A film distributor turned production executive for Columbia, Bronston was associated with B.P. Schulberg in producing a number of films for the studio in the early 1940s, including "The Adventures of Martin Eden" (1942) and "City Without Men" (1943). In 1943 Bronston set up his own company, Samuel Bronston Productions, releasing "Jack London" (1943) through United Artists. Setting himself up in Spain, Bronston enjoyed his biggest period of success with his own company in the late 1950s, when he oversaw a series of flawed but nonetheless impressively lavish historical spectacles. These epics were often helmed by talented action directors, eager to work abroad or away from some of the constraints of the declining studio system. John Farrow made "John Paul Jones" (1959) for the producer, Anthony Mann helmed "El Cid" (1961) and "The Fall of the Roman Empire" (1964) for Bronston, and Nicholas Ray directed "King of Kings" (1961) and "55 Days at Peking" (1963). Although Bronston's credits at this time also include the more routine contemporary spectacle of "Circus World" (1964), his epic period pieces are admirably detailed and at their best present some interesting character studies.
Encouraged by his success, Bronston invested heavily in the building of major studios near Madrid, and was a key figure in promoting Spain as a site for film production. The recipient of many international honors, including the Grand Cross of Merit by the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (the highest honor of the Catholic Church), Bronston unfortunately overextended his investments and in 1964 had to stop his studio's production. Bronston was subsequently in debt, his company bankrupt, for many years, though in 1971 he announced that a major project, "Isabella of Spain," was in the works. Nothing came of it, however, but in 1976 Bronston did distribute the feature, "The Mysterious House of Doctor C."
Producer (Feature Film)
Production Companies (Feature Film)
Founded Samuel Bronston Productions; released pictures through United Artists
Had to stop production due to financial problems
Announced that he was resuming film production with a new feature, "Isabella of Spain"; feature was never produced
Distributed "The Mysterious House of Doctor C"