With the Gutlohn purchase, ITTC renamed the new subsidiary Film-Tel, Inc., both companies providing early TV stations with film product. They would weather financial problems early on and disappear in 1948.

Eliot Hyman's initial library was 18 Monogram westerns from the 1930s, featuring Bob Steele, Bill Cody and Rex Bell, the TV rights purchased for $12,000. Coincidentally, perhaps, almost all the films were handled on 16mm by the former Walter O. Gutlohn, Inc.

Hyman, a friend of Steve Broidy, Monogram president, would soon purchase domestic and theatrical rights to a total of 199 Monogram titles, all owned outright by 1955. Hyman's Telinvest would also acquire short-term TV rights to other films from Monogram before the studio pursued TV distribution in late 1951 through its Interstate Television Corp. (although formed in 1949).

Much of the PRC library played on New York television years before Ziv acquired the first block in 1948. These broadcasts are not related to the distributors listed herein.

Steve Broidy, former Allied Artists president, stated in a 1974 interview that PRC “sold 171 negatives for $1,750 apiece,” which may be related to the Armand Schneck purchase. The 228 PRC pictures, however, cost Schneck $850,000—about $3,700 apiece.

Even before the April 21, 1949 contract for the 1944–1945 and 1945–1946 programs, many of the films were on TV, as reported in this news item from the Television Daily section of Radio Daily, December 29, 1948:

Did Not Release Films
To CBS—Eagle-Lion

Deals by which Producers Releasing Corp. features and westerns for the 1944–45 and 1945–46 distribution years are finding their way to CBS outlets are not being made by Eagle Lion, although the latter absorbed the original Robert R. Young film company, it was said by an E-L spokesman yesterday.

Eagle Lion, it was pointed out, was definitely committed to a policy of not making its pictures available to tele stations. Further, it was said, those PRC pix which have been scanned by CBS in New York, were regarded by E-L as out of release.

Film sources noted yesterday that PRC distributed a variety of indie product under varying deals, and that undoubtedly in some cases rights had reverted to the original producers.

However, it was evident that CBS had negotiated with a single source for the 22 features and 24 westerns reportedly involved in the leasing deal covering its own affiliates. Presumably, each station constitutes a separate rental.

April 21, 1949 was the execution date of Madison's third contract, but it was signed on December 31, 1948, the only one where Madison did not receive TV rights. With the contract's execution in 1949, Pathé assigned such rights to KTTV, Inc., and then in perpetuity to Wilton Pictures, Inc.

It is unknown who contracted the PRCs to the CBS outlets, but at the time KTTV, Inc. was co-owned by CBS.

Feature films on early television was summarized by Television Daily, April 3, 1947:

Western feature films released through the Producers Releasing Corporation, British made feature[s] handled by independent organizations and short subjects obtained through government sources here and abroad have comprised a great deal of television's film fare. In New York, Advance Television Pictures, a distributing and booking organization representing many independent films, has done the bulk of the booking of television motion pictures.

Advance Television Picture Service, Inc., New York, incorporated in 1941 (but advertised itself as “serving the television industry since 1936”), was probably the first distributor created specifically for TV.

In 1942 the company, representing various film entities, had over 500 features—many of them silent—and 1,000 shorts available for telecasting, including at least two from PRC: “Billy the Kid Outlawed” and “Hold That Woman!”

Another early distributor was Equity Film Exchanges, Inc., formed in 1940 by Bernard H. Mills, a former Republic franchise holder in Upstate New York and Michigan. Equity operated as a state rights theatrical distributor, with exchanges in New York, Albany and Buffalo, but made some of its library available to what were experimental stations at the time.

The first Hollywood studio to release its backlog to TV was Monogram Pictures, which in November 1941 contracted with NBC's WNBT, New York, for the company's entire 1937–1938 program of 42 features. More would follow.

There were an estimated 5,000 sets—half of the 10,000 in the country—in use within the area served by WNBT, with between 450 and 600 in public places. The audience was estimated at 40,000 in the New York metropolitan area.

PRC would follow suit en masse in early 1945, the films likely handled directly through New York's PRC exchange, a common practice at the time, since many features were booked through standard film exchanges. Except for Monogram, none of the companies were Hollywood studios. WNBT was equipped with both 16mm and 35mm projection.

Insight into feature film programming on early TV:

Television, May 1946:

Programming with film is certainly easier on the television station's budget and facilities than live shows. But the problem of securing entertaining film, particularly of feature length, is exceptionally difficult. Understandably so, the major Hollywood motion pictures are not available to television. Other sources, such as film libraries run by smaller companies, independent releases, and shorts and documentaries have been used. But even while these companies offer an extensive and impressive list of short subjects, only a small percentage are available to television. And according to Worthington C. Minor of CBS, “Of the films that are available to television, only about one in ten is really interesting. A lot of the stuff that is offered is hardly worthwhile if one maintains high standards.”

