Logo descriptions by Matt Williams, Kris Starring, Spidey016, Shadeed A. Kelly, Nathan B., Logophile, LJK193 and Sonic2007
Logo captures by Eric S., V of Doom, mr3urious, TVLogos2008, naxo-ole, Dean Stewart Rumsey, 20thCenturyFoxLover2, Logoboy95, snelfu, Logophile, thehugetvfan, filmbaza.net and Sonic2007
Editions by Shadeed A. Kelly, Hoa, V of Doom, Logophile, MeesterFonnyboy, Nathan B., CuriousGeoge60, thehugetvfan, Vahan Nisanian and Sonic2007
Video captures courtesy of simblos, LogicSmash, DaVinci030, Peakpasha, Jordan Rios, JeiceTheWarrior, PintoPallino, Logo Archive, Sagan Blob Enterprises, DudeThatLogo, mulog29, Matthew Bayliss, Ed Vigdor, Logos For the Win, Laser, UltimateHDVideostify, and TakingOfPelhamify
Metro Pictures Corporation
Background: Metro Pictures Corporation was founded in late 1915 by Richard A. Rowland (1880-1947) and Louis B. Mayer (1885-1957). The company started out distributing films made by Solax Studios but Mayer left soon after operations began to form his own company in 1918. Richard Rowland would continue to produce a number of films in New York City, Fort Lee, New Jersey, and in Los Angeles. In 1920, the company was purchased by Marcus Loew as a supplier of product for his theater chain.
Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
Background: Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish (born Schmuel Gelbfisz) in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using an amalgamation of both surnames to create the name ("Selfish" was another option). Intrigued with the company's name, Goldfish had his name legally changed to "Samuel Goldwyn".
1st Logo (1916-1923)
Nicknames: "The Silent/Quiet Lion", "The Original Leo the Lion", "Slats the Lion"
Logo: We see Slats the original lion, nicknamed "Leo" by Samuel Goldwyn, in the circle of a ribbon-like filmstrips which has two filmstrips flowing out the bottom side which looks like it's in twos. Underneath the circle is a Greek drama mask. A reef surrounds it. The circle has the phrase "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" [Latin for "Art for Art's Sake"] inscribed at the top and at the bottom is a marquee that reads "A GOLDWYN PICTURE". On the left side is the word "TRADE", and the right "MARK". The lions moves his head left to right throughout and does not roar because movies did not have sound until 1923 when the name was changed.
Trivia: The logo was designed by Howard Dietz, an advertising man and then-recent graduate of Columbia University, who would go on to hold many offices at MGM.
Variant: There was a sepia variant of the logo.
FX/SFX: Slats' head moving.
Music/Sounds: None. However, there was a fanfare that was used in one of the films.
Availability: One of the rarest logos ever. Can be seen on early Goldwyn Pictures movies, especially on Silent Sunday Nights on Turner Classic Movies.
Scare Factor: None.
2nd Logo (1921)
Nickname: "The Still Lion", "The Painted Lion"
Logo: A still painting of a lion (name of the lion unknown), and the film ribbon and drama mask can barely be seen. The words "TRADE" and "MARK" still appear on either side of the lion. The words "A Goldwyn Picture" appear above the lion in Old English font.
Cheesy Factor: The ribbon and mask are hardly visible, due to film deterioration.
Music/Sounds: The film's opening fanfare.
Availability: Ultra rare. Only known to appear on What Happened to Rosa. Also appears early on in the 1993 documentary Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic.
Scare Factor: Minimal. This is very different from the traditional MGM logos, so it may surprise a few but it's harmless.
3rd Logo (1923-1924)
Logo: The ribboning and the marquee look the same as the first one, but with a different lion. The logo begins with the lion (Slats?) staring to one side, then immediately skips after a second to the lion staring at the other side, then it skips to the lion looking down, turning his head and looks at the camera. After that he roars a bit. After a second, it skips to the lion looking directly at the camera.
Variant: There is also a sepia-toned version.
FX/SFX: Aside from the lion, there are skips throughout the logo, due to film deterioration.
Availability: Ultra rare. This however appeared on Wild Oranges. Retained on TCM's Silent Sunday Nights.
Scare Factor: None.
Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation
Background: Louis B. Mayer Pictures was formed in 1918 by Louis B. Mayer.
We see a eagle, and over it says Louis B. Mayer and under it says Productions Inc.
Scare Factor: None.
Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
Background: To supply films for his theatre chain, Marcus Loew bought out Metro Pictures and Goldwyn Pictures. However because of a need to oversee his Hollywood operations, he bought out Louis B. Mayer Pictures in 1924 to form MGM. Though in the early years films start out as "Louis B. Mayer Presents. A Metro-Goldwyn Picture".
