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Logo descriptions by Jason Jones, Matt Williams, James Fabiano, Andrew Turnbull, Ryan Froula, Supermarty-o, D.L. Chandell, indycar and others

Logo captures by Eric S., TVlogos2008, naxo-ole, Bob Fish, Logophile, V of Doom, StephenCezar15 and indycar

Editions by V of Doom, Logophile, Michael Bass, Shadeed A. Kelly, betamaxtheflyer, shnick1985, MartinVB, D.L. Chandell, KirbyGuy2001, Supermarty-o, Vahan Nisanian, indycar and Gilblitz112

Video captures courtesy of Eric S., KidCairbreReturns, HulkieD, Sagan Blob Enterprises, BreadCrustCouncil, Jordan Rios, Watcher3223, MattTheSaiyan, BasicMasterReloaded, StephenCezar15, DudeThatLogo, MyNewBrycelsHere2012, JeiceTheWarrior, eyeh8nbc, mulog29, Una mirada hacia la humanidad, daxdigital Vahan Nisanian and laughtingduck1000

Background

United Artists Pictures was formed in 1919 by four of the leading figures in early Hollywood era: Mary Pickford, Sir Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith. It was sold to Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin in 1951; both Chaplin and Pickford sold the remaining shares to Krim and Benjamin in 1956. United Artists was sold to Transamerica Corporation on April 27, 1967, and later to Tracinda, Inc. (the then-current owner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.) on July 28, 1981. In 2001, United Artists was made as an art-house theater label of MGM. On April 8, 2005, Sony Corporation, Comcast, and four of its private partners bought MGM and United Artists for $4.8 billion. In November 2006, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner were made the new owners of this revamped United Artists. However on August 14, 2008, Wagner left the studio, but still remained a stockholder in United Artists. In 2011, it became completely owned by MGM again when the studio purchased the stock formerly owned by Cruise and Wagner.

(1919?)

Logo: We see a rounded UA monogram with the company name in the middle on a rock wall.

FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: Absolutely none.

Music/Sounds: Possibly silent.

Availability: Possibly extinct. It may have appeared on earlier films like Broken Blossoms.

Scare Factor: None to low, the scratchy prints may get to some.

(November 13, 1930?-May 24, 1967, October 23, 1967, June 15, 1977, November 19, 1980)

Nicknames: "The Hexagon", "The UA Hexagon"

Logo: Over a grainy-looking background, we see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing inside a 3-layer gold/brown hexagon shape. "Presents", in gold script, is sometimes shown below.

Variants:

  • On films produced by London Productions, this logo would appear an in-credit version of this logo, with the words "Distributed by" above it.
  • There were several color variants, including a sepia-toned variant from the mid 1940s-1950, three different black and white variants from 1930-1967, and a color variant from 1950-1967.
  • A 20th anniversary variant was seen on Of Mice and Men, as well as on Laurel & Hardy's A Chump at Oxford (filmed and completed in 1939, released in 1940). This can also be nicknamed "The Hal Roach Studios Variant".
  • There is also a variant that had the hexagon in white on a black background. This was seen on films such as A Hard Day's Night (though the regular black and white variant appears instead on some prints, including a 16mm print), Help! and How I Won the War. It is unknown whether this variant appeared on The Mouse on the Moon and The Knack ...and How to Get It.
  • On A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the logo is in grungy Roman letters, which makes the logo look to be spelled out as "VNITED ARTISTS".
  • On an unknown modern film, in black and white, the hexagon zooms out in place on a granite background, and the word "PRESENTS" fades in underneath. The video description claims that it's from 1937, but the film looks a bit too new to be from 1937.
  • On A Bridge Too Far, a special animated variant was created. The name zooms out on a black background, the three hexagon outlines fade in from the center outward, then the background fades in along with the byline "A Transamerica Company" and the Transamerica "T-Flower". Some prints do not contain the Transamerica references.
  • This logo appears on Heaven's Gate (1980), with a small black and white Transamerica "T-Flower" and the words "A Transamerica Company" fading in underneath. Some prints (such as the MGM DVD releases) do not contain the Transamerica references. The Transamerica byline however, has been restored on the Criterion Collection DVD & Blu-Ray.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: Most of the time it is silent, though some films have their intro music playing.

