Sunday, December 11, 2005
* Known For: stylish and sophisticated musicals; literary adaptations, King Kong; this is also the studio that allowed Orson Welles to make Citizen Kane
* In Charge: kept changing through the 1930s
* Directors: most often on loan from other studios (e.g. John Ford, George Cukor, Howard Hawks)
* Actresses: Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers
* Actors: Fred Astaire
* Typical Films: King Kong, Astaire and Rogers musicals
RKO pictures enjoys a storied and renowned legacy. Founded in 1929 from the merger of the Keith Orpheum theater circuit (1882), Joseph P. Kennedy’s Film Booking Office (1917) and Radio Corporation of America (RCA) (1909), RKO is the oldest of the continuously operating movie studios, and occupies a unique place in the history of filmmaking. In fact, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, RKO released an average of 40 movies per year, and in some years we released one film each week!
Some of the extraordinary talent to appear in RKO productions, include: Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Orson Welles, Robert Mitchum, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, John Ford and Alfred Hitchcock. RKO classics have included: King Kong, Citizen Kane, It's a Wonderful Life, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Belles of St. Mary, The Best Years of Our Lives, as well as a host of Astaire-Rogers musicals. The Walt Disney evergreens Fantasia and Snow White were also distributed by RKO.