John Maxwell

John Maxwell

Known for: Production
Biography: 1877-01-01
Deathday: 1940-10-02 (63 years old)

Biography

John Maxwell (1879–1940) was a British film producer. Maxwell was the co-owner of British International Pictures, which emerged as the largest British studio following the Film Act of 1927. Maxwell was a Scottish lawyer who first came into contact with the film industry in 1912. In 1927 he took over the newly constructed British National Studios in Elstree after its founders ran into financial problems. Maxwell built a vertically integrated company incorporating film production, film distribution, initially through Wardour Films, and a large network of cinemas (ABC Cinemas) that enabled the company to compete with the leading German and Hollywood firms. Along with the facilities in Elstree, the company also acquired Welwyn Studios in Welwyn Garden City.

With BIP (which was renamed Associated British Picture Corporation in 1933) John Maxwell began a major production programme. Maxwell imported top filmmakers from Europe as well as signing up leading British talent such as Alfred Hitchcock. Under Maxwell's leadership BIP produced several masterpieces of late silent cinema. With Hitchcock's Blackmail (1929) the company successfully made the transition to sound. While it continued to make some more expensive films, it increasingly relied on large numbers of medium or low-budget comedies and musicals aimed at the British rather than the international market.

By the mid-1930s BIP had been overtaken by its rival Gaumont British as the largest British producer. Maxwell bought a stake in Gaumont, intending this as a first step to a takeover that would allow him to merge the two companies to create a giant firm. However, he discovered that he had acquired non-voting shares, which brought him no actual control over the company. He took legal action and a court case followed.

By 1938, Maxwell owned 502 cinemas to support his productions.His characteristics are talking with his hand over his mouth, never getting to the office until mid-day, spending two hours over lunch (which means that he has learned the secret of success - the delegation of authority), an affection for big rooms, gaspers, and a quarter bottle of champagne at eleven o'clock every morning with a dry biscuit. His hobbies are reading and walking. He is a Scot who does not play golf, likes precision, regards card-playing as the evidence of an idle mind, and a trudge round Paris with a guide-book as the perfect holiday. The Bystander, February 2, 1938

Maxwell died in 1940. The corporation of which he was chairman and managing director had assets of over £50 million and controlled a circuit of theatres which was the second largest in the world.

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Ratings

Average 3.65
Based on 47.1 Thousand movie and tv ratings over time
1927
1930
1931
1931
1933
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Information

Known For
Production

Gender
Male

Birthday
1877-01-01

Deathday
1940-10-02 (63 years old)

Birth Place
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Citizenships
United Kingdom


This article uses material from Wikipedia.
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