Availability: Despite being around for a good 37 years, today it's extremely rare, bordering on near extinction. It is believed to be first seen on The Bat Whispers. As most releases only used a text notice, a few films have originally used this logo but were removed or updated with newer ones (or an MGM logo), thus making it an extremely hard find. Noticeably, out of all the pre-1967 James Bond films, the only one where this appeared was Goldfinger (not fully confirmed). Among the other films that originally featured this logo were Tom JonesThe Pink Panther (rumored to have been seen on the original Magnetic Video Corporation VHS release for a few seconds), the Golden Age 3D film The Diamond Wizard, One, Two, Three and The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help!. This logo was also seen on international prints of some pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts that they owned, while plastering the Warner Bros. opening of the era. It has been preserved on the DVD/VHS releases and TCM airings of Stranger on a HorsebackA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Thunderbirds Are GoTomorrow, the World!Three Sundays to LiveThe Hound of the BaskervillesThe Happy ThievesThe Fabulous DorseysThe Horse's Mouth, and How I Won the War (an early Transamerica-era film that was intended to be released six months earlier than it actually was; possibly the last film to feature the hexagon, before Transamerica took over). This was also seen on international prints of The Man with the Golden Arm, in which it makes a surprise reappearance on an Australian TV airing and on the German Blu-ray. On Topkapi, the logo was small in-credit at the bottom-right corner of the end credits, with the words "Released by" above it. The in-credit variant can also be seen on all the British-made films from London Productions that were distributed by UA, though it does not appear on the 1942 Jungle Book film. Also seen on Heaven's Gate (sometimes with or without the Transamerica byline), released in 1980. The 20th anniversary variant appears on some prints of Of Mice and Men (as seen in the above photo), and A Chump at Oxford, both Hal Roach Studios-produced films. The A Bridge Too Far variant is seen on the 1998 MGM DVD release of the film, but is plastered with a newer MGM/United Artists logo combo on most current releases. This was also seen on foreign prints of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. (Note: This logo, during the pre-Transamerica days, was allegedly seen only on British United Artists films and export prints of U.S United Artists films. However, this theory has yet to be proven.)

Scare Factor: None.

(October 30, 1942, July 17, 1943)

A United Artists Release- from I Married a Witch (1942)00:06

A United Artists Release- from I Married a Witch (1942)

Nickname: "The United Artists Eagle"

Logo: We see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing in front of a design of a bald eagle. Above this "A" is seen, and below it "Release" is seen. The latter two phrases are in cursive.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening theme to the film.

Availability: Ultra rare. Only two films are known to contain this logo, which are I Married a Witch and The Crystal Ball. This logo is preserved on the 2013 Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of the former. It should be noted that both films were produced by Paramount Pictures and were sold to United Artists for distribution. The logo may appear on other films that Paramount produced and sold to United Artists.

Scare Factor: None.

(June 13, 1967-August 3, 1968)

Nicknames: "The UA-Transamerica Circle", "The UA Ovoid"

Logo: We see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing inside a circular field. The words "A Transamerica CORPORATION" (or "A Transamerica COMPANY") is seen in small letters underneath. The "U" and the "A" are somewhat taller than the rest of the company name, and they overlap each other. The word "FROM" appears above the UA circle, in teeny, tiny letters.

Variants: There were a few color scheme variations used for this logo:

  • A standard blue BG version.
  • BG/white circle/black lettering/Transamerica logo byline.
  • Print UA-Transamerica Circle (seen on most trailers and B&W films)
  • Black circle on a red background, "UNITED ARTISTS" in white.
  • Black UA-Transamerica circle and the text inside it is yellow. The logo is inside a larger yellow circle with a blue TV tube shape, placed against a purple square. All of these shapes are situated against a red background.
  • Depending on the film, the placement of the logo would vary ever so slightly.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: Usually is silent. or has the opening theme or audio to the film playing over it.

Music/Sounds Variants: On the American prints of the Italian James Bond spoof Operation Kid Brother (Original Italian title: O.K. Connery), this logo plastered the original Titanus logo that started the picture, but maintained Titanus' fanfare: A ten-note fanfare that had the first seven notes sound like a solo cornet, and the final three being a brass trio. UA likely extended the animation of their logo at the time to match the length of the Titanus' fanfare.

Availability: Near extinction, due to chronic plastering. Preserved on some trailers. It was allegedly first seen on You Only Live Twice and last seen on Attack on the Iron Coast. Was most recently seen on a Retroplex airing of the former, and the Spanish Blu-ray of Fitzwilly. Among the other films that originally featured this logo were Billion Dollar BrainThe Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (American prints), Operation Kid Brother (American prints), Death Rides a Horse (American prints), The PartyYours, Mine and OursKill a Dragon,Danger RouteLive for Life, and Hang 'Em High. The trailer variant is seen on the Clambake! trailer, but on the main feature (Region 2 and 4 DVDs only), it has an odd United Artists/Ledy-Gardner-Laven productions in-credit logo. The black background variant can be seen on the trailer of The Party (1968).

Scare Factor: None to low. Although this logo is very colorful, some B&W and heavily film deteriorated versions one should come across may increase the scare factor by a small amount.

