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  • NAT LEVINE


    Information from IMDb


    Date of Birth
    26 July 1899, New York City, New York, USA


    Date of Death
    6 August 1989, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA


    Birth Name Nathaniel Levine


    Spouse (1)
    Frances (? - ?)


    Mini-Biography
    New York-born Nat Levine got his start in show business when he dropped out of high school
    to take a job as an accountant with the Loew's theater chain, and eventually worked his way up
    to become personal secretary to Marcus Loew. Levine soaked up as much knowledge
    about the film business as he possibly could, and in 1926 he and a few investors produced a serial
    called The Silent Flyer (1926), which they sold to Universal Pictures. Emboldened by the film's success,
    the next year Levine founded his own production company, Mascot Pictures,
    which specialized in serials. The coming of talking pictures didn't deter Mascot from its serial production,
    and in 1931 it produced The Phantom of the West (1931), the company's first all-talking picture.#
    Although Mascot produced a few features, the vast majority of its output was serials,
    starring, among others, Tom Tyler, Harry Carey and John Wayne (for better or worse,
    Levine also was responsible for the birth of the "singing cowboy" by bringing Gene Autry to the screen).


    His most notable success was producing the Tom Mix serial The Miracle Rider (1935),
    which netted over $1 million (Levine dangled $10,000 a week to pull a cash-strapped
    Mix out of retirement and shot the chapters quickly). Mascot's western, action
    #and sci-fi serials were immensely popular, and in a move to expand production,
    Levine signed a lease option on the old Mack Sennett Studios facility, envisioning consolidating
    several independent production companies as a movie studio version of General Motors.
    In 1935 Levine and Herbert J. Yates, the wealthy president of Consolidated Film Labs,
    arranged to merge Mascot with Monogram Pictures, Victory Pictures and a few other
    independents to form Republic Pictures. On paper the deal probably looked good,
    but in reality Levine signed a deal with the devil--in the form of Mr. Yates, an autocratic,
    hard-nosed businessman who retained control of the studio despite it ostensibly
    having a separate production chief, Levine, who was put in charge of producing
    Republic's westerns and serials.


    While running Mascot Levine had perfected the technique of using separate units
    for shooting his serials--one unit shooting all the exposition and dialogue scenes
    and the second simultaneously doing all the interior and exterior action scenes
    (brawls, gun battles, chases, etc.)--and he brought that technique with him to Republic.
    Yates, however, proved to be a difficult man to work with (producers Trem Carr
    and W. Ray Johnston of Monogram left Republic within a year because
    they fought constantly with Yates, and they re-formed Monogram).


    By late 1938 Yates wanted Levine gone; the two men eventually agreed to a buyout
    (which reportedly netted Levine more than $1 million)
    . The money was not as much of a blessing as it would seem, however.
    Levine, who had been an inveterate gambler all his life, now found himself
    with two things he seldom had before: plenty of money and plenty time on his hands
    , and unfortunately he spent most of both at the racetrack.
    Before long all the money he had made on the buyout had been blown on the ponies,
    and he found himself not only unemployed but divorced and broke.
    However, he had become friendly with MGM chief Louis B. Mayer-
    -they both shared a keen interest in horses, Mayer in breeding them and Levine in betting on them
    --and Mayer gave him a job at the studio in the "B" unit. Levine, who had always run his own operation
    , couldn't adjust to being a "hired gun", however, and before long he and MGM parted ways.
    He took a job managing a movie theater in Redondo Beach, California. It apparently suited him,
    as he spent the next 20 years there. By the late 1960s, though, his health started to deteriorate,
    and he was admitted to the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California. While there he granted a handful of interviews but remained cautious of anyone using him to meet other more notable residents.
    He died at the facility in 1989.
    - IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2


    Trivia
    Nat first operated his Mascot 'studio' out of the upstairs offices of a contractor's
    business on Santa Monica Blvd. He specialized in low-budget western serials using mostly rented equipment and kept his production units busy on location.


    Mascot owner Nat Levine was the first to envision buying a studio and consolidating a number of "Poverty Row" independents under one roof into sort of a super-studio. When the old Mack Sennett Studios came up for sale in 1933 he approached a number of producers with his idea, but was rebuffed. Instead, he took an option on the property, moved in, and rented out its sound stages. By 1935, Levine was riding high from his unprecedented success with a Tom Mix serial that had elevated his reputation along Gower Gulch which helped convince Consolidated Film Industries' Herbert J. Yates join him as the principal stockholder (along with Monogram's W. Ray Johnston and Trem Carr in subordinate positions) in merging Mascot and several other independents to form Republic Pictures. Johnston and Carr soon find working with the domineering Yates impossible and leave to reform Monogram in 1936. Yates pushed Levine out the door in 1938.


