Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Remembering Albert Band

Albert Band was born on May 7, 1924 in Paris, Île de France, France. He was the son of artist Max Band [1900-1974], and is the father of filmmaker Charles Band [1951- ] and of film composer Richard Band [1953- ]. He is the grandfather of Alex Band [1981- ], actress Taryn Band actors Harlan Band and Zalman Band.
Band escaped from Paris to the United States with his family prior to the German Occupation. He graduated from Hollywood High School.
Interested in film, he became an apprentice at Warner Bros. where he developed contacts eventually becoming an assistant director on John Huston's “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950), then adapting the story The Red Badge of Courage for Huston's film of the same name.
He made his debut as a producer and director in “The Young Guns” (1956) combining the two then popular genres of Westerns and Juvenile Delinquent films. In the late 1950s he moved to Europe producing a variety of films beginning in Sweden with Face of Fire (1959) based on another of Stephen Crane's stories, The Monster.
While in Europe he was a screenwriter on Euro-westerns “Massacre at the Grande Canyon” (also co-director, producer) and Gunfight at Red Sands (also producer) (both 1963), “The Tramplers” (also director, producer) (1965), “The Hellbenders” (also producer) (1967), “A Minute to Pray a Second to Die” (also producer) (1968). For some unknown reason he was sometimes credited as Alfredo Antonini, most likely for tax credits from the Italian government but was wrongly credited as his real name.
He began financing a number of motion pictures through the 1970s and 1980s and helped his son, Charles Band, bring together his own production company, 'Empire Pictures', in the early 1980s. Upon the collapse of Empire Pictures in the early 1990s, Band continued to work with his son and help bring a number of low-budget and medium budget films to the Hollywood screen and some direct to video release. Albert Band died on June 14, 2002 of stomach and lung cancer.

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