[...]

NBC's thinking along these lines was also reflected in John Royal's trip to Hollywood to line up movie studios—and the apparent fact that the majors are not interested in competing with their theatre outlets by furnishing films for the home viewers.

[...]

Most full length features are not available until a time period of at least ten years has elapsed—and even then most of the majors will not release their output to tele. This creates an instant problem of dating, in fashions, buildings, vehicles, etc.

However Western films are quite cheap and plentiful. Even the modern ones follow the same themes and background and fashions in clothes are not too obviously dated. Period pictures, done in costume, also have this same advantage.

The Televiser, November-December 1946:

Interesting Facts & Figures
About Films For Television

The booking of films for television is a haphazard, “catch-as-catch-can” operation, it was found in a survey conducted by The Televiser. The result: poor choice of films; uncertainty over distribution sources; a total lack of standards.

The survey disclosed that television stations are booking feature length films (60 minutes to 2½ hours) at rentals ranging from $50 to $300, depending on a film's age, the skill and experience of the film booker, the urgency of the distributor to realize what he can on the film, but very often on how good a deal the station makes with the distributor for a block of pictures, often holding out a promise—or hope—for the future.

Of film shorts (running 7 to 10 minutes), it was found that the stations are paying $10 to $25 (one station is said to have paid $100 for a 9-minute short). Many shorts, however, are included, at little or no charge, in picture deals involving feature films.

Film Distributors

The survey revealed that the stations are willing to buy from any and all film distributors. Some distributors are beginning to specialize in television films or are setting up special television departments. A majority however, are unmoved by television's emoluments and prefer waiting until they can obtain better rentals for their products.

A majority of the film is booked through film exchanges and distributors in New York, Chicago, and Hollywood. WRGB in Schenectady, N. Y., reports that it also obtains films through Buffalo and Albany distributors. Station WBKB, Chicago, owned by an affiliate of Paramount Pictures, Balaban & Katz, strangely enough, receives no pictures, not even stock shots, from its parent companies. The station depends almost entirely upon Ideal Film Company, Chicago, for what little film it uses, paying rentals of $17.50 for pictures running approximately 20 minutes.

Principal distributors of films for television in New York City are: Hoffberg Production[s], 620 9th Ave.; Film Equities Corp., 1600 Broadway; International Film Foundation, 1600 Broadway; Television Film Industries Corp., 340 3rd Ave.; Nu-Art Films, Inc., 145 W. 45th St.; Advance Television Pictures Service, 729 7th Ave.; Astor Exchange, 630 9th Ave.; and RKO-Television Corp., 1270 Avenue of the Americas.

For stock shots, used in 1-minute commercials, transitional and mood-setting scenes, the principal source is the General Film Production Corp., 1600 Broadway, New York City. They boast “the largest stock shot library in the country, with millions of feet of indexed negative and positive films, with scenes of almost every conceivable description.” The rate for 16mm. film is 40 cents a foot.

For cartoon animation, animated maps, technical animation, three dimensional photography, titles and trailers, the services of Cineffects, Inc., 1600 Broadway, are available to television producers.

For news shots and shots of historical events, Pathe News (affiliated with RKO Film Corp.), at 625 Madison Avenue, has footage available.

Types Preferred

Regarding types of film, NBC reported that period pictures are preferred. It seems that the vintage of such film, with its period costumes and settings, is not as strikingly apparent to the television audience as others produced five to ten years ago, typical of those booked by most television stations. Mystery dramas, because of their abundance of closeups, also rate highly.

WABD-DuMont, on the other hand, leans heavily toward westerns, especially for Friday nights, with musicals a close second. Shorts are also popular, with the station using three a week.

All stations agreed that pictures with plenty of closeups are preferred to those with long shots. On today's small screen, long-shots look like subjects viewed through the wrong end of a telescope.

Age of Films Obtainable

How ancient are most pictures on television today? Too ancient, it seems. NBC reported that few standard American films under five years of age were obtainable at rentals present budgets would allow. As a result, the average feature picture televised is from five to ten years old. British pictures of recent release, however, are more readily obtainable and are often used, they stated.

This is also the condition at WRGB, Schenectady, and other stations. The film booker at WABD-DuMont, however, reported progress is being made with small independent producers in obtaining pictures released under five years. One picture, Beware, featuring Louis Jordan, in fact, was shown on the DuMont network simultaneous with its being shown over Loew's circuit in New York City. Deals of a similar nature, covering future releases, have also been concluded, it was reported.

