SIMPP Member (1945-1953)
Harry Sherman, the producer who brought Hopalong Cassidy to the screen. He
was born in 1884, and began in the film industry as an exhibitor and states
rights distributor. He made a killing from the The Birth of a Nation
(1915) states rights in the west, much like Louis
B. Mayer had in New England.
Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy.
He went into producing during the silent era, and then in 1935 he formed
Harry Sherman Productions planning to produce low-budget Westerns. His
claim-to-fame—the introduction of the Hopalong Cassidy character (based on the
books by Charles E. Mulford)—made his films so exceptionally popular that he
became one of the few B-film independents that was distributed by major studios,
including both Paramount and United Artists. He was very popular among his
workers, who nicknamed him "Pop."
After making 54 films, he had turned over the production of the Hopalong
Cassidy series to the star William Boyd, so that Sherman could concentrate on
moving into the A-picture market. Sherman was one of the many independent
producers who aggressively expanded in the immediate post-war era, only to find
the boom market suddenly and unexpectedly decline. The independent veteran was
plagued by financial problems brought on by the film recession in the late
1940s. Sherman was forced to drop out of SIMPP, but a few years later he renewed
his membership with the Society as he tried to jump-start his career. Just as he
was getting back into production in 1952, Harry Sherman died.
Harry Sherman: Eyles, The Western, pp. 132-133.