160–61; Boddy (1990), p. 138. [189] Desilu would be acquired by Gulf and Western Industries in 1967 and merged into G+W's other production company, Paramount Pictures; the former RKO Hollywood studio became home to Paramount Television (now CBS Television Studios), which it remains to this day. Under the consent decree he signed, Hughes agreed to dissolve the old parent company, Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corp., and split RKO's production-distribution business and its exhibition chain into two entirely separate corporations—RKO Pictures Corp. and RKO Theatres Corp.—with the obligation to promptly sell off one or the other. 422–23; Jewell (1982), p. 32; Crafton (1997), pp. RKO Universal Films is a joint-venture between RKO and Universal, and owned by RKO Holdings (45%), NBCUniversal (45%), and The Kosch Trio (owner of the 3M Companies, Samuel Corporations, and MediaES) (10%). 225–26; "An Old Flame Returns". 218–19, 223, 227–28. [222] The new owners of RKO also allowed Turner to move forward with colorization of the library. Because the RKO is a dramatic and powerful move, wanting to “do an RKO ” to someone or telling someone that they’re going to “get RKO’d ” is used as an expression of frustration, e.g., “I’m going to RKO Ted if he’s late again.”. [77] The studio's technical departments maintained their reputation as industry leaders; Vernon Walker's special effects unit became famous for its sophisticated use of the optical printer and lifelike matte work, an art that would reach its apex with 1941's Citizen Kane. For ambitious box office failures: Jewell (1982), pp. A STAFF REPORT FROM THE STRAIGHT DOPE SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD. 169–71; Barrios (1995), pp. [54][57] Costumer Walter Plunkett, who worked with the company from the close of the FBO era through the end of 1939, was known as the top period wardrobist in the business. 2)In relation to Randy, RKO also stands for his finishing move--the Randy Knock Out. Billed fourth and fifth respectively, the picture turned them into stars. [125] Gloria Grahame, Jane Greer, and Lawrence Tierney were also notable studio players in the field. "An Open Letter to TV Station Owners and Managers". The plot is about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems. Ballinger and Graydon (2007), pp. [122] Its cinematographer, Nicholas Musuraca, who began at FBO in the 1920s and stayed with RKO through 1954, is a central figure in creating the look of classic noir. Since it was the weakling of Hollywood's 'majors,' RKO welcomed a diverse group of individualistic creators and provided them...with an extraordinary degree of freedom to express their artistic idiosyncrasies.... [I]t never became predictable and it never became a factory. 187, 190, 195, 204, 211, 238. [76], The studio's B Western star of the period was George O'Brien, who made eighteen RKO pictures, sixteen between 1938 and 1940. [191] List Industries, the former RKO Theatres Corp., was acquired by Glen Alden Corp. in 1959. a major Hollywood film company in the 1930s and 1940s. The renovated Culver City studio is now owned and operated as an independent production facility. [114] A focus on B pictures limited the studio's financial risk; while it also limited the potential for reward (Dmytryk's extraordinary coups aside), RKO had a history of making better profits with its run-of-the-mill and low-cost product than with its A movies. Scott, Dmytryk, and eight others who also defied HUAC—dubbed the Hollywood Ten—were blacklisted across the industry. [123] The studio was also saddled with the last of the inflated B movies such as Pearl of the South Pacific (1955) and The Conqueror (1956) that enchanted Hughes. Neither was a success. [149] Of much broader significance, Hughes decided to get the jump on his Big Five competitors by being the first to settle the federal government's antitrust suit against the major studios, which had won a crucial Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. It was founded on February 13, 2017. 150–52; "Earnings Fall 5% for Macy System; Television's High Cost for Subsidiary, General Teleradio, Cuts Consolidated Net,". [52], Lacking the financial resources of industry leaders MGM, Paramount, and Fox, RKO turned out many pictures during the era that made up for it with high style in an Art Deco mode, exemplified by such Astaire–Rogers musicals as The Gay Divorcee (1934), their first pairing as leads, and Top Hat (1935). 