Adolph Zukor - Rotten Tomatoes

Adolph Zukor

Highest Rated:   100% Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
Lowest Rated:   30% The Alaskan (1924)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Although he was more of a businessman than a film buff, Adolph Zukor, the longtime head of Paramount Pictures during its heyday, was a key figure in the development of the powerful studio system that ran Hollywood from the late '20s through the '60s. One of the very first studio moguls, Zukor's was truly a rags-to-riches story, and his success was borne of hard work, ambition, and a shrewd ability to understand the public's whimsical taste. He was born in Risce, Hungary, where his family had to struggle to meet their basic needs. At age 16, Zukor immigrated to the U.S. and found a job working as a sweeper at a New York furrier. Within a few years, Zukor was running his own fur shop in Chicago. In 1903, Zukor branched out and bought an amusement arcade. Two years later, he and Marcus Loew teamed up to buy a chain of arcades. Eventually he became the treasurer to Loew's chain of movie theaters. It was Zukor who saw an enormous untapped fortune within the pockets of the upper and middle-class folk who considered moving pictures vulgar and refused to go to the tacky little theaters and arcades to see them. He figured that to get them to come to the theater, he would have to make going to the movies a more theatrical experience, complete with elaborate, comfortable movie houses, and longer, more dramatic films. To this end, he began distributing a four-reel European film, Queen Elizabeth. American audiences proved hungry for culture and Zukor made enough profit to found the Famous Players Production Company. Using the motto "Famous Players in Famous Plays," Zukor's company brought film adaptations of popular Broadway shows featuring well-known actors to theaters. Again it was a profitable venture that became even more so after he signed beautiful Mary Pickford, the actress who captured the nation's heart. She was Famous Players' headline star for years. Zukor merged his company with the Jess L. Lasky Feature Play company in 1916 thereby creating the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, where after a five-year struggle, Zukor became president. The company gained real power after it purchased the tiny Paramount distributions. Zukor took the name Paramount for the whole business and began buying up movie theaters until Paramount had a monopoly on making, distributing, and exhibiting films. Soon it became one of the biggest studios in Hollywood. Interestingly, Zukor had almost nothing to do with the actual filmmaking process, preferring to run the company from New York so he could remain closely tied with the financial end. Paramount thrived until the early '30s, when financial woes nearly destroyed it. Though many wanted Zukor out, he tenaciously remained at the company's helm. In 1935 he was succeeded as president by Barney Balaban. Zukor then became chairman of the board, a position he would hold until his death at age 103 in 1976. Zukor substantially added to an already vast fortune when he bought into Gulf & Western Oil. In 1948, Zukor was awarded a special Oscar for his contribution to the industry. He published his autobiography, The Public Is Never Wrong, in 1953.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Professor Beware
  • Producer
1938
No Score Yet Bulldog Drummond Comes Back
  • Producer
1937
100% Make Way for Tomorrow
  • Producer
1937
No Score Yet The Milky Way
  • Producer
1936
94% Shanghai Express
  • Producer
1932
No Score Yet The House That Shadows Built
  • Director
1932
90% Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Producer
1931
No Score Yet An American Tragedy
  • Producer
1931
83% Huckleberry Finn
  • Producer
1931
No Score Yet Paramount on Parade
  • Producer
1930
No Score Yet Glorifying the American Girl
  • Himself, arriving at theater
1929
No Score Yet Beggars of Life
  • Executive Producer
1928
No Score Yet Feel My Pulse
  • Producer
1928
64% The Wedding March
  • Executive Producer
1928
95% The Last Command
  • Producer
1928
60% Beau Sabreur
  • Producer
1928
90% The Legion of the Condemned
  • Producer
1928
No Score Yet Doomsday
  • Producer
1928
80% Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
  • Producer
1928
56% Manhattan Cocktail
  • Producer
1928
67% She's a Sheik
  • Producer
1927
88% The Way of All Flesh
  • Producer
1927
94% Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
  • Producer
1927
93% Wings
  • Executive Producer
1927
No Score Yet Señorita
  • Producer
1927
88% It
  • Producer
1927
90% The Kid Brother
  • Producer
1927
No Score Yet Children of Divorce
  • Producer
1927
No Score Yet Nevada
  • Producer
1927
100% Ten Modern Commandments
  • Producer
1927
52% The Great Gatsby
  • Producer
1926
No Score Yet The Show-Off
  • Producer
1926
No Score Yet It's the Old Army Game
  • Producer
1926
67% Aloma of the South Seas
  • Producer
1926
No Score Yet Let's Get Married
  • Producer
1926
No Score Yet Wild Horse Mesa
  • Producer
1925
88% Beggar on Horseback
  • Producer
1925
No Score Yet The Vanishing American
  • Producer
1925
No Score Yet Cobra
  • Producer
1925
No Score Yet The Night Club
  • Producer
1925
No Score Yet Are Parents People?
  • Producer
1925
89% That Royle Girl
  • Producer
1925
100% Forty Winks
  • Producer
1925
100% Peter Pan
  • Producer
1924
No Score Yet Forbidden Paradise
  • Producer
1924
67% A Sainted Devil
  • Producer
1924
30% The Alaskan
  • Producer
1924
100% Hollywood
  • Producer
1923
No Score Yet Missing Millions
  • Producer
1922
No Score Yet Moran of the Lady Letty
  • Producer
1922
71% Clarence
  • Producer
1922
No Score Yet Our Leading Citizen
  • Producer
1922
38% Sacred and Profane Love
  • Producer
1921
No Score Yet Paying the Piper
  • Producer
1921
No Score Yet Miss Lulu Bett
  • Producer
1921
92% Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1920
No Score Yet On with the Dance
  • Producer
1920
100% Double Speed
  • Producer
1920
No Score Yet The Poor Little Rich Girl
  • Director
  • Producer
1917
No Score Yet Cinderella
  • Producer
1914
80% The Crucible
  • Producer
1914
No Score Yet The Eagle's Mate
  • Producer
1914
No Score Yet The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Producer
1912

Quotes from Adolph Zukor's Characters

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