(June 19, 1968-April 30, 1976, July 27, 1980, June 26, 1981)

Nickname: "The Transamerica T"

Logo: It starts with two sets of blue lines going into place, one by one on a black background. One line turns to the left, another turns to the right, and so on. There are six lines altogether, revealing the logo of Transamerica Corporation, United Artists' former owner. The stylized blue "T" design zooms out to the right side to make room for the company name "United Artists", which appears in a Impact font. A small byline pops in afterward, inscribed "Entertainment from Transamerica Corporation", which appears under the UA name.

Trivia: This was the result of a branding strategy of the Transamerica Corporation, unifying all their owned companies under the main company's logo. This included, among others: Transamerica Distribution Services, Transamerica Airlines, Liberty Records, Blue Note Records, and of course, United Artists and its subsidiary United Artists Television.

Variants:

  • There has been a version with the "T" zooming out to the bottom left corner.
  • On some trailers, the "T" is white.
  • On some films, such as most James Bond of this period (with the exception of original theatrical prints of On Her Majesty's Secret Service), the logo would cut to black instead of fading out.
  • There is also a B&W variant seen on late 1960's reissues of older black and white United Artists films. This was also seen on two Woody Allen films, Sleeper and Interiors (the latter a 1978 film, strangely).
  • On a few films, such as Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) and Midnight Cowboy, the logo faded into a white background to accompany the opening credits.
  • There is a variant just like the 5th logo. It starts off with "United Artists" and the Transamerica "T". Then "Entertainment from Transamerica Corporation" fades in, possibly as a way of United Artists bidding "farewell" to Transamerica after 14 years. This was seen on original theatrical prints of For Your Eyes Only. Surprisingly, this variant currently appears in full on an American trailer for the 1980 release of Arabian Nights (a 1974 Italian film).
  • On reissue trailers for some films a still version of this logo is used, only it says "Re-released thru" above the logo.

FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The stacking of the lines and the zooming out.

Music/Sounds: An ascending musical scale of 6 bendy guitar notes accompanying each of the 6 blue lines, followed by a sharp drum roll, and concluded by a fanfare of horns and drums. Composed by Doug Goodwin.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On original prints of Fiddler on the Roof, it used a timpani drum piece.
  • Most releases had it silent or with the opening theme/audio of the film.
  • On the current print of The Adventures of Gerard, it uses the last half of the 1982 fanfare, due to a sloppy reverse plaster.
  • On the Region 2 DVDs of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), the standard 1968 version (in 2.35:1 scope) was seen with the fanfare from the 10th logo. This oddity was likely due to a sloppy reverse plaster job when the newer anamorphic D1 master was being made (being the older Region 1 DVD had the 1994 logo in its place). This oddity also appears on the 1999 MGM DVD Special Edition of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by making a stream of the disc's VTS file, and separating both branches.
  • On the MGM MOD viewings of Some Girls Do, the 2001 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures lion roar is strangely heard over the standard 1968 version. This is, again, likely due to a sloppy reverse plaster (being that oddly, the 2012 MGM logo precedes this).
  • On the full-screen side on the 2000 MGM DVD release of Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), the 1995 theme is heard.
  • On original prints of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, this logo has the sound of race cars (leading into the opening scene of the film) playing over this logo.

