Sam Bischoff

Active - 1926 - 1964  |   Born - Aug 11, 1890   |   Died - Jan 1, 1975   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Romance, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

While his Boston University education might have afforded him a more prestigious professional post, American producer Samuel Bischoff preferred the fly-by-night existence of Hollywood's "Poverty Row." He began his career in 1923 with independently produced comedy shorts, including Stan Laurel's Mixed Nuts. Thrifty Columbia Pictures head honcho Harry Cohn was impressed by Bischoff's business acumen, and in 1928 Cohn hired the producer to supervise Columbia's penurious but profitable programmers. In the early talkie era, Bischoff went independent again; he is credited for the direction of 1932's Last Mile, but since this is his only such credit, there's some doubt as to whether or not he really wielded the megaphone. In 1932, Bischoff moved to Warner Bros., where he oversaw many of the bread-and-butter pictures that weren't quite A's, but were too important to be regarded as B's. He was back at Columbia in 1941, this time in charge of the studio's big-budget product (Texas, A Thousand and One Nights etc.). During the 1950s, Bischoff bounced around between RKO, Warner Bros. and Allied Artists. Samuel Bischoff's last film was the 1964 Psycho-wannabe The Strangler, starring Victor Buono.

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