Amicus Productions

Amicus Productions is a British film production company, based at Shepperton Studios, England. It was founded by American producer and screenwriter Milton Subotsky and Max Rosenberg. Amicus is perhaps best known for Subotsky's own trademark portmanteau horror anthologies, such as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1964), directed by genre stalwart Freddie Francis, and The House That Dripped Blood (1970). These films, of which Amicus made several, typically feature four or sometimes five short horror stories, linked by an overarching plot featuring a narrator and those listening to his story. Amicus films are often mistaken for the output of the better-known Hammer Films, to which they are similar in visual style, and with which they share many stars, including Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Unlike the period gothic Hammer films, however, Amicus productions were usually set in the present day. They now enjoy a considerable cult following of their own.

Amicus Productions also produced small number of sci-fi films, with adaptations of several of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and, in the mid-1960s, two films based on the
then-relatively-new television series Doctor Who. Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD, the first (and still the only) big-screen adaptations of the long-running series, were filmed in Technicolor at a time when the series itself was still filmed in black-and-white, giving Dr. Who and the Daleks the additional distinction of being the first time Doctor Who had appeared in colour. In these films, Peter Cushing played The Doctor, and the backstory and continuity established for the TV series were largely ignored.

In 1968, Amicus funded and produced a film version of Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party, directed by William Friedkin, who later found fame with The Exorcist.

In 2003, Anchor Bay Entertainment released a five disc DVD box-set of Amicus films in a coffin-shaped container. In 2005, Amicus was revived to produce homages to the old titles as well as original horror fare.

British horror film label Amicus Entertainment has been reanimated by producer Robert Katz, longtime Amicus exec Julie Moldo and financier Jay Firestone. While the company plans to scare up remakes of such Amicus classics as "The House That Dripped Blood," the shingle will start with two original low-budget horror films. A deal is in the works with a distributor, Katz said, and the goal will be to make as many as six films per year, four budgeted under $5 million and two up to $20 million each.

Milton Subotsky

Milton Subotsky (b. 27 September 1921 - d. 27 June 1991) was an American TV and Film writer/producer. In 1964, in England, he formed Amicus Productions with Max J Rosenberg. Together they produced a number of low budget science fiction and horror films.

Milton Subotsky was born in New York. During World War II he served in the Signal Corps where he wrote and edited technical training films. After the war, he began his career as a writer/producer during the "Golden Age" of television in the 1950's. In 1954 he produced and wrote the TV series Junior Science. He graduated to feature films in 1956, producing Rock, Rock, Rock, for which he also composed 9 songs. In 1960 he moved to England where he produced his first horror movie Horror Hotel at Shepperton Studios.

In 1964, with Max J Rosenberg, Amicus Productions was formed, based at Shepperton Studios, England. Together they produced several cult classic films such as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1964), Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), Scream and Scream Again (1970) and The Land That Time Forgot (1974).

Amicus broke up in 1975, but Subotsky continued producing. In 1980 he co-produced the TV series The Martian Chronicles, from the book by Ray Bradbury. He also worked on several adaptations of Stephen King's novels. He died of heart disease in 1991.

Max J. Rosenberg

Max J. Rosenberg (September 13, 1914 – June 14, 2004) was an influential American film producer, whose film career stretched across six decades. He was particularly noted for his horror or supernatural films, and found much of his success while working in England.

Rosenberg was born in the Bronx, New York. In 1945 he entered the film business by becoming a foreign film distributor. Although he primarily produced horror or supernatural films, his first film Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) was a musical. His partner in this film was Milton Subotsky, and the two would start the British company Amicus Productions in 1964.

During his career he produced more than 50 films, on some of which he was not credited. Among the horror and supernatural films he produced were such titles as Tales from the Crypt (1972), The Land That Time Forgot (1975), and its sequel, The People That Time Forgot (1977). In 1957 he produced the first horror film in color, The Curse of Frankenstein.

Rosenberg also produced a children's film, Lad, a Dog (1962), a pair of films based on the Doctor Who series, and director Richard Lester's first film, It's Trad, Dad! (1962). He was particularly proud to have produced the 1968 film of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, starring Robert Shaw and directed by William Friedkin. He worked well into his 80s; his final film credit was 1997's Perdita Durango aka Dance With the Devil.

Rosenberg died in 2004 in Los Angeles, California.