Availability: Rare. Allegedly first seen on The Thomas Crown Affair, this is generally replaced with later United Artists or MGM logos, because of the Transamerica logo and information on the logo (which is by this time outdated). This is presumably done because Transamerica Corporation still exists as a company (and was still using the "T-Flower" logo in the 1980s). However, this logo (mainly the first variation) can currently be seen on the DVDs and TCM's prints of Cotton Comes to Harlem (original MGM DVD release only), Alice's RestaurantCops and RobbersSam WhiskeyJennifer on My MindThe Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Region 2 DVDs only), and Jeremy, all after either the 2001 version of the 1986 MGM logo or 1995 logos. The version that fades to white makes an appearance on the 2000 MGM DVD release of of the Woody Allen film Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) (full screen side only; widescreen side has a sped-up 1995 logo). It was also prolific on Magnetic Video Corporation releases of United Artists films from the early 1980's, such as the pre-Transamerica films West Side Story and Tom Jones, the American print of Last Tango in Paris (plastering the next logo), and the extremely rare release of Let It Be. The version with the fanfare mainly appears on original prints of Pink Panther shorts and various DePatie-Freleng Enterprises Friz Freleng cartoons of the time co-produced with Mirisch/UA, but it was also heard on a few feature films such as the original U.S print of Yellow Submarine, and makes a surprise appearance on the Magnetic Video Corporation Laserdisc release of Carrie (plastering the second 1975 logo). Also made appearances on the 1998 VHS release of Mr. Majestyk (after the 1994 logo), an Australian airing of The Last Escape (after the 1987 logo), and the Digiview DVD of The World of Hans Christian Andersen. The Fiddler on the Roof variant appeared on early television broadcasts, and on the 1981 RCA CED (Magnetic Video Corporation's version was released later that same year, and by that time, Transamerica no longer owned United Artists). The second version is much harder to find, but is kept intact on the 1993 Republic Pictures Home Video VHS of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and on the American MGM DVD and ThisTV airings of The Killer Elite. However, the new French Blu-ray and a recent TCM airing of the latter have the 2012 MGM logo and the 2001 United Artists plastering over this (with opening audio of the film playing over the United Artists logo). On James Bond films of this period, it originally appeared on On Her Majesty's Secret ServiceDiamonds Are Forever (appears on the RCA CED version), Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun. The version that cuts to black appears on the 1999 MGM DVD Special Edition release of On Her Majesty's Secret Service by making a stream of the disc's VTS file, and separating both branches. The black & white version has been spotted on the 2000 DVD of Interiors (full screen side only; widescreen side has the 2001 version of the 1986 MGM logo and 1994 logo instead), along with the Blu-ray version and post-2007 broadcasts of Sleeper, and surprisingly, current releases of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. It is currently unknown if any other full screen versions of Woody Allen titles on DVDs retain their original United Artists titles. This logo is also preserved on some trailers on DVDs, Blu-rays, and trailers on the iTunes store. The reissue variant can be seen on the 2000 MGM DVD release of Thunderball on a reissue trailer for a double feature of that film and You Only Live Twice. It is unknown if this logo originally appeared on original American prints of 1973 to 1975 MGM films. This logo may have appeared on some United Artists films on VHS and Betamax releases from VidAmerica in the United States, or from Intervision Video in the United Kingdom (some notable releases from both the companies include Coming HomeEverything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)The FountainheadThe Great EscapeHairLennySome Like it Hot and White Heat).

Scare Factor: Low. Even with the theme, it doesn't seem harmful.

(June 25, 1975-December 17, 1976)


Nicknames: "Blue Light", "The Secret Transamerica T"

Logo: The text "UNITED ARTISTS" starts appearing on a black screen in five segments, outlined by a bluelight. After "UNITED ARTISTS" completely revealed, the Transamerica "T" and the byline "A Transamerica Company" (which is sometimes tinted gold) fade in below as "UNITED ARTISTS" turns orange. Then, little sparkles appear and disappear in various spots in the word "UNITED ARTISTS" for a few seconds before stopping.

Variant: There is a variant without the Transamerica byline.

FX/SFX: The logo appearing in segments, the outline, and the fade in of the "Transamerica T" and the byline (when it applies).

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie. However, the 2001 DVD release of Rocky uses the 1995 music, due to a plastering mistake.

Availability: Very rare. The bylineless version can be found on Carrie (which has no logical reason to be plastered). The rendition with the Transamerica byline is much harder to find due to plastering, and was seen on films such as Rocky, The Return of a Man Called Horse, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, and the 1975 version of Rollerball (where this logo was first spotted). It is, however, preserved on the 2001 DVD releases of Carrie and Rocky (with the 1995 music tacked on, due to sloppy editing!), but then replaced with the current logo on the 2006 DVD release of the latter. However, the 1990 VHS of Rocky has this logo plastered with the 1987 logo and the 1987 MGM/UA Communications logo. Also, the 1996 VHS and 1998 DVDs of Rocky have it plastered with the 1994 logo, along with the 2014 Blu-Ray. It is possible it may be on the 1981 USA RCA CED release, but this has yet to be seen. Also seen on current TV airings of Champion of Death (AKA, Karate Bullfighter), after the 2008 MGM logo. Allegedly, this logo was last seen on Bound for Glory, in which the R2 DVDs retain it, while the R1 releases have it plastered with the 1987 logo.

Scare Factor: Minimal to low. It may frighten a few with the dark background, but the music on the 2001 DVD release of Rocky slightly lowers the scare factor.

(December 17, 1976-August 14, 1981)

Nicknames: "Transamerica T '76", "The Transamerica T II"

Logo: We see the text "United Artists" in the same Impact font on a black background. A few seconds later, the blue "T" design fades in on the left side of the company name. Like the previous logo variant, the "T" is made up of 6 blue lines, with three stacked on top of each other on both sides. At the same time, a blue text that says "A Transamerica Company" appears underneath the United Artists name.

