David L. Loew
Enterprise Productions: David Loew and Charles Einfeld
SIMPP Member (1945-1946)
Hal Roach Studio where many influential independents got their start.
David L. Loew was one of the twin sons of MGM founder Marcus Loew. David was
elected to the Loew's Inc. board in 1922 at age 24. He resigned from the studio
in 1935 to launch his own production career at Hal
Roach. He then became
involved with several independent ventures of his own beginning in 1941. He
partnered with director Albert Lewin, a friend of his and a former supervisor at
MGM under Thalberg, to release The Moon and Sixpence (1942) through
United Artists. In 1943 with Arthur S. Lyons, Loew organized a company called
Producing Artists, Inc. And then, at the end of the war, he formed Enterprise
Productions with Charles Einfeld, the former Warner Bros. publicity chief. He
briefly took control of the General Service
Studio in 1943 before the lot reverted back to Benedict Bogeaus in March 1946. Some
of David Loew's best remembered films were produced at the General Service
Studio, including Jean Renoir's The Southerner (1945) and the Marx
Brothers' A Night in Casablanca (1946).
Unfortunately during the late 1940s, many SIMPP members struggled through the
difficult boom and bust of the postwar period. Even the more established
producers were hit-or-miss during this time. Consequently, independent producer
David Loew had only a brief stay with SIMPP. His Enterprise Productions was
designed as an aggressive advocate of profit sharing with production talent, but
the operation proved premature.
Bergman, former Selznick contract player, turned independent.
Publicity photo for Casablanca (1942).
In 1946 he convinced Ingrid Bergman to join Enterprise to make Arch of
Triumph (1948), her first film after fulfilling her contract with Selznick.
The highly-anticipated movie was troubled in production, and had its release
delayed in a disagreement with United Artists. Arch of Triumph cost over
$4 million to make, and lost an estimated $2 million at the box
office—"probably the greatest commercial failure in the history of motion
pictures," said UA's Grad Sears. Loew left SIMPP, grew tired of film
production, and in the early 1950s turned his back on his movie career to become
David L. Loew: "David L. Loew," Variety,
March 28, 1973; Daily Variety Tenth Anniversary Issue, October 29, 1943;
Bergan, Jean Renoir, pp. 249-251.
Enterprise Productions and David Loew: Bowers, The Selznick
Players, p. 79; Bergman and Burgess, My Story, pp. 163-164;
"probably the greatest commercial failure": Balio, United Artists:
The Company Built by the Stars, p. 217; "Movie Producer Quits, Make
Good as Painter," LAT, November 28, 1953.