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Hemdale Film Corporation

Hemdale Film Corporation
Fate Shut down
Founded 1967 (as The Hemdale Company)
Defunct 1995
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, California, USA[1]
Key people
David Hemmings
John Daly
Derek Gibson
Products movies
VHS tapes
Slogan "A major independent"

Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1993, was an independent film production company and distributor founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and his manager, John Daly. Hemmings left the company in 1971, and Daly purchased his stock.[2]

Hemdale began as an investment company to cut the high personal taxes on British actors.[2] Eventually, the company went public as Hemdale Ltd. and began diversifying. Hemdale launched a Muhammed Ali.[2] Hemdale also distributed cable TV to hotels, which, in 1974, was its major source of revenue.[2] After producing and distributing British films throughout the 1970s, Hemdale relocated to Hollywood in 1980 and focused extensively on movie-making.[2][4] Derek Gibson later joined the company.

Among its most well-known films are The Terminator, The Return of the Living Dead, Hoosiers, Salvador, River's Edge, Platoon, and The Last Emperor; the latter two were back-to-back recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Despite these critical and commercial successes, Hemdale followed these films up with a series of box office bombs and the company eventually declared bankruptcy.[5]

In 1991, Eric Parkinson joined Hemdale as president of the company, eventually shutting down its production facilities and duties, and started acquiring and distributing films independently produced by others.

In 1996, Hemdale shut its doors, shortly after it was announced that Daly and Gibson would leave the company.[6] The library was then incorporated into Consortium de Realisation, a French holding company set up to handle the rights to titles acquired by Credit Lyonnais Bank.

After the studio's closing, the Hemdale library was incorporated into the Orion Pictures output now owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, after MGM acquired the Consortium de Realisation library from PolyGram (ironically, Orion was the original distributor for many of Hemdale's films). One key exception is The Last Emperor, a Hemdale production originally issued by Columbia Pictures, but whose rights are now held by its producer, Jeremy Thomas. Most of the foreign productions Hemdale distributed have subsequently returned to their original owners (such as Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, which producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha now controls worldwide).

In 1991, Hemdale created a collection of many video cassette titles released by Hemdale Home Video, which was formed by Parkinson, around the United States of America. In 1995, the video rights to some of Hemdale's higher-profile titles were licensed to LIVE Entertainment (now Lionsgate).

In 1995, the video rights to some of Hemdale's higher-profile titles were licensed to LIVE Entertainment (now Lionsgate).

The company's last new credit was for the Virgin Games video game adaptation of The Terminator, which showed up on the game's start up screen as "Hemdale's The Terminator" in text on the scrolling logo, despite all box art calling it "The Terminator".


Release Date Title Notes
April 24, 1981 Cattle Annie and Little Britches distributed by Universal Pictures
October 16, 1981 Strange Behavior distributed by World Northal
June 24, 1983 Yellowbeard distributed by Orion Pictures
October 1983 Escape from the Bronx
April 1984 Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr
June 1984 A Breed Apart distributed by Orion Pictures
September 28, 1984 Irreconcilable Differences co-production with Warner Bros.
October 26, 1984 The Terminator distributed by Orion Pictures
November 16, 1984 Special Effects distributed by New Line Cinema
November 1984 Perfect Strangers
January 25, 1985 The Falcon and the Snowman distributed by Orion Pictures
February 9, 1986 A Killing Affair
August 16, 1985 The Return of the Living Dead distributed by Orion Pictures
January 1986 Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf
April 18, 1986 At Close Range distributed by Orion Pictures
April 23, 1986 Salvador
November 1, 1986 Inside Out
November 14, 1986 Hoosiers distributed by Orion Pictures
November 21, 1986 Body Slam distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
November 21, 1986 Defense of the Realm
December 19, 1986 Platoon distributed by Orion Pictures
May 8, 1987 River's Edge distributed by Island Pictures
May 15, 1987 Made in U.S.A. distributed by TriStar Pictures
May 1987 My Little Girl
June 12, 1987 Burke & Wills
July 10, 1987 The Whistle Blower
July 30, 1987 High Tide distributed by TriStar Pictures
August 1, 1987 Love at Stake distributed by TriStar Pictures
September 18, 1987 Hotel Colonial distributed by Orion Pictures
September 25, 1987 Best Seller distributed by Orion Pictures
November 1987 Slate, Wyn & Me
1988 Scenes from the Goldmine
February 5, 1988 The Supergrass
March 25, 1988 High Season
April 15, 1988 The Last Emperor
May 25, 1988 The Tale of Ruby Rose
November 23, 1988 Buster
December 23, 1988 The Boost
January 13, 1989 Ha-Holmim
January 21, 1989 Cheap Shots
January 27, 1989 Cohen and Tate
March 3, 1989 Out Cold
April 28, 1989 Criminal Law
May 19, 1989 Miracle Mile
June 2, 1989 Vampire's Kiss
July 21, 1989 Shag
August 18, 1989 Blood Red
September 22, 1989 The Time Guardian
September 29, 1989 War Party
October 6, 1989 The Everlasting Secret Family
November 10, 1989 Staying Together
January 26, 1990 Incident at Raven's Gate
April 20, 1990 Chattahoochee
May 6, 1990 The Belly of an Architect
??, 1992 Merlin - The True Story of Magic
August 21, 1992 Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland
June 3, 1994 The Princess and the Goblin


  1. ^ "Release date not set for movie shot in S.C." Associated Press (November 6, 1988). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lambie, Ryan (7 April 2015). "The Rise and Fall of Hemdale". Den of Geek. 
  3. ^ John Daly biography - Yahoo Movies
  4. ^ Thomas, Bob. "Independent filmmakers may produce over half of releases." Associated Press (October 23, 1986). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
  5. ^ Hemdale Communications Inc. files a voluntary petition for bankruptcy
  6. ^ Hemdale Communications Inc. announces resignation of chairman John Daly and president Derek Gibson; March 6, 1995

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