Logo descriptions and captures by Logoboy95
and Eric S.
Editions by V of Doom, Logophile, and OptimusPrime2000
Video captures courtesy of DudeThatLogo, TheGriffin94, and WillWill45
Background: Castle Rock Entertainment was founded in 1987 by Martin Shafer, actor/director Rob Reiner, Andy Scheinman, Glenn Padnick, and Alan Horn, with Columbia Pictures as their original strategic partner. In the early days, Nelson Entertainment helped co-financed the company's movies until 1991, when New Line Cinema took over their duties (after Nelson was sold to New Line). On Christmas Day 1993, Castle Rock was acquired by Turner Broadcasting System and would become a part of Time Warner when the two along with New Line Cinema merged with them on October 10, 1996. In 1999, Warner Bros. gained distribution rights from Sony Pictures Entertainment. Castle Rock's first release was Winter People in 1989, but no logo was used until When Harry Met Sally... Castle Rock is currently a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment. As of today, the pre-1994 CR library (which was part of Nelson's library) was sold to PolyGram, which, along with the company's pre-1996 library, would be acquired by MGM (exceptions are A Few Good Men and In the Line of Fire, co-productions of Columbia, owned by Sony), though WB does have some TV rights. The post-1994 library is owned by Time Warner (except for US distribution rights of The Story of Us and The Last Days of Disco and international rights to The American President, owned by Universal). Castle Rock retains the copyright to nearly all of its films.
1st Logo (July 14, 1989-July 29, 1994)
Nicknames: "The Lighthouse", "The Light Tower", "Majestic Lighthouse"
Logo: Over a sea at sunset with some land and a lighthouse in the distance, we see the light from the lighthouse shining. A white sun rises up from the bottom of the range, and as the light moves from left to right, it causes the plain white words "CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT" to appear at the bottom of the screen. The light disappears when the logo is finished.
- Rob Reiner once said in an interview that the lighthouse was an allegory of the company's image: allowing creative talents to make their own projects with more freedom than the major Hollywood studios would allow ("safe harbor", as he calls it). Indeed, Castle Rock's nurturing of such talent, including (most notably) Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, made it one of the most successful production companies of the 1990s.
- The company name comes from the name of the fictional town in Maine that is the setting for several Stephen King stories (which he named after the rocky outcrop named "Castle Rock" in Lord of the Flies. Reiner himself named the company after the town after the success of the film Stand By Me(which is based on King's novella, The Body).
- It is worth mentioning while this is the first logo used for theatrical releases, Castle Rock debuted its lighthouse logo a year earlier in its television unit in a still logo with morning skies and blue water.
Variant: On several movies, right before the light beams past the screen, the company name can be seen in the shadows.
FX/SFX: The sun rising up, the "CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT" text appearing, and the lighthouse shining; nice 2D animation.
Cheesy Factor: The lighthouse shining is pretty choppy, but other than that, it's pretty good.
Music/Sounds: A soft piano sounder followed by a five-note fanfare with horns and bells. This tune was composed by Marc Shaiman. Some movies, such as some prints of Misery, Year of the Comet, and Honeymoon in Vegas have a different ending part. Although on some films, the soundtrack of the movie is used.
Availability: Common. It usually can be seen on Castle Rock releases from 1989-1994. However, this logo goes though editing on City Slickers on TV. On Bravo, it's replaced with the 1994 logo (with the AOL Time Warner byline), on Comedy Central, there is an edited version of the 1988 Columbia and 1994 Castle Rock logos. On the 2001 DVD release, it's replaced with the MGM logo. But on some current prints of movies, this is either plastered with the MGM logo (on home entertainment releases) or replaced with the next logo (on TV). Some prints on TNT and TBS has the original logo with the Columbia logos. So the best bet would be to check Nelson Entertainment and New Line Home Video releases of movies. It is preserved on A Few Good Men and In the Line of Fire. Other movies that have this logo include When Harry Met Sally..., Lord of the Flies, Sibling Rivalry, Misery, Late for Dinner, Year of the Comet, Honeymoon in Vegas, Mr. Saturday Night, Amos and Andrew, Needful Things, Malice, City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold, Little Big League, North, and Barcelona. Strangely, it appeared on a 1998 airing of The Shawshank Redemption on WIN Television in Australia with the 1992 Roadshow Television logo (with the cheap transition effect). Don't expect to see this on The Spirit of '76; though Castle Rock owns the copyright, it just has the Commercial Pictures logo.