Nicknames: "The Marquee", "The Lion Statue"
Logo: On a black background, there is a marquee with torches surrounding it, similar to the MGM print logo. A statue of a lion rests on top. On the first part is "A", on the middle is "Metro Goldwyn" and on the bottom is "PICTURE" looking slightly smudged out in the center.
Trivia: This logo was used during the MGM era.
Variant: The logo has been seen in Sepia.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme.
Availability: Very rare. It's occasionally seen on films aired on Silent Sunday Nights on TCM.
Scare Factor: None, but the dark background may scare a few.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc.
Background: In 1924, Louis B. Mayer merged his company Louis B. Mayer Productions with Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corporation (as well as with William Randolph Hearst's Cosmopolitan Pictures) to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., or simply MGM. MGM was bought on April 8, 2005, by consortium led by Sony, Comcast, and other equity partners, MGM's ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG Capital, L.P. (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20% including 45% of the total outstanding common stock of MGM Holdings), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%), and Quadrangle Group (3%). On November 2009, the consortium decided to put MGM up for sale due to financial troubles, with an initial string of bidders consisting of Time Warner, Qualia Capital, News Corporation, and Lions Gate Entertainment. A few months later, Qualia and News Corp. have dropped out of the bidding, while Len Blavatnik's Access Industries has joined the bidding. Lionsgate has dropped out of the bidding in March and Access in May, with Time Warner remaining as a top contender for MGM. Spyglass Entertainment were looking to buy MGM and lead it through bankruptcy. On November 3, 2010, MGM has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with 80% of creditors agreeing to the Spyglass Entertainment plan.
The deal was completed on December 20, 2010.
(November 9, 1924-April 22, 1928)
Nicknames: "The Silent/Quiet Lion", "Slats the Lion", "The 1st MGM Lion"
Logo: We have a new lion named "Slats" inside a newly redone film-like ribboning logo. Slats moves his head from right to left and then looks at the camera and later looks around. On top of the circle, the phrase "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" (Latin for "Art for the Art's Sake") are inscribed on the top. The words: "TRADE," and "MARK" are surrounding the circle containing Slats. Below the logo has a marquee that reads "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer".
Variant: On "The Circle" (1924), the footage of the lion is slightly different.
FX/SFX: Slats turning his head.
Music/Sounds: None or the music's intro.
Availability: So far, it has been spotted on He Who Gets Slapped and The Circle, but other MGM films have Slats replaced by Jackie.
Scare Factor: None.
(September 1, 1928-1953)
Nicknames: "Jackie the Lion", "The 1st Roaring Lion", "The 2nd MGM Lion"
Logo: A new MGM lion named "Jackie" appears in a slightly re-done film-like ribboning logo. Jackie roars three times and then looks at his trainer. The marquee "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" is seen below, the Latin phrase is inscribed on the circle and the words "TRADE" on the left and "MARK" on the right outside of the circle.
- Up until 1932, there was also an extended version where Jackie roared three times, then he looks away, then turns back to the camera and then fades out.
- This logo would also appear in sepia tone.
- 1949: Silver Anniversary. There is a fancy napkin which reads "A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Silver Anniversary Picture". Jackie proceeds this. Seen on Adam's Rib.
- In later colorized versions of the logo the ribboning is in a brownish-gold color, the reef is green, and the mask is red.
- There is a variant where there is copyright information around the logo. This was seen on the Our Gang shorts "Teacher's Pet", "School's Out". and "Love Business", as well as the Laurel & Hardy short "Another Fine Mess".
- This has appeared superimposed over scenes on trailers of 1930s films such as San Francisco, Fury and Mutiny on the Bounty.
Closing Variant: After the MGM merger, a variant of the Metro-Goldwyn Pictures closing logo, with the appropriate addendum, was used on the studio's end cards from 1924-1950s.
FX/SFX: Jackie roaring and turning his head.
Music/Sounds: Jackie roaring. For silent films, it's the music's intro only without Jackie roaring.
- In the early variants of the logo at least three different roar variations were used, some more often than the others.
- In 1932, a new roar track that used the roar of a cougar from the next logo. Used from this point on until 1956.
- In the 1930s, a light fanfare composed by LeRoy Shield played under Jackie's roaring, chiefly at the beginning of the Hal Roach Studios output. In the 1940s, there was a more majestic fanfare composed by Franz Waxman heard with Jackie roaring on some films (such as A Day at the Races and The Philadelphia Story). None for the mid to later years as some had the intro music from any film playing with any Jackie roaring.
- The Super 8mm version of The Wizard of Oz used Leo the Lion's roar from the 1970s.