Other Sources of Film

In addition to commercial distributors, the television stations obtain film through U. S. and State government sources, travel agencies, steamship companies, trade associations, colleges, foreign information bureaus, and produce some of their own film footage.

Available free to all stations are scores of good industrial films showing industry at work, turning out products for the American home and people. DuMont, however, has a policy of not showing industrial films, as they consider them advertising and do not want to set precedents that may prove embarrassing in the future.

WNBT, on the other hand, shows industrial films on its American Business on Parade series, a vehicle conceived by NBC to make use of interesting industrial films, and at the same time to derive revenue. WNBT receives from the producers regular airtime fees for the privilege of having their pictures televised in the series.

Radio Daily, May 20, 1947:

A check of the three New York stations [WNBT, WABD, WCBS] shows that film occupies about 30 per cent of the total air time, which includes, on the average, two feature films each per week. Remainder of the film schedule is made up of newsreels, sports shorts, etc.

The Televiser, July-August 1947, published a survey of film distributors and film production organizations of New York, Chicago, Detroit and Hollywood. In part, the article stated:

The survey reveals that there is a wide range of film rental figures now in effect, each distributor or film company getting what it can for its motion pictures although there is a trend to establish rental rates based on “sets in area” and “quality of motion picture.” Equity Film Exchange, which has been renting theatre motion picture type films to television stations since 1939, believes that rental fees depend upon the local station situation. In other words, a station serving an area with 500 sets with a potential viewing audience of 1,500 persons, should not pay the same fee as a station in an area with 3,000 sets and a potential audience of 9,000 persons. (Ed: Company assumes 3 viewers per set; television survey figures show 5 to 6 viewers per set). Rental fees, according this company also depend upon type of film, the star, and other factors which make a motion picture more or less desirable than the next film. Finally, rental fees depend upon the quantity bought, whether a single film is occasionally used or whether a package deal for film is set up.

With the proliferation of new TV stations, feature film availability blossomed. Before the Hollywood majors began to release their backlogs to TV, the Broadcast Information Bureau, October 1954, reported the numbers. Sponsor, December 13, 1954:

3,046 features for tv: There are enough feature films available for television that a station could run one feature every day of the year for eight years without duplication. This is indicated in the latest issue of Tv Film Program Directory—Feature Film, published by Broadcast Information Bureau, which list 3,046 titles not counting Westerns. There are enough Westerns to run one daily for three years skipping Sundays—992 available for tv use.

The current directory does not list 500 feature film titles which have appeared in previous editions. Their quality, says Julienne (Judy) Dupuy, editor, is now judged insufficient for telecasting.

The directory, besides listing film titles, also lists the length of the film, a brief description of the plot, stars, whether in monochrome or polychrome, the distributor, whether 16 mm. or 35 mm., price and other data. Every film listed in the directory has been cleared for tv use, according to Miss Dupuy. BIB also publishes directories of free films available to tv, film serials, series and film packages, other directories.

At the end of 1963, BIB reported 10,427 features available to TV, including 1,228 westerns and 149 tele-features.

BIB was formed in 1951 by Joseph M. Koehler and his wife, Judy Dupuy, its various publications available only to those in the TV industry.

In mid-August 1947, Eagle-Lion acquired all of the exchanges of PRC, the name retained solely as a production trademark for Pathé's lower-budgeted productions. Earlier, in April, E-L and PRC's publicity and advertising departments were merged, the first move in their consolidation.

Ultimately some of PRC's last films were released under the E-L banner but PRC appeared on the prints and advertising accessories. Conversely, four films were released as E-L but made for PRC, with no known reference to the company on the prints and accessories. These were made during or before the August 1947 transition and are listed in an addendum.

PRC would continue on into 1948, with Film Bulletin, January 5, 1948, commenting: “PRC, while still an autonomous group, recedes more and more into the background as Eagle-Lion expands its program. This unit may disappear altogether, or will finally come to be the permanent unit for the programmers which will be needed to fill out E-L's schedule of releases.”

