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The Producers

Edward Finney (1903 - 1983)

Producer Ed Finney is best remembered for his series of westerns with Tex Ritter.

The Finney / Ritter adventures were initially released through Grand National, but that firm was in financial trouble in the late 1930s.

May - July, 1938 issues of Film Daily and Boxoffice trade publications have blurbs on Finney - and his "Boots and Saddles" Production Company - moving from Grand National to Monogram.

At Monogram, the Finney / Ritter series continued thru mid 1941 and then Tex signed with Columbia Pictures as the co-lead in oaters with Bill Elliott. The collaboration of Finney and Ritter lasted about five years and 32 B westerns.

The Online Archive of California notes that the "Edward Finney / Tex Ritter Papers" are archived at the Autry Museum of the American West:

(Courtesy of John Brooker)
Maurice Conn - 1970.
Maurice H. Conn (1906 - 1973)

Producer Maurice Conn founded little Ambassador Pictures with offices at the California Talisman studio on Sunset Boulevard. He's best remembered for a series of Canadian Mounted Police yarns based loosely on the writings of James Oliver Curwood.

Conn signed Kermit Maynard, the younger brother of Ken Maynard, as the star of those mounted police films ... and a near three year association began. The collaboration resulted in 18 films - 10 mountie flicks and the last 8 were traditional B western programmers. During that same period, Conn also produced a series starring youngster Frankie Darro. Assisting Frankie - and playing a good guy - was Le Roy Mason (billed as Roy Mason). Then Kane Richmond replaced Mason as Darro's adult helper.

Conn's Ambassador company folded around 1938, and he then formed Concord Productions Inc. and did some Tim McCoy and Jack Randall oaters which were released by Monogram.

There's a biography on Conn under menu item 3. Hollywood Families and Individuals on the Old Corral homepage.

(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Sigmund Neufeld (1896 - 1979)

Neufeld was an executive at Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) and the production boss in charge of their western product. Quite often, those films were directed by his brother, Sam Newfield (real name: Samuel Neufeld).

William M. Pizor (1890 - 1959)

In the mid 1930s, he was the head of his own William M. Pizor Productions as well as Imperial Distributing Corporation. During that period, he produced some low budget fare including western shorts starring Wally Wales (who became Hal Taliaferro).

In the late 1930s, Pizor signed Tim McCoy for a series ... but it was never made. McCoy filed a lawsuit for lost wages and won a $37,000.00 judgement against Pizor.

By the mid to late 1940s, Pizor was at Screen Guild / Lippert, in charge of their foreign distribution.

George W. Weeks (1885 - 1953)

Best remembered as the producer of Monogram's Range Busters trio westerns.

There's a biography on Weeks under menu item 3. Hollywood Families and Individuals on the Old Corral homepage.

Sol Lesser (1890 - 1980)

During the silent era, Sol Lesser owned a California theater chain and was involved in both film distribution and production.

In the 1930s, he produced a variety of films including the Bela Lugosi CHANDU and Buster Crabbe TARZAN THE FEARLESS serials. His western series included early Buck Jones features released through Columbia, George O'Brien oaters for Fox, and the brief 20th Century Fox "singing cowboy" group starring singer and band leader Smith Ballew.

Lesser was also the production boss on higher budget films such as OUR TOWN (1940), THE TUTTLES OF TAHITI (1942) and STAGE DOOR CANTEEN (1943), and from about 1943 - 1958, he was in charge of the Tarzan jungle adventures.

The names of Lesser's production companies included "Beverly" and "Principal".

There's some biographical info on Sol Lesser at the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers website:

Larry Darmour (1895 - 1942)

Before getting involved in westerns, Larry Darmour did the long running 'Mickey McGuire' series of silent and sound shorts starring Mickey Rooney.

In the 1930s, he was the production chief/president of Majestic's film factory. By the mid 1930s, Majestic Pictures was no more, and Darmour took his production unit to Columbia Pictures, where he did serials as well as oaters with Ken Maynard, Bob Allen, Jack Luden, and early entries starring Bill Elliott.

Darmour was in charge of Columbia's Ellery Queen mystery series when he passed away in 1942.

Sam Katzman (1901 - 1973)

Sam Katzman's Victory Pictures company of the 1930s churned out westerns starring Tom Tyler and Tim McCoy.

Later, he joined Columbia and was in charge of their cliffhangers as well as the Johnny Weismuller Jungle Jim series.

