Columbia Pictures

From its humble beginnings as CBC Film Sales Company, on through the reign of Harry Cohn and corporate Hollywood, Columbia Pictures has an interesting history that is worth studying. Author Bernard F. Dick grows his bibliography of studio histories with his installment of Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio, published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Among the galaxy of stars mentioned in this text are Judy Holliday, Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable, the Marx Brothers, and more, in addition to discussions of Columbia’s unique contributions to the genres of screwball comedy and film noir.

In addition to the author’s own illumination of Columbia are fourteen essays by film scholars that chronicle Columbia’s days as part of Poverty Row, on to becoming a major player in the studio system. Among the newer contributions to this work is an essay about Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019), connecting discussions of studio history and output to more contemporary releases.

Dick’s Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio offers a thoughtful compilation of essays, film stills, photographs, and references that are sure to intrigue film fans and scholars.


Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio is available for purchase via the University Press of Kentucky.

About Annette Bochenek

Dr. Annette Bochenek of Chicago, Illinois, is an avid scholar of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She manages the Hometowns to Hollywood blog, in which she writes about her trips exploring the legacies and hometowns of Golden Age stars. Annette also hosts the “Hometowns to Hollywood” film series throughout the Chicago area. She has been featured on Turner Classic Movies and is the president of TCM Backlot’s Chicago chapter. In addition to writing for TCM Backlot, she also writes for Classic Movie Hub, Silent Film Quarterly, Nostalgia Digest, and Chicago Art Deco Society Magazine.
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