Producer Thom Mount

Thom Mount ran Universal Studios. He produced Bull Durham and Tequila Sunrise. He was Roman Polanski's best friend. He soaked a Japanese conglomerate for a lot of money and he dated beautiful women. (Killer Instinct, pg. 76)

Mount was fired as head of the Producers Guild, an essentially powerless organization.

XXX writes: "Did you find out why he was booted from Producers Guild and Kathleen Kennedy, THE MOST successful producer in history, replaced him? Look into it. And look into his application and the validity of his credits."

He was born Thomas Henderson Mount on May 26, 1948 in Durham, North Carolina. In 1966, Thom Mount graduated from old Durham High School and left town to see America. He did a typical '60s multi-college tour.

In 1972, he graduated with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts. In 1973, he was hired at Universal Pictures as an assistant to Vice-President, Ned Tanen. Mount oversaw the development on numerous black exploitation films and such hits as CAR WASH, WHICH WAY IS UP and BUSTIN’ LOOSE.

In 1974, Mount became Head of Production. In 1976, at the age of 26, he became President of Universal Pictures. Time and New York Magazine labeled him as one of the “Baby Moguls”.

Mount created and managed the “Youth Unit”, a division of MCA/Universal devoted to low cost pictures using new writers, directors and actors. The unit produced such films as FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH, THE BREAKFAST CLUB, CHEECH AND CHONG’S NEXT MOVIE, MONTY PYTHON’S MEANING OF LIFE, REPO MAN, and the like.

Mount produced low-budget films for MCA in the late 1970s. He ran Universal from 1976 to 1983, overseeing production on 140 films, mainly high concept comedies, action films and horror films. His adults dramas include "Car Wash" (1976), "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977), "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978), "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980), "Missing" (1982) and "Psycho II" (1983).

Producer Thom Mount said he had to coax Al Pacino from his trailer when he got so caught up in his role as gangster Tony Montana in the 1983 movie "Scarface" that he became paranoid.

Mount also headed MCA's short-lived theatrical division which helped produce such Broadway shows as "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1979) and "Nuts" (1980).

Mount ran the motion picture division as President for an eight-year period. For six of those years, the motion picture division experienced record profits.

On his own since the end of 1983, Mount started the Mount Company. It developed such feature films as "Can't Buy Me Love" (1987), "Tequila Sunrise" (1988), "Bull Durham" (1989), "The Indian Runner" (1991) and Sidney Lumet's "Night Falls on Manhattan" (1996).

The Mount Company made music videos for The Bangles, Los Lobos, Joe Cocker, and the 2-hour CBS movie “Open Admissions”, starring Jane Alexander. With ABC-TV, the company produced the 4-hour miniseries “Son of The Morning Star,” written by “E.T.” scribe Melissa Matheson.

Thom worked briefly for Roger Corman, producing 1990's Frankenstein Unbound. He also worked for Danny Selznick and Ned Tanen.

Mount helped produce three Roman Polanski films, "Pirates" (1986), "Frantic" (1988) and "Death and the Maiden" (1994).

Mount has been an adjunct professor at Columbia and taught at Duke University under a National endowment for the Humanities grant. He is also Co-Founder of The Los Angeles Film School.

Mount keeps a sign in his office to remind him about what makes a good screenplay. It reads: "Make me laugh, make me cry, make me come, make me think, or leave me alone."

"Hollywood regards the South as an ethnic backwater and a cultural backwater, and I think it is nonsense," Mount says. "I'd like to point out that anything from Bull Durham to Smokey and the Bandit to An Officer and a Gentleman has some sort of Southern setting, and there are lots of compelling commercial stories to be made there.

"The worst enemy of American education is the tenured faculty. Anybody who's ever been to college knows that. If the L.A. Film School is valuable in any way to the educational community, it's as a laboratory for finding out what the possibilities for the future of education are--not just for this school, but for every school." (Independent Online, Durham, 9/13/00)

Mount allegedly was the inspiration for the Michael Tolkin Hollywood novel The Player and the film version by director Robert Altman.

After Columbine, Mount said: "It is not that violent pictures create more violence, but the constant litany of gratuitous violence (emphasis added) is destructive of the fabric of the culture because it lowers our threshold for sensitivity to the issue."