A field manager for Famous Players in 1912, Lichtman had his own distribution company, Al Lichtman Corp, in the early 1920s. He was president of Preferred Pictures in 1923 and became sales manager at United Artists in 1927. He was promoted to president of the company in 1935, but resigned after only a few months due to a fallout with Sam Goldwyn over the production of Barbary Coast (1935).
In November of that same year he joined MGM as a special sales adviser and became an executive producer with them in 1938. He left MGM for 20th Century Fox in 1949, and stayed there until his retirement in 1957. During this time he produced the film, The Young Lions.
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