Although “The Tioga Kid” is regarded as the final PRC production, “Prairie Outlaws” appears to be the company's swan song. Showmen's Trade Review, October 18, 1947, reported “Red River Renegades” now before the cameras, and then on January 3, 1948 reported that specific title had been changed to “The Tioga Kid.” Showmen's Trade Review, November 1, 1947, reported PRC had started work on “Prairie Outlaws”; Daily Variety, November 3, 1947, reported a record fast shoot for “Prairie Outlaws,” noting it as the final Eddie Dean for PRC; and Film Bulletin, November 10, 1947, reported “PRC put an Eddie Dean western into work this week for E-L release,” the same issue reporting:

PRAIRIE OUTLAW (PRC)
Western—Started October 17
Cast: Eddie Dean, Roscoe Ates, Jennifer Holt.
Director: Ray Taylor
Producer: Jerry Thomas
Story: U.S. Marshal sets boys to find escaped convict out to murder Sheriff.

That short synopsis matches “The Tioga Kid,” although its start date certainly was not the week of November 10.

The fast shoot for “Prairie Outlaws” was probably because additional scenes were filmed for inclusion into PRC's “Wild West” (1946), a 71-minute Cinecolor production. The 57-minute, colorless, “Prairie Outlaws”—which is not listed in the AFI Catalog—was always treated as an entirely separate film, with no mention of its origins even in its copyright registration, press book and other accessories. “Prairie Outlaws” had the production number 857, and “The Tioga Kid,” 858. The former was released May 12, 1948, and the latter, June 16, 1948.

Regardless of the confusion, and what is exactly fact, these were the final films under the PRC name. PRC Productions, Inc., formed in September 1943, would continue on as a Pathé subsidiary into the 1950s.

Trans America Film Corporation, formed in 1965 by Elvin Feltner, acquired rights to the majority of the PRC library in 1966 from the Armand Schneck-Jerome Balsam affiliate, B & B Pictures Corp. The deal involved 156 features.

National Telefilm Associates had 116 of the 282 titles listed herein as PRC, acquired in 1964, all once owned by Matthew Fox's Western Television Corp. Feltner also claimed foreign TV rights to at least 45 of NTA's titles. Note that Associated Artists Productions, Inc. briefly distributed these PRCs just before being acquired by NTA.

Despite reports that the entire PRC library is in the public domain, 81 of the PRC titles acquired by NTA in 1964 had their copyrights renewed. They are all now owned by Films Around the World, Inc.

NTA also renewed the copyright of “Strange Holiday,” now owned by Paramount.

Those films with renewals are noted with the copyright symbol (©).

Foreign rights to most, if not all, of Western Television's PRC library were owned by Bon Ami Film Distributing Corp. How Bon Ami acquired those rights is a convoluted story related to the household cleaner.

Foreign rights to 170 films were acquired by Chatham Corp. from foreign interests represented by Satiris G. Fassoulis, whose Panamanian corporation, Icthyan Associates, S.A., purchased them from Matthew Fox in 1955.

Chatham Corp. was controlled by Alexander L. Guterma, a Siberian-born industrialist who purchased the Hal Roach Studios, including its TV and film properties, in 1958.

In a series of complicated transactions involving TV spot time with Guild Films Company, Inc., which handled Matthew Fox's MPTV library beginning in early 1955, Bon Ami Company ended up owning the rights. Those did not include the U.S. and Canada, which Western Television held in perpetuity.

Bon Ami Film Distributing Corp. was run by Jackson E. Dube, someone previously experienced in TV distribution. In 1959 he was in charge of TV and radio time-buying for the advertising agency representing Bon Ami Company, and acquired their film interests.

Dube's foreign and remake rights, later handled under his J.E.D. Productions Corp., were purchased in 2010 from his widow and children by Films Around the World.

Foreign rights to the Schneck titles were handled in-house by Commodore Pictures Corp.

An advert from October 20, 1956. The inset is enlarged for legibility, showing the extent of MPTV Films' feature film library at the time. The Johnny Mack Brown westerns, 21 in all, belonged to Vitapix, Inc., along with 6 starring Whip Wilson (not mentioned), the TV rights purchased from Monogram. All the other features were MPTV's, including the John Wayne westerns made for Monogram in the 1930s. The 65 WOMEN'S FEATURES are actually weight-loss half-hours. With the PRC and Eagle-Lion titles, MPTV's library had 323 features in the advert's generalized account.

The assets of Guild Films, what little remained, were sold at a bankruptcy auction in 1961. MPTV's library, which had 268 features and 72 westerns in 1957, greatly diminished over the years as rights expired, was still with Matthew Fox.

Madison Pictures' first two contracts, which included TV rights, totaled 150 titles but 156 were involved in the Trans America Film Corporation sale. Four additional titles were those mentioned earlier, “Convention Girl,” “Flirtation,” “White Heat,” all unrelated to PRC, and “Hell's Devils,” leaving two unaccounted.

Elvin Feltner, who was not involved in TV distribution previous to the 1960s, claimed all seven titles in the 1939–1940 program.

