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Showman of the ScreenJoseph E. Levine and His Revolutions in Film Promotion$
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A. T. McKenna

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168715

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168715.001.0001

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Selling Up and Winning Trophies

Selling Up and Winning Trophies

(p.149) 11 Selling Up and Winning Trophies
Showman of the Screen

A. T. McKenna

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter analyzes the circumstances of Levine’s sale of his company, Embassy, to the Avco Corporation in 1968. Because of various interrelated factors, corporations were looking to take over film companies in the mid- to late 1960s, and Levine stood to benefit greatly. Embassy was privately owned, had a huge library of films that were attractive to television, was not burdened by real estate or equipment, and had just had a huge success with The Graduate. Levine turned all of these positive points to his advantage and sold Embassy to Avco for an astonishing $40 million in the bubble created by the corporate feeding frenzy. This chapter also investigates two of Levine’s productions from this time, The Producers and The Lion in Winter, both of which stand as examples of Levine’s continued willingness to take risks.

Keywords:   corporatization of Hollywood, industrial strategy, film production, Golden Globes, Academy Awards, Avco Corporation, Embassy, The Producers, The Lion in Winter

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