Hollywood Renegades Archive

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

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Edward Small, Hollywood Renegade.

Edward Small

SIMPP Member (1943-1951)

Excerpt from Hollywood Renegades by J. A. Aberdeen

Edward Small had one of the most prolific careers of any independent producer, a longevity to rival even Sam Goldwyn. However unlike Goldwyn, Small shunned publicity, so that even though he was one of the most influential and wealthy Hollywood producers, his low profile left him largely unknown to the public.

Edward Small, whose physical stature befit his name, was a talent agent with production ambitions much like Myron Selznick. At the age of 15, Small organized his own agency in New York, and adopted his life-long slogan: "Personality is a commodity." Beginning in 1917 at age 26, his entrance into production was gradual. He moved his operation, the Edward Small Agency (later the Small Company), to Hollywood and turned to producing full-time in 1924.

He cofounded several memorable independent production companies. In 1932 he formed Reliance Pictures in a three-way partnership with Joseph Schenck and Harry M. Goetz. With his company releasing through United Artists, Small produced I Cover the Waterfront (1933), Palooka (1934), and The Count of Monte Cristo (1934). In 1938 he formed Edward Small Productions where he continued to make some of his high-grade literary projects including The Man in the Iron Mask (1939). Small was also a critic of the United Artists management, and threatened to lead a sit-down strike against the studio owners in 1942 when UA failed to meet his terms. Edward Small joined SIMPP in 1943, and became the chairman of the membership committee during the Society's great expansion at the end of World War II.



Edward Small: "Pioneer Indie Producer Edward Small, 85, Dies," DV, January 26, 1977, p. 1; "Small Sez Big Studios Going," DV, December 8, 1948; "Eddie Small Puts Up Bid His Bid for E-L," Variety, May 12, 1949; "Edw. Small Leaving Col for UA," DV, April 30, 1952, p. 1.

See Bibliography.


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