21st Century Film Corporation Inc.
IndustryFilm
Founded1976 (as 21st Century Distribution Corporation)
April 1989 (as 21st Century Film Corporation)
DefunctMarch 24, 1996
FateBankruptcy
SuccessorMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
HeadquartersLos Angeles, United States
Key people
Tom Ward
Art Schweitzer
Menahem Golan (CEO)
Ami Artzi
Giancarlo Parretti
ProductsMotion pictures
ParentIndependent
Pathé Communications
Public (pink sheets)[1]

21st Century Film Corporation was a theatrical distribution company formed sometime in the 1970s as a production company and distributor. Menahem Golan served as CEO of the company from 1989 to the company's bankruptcy.

History

The company was formed by Tom Ward and Art Schweitzer around 1976 (though some sources claim it to be 1971) as a film production company and distributor.[2] The company acquired most of the catalog of Dimension Pictures, after that company's bankruptcy in 1981.[3] Along with theatrical distribution, 21st Century also released many films on home video, first via their short-lived label, Planet Video, from 1982-1983, and then through a more lucrative deal with Continental Video beginning in 1985.[4]

In the late 1980s, while filing for bankruptcy, it was purchased by Giancarlo Parretti. Parretti had also recently purchased The Cannon Group, which was renamed Pathé Communications, and he eventually handed the newly-rebranded 21st Century Film Corporation, along with the Spider-Man and Captain America film rights (held by Cannon), over to Israeli filmmaker Menahem Golan as part of Golan's severance package from Cannon.[5][6] Golan's goal was to release high-quality motion pictures to the American and worldwide film audiences, but 21st Century only enjoyed small-scale success releasing low-budget films like Bullseye!, as well as remakes of The Phantom of the Opera and Night of the Living Dead.

In April 1989, Twenty-first Century Film and Pathé Communications ended their film production contract. As part of the termination, 21st Century Film received rights to two feature-length movies: the completed Mack the Knife, in production Phantom of the Opera plus other projects and scripts rights. With this Pathé would no longer have any financial obligations to 21st Century.[7] Captain America was filmed and was given only a limited theatrical release worldwide. On May 17, 1989, 21st Century Film Corporation inked an agreement with Hoyts Corporation to serve a 20-film production and distribution agreement.[8]

Looking for funding for the Spider-Man film was difficult; 21st Century sold the film's TV rights to Viacom, the home-video rights to Columbia and theatrical rights to Carolco. In 1993, Golan triggered a series of lawsuits for 21st Century over Spider-Man as he feared being pushed out. Bankruptcy followed within the year for the company. In 1995, the judge ruled that the Spider-Man film rights expired and reverted to Marvel.[5] Meanwhile, all of 21st Century's film library and assets were acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which had merged with Pathé/Cannon earlier and was a theatrical distributor of Carolco's films at the time), mostly due to a quitclaim deed by Carolco.[9]

In 1993, it released a few more movies including Deadly Heroes and most notably Death Wish V: The Face of Death, the last in the series and Charles Bronson's final theatrical film. Currently, the majority of 21st Century Film Corporation's film catalog is owned by MGM Studios, with the exception of Night of the Living Dead and The Forbidden Dance, both of which were distributed by Columbia Pictures.

Filmography

21st Century Distribution Corporation

The following are films produced and/or released by 21st Century while the company was headed by Tom Ward and Art Schweitzer.

