Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
IndustryFilm studio
FoundedNovember 19, 1916; 107 years ago (1916-11-19)
FoundersSamuel Goldwyn
Edgar Selwyn
Archibald Selwyn
DefunctApril 17, 1924; 100 years ago (1924-04-17)
FateMerged with Metro Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Amazon MGM Studios
Warner Bros.
(through Turner Entertainment Co.)
Public domain

Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company that operated from 1916 to 1924 when it was merged with two other production companies to form the major studio, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was founded on November 19, 1916, by Samuel Goldfish (who later changed his name to Goldwyn), an executive at Lasky's Feature Play Company, and Broadway producer brothers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn, using an amalgamation of both last names to name the company.

The studio proved moderately successful, but became most famous due to its iconic Leo the Lion trademark. Although Metro was the nominal survivor, the merged studio inherited Goldwyn's old facility in Culver City, California, where it would remain until 1986. The merged studio also retained Goldwyn's Leo the Lion logo.

Lee Shubert of The Shubert Organization was an investor in the company.[1]


Samuel Goldfish had left Lasky's Feature Play Company, of which he was a co-founder, in 1916 when Feature Play merged with Famous Players. Margaret Mayo, Edgar Selwyn's wife and play writer, and Arthur Hopkins, a Broadway producer, joined the trio as writer and director general.[1]

At the beginning, Goldwyn Pictures rented production facilities from Solax Studios when it and many other early film studios in America's first motion picture industry were based in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The company's first release was Polly of the Circus, an adaptation of Mayo's 1907 play of the same name, released in September 1917 and starting Mae Marsh.[2][3] By April 1917, Goldwyn Pictures agreed to rent the Universal Pictures studios in Fort Lee, then having the second largest stage, and had two film companies operating at the time with plans for more production companies. The company management planned on having 12 films done by September 1, 1917, without distributing the films so as to be able to show advanced footage to the theaters. Goldfish also associated the company with Columbia University via Professor Victor Freeburg's Photoplay Writing class in 1917 to increase the company's artistic standings.[1] The company also released other production companies films with Marie Dressler's Dressler Producing Corporation film, The Scrub Lady, in 1917. The company was forced in October 1917 to switch out The Eternal Magalene for Fighting Odds, both starring Maxine Elliott, after the National Board of Review cleared the Magalene movie while censors in Pennsylvania state and Chicago city did not approve the film. Thais starring Mary Garden was released in late 1917 which was a costly loss.[1]

In January 1918, Goldfish signed director Raoul Walsh and prematurely announced it as there were two years left on Walsh's contract with Fox. With Thais being the company's second costly loss, Goldfish decreased film budgets partly by not using theater divas to cross over to film and reducing design driven films. Instead, he relied on comedies starring Madge Kennedy and Mabel Normand. In August 1918, Goldwyn Pictures signed Will Rogers, at that time a Broadway Follies favorite, to star in a Rex Beach production, Laughing Bill Hyde, filmed at the Fort Lee studio for release in September.[1] The company purchased the Triangle Studios in Culver City in 1918.[2][4] Goldfish then headed west to Culver City, California in 1918; opening operations there also caused an increase in film expenses.[1] Seeing an opportunity in December, Samuel Goldfish then had his name legally changed to Samuel Goldwyn.

In 1919, Frank Joseph "Joe" Godsol became an investor in Goldwyn Pictures.[5] Since 1912 Godsol had been making deals for the Shubert Organization in the U.S. and abroad.[6]

Goldwyn began looking to follow other film companies, like Loews Theaters/Metro Pictures and First National, into vertical integration. Goldwyn and the company backers were looking at renting the Astor Theatre for movie premiers. Instead, with the Capitol Theatre's financial problems in May 1920, the backer purchased a controlling interest in that theater. Shubert and Godsol, however, did not want the theater to rely only on Goldwyn films and operated it separately from the company.[7]

By 1920 in addition owning its Culver City studio, Goldwyn Pictures was renting two New York studios and operations in Fort Lee.[2]

After personality clashes, Samuel Goldwyn left the company in 1922. Godsol became chairman of the board and President of Goldwyn Pictures in 1922.[8] In 1923 Lee Shubert of The Shubert Organization contacted Marcus Loew about merging the company with Loew's Metro Pictures. Loew agreed to the merger. Louis B. Mayer heard about the pending merger and contacted Loew and Godsol,[9] about adding his Louis B. Mayer Productions into the post merger company, which became the blockbuster Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[10]

Feature staff


A 1965 fire in an MGM storage facility destroyed many negatives and prints, including the best-quality copies of every Goldwyn picture produced prior to 1924; over half of MGM's feature films from before 1930 are completely lost.[citation needed] On March 25, 1986, Ted Turner and his Turner Broadcasting System company purchased the pre-May 1986 MGM films (including Goldwyn Pictures films) from Kirk Kerkorian for $600 million.

