Robert Lippert

Robert L. Lippert, the son of a hardware store owner in Alameda, Califorinia, was born there shortly after the turn of this century. Having little interest in his father’s business, young Lippert became enthralled with the new fascination of moving pictures. He began working odd jobs in the local movie house, soon working his way into the projection room. During this period he made many improvements on the projectors and developed new variations, many of which are still on display at the Alameda County museum. By the mid-’40s Lippert owned an extensive chain of theaters in California and Oregon. Around 1948 he decided to begin making his own pictures to show in his theaters. His first picture was Last of the Wild Horses (1948), which was also the only one he ever directed. He produced/released hundreds of movies from the late 1940s through the mid-’50s. Movie fans knew when they saw the “Lippert Pictures” logo on he screen that they were in for something different. During this period some real classics were put out by Lippert: Rocketship X-M (1950), Little Big Horn (1951), The Steel Helmet (1951) and The Tall Texan (1953), among others. In 1956 Lippert made a deal with 20th Century-Fox to finance and distribute his pictures, although under the newly created “Regal Films” label rather than “Lippert Pictures”. Under this arrangement he turned out a string of low-budget westerns and crime thrillers, virtually all of which made money for both Lippert and Fox.

Robert Lippert may haver been a “B” movie producer, but he gave talented directors like Samuel Fuller and Charles Marquis Warren their starts, and while many of his pictures were routine, there were definitely some gems scattered among them.