As an interesting side note, Alexander J. Beck, who was involved in the Schneck-Balsam companies, also had his own entity: Alexander Beck Films, Inc. The company, formed no later than 1956, would eventually have TV rights to most of the Grand National Pictures' library.

Those rights appear to have been acquired from a group of companies helmed by Patrick E. Shanahan: Skibo Productions, Inc., Acus Pictures Corp., and International 16mm Corp. Shanahan, who headed the creditors' committee for Grand National's bankruptcy in 1940, ended up owning TV and theatrical rights to the former Mohawk Film Corp., created for disposing of Grand National's assets.

Almost all the films handled by Alexander Beck Films would later be in the hands of Feltner's Trans America Film Corp.

Alternate 16mm titles used by Pictorial Films, Inc., a Pathé subsidiary from 1945–1951, are included. Pathé announced in early 1947 that the sales and distribution of its 16mm product would be handled through PRC's exchange system, which by that time the company owned outright its 31 domestic outlets.

Above is a poster from Pictorial Films showing PRC's retitled “Frontier Crusader.” Generally associated with home users, most people saw 16mm releases in institutions or communities not served by a local theater, the films often presented by itinerant roadshowmen.

Six films appear without a post-1960 TV distributor: “Blonde Savage,” “Danny Boy,” “Follies Girl,” “Rodeo Rhythm, “Swing Hostess,” and “The Return of Rin Tin Tin.”

Discounting the 1980s, when the copyrights had long-expired, and omissions on my part, “Blonde Savage” disappeared from TV after 1958; “Danny Boy” was edited into a half-hour 16mm release, “Adventures of Danny Boy”; “Follies Girl, made at the Ideal Studios, New Jersey, seems to have never been released to TV; “Rodeo Rhythm” disappeared after 1953; “Swing Hostess” disappeared after 1959; and “The Return of Rin Tin Tin” disappeared after 1960.

Post-1960, however, Elvin Feltner claimed “Danny Boy,” “Rodeo Rhythm,” and foreign rights to “Swing Hostess,” which has a number of songs still under copyright, not unusual for the few PRC musicals but perhaps a factor.

The far-right column is the TV distributor in the 1960s and/or 1970s: TAFC (Trans America Film Corp.); NTA (National Telefilm Associates, Inc.); SG (Screen Gems, Inc.); TVCSC (TV Cinema Sales Corp.); and WRDC (Winters/Rosen Distribution Corp.).

If someone stumbles upon this page and has access to an early edition of a Broadcast Information Bureau publication, listing the distributor of the other six films in PRC's 1939–1940 program, or any other pertinent information, please send me an email.

 

Accomplice 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Along the Sundown Trail 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Ambush Trail 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Apology for Murder 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Arizona Gang Busters 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Gang Busters. TAFC
Arson Squad 1945 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Avalanche 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Baby Face Morgan 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Bad Men of Thunder Gap 1943 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Thundergap
Outlaws, a 40-minute streamliner.
TAFC
Behind Prison Walls 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Big Fix, The 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Billy the Kid in Santa Fe 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Billy the Kid in Texas 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Battling Outlaw. TAFC
Billy the Kid Outlawed 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Billy the Kid Trapped 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Billy the Kid Wanted 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Billy the Kid's Fighting Pals 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Trigger Men. TAFC
Billy the Kid's Gun Justice 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Range Justice. TAFC
Billy the Kid's Range War 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Texas Trouble. TAFC
Billy the Kid's Round-Up 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Billy the Kid's Smoking Guns 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Black Hills 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Black Raven, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Blazing Frontier 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Blonde Comet 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Blonde for a Day 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Blonde Savage 1947   Indie reissued in 1952 by Favorite Films Corp. TV rights
were with Unity Television Corp.
 
