The University of Wisconsin Press

Film Studies / Popular Culture / Business History


United Artists, Volume 1,
The Company Built by the Stars
Tino Balio
With a new introduction

“A book of distinct value to all who have a serious interest in the history of motion pictures.”
—Ben Irwin, Los Angeles Times

United Artists was a unique motion picture company in the history of Hollywood. Founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and director D.W. Griffith —four of the greatest names of the silent era—United Artists functioned as a distribution company for independent producers. In this lively and detailed history of United Artists from 1919 through 1951, film scholar Tino Balio chronicles the company’s struggle for survival, its rise to prominence as the Tiffany of the industry, and its near extinction in the 1940s.

This edition is updated with a new introduction by Balio that places in relief UA’s operations for those readers who may be unfamiliar with film industry practices and adds new perspective to the company’s place within Hollywood. Volume 2is also available, see United Artists, volume 2, 1951–1978.

“Exhaustive research conveyed in bright prose. . . . A particular strength is the psychological insight gained into the personality of the principals of the boardroom.”—The Hollywood Reporter

• An earlier edition was published as United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars by UW Press in 1976, ISBN 978-0-299-06944-5

Tino Balio is the author of this book.Tino Balio is emeritus professor of film studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is author of Grand Design: Hollywood as a Modern Business Enterprise and editor of The American Film Industry, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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Of Related Interest
Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges
Glenn Lovell
Wisconsin Film Studies

“John Sturges is the most underrated director in the history of Hollywood.”—producer Robert E. Relyea

The cover of Balio's first volume is illustrated with a photo of the original founders of United Artists: Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and director D.W. Griffith.

April 2009

LC: 2008046313 PN
360 pp.   6 x 9  
57 b/w illus.

Paper $26.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-23004-3 
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“Lucidly written . . .  a most useful addition to our knowledge of the business side of the film industry.”
—Philip French, Times Literary Supplement


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Updated March 8, 2010

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