This is the first collection of original critical essays devoted to exploring the misunderstood, neglected and frequently caricatured role played by the film producer. The editors' introduction provides a conceptual and methodological overview, arguing that the producer's complex and multifaceted role is crucial to a film's success or failure. The collection is divided into three sections where detailed individual essays explore a broad range of contrasting producers working in different historical, geographical, generic and industrial contexts. Rather than suggest there is a single type of producer, the collection analyses the rich variety of roles producers play, providing fascinating and informative insights into how the film industry actually works. This groundbreaking collection challenges several of the conventional orthodoxies of film studies, providing a new approach that will become required reading for scholars and students.