Scare Factor: None.
2nd Logo (September 23, 1994- )
Nicknames: "The Lighthouse II", "CGI Lighthouse", "CGI Light Tower", "CGI Majestic Tower"
Logo: Same as the previous logo, but in CGI. We see a yellow light on a black background rotating, then the background fades to a blue/orange gradient sky with water to reveal a lighthouse and a house. The yellow light turns from left to right while the plain light orange sun rises up and sweeps around to reveal the words "CASTLE ROCK ENTERTAINMENT", in the same font as the previous logo and colored in plain yellow, below the lighthouse. The company name now zooms out from the bottom of the screen. The light disappears when the lighthouse and the company name stays on the logo.
Bylines: Below it, one of these five bylines fade in below the logo:
- September 23, 1994-May 19, 1995: "A TURNER COMPANY" in a Helvetica font.
- August 25, 1995-October 11, 1996: "A Turner Company" All of the text is styled after the Turner logo.
- December 20, 1996-February 14, 1997: (Bylineless)
- January 30, 1998-December 14, 2000: "A Time Warner Company"
- September 28, 2001-April 16, 2003: "An AOL Time Warner Company"
- April 30, 2004- : "A TimeWarner Company" ("TimeWarner" appears as the corporate logo; the rest of the text appears in the Trebuchet MS font).
- On Sleuth, the logo isn't animated.
- There is an international version, which appears in closing credits. The logo there is black and white, has "Distributed by" above and INTERNATIONAL below.
- The logo with music was used on the computer game Hamlet, without any byline.
FX/SFX: The lighthouse and the company name zoom-out. Incredible use of CGI for a logo made in 1994!
Cheesy Factor: The byline "A TURNER COMPANY" chryoned in on the 1995 variation is very rough.
Music/Sounds: A more re-orchestrated and dramatic-sounding version of the fanfare (also composed by Marc Shaiman) from the previous logo. Like before, music from any given soundtrack is also used. This was the case with the first three films to have it (The Shawshank Redemption, Before Sunrise, and Dolores Claiborne); starting with Forget Paris, the regular theme was used.
Music/Sounds Variant: On some current prints of 1989-1994 movies, this plasters the 1989 logo but keeps its original music, with one example being Crackle's print of Misery. The 1989 theme was also used on Beyond Rangoon.
Availability: Common. The early Turner variant is rare and it appears on The Shawshank Redemption, Before Sunrise, and Forget Paris. The second Turner logo is slightly more common and appears on The American President, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, City Hall, Alaska, and Striptease. The bylineless version is seen on Waiting for Guffman, Ghost of Mississippi, and Absolute Power. It also appeared on the Hamlet game for Windows. The first Time Warner version is seen on Zero Effect, My Giant, Mickey Blue Eyes, Bait, Best in Show and Miss Congeniality. The AOL Time Warner logo is seen on Hearts in Atlantis, The Majestic, The Salton Sea, Two Weeks Notice, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Murder by Numbers, and Kangaroo Jack. The current version is seen on Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, Music and Lyrics and No Reservations and may plaster the 1989 and Turner logos on current prints. The international version is rare and appears on old films worldwide, newer releases plaster it with either the New Line or Warner Bros. logos. Can be found on the 2000 NTSC DVD release of Absolute Power. Don't expect to see this on Friends with Benefits.
Scare Factor: Same as the 1st logo.