Paramount Pictures

By Jason Jones, Matt Williams, Argus Sventon, and Eric Hartman

1st Logo A
(Late Teens-1940's)

Nicknames: "The Majestic Mountain," "Dark Mountain"

Logo: We see a snowcapped mountain with, which appears a bit blurry in definition.  There are clouds that look like smoke over the mountain.  Sometimes foggy, though.  Encircling the mountain are 24 white stars , accompanied by this text in a majestic script font overlapping the mountain, reading:


At the end of the movie, we see "The End" overlapping the company name.

SFX: Nothing cheesy, just the gliding clouds.

Music: The beginning/end of a movie's theme.

Availability: Near Extinction, can probably be seen on Paramount releases of the period on cable. Expect a recent Universal logo to preceed as they own most of the films from this era.

Scare Factor: Median, due to the scary mountain drawing and clouds.

Jerry Fairbanks/Paramount Logos

Shields Pictures logo

We see a crest, depicting a knight's head, zooming away from us. At the top of the crest, the words "SHIELDS PICTURES" are seen. Below the head, we see the phrase "ON-SANS-2277"

Paramount Logo


We see a mountain shooting above a cloud deck below. A ring of stars, similar to the one seen on the Paramount blue mountain logo are seen. In a unusual font, we see the words "A Paramount Picture". Possibly the most unusual Paramount logo that I have seen.


We see a brown mountain with a brownish sky. This logo is similar to the movie Paramount logo, except the word "Paramount" is slightly below the top of the mountain.

Popular Science Openings

We see a cartoon airplane zooming toward us. After the plane passes, we see either "ADOLPH ZUKOR PRESENTS" or "PARAMOUNT PRESENTS" while we're looking down at the airplane. The words "POPULAR SCIENCE" are seen on the airplane's wings.

At the bottom there is a copyright, and a Paramount pseudo-logo. Also present may be another copyright notice for Shields Pictures. This is followed by the credits.

Unusual Occupations Opening

On a shining red background, we see the above words, except the words "UNUSUAL OCCUPATIONS" are seen.

Music: Popular Science: A majestic, sounding theme to accompany the sound of the airplane passing. Very catchy.

Unusual Occupations: A patriotic theme is heard, which leads into a medley of "I've Been Working on the Railroad", "Pop Goes the Weasel", "Old MacDonald Had a Farm", and "I've Been Working on the Railroad".

Availability: Seen as AMC Short Cuts. Usually you can figure it out by checking the running time of the movies and the start times.

1st Logo B

Nicknames: "Majestic Mountain '52," "Twisted Mountain"

Logo: The same as above, only this variation looks more marble in appearance. The sky background is a bit lighter as well.

SFX: Nothing cheesy again, just the gliding clouds.

Cheesy Factor: The mountain looks ugly.

Music: Usually the beginning/end of a movie's theme.

Availability: The beginning part is replaced with logo 6 on "Shane" (1952) as this logo is kept at the end of "Shane."  Still seen on Paramount releases of the period.

Scare Factor: Median, the mountain looks ugly and could be an eyesore to look at.

1st Logo C

Logo: Created especially for widescreen, this logo appears more realistic and features a canyon scenery around it. The sky is more distant in depth and is very contrast.

Variations: There is a variation that "A Paramount Picture" would be replaced by "A Paramount Release" on some features.  At the end of the movie, the "The End" byline appears by itself, right in front of the mountain. It then fades to the company name a few moments later.

SFX: Nothing cheesy again, just the gliding clouds.

Music: None, although it plays through the beginning/end of the movie's theme.

Availability: Again, preserved on Paramount releases of the period.

Scare Factor: None.

2nd Logo

Logo: Much like the previous logo, but this time, only the word "Paramount" is seen on the mountain's peak, with the stars encircling the mountain. "A Gulf+Western Company" appears on the bottom.

