Intercontinental Releasing Corporation

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Intercontinental Releasing Corporation (IRC)
Industry Film
Founded April 16, 1972 (original)
Defunct 1996
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people
Sandy Cobe (CEO) [1]
Products Motion pictures
Television programs
Owner Independent (1972-1996)

The Intercontinental Releasing Corporation (IRC), was an American film company, primarily involved in the production and distribution of films and television programs.[2] IRC was founded in September 1974 as the larger film studios' grip on domestic and international distribution diminished.[3] From its Los Angeles offices the company expanded into other areas of media entertainment but remained focused on domestic and foreign film distribution.[4] However, IRC periodically produced feature films, which were released under its own banner.[5]

On August 23, 1998, IRC filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The company was dissolved and its assets sold and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired most of the IRC's important films.[6][7]


The Hollywood Consent Decree of 1940, eliminated the distribution monopoly between large film production companies and self-owned film exhibitor and distribution entities.[8] Independent producers, dissatisfied with the legal proceedings, decided to organize in order to better represent themselves in the ongoing litigation. By 1941, a number of the most prominent independents including Walt Disney, Samuel Goldwyn and David O. Selznick had joined together to form the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers (SIMPP), which entered the antitrust battle. By the mid-1960s, MGM, Paramount, 20th Century Fox and other large studios had surrendered their control over the marketplace. This permitted independent producers to enter the production and distribution arenas.[9] With increased independent film-production, came a need for increased distribution both domestically and overseas. In September 1974, IRC was formed in order to take advantage of this evolving opportunity.[10][11][12]

IRC's early distribution efforts began with the Dino De Laurentiis and John Sturges' production of Chino, filmed a year earlier, in 1973.[13] Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland starred in this Italian western, which was also directed by Sturges. Foreign distribution rights had already been contracted out but not the US theatrical rights. Securing this property for domestic distribution helped establish the new company,[14] especially since the project had the well-known names of De Laurentiis, Sturges, Bronson and Ireland attached. In the same year, IRC ventured into film production with the 1974 production of Alice Goodbody,[15] an exploitation film directed by Tom Scheuer, starring Colleen Brennan and Dudley Foster.

The IRC distribution image further improved in 1971 when it secured the US theatrical distribution of Ken Annakin’s The Call of the Wild (1972 film) starring Charlton Heston.[16] Heston was internationally known and this film addition helped burnish the company’s increasingly sizable lineup.[17] As IRC's catalog of films grew, other film distributorships followed. IRC also continued its film production efforts with such films as Dark Sunday (1976),[18] House of Shadows (1983) with Yvonne De Carlo,[19] and the David Hess film, To All a Goodnight.[20] The later film became one of the first maniacal killer Santa Claus films, attracting considerable attention at the time of its release.[21] IRC released Assignment Berlin (1982), chosen as one of twenty films that year to represent the United States in two major international European film festivals.[22][23] John Kincade's sci-fi 1987 film, Terminal Entry with Eddie Albert and Yaphet Kotto was well received[24] as was the Warren Chaney action-adventure production of Behind the Mask (1992),[25][26] starring Deborah Winters and Roy Alan Wilson.

Gabriel Folse, Jo Thompson and Jason Sutherland star in The Broken Spur (1992) a late IRC release

The films produced and/or distributed by IRC crossed a wide range of genres.[27] They extended from such exploitation films as Jim O’Connoly’s Mistress Pamela (1974)[28] and Hubert Frank's Vanessa (1977)[29] to Ted Lange's Othello (1989) and the Warren Chaney western, The Broken Spur (1992).[30] IRC’s line up included such diverse films as Arthur Jeffreys’ psychological thriller, Demented (1980);[31] Jack Starrett’s drama Hollywood Man (1976);[32] the animated Mighty Mouse in the Great Space Chase (1982)[33] and John Mark Robinson revenge-thriller, Kid (1990), starring C. Thomas Howell.[34] Becoming Colette (ru) (1993), directed by Danny Huston was a period drama based on the life of novelist Sidonie Gabrielle Cole[35] and IRC's 1976 release, The Girl from Starship Venus was an entry into science fiction, albeit space exploitation.[36]

IRC continued in production throughout its existence. Sometimes it produced independently and at other times, jointly with other production companies.[37] Home Sweet Home (1981) directed by Nettie Peña was a joint production between IRC and Movies Anonymous Partnership[38] whereas Don Edmunds' Bare Knuckles (1977), starring Sherry Jackson was an in-house production.[39]

