Wednesday, February 5, 2014

United Artists, formed Feb. 5th, 1919

On this day 95 years ago, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith & Charlie Chaplin, seeking more artistic and financial control over the production and distribution of their films, founded a company that was the first of its kind, United Artists. At the time, they told reporters in a joint statement that it was a "declaration of independence from producers and exhibitors of machine-made films." It should also be noted that Charlie's brother, Sydney, was instrumental in the formation of the company.

Below is footage from the signing of the contracts. Charlie will eventually appear in his Tramp costume and the four will pose and clown for the cameras.

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