Hemdale Film Corporation

For the mythological figure from Norse legend, see Heimdallr
Hemdale Film Corporation
Fate Defunct
Founded 1967 (as The Hemdale Company)
Defunct 1995
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Los Angeles, California, USA[1]
Key people
David Hemmings
John Daly
Derek Gibson
Products movies
VHS tapes

Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1993, was an independent British-American film production company and distributor founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and his manager, John Daly. Hemmings left the company in 1971, and Daly purchased his stock.[2] They were known for having produced numerous acclaimed and well-known genre films, often in conjunction with companies such as TriStar and Orion Pictures.


Hemdale began as an investment company to cut the high personal taxes on British actors.[2] Eventually, the company went public as Hemdale Ltd. and began diversifying. Hemdale launched a talent agency that helped launch the careers of such bands as Black Sabbath and Yes,[3] invested in feature films, financed stage productions such as Grease, and became involved in boxing promotions such as The Rumble in the Jungle match between George Foreman and Muhammed Ali.[2] Hemdale also distributed cable TV to hotels, which, in 1974, was its major source of revenue.[2] After producing and distributing British films throughout the 1970s, Hemdale relocated to Hollywood in 1980 and focused extensively on movie-making.[2][4] In 1981 Derek Gibson joined the company.

Among its best known films are The Terminator, The Return of the Living Dead, Hoosiers, Salvador, River's Edge, Platoon, and The Last Emperor; the latter two were back-to-back recipients of the Academy Award for Best Picture. Hemdale produced and or financed over 80 films during this period. The company suffered a credit line withdrawal from its French bank Credit Lyonnais due to a number of Government bank inquiries. The bank difficulties forced it to withdraw the companies line of credit forcing it to file for bankruptcy protection.[5]

In 1991, Eric Parkinson joined Hemdale as president of Hemdale Home Video and Hemdale Communications. That same year, Hemdale created a collection of many video cassette titles released by Hemdale Home Video around the United States of America. Its first title was the Home Video reissue of the original Terminator in 1991. In 1995, the video rights to some of Hemdale's higher-profile titles were licensed to LIVE Entertainment (now Lionsgate).

In 1995, Hemdale shut its doors, shortly after it was announced that Daly and Gibson would leave the company.[6] The library was then incorporated into Consortium de Réalisation, a French holding company set up by Credit Lyonnais to handle the rights to titles acquired by Credit Lyonnais Bank.


After the studio closed, the Hemdale library was incorporated into the Orion Pictures output now owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, after MGM acquired the Consortium de Realisation library from PolyGram (ironically, Orion was the theatrical distributor for a number of Hemdale's films). One significant exception is The Last Emperor, a Hemdale production whose rights are now held by its producer, Jeremy Thomas. Hemdale licensed each of the US media rights to different companies; for example, Columbia Pictures handled US Theatrical only. Most of the foreign productions Hemdale distributed have subsequently returned to their original owners (such as Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, which producer Tokyo Movie Shinsha now controls worldwide).

The company's last new credit was for the Virgin Games video game adaptation of The Terminator, which showed up on the game's start up screen as "Hemdale's The Terminator" in text on the scrolling logo, despite all box art calling it "The Terminator".