Later still, Katzman was responsible for various 1950s and 1960s rock&roll / rebellious teenager flicks, sci-fi fare such as EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS, and he even produced several of Elvis Presley's films.

Sam's son Leonard Katzman (1927 - 1996) was a producer, director and writer, and was involved in TV shows such as GUNSMOKE, DALLAS, more.

A. W. Hackel / Aaron William Hackel (1882 - 1959)

Citizenship paperwork, World War II draft registration, and other documents on and Family Search indicate Hackel was born in Austria (and more specifically, in the small town of Ulanow, Austria which is now located in Poland). Prior to the movie business, he was a manufacturer of ladies clothing. Hackel's movie career began circa 1930 and his company was named Supreme Pictures. Bob Steele began a lengthy relationship with Hackel in a group of eight oaters released in 1934 - 1935. For the 1935 - 1936 release season, the Steele series continued ... and Hackel also signed Johnny Mack Brown for eight. Then came a bit of good luck for Steele, Brown and Hackel. Republic Pictures was formed in 1935 with the merger / consolidation of Mascot Pictures, Consolidated Film Laboratories, and more. The new startup company needed some westerns to distribute, and they reached agreement with Hackel for new Brown and Steele adventures which would carry the Republic Pictures brand name and logo. The totals - Hackel's production company did 32 Steeles and 16 with Brown. In the early to mid 1940s, Hackel did mysteries and ghostly films at Monogram Pictures.

Info on Ulanow, Austria and Ulanow, Poland at Wikipedia:

Harry 'Pop' Sherman (1884 - 1952)

Best remembered for his work with William Boyd on the Hopalong Cassidy series.

There's biographical info on Harry Sherman at the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers website:

Albert Victor Adamson (1890 - 1972)

The photo right is of Adamson (acting under the name Denver Dixon) in a 1942 Range Busters oater at Monogram. Adamson was AKA Denver Dixon, Al Mix and Art Mix (but not to be confused with the 'other' Art Mix whose real name was George Kesterson). Adamson produced various ultra low budget silent and sound western shorts and features starring himself as well as Buffalo Bill, Jr., Wally Wales, Buddy Roosevelt, Wally West, and Art Mix/George Kesterson. His production companies had various names including California Motion Picture Enterprises and Security Pictures. Adamson / Dixon was also a prolific bit player in scores of westerns.

There's a bio on Adamson/Dixon under menu item 3. Hollywood Families and Individuals on the Old Corral homepage.

(Courtesy of Jerry Cristman)
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Tansey (1897 - 1951)

AKA Robert Tansey, Bob Tansey, Robert Emmet, more. Tansey was a jack-of-all-trades, doing scripts, writing stories, production supervision, assistant directing, directing and producing. Probably best remembered for the Monogram Trail Blazers with Maynard, Gibson and Steele and bringing together singing cowboy Eddie Dean and Lash LaRue in Cinecolor oaters at PRC.

Several of the Tansey family were in the movie business including Bob's brother Sherry Tansey, who was a frequent B western henchman.

Want to know more about the Tanseys - there's profiles on Bob Tansey and "The Tansey Family in Hollywood" under menu item 3. Hollywood Families and Individuals on the Old Corral homepage.

(Courtesy of the Motion Picture & Television Fund)
Paul Malvern (1902 - 1993)

At the 1989 ceremonies, producer Malvern received a Golden Boot award.

He was in charge of many 1930s "Lone Star" westerns which starred a young John Wayne. These were initially released by Monogram and later, by Republic Pictures.

In the mid 1930s, Malvern took his production company to Universal ... and Wayne followed along where he did some non-westerns.

(Courtesy of Dave Smith)

Above from left to right are Dick Foran, Universal producer Henry MacRae (1876-1944), Buck Jones and Monte Blue in a happy moment during the premier of the serial RIDERS OF DEATH VALLEY (Universal, 1941). Henry MacRae was a prolific producer at Universal during the 1930s - early 1940s where he was in charge of many cliffhangers such as FLASH GORDON, RED BARRY, TIM TYLER'S LUCK ... as well as their western themed chapterplays starring Tim McCoy, Tom Tyler, Buck Jones and Johnny Mack Brown.