16–17. Lasky (1989), pp. [178] The latter acquisition gave General Tire majority control of the Mutual Broadcasting System, one of America's leading radio networks. Its successful films include King Kong, Flying Down to Rio (1933) and other musical films with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Citizen Kane and Suspicion (1941). The original RKO Radio Pictures Inc copyrighted movies were assigned to RKO General Inc. which still holds the current copyrights. The restrictive programming style was soon adopted by many of RKO's other stations and imitated by non-RKO broadcasters around the country. [214] The company's minimal involvement in new film production continued to focus on its remake rights: Are We Done Yet?, based on Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), was released in April 2007 to dismal reviews. Jewell (1982), p. 9; Lasky (1989), pp. È universalmente conosciuta per il logo di apertura dei film, il globo terrestre con in cima la torre radio ed il logo di chiusura dei film, il triangolo attraversato da una saetta. In 1992, it handled the well-regarded independent production Laws of Gravity, directed by Nick Gomez. [199] In 1979, RKO General created the RKO Radio Network, reportedly the first broadcasting web linked via satellite. In October 1927, Warner Bros. released The Jazz Singer, the first feature-length talking picture. [115][117] Richard Dix concluded his lengthy RKO career with the 1943 Lewton production The Ghost Ship. As it turned out, he would leave the job before the decade's turn, but his brief tenure resulted in some of the most notable films in studio history, including Gunga Din, with Grant and McLaglen; Love Affair, starring Dunne and Charles Boyer; and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (all 1939). How did “nuts” and “bananas” come to mean “crazy”? 119, 122–125. The film was adapted by Leonardo Bercovici and Robert E. Sherwood from the 1928 novel of the same name by Robert Nathan. [128] Nicholas Ray began his directing career with the noir They Live by Night (1948), the first of a number of well-received films he made for RKO. "[242] The studio's closing ident, a triangle enclosing a thunderbolt, was also a well-known trademark. [158] Of more historic note, Lupino was Hollywood's only female director during the period; of the five pictures The Filmakers made with RKO, Lupino directed three, including her now celebrated The Hitch-Hiker (1953). [i] While it opened to strong reviews and would go on to be hailed as one of the greatest movies ever made, it lost money at the time and brought down the wrath of the Hearst newspaper chain on RKO. Jewell (1982), pp. RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. [132] But the legal status of the industry's reigning business model was increasingly being called into doubt: the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bigelow v. RKO that the company was liable for damages under antitrust statutes for having denied an independent movie house access to first run films—a common practice among all of the Big Five. [224] In October 1996, Turner Broadcasting was merged into Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), which now controls distribution of the bulk of the RKO library in North America.[225]. [43][113], Much more than the other Big Five studios, RKO relied on B pictures to fill up its schedule. [218] The most recent RKO film coproductions are the well-received A Late Quartet (2012) and the 2015 flop Barely Lethal. Goodwin (1987), pp. In October 1930, the company purchased a 50 percent stake in the New York Van Beuren studio, which specialized in cartoons and live shorts. Jewell (1982), pp. Around that time, the large Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) circuit of theaters, built around the then-fading medium of live vaudeville, was attempting a transition to the movie business. Top RKO abbreviation meanings updated August 2020 After a brief period as RKO/Pavilion, the business was reorganized as RKO Pictures LLC. Actors Katharine Hepburn and, later, Robert Mitchum had their first major successes at the studio. The generally rave reviews upset Warner executives, who were embarrassed one of their contract players was being acclaimed for a film made at another studio, and they tried to exclude its title from any publicity about Davis. List of 29 RKO definitions. Schatz (1998), pp. [61] RKO also employed some of the industry's leading artists and craftsmen whose work was never seen. [43] Ginger Rogers had already made several minor films for RKO when Cooper signed her to a seven-year contract and cast her in the big-budget musical Flying Down to Rio (1933). As to RKO, it’s a tale of Hollywood power brokers, fierce competition, and cinema history wrapped up in a 3 letter abbreviation. Lasky (1989), pp. Updated May 2020. It reminds us to listen. The explanation for this is that Wilcox and Neagle were working with RKO in the US in 1940-42 before coming back to the UK. In allocating the foreign film licenses to RKO Japan, Disney would use five of them and Commonwealth eight more. 221, 223, 225. [20] RKO was left in a bind: it still had a contract with Technicolor to produce two more features with its system. It was bought by Howard Hughes in 1948 and ceased film production in 1953. [54][55] Film historian James Naremore has described RKO as "chiefly a designer's studio. [88] The three Welles productions combined to drain $2 million from the RKO coffers, major money for a corporation that had reported an overall deficit of $1 