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Menahem Golan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (13)  | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (3)

Born in Tiberias, Palestine [now Israel]
Died in Tel Aviv, Israel
Birth NameMenahem Globus

Mini Bio (1)

Menahem Golan was born Menahem Globus to parents of Polish decent in Tiberias, Israel, in May 1929. In his early years, he was a pilot for the fledgling Israeli Air Force, changing his surname to Golan for patriotic reasons in 1948. A few years later, he took the first step towards his future career by attending the Old Vic Theatre School in London. After returning to Israel, he produced for theater, until joining producer Roger Corman as an assistant on The Young Racers (1963). Golan's debut film in partnership with his younger cousin Yoram Globus was El Dorado (1963). The two cousins set up Noah Films to produce for the Israeli market. Golan's role was as producer and the creative partner, with Globus as the financial expert. The company was first recognized overseas when its production Sallah (1964) won an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and then won the Golden Globe in the same category in 1965. However, the cousins were desperate to break into the international market. Some of their films had been picked up for distribution in America, such as Kazablan (1973) by MGM, but this was not enough.

In 1979 the pair bought control of a failing production company, The Cannon Group Inc., from Dennis Friedland and Christopher C. Dewey, and it was this company that gave them international renown. Under their control, the Cannon Group grew from a small company making a few obscure pictures a year to a studio that produced 35 pictures in 1987 alone. They developed a large, independent, and international empire, with production, distribution, and exhibition interests across Europe. Golan and Globus hit their peak with Cannon in the mid-1980s, signing Sylvester Stallone for a record US$13 million in 1983 for Over the Top (1987) and purchasing the UK's Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment in 1986. This last deal led to their ownership of the ABC cinema circuit and Elstree Studios in Britain. However, by 1987, the money was starting to run out. Many of their movies were not making enough at the box office despite the cousins' wide cinema ownership, and they had taken on a lot of debt during their rapid growth, making more expensive pictures in the process. They were initially rescued by Warner Bros., which took distribution rights to Cannon's better films--for example, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), based on a character that Warner already owned--and also took an interest in some of its assets. The end of Cannon came in 1989 when, virtually bankrupt, the company was bought by the now-disgraced financier Giancarlo Parretti and renamed Pathé Communications (after the new MGM-Pathé collapsed in 1992, Globus produced pictures with Christopher Pearce, which were released under a resurrected Cannon Pictures label. The last of these was American Cyborg: Steel Warrior (1993) before the company folded for good).

Golan fell out with Parretti and Globus, leaving Pathé, and starting 21st Century Pictures. He produced a number of films that received widespread distribution, such as Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994) and Captain America (1990), but by the mid-1990s this company had folded, too. Golan's name was later linked with other new companies, such as International Dynamic Pictures and Magic Entertainment, and he rejoined cousin Yoram for both. However, the two soon fell out again and went their separate ways, with Golan writing and directing for other producers in the interim. Golan's latest company is New Cannon Inc., and his recent works include Crime and Punishment (2002) and Open Heart (2002). Unfortunately for his fans, it now seems unlikely that Golan will recreate the success of his heyday. Menahem Golan has long been criticized (sometimes unfairly) for an emphasis on quantity rather than quality. It's true that some of the movies he has produced have been laughable or unwatchable. However, now out of the limelight of a critical industry, some of his company's once-derided films have achieved cult status, such as Mona Lisa (1986), Godfrey Reggio's Powaqqatsi (1988), and the "Lemon Popsicle" series. Golan's ongoing drive, energy, and past contribution to the world of cinema will undoubtedly and belatedly be recognized for the achievement this represents.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Giles Howard

Spouse (1)

Rachel (? - 8 August 2014) ( his death) ( 3 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Action films, usually starring Chuck Norris or other martial arts stars
Known for his extremely quick production style which allowed him to put out dozens of films each year
His charismatic personality
Gratuitous, over the top violence and nudity
His films were often very low budget

Trivia (13)

Along with his cousin, Yoram Globus, bought the Cannon Group production company in 1979 and ran it throughout the 1980s. Because of their fast, low-budget style of filmmaking, they earned the nickname the Go-Go Boys.
He grew up in Tiberius, a city located in northern Israel, on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Purchased UK production company Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment. [1986]
Purchased Britain's Elstree Studios. [1986]
Started US production company 21st Century Pictures.
Co-founder of Israeli film production company Noah Films.
He had attempted to make a live-action film of the Marvel comics hero Spider-man as early as 1986 but it never happened.
He has been called the greatest film salesman in the history of the business.
During his time at Cannon, directors were ordered to have as many film as possible for Charles Bronson and Chuck Norris, commonly known as "the two Chucks".
Robert Forster described him as one of the best directors he ever worked for.
He has been praised as a predecessor and trailblazer for other independent film producers such as the Weinstein brothers and Jason Blum.
He was praised in his time for giving directors a strong degree of independence and freedom to pursue their visions.
He has been called the "father of Israeli cinema".

Personal Quotes (4)

If you make an American film with a beginning, a middle and an end, with a budget of less than five million dollars, you must be an idiot to lose money.
The film business is the only business where a negative is a positive.
I make films, love them, sometimes I also do an excellent job. I don't consider myself an Ingmar Bergman, I don't make "message" films. I make them for the audience in the theater who doesn't get bored, laughs at a comedy, cries at a tragedy, with a lot of emotion. I'm hoping that there's still a future.
For me a director is a director, he dictates the piece, creates it and I need to help him. The producer brings together all the elements that make it possible for the director to make the film - develop the script, hire the actors, hire the director and then work together with him. The director is the architect and the producer is the engineer.

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