- On a 1949 promotional teaser called Some of the Best, produced for MGM's 25th anniversary, there is a version of the logo where the logo goes as usual, but cuts to freeze frame after the third roar and remains on screen for 27 seconds.
Availability: Common. Seen on films of the era such as The Wizard of Oz, and 1930s cartoons on The Captain and the Kids. The color variant is ultra rare and only seen on the colorized version of Babes in Toyland (1934). This logo may plaster Slats on current prints of old films.
Scare Factor: Low bordering on medium. The mask on the bottom has freaked a few out as well. Although with the music playing while the lion is roaring could tame the scare factor a little. Medium bordering on high for film-deteriorated variants.
3rd logo (1928?)
Logo: It's nearly the same as before, but the ribboning is slightly re-done and a different lion (name unknown) appears here. The usual MGM marquee is seen below. The ribboning is white, the reef is yellow and the mask is red.
(November 2, 1928-1932)
Nicknames: "Telly the Lion", "The 3rd MGM Lion"
Logo: Another lion named "Telly" appears in a new re-drawn film-like ribboning of the MGM logo. He is the first of the two two-strip technicolor lions. Telly appears with a longer snarl with two roaring sound effects. The usual MGM marquee is seen below.
- While the logo was made in color, there is also a black and white version
on The Mysterious Island. The movie was shot in color, but only a black and white version survived.
- On Crazy House (1930), the logo is in color, but has no sound.
FX/SFX: Telly snarling.
Music/Sounds: A sound of a cougar. Some movies would only have the
music's intro or the music and Telly's roar.
Availability: Rare. Seen on live-action color films such as The Viking (1928), The Mysterious Island (1929), and Crazy House (1930).
Scare Factor: Low to high. The mask is still freaky. Also, Telly's roar can scare slightly several viewers.
(1932-May 25, 1935)
Nickname: "Coffee the Lion"
Logo: Another two-strip technicolor lion by the name of "Coffee" appears in a slightly re-drawn film-like ribboning and mask of the MGM logo. Coffee snarls by looking down and later roars. The Latin word is still shown inscribed on the circle. "TRADE" and "MARK" appears on different sides. The usual MGM marquee is seen below.
- There is also a longer version of this logo.
- There's also a B&W variant for this logo.
FX/SFX: The snarling and roaring. The extended version has extra snarling and a brief third roar.
Music/Sounds: Just Coffee's roar.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on several MGM's short subjects in color
and animated cartoons of this era by Harman-Ising on TCM and The MGM Show on Boomerang. Also seen on films such as Roast Beef and Movies and Wild People.
Scare Factor: Medium bordering on high for the standard version and high for the long version. The mask and Coffee's roar can scare a little more people than the previous logo. Unfortunately, it would be much more scarier for the next logo you see below.
(June 1, 1934-1953)
Nicknames: "Tanner the Lion", "The Angry Lion", "The Pissed-Off Lion", "A Nightmare on Goldwyn Street"
Logo: The next lion named "Tanner" appears in this MGM logo. The Latin phrase on the circle is red, the words "TRADE" and "MARK" are yellow, the red mask and the ribboning are re-drawn slightly with the color orange on certain parts on the filmstrip ribbons. The reef is yellow and on the MGM marquee, the letters "M", "G", and "M" are red with the remaining of the letters are yellow. Tanner roars three times in this one.
- There is a longer version of this logo. Tanner would growl first, then roar three times, then Tanner would then look at the camera while having his head leaning and would growl again and the final roar with a gasp-like sound and a growl at the end.
- On some early animated shorts, the logo has Coffee's roar track. On the first roar for Tanner, it's Coffee's second roar, followed by the third roar and the final roar is Coffee's growl.
- 1949: MGM celebrates its silver anniversary. This is basically the same as the version seen on Jackie's, but it's in color and Tanner proceeds this. Seen on In the Good Old Summertime.
- This logo strangely appeared in black & white and with Jackie's roar due to a plastering error on a TCM Australia airing of The Hucksters. Current prints of said film have Jackie.
- Jackie's roar was also used on Sweethearts.
FX/SFX: Tanner roaring.
Music/Sounds: Some movies would feature Tanner's roar or Coffee's roar on animated features by MGM. Other live-action films would have the music's intro with Tanner roaring. For the long version, it's just Tanner roaring.
Availability: Common. Seen on all color live-action films, short subjects, and animated features by MGM's "Golden Age". The long version is seen on Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove as Tanner made his first debut, as well as the travelogue Ireland: The Emerald Isle. The former short can be found on the DVD release of The Gay Divorcee.
