The rumor that cropped up most frequently in Hollywood during the past decade was that United Artists Corp., once one of the most profitable of Hollywood companies, would be sold. U.A. was set up in 1919 by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. (Birth of a Nation) Griffith to distribute films made independently by each of the partners. Now Fairbanks and Griffith were dead, Mary Pickford made no pictures and Chaplin almost none. All that the company had to offer a prospective buyer was a famous name and a system of 32 film distribution exchanges in...

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