- July 10, 2011 - HACIENDA HEIGHTS, Calif. --
Allied Artists Pictures is proud to announce that it has taken up the torch first ignited sixty plus years ago when General Claire Lee Chennault (U.S. Army) accepted the daunting task of defending half a billion Chinese from the invading Japanese Air Force. General Chennault died in 1958, but not before collaborating with his fellow China Campaign Veteran, Captain J. Gen Genovese ("Gen Genson") on his Flying Tigers' screenplay. Genson promised General Chennault that he would do everything in his power to bring the general's story to the big screen. Just prior to Genson passing away last year (at the age of 99) he transferred that promise to his longtime friend and veteran producer, Bob Larson (“Coal Miner’s Daughter” – “Continental Divide” – “Gorky Park” – “Play Misty For Me” – “Fletch Lives”). Allied Artists Pictures President Peter Liapis remarked “we are thoroughly honored and grateful to be chosen by Bob to tell the true and incredibly compelling story of the Flying Tigers. General Chennault faced overwhelming danger daily, with hundreds of thousands of lives hanging in the balance. Since the general never gave up, the least we can do is to tell this unbelievable story of how the Flying Tigers saved 500 million Chinese from certain slavery by the Japanese Empire.” Kim Richards, CEO and Chairman of Allied Artists International, parent of Allied Artists Pictures, notes that he "can think of no team better equipped to tell this David versus Goliath story, than Bob Larson, Peter Liapis, David Richter and their collection of extraordinarily talented filmmakers. They have the full and unqualified support of everyone at Allied Artists."
The Flying Tigers brought about what is widely considered by military historians to be nothing short of a miracle. Utilizing his many years of experience as a combat pilot, General Chennault and his fellow Flying Tigers successfully drove the Japanese army out of South East Asia. Remarkably, for every American plane shot down, ten Japanese planes fell from the sky in flames.
Legendary reporter Walter Winchell once wrote in his New York column, “General Chennault’s place in history is beyond anyone's power to add or subtract.” Liapis adds, “We respectfully understand General Chennault’s wishes and are moving forward to honor his memory by telling the true story as he wanted it told. After all, who can tell the story of the Flying Tigers better than the man who created, trained and led them?”
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The history of the Allied Artists name is synonymous with filmmaking around the world. Since the beginning of talkies, the Allied Artists brand has been associated with such classic motion pictures as "Papillon," starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, "Cabaret," with Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, "Tickle Me" starring Elvis Presley, and "The Man Who Would be King," starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer, to name but a few.