Scare Factor: High for the standard version and high to nightmare for the extended version as Tanner is known as the psychopath of Art Deco-era logos. The red mask on the bottom is very unfriendly. Nightmare for any film deteriorated variants of this logo, as the film deterioration along with the roar is kind of like Poltergiest. The scare factor ranges from low to nightmare with the movie's theme, as it depends on whether the theme is either uplifting, somber, majestic, soft, or dramatic.
Nicknames: "Jackie the Lion II", "Tanner the Lion II"
Logo: This time, the MGM marquee has been dropped and the name "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" has been placed on top of the logo minus the hyphens (-) in between the names. Jackie appears on black & white films and Tanner on color films. There is a Registered trademark symbol underneath the left side of the filmstrip.
- There is a short version of Jackie with the last two roars.
- For the Tanner version, there are two versions. One has the ribbons in silver and the other in gold.
- One movie has Tanner with Jackie's roar.
- Another version appears with the gold ribbon Tanner with copyright info on either side.
FX/SFX: Jackie and Tanner roaring.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd, 3rd, and 5th logos.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on MGM films during this era. The version with Jackie is seen on Blackboard Jungle, as well as The M-G-M Parade on TCM.
Scare Factor: See the 2nd and 5th logos.
Nicknames: "George the Lion", "Brief Mane", " A Nightmare on Goldwyn Street II", " The Distorted Roar", "Satan the Lion"
Logo: A new lion by the name of George appears in the studio's logo. The ribboning in the logo looks more stretched out than the earlier versions. The red mask below looks re-drawn and the reef looks more stretched out below. The color of the letters "M", "G", and "M" are still red but looks faded. A registered trademark symbol has been added. The first version has the lion looking at the camera, then turns away and starts roaring. The it would later look back the camera and roar again and snarl. The other would look at the camera first, then would roar and by looking up by roaring and snarl at the end.
- This logo would appear on either a blue or black background.
- There is also a black & white variant.
FX/SFX: The lion roaring and snarling.
Cheesy Factor: The logo background looks really low-budget you can see some shade in the background.
Music/Sounds: Tanner's re-dubbed roar or Tanner's roar with the music's intro.
Availability: Rare. Seen on MGM films during this era.
Scare Factor: Nightmare. The roar is slightly distorted, which, along with George's psychotic behavior, could be even scarier than Tanner. Fortunately, this was only used for 2 years.
(July 18, 1957-1984, 1985-July 10, 1987)
Nickname: "Leo the Lion"
Logo: A new lion appears, but his real name is unknown. However to the world, he's known as "Leo". The script "Metro Goldwyn Mayer" is in a new font. The reef and the mask is re-drawn once again and the ribboning on the sides are stretched out even more. Leo roars at first, then turns his head to his right. He would roar again for the second time and look away and would do the same thing on his third roar and would look away for the final time.
- There is also black & white variant.
- A still version exists. This was spotted on Ben-Hur.
- By the 1970s, the logo looks a little more enhanced.
- From 1983-1986 and July 10, 1987, the marquee name was altered to read "MGM/UA Entertainment Co.", following their acquisition of United Artists in 1981. Also, on UA releases of the era, this logo preceded the United Artists on-screen text. Starting with the release of Dream Lover in 1986, it reverted back to the name "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer". However, the MGM/UA variant appeared on the 1987 film O.C. and Stiggs. The film was originally made in 1985 and was shelved for two years.
- On several home media releases from the 1980s, the logo (especially the MGM/UA Entertainment Co. version) has the sides cut of off and is more zoomed in. This is due to the pan and scan nature of the releases.
- Closing: At the end of every MGM/UA release, the movie's title would often appear above and below would say "DISTRIBUTED BY" or "FROM" with the MGM/UAEntertainment Co. or MGM Entertainment Co. print logo below. The Beastmaster only showed just the logo.
FX/SFX: Leo roaring.
Music/Sounds: Some movies would only have Leo's roar. Other movies would have the music's intro with the roar.
Music/Sounds Variants: Tanner's roar was used from 1957-1982. The sound used is Tanner's first roar. Though for the three-roar variant, the first roar is Tanner's second roar.
- 1957-1960: Leo roars three times.
- 1960-1987: Leo roars only twice.
- There are a few variations seen on some movies with the roar. Some have Tanner's first and second roar, while a few others has that reversed.
- In 1982, there is a new roar track for Leo. Leo's roar track becomes a synthesized one, which sounded more polished in theaters featuring Dolby/THX sound systems. Leo's image is unchanged. Though movie trailers have the 1960 roar.
- Around 1985, the final part for the roar changes, ending with a growl (that appeared on Year of the Dragon, though a few films released like To Live and Die in L.A. and 9 1/2 Weeks used the 1982 track). This version would used co-currently with the 1982 roar until around 1987-1988.
- Brainstorm has an edited 1982 roar. The first roar is the last roar repeated two times and the last roar is the first roar.