Year Title Notes Ref
1976 The Three Fantastic Supermen English-dubbed release of 1967 film I Fantastici 3 $upermen. [10]
The Demon Lover Produced by 21st Century. [11]
1977 The Tormented Also re-released as The Eerie Midnight Horror Show in 1980, on Planet Video in 1982 and Continental Video in 1985. [12][13]
The Obsessed One (Operation Makonaima) English-dubbed release of 1974 film. [14]
1980 The Student Body Planet Video release, also licensed to Continental Video as a double feature with Jailbait Babysitter. [15]
The Image of Bruce Lee (猛男大賊脂虎) English-dubbed release of 1978 film. [16]
Fist of Fury Part Two (精武門續集) English-dubbed release of 1977 film. [17]
Black Belt Fury (森山虎) English-dubbed release of 1974 film. Also known as Tiger Jungle. [18]
Covert Action English-dubbed release of 1978 film.
Return of the Tiger (大圈套) English-dubbed release of 1978 film. [19]
Snake Fist vs. The Dragon (猴形扣手) English-dubbed release of 1979 film. [20]
Suicide Cult Re-release of 1975 film The Astrologer. [21]
I Go Pogo A stop-motion animated feature based on the Pogo comic strip. [22]
Cathy's Curse [23]
The Dragon vs. Needles of Death (龍虎鳳) English-dubbed release of 1976 film. Also released on Planet Video and Continental Video as a double feature release with Snake Fist Ninja (see Snake Fist Fighter). [24]
1981 Fighting Mad Planet Video release of 1978 film Death Force. [25]
Lunatic Re-release of 1971 film The Night Visitor.
Deliver Us From Evil Re-release of 1975 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures in 1975 under same title, and re-released as Joey in 1977.
Challenge the Dragon (猛虎闖關) Planet Video release of 1974 film, also licensed to Continental Video in 1986 under the title Dragon Lady Ninja as a double feature with Devil Killer (see The Deadly Kung Fu Factor). [26]
Terminal Island Re-release of 1973 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures in 1973. [27]
Snake Fist Fighter (刁手怪招) English-dubbed release of 1973 film, with additional scenes filmed in 1978. [28]
Bruce Lee's Deadly Kung Fu (詠春截拳) English-dubbed release of 1976 film. [29]
The Muthers Re-release of 1976 film, on a bill with Snake Fist Fighter in May 1981 and in December 1981 on a double bill with Group Marriage. [30]
Four-Play Re-release of 1977 film. Also known as Take Time To Smell The Flowers. [31]
The Iron Dragon Strikes Back (匯峰號黃金大風暴) English-dubbed release of 1979 film. [32]
Nightmare [33]
Group Marriage Re-release of 1973 film, on a double bill with '’The Muthers'’.
Dr. Minx Re-release of 1975 film on a double bill with Cheering Section. Previously released by Dimension Pictures in 1975. [34]
Cheering Section Re-release of 1977 film on a double bill with Dr. Minx. Previously released by Dimension Pictures in 1977. [35]
1982 The Bruce Lee Connection English-dubbed release. [36]
Kung Fu Fury English-dubbed release. [37]
Fist Like Lee, Part II English-dubbed release. [38]
To the Devil a Daughter Planet Video release of 1976 film. [39]
Dragon Force (虎林四大通関) Planet Video release of 1978 film. [40]
Battle Force Planet Video release. Previously released by Dimension Pictures as The Greatest Battle in 1979. [41]
Aida Re-release of 1953 Italian film. [42]
Revenge of the Shogun Women (十三女尼) English-dubbed release of 1977 film. Also known as 13 Golden Nuns. [43]
Return of Bruce (忠烈精武門) English-dubbed release of 1977 film. [44]
Fun Loving Re-release of 1970 film Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx. [45]
The Phantom of Terror Re-release of 1970 film The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. [46]
Giselle English-dubbed release of 1980 film. [47]
Blood Tide [48]
The Slayer Planet Video release, also licensed to Continental Video as a double feature with Scalps. [49]
1983 Magnificent Bodyguard (飛渡捲雲山) English-dubbed release of 1978 film. [50]
The Deadly Spawn Also released as Return of the Aliens: The Deadly Spawn. [51]
Jackie Chan and the 36 Crazy Fists (三十六迷形拳) English-dubbed release of 1977 film. [52]
Flying Masters of Kung Fu (一代天嬌) English-dubbed release of 1979 film. Also known as Revengeful Swordswoman.
City of the Walking Dead English-dubbed release of 1980 film. Also known as Nightmare City. [53]
War of the Wizards English-dubbed release of 1978 film. Also known as The Phoenix. [54]
Scalps Also licensed to Continental Video as a double feature VHS release with The Slayer. [55]
1984 American Beauty Hostages Continental Video release of 1976 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures as Ebony, Ivory & Jade in 1976. [56]
Vampire Hookers Continental Video release of 1978 film. [57]
Legend of Black Thunder Mountain Continental Video release of 1979 film. [58]
Escape From Women's Prison English-dubbed release of 1978 film. Licensed to Continental Video as a double feature VHS release with Sweet Sugar. [59]
The Executioner Part II Also licensed to Continental Video as a double feature VHS release with Frozen Scream. There is no part I. [60]
Frozen Scream Continental Video release of 1975 film as a double feature with Executioner Part II. [61]
Hell Riders [62]
Too Scared to Scream Produced by 21st Century.
Eye of the Evil Dead English-dubbed release of 1982 film. Also known as Manhattan Baby. [63]
The New York Ripper English-dubbed release of 1982 film. [64]
Stone Re-release of 1974 film. [65]
Don't Open till Christmas [66]
1985 Sweet Sugar Continental Video release of 1972 film as a double feature with Escape From Women's Prison. Previously released by Dimension Pictures in 1972. [67]
The Working Girls Continental Video release of 1974 film. [68]
Emanuelle In Egypt (Velluto Vero) Continental Video release of 1976 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures as Smooth Velvet, Raw Silk in 1978, and re-released as Naked Paradise in 1979. [69]
Jailbait Babysitter Continental Video release of 1977 film as a double feature with The Student Body. [70]
Avenged Continental Video release of 1977 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures as Tomcats in 1977. [71]
Class Reunion Massacre Continental Video release of 1978 film. Previously released by Dimension Pictures as The Redeemer in 1978. [72]
Terror on Tape Continental Video release. [73]
Biohazard Now owned by Retromedia. [74]
Doomed To Die Re-release as Continental, Inc. of 1980 film Eaten Alive!. Also released by Continental Video under the title The Emerald Jungle. [75]
1986 Prison Ship 2005 [76]
Devil Killer (交貨 The Delivery) Continental Video release of 1975 film as a double feature with Dragon Lady Ninja (see Challenge the Dragon).

