Hollywood Renegades Archive

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

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Andrew L. Stone

SIMPP Member (1945-1948)

Excerpt from Hollywood Renegades by J. A. Aberdeen


Writer-producer-director Andrew L. Stone was another General Service tenant, UA producer, and SIMPP member who helped influence the independent movement. While working for the major studios in the beginning of his independent career, Stone concentrated on light comedy and musical formats (Hi, Diddle Diddle, 1943, Bedside Manner, 1945, and Fun on a Weekend, 1947). However he is best remembered for his later thrillers and urban melodramas (The Steel Trap, 1952, A Blueprint For Murder, 1953, and Cry Terror, 1958). By utilizing natural street settings and actual locations, he pioneered a portable, flexible production method with a much smaller crew that added a unique flavor of authenticity and permitted the production of quality films on a tight budgets.

Stone established himself during the silent era with The Elegy (1927), his independently-produced and economically-made two-reel movie that came to the attention of Adolph Zukor. During the 1930s and early 1940s he was a director at Paramount and Twentieth Century-Fox. With his own production company he made the memorable musical The Girl Said No (1937) distributed by Grand National.

In 1943 he formed his own independent company called Andrew L. Stone Productions to release through United Artists. His wife Virginia Lively Stone became one of his chief collaborators. When the Stones left United Artists in 1947, they were called "Hollywood's only man-and-wife moviemakers," running their production company from their home. Andrew wrote, produced, and directed; Virginia served as co-producer, film editor, and production manager. For their later crime stories, they became amateur criminologists by keeping in touch with police stations across the country. They drew their source material from their own private files of over 15,000 criminal case histories.

 

SOURCES:

Andrew L. Stone: "Andrew and Virginia Stone, Biography," (press release), c. 1955, AMPAS.

See Bibliography.

 

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