Cannon Group: A Cinematic Journey

Cannon Group, under the leadership of Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus, left an indelible mark on the world of cinema during its existence from 1967 to 1993. With a remarkable output of action-packed films and an ability to adapt to market demands, they transformed a struggling company into a global media powerhouse.

Their legacy endures in the memories of film enthusiasts and the careers of action stars whose breakout roles were made possible by Cannon Group. Despite facing financial challenges and a mix of critical and commercial reception to their films, Golan and Globus's impact on the film industry remains an integral part of cinematic history.

Cannon Group, known in Hebrew as קנון גרופ (pronounced as "Kanon Group"), was an American company that produced and distributed films from 1967 to 1993. The success of Cannon Group is primarily attributed to Israeli producers Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus, who acquired the company in 1979 after establishing themselves in the Israeli film industry. Under their ownership, Cannon Group produced a total of 125 films between 1979 and 1989 and owned major cinema chains and studios worldwide.


Cannon Group was founded on October 23, 1967, by Dennis Friedland and Chris Dewey, both in their early twenties at the time. Until 1970, the duo produced films, including "Joe," starring actor Peter Boyle, on a shoestring budget compared to other major production companies. Their key to success was maintaining budgets that did not exceed $300,000 per film or even less in some cases.

However, in the late 1970s, the company faced financial difficulties due to a string of films that failed to perform well at the box office. Additionally, changes in tax laws related to film production led to a sharp decline in the company's stocks.

By 1979, Cannon Group was in serious financial trouble, leading Friedland and Dewey to sell the company to Israeli cousins Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus for $500,000. Golan and Globus quickly adapted the company's productions to meet the demands of the action film market in the 1980s.

Within a few years, they established themselves as Hollywood producers, and Cannon Group became one of the major film production companies in the world. Through Cannon Group, Golan and Globus acquired cinema chains and studios primarily in the United States and Europe, solidifying their position as a media conglomerate in the 1980s.

Some of the films produced by the company during the 1980s included "The Ninja" (1981), "Death Wish 2" (1982), "Invasion U.S.A." (1985), "Masters of the Universe" (1987), and "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" (1987). Cannon Group played a significant role in the careers of action stars such as Chuck Norris, Charles Bronson, Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Sharon Stone.

In 1986, the company reached its pinnacle by producing a staggering 43 films in a single year. The Dutch film "The Assault," produced by Cannon Group, even won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1986.

In 1987, Golan directed the film adaptation of Shakespeare's "King Lear," marking a departure from the action and thriller genre for which Cannon Group was known. This venture into high-quality cinema was one of several forays into "prestige" films alongside their prolific output of action and adventure movies.

One of Cannon Group's final films produced under Golan and Globus' ownership was the post-apocalyptic action film "Cyborg" (1989), starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

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