Sol C. Siegel (March 30, 1903 – December 29, 1982) was an American reporter and film producer.
Early life and career
Sol C. Siegel was born on March 30, 1903 in New York City. In the early 1930s Siegel was sales manager of the Brunswick-Columbia record label. In 1934 he began his Hollywood career by assisting his brother, Moe Siegel, with the merger of four production studios into Republic Pictures. He stayed on at Republic as an executive producer, working with Gene Autry and John Wayne.
In October 1940 Siegel left his position as head of Republic Studios to be a producer at Paramount Pictures.
In 1946 he moved to 20th Century Fox. Two of the films he produced there, A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He also produced The Iron Curtain (1948) and later the Marilyn Monroe musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, as well as the star-studded High Society starring Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Louis Armstrong.
In 1956 Siegel joined Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Towards the end of the year Dore Schary was fired as head of production and Siegel was rumoured to be given his job. However Ben Thau got the job and Siegel remained a producer, making Les Girls, Man on Fire and Merry Andrew and Some Came Running.
Siegel was appointed head of studio operations at MGM for three years in April 1958. The following month he was appointed vice president in charge of production. By this stage the studio had already greenlit a number of movies that would go on to be major successes, including Ben Hur and North by Northwest.
During Siegel's time MGM produced the major Cinerama epic How the West Was Won. He was also the subject of an extortion attempt.
The success of Ben Hur encouraged Siegel to authorise a series of remakes at MGM such as The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Cimarron and Mutiny on the Bounty. All these films lost money for the studio. This - along with a number of other box office failures - led to him being replaced as head of production in January 1962 by Robert M. Weitman.
Siegel then began working as an independent producer. He ran his own production company from 1964–67.
Siegel died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on December 29, 1982, aged 79.
He was married to Helen Siegel; they had three sons, Andy, Norman, and Rick.
Selected films made under Siegel at MGM
- The Wreck of the Mary Deare
- The Village of the Damned
- The Gallant Hours
- Home from the Hill
- The Time Machine (1960)
- Key Witness
- Go Naked in the World
- The Last Voyage
- Two Loves
- The Subterraneans
- The Gazebo
- Please Don't Eat the Daisies
- The Marriage-Go-Round
- All the Fine Young Cannibals
- Platinum High School
- The Day They Robbed the Bank of England
- Where the Boys Are
- BUtterfield 8
- Atlantis, the Lost Continent
- Bachelor in Paradise
- Never So Few
- The Travels of Jamie McPheeters
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
- Billy Rose's Jumbo
- Sweet Bird of Youth
- King of Kings
- All Fall Down
- Two Weeks in Another Town
- The Honeymoon Machine
- A Light in the Piazza
- Thunder of Drums
- Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
- Bridge to the Sun
- How the West Was Won
- Mutiny on the Bounty
- I Thank a Fool
- In the Cool of the Day
- A Period of Adjustment
- The Tartars
- The Green Helmet
- adaptation of The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- And Seven from America about the Olympic Games
- adaptation of The Alligators by Mollie Kazan
- The Secret Classroom
- County Fair - drama set against backdrop of harness racing
- Only in America play by Harry Golden
- Lady L - film postponed
- The Winter of Our Discontent based on book by John Steinbeck
- Inamorta by Richard Brooks
- The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich based on the book by William Shirer