Title Status
Polly of the Circus (1917) (Extant)
Baby Mine (1917) (Extant)
Fighting Odds (1917) (Extant)
The Spreading Dawn (1917) (Fragment)
Sunshine Alley (1917) (considered lost)
Nearly Married (1917) (incomplete)
The Cinderella Man (1917) (Extant)
Thais (1917) (Extant)
Fields of Honor (1918) (considered lost)
Dodging a Million (1918) (considered lost)
Go West, Young Man (1918) (considered lost)
Our Little Wife (1918) (considered lost)
The Beloved Traitor (1918) (considered lost)
The Floor Below (1918) (Extant)
The Splendid Sinner (1918) (considered lost)
The Face in the Dark (1918) (considered lost)
The Danger Game (1918) (Extant)
Joan of Plattsburg (1918) (considered lost)
The Fair Pretender (1918) (Extant)
All Woman (1918) (considered lost)
The Venus Model (1918) (considered lost)
The Service Star (1918) (considered lost)
The Glorious Adventure (1918) (considered lost)
Back to the Woods (1918) (considered lost)
The Border Legion (1918) (considered lost)
Friend Husband (1918) (considered lost)
Money Mad (1918) (considered lost)
The Turn of the Wheel (1918) (considered lost)
Peck's Bad Girl (1918) (considered lost)
Just for Tonight (1918) (Extant)
The Kingdom of Youth (1918) (considered lost)
Hidden Fires (1918) (considered lost)
Thirty a Week (1918) (considered lost)[2]
A Perfect 36 (1918) (considered lost)
The Hell Cat (1918) (considered lost)
A Perfect Lady (1918) (Fragment)
The Racing Strain (1918) (considered lost)
Day Dreams (1919) (considered lost)
The Bondage of Barbara (1919) (considered lost)
Shadows (1919) (fragment)
The Woman on the Index (1919) (considered lost)
Sis Hopkins (1919) (considered lost)
Daughter of Mine (1919) (considered lost)
Spotlight Sadie (1919) (considered lost)
A Man and His Money (1919) (Extant)
The Pest (1919) (considered lost)
The Eternal Magdalene (1919) (considered lost)
The Stronger Vow (1919) (considered lost)
One Week of Life (1919) (considered lost)
Leave It to Susan (1919) (considered lost)
When Doctors Disagree (1919) (Extant)
One of the Finest (1919) (considered lost)
The Fear Woman (1919) (considered lost)
The Crimson Gardenia (1919) (incomplete)
The City of Comrades (1919) (considered lost)
Through the Wrong Door (1919) (considered lost)
Upstairs (1919) (considered lost)
The Peace of Roaring River (1919) (considered lost)
Heartsease (1919) (considered lost)
Lord and Lady Algy (1919) (considered lost)
The World and Its Woman (1919) (Extant)
Strictly Confidential (1919) (fragment)
Almost a Husband (1919) (considered lost)
Flame of the Desert (1919) (Extant)
Bonds of Love (1919) (considered lost)
Jubilo (1919) (Extant)
The Loves of Letty (1919) (considered lost)
Jinx (1919) (considered lost)
Toby's Bow (1919) (considered lost)
The Gay Lord Quex (1919) (considered lost)
Pinto (1920) (considered lost)
Water, Water, Everywhere (1920) (considered lost)
The Blooming Angel (1920) (considered lost)
The Paliser Case (1920) (considered lost)
Duds (1920) (considered lost)
The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come (1920) (considered lost)
The Woman and the Puppet (1920) (Extant)
The Strange Boarder (1920) (considered lost)
The Woman in Room 13 (1920) (considered lost)
Jes' Call Me Jim (1920) (Extant)
Dollars and Sense (1920) (Extant)
A Double-Dyed Deceiver (1920) (considered lost)
The Great Accident (1920) (considered lost)
Cupid the Cowpuncher (1920) (considered lost)
The Penalty (1920) (Extant)
The Slim Princess (1920) (considered lost)
Earthbound (1920) (Extant)
The Truth (1920) (considered lost)
Stop Thief (1920) (Extant)
Milestones (1920) (considered lost)
Honest Hutch (1920) (Extant)
Madame X (1920) (Extant)
Officer 666 (1920) (considered lost)
The Man Who Had Everything (1920) (Extant)
Just Out of College (1920) (considered lost)
The Great Lover (1920) (considered lost)
Guile of Women (1920) (considered lost)
What Happened to Rosa (1920) (Extant)
Help Yourself (1920) (considered lost)
Bunty Pulls the Strings (1921) (considered lost)
The Girl with the Jazz Heart (1921) (considered lost)
Hold Your Horses (1921) (considered lost)
The Highest Bidder (1921) (considered lost)
The Concert (1921) (considered lost)
Boys Will Be Boys (1921) (considered lost)
For Those We Love (1921) (considered lost)
A Tale of Two Worlds (1921) (Extant)
Roads of Destiny (1921) (considered lost)
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921, originally released in 1920 in Germany) (Extant)
An Unwilling Hero (1921) (considered lost)