Bluebeard 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Bombs Over Burma 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Border Badmen 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Border Buckaroos 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Border Feud 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Border Roundup 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Born to Speed 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Reissued in 1961 by Gibraltar
Motion Picture Distributors, Inc.
NTA
Boss of Big Town, The 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Boss of Rawhide 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Brand of the Devil 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Broadway Big Shot 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Brute Man, The 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Produced by Universal Pictures. © NTA
Buried Alive 1939   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program.  
Bury Me Dead 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Released in a few exchanges
as The Feuding Sisters. ©
NTA
Caravan Trail, The 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Career Girl 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Cattle Stampede 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Caught in the Act 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Boss Foreman. TAFC
Check Your Guns 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Cheyenne Takes Over 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
City of Silent Men 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Club Havana 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Colorado Serenade 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Contender, The 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Corregidor 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Crime, Inc. 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Criminals Within 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Army Mystery. TAFC
Danger! Women at Work 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Dangerous Intruder 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Dangerous Lady 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Beware the Lady. TAFC
Danny Boy 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV  
Dawn Express, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. Released in some exchanges as
Nazi Spy Ring.
TAFC
Dead Men Walk 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Dead or Alive 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Death Rides the Plains 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Delinquent Daughters 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Desperate Cargo 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: S.O.S. Clipper. TAFC
Detour 1945 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Devil Bat, The 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Killer Bats. WRDC
Devil Bat's Daughter 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Devil on Wheels, The 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Reissued in 1961 by Gibraltar
Motion Picture Distributors, Inc.
NTA
Devil Riders 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Dixie Jamboree 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Don Ricardo Returns 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Double Cross 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Motorcycle Squad. TAFC
Down Missouri Way 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Drifter, The 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Driftin' River 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Duke of the Navy 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Emergency Landing 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Robot Pilot. TAFC
Enchanted Forest, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Enemy of the Law 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Federal Fugitives 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: International Spy. TAFC
Fighting Bill Carson 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Fighting Valley 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Fighting Vigilantes, The 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Flaming Bullets 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Flying Serpent, The 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Fog Island 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Follies Girl 1943 Madison '48 Indie pickup. No evidence of a TV release, yet reissued
by Madison.
 
Frontier Crusader 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Fighting Crusader. TAFC
Frontier Fugitives 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Frontier Outlaws 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Fugitive of the Plains 1943 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Raiders of
Red Rock, a 40-minute streamliner.
TAFC
Fuzzy Settles Down 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Gallant Lady 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. Reissued by Madison as Prison Girls. TAFC
Gambling Daughters 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: The Professor's Gamble. TAFC
Gangster's Den 1945 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Gangsters of the Frontier 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Gas House Kids 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Gas House Kids Go West 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Gas House Kids “in Hollywood”, The 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Gentlemen with Guns 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Ghost and the Guest, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Ghost of Hidden Valley 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Ghost Town Renegades 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Girl from Monterrey, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Girls in Chains 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Girls' Town 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Great Mike, The 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Gun Code 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Guns of the Law 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Gunsmoke Mesa 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Hard Guy 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Adventure in Hearts. TAFC
Harvest Melody 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Hawk of Powder River, The 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Heading for Heaven 1948   MPTV. Made for PRC but released under the Eagle-Lion
banner. The film has Producers Releasing Corporation
on the print.
TVCSC
Heartaches 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV NTA
Her Sister's Secret 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
His Brother's Ghost 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Hitler—Beast of Berlin 1939 Madison '47 Reissued by PRC (1943) as Beast of Berlin; Madison
as Hell's Devils. Released to TV by A.S. [Armand
Schneck] Productions. 1939–1940 program.
TAFC
Hold That Woman! 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Skip Tracer. TAFC
Hollywood and Vine 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
House of Errors 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
How Doooo You Do!!! 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
I Accuse My Parents 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
I Ring Doorbells 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
I Take This Oath 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Police Rookie. TAFC
I'm from Arkansas 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Inside the Law 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Invisible Killer, The 1940   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program.  
Isle of Forgotten Sins 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision. 16mm title: Monsoon. TAFC
Jive Junction 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Jungle Man 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Drums of Africa. TAFC
Jungle Siren 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Kid Rides Again, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Kid Sister, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Killer at Large 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Lady Chaser 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Lady Confesses, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Lady from Chungking 1942 Madison '50 Film Vision. Reissued by Madison as Guerrilla Command. TAFC
Lady in the Death House 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Larceny in Her Heart 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Law and Order 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Law of the Lash 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV NTA
Law of the Saddle 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Law of the Timber 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Lighthouse 1947 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Lightning Raiders 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Lone Rider Ambushed, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Trapped in
the Badlands.
TAFC
Lone Rider and the Bandit, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: The Bandit. TAFC
Lone Rider Crosses the Rio, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Across
the Border.
TAFC
Lone Rider Fights Back, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Lawless Town. TAFC
Lone Rider in Cheyenne, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Cheyenne. TAFC
Lone Rider in Frontier Fury, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Rangeland
Racket.
TAFC
Lone Rider in Ghost Town, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Ghost Mine. TAFC
Lone Rider in Texas Justice, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Lone Rider Rides On, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Rider of the Plains. TAFC
Machine Gun Mama 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision. Released to TV under its original title, then
renamed Tropical Fury.
TAFC
Mad Monster, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Man of Courage 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Man Who Walked Alone, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Marked for Murder 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Marked Men 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Desert Escape. TAFC
Mask of Diijon, The 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Men of San Quentin 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Men on Her Mind 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Mercy Plane 1940   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program. TAFC
Minstrel Man 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Miracle Kid, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Misbehaving Husbands 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Dummy Trouble. TAFC
Miss V from Moscow 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision. Released to TV as Intrigue in Paris. TAFC
Missing Corpse, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Monster Maker, The 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Mr. Celebrity 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Turf Boy. TAFC
Murder Is My Business 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
My Son, the Hero 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Mysterious Rider, The 1942 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Panhandle
Trail, a 40-minute streamliner.
TAFC
Nabonga 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Navajo Kid 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Night for Crime, A 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Oath of Vengeance 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Outlaw Roundup 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Outlaws of Boulder Pass 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Outlaws of the Plains 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. Advertised as Outlaw of the Plains. © NTA
Outlaws of the Rio Grande 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Border Marshal. TAFC
Overland Riders 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Overland Stagecoach 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Panther's Claw, The 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Paper Bullets 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. Reissued by PRC (1943) and Madison
as Gangs, Inc. 16mm title: Ballot Blackmail.
TAFC
Pay Off, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Phantom of 42nd Street, The 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Philo Vance Returns 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Philo Vance's Gamble 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Philo Vance's Secret Mission 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Pinto Bandit, The 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Pioneer Justice 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Prairie Badmen 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Prairie Outlaws 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Re-edited black-and-white
version of Wild West (1946). ©
NTA
Prairie Pals 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Prairie Rustlers 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Prisoner of Japan 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Queen of Broadway 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Queen of Burlesque 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Raiders of Red Gap 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Raiders of the West 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Railroaded! 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Range Beyond the Blue 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Rangers Take Over, The 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Reg'lar Fellers 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Renegades, The 1943 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Code of the
Plains, a 40-minute streamliner. Advertised as The
Renegade.
TAFC
Return of Rin Tin Tin, The 1947   Indie released to TV by George Bagnall & Associates, Inc.  
Return of the Lash 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Return of the Rangers 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Riders of Black Mountain 1940 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Black Mountain Stage. TAFC
Rodeo Rhythm 1942   Indie pickup reissued in 1948 by Devonshire Film
Company. On TV in 1951 (distributor unknown).
 
