Arthur P. Jacobs
|Arthur P. Jacobs|
March 7, 1922|
|Died||June 27, 1973
|Spouse(s)||Natalie Trundy (1968–1973; his death)|
Arthur P. Jacobs (March 7, 1922 – June 27, 1973) was a press agent turned film producer responsible for numerous classic films of the 1960s and 1970s, including the Planet of the Apes series, Doctor Dolittle, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Play It Again, Sam and Tom Sawyer through his company APJAC Productions.
Born in Los Angeles, after losing his father in a car accident in 1940 and his mother to cancer in 1959. Jacobs majored in cinema at the University of Southern California in 1942. Starting as a courier at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1943, he graduated to their publicity department before being lured to Warner Bros. as a publicist in 1946. In 1947 he left Warner to open his own public relations office, and in 1956 he formed The Arthur P. Jacobs Co., Inc. Among his clients were Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe.
In 1963, Jacobs formed the film company APJAC Productions, which released its first production, What a Way to Go! – which Monroe agreed to star on before her death, causing her to be replaced with Shirley MacLaine – the following year. What a Way to Go! became one of 20th Century Fox highest-grossing productions in 1964, earning Jacobs credit for the studio to finance Doctor Dolittle, a malligned movie that failed both critically and commercially upon release in 1967; and Planet of the Apes, which became a box office hit in 1968 and spawned four sequels. At the same time Jacobs' APJAC merged with Jerome Hellman Productions, and produced the musical Goodbye, Mr. Chips for MGM - that despite being cheaper and less troublesome than Dr. Dolittle went mostly unnoticed at the box office.
According to his wife, Natalie Trundy, Jacobs stated "I will never in my lifetime make a film that cannot be seen by the whole family" and gave the rights to Midnight Cowboy away to another producer for no fee saying "I will not have my name on it". Midnight Cowboy was produced by Jerome Hellman, who won the 1969 Academy Award for Best Picture for it.
In 1973 APJAC Productions was renamed APJAC International. Jacobs produced the Readers Digest-financed Tom Sawyer, a musical which featured both a script and song score by the Sherman Brothers was to be the first in a five picture deal with the prolific brothers. During production of the second, Huckleberry Finn, Jacobs died suddenly of a heart attack on June 27, 1973 at the age of 51. Between the loss of Jacobs and a protracted recovery from knee surgery of Robert B. Sherman, Huckleberry Finn suffered creatively. In addition to producing Huckleberry Finn, Jacobs was working on a number of projects at the time; he had just made a pilot for a TV series revival of Topper Returns starring Roddy McDowall, Stefanie Powers and John Randolph; a Planet of the Apes TV series; and a full-length science fiction feature called Voyage of the Oceanauts. Arthur Jacobs' widow Natalie Trundy – who was filming Huckleberry Finn on location at the time of his death – assumed directorship of her late husband's film company, and APJAC Productions sold all rights and privileges of the Planet of the Apes adventures to Fox, choosing to concentrate on future projects.
- Huckleberry Finn, 1974...aka Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn: A Musical Adaptation (USA: promotional title)
- Battle for the Planet of the Apes, 1973
- Tom Sawyer, 1973... aka A Musical Adaptation of Mark Twain's 'Tom Sawyer' (USA: promotional title)
- Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, 1972
- Play It Again, Sam, 1972
- Escape from the Planet of the Apes, 1971
- Beneath the Planet of the Apes, 1970
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips, 1969
- The Chairman, 1969... aka The Most Dangerous Man in the World (UK)
- Planet of the Apes, 1968
- Doctor Dolittle, 1967
- What a Way to Go!, 1964
- Topper Returns 1973 (TV) (executive producer)
- Who Was Who in America: 1974–76, v. 6 – Marquis (Feb 1977)
- Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998), American Movie Classics
- Jacobs, Hellman Merge Under APJAC Banner – 'Boxoffice' (January 16, 1967)
- Hall, Neale (2010), p. 186
- p.305 Weaver, Tom Natalie Trundy Interview in Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic SF and Horror Filmmakers McFarland, 01/01/2003
- Hall, Neale (2010), p. 347
- Beyond the Planet of the Apes – 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' No. 103 (December 1973)
- Natalie Trundy: Monkey Business on the Planet of the Apes – 'Planet of the Apes' UK Issue No. 26 (April 19, 1975)
- Hall, Sheldon; Neale, Stephen (2010). Epics, Spectacles, and Blockbusters: A Hollywood History. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-3008-1.