Of all the second string studios, it was the most interesting. That’s largely because it was an amalgam of six independent, poverty row production companies, one of which had John Wayne under contract.
Wayne made eight films under the Republic banner, and he learned at the studio how to make movies firsthand. He remains its most heralded graduate.
Republic was formed in 1935 by Herbert J. Yates, a film investor and owner of a film processing unit. He successfully converted the six indebted production companies in the Depression era — all in hock to Yates’ lab — into working units of the new company, under Yates.
Once formed, Republic enjoyed a productive 32-year run.
Most of Republic Pictures’ output was filmed in black and white, although the studio did eventually loosen up to welcome color in a broad variety of titles, some of which was now considered classics.
Republic also promoted the career of several major stars, and eventually became one of the first Hollywood studios to offer its film library for sale to televison. Let’s see how much you know about this feisty independent studio.
- Question: John Wayne supposedly had a clause in his contract that he would never appear with this female costar. Who was she? a) Judy Canova; b) Vera Ralston; c) Joan Crawford; or d) Marlene Dietrich.
2. Question: Republic became known for it ample output of westerns requiring the development of which of these stars? a) Roy Rogers; b) Gene Autrey; c) Rex Allen; or d) William (Hopalong Cassidy) Boyd.
3. Question: Which one of these bigger budget productions did NOT originate in the Republic hopper? a) 1956 The Maverick Queen; b) 1952’s The Quiet Man; c) 1954’s Johnny Guitar; or d) 1949’s Sands of Iwo Jima?
4. Question: Republic notably backed one production directed by Orson Welles, who also starred in the picture? Can you name its title?
5. Question: Founder Yates was intent at all costs at skirting Hollywood censorship since his studio was a full fledged “exploitation” producer. a) True; or b) False.