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Castle Hill Productions

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Castle Hill Productions
IndustryFilm, television
Founded1978; 44 years ago (1978)
FounderJulian Schlossberg
Defunct2009; 13 years ago (2009)
FateSold to Westchester Films (later purchased by Shout! Factory)
SuccessorWestchester Films
HeadquartersNew York City, New York

Castle Hill Productions was an independent television and film distribution company handling classic and independent films whose library spans eight decades.

History

Founded in 1978 by Julian Schlossberg, Castle Hill Productions revived and restored over 200 classic motion pictures, many of which were originally United Artists releases and inherited from the family and/or estates of the films' original producers under the Caidin Film Company.

As the company grew, Castle Hill acquired the rights to many films by John Cassavetes, such as Faces and A Woman Under the Influence. Both Schlossberg and Gena Rowlands (Cassavetes' widow), through their company, Faces Distribution, have worked hard to revive the films for today's audiences in order for them to better appreciate the late director's work.

Castle Hill also bought the rights to many of the films of Elia Kazan and Orson Welles. In addition to their classic films, the company also distributed contemporary films (usually up to ten a year), and has been involved in in-house production, creating documentaries on filmmakers and news events.

Discover more about History related topics

Julian Schlossberg

Julian Schlossberg

Julian Schlossberg is an American motion pictures, theatre and television producer. He has been a college lecturer and television host regarding films, as well.

United Artists

United Artists

United Artists Corporation (UA), doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, was an American production and distribution company. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio was premised on allowing actors to control their own interests, rather than being dependent upon commercial studios. UA was repeatedly bought, sold, and restructured over the ensuing century. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquired the studio in 1981 for a reported $350 million.

John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes

John Nicholas Cassavetes was an American actor and filmmaker. He began as a television and film actor before helping to pioneer modern American independent cinema as a director and writer, often financing and distributing his films with his own income. AllMovie called him "an iconoclastic maverick", while The New Yorker suggested in 2013 that he "may be the most influential American director of the last half century."

Faces (1968 film)

Faces (1968 film)

Faces is a 1968 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. It stars John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Fred Draper and Val Avery.

A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence is a 1974 American drama film written and directed by John Cassavetes. The story follows a woman whose unusual behavior leads to conflict with her blue-collar husband and family. It received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Actress and Best Director.

Gena Rowlands

Gena Rowlands

Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American retired actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned seven decades. She is one of the last living actresses from the Golden Age of Hollywood. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), both of which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). She is also known for her performances in Woody Allen's Another Woman (1988), and her son Nick Cassavetes's film, The Notebook (2004). In 2021, Richard Brody of The New Yorker said, “The most important and original movie actor of the past half century-plus is Gena Rowlands.” In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.

Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan was an American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history".

Orson Welles

Orson Welles

George Orson Welles was an American director, actor, producer, and screenwriter who is remembered for his innovative work in film, radio, and theatre. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time.

Closure and holdings

In 2009, Castle Hill closed. Most of their holdings sold to another independent company, Westchester Films, managed by Schlossberg.

Most distribution rights to the Castle Hill library are handled by either Warner Bros., Criterion (via Janus Films), or Image Entertainment.

In 2014, the Westchester/Castle Hill holdings were purchased by entertainment distribution company Shout! Factory.[1]

Discover more about Closure and holdings related topics

Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is an American home video and music company founded in 2002 as Retropolis Entertainment. Its video releases include previously released feature films, classic and contemporary television series, animation, live music, and comedy specials. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Shout! Studios, Westchester Films, Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, and Video Time Machine.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. is an American film and entertainment studio headquartered at the Warner Bros. Studios complex in Burbank, California, and a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery. Founded in 1923 by four brothers, Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack Warner, the company established itself as a leader in the American film industry before diversifying into animation, television, and video games, and is one of the "Big Five" major American film studios, as well as a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA).

The Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection, Inc. is an American home-video distribution company that focuses on licensing, restoring and distributing "important classic and contemporary films". Criterion serves film and media scholars, cinephiles and public and academic libraries. Criterion has helped to standardize certain aspects of home-video releases such as film restoration, the letterboxing format for widescreen films and the inclusion of bonus features such as scholarly essays and commentary tracks. Criterion has produced and distributed more than 1,000 special editions of its films in VHS, Betamax, LaserDisc, DVD, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray formats and box sets. These films and their special features are also available via an online streaming service that the company operates.

Janus Films

Janus Films

Janus Films is an American film distribution company. The distributor is credited with introducing numerous films, now considered masterpieces of world cinema, to American audiences, including the films of Michelangelo Antonioni, Sergei Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, François Truffaut, Yasujirō Ozu and many other well-regarded directors. Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957) was the film responsible for the company's initial growth.

Key films of Castle Hill

Discover more about Key films of Castle Hill related topics

Stagecoach (1939 film)

Stagecoach (1939 film)

Stagecoach is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford and starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The screenplay by Dudley Nichols is an adaptation of "The Stage to Lordsburg", a 1937 short story by Ernest Haycox. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.

A Night in Casablanca

A Night in Casablanca

A Night in Casablanca is a 1946 film starring the Marx Brothers:. The picture was directed by Archie Mayo, and written by Joseph Fields and Roland Kibbee.

A Face in the Crowd (film)

A Face in the Crowd (film)

A Face in the Crowd is a 1957 American satirical drama film directed by Elia Kazan and starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau. The screenplay is by Budd Schulberg and is based on his short story "Your Arkansas Traveler", from the collection Some Faces in the Crowd (1953).

Breaker Morant (film)

Breaker Morant (film)

Breaker Morant is a 1980 Australian war drama film directed by Bruce Beresford, who co-wrote the screenplay based on Kenneth G. Ross's 1978 play of the same name.

Baby Doll

Baby Doll

Baby Doll is a 1956 American dramatic black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan, and starring Carroll Baker, Karl Malden, and Eli Wallach. It was produced by Kazan and Tennessee Williams, and adapted by Williams from his own one-act play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton (1955). The plot focuses on a feud between two rival cotton gin owners in rural Mississippi; after one of the men commits arson against the other's gin, the owner retaliates by attempting to seduce the arsonist's 19-year-old virgin bride with the hopes of receiving an admission by her of her husband's guilt.

Followers (2000 film)

Followers (2000 film)

Followers is a 2000 film. It was produced by Castle Hill Productions. The plot focuses on three college students who attempt to join a fraternity but soon find the fraternity president to be extremely racist.

Blue Moon (2000 film)

Blue Moon (2000 film)

Blue Moon is a 2000 American comedy-drama film directed by John A. Gallagher and starring Ben Gazzara, Rita Moreno, Alanna Ubach, and Brian Vincent.

Finding Home

Finding Home

Finding Home is a 2003 American romantic drama film starring Geneviève Bujold, Lisa Brenner, Louise Fletcher and Johnny Messner. The film marked the last full-length feature film appearance of actor Jason Miller.

Jersey Guy

Jersey Guy

Jersey Guy is a 2003 American comedy-drama film directed by Elia Zois and starring Steve Parlavecchio, Arthur J. Nascarella and Stacie Mistysyn.

Source: "Castle Hill Productions", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, December 20th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Hill_Productions.

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References
  1. ^ "Shout! Factory Acquires Westchester Films (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
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