Snowblind (1921) (considered lost)
Made in Heaven (1921) (considered lost)
A Voice in the Dark (1921) (Extant)
The Old Nest (1921) (Extant)
Don't Neglect Your Wife (1921) (considered lost)
Oh Mary Be Careful (1921) (Extant)
The Ace of Hearts (1921) (Extant)
All's Fair in Love (1921) (considered lost)
Beating the Game (1921) (Fragment)
Dangerous Curve Ahead (1921) (considered lost)
Doubling for Romeo (1921) (incomplete)
The Invisible Power (1921) (considered lost)
The Grim Comedian (1921) (considered lost)
The Man from Lost River (1921) (considered lost)
Pardon My French (1921) (considered lost)
The Poverty of Riches (1921) (considered lost)
From the Ground Up (1921) (considered lost)
A Poor Relation (1921) (considered lost)
Voices of the City (1921) (considered lost)
Grand Larceny (1922) (considered lost)
Man with Two Mothers (1922) (considered lost)
Watch Your Step (1922) (considered lost)
Sherlock Holmes (1922) (Extant)
Come on Over (1922) (considered lost)
When Romance Rides (1922) (considered lost)
Head over Heels (1922) (Extant)
Yellow Men and Gold (1922) (considered lost)
His Back Against the Wall (1922) (Extant)
Mr. Barnes of New York (1922) (Extant)
The Wall Flower (1922) (considered lost)
The Strangers' Banquet (1922) (considered lost)
Dust Flower (1922) (considered lost)
Remembrance (1922) (considered lost)
The Sin Flood (1922) (considered lost)
Brothers Under the Skin (1922) (incomplete)
Hungry Hearts (1922) (Extant)
A Blind Bargain (1922) (considered lost)
Broken Chains (1922) (Extant)
The Glorious Fool (1922) (considered lost)
The Christian (1923) (Extant)
Little Old New York (1923) (Extant)
Gimme (1923) (considered lost)
Look Your Best (1923) (considered lost)
Unseeing Eyes (1923) (considered lost)
Under the Red Robe (1923) (Extant)
The Love Piker (1923) (considered lost)
Lost and Found on a South Sea Island (1923) (incomplete)
Vanity Fair (1923) (considered lost)
Souls for Sale (1923) (Extant)
Three Wise Fools (1923) (Extant)
The Spoilers (1923) (Extant)
Red Lights (1923) (considered lost)
Six Days (1923) (considered lost)
Dr. Sunshine (1923) (considered lost)
The Eternal Three (1923) (Extant)
The Steadfast Heart (1923) (Extant)
Slave of Desire (1923) (Extant)
The Last Moment (1923) (considered lost)
The Day of Faith (1923) (considered lost)
The Green Goddess (1923) (Extant)
In the Palace of the King (1923) (considered lost)
The Rendezvous (1923) (Extant)
Reno (1923) (Extant)
The Ragged Edge (1923) (considered lost)
Wild Oranges (1924) (Extant)
Name the Man (1924) (Extant)
Through the Dark (1924) (incomplete)
Second Youth (1924) (Extant)
Three Weeks (1924) (Extant)
Nellie, the Beautiful Cloak Model (1924) (Extant)
True as Steel (1924) (Extant)
The Rejected Woman (1924) (Extant)
The Recoil (1924) (Extant)
Tarnish (1924) (considered lost)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Koszarski, Richard (2004). "18. Goldwyn". Fort Lee: The Film Town. Indiana University Press. pp. 286–311. ISBN 0-86196-653-8.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Studios and Films". Fort Lee Film Commission. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  3. ^ Fort Lee Film Commission (2006). Fort Lee: Birthplace of the Motion Picture Industry. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4501-5.
  4. ^ "Lot History". Sony Picture Museum. Sony Pictures Entertainment. p. 1. Archived from the original on February 5, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Lewis, Kevin; Lewis, Arnold (June–July 1988). "Include Me out: Samuel Goldwyn and Joe Godsol". Film History. 2 (2). Indiana University Press: 133–153. JSTOR 3815031.
  6. ^ Berg, Scott (September 1998). "Goldwyn – A Biography". Film History (1). Riverhead Books: 95. ISBN 1-57322-723-4.
  7. ^ Melnick, Ross (March 4, 2014). "Part One Roxy and Silent Film Exhibition". American Showman: Samuel "Roxy" Rothafel and the Birth of the Entertainment Industry, 1908–1935 (Reprint ed.). Columbia University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-231-15905-0. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  8. ^ "Godsol Heads Goldwyn Pictures". The New York Times. March 11, 1922.
  9. ^ Masek, Mark. "Hollywood Remains to Be Seen – Louis B. Mayer". Hollywood Remains to Be Seen.
  10. ^ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. History. International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 25. St. James Press. 1999. Retrieved December 20, 2014.