Release Date Title Notes
April 24, 1981 Cattle Annie and Little Britches distributed by Universal Pictures
October 16, 1981 Strange Behavior distributed by World Northal
June 24, 1983 Yellowbeard distributed by Orion Pictures
October 1983 Escape from the Bronx
April 1984 Treasure of the Yankee Zephyr
June 1984 A Breed Apart distributed by Orion Pictures
September 28, 1984 Irreconcilable Differences co-production with Warner Bros.
October 26, 1984 The Terminator distributed by Orion Pictures
November 16, 1984 Special Effects distributed by New Line Cinema
November 1984 Perfect Strangers
January 25, 1985 The Falcon and the Snowman distributed by Orion Pictures
February 9, 1986 A Killing Affair
August 16, 1985 The Return of the Living Dead distributed by Orion Pictures
January 1986 Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf
April 18, 1986 At Close Range distributed by Orion Pictures
April 23, 1986 Salvador
November 1, 1986 Inside Out
November 14, 1986 Hoosiers distributed by Orion Pictures
November 21, 1986 Body Slam distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
November 21, 1986 Defense of the Realm
December 19, 1986 Platoon distributed by Orion Pictures
May 8, 1987 River's Edge distributed by Island Pictures
May 15, 1987 Made in U.S.A. distributed by TriStar Pictures
May 1987 My Little Girl
June 12, 1987 Burke & Wills
July 10, 1987 The Whistle Blower
July 30, 1987 High Tide distributed by TriStar Pictures
August 1, 1987 Love at Stake distributed by TriStar Pictures
September 18, 1987 Hotel Colonial distributed by Orion Pictures
September 25, 1987 Best Seller distributed by Orion Pictures
November 1987 Slate, Wyn & Me
1988 Scenes from the Goldmine
February 5, 1988 The Supergrass
March 25, 1988 High Season
April 15, 1988 The Last Emperor distributed by Columbia Pictures
May 25, 1988 The Tale of Ruby Rose
November 23, 1988 Buster
December 23, 1988 The Boost
January 13, 1989 Ha-Holmim
January 21, 1989 Cheap Shots
January 27, 1989 Cohen and Tate
March 3, 1989 Out Cold
April 28, 1989 Criminal Law
May 19, 1989 Miracle Mile
June 2, 1989 Vampire's Kiss
July 21, 1989 Shag
August 18, 1989 Blood Red
September 22, 1989 The Time Guardian
September 29, 1989 War Party
October 6, 1989 The Everlasting Secret Family
November 10, 1989 Staying Together
January 26, 1990 Incident at Raven's Gate
April 20, 1990 Chattahoochee
May 6, 1990 The Belly of an Architect
??, 1990 Wishful Thinking
??, 1990 Love or Money
September 21, 1990 Don't Tell Her It's Me
??, 1990 Love Your Mama
November 2, 1990 Vincent & Theo
November 21, 1990 Hidden Agenda
April 12, 1991 Impromptu
June 14, 1991 Bright Angel
??, 1991 Kill Line
November 1991 Thousand Pieces of Gold distribution
March 13, 1992 Highway to Hell distribution
May 29, 1992 Cold Heaven distribution
June 15, 1992 Beautiful Dreamers distribution
??, 1992 The Legend of Wolf Mountain distribution
August 7, 1992 Bed & Breakfast distribution
August 21, 1992 Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland distribution
??, 1992 Merlin - The True Story of Magic distribution
??, 1992 Complex World distribution
April 25, 1993 The Magic Voyage distribution
??, 1993 Breakfast of Aliens distribution
??, 1993 In a Moment of Passion distribution
??, 1993 The Seventh Coin distribution
??, 1993 Laser Moon distribution
??, 1994 Quest of the Delta Knights distribution
??, 1994 Future Shock distribution
June 3, 1994 The Princess and the Goblin distribution
??, 1994 Confessions of a Hitman distribution
??, 1994 Savage Land distribution
??, 1994 The Story of Christmas distribution
May 20, 1994 Mosquito distribution
??, 1995 The Littlest Viking distribution
??, 1995 Grizzly Mountain distribution


  1. "Release date not set for movie shot in S.C." Associated Press (November 6, 1988). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Lambie, Ryan (7 April 2015). "The Rise and Fall of Hemdale". Den of Geek.
  3. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800311381/bio John Daly biography - Yahoo Movies Archived February 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Thomas, Bob. "Independent filmmakers may produce over half of releases." Associated Press (October 23, 1986). Retrieved on April 1, 2011.
  5. Hemdale Communications Inc. files a voluntary petition for bankruptcy
  6. http://www.allbusiness.com/company-activities-management/company-structures-ownership/7105716-1.html Hemdale Communications Inc. announces resignation of chairman John Daly and president Derek Gibson; March 6, 1995 Archived January 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
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