Find A Grave website has interment info and grave marker photos on the following:

Larry Darmour (1895-1942)
A. W. Hackel/Aaron William Hackel (1882-1959)
Paul Malvern (1902-1993)
Harry 'Pop" Sherman (1884 - 1952)
George Sherman (1908-1991)
Sol Siegel (1903-1982)
Scott R. Dunlap (1892-1970)
Wallace M. Fox (1881-1944)
Sam Katzman (1901-1973)
Sol Lesser (1890-1980)
Sigmund Neufeld (1896-1979)
Robert Emmett 'Bob' Tansey
George W. Weeks

Western film expert Les Adams, co-authored Shoot-Em-Ups with Buck Rainey.  Many years ago, Les also wrote and published a series of softcover 'zines titled Yesterday's Saturdays, and each issue highlighted a couple dozen B westerns and included cast lists, plot synopsis, ad cuts, etc.  Les has a massive database on the B western and serial, and that database includes info on the heroes, heroines, supporting players, directors, producers, et al.

Also included in the database are the producers of these films - men like Sigmund Neufeld at PRC, Trem Carr at Monogram and Republic, Joseph Kane and Gordon Kay of Republic ... Harry 'Pop' Sherman and the Hoppy films ... A. W. Hackel of Supreme Pictures ... Ed Finney, who did most of Tex Ritter's solo starring efforts ... Paul Malvern, who did the early John Wayne 'Lone Star' westerns ... and Robert Emmett Tansey who worked everywhere.

Thanks to Les for providing this information.

Before proceeding to the list, please take a look at the 'ground rules' on what each of the columns includes and does not include:

  • no silent film credits
  • no TV credits
  • no title-changed reissues or changed-for-TV titles
  • no foreign language (not an issue with the vast majority on this list)
  • no 'compilation' films
  • the Westerns column includes both B and A grade films
  • Serials and Shorts may be westerns or non-westerns
  • Features contains no western films
  • each column represents 'at least this many'
  • the only column that may be short is the 'Shorts' segment which is a work-in-progress data base

Date of this database run: 11/21/99
The list is sorted in WESTERN film order.

Producer/Associate Producer Credits Westerns Serials Features Shorts Total
SIGMUND NEUFELD 92 0 37 0 129
COLBERT CLARK 85 0 15 0 100
HARRY SHERMAN 71 0 1 0 72
TREM CARR 68 0 44 0 112
LOUIS GRAY 57 0 0 0 57
EDWARD J. WHITE (Eddy White) 56 0 8 0 64
JOSEPH (Joe) KANE 51 0 8 0 59
A. W. HACKEL 48 0 10 0 58
WILLIAM BERKE 45 0 23 1 69
HARRY GREY 42 0 12 0 54
BERNARD B. RAY 41 0 16 6 63
GORDON KAY 39 0 3 0 42
EDWARD FINNEY 37 0 6 0 43
SCOTT R. DUNLAP 37 0 34 0 71
BERT GILROY 35 0 10 19 64
SAM KATZMAN 33 34 164 0 231
GENE AUTRY 33 0 0 0 33
LEON BARSHA 30 0 6 0 36
SOL LESSER 29 2 44 0 75
OLIVER DRAKE 28 0 2 0 30
GEORGE W. WEEKS 27 0 8 0 35
HARRY L. DECKER 27 0 4 0 31
JACK FIER 26 0 24 0 50
MAURICE CONN 26 0 15 0 41
LARRY DARMOUR 25 12 50 0 87
PAUL MALVERN 24 0 58 0 82
JERRY THOMAS 24 0 7 0 31
RON ORMOND 24 0 5 0 29
BARNEY SARECKY 23 4 35 0 62
SIDNEY PICKNER 23 0 1 0 24
GEORGE SHERMAN 21 0 14 0 35
HARRY S. WEBB 21 2 3 6 32
SOL C. SIEGEL 19 3 73 0 95
WILLIS KENT 19 0 20 2 41
RUDY RALSTON 18 0 6 0 24
BRYAN FOY 17 0 144 2 163
PHILIP N. KRASNE 16 0 7 0 23
VICTOR ADAMSON (Denver Dixon) 16 0 1 0 17
MAX ALEXANDER 15 0 18 1 34
CHARLES J. BIGELOW 14 0 1 0 15
PHIL GOLDSTONE 12 0 7 0 19
BENNETT COHEN 11 0 0 0 11
LOUIS WEISS 7 6 8 0 21
WALLACE FOX 7 0 0 0 7
ALEX GORDON 5 0 6 0 11
HENRY MacRAE (14 western serials) 2 53 1 0 56

The above producer credits/statistics is the property of, and copyright ©1999-2006 by Les Adams

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