New York City
By Alfred Albelli
December 26, 1966
Pierre S. du Pont of THE du Ponts in Wilmington, Del. Got out of the show biz a little better off than he might have, papers in Manhattan Supreme Court showed yesterday.
In fact, du Pont won a $3,594,000 action against the head of a bankrupt film producing firm, who tried to call the debt a corporate rather than a personal debt.
The producer was Samuel Bronston of 60 Sutton Place South and Madrid, Spain, who heads Samuel Bronston Productions, Inc., which filed for bankruptcy las summer under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law.
A $7 Million Angel
The papers, filed with Justice Thomas A. Aurelio, show that d OPont was an angel for Bronston’s various enterprises to the tune of almost $7 million between 1957 and last February. Bronston put the du Pont millions to work by producing such pictures as “John Paul Jones,” “El Cid,” “King of Kings,” “55 Days at Peking,” “The Fall of the Roman Empire” and “Circus World.”
Those flicks flopped, Bronston said in his papers, and “did not make any profits.”
Du Pont’s action was based on three promissory notes signed by Bronston on Dec. 14, 1962, and Dec. 28, 1962. Bronston claimed he signed the notes “solely as an accommodation to satisfy certain tax problems of Mr. du Pont and were made with the clear understanding that Mr. Bronston was not to be personally liable on them.”
But du Pont’s lawyer, former Federal Judge Samuel H. Rifkind, argued that du Pont’s trust in Bronston was misplaced and the millions of dollars assets of these movie enterprises were misappropriated and mismanaged with the result that these companies became insolvent.”
Justice Aurelio granted Rifkind’s motion for summary judgment awarding payment to du Pont, on the ground that Bronston‘s assertions were without valid basis.”
[submitted by Mike Hauss]