Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (Movies)

By Matt Williams and Kris Starring

1st Logo

Nickname: "The MGM Lion"

Logo: A live-action lion is in a circle of a ribbon-like filmstrip which has four filmstrips flowing out on the bottom sides in twos. Underneath the circle is a red drama mask. The circle has the phrase "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" [Latin for "Art for the Art's Sake"] inscribed on the top, and at the bottom is a marquee that reads "Metro Goldwyn Mayer."  On the left side is "TRADE," and the right "MARK." The lion roars twice.

Variations: First here are the few differences in the logo, along with dates in which they were used:

  • Mid 1950s-1956: The marquee is dropped, and the company name is placed on top of the ribbon design. The first letters of the company's name are in red, and the rest of the letters are in tan.
  • Early 1957: A different lion is seen in this logo. It appears as if it is snarling.
  • 1957-82: The ribboning is stretched farther out from the bottom; a brand new lion appears in this variation.
  • 1974: Company celebrates its Golden Anniversary, adding the disclaimer "Beginning Our Next 50 Years". (as seen on "That's Entertainment")
  • 1982: The company identified as MGM/UA Entertainment Company, following their acquisition of United Artists. This logo variant is accompanied by a new lion roar track.
  • 1984: "Diamond Jubilee: Sixty Years of Great Entertainment" is used. The ribboning was golden colored for this variation. Because of the above disclaimer, the company name is now inscribed around the ribboning where "ARS GRATIA ARTIS" is usually seen.
  • 1985-1987: Company name is placed back on top of the ribboning, which has reverted back to white.
  • 1987-: The Company is reverted back to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The ribboning and the company name are now golden colored and will remain this way from this point forward.
  • 1999: 75th Anniversary logo; "75, a Legacy of Excellence" is used.
  • 1998-: The logo is adapted for MGM's renamed video division, MGM Home Entertainment. The logo is pushed up and "HOME ENTERTAINMENT", between two lines, is added below.
  • 2001-: A "" web address is added below the logo.

SFX/Cheesy Factor: The roaring lion effect, which really does not sound like a lion.

Music: None

Availability: Can still be seen on many classic films aired on Turner Classic Movies and American Movie Classics, as well as current MGM releases.

Scare Factor: One of the best-known logos, but high on the scary side for people who don't like roaring lions. The red mask on the bottom has freaked a few out as well.

MGM/UA Communications Co.

Logo: On a black background, an outline of the MGM U\ logo zooms out, leaving a smoky trail behind it. The trail and MGM U\ outline splits into three. The smoky trails get sucked into the logo, which stops in the top center of the screen. The MGM U\ logo is a metallic, WGBH-like outline. Then, the letters in the words "MGM/UA COMMUNICATIONS CO." appear on by one below the MGM U\. A red line starts in the center of the company name and splits into two, one line going towards the top of the screen, and one towards the bottom. The lines wipe the screen and bring forth either the MGM Lion of the UA Swoosh.

SFX/Cheesy Factor: 80's computer graphics, but still pretty cool, and well-inspired animation.

Music: Starts out with a synth chord, and segues into some wind-like sounds combined with a drum-beat, followed by a synth trumpet fanfare.

Availability: The MGM-UA Communications/UA Swoosh Mixture is still seen on current VHS and DVD prints of several James Bond movies and movies from the Pink Panther series.

Scare Factor: Median, some can be caught off by dramatics. But, this logo is still a favorite of many, myself included.