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Producers Releasing Corporation
Fate Absorbed
Predecessor Producers Distributing Corporation
Successor Eagle-Lion Films(1950)
United Artists (1955)
Founded 1939
Defunct 1946
Headquarters Poverty Row
Key people Sigmund Neufeld
Sam Newfield
Industry Film studio

Producers Releasing Corporation was one of the more humble Hollywood film studios on Poverty Row in the late 1930s-mid-1940s. PRC, as it was commonly known, intentionally made mostly small-budget B-movies. The company was substantial enough to not only produce but also to distribute its own product and some imports from the UK, and operated its own studio facility.

The company loosely evolved from the earlier Producers Distributing Corporation of Ben Judell, which had hired Sigmund Neufeld and his brother Sam Newfield to make its films. After the collapse of PDC, the brothers established PRC. Most of the movies made were westerns or action melodramas, plus occasional horror movies, and each took a week or less to shoot.

PRC had very few star names on its payroll, and had to make do with either character actors (Neil Hamilton, Eddie Dean, Wallace Ford, Ralph Morgan), stars who were idle (Lee Tracy, Patsy Kelly, Benny Fields), or celebrities from other fields (burlesque queen Ann Corio, animal hunter Frank Buck, radio singer Frances Langford).

Typical PRC efforts include The Devil Bat with Bela Lugosi, Misbehaving Husbands with silent-comedy star Harry Langdon, Nabonga, a jungle thriller with Buster Crabbe and Julie London, and Baby Face Morgan, a tongue-in-cheek gangster epic with Mary Carlisle, Robert Armstrong, and Richard Cromwell.

German director Edgar G. Ulmer began working for the studio in 1942 and directed three films noir there (Bluebeard, Strange Illusion, and Detour) which have been recognized more recently as minor artistic achievements. The PRC production Hitler's Madman was picked up by MGM for distribution, and one of PRC's music composers, Leo Erdody, was nominated for an Academy Award for his musical score for PRC's Minstrel Man in 1944.

PRC was purchased by Pathe Industries, though the only noticeable change was of the name of the company's production arm to P.R.C. Pictures Inc. The company otherwise continued to flourish within its own element until after WWII. The distribution arm of the company was absorbed in the formation of Eagle-Lion Films Inc. in 1946, and the production arm (and, therewith, the entire company) followed shortly thereafter in 1947. Eagle-Lion would distribute the backlog of films from PRC until 1955, when United Artists bought the company.

References

Dixon, Wheeler W. Producers Releasing Corporation: A Comprehensive Filmography and History 1987 McFarland

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