Variants:

  • On trailers for some films (mostly when distributing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures films), the "T" and Transamerica Corporation byline are in white and the words "Released thru" are seen above the logo.
  • A similar variant appears on black-and-white films, including Manhattan, Stardust Memories (both Woody Allen films) and Raging Bull, only the full animation is used, and "Released thru" doesn't appear at all.
  • On some films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Being There and a full screen print of Moonraker, the "T" and the text are bigger and the Transamerica byline is smaller. It was known as a print logo, and was seen on movie posters.
  • On trailers for films, the logo is still and the Transamerica byline is in white. However, the original theatrical trailer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has the still version of the regular version, though the film itself has the variant from a full screen version print of Moonraker.
  • On Moonraker, the logo was in freeze-frame.
  • Depending on the film, the placement and colors of the logo would vary ever so slightly.
  • On European releases, such as the Italian release of Cannibal Holocaust, it would say "United Artists Europa Inc." This can be seen on the Arrow UK DVD & Blu-ray release, as well as the Shameless releases. This logo is not on American releases, as early VHS copies edited it out, while on the Grindhouse DVD it is replaced with the Grindhouse Releasing logo. This logo was seen on Primo Amore.
  • On the 1980 MGM/CBS Home Video VHS release of Cruising the opening theme is heard.

FX/SFX: The "United Artists" text appearing, the blue stacked "T" and Transamerica byline fading into view.

Cheesy Factor: The logo and effects used are simple, fade in/out.

Music/Sounds: Silent, or the film's opening cue/theme.

Music/Sounds Variant: On a recent TCM print of Return of the Pink Panther, it uses the 1995 music due to sloppy reverse plastering.

Availability: Very rare, bordering on near extinction. Most United Artists films of the time have had this logo edited over with newer logos or recent MGM logos, but it occasionally appears on older prints. It has been preserved on the 1990 MGM/UA Home Video VHS releases of The Black Stallion and Thunderbird 6, the 1980 MGM/CBS Home Video releases of the United Artists-distributed Lorimar Motion Pictures films Being There, Cruising (same for the CBS/Fox Video and Warner Home Video re-releases of the latter) and Carny. In the case of Carny it was removed. It was also on the 1997 Warner Home Video VHS and DVD release of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (this is not on the Thorn EMI Video and Republic Pictures Home Video VHS releases and Warner Home Video's later Blu-ray and DVD release). It makes an appearance on the trailer for The Last Wave on The Criterion Collection DVD release. This also makes a surprise reappearance on the 2010 Warner Home Video DVD and Blu-ray releases of Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings (1978), though it is absent on all older releases. It is also intact on the MGM MOD DVD-R of Valentino (1977) (after the 2001 MGM lion). The U.S print of the ITC Entertainment Group-produced The Big Sleep also had this logo. The original home video release and early television airings of Apocalypse Now should preserve this logo, although the 1990s Paramount Home Video Laserdisc uses the 1990 version of the 1986 Paramount Pictures logo, and none of the DVD releases contain a logo at all. It is preserved on trailers on the iTunes movie store. It also appears on the original Magnetic Video Corporation release of The Jazz Singer, followed by the 1923 Warner Bros. Pictures logo. The black and white variant is preserved on the RCA CED and Magnetic Video Corporation VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc releases of Raging Bull, as well as the Blu-ray release and Netflix viewings of Stardust Memories (oddly after the 2001 MGM Lion and 2001 UA Swoosh). Also seen on the Magnetic releases of The Black Stallion, Annie Hall, and La Cage Aux Folles. Also seen on the international prints of Piranha, which is preserved on the Region 2 DVD after the 1995 logo. It also appeared on pre-1981 prints of Rocky II, including HBO broadcasts (the best place to look for that, and previous versions of the Transamerica logos in general, would be through commercial-free cable TV broadcasts, and old network TV broadcasts from before 1981). It is also seen intact on the Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs of Rocky II, the Warner Archive Instant print of Americathon, and the Shout! Factory DVD and Blu-ray of Deadly Blessing (a film Universal Studios owns because they control some of the pre-1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment library, in addition to being the very last film released in the Transamerica era). On James Bond films of this period, it originally appeared on The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. This logo was on the trailers for the 1975 to 1981 MGM films That's Entertainment Part II, Logan's Run, Fame, and He Knows Where You Sleep (on the latter two films this logo appears under the 1966 MGM logo). It is unknown if this logo appeared on the actual release prints of MGM films from 1975 to 1981. This logo may have been seen on U.S VidAmerica and U.K Intervision Video VHS and Betamax releases of United Artists films.

Scare Factor: None, it's very simple.

(September 18, 1981-December 1982)


Nicknames: "Blank United Artists", "T-less United Artists"

Logo: It's just the on-screen text of the 7th logo without the Transamerica "T" logo and byline.

Trivia: This was later used during the time of MGM/UA Entertainment Co.'s formation after MGM merged with United Artists.

Variant: The logo appears in a videotaped version when plastering older logos.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: Usually silent.