21st Century Film Corporation

The following are films produced and/or released by 21st Century after the company was rebranded and owned by Menahem Golan.

Year Title Notes Ref
1989 Caged Fury [77]
Edgar Allen Poe's The Black Cat (Il gatto nero) [78]
Getting Even (La vendetta) [79]
Edgar Allan Poe's The House of Usher [80]
Mack the Knife [81]
The Phantom of the Opera [82]
Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death [83]
1990 Warriors from Hell [84][85]
Prey for the Hunter [86]
The Forbidden Dance released by Columbia Pictures [87]
Bad Jim [88]
Deceit [89]
The Appointed (Hameyu'ad) [90]
Edgar Allan Poe's Buried Alive [91]
The 5th Monkey released by Columbia Pictures [92]
Night of the Living Dead released by Columbia Pictures [93]
Bullseye! [94]
Street Hunter [95]
Captain America [96]
1991 Virgin High [97]
Killing Streets [98]
Bloodmatch released by HBO Video [99]
1992 Prison Planet [100]
The Finest Hour [101]
Invader [102]
Killer Instinct (Mad Dog Coll) [103]
Dance Macabre [104]
Hit the Dutchman [105]
Hot Under the Collar [106]
Desert Kickboxer released by HBO Video [107]
Three Days to a Kill [108]
1993 Midnight Witness released by Academy Entertainment [109][110]
Rage [111]
Silent Victim [112]
Ninja Vengeance [113]
Deadly Heroes [114]
Dead Center [115]
Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde [116]
1994 Death Wish V: The Face of Death [117]
1995 Russian Roulette - Moscow 95
Luise Hits the Jackpot (Luise knackt den Jackpot)
1996 Superbrain (Die Tunnelgangster von Berlin) Television film

References

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  4. ^ Schlock, Temple Of (2011-03-21). "TEMPLE OF SCHLOCK: 21st Century Distribution Corporation: The Filmography (1976-1986)". TEMPLE OF SCHLOCK. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  5. ^ a b Grover, Ronald (April 15, 2002). "Unraveling Spider-Man's Tangled Web". Business Week. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
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