The Mirisch Company
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The Mirisch Company was an American film production company owned by Walter Mirisch and his brothers, Marvin and Harold Mirisch. The company also had sister firms known at various times as Mirisch Production Company, Mirisch Pictures, Inc., Mirisch Films, and The Mirisch Corporation.
Walter Mirisch was in charge of production at Allied Artists Pictures Corporation when the studio made Friendly Persuasion, Love in the Afternoon, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), and numerous others.
The Mirisch Company was founded in 1957 at which time it signed a 12-picture deal with United Artists (UA), which was extended to 20 films two years later. UA acquired the company on March 1, 1963, but the Mirisch brothers continued to produce for their distribution, under other corporate names, in rented space at the Samuel Goldwyn Studio.
It produced many famous motion pictures for United Artists, starting with Fort Massacre (1958) but later including Some Like It Hot (1959), The Horse Soldiers (1959), The Apartment (1960), The Magnificent Seven (1960), West Side Story (1961), The Great Escape (1963), The Pink Panther (1963), Hawaii (1966), In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Fiddler on the Roof (1971), and many others.
In 1964 Mirisch Films Ltd, or Mirisch Films GB was formed in the United Kingdom that produced 633 Squadron, A Shot in the Dark and several other films. The Pink Panther featured an animated Pink Panther that soon became a star of a series of cinema cartoons made by DePatie–Freleng Enterprises that were released by Mirisch/UA.
Mirisch first entered television in 1959 with the series, Wichita Town for NBC. It also co-produced live action television shows such as The Rat Patrol, Hey Landlord and The Magnificent Seven television series, as well as a number of television movies and cartoon shows of The Super 6 and The Pink Panther Show.
They forged long term relationships with such directors as Billy Wilder, Blake Edwards, Robert Wise, George Roy Hill, William Wyler, J. Lee Thompson, John Sturges and Norman Jewison, who directed three consecutive successes for them The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966), In the Heat of the Night (1967) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968).