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Howard W. Koch Collection
Howard W. Koch
Howard W. Koch

Howard W. Koch (1916-2001) was born in New York City. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School in New York and Peddie Preparatory School in Hightstown, New Jersey. A job in the contract department in the New York offices of Universal Pictures led to his decision to move to Hollywood in 1935. He spent the next nine years working in the film library at 20th Century-Fox. In 1944 Koch became an assistant director. His association with producer Aubrey Schenck resulted in the formation of Bel-Air Productions in the early 1950s. Through Bel-Air, Koch produced a number of films released by United Artists, among them Beachhead (1954) and War Drums (1957). His subsequent directorial assignments ranged from Born Reckless (20th Century-Fox, 1937) to Untamed Youth (Warner Bros., 1957). Koch executive produced a number of films starring Frank Sinatra, including The Manchurian Candidate (United Artists, 1962), Come Blow Your Horn (Paramount, 1963), and None But the Brave (Warner Bros., 1965). After serving as vice president in charge of production at Paramount for two years, Koch formed his own company to produce films for Paramount in 1966. Koch produced several films based on Neil Simon plays, including The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1972), Plaza Suite (1971), and The Odd Couple (1968). Airplane! (1980) and Ghost (1990) are Howard W. Koch productions. Other credits as executive producer include Dragonslayer (Paramount, 1981). Koch has served on the Academy Board of Governors since 1969 (treasurer, 1970-1972; first vice president, 1972-1976; vice president, 1976-1977), including two terms as president from June 1977 to May 1979. Between 1971 and 1982 he produced eight Academy Award shows. Koch was presented the Academy's 1989 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The Howard W. Koch Collection spans the years 1953-1959 and encompasses 0.2 linear foot. The collection contains production and general files. The production information consists of cast sheets, final production costs, and production data sheets (which include credits, start and finish date, and release date) for thirty films released by United Artists in the 1950s. Titles include Beachhead, Crime Against Joe (1956), Desert Sands (1955), Emergency Hospital (1956), Fort Bowie (1958), Ghost Town (1956), Hell Bound (1957), Jungle Heat (1957), Outlaw's Son (1957), Pharaoh's Curse (1957), Quincannon, Frontier Scout (1956), Rebel in Town (1956), Shield for Murder (1954), Three Bad Sisters (1956), Untamed Youth, Voodoo Island (1957), War Drums, and The Yellow Tomahawk (1954). The general files contain delivery and release dates for Bel-Air Productions in 1957; contract breakdowns for various writers and directors; and production recaps (includes start and finish dates, days in production, and footage and running times). Gift of Howard W. Koch, December 6, 1993.





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