Producer Began with Documentaries

By Llc, Variety Media; | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, January 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

Producer Began with Documentaries


Llc, Variety Media;, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


LOS ANGELES -- Samuel Goldwyn Jr., the son of a fiercely independent-minded Hollywood mogul and the producer of many independent films in his own right including "Mystic Pizza" and studio hits including "Master and Commander," died Friday in Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 88. His son John Goldwyn said he passed away of congestive heart failure.

Goldwyn Jr. received his final credit as a producer, together with son John and others, on Fox's long-gestating remake of the Goldwyn Sr.-produced classic "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," starring and directed by Ben Stiller and released in December 2013.

The courtly and soft-spoken scion was known for shepherding independent and foreign films and got his start in documentary filmmaking, in contrast to his brash father, who made his way from a youth of poverty in Poland to a partner in MGM.

As producer of the Peter Weir-directed "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World" together with Weir and Duncan Henderson, Goldwyn Jr. shared that film's Oscar nomination for best picture in 2004. The film received 10 nominations and won two Oscars.

His Samuel Goldwyn Company was one of the most significant distributors of independent film during the period in which they flourished in the 1980s and '90s. Among the films the company acquired and distributed were David Lynch's Palme d'Or winner "Wild at Heart," Jim Jarmusch's "Stranger Than Paradise," Bill Forsyth's "Gregory's Girl," Alex Cox's "Sid and Nancy," Stephen Frears' "Prick Up Your Ears," Robert Townsend's "Hollywood Shuffle," Charles Burnett's "To Sleep With Anger," John Sayles' "City of Hope," Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet" and Kenneth Branagh's "Much Ado About Nothing."

After a failed merger and lawsuit resulting from MGM's acquisition of the distributor, Goldwyn Jr. …

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