- Reckless and the UK VHS of Wargames has the growls heard between the roars muted out.
- On the DVD of The Beastmaster, it uses the 1995 roar. Though the stereo 2.0 track keeps the 1982 roar.
- On the 1994 Laserdisc release of Poltergeist, the 1994 roar track is used.
- On 9 1/2 Weeks (The last movie to use the MGM/UA Entertainment Co. Caption above), the lion roar and growl has been slowed down is heard.
Availability: Common. Lived for 30 years. Seen on such films like Jailhouse Rock, A Christmas Story, Ben Hur, King of Kings, the 1980s James Bond films Octopussy and A View to a Kill and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, among others. This logo even appears on several MGM shorts such as a few Gene Deitch's Tom & Jerry shorts among others. The logo is preserved on pre-May 9, 1986 films by MGM are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures via Turner Entertainment Co. However, for releases from May 23, 1986-July 10, 1987 that still use the MGM/UA Entertainment Co. logo that's copyrighted by MGM Entertainment Co. (such as O.C. and Stiggs), the logo may be kept on or replaced with the 2001 logo on productions copyrighted to United Artists using the MGM/UA logo. Your best bet would be to check MGM/UA Home Video tapes. Also, the 1960-1982 version was plastered over with the 1983-1987 version on Two Weeks in Another Town on an international TCM airing. On the 1997 and 2000 WB DVDs of Network, the 1960 logo is plastered with the bylineless 1986 logo, but keeps the original roar track, as this was likely because they used the United Artists international print that MGM plastered the UA "T" with, but used the audio from the US version (2007 WB DVD restores the original logo). This also occurs on the region 2 DVD of Tarzan, the Ape Man (where the latter situation happened).
Scare Factor: Medium to high for the three-roar variant, as the extra roar added on to Tanner's roar can cause a few extra scares. Medium for the variant with Tanner's exact roar. Leo seems calmer than Tanner or George, but the roar is still intimidating. Low for the later, more synthesized roar. It feels nice to see Tanner's roar retired after almost 50 years.Regardless, this logo is very famous.
(December 21, 1966-October 13, 1968)
Nickname: "The Stylized Lion"
Logo: On a blue background, we see a yellow-orange (or white, depending on the color scheme of the print)outlined drawing of a lion's head in an also yellow circle. Below it, are the letters "MGM" in yellow-orange.
Trivia: This particular graphic remained in use long after it was retired as an opening logo. This was used as the print logo for MGM until at least 1982. The lion graphic then became the logo for MGM Grand for many years, and later MGM Mirage. It is currently used for the logo of MGM Resorts International.
FX/SFX: The simple fade-in and fade-out of the logo.
Availability: Very rare. It was seen only on three films: The Subject Was Roses which is intact on its Warner Archive DVD-R release, Grand Prix which is plastered with the previous logo on the DVD release and most TV airings, and the legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey, which has the logo edited out on most TV prints but is preserved on DVD and Blu-ray as well as some international TCM airings. This logo remained intact on video covers from early MGM/CBS releases, as well as a few theatrical trailers, such as He Knows You're Alone to name a few.
Scare Factor: None.
(May 23, 1974-July 4, 1975)
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion II", "Golden Anniversary"
Logo: Same as the 8th logo, but at the top, "Metro Goldwyn Mayer" in the same font as the 1957 logo is in yellowish-gold. Inside the circle has the phrase: "BEGINNING OUR NEXT 50 YEARS..." with "B" a bit bigger and stretched vertically, also in yellowish-gold as Leo roars. There would be a cross fade between the phrase and Leo. Instead of "TRADEMARK" seen on the sides of the circle, "GOLDEN" is seen on the left and "ANNIVERSARY" is seen on the right in the same color. Leo would roar again two more times.
FX/SFX: The cross-fade, and Leo roaring.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 8th logo from 1957. As a closing logo, the closing theme with the 1960 roar track was used.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on films such as That's Entertainment!, Mr. Ricco and North American prints of The Wind and the Lion. Makes a surprise appearance after the Sony Pictures Classics logo on the 2006 Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD of The Passenger.
Scare Factor: See the 8th logo.
(March 2, 1984-1985)
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion III", "Sparkling Name",
"Diamond Jubilee", "Gold Ribboning"
Logo: We have the 1957 MGM logo, but instead, the ribboning is in gold instead of white. On top of the logo has "DIAMOND JUBILEE" arched in a white font. On the circle has inscribed "METRO GOLDWYN MAYER/UNITED ARTISTS" in red instead of the usual Latin phrase. The mask is re-drawn once again and the mouth inside the mask is white and the reef surrounding the mask is not there. Below the mask has a ribboning banner that reads "ENTERTAINMENT CO." On the right side above the ribbon has a small trademark symbol "TM" and below the logo has the phrase "SIXTY YEARS OF GREAT ENTERTAINMENT" in white. Leo roars while there is a white spark on the letters "M", "E" and "J".