Availability: Very rare. Was seen on the original American prints of Last Tango in Paris(although the original Magnetic Video Corporation VHS and Betamax uses the previous logo). Was seen on later Magnetic Video Corporation and most 20th Century-Fox Video VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc prints of RockyDr. No, GoldfingerA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumFor Your Eyes OnlyWhite LightningThe Return of a Man Called Horse and Rollerball. Currently appears on The French Lieutenant's Woman (the first film during the Transamerica/MGM transition period to use this logo) and can also be found on MGM Made on Demand DVD releases and Hulu airings of Vigilante ForceSafari 3000Born to Win and The S Word. Appears on some public domain DVDs of The Magic Sword.

Scare Factor: None.

(May 28, 1982-1987, September 23, 1994, October 22, 2004)


Nicknames: "Turning UA", "UA Paperclip", "The Sad/Happy Music"

Logo: It starts with a whitish line against a black screen. The line then rotates at an extremely slow pace and reveals itself to be a silvery blue stylized "UA". The logo is in the shape of a "U" with a bigger left side, and a diagonal line protruding from the shorter right side to form the "A." When the symbol finishes turning around, the words "United Artists" appear under it in the same font that was used during the "Transamerica" era.

Trivia: The logo was created and designed by Sandy Dvore (who also created the Lorimar 1971 "LP" logo). The "UA" was a wood model sprayed with chrome-like paint and suspended with a black rod covered in a velvet cloth to avoid reflection. The background was simply a black piece of paper. The model was then rotated on a small stage.

Variants:

  • There is a rare variant which has the logo in white.

It just zooms out from the left.

  • There was also a "Big Text" variant. This was spotted on a 1980's reissue print of the Spaghetti Western From Man to Man (a.k.a. Death Rides a Horse).


FX/SFX: The "turning UA".

Music/Sounds: A low sonic tone plays in the background, and as the logo turns around, a slow, somewhat somber five-note piano tune plays. When the "UA" is revealed and the words "United Artists" appear, they are accompanied by a short, swelling progression of violins immediately leading to an uplifting, dramatic 5-note orchestral conclusion. This theme was composed by Joe Harnell.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • A rare rearranged version of the music was heard on an unknown Blake Edwards film (ether Trail of the Pink Panther or Curse of the Pink Panther).
  • A higher pitched version is used on many PAL releases, as well as on the 1987 American MGM/UA release of Yellow Submarine.
  • On a few films, such as the current print of Attack on the Iron Coast, it is silent.
  • On rare occasions, such as on Jinxed and older releases (including the 2001 DVD and Hulu Prints) of They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!, the logo is accompanied by the films' respective opening theme (in the case of the latter, the logo is silent in the beginning. But when the "UA" is revealed, the film's opening cue plays; this plasters the original 1968 logo).
  • On Some Portuguese print of the "The Dogfather" cartoon, the 1968 theme is used.


Availability: Was prolific on video releases and cable during the 1980s, but it's scarce now due to plastering with the 1987 or 1994 logos. This logo was used to update its catalog and provide a visual branding presence in the process, especially considering that most pre-Transamerica UA films did not have a logo at the beginning. This plasters older logos on the CBS/FOX releases of The Spy Who Loved MeThe Black StallionRockyThunderballYou Only Live TwiceGoldfinger, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the Playhouse Video release of Apache and the 1983 MGM/UA Home Video release of The Last Waltz. Most 1980s UA releases were released with the MGM/UA lion logo (which still survives on some current prints). However, it can still be found on some '90s MGM/UA Home Video releases such as the early 1990s MGM/UA release of The Secret of NIMH (the logo has been restored on the 2007 DVD release of said film, however), along with the 1991 VHS of West Side Story. Also seen on UK prints of The Plague Dogs (the US prints of this film have it replaced with the Embassy Pictures logo). Strangely appears on an VHS trailer for Teachers (on a 1986 Australian tape of American Flyers). Also, it plasters the 1st UA logo on a CBS/FOX release of Witness for the Prosecution, in which this logo is shown in B&W. Also retained on current TV prints of The Thomas Crown Affair and Rocky III preceded by the 2002 MGM lion. Makes surprise appearances on Sleep with Me (1994) and Undertow (2004). Can also be seen on 80s prints of older 007 films, mainly on VHS and Laserdisc. The variant appeared on a video from Kyron Home Video in Colombia. (NOTE: In terms of packaging, this logo only appeared on British, European, Latin, African, Australian, Asian, and Japanese 1980's video releases of UA films from Warner Home Video. CBS/Fox video releases simply had the MGM/UA logo on the packaging. This was perhaps due to branding rights that were different overseas, especially since this logo only actually appeared on film on occasion).

Scare Factor: Low. This logo's nature and the surprising orchestra at the end may get to some, but it's mainly harmless. Same goes for the rearranged music.