Rogues Gallery 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Rolling Down the Great Divide 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Romance of the West 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Rustler's Hideout 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Sagebrush Family Trails West, The 1940   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program.  
Secret Evidence 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Secrets of a Co-ed 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Secrets of a Sorority Girl 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Seven Doors to Death 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Shadow of Terror 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Shadow Valley 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Shadows of Death 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Shake Hands with Murder 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Sheriff of Sage Valley 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Six Gun Man 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Song of Old Wyoming 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
South of Panama 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Panama Menace. TAFC
Spook Town 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Stage to Mesa City 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Stagecoach Outlaws 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Stars Over Texas 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Step-Child 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Strange Holiday 1946   Indie pickup released to TV by NBC Film Syndication,
then M & A Alexander Productions, Inc. ©
NTA
Strange Illusion 1945 Madison '49 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. Copyrighted as Out of the Night. NTA
Strangler of the Swamp 1946 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Submarine Base 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Swamp Woman 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. Also released to TV as Swamp Lady. TAFC
Swing Hostess 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV  
Terrors on Horseback 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Texas Manhunt 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Texas Marshal, The 1941 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. 16mm title: Lone Star Marshal. TAFC
Texas Renegades 1940   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program.  
They Raid by Night 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Three in the Saddle 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Three on a Ticket 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Thunder Town 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Thundering Gun Slingers 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Tiger Fangs 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Tioga Kid, The 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Today I Hang 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Tomorrow We Live 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Too Many Winners 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Too Many Women 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Tornado Range 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Torture Ship 1939   TV distributor unknown. 1939–1940 program. WRDC
Town Went Wild, The 1944 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Trail of Terror 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Tumbleweed Trail 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. Released to TV as
Tumbleweed Trails. ©
NTA
Tumbleweed Trail 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Underdog, The 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Untamed Fury 1947   Indie reissued in 1951 by Classic Pictures, Inc. TV rights
were with Hygo Television Films, Inc., then Screen Gems,
Inc.
SG
Valley of Vengeance 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Waterfront 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
West of Texas 1943 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Shootin' Irons,
a 40-minute streamliner.
TAFC
West to Glory 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Western Cyclone 1943 Madison '53 Film Vision. Reissued in 1947 by PRC as Frontier Fighters,
a 40-minute streamliner.
TAFC
Westward Trail, The 1948   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
When the Lights Go On Again 1944 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Whispering Skull, The 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
White Pongo 1945 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Why Girls Leave Home 1945 Madison '49 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Wife of Monte Cristo, The 1946 Madison '51 Wilton/AAP > MPTV. © NTA
Wild Country 1947   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV NTA
Wild Horse Phantom 1944 Madison '50 Wilton/AAP > MPTV NTA
Wild Horse Rustlers 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Wild West 1946   Essex/Flamingo > MPTV. © NTA
Wolves of the Range 1943 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC
Yank in Libya, A 1942 Madison '46 Ziv > Hygo > M. C. TAFC
Yanks Are Coming, The 1942 Madison '48 Film Vision TAFC