FX/SFX: Leo roaring.
Music/Sounds: The 1982 lion roar.
- Several trailers use the 1960 MGM lion roar.
- Some trailers with this logo use the 1982 roar.
- Another variant has the 1960 and 1982 MGM lion roars combined. This is seen on 2010: The Year We Make Contact.
- On current prints of Red Dawn, the 1995 roar is used.
- On Garbo Talks, the warped version is used.
- On Electric Dreams, the growls muted out between roars is used.
Availability: Rare. It's only seen on MGM releases of the era such as Red Dawn, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, and That's Dancing!. Some TV prints of Red Dawn (at least on Spike) have the 2008 MGM logo replacing this, while other films from the era that use this (aside from the former two mentioned) may be intact or plastered with newer logos.
Scare Factor: Low.
(September 19, 1986-April 28, 2009)
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion IV", "Gold Ribboning II", "The Current MGM logo"
Logo: Just the current MGM logo (Including the drama mask with the reef surrounding it) with Leo the Lion in it with "Metro Goldwyn Mayer" and "TRADE" and "MARK" texts, as well as the "(R)" symbol.
Variants: There are different variants through the years:
- 1987-1992: There is a byline that reads "An MGM/UA Communications Company". The byline was used intermittently from 1990-1992, including the trailer from Once Upon a Crime (another version has the bylineless logo).
- 1986-1987, 1988, 1989-2001, 2008: The MGM/UA Communications byline isn't shown.
- 1994: 70th Anniversary logo; "70th ANNIVERSARY" is used. On this logo, the logo is pushed up to the top. "ANNIVERSARY" in spaced-out letters, wipes itself on the bottom of the logo, then "70th" appears. Starting with this logo, the ribbons now appear in a darker golden-brown color.
- 1999: 75th Anniversary logo; "75, A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE" is used. The MGM logo is once again moved up. When it begins "75" zooms back and rests. "A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE" appears. The words shine. There is a version on The World Is Not Enough without animation, except for the lion roaring, of course.
- 2001-2009: A "www.mgm.com" web address is added below the logo.
- There's a white outline MGM print logo that would have the movie title (mainly those by 007) and would have the word "FROM" (for MGM releases) or "DISTRIBUTED BY" (for UA releases) below the title above the logo. Below the logo would have a byline stating: "An MGM/UA Communications Company" then later "A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Communications Company". Starting in the mid to late 90s, it would say: "DISTRIBUTED BY MGM/UA DISTRIBUTION CO." then later "DISTRIBUTED BY MGM DISTRIBUTION CO."
- Another closing wouldn't have the MGM print logo seen on the end of classic movies owned by MGM. They would carry a short version of the MGM logo.
- There is a short black & white version of the 1995 logo that's seen after any classic MGM-owned movie in black & white such as those by United Artists and Samuel Goldwyn Productions.
FX/SFX: Leo roaring.
Music/Sounds: Leo's roar.
- 1986-1988: The 1982 roar.
- 1986-1994, 1998-1999: The 1985 roar.
- 1994-October 20, 1995: The 1982 roar, with a more raspier sound. Sound close to the 1995 roar, but not quite.
- December 22, 1995-: Starting with the release of Cutthroat Island, the 1982 lion track was remixed using digital audio technology which blended many roars together.
- A silent variant of the short version has been spotted.
- On current prints and the DVD of Solarbabies, the 1985 roar is used on the 2001 logo. This occurrence also happened on foreign prints of Year of the Dragon (where it was originally released by Cannon (who merged with MGM) in some territories) and current prints of A Dry White Season and The Meteor Man.
- On the 2002 DVD of Walk Like a Man, it uses both the 1982 and 1995 roars combined.
- Recent prints of Yentl have the 2001 logo with the 1982 roar, probably because the opening theme was used with the roar.
- On the MGM Home Entertainment DVD release of Mr. Saturday Night, the theatrical trailer on the disc has the logo with the 1982 roar. On that trailer, it erases any Columbia references.
- On trailers and TV spots up to the late 80s-early 90s, the earliest being Running Scared (1986), the 1960 roar is used.
- On the 1997 MGM and 2000 WB DVDs of Network, the 1960 logo is plastered with the bylineless 1986 logo, but keeps the 1960 roar. However, the 2006 UK MGM DVD release of Network has the 2001 revision w/URL, but with the 1960 and 1985 roars combined.