(1983-1986)

Logo: It's basically another on-screen text saying "UNITED ARTISTS PRESENTS" in the same futuristic white font on a black background.

Trivia: After MGM acquired United Artists, most new UA films were released with this on-screen text following the MGM "Lion" logo of the era with the "MGM/UA Entertainment Co." caption above. However, the 1985 films A View to a Kill and To Live and Die in L.A. don't have this text.

Variants:


  • On Romantic Comedy, the text reads "A United Artists/Taft Entertainment Picture".
  • Some films such as Red Dawn and The Aviator (1985) have the text presented in the same font as the main titles. The former film does not have the text on a black screen.
  • Yentl has the text reading "A UNITED ARTISTS PRESENTATION".
  • On Oxford Blues,the text reads "METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PRESENTS" in a same futuristic font of "UNITED ARTISTS PRESENTS".


FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None, or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability: Usually preserved on United Artists films of the era, as it is technically an in-credit logo and later prints still use this text. Films with this logo include OctopussyRocky IVWarGames and some public domain prints of Born to Win, among others. Oddly, this in-credit text was used to plaster the 1968 logo on Support Your Local Sheriff! instead of the previous logo, in which this oddity is retained on the 2002 DVD release. This appeared on the original VHS release and the 2001 DVD of Youngblood, but recent prints replace this with the next logo, or in the case of Encore's print, remove it entirely (while retaining the MGM Lion logo of the era).

Scare Factor: None.

(June 21, 1987-1993)




Nickname: "UA Swoosh"

Logo: Over a black BG, we see a giant pattern of blue crystallized "UAs", styled like the 9th logo. The pattern smoothly merges together to form one minimum-sized "UA" as it zooms out. A streak of light glides by to slash the "A", leaving spikes on the "A". Then "United Artists" fades in underneath and the logo shines.

Trivia: This logo was animated by Rhythm & Hues in 1987. Appeared on their 1988 showreel.

Variants:

  • In its early years, the MGM/UA Communications logo preceded this logo. In its later years, the logo would be by itself, starting from the point where the UA logo has already merged from the giant pattern, and the byline "An MGM/UA Communications Company" appears underneath.
  • A prototype version can be seen on The Living Daylights, one of the first films to use this logo. The print logo in blue zooms in, and then "United Artists" fades in below.
  • Occasionally, only the "swoosh" part of the

animation is shown (with the MGM/UA Communications logo). This is seen on License to Kill, All Dogs Go to Heaven and Rocky V, among others.

  • On the 1988 Rhythm & Hues showreel (which can be viewed here), the logo animates at a smoother rate.


FX/SFX: The merging and zooming out of the logo and the slashing of the "A". CGI effects.

Music/Sounds: A low bass sound, followed by a jet engine-like "swoosh" and a single note timed with the logo shining. Other times, it's silent.

Availability: Uncommon. Although subject to plastering with the 1995 and 2001 logos, it is still fairly common on UA-released films of the period such as Baby BoomRain Man, and Rocky V to name a few. It can also be found on the 1997 DVD of The Black Stallion, the MGM MOD DVD of Tomorrow Is Forever, the 2001 DVD of All Dogs Go to HeavenLicense to Kill, and the 2008 DVD of Child's Play. This logo was often paired off with the popular MGM/UA Communications logo (which is sometimes cut off like on current prints of The Living Daylights and a 1993 MGM/UA Home Video print of Rocky) and both logos are thus regarded as favorites.

Scare Factor:

  • Most variants: None to minimal. The logo was liked by many people.
  • Prototype variant: Low to medium, because of the V of doom-like zooming on a black background and retained music.

(March 31, 1995?-2000)

Nicknames: "The Gathering Lights", "The UA Gathering Lights", "UA Shining Light", "The Shining Lights", "UA Marble Stone"

Logo: It starts with a couple dozen bright stars showering over. The backdrop is a dark-colored marble wall, which appears a few seconds later. The glittering stars glide over the screen causing the words, "UNITED ARTISTS" with "U" and "A" bigger than the rest of the letters, wiping in from the left. After this progression, two stars criss-cross each other's paths and fade away left and right underneath to reveal, in smaller text, the words, "PICTURES INC.", in spaced-out letters. As the logo completes, one big star goes against the "U" and flashes. Then it shines, a la the Torch Lady's torch shining.

Trivia: This logo was used during and after United Artists' 75th Anniversary.

Variants:

  • Starting in 1996, the words, "PICTURES INC." were changed into the byline, "AN MGM COMPANY", again in spaced-out letters.
  • A black & white version can be seen on B&W UA films.
  • There is a print closing version where the words "UNITED ARTISTS" are stacked and the shine is intact.

FX/SFX: The glittering stars and the bright shining star.

