In the course of his forty-year career as film producer, entrepreneur, and studio head, Thom Mount has made an indelible mark on the American film industry. Born in Durham, North Carolina, he studied art at Bard College where he received a BA, and served on Bard's Board of Trustees for many years. He received an MFA in Film and Video at the California Institute of the Arts. After "start up" jobs working for Roger Corman, Jane Fonda, and Daniel Selznick, Mount started as an assistant at Universal Pictures in late 1972. He developed and supervised "youth unit" and low-budget comedies there and was appointed head of Universal Studios at the age of 26, (dubbed a "baby mogul" by Time magazine).
MCA/Universal Chairman Lew Wasserman was a mentor to Mount, placing him on the executive fast track and charging him with managing studio relationships including Alfred Hitchcock, Dino DeLaurentis, Edith Head, George Roy Hill, and Paul Newman. He was responsible for much of the studio's success in the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s with almost 200 films under his supervision. They included Back to the Future, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Blues Brothers, Car Wash, Coal Miner's Daughter, Conan the Barbarian, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Missing, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, National Lampoon's Animal House, On Golden Pond, Repo Man, Scarface, Smokey and the Bandit, The Breakfast Club, The Deer Hunter, and The Jerk.
After leaving Universal in late 1984, Mount founded his own company, which produced acclaimed films like Bull Durham, Tequila Sunrise, Frantic, Natural Born Killers, Can't Buy Me Love, The Indian Runner, Night Falls on Manhattan, and Death and the Maiden, which he first produced on stage in London's West End and on Broadway.
Mount is a co-founder of the Los Angeles Film School, two-term president of the Producers Guild of America (which he helped to revitalize), and has been a consultant for RKO Pictures. He joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1977. He started a new venture in 2012, Day for Night Productions, which focuses on developing and producing "youth" genre films of high quality.
Mount has taught at many universities internationally, and served on the board of political and charitable organizations including presidential campaign positions with Senator Ted Kennedy and Governor Bill Richardson. He served on the President's Advisory Board at Duke University, Cal Arts Board of Trustees, and advisory boards at The University of Texas at Austin, George Eastman House, North Carolina School of the Arts, Florida Atlantic University, and many socially progressive groups. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, and is called upon to speak on media, social and business issues.
- Barbara Zheutlin; David Talbot (1978). Creative differences: profiles of Hollywood dissidents (1st ed.). Boston: South End press. pp. 145ff. ISBN 978-0-89608-043-0. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Harmetz, Aljean (17 November 1983). "Film Official Dismissed". New York Times. Retrieved 1 February 2011.
- Johnson, G. Allen (April 4, 2013). "'Polanski Live': Director agrees to char". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Crowe, Cameron (September 1985). "Independents: Thom and Nicolette Bret Mount". Interview Magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- "Death and the Maiden". Playbill.
- Madigan, Nick (June 29, 1998). "Mount elected prez of Producers Guild". Variety. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Schneider, Wolf (September 20, 2006). "'Tamalewood' Takes Off" (PDF). Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Neumer, Chris. "Animal House: The Movie that Changed Comedy". Stumped Magazine. Retrieved 19 April 2013.