It only lasted just two years from 1947 to 1949. It was largely the brainchild of actor John Garfield. It managed to a handful of films — and what fine films.
By the mid Forties, Garfield’s contract with Warner Bros. had lapsed, and he had long since tired of being just another star in studio heavens. He wanted more creative control over the movies he made, and given what we have seen since he was entirely justified.
Thus he teamed with a pair of producers — David Loew and Charles Einfeld — to form Enterprise Studios, the kind of independent venture that not only benefited the Garfield but also provided creative flight to other writers, directors and actors.
High among our Enterprise favorites is, ironically, its last, 1948′ Force of Evil. Here Garfield stars as a slick, corrupt lawyer who lethally immerses his older brother (Thomas Gomez, below left) in a mob-run numbers racket.
A solid script, sure direction by Abe Polonsky and strong performances from Garfield and Gomez make Force of Evil an absolute must-see. Ironically, it was a box office bomb when first released, and hastened the demise of Enterprise.
Ok, on to our Quiz. We have provided photos from five other Enterprise productions. You have to come up with the titles. Answers tomorrow.
Question: This 1947 outing directed by Andre DeToth puts Veronica Lake in an unfamiliar setting. Her costar is Joel McCrea, and her husband at the time was actually the movie’s director. The title is…..
Question: Enterprise Studios’ biggest hit has Garfield playing a boxer surrounded by temptations of the flesh (his costar is Lilli Palmer) and otherwise. Cinematographer James Wong Howe used roller skates in the ring to capture the realistic action. The title is…..
Question: One of the Studios’ least known titles has humorist Henry Morgan (remember him?) as a small town rube visiting the Big Apple. Along the way he crosses paths with oddball comedian Arnold Stang as a Western Union clerk. The whole thing is based on a Ring Lardner novel, and is currently a Martin Scorsese favorite. The title is…..
Question: This one qualifies as a prestige outing from Enterprise. It’s a romantic drama set in pre-World War II Paris and costars Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Charles Laughton and Louis Calhern. The title is….
Question: Barbara Bel Geddes, who we saluted last Friday, costars in this noirish drama directed by Max Ophuls about a nice young woman, fresh from charm school, who marries a power-mad millionaire (Robert Ryan). Complications ensue and a sympathetic doctor (James Mason) is on hand to lend support. The title is…