 

The following list comprises American-made Eagle-Lion titles completed from 1946 to mid-January 1948 (to reflect those started in December 1947), in order of production start as best determined with sometimes conflicting sources.

This addendum simply completes the Pathé film library up to the end of 1947, including a few made for PRC but released under the E-L banner.

Technically the first three were PRC releases, since E-L had not yet assumed control of their exchanges.

“Sword of the Avenger” seems to have disappeared from TV after 1958, so has no post-1960 distributor listed. The same for “Linda, Be Good,” which was on TV up to the early 1960s.

NTA (National Telefilm Associates, Inc.); AE (Alan Enterprises, Inc.); SATC (Schnur Appel Television Corp.); SG (Screen Gems, Inc.); TVCSC (TV Cinema Sales Corp.); UA-TV (United Artists Television, Inc.).

 

It's a Joke, Son! 1947 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. NTA
Red Stallion, The 1947 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.
Made for PRC but released under the Eagle-Lion banner. ©
NTA
Lost Honeymoon 1947 Hygo Television Films, Inc. > Screen Gems, Inc. Reissued in 1954 by
Carroll Pictures, Inc.
SG
Repeat Performance 1947 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. © NTA
Out of the Blue 1947 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. © NTA
Love from a Stranger 1947 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc.
Reissued in 1952 as Hideout for Horror (distributor unconfirmed but
probably Essex Films). ©
NTA
Man from Texas 1948 Hygo Television Films, Inc. > Screen Gems, Inc. Reissued in 1954 by
Carroll Pictures, Inc.
SG
Adventures of Casanova 1948 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. © NTA
Northwest Stampede 1948 Film Division of General Teleradio > National Telefilm Associates, Inc. Reissued
in 1953 by Favorite Attractions, Inc. ©
NTA
Linda, Be Good 1947 Quality Films, Inc. Made for PRC but released under the Eagle-Lion banner.
Re-edited with new scenes in 3-D and released as I Was a Burlesque
Queen in 1954.
 
T-Men 1948 Peerless Television Productions, Inc. > Television Programs of America, Inc. >
Independent Television Corp. Reissued in 1954 by Favorite Films Corp. ©
AE
Enchanted Valley, The 1948 Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. Made for PRC but released under the
Eagle-Lion banner.
TVCSC
Open Secret 1948 Associated Artists Productions, Inc. (the new AAP, no longer associated with
MPTV) > Trans-Lux Television Corp. Made for PRC but released under the
Eagle-Lion banner. Reissued in 1955, probably by AAP.
SATC
Ruthless 1948 Film Division of General Teleradio > National Telefilm Associates, Inc. Reissued
in 1953 as Ruthless Men by Favorite Attractions, Inc. ©
NTA
Mickey 1948 Hygo Television Films, Inc. > Screen Gems, Inc. Reissued in 1954 by
Carroll Pictures, Inc.
SG
Noose Hangs High, The 1948 United Artists Television, Inc. > United Artists Associated, Inc. © UA-TV
Raw Deal 1948 Peerless Television Productions, Inc. > Television Programs of America, Inc. >
Independent Television Corp. Reissued in 1954 by Favorite Films Corp. ©
AE
Close-Up 1948 Associated Artists Productions, Inc. (the new AAP, no longer associated with
MPTV) > Trans-Lux Television Corp.
SATC
Adventures of Gallant Bess 1948 Hygo Television Films, Inc. > Screen Gems, Inc. Reissued in 1956 by
Premier Pictures Company.
SG
Sword of the Avenger 1948 Hygo Television Films, Inc. > Screen Gems, Inc.  
Assigned to Danger 1948 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. © NTA
Cobra Strikes, The 1948 Essex Films, Inc./Flamingo Films, Inc. > Motion Pictures for Television, Inc. © NTA

 

 

Corrections and comments are welcome. Revised February 18, 2017.