Thomas H. Ince

Thomas Harper Ince (November 16, 1880 – November 19, 1924) was an American silent film - era filmmaker and media proprietor.[1] Ince was known as the "Father of the Western" and was responsible for making over 800 films.[2] He revolutionized the motion picture industry by creating the first major Hollywood studio facility and invented movie production by introducing the "assembly line" system of filmmaking. He was the first mogul to build his own film studio dubbed "Inceville" in Palisades Highlands. Ince was also instrumental in developing the role of the producer in motion pictures. Three of his films, The Italian (1915), for which he wrote the screenplay, Hell's Hinges (1916) and Civilization (1916), which he directed, were selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. He later entered into a partnership with D. W. Griffith and Mack Sennett to form the Triangle Motion Picture Company, whose studios are the present-day site of Sony Pictures. He then built a new studio about a mile from Triangle, which is now the site of Culver Studios.[3][4] Ince's untimely death at the height of his career, after he became severely ill aboard the private yacht of media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, has caused much speculation, although the official cause of his death was heart failure.[5]

Thomas H. Ince
Ince, c. 1918
Thomas Harper Ince

(1880-11-16)November 16, 1880
DiedNovember 19, 1924(1924-11-19) (aged 44)
Other namesCreator of the Hollywood Studio system
Father of the Western
  • Filmmaker
  • media proprietor
Years active1897–1924
(m. 1907)
RelativesJohn Ince
Ralph Ince
Willette Kershaw

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