IRC expanded into music, television and other entertainment enterprises with the creation of several corporate spin-off entities including the IRC Music Corporation, the IRC Video Corporation and the Television Motion Picture Shooting Association, Inc.[40] Other IRC related interests included Gco Pictures, Inc., and Creative Film Partners, LP.[41] Eventually IRC's expansion efforts coupled with the financial collapse of some of its business partners created a diminished cash flow. The company's key figure and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Cobe, retired in 1994.[42] His loss to the company plus increasing cash flow problems led to its Chapter 13 filing in 1996.[43]

Key personnel[edit]

Cobe was IRC's president and later became its Chief Executive Officer. Cobe, a founding member of the American Film Marketing Association (now, Independent Film & Television Alliance), served on its board of directors for 13 years.[44] This provided IRC with a tactical advantage in its foreign distribution efforts.[45][46]

Cobe came to IRC with a varied background in film. He followed his father, cinematographer Mark Cobe, behind the camera as a photographer for the New York Daily News and later as a cameraman for several New York television stations. He served as a combat-photographer during the Korean War, where he was wounded in action.[47]

After graduating from Tulane University, Cobe managed theaters in the Bronx and later worked as a film producer for Artmark Pictures. He next became the Executive Vice President of Distribution for the New York General Studios and later for the First Cinema Releasing Corporation. In the 1960s, he started Sandy Cobe Productions, which both produced and packaged films for theatrical and television release. Cobe’s varied film careers made him a natural for the young Intercontinental Releasing Corporation and he remained with them until his retirement in 1994.[48][49]

Stefani Deoul served as Vice President of Production for IRC alternately filling various production roles during company filming.[50][51][52] After IRC dissolution, Deoul continued to have a significant presence as an Executive Producer and project developer in the film industry.[53]

Christine Peters came to Los Angeles from London as Vice President of Foreign Sales and Distribution.[54] After leaving IRC in 1986, she became a story analyst for Guber-Peters Company where she helped develop such films as The Witches of Eastwick (film) (1987), Rain Man (1988) and the Batman (1989 film).[55]

Andrew Steiner, IRC’s Vice President of International Sales and Marketing was the key executive responsible for the day-to-day sales and distribution activities in the international marketplace. He left the company in 1997 and became the Executive Vice-President of the entertainment division at General Media International. He later became President of the KidsAndFamily Network, Inc., in New York City.[56]

The IRC Chief Financial Officer was James M. Dowaliby. Following the company's closure, Dowaliby joined The Family Channel as its CFO.[57]


As IRC expanded operations, its financial and distribution ties with other production companies such as Orion Pictures, grew as well. By 1986, escalating costs coupled with an abruptly reduced cash flow left IRC vulnerable to market forces. When Orion Pictures and others were forced into bankruptcy, market forces also tugged at IRC. On August 23, 1998, the company filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The company was dissolved and its assets sold.[58][59]

Select distributor filmography[edit]

Poster used for promotion in Behind the Mask (1992) a late IRC release
  • Haunted (1993) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Behind the Mask (1992) ... Distributor (1992) (worldwide) (all media)
  • The Broken Spur (1992) ... Distributor (1990) (worldwide) (all media)
  • Chinatown Connection (1992) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Hidden Jungle (1990) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • The Treasure (1990) ... Distributor (USA/sales)
  • Soldier's Fortune ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Falling Over Backwards (1990) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Othello (1989) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Riverbend (1989) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • The Chill Factor (1989) ... ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Into the Spider's Web (1988) ... Distributor (1988) (worldwide) (all media)
  • Open House 1987) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Revolt (1986) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Mighty Mouse in the Great Space Chase (1982) ... Distributor (Europe) (1983)
  • Assignment Berlin (1982) ... Distributor (Europe) (1982)
  • Slapstick (Of Another Kind) (1982) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Kirmizi Kelebek (1982) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Chasing Dreams (1981) ... Distributor (foreign) (all media)
  • Home Sweet Home (1981) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • To All a Goodnight (1980) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Demented (1980) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Home Sweet Home (1980) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Terror on Tour (1980) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Bare Knuckles (1977) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Nightmare County (1977) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Haunts (1977) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • Vanessa (1977) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (dubbed)
  • The Hollywood Man (1976) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • The Girl From Starship Venus (1975) ... Distributor (worldwide) (all media)
  • Dick Deadeye, or Duty Done (1975) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical)
  • The California Reich (1975) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1975)
  • The Call of the Wild (1972) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1975)
  • Affair (1974) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1974)
  • Alice Goodbody (1974) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1974)
  • Situation (1974) ... Distributor (USA) (dubbed) (1981)
  • Chino (1973) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1973)
  • Passion Potion (1973) ... Distributor (USA) (1976)
  • Terror House (1972) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1976)
  • The Love Keys (1971) ... Distributor (USA) (theatrical) (1976) (dubbed)

