Milton Subotsky

Milton Subotsky (September 27, 1921 – June 27, 1991) was an American film and television writer and producer.[2] In 1964, he founded Amicus Productions with Max J. Rosenberg. Amicus means "friendship" in Latin.[3] Together, they produced a number of low-budget science fiction and horror films in the United Kingdom.[4]

Milton Subotsky
Born(1921-09-27)September 27, 1921
New York City, United States
DiedJune 27, 1991(1991-06-27) (aged 69)
CitizenshipBritish (from 1960)
OccupationFilm and television producer and writer
Years active1950–91
OrganizationAmicus Productions (co-founded with Max Rosenberg)
Spouse(s)Fiona Subotsky[1]

Early life and career

Subotsky was born in New York City, to a family of Jewish immigrants. During World War II, he served in the Signal Corps, in which he wrote and edited technical training films. After the war, he began a career as a writer and producer during the 1950s "Golden Age" of television. In 1954, he wrote and produced the TV series Junior Science. He graduated to film producing Rock, Rock, Rock (1956), for which he also composed nine songs. Subotsky moved to England; he produced his first horror film, The City of the Dead (aka, Horror Hotel, 1960), at Shepperton Studios.[4][5][6] He was a regular juror on Juke Box Jury on BBC Television in the early 1960s.

Amicus Productions

In 1964, with fellow expatriate producer Max J. Rosenberg, Subotsky formed the company Amicus Productions. Based at Shepperton Studios, they produced such films as Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1964), Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966), Torture Garden (1967), Scream and Scream Again (1970), The House That Dripped Blood (1970), Tales from The Crypt (1972), Asylum (1972), From Beyond the Grave (1973) and The Land That Time Forgot (1974).[7]

Sword & Sorcery Productions

Amicus was disestablished in 1975, but Subotsky continued producing. Around this time he formed "Sword & Sorcery Productions, Ltd." with Frank Duggan.[8] At some point Andrew Donally joined the company. Numerous well-publicised projects did not go into production. These include adaptations of Lin Carter's "Thongor" stories,[9] a live-action version of Stan Lee's The Incredible Hulk, film adaptations of stories that appeared in James Warren's comic magazines Creepy and Eerie,[8] and a co-production with former James Bond film producer Harry Saltzman on Saltzman's troubled[10] "shrunken man" epic The Micronauts.[11]

Unable to purchase film rights to Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories,[12] Subotsky instead bought the rights to Carter's "Thongor" stories in 1976.[9] Subotsky himself adapted Carter's 1965 novel The Wizard of Lemuria. United Artists agreed to bankroll the project – now called Thongor in the Valley of Demons – in 1978, but subsequently withdrew for unspecified reasons.[9]

Sword & Sorcery's first film project to get off the ground was Dominique. In 1980, they co-produced the TV series The Martian Chronicles, adapted from the short story collection by Ray Bradbury. During the making of this miniseries, Subotsky and Donally parted ways.[13]

Later career and death

Subotsky also co-produced several adaptations of Stephen King novels, including Maximum Overdrive (1986), Sometimes They Come Back (a 1991 TV film) and The Lawnmower Man. The Director’s Cut of the latter was dedicated to his memory.[5]

Subotsky died of heart disease in 1991, at the age of 69.[14] His widow, Dr Fiona Subotsky, is a prominent London psychiatrist, and an historian of psychiatry.


  1. "Overview for Milton Subotsky". Turner Classic Movies.
  2. "Milton Subotsky". BFI.
  3. "maxrosenberg".
  4. "Milton Subotsky movies, photos, movie reviews, filmography, and biography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. "Milestones for Milton Subotsky". Turner Classic Movies.
  6. "BFI Screenonline: Subotsky, Milton (1921-1991) Biography".
  7. "BFI Screenonline: Film Studios and Industry Bodies > Amicus Productions".
  8. Nathan, Paul S (1976). "Rights and Permissions: Sword and Sorcery". Publishers Weekly. 210 (1–13): 68.
  9. Worley 2005, p. 192.
  10. Clement, James ((unintelligible day) August 1979). William Crookes, T. A. Malone, George Shadbolt (eds.). "Film '79: A Report on the Technical Papers: Part 3: Horses for Courses". The British Journal of Photography. 126: 752, 756 (and perhaps other pages). Check date values in: |date= (help)CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  11. "Dominique". Cinefantastique. 6 (4/24): 52. Spring 1978.
  12. Meyers 1980, p. 113-114.
  13. Cinefantastique. 8: 25. 1978. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. Will Hodgkinson. "Blood and gutsiness". the Guardian.
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