For as long as there have been movies, there have been movie studios pulling the string behind the scenes.
The movie studio is what finances these pictures, what assembles these offerings, and ultimately has a major hand in how these films are released out into the world. Given the oft-erratic, all-consuming nature of the entertainment industry, a movie studio can often find itself looking at numerous ways to do what is, first and foremost, best for itself.
In the quest to maximise returns and to get the furthest reach possible, so many studios have maybe tried to push the envelope a little too much. Whether that's in how these studios have handled their talents, how they've approached their marketing stylings, or in what absolutely ludicrous demands they've put on the people employed by them - there are some true horror stories when it comes to just how far a movie studio will go in its mission to achieve success.
With that in mind, then, here are eight such times when a movie studio or production company overstepped the line and completely and utterly went way, way too far.
8. MGM's Treatment Of Jean Harlow
Famously, the studio system of old Hollywood was one full of corruption and callousness.
Then and now, movie studios are obviously about making as much money as possible. Back in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, however, these studios would go to extreme lengths to protect their prized money-making assets.
For poor Jean Harlow, the power and persuasiveness of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer put an insane amount of pressure on her. After picking up her contract in 1932, MGM apparently tried to include a clause forbidding its star from marrying. The logic was that a sex symbol like Jean Harlow couldn't possibly be viewed as a marketable sex symbol if she was somebody's wife.
At that time, Harlow wanted to wed William Powell. With that not allowed, the pair continued their relationship and the starlet became pregnant. Again, MGM frowned on this. So much so, MGM Head of Publicity Howard Strickling arranged for an abortion to take place in secret - and so Jean Harlow was booked into a private hospital under a false name before the public could find out about her pregnancy.
A few years later in 1937, with Harlow clearly extremely ill, MGM forced her to continue filming Saratoga. That would be the iconic star's final movie, with her passing away midway through production due to kidney failure. She was just 26 years of age.
It may be an extreme example, but the treatment of Jean Harlow shows how the movie studios of old would dominate the career and life of their talent.