Elie Samaha

Elie Samaha (Arabic: إيلي سماحة; born May 10, 1955) is a film producer in Los Angeles, with production credits beginning with The Immortals in 1995. He has produced over 83 works, primarily films along with some video games. He produced The Boondock Saints (1999), Battlefield Earth (2000), Driven (2001), 3,000 Miles to Graceland (2001), Heist (2001), The Pledge (2001), Spartan (2004), among many others.[2]

Elie Samaha
Elie Kheir Samaha[1]

(1955-05-10) May 10, 1955 (age 66)[1]
Zahlé, Lebanon
OccupationFilm producer
Years active1995–present
Diane Shammas
(m. 1980; div. 1988)

(m. 1992; div. 2000)

Samaha built his reputation in Hollywood first as the owner of Celebrity Cleaners and then with his nightclub on Sunset Strip, the Roxbury. Parlaying the Hollywood friendships he formed through his clubs, Samaha was given a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Pictures in 1999.

Early lifeEdit

Samaha was born in Zahlé, Lebanon.


Samaha was a co-owner/founder of the dry cleaner chain Celebrity Cleaners and co-owner of the Roxbury nightclub in Los Angeles.

Between 1998 and 2004, Samaha produced films under the Franchise Pictures studio title, which included films such as The Boondock Saints , Mercy, Battlefield Earth, The Whole Nine Yards, Get Carter, Angel Eyes and Driven.

Samaha specialized in rescuing stars' pet projects. Franchise Pictures sought out stars whose projects were stalled at the major studios, bringing them aboard at reduced salaries. Samaha approach was to produce star vehicles more cheaply than the larger studios.[3] His unorthodox deals raised eyebrows and the entertainment industry magazine Variety commented that they were "often so complex and variable as to leave outsiders scratching their heads".[4] As Samaha put it during an interview about Battlefield Earth, "I said, 'If John [Travolta] wants to make this movie, what does he want to get paid?' ... Because I do not pay anybody what they make. That is not my business plan."[5]

He is currently the President of Take 3 Productions, which produced Breaking Brooklyn (2016), a dance film starring Louis Gossett Jr., Nathan Kress and Colin Critchley.[6]

In 2000, Samaha was sued by Intertainment Pictures, his business partners on a number of films. Intertainment won a $70 million judgment against Samaha for fraudulently overcharging them for production costs on the films.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Samaha was married to Diane Shammas from 1980 to 1988. He was married to actress Tia Carrere from 1992 to 2000.


He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.


Year Film Credit Notes
1995 The Immortals
1996 Hollow Point Executive producer
Danger Zone
The Last Days of Frankie the Fly
Natural Enemy Direct-to-video
1997 American Perfekt Executive producer
The Maker Executive producer
The Peacekeeper Executive producer
Top of the World
Lesser Prophets Executive producer
1998 Monument Ave.
20 Dates Executive producer
Shadrach Executive producer
Scar City
This Is My Father Executive producer
Break Up
No Code of Conduct
Free Money Executive producer
A Murder of Crows
1999 Tycus Executive producer Direct-to-video
The Confession
Restraining Order Executive producer
The Boondock Saints
Woman Wanted Executive producer
Storm Catcher Executive producer
If... Dog... Rabbit...
The Third Miracle
The Big Kahuna
The White River Kid
2000 Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her Executive producer
Animal Factory
Jill Rips Executive producer
The Whole Nine Yards Executive producer
Battlefield Earth
Auggie Rose Executive producer
The Art of War Executive producer
Get Carter
Desperate But Not Serious Executive producer
2001 The Pledge
The Caveman's Valentine
Green Dragon
3000 Miles to Graceland
Angel Eyes
Plan B Executive producer
Viva Las Nowhere Executive producer
2002 Zig Zag
FeardotCom Executive producer
Avenging Angelo
City by the Sea
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
Half Past Dead
2003 The Foreigner
The In-Laws
Alex & Emma
2004 Spartan
Laws of Attraction Executive producer
The Whole Ten Yards
Out of Reach Direct-to-video
Funky Monkey Executive producer
2005 Into the Sun
A Sound of Thunder Executive producer
Dead Fish Executive producer
2006 Tristan & Isolde
Rescue Dawn Executive producer
Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Executive producer
Game of Life Executive producer
I Could Never Be Your Woman Executive producer
Trainwreck: My Life as an Idiot
The Flock
7-10 Split Executive producer
The Anna Nicole Smith Story Executive producer
2008 Impulse Executive producer Direct-to-video
Columbus Day Executive producer
2009 The Six Wives of Henry Lefay Executive producer
2016 Exposed Executive producer
2018 Breaking Brooklyn
As an actor
Year Film Role Notes
1998 20 Dates Producer Voice role
As writer
Year Film
1995 The Immortals
Music department
Year Film Role
2002 Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Executive soundtrack producer
Year Film Role
2003 Wonderland The producers and director wish to thank
2018 Billionaire Boys Club Special thanks


Year Title Credit Notes
1998 On the Border Executive producer Television film
2012 KDOC First Night 2013 Executive producer Television special
2015 The 3rd Annual Noble Awards Executive producer Television special

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Elie Samaha". IMDb.
  2. ^ Vagg, Stephen (March 10, 2020). "Ten Billionaires Who Were Stung by Hollywood". Filmink.
  3. ^ Shprintz, Janet (July 31, 2009). "Legal eagle says Elie fudged budgets". Variety.
  4. ^ Bing, Jonathan (June 9, 2003). "The Samaha Syndrome". Variety.
  5. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (May 14, 2000). "The Samaha Formula for Hollywood Success". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2008.
  6. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (January 4, 2016). "Louis Gossett Jr Is 'Breaking Brooklyn': Jay Huguley Has 'Heart, Baby'".
  7. ^ Shprintz, Janet (June 17, 2004). "Samaha slammed".

External linksEdit