Behold Grand National Pictures logo, as fancy and fine an Art Deco logo as you’ll ever see. All this for a low-rent studio that lasted only three years (1936-1939) and went into receivership only to have its assets taken over by the only studio at that time lower on the specturm than Grand National, P.R.C. (see previous post). Grand National’s product was limited to singing cowboys and a few movie versions of the popular radio show of the day ‘The Whistler’. That is, however, until they unexpectedly found themselves on the right side of a studio/star conflict. James Cagney had a fight with Warner Brothers and decided to leave and set up his own company. He chose (how?) Grand National as the full service studio where he could park his projects and be his own producer. Alas the two movies he made there, ‘Great Guy’ and ‘Something To Sing About’, both sank without a trace, leaving GN in considerable debt as they’d spent a lot more on the Cagney movies than on any of their other, lesser products. To make matters worse, one of the projects that Cagney brought with him to GN was ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’. When Cagney patched things up with Warner Brothers and deserted Grand National he took the project with him. And that was more or less the end of Grand National Pictures. Ah, show-biz…


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