Production company filmography[edit]

  • Kid (1990) ... Production Company
  • Terminal Entry (1987) ... Production Company
  • Open House (1987) ... Production Company
  • House of Shadows (1983) ... Production Company
  • Battling Beauties (1983) ... Production Company
  • Home Sweet Home (1981) ... Production Company
  • To All a Goodnight (1980) ... Production Company
  • Demented (1980) ... Production Company
  • Terror on Tour (1980) ... Production Company
  • Home Sweet Home (1980) ... Production Company
  • Haunts (1977) ... Production Company
  • Bare Knuckles (1977) ... Production Company
  • Dark Sunday (1976) ... Production Company
  • Alice Goodbody (1974) ... Production Company
  • Mistress Pamela (1974) ... Production Company

Miscellaneous filmography[edit]

The Psychopath (1975) ... Presented By


  1. ^ Internet Movie Database (Sandy Cobe Bio) [1]
  2. ^ InBaseline Database (Intercontinental Releasing Corporation) [2]
  3. ^ California Articles of Incorporation 09/04/1974, Intercontinental Releasing Corporation, State Reference ID 00721732
  4. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  5. ^ Variety Magazine [3]
  6. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  7. ^ Music Pictures, Inc. (Robertson, George Article on IRC and its bankruptcy) [4]
  8. ^ SIMPP (The Consent Decree of 1940
  9. ^ Supreme Court Verdict that Brought an End to Hollywood Studio System [5]
  10. ^ California Articles of Incorporation 09/04/1974, Intercontinental Releasing Corporation, State Reference ID 00721732
  11. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  12. ^ InBaseline Database (Intercontinental Releasing Corporation) [6]
  13. ^ Internet Movie Database [7]
  14. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  15. ^ Internet Movie Database [8]
  16. ^ Internet Movie Database (Locations) [9]
  17. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  18. ^ All About Films (Dark Sunday)
  19. ^ Starpulse Cast and Crew (House of Shadows)
  20. ^ Internet Movie Database [10]
  21. ^ The Bloody Pit of Horror: To All a Good Night (1980)
  22. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  23. ^ Robertson, George, A 17-Year Overnight Success
  24. ^ Turner Classic Movies Database (Terminal Entry) [11]
  25. ^ Watson Remme, A Peek Behind the Mask, Film History, 11/27/01
  26. ^ InBaseline Movie Database [12]
  27. ^ Watson Remme, A Peek Behind the Mask, Film History, 11/27/01
  28. ^ Internet Movie Database [13]
  29. ^ Internet Movie Database (Venessa) [14]
  30. ^ InBaseline Data base [15]
  31. ^ Internet Movie Database [16]
  32. ^ MSN Database (The Hollywood Man) [17]
  33. ^ Mighty Mouse Superstar Summary [18]
  34. ^ Internet Movie Database [19]
  35. ^ Variety Magazine (Becoming Collette) [20]
  36. ^ Internet Movie Database Girl From Starship Venus [21]
  37. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  38. ^ Internet Movie Database (Home Sweet Home) [22]
  39. ^ Internet Movie Database (Bare Knuckles) [23]
  40. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  41. ^ Variety Magazine [24]
  42. ^ Variety Magazine (Sandy Cobe Obituary) [25]
  43. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  44. ^ Business of Film and Entertainment
  45. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  46. ^ MSN Movies [26]
  47. ^ Variety Magazine (Sandy Cobe obituary) [27]
  48. ^ Associated Press (Sandy Cobe Obituary) [28]
  49. ^ Internet Movie Database (Sandy Cobe) [29]
  50. ^ New York Times Stefani Deoul Filmography [30]
  51. ^ InBaseline Database (Stefani Deoul) [31]
  52. ^ Internet Movie Database (Stefani N. Deoul) [32]
  53. ^ New York Times Stefani Deoul Filmography [33]
  54. ^ Live Trading News
  55. ^ Marketwire [34]
  56. ^ Edgar Online [35]
  57. ^ Weblo (James. M. Dowaliby) [36]
  58. ^ Guinness, James, (IRC), America Film Archive
  59. ^ Music Pictures, Inc. (Robertson, George Article on IRC and its bankruptcy) [37]

External links[edit]