Did Charles Bluhdorn Sell Paramount Pictures Before The Godfather Was Released? – ‘The Offer‘ is a dramatised retelling of Francis Ford Coppola’s violent 1972 gangster thriller ‘The Godfather.’ Michael Tolkin’s biographical drama series focuses on producer Albert S. Ruddy’s endeavours to produce the landmark movie while handling multiple challenges.
The film is ready to shoot in the 5th episode of the series, titled “Kiss the Ring,” but Paramount Pictures owner Charles Bluhdorn chooses to sell the studio. Viewers will undoubtedly be interested to hear whether Bluhdorn actually sold Paramount and how the sale affected the development of ‘The Godfather.’
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Born: September 20, 1926 Vienna, Austria
Died: February 20, 1983
Did Charles Bluhdorn Really Sell Paramount Pictures?
Charles George Bluhdorn (born Karl Georg Blühdorn) was an American entrepreneur of Austrian descent. Bludhorn purchased Michigan Bumper, a minor car components manufacturer, in 1956. Gulf and Western Industries would later grow into a conglomerate, and Bluhdorn diversified the company’s portfolio by purchasing additional enterprises.
One of these purchases was Gulf and Western Industries’ purchase of Paramount Pictures in 1966. In 1912, the Famous Players Film Company was established. Under the direction of W. W. Hodkinson, the production studio became one of the five companies that established the Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1914. Over the years, the studio went by various names and enjoyed success in the decades that followed.
However, the corporation was cash-strapped in the 1960s and faced an uncertain future. Bluhdorn bought Paramount in 1966, ushering the studio into a new era. Robert Evans was named studio head by Bluhdorn, and the firm saw great box office returns under Evans and Bluhdorn.
The company released the critically and financially successful films ‘The Odd Couple‘ and ‘Rosemary’s Baby‘ in 1968, followed by ‘Love Story‘ in 1970. ‘The Offer‘ depicts Bluhdorn considering dumping Paramount Pictures from the Gulf and Western Industries portfolio in 1971, as ‘The Godfather’ was gearing up for production. However, there are no reports that Bluhdorn is considering selling the studio altogether.
In contrast, Paramount continued to expand abroad, forming the Cinema International Corporation with Universal Studios in 1970 to distribute both studios’ films internationally. As a result, it’s safe to assume that the television show’s depiction of Bluhdorn wishing to sell Paramount Pictures before the debut of ‘The Godfather’ is purely fictional.
According to news accounts, Paramount was in financial trouble around the time of the filming of ‘The Godfather,’ and Bluhdorn had to sell some assets to keep the company from going bankrupt.
Until his death in 1983, Bluhdorn retained ownership of Paramount Pictures through Gulf and Western Industries. The studio released ‘The Godfather’ in 1972, which was another box office success. Bluhdorn also worked on the sequels to the film, with the 3rd episode, ‘The Godfather Part III,’ released in 1990, being dedicated to his memory.
After the premiere of ‘The Godfather,’ Paramount Pictures remained under Bluhdorn’s Gulf and Western Industries for several years. It is also still one of the world’s largest studios.