Carl Laemmle is the extraordinary story of the German-Jewish immigrant who practically invented the modern motion pictures business. Investing in nickelodeons, Carl Laemmle fought and ultimately overcame Thomas Edison’s attempts to monopolize the film industry. Creating Universal Pictures in 1912, Laemmle hired many talents who would go on to become Hollywood legends, including Walt Disney, John Ford, William Wyler and Irving Thalberg. He also hired many women directors and made Lois Weber the highest paid director on his lot. Under Laemmle’s leadership, Universal became known for such classic monster movies as the Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula and The Hunchback of Norte Dame.
When he sold Universal in 1936, Laemmle would go on to do something far more important that any movie or studio he had created: battling the Third Reich and a notoriously anti-Semitic U.S. State Department, he rescued more that 300 Jewish refugee families from the Holocaust.
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