- On the 2007 "Family Fun Edition" DVD of The Pebble and the Penguin, the 1994 roar is used on the 2001 logo.
- At least one airing of an MGM movie in syndication has the 2001 logo with the 2008 roar track.
- The movie Bandits has a low-pitched 1995 roar on the 2001 logo.
- On Be Cool the growl muted out between roar is heard.
- On Red Corner,Deceiver, and Wintalkers, The 1994 roar is used on the 1995 and 2001 logo.
Availability: Common. Seen on all MGM releases of this era. The MGM/UA Communications version was seen on the original VHS and Laserdisc releases of Spaceballs, Captive Hearts, P.I. Private Investigations and Levithan. The bylineless 1986 logo is seen on the original home video prints of movies such as Where the River Runs Black (the first movie to use the gold ribbons), Mindgames, Blue Steel, Quigley Down Under and Thelma and Louise. Oddly, it appears on direct to video material such as An All Dogs Christmas Carol, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, and strangely takes the place of the MGM Home Entertainment logo on VHS releases like the 1999 VHS of Black Caesar, the 1998 VHS of Napoleon and Great Balls of Fire!. It is also seen on the current print of Mommy (1973), before the 1968 United Artists "T" logo. The 1994 version is seen on Clean Slate, Blown Away, That's Entertainment III and (surprisingly) the Live Entertainment VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD releases of Stargate from Live Entertainment (the Artisan and Lionsgate Ultimate edition DVDs use the Artisan logo). The bylineless logo with the 1994 roar appeared on original prints of The Pebble and the Penguin, Fluke, Species and Get Shorty. The 1999 75th Anniversary version is seen on The Thomas Crown Affair and pre-2006 prints of The World is Not Enough, though the earlier and mid versions are usually replaced by the 2001 logo like on the Ultimate Edition DVD and Blu-ray release of the latter. Again, see the MGM/UA Home Video and MGM Home Entertainment tapes, along with some early DVDs from them. The silent version is seen at the end of network prints of Topkapi. This replaces the 1981 Columbia Pictures logo on releases of MGM owned Castle Rock/Nelson films such as When Harry Met Sally..., Lord of the Flies, Misery and City Slickers. However, it doesn't appear on Red Dragon. This logo was used on trailers on post-2008 Sony/MGM releases up to Zookeeper, though it made its last theatrical appearance on Igor, released on September 19, 2008 and was finally ended on the TV movie Legally Blondes. Interestingly, the 1988 video release of Willow from RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video (now "Sony Pictures Home Entertainment") retains the bylineless logo with the 1982 roar. The 2001 variant appears at the start of some early Sony Blu-rays, in addition to many, if not all, Fox Blu-rays of catalog titles (and early new releases), including the Man with No Name Trilogy box set, and the 2013 German Tobis Home Entertainment Blu-ray of For a Few Dollars More.
Scare Factor: Low for the synth roar. The growl added in 1985 doesn't do much except act as an aesthetic. Medium for the 1994 roar, as the raspier tone makes it feel haunting. Minimal to low for the 1995 roar, as it quickly became very familiar. Nevertheless, it's popular.
(November 14, 2008-March 16, 2012)
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion V", "Metallic Ribboning", "MGM 2008"
Logo: The text, ribbons, and mask along with it's reef are now all in a lighter, more metallic-looking, shade of gold. The web address below the lion now reads "MGM.COM". Leo roars twice.
Trivia: This logo was actually based off the print MGM logo that's seen on the MGM Home Entertainment/MGM DVD print logos as seen on VHS and DVD covers and other MGM merchandise.
- On the closing variant and in 2009 on cable broadcasts (otherwise the MGM Television logo), there is a bright gold logo.
- There is also a longer variant that is basically a 3-lion roar restoration. This is only seen on certain teaser trailers.
- 2010-: A closing variant appears at the end of Hot Tub Time Machine, the words "DISTRIBUTED BY MGM DISTRIBUTION CO." appear in place of the URL. On a recent WGN airing of Mr. Mom, a slightly different font is used.
- Starting in 2011, the logo began appearing without the URL. It first appeared on The Cutting Edge: Fire and Ice in 2010. Then it made an appearance on a behind-the-scenes video of Zookeeper found on the MGM website. Then it was seen on the trailers for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 21 Jump Street and GI Joe: Retaliation. Oddly, the roar track is not used on the former two trailers, though it is heard on the latter. The logo makes its first appearance on a theatrical release with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
FX/SFX: Leo roaring.
- November 14, 2008-February 6, 2009: A new roar sound bite that also has elements of the 1995 MGM lion roar and is more powerful than its predecessor. This was also used on the trailers for Fame and Hot Tub Time Machine.
- June 12, 2009-March 16, 2012: The 1995 lion roar is used.
