The magnificent seven Mirisch companies: competitive strategy and corporate authorship

Kerr, Paul ORCID: (2020) The magnificent seven Mirisch companies: competitive strategy and corporate authorship. In: United Artists. Krämer, Peter, Needham, Gary, Tzioumakis, Yannis and Balio, Tino, eds. The Routledge Hollywood Centenary Series . Routledge, pp. 112-131. ISBN 9780367178987, pbk-ISBN 9780367179007, e-ISBN 9780429058332. [Book Section] (doi:10.4324/9780429058332-6)

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The Mirisch Company (and its six corporate siblings) was the most commercially and critically successful independent production company in Hollywood in the late 1950s and 1960s – winning Best Picture Oscar three times between 1960 and 1967 and supplying United Artists with five of its ten most profitable films between 1957 and 1969. However, there is still no academic study of the company. In this chapter, I ask whether understanding how the Mirisch companies operated as suppliers for UA (1957 to 1974) helps explain why so many memorable late fifties, sixties and early seventies films including Some Like it Hot, The Magnificent Seven, The Apartment, West Side Story, The Great Escape, The Pink Panther, In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair and Fiddler on the Roof were all made by the Mirisches? Would expanding our knowledge, not just of the individuals working there, but also of their corporate working practices, their business structures and strategies, enable us to understand the characteristics such films may have in common – and why - and distinguish them from other contemporaneous Hollywood productions and production companies? To answer those questions, I rely on Michael E Porter’s book, Competitive Strategy and on the concept of corporate authorship.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Media
Item ID: 27386
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in United Artists on 12 February 2020, available online:
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Depositing User: Paul Kerr
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 07:38
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 16:39

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