Hollywood Renegades Archive

The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

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Harry Sherman

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.

William 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.

See Bibliography.


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