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us: General Film Company


  • [General Film Company was formed in 1910 by the Motion Picture Patents Company (composed of the companies Biograph, Edison, Essanay, George Kleine, Kalem, Lubin, Pathé, Selig, and Vitagraph) in attempt to streamline and monopolize film distribution. Between 1909 and June, 1910, the MPPC cancelled the licenses of dozens of film exchanges and bought up licensed exchanges, creating a distribution system completely under its control, though the MPPC claimed that it did not control the GFC. In contemporaneous trade magazine release charts, General Film Company releases are often listed under the heading "Licensed releases". Independent film producers and distributors fought the MPPC and the GFC, which eventually declined and failed, in part from the loss of a patents lawsuit, in part from the disruption of the European film industry brought on by World War 1, and in part from a failure to adapt to the increasing popularity of feature-length films. Despite filing for bankruptcy in 1919, the GFC continued to distribute films until 1920.]
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  • Variants

    • us: GFC (General Film Company)
  • Additional Information

  • Exact Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Through the keyhole [MP] 1914 (name not given)
    • found: Motion picture news, Dec. 19, 1914: p. 86 (General Film; distributed Through the keyhole)
    • found: American film-index 1908-1915, 1976 (General Film Company; existed from 1910 to 1919)
    • found: Keil, C. and Stamp, S., ed., American cinema's transitional era, c2004: p. 251 (in 1910, the MPCC established its own distribution arm, the General Film Company (GFC))
    • found: Moving picture world, v. 6, no. 8 (February 26, 1910), viewed online December 4, 2015 via Media History Digital Library p. 302 (Articles of incorporation of the General Film Company were filed in Jersey City on February 9, 1910)
    • found: Moving picture world, v. 6, no. 22 (June 4, 1910), viewed online December 4, 2015 via Media History Digital Library p. 949 (The General Film Company was recently organized...to conduct a film renting business and has obtained exchange licenses from the Motion Picture Patents Company; the company has leased a building on the corner of Eighth Street, New York City)
    • found: Moving picture world, v. 40, no. 6 ( May 10, 1919), viewed online December 4, 2015 via Media History Digital Library p. 793 (Asa B. Kellogg was appointed receiver of the General Film Company on April 29, 1919, following the institution of bankruptcy...in the United States District Court)
    • found: Wikipedia WWW site, viewed December 4, 2015 (The General Film Company; U.S. motion picture distribution company; between 1909 and 1920, the company distributed almost 12,000 silent era motion pictures; in 1918 General Film Company was sold, along with the MPPC, to the Lincoln & Parker Film Company of Massachusetts. Thomas Edison reacquired these assets when the Lincoln & Parker Company went bankrupt, and sold them to producer Robert L. Giffen in 1919)
    • found: Internet movie database WWW site, viewed December 4, 2015 (General Film Company; distributor of documentary short film Hudson Maxim, September, 1920)
  • General Notes

    • [General Film Company was formed in 1910 by the Motion Picture Patents Company (composed of the companies Biograph, Edison, Essanay, George Kleine, Kalem, Lubin, Pathé, Selig, and Vitagraph) in attempt to streamline and monopolize film distribution. Between 1909 and June, 1910, the MPPC cancelled the licenses of dozens of film exchanges and bought up licensed exchanges, creating a distribution system completely under its control, though the MPPC claimed that it did not control the GFC. In contemporaneous trade magazine release charts, General Film Company releases are often listed under the heading "Licensed releases". Independent film producers and distributors fought the MPPC and the GFC, which eventually declined and failed, in part from the loss of a patents lawsuit, in part from the disruption of the European film industry brought on by World War 1, and in part from a failure to adapt to the increasing popularity of feature-length films. Despite filing for bankruptcy in 1919, the GFC continued to distribute films until 1920.]
  • Change Notes

    • 1987-08-17: new
    • 2016-05-28: revised
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