    He successfully coaxed ageing cowboy superstar Tom Mix (who was facing financial trouble from his failing circus business,


    Filmography
    Producer
    1966 Bat Men of Africa (TV Movie) (producer)
    1966 Sharad of Atlantis (TV Movie) (producer)
    1946 Desert Command (producer)
    1940 Couldn't Possibly Happen (producer - archive footage)
    1939 Four Girls in White (producer)
    1937 Manhattan Music Box (producer)
    1937 Rootin' Tootin' Rhythm (producer - uncredited)
    1937 The Hit Parade (producer)
    1937 Hit the Saddle (producer)
    1937 Circus Girl (producer)
    1937 Round-Up Time in Texas (producer)
    1937 Paradise Express (producer)
    1937 Dick Tracy (producer)
    1937 Two Wise Maids (producer)
    1937 Join the Marines (producer)
    1937 Larceny on the Air (producer)
    1937 The Golden Trail (producer)
    1936 A Man Betrayed (producer)
    1936 The Mandarin Mystery (producer)
    1936 Beware of Ladies (producer)
    1936 Texas Serenade (producer)
    1936 Happy Go Lucky (producer)
    1936 Roarin' Lead (producer)
    1936 The Bold Cavalier (producer)
    1936 The Big Show (producer)
    1936 S.O.S. Clipper Island (producer)
    1936 Country Gentlemen (producer)
    1936 Ghost-Town Gold (producer)
    1936 Ride, Ranger, Ride (producer)
    1936 One for All (producer)
    1936 The Three Mesquiteers (producer)
    1936 Lady Reporter (producer)
    1936 Sitting on the Moon (producer)
    1936 The Mounties Are Coming (producer)
    1936 Oh, Susanna! (producer)
    1936 The Gentleman from Louisiana (producer)
    1936 Follow Your Heart (producer)
    1936 Winds of the Wasteland (producer)
    1936 Ticket to Paradise (producer)
    1936 Guns and Guitars (producer)
    1936 Navy Born (producer)
    1936 Down to the Sea (producer)
    1936 Undersea Kingdom (producer)
    1936 Hearts in Bondage (producer)
    1936 The Lonely Trail (producer - uncredited)
    1936 The Singing Cowboy (producer)
    1936 The Girl from Mandalay (producer)
    1936 The Harvester (producer)
    1936 The House of a Thousand Candles (producer)
    1936 Comin' 'Round the Mountain (producer)
    1936 Stepping Into Society (producer)
    1936 Laughing Irish Eyes (producer)
    1936 Darkest Africa (producer)
    1935 Eventful Journey (producer)
    1935 The Singing Vagabond (producer - uncredited)
    1935 The Fighting Marines (producer - uncredited)
    1935 Sagebrush Troubadour (producer - uncredited)
    1935 1,000 Dollars a Minute (producer)
    1935 Melody Trail (producer)
    1935 Confidential (producer)
    1935 Waterfront Lady (producer - uncredited)
    1935 Streamline Express (producer)
    1935 Harmony Lane (producer)
    1935 Tumbling Tumbleweeds (producer - uncredited)
    1935 The Adventures of Rex and Rinty (producer - uncredited)
    1935 Ladies Crave Excitement (producer - uncredited)
    1935 The Woman in the Case (producer)
    1935 One Frightened Night (producer)
    1935 The Miracle Rider (producer - uncredited)
    1935 Behind the Green Lights (producer)
    1935 The Phantom Empire (producer - uncredited)
    1934 Little Men (producer)
    1934 Mystery Mountain (producer - uncredited)
    1934/II Burn 'Em Up Barnes (producer)
    1934 The Marines Are Coming (producer)
    1934 In Old Santa Fe (producer - uncredited)
    1934 Crimson Romance (producer - uncredited)
    1934 Young and Beautiful (producer - uncredited)
    1934 Law of the Wild (producer - uncredited)
    1934/I The Devil on Wheels (producer - uncredited)
    1934/II The Lost Jungle (producer - uncredited)
    1934/I The Lost Jungle (producer - uncredited)
    1933 The Mystery Squadron (producer - uncredited)
    1933 The Wolf Dog (producer)
    1933 Laughing at Life (producer)
    1933 Fighting Kit Carson (producer)
    1933 The Whispering Shadow (producer - uncredited)
    1933 The Three Musketeers (producer - uncredited)
    1932 The Devil Horse (producer)
    1932 Pride of the Legion (producer)
    1932 The Hurricane Express (producer - uncredited)
    1932 The Last of the Mohicans (producer - uncredited)
    1932 The Shadow of the Eagle (producer)
    1931 The Lightning Warrior (producer - uncredited)
    1931 The Galloping Ghost (producer - uncredited)
    1931 The Vanishing Legion (producer - uncredited)
    1931 King of the Wild (producer)
    1931 The Phantom of the West (producer)
    1930 The Lone Defender (producer - uncredited)
    1929 The King of the Kongo (producer)
    1929 The Fatal Warning (producer)
    1928 The Vanishing West (producer)
    1928 Vultures of the Sea (producer)
    1927 Heroes of the Wild (producer)
    1927 Isle of Sunken Gold (producer)
    1927 The Golden Stallion (producer)
    1926 Hill Folk (producer)
    1926 The Fighting Failure (producer)
    1926 The Silent Flyer (producer)
    1917 Mothers of Men (executive producer)

  • Nat Levine, one of Duke's early producers
    in the Mascot days,
    responsible for casting Duke in 7 movies


    1936 A Man Betrayed (producer)
    1936 The Three Mesquiteers (producer)
    1936 Winds of the Wasteland (producer)
    1936 The Lonely Trail (producer - uncredited)
    1933 The Three Musketeers (producer - uncredited)
    1932 The Hurricane Express (producer - uncredited)
    1932 The Shadow of the Eagle (producer)

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().