million in 1940 and a nominal profit of a bit more than $500,000 in 1941. It began in 1965, when General Tire was accused of obliging vendors to buy advertising with one of its stations if they wanted to keep their contracts. RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) Pictures (also known as RKO Productions, Radio Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, RKO Teleradio Pictures and, for a short time, RKO Pathé) is an American film production and distribution company.The original company produced films from 1929, the year after its inception, through its dissolution in 1959. See, e.g., Ballinger and Graydon (2007), p. 19; Finler (2003), p. 216. [63], In October 1935 the ownership team expanded, with financier Floyd Odlum leading a syndicate that bought 50 percent of RCA's stake in the company; the Rockefeller brothers, also major stockholders, increasingly became involved in the business. 129–31. [230] 63–65; Crafton (1997), pp. The Lewton unit's moody, atmospheric work—represented by films such as Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Body Snatcher (1945)—is now highly regarded. RKO is an acronym for "Radio-Keith-Orpheum", created when RCA orchestrated a merge between Film Booking Offices of America and Keith-Albee-Orpheum, and was officially announce… Production chief Schary quit almost immediately due to his new boss's interference and Rathvon soon followed. He bowed out after four Falcon films and was replaced by his brother, Tom Conway. [69], Following the change in print branding a few years earlier, the opening and closing logos on RKO movies, other than the Pathé nonfiction line, were changed from "Radio Pictures" to "RKO Radio Pictures" in 1936. List page number 2 What does RKO stand for in Film? [70][g] In addition to its central Hollywood studio, RKO production now revolved around its Encino ranch. [95] The Rockefellers sold off their stock and, early in 1943, RCA dispensed with the last of its holdings in the company as well, cutting David Sarnoff's ties to the studio that was largely his conception. [197], The RKO General radio lineup included some of the highest rated, most influential popular music stations in North America. The Disney films originally distributed by RKO are owned and now fully controlled by The Walt Disney Company's distribution division. Fulfilling its obligations, RKO produced two all-Technicolor pictures, The Runaround and Fanny Foley Herself (both 1931), containing no musical sequences. [181][182] RKO Teleradio Pictures—the new company created from the merger of General Teleradio and the RKO studio—retained the broadcast rights for the cities where it owned TV stations. She starred in two suspense films with Robert Ryan—Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground (1952, though shooting had been completed two years earlier) and Beware, My Lovely (1952), a coproduction between RKO and Lupino's company, The Filmakers. [33] From September 1932 on, print advertising for the company's features displayed the revised name "RKO Radio Pictures"; the Pathé name was used only for newsreels and documentaries. "[56], As a group, the studio's craft divisions were among the strongest in the industry. What does the morse code say? Barrios (1995), p. 127; Lasky (1989), p. 52. [94] The change in RKO's fortunes was virtually immediate: corporate profits rose from $736,241 in 1942 (the theatrical division compensating for the studio's $2.34 million deficit) to $6.96 million the following year. RKO filled the void by releasing independently produced features such as the Dr. Christian series and the Laurel and Hardy comedy The Flying Deuces (1939). RKO. 35–36; Schatz (1999), pp. In 1981, broadcaster RKO General, the corporate heir, revived the studio as a production subsidiary, RKO Pictures Inc. [66], Soon after the appointment of a new production chief, Samuel Briskin, in late 1936, RKO entered into an important distribution deal with animator Walt Disney (Van Beuren consequently folded its cartoon operations). [28] After little more than a year of semiautonomous operation within RKO, Pathé was dissolved as a feature production unit. [210] RKO's next significant production came in 1998 with Mighty Joe Young, a remake of the 1949 RKO movie. 244, 276; Lasky (1989), pp. Brown, Peter Harry, and Pat H. Broeske (2004). [14] By the end of the year, RKO was making use of an additional production facility—five hundred acres had been acquired near Encino in the San Fernando Valley as a movie ranch for exteriors and large-scale standing sets,[15] AKA; RKO Encino Movie Ranch. 56, 151–52; Schatz (1999), p. 364; Ottoson (1981), p. 132. SDStaff Ken, Straight Dope Science Advisory Board. In Spain, the Spanish rights go to Filmax until 1997 and Manga Films (now known as Vertice 360) since 1997. The Keith and Orpheum cinema chains 's taste for musicals temporarily subsided another potential purchaser, InternetStudios.com web linked satellite. 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