- On the current HD NET airing of Life Stinks, the 1985 roar is used with the 2009 logo.
- The roar track is muted on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Why the hell did that happen?
- On reissue print of Yentl, the 1982 roar is heard along with opening theme of the movie.
Availability: Common. This logo is found Quantum of Solace, Valkyrie, The Pink Panther 2, The Taking of Pelham 123, Fame, Hot Tub TIme Machine and Zookeeper. Also, some movies owned by MGM when aired on cable and Pay TV may plaster older logos with this. On the non-US version of Valkyrie, it proceeds the 1994 20th Century Fox logo. On TV broadcasts of various MGM movies, the MGM Television logo is at the end. The last movie to have this logo was 21 Jump Street. This logo is also on Netflix prints of The Little Norse Prince.
Scare Factor: Medium. The 2008 lion roar track can throw some people off, especially if they are used to the commonly-used 1995 lion roar. The scare factor is minimal to low for the version with the 1995 roar as audiences are much more familiar with it.
(August 8, 2012- )
Nicknames: "Leo the Lion VI", "Zooming Ribboning", "Metallic Ribboning II", "MGM 2012", "Animated Ribbon", "The Lion's Eye"
Logo: On a black background, we see flickers of light. The image pulls back to reveal that it is a pupil, a close-up of Leo's eye. We then see Leo, the ribboning, mask and the words "TRADE MARK" on both sides (from the previous logo, all in gold and metallic) ease back with the ribbons moving, as "Metro Goldwyn Mayer" appears shimmering and eases itself above the ribboning. The company name is darker and appears to have a "shining" effect applied to it. The mask is also different as well. Leo roars as this happens.
Trivia: The logo was designed by LA-based graphic design company Shine.
- On the game 007 Legends and Skyfall, the logo is darker and appears more golden. The flickers of light at the beginning are not seen.
- At the end of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Carrie, the logo is still.
FX/SFX: The lion, the ribboning, the studio name. Excellent CGI, but...
Cheesy Factor:... Leo is off center and the circle is too small, with Leo barely fitting in.
Music/Sounds: The 1995 roar is used, along with whooshes throughout the animation and the sound of a running film projector before the lion roars. The noise dies down after the first roar. There is also an extra growling sound added after the second roar.
- On the Skyfall teaser trailer, there was a shortened version of the roar.
- The version seen on Shine's website have the standard 1995 roar without any additional sound effects.
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and 22 Jump Street have the opening theme to the film without the whooshes and projector sounds: just the roaring. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has the opening theme of the movie with the whooshes and projector sounds and the roaring.
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation has the 2008 roar track.
- On the current MGM channel airing of Spellbinder, the 1985 roar track is heard.
- None for the still variant.
- A short version exists at the end of classics UA films.
Availability: Common. The logo first appeared on the teaser trailer for the James Bond film Skyfall and made its first appearance on Hope Springs (albeit in a shortened version). Appears on recent films such as Skyfall, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters among others. This also makes an appearance (in full) on Everything Or Nothing: The Untold Story Of James Bond and the MGM 90th Anniversary trailer promo. Starting with the DVD and Blu-ray release ofRoboCop (2014), this is used as a de facto home video logo. The full version can currently be seen onShine's website. This also appears before the Orion logo on the 2013 remastered Blu-ray of The Terminator.
Scare Factor: None to low. Although this is a nice looking logo, this could still be an issue for those who can't stand roaring lions. Although the whooshes and projector sounds along with the darkness of the logo can scare some, it is definitely a nice successor to the past logos! ________________________________________________________________________
Copyright Stamps: Here is some information about the copyright stamps on the MGM films:
- 1924-1938: Copyright © by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (or Distributing) Corporation (with the MGM secondary logo at the center). To the left of the MGM secondary logo, the text "Controlled by LOEW'S INCORPORATED" appears.
- 1938-1960: Copyright © by Loew's, Incorporated. (MGM officially split from Loew's in 1959)
- 1960-1980, 1992-1996: Copyright © by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
- 1981-1982: Copyright © by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co. (MGM Studios and MGM Grand divisions were split into two companies on May 30, 1980)
- 1982-1986: Copyright © by MGM/UA Entertainment Co. (MGM merged with United Artists on July 28, 1981)
- 1986-1987: Copyright © by MGM Entertainment Co. (MGM split from United Artists when Ted Turner purchased the studio and then sold the remnants of MGM/UA back to Kerkorian)
- 1987-present: Copyright © by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Inc.
- 1991-1992: Copyright © by MGM-Pathé Communications Co. (MGM was acquired by Pathé in 1990)
- 1996-present: Copyright © by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. (current copyright claimant of United Artists films)