Cheesy Factor: Although this logo utilizes modern computer effects, it looks more like a product of the 1940s.

Music/Sounds: Some tingling sounds followed by an orchestral tune, and ending with a rhythmic twinkling sound. On some movies such as The Birdcage and Man in the Iron Mask (1998), it has the opening theme.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the TCM print of More Money for Django, it uses the last half of the 1982 fanfare.
  • On the Starz print of Leaving Las Vegas, it uses the 2001 music.

Availability: Not as common as it once was when it was the chief means of plastering during most of the 1990's and some of the 2000's. It is believed to have debuted on the 1995 theatrical release of Tank Girl, as Sleep with Me uses the 1982 logo, and The Fantasticks was an earlier-produced 1995 film delayed into 2000, so this is quite debatable. Plus, it was seen on Goldeneye. It is also preserved on older MGM tapes and DVDs. This logo can also be seen on MGM/UA Family Home Entertainment VHS releases (as well as the MGM Kids DVD release, and possibly Laserdisc prints) of The Secret of NIMH (plastering the 1982 logo), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (plastering the 1968 logo), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (plastering the 1980 logo). Some mid-1990s VHS (and presumably DVD or Laserdisc) prints of Fiddler on the Roof use this logo.

Scare Factor: None to minimal. This is an okay logo, but can get pretty annoying for those who are seeking older UA logos.

13th Logo (2000-2001)

Nicknames: "UA 2000", "The New UA Paperclip", "UA Paperclip II"

Logo: On a black screen, white streaks appear, streaking to form a new UA logo that looks similar to the 1982 and 1987 logos, except the logo is a little narrower and there are no streaks. The words "UNITED ARTISTS" come from both sides of the lower part of the screen and converge. The words "AN MGM COMPANY" soon fade in afterwards, where we later see a shining wipe effect on the UA logo.

Trivia:

  • This on-screen rendition was ultimately a placeholder for the reintroduction and revitalization of the "UA Swoosh", of which the revised print logo was already being used during this time.
  • This logo is usually preceded by the current MGM Lion on older United Artists releases.


Variant: There is a variant where the logo is zooming out from 1.78:1 to 2.35:1 scope. This was because the film was in scope but the MGM lion preceding was in "flat" aspect.

FX/SFX: The streaks, the appearance of the logo, the convergence of the words "UNITED ARTISTS".

Music/Sounds: A short instrumental bed consisting of a drum beat, a synth harmony, and sounds of wind, with a short 4-note piano stinger at the end. On some films, it is silent or has the film's opening music playing over it.

Availability: Rare. Can be seen on United Artists' limited output of this time before it became an in-name only subsidiary of MGM. It also appears on DVD prints of The Black Stallion ReturnsJuggernaut, and The Dogs of War.

Scare Factor: None.


(2001-2012)

United Artists Logo

United Artists Logo (2001-)00:15

United Artists Logo (2001-)

Nicknames: "UA Swoosh 2000", "UA Spikes 2000", "The Silver Slices", "Silver Spikes", "The UA Swoosh Returns", "UA Swoosh II", "Metallic UA Swoosh"

Logo: Essentially the same as the previous logo, except this one includes a metallic version of the "UA Swoosh" logo from 1987. Instead of the cross-indentations of the "A" being swooshed in this time around, they are "sliced" in by a light effect from left to right, one by one. There is also a URL for "www.unitedartists.com" underneath the company byline.

Trivia: This logo also appears preceded by the current MGM lion on new prints of older United Artists releases.


Byline: 1998-1999, 2001-2005, 2011-,AN MGM COMPANY www.unitedartists.com


Variant: At the end of Red Dawn (2012), a still version is used.

FX/SFX: The streaks, the slicing effects, the convergence of the words "UNITED ARTISTS".

Music/Sounds: Same as above. On some films such as Valkyrie and Hot Tub Time Machine, it's silent or has other sounds/music playing over it.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • In an unusual variation that is likely an editing foul-up, the British film 24 Hour Party People accompanies this logo with the theme music of Pathé, which had European distribution rights to the movie. This actually suits the logo well.
  • TCM's print of The Magic Sword has the second half of the 1982 logo fanfare playing over it. Quite possibly an editing error as well.
  • On some films, such as Fiddler on the RoofBananas, and local airings of Leaving Las Vegas, it uses the 1995 fanfare due to a plaster error.

Availability: Common. It's seen on more recent films released by UA, including Jeepers Creepers, Ghost World and Hot Tub Time Machine. This logo has now become the standard for plastering the Transamerica logos on most classic films.

Scare Factor: None. It's a good logo, but you'll probably get annoyed by how much time it appears plastering older logos, much like the 2001 MGM logo, which often precedes this logo.

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