Variations: There is a variation that in 1974, the two stars are clipped away.  The mountain looks the same as logo 2's version, but the stars are big.  "A Gulf+" slides in from the left and "+Western Company" from the right slide in and they're in a different typeface. The script name also had a few variations of its own. At least two movies featured the then current TV logo version, and the 1974 logo features the print logo variation, which remains from this day forward.

SFX: Nothing cheesy again, except for the gliding clouds, and byline sliding in.

Music: Usually had no music, like some other studios at the time, although "Charlotte's Web" had a 13-note horn fanfare.  Other than that, the movie's beginning theme plays there.

Availability: Is rare, but can still be seen. Among the movies released in this era were "The Godfather," "Catch 22," "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (with Barbara Streisand), "Charlotte's Web," "Paint Your Wagon" and "Chinatown" (with Jack Nicholson).

Scare Factor: None, but some people would get edgy about the "Split" lettering version seen on "Catch 22".

3rd Logo

Nicknames: "Early 80s", "Blue Mountain", "Abstract Mountain"

Logo: We see a mountain with canyon-style scenery. 22 white stars fade in, encircling the mountain. "Paramount" fades in on the mountain's peak. The byline at the bottom fading in is:


The logo fades to a light blue mountain resting a circleish navy blue border on a light blue screen.  This one is similar to the Paramount Television ID of the period and has darker colors compared to the TV ID.


  • The distance between the words and the mountain tip sometimes varies.
  • One variation of the logo has a smaller blue circle around the mountain, kind of receded. This was seen on "Looking For Mr. Goodbar," among others.

SFX: Fading in of the company name, bit by bit.

Cheesy Factor: Nothing cheesy, just gliding clouds and fading parts in this logo.

Music: Usually had no music, although the original version of Grease had a theme

Availability: Can be found on most TV broadcasts of late 70s-mid 80s movies.

Scare Factor: High. Could be on a count of their TV counterpart.

4th Logo

Nickname: "CGI Mountain"

Logo: We see a computer generated mountain, with lake and scenery and a light blue/yellow gradient sky behind it.  The camera begins to zoom closer to the mountain, as 22 silver stars come from the bottom left and encircle the mountain, forming the familiar logo. The word Paramount, in its familiar script logo font and redone in a shiny blue color, fades in on the peak of the mountain.  Below it, one of these three bylines fade in:

  • 1987-1989: A Gulf + Western Company (it fades in together with the Paramount script logo and looks the same as it did in the previous logo)
  • 1989-1995: A Paramount Communications Company with a line above the byline (an early variant of such appeared in their first year, as it fades in together with the Paramount logo and appears in gold rather than white)
  • 1995-present: A Viacom Company (in the \/|/\CO/\/\ "Wigga-Wigga" font), with a line above the byline

Variations:  While there have been some variations of the logo depending on the movie, and of course the three byline variants, there are two main logo variations of this logo:

  • Version 1: For this logo's first year, the words "75th Anniversary" appear over the mountain, between the Paramount script logo and the Gulf + Western byline. "75th" was in gold and "Anniversary" in silver.
  • Version 2: Starting in about 1999, Paramount redid their logo slightly.  The same basic concept is here, but is reanimated to look nicer.  The stars are thicker (with golden sides), shinier, and have a nice motion blur effect, the star's reflection can now be seen in the lake in front of the mountain, and the Paramount script logo now shines.  These additions are subtle but they make the logo seem much less dated.

SFX: The stars circling the mountain, zoom in, text fading in

Cheesy Factor: Early Computer Animation. The scenery looks like it's a model and looks kind of fake as a result.

Music: Usually silent, but occasionally has a orchestrated fanfare playing throughout the logo. An abridged version can be heard on various home video releases.

Music Variations: Nickelodeon/Paramount films use chimes for the stars to circle the mountain.

Availability: Plastered on most broadcast and basic cable telecasts of Paramount movies as well as some of Paramount's "marquee" titles that have been remastered or restored. However, most pay cable showings and video releases still have their original logos. The 1999 revision is more rare, only appearing on movies which were released in theaters from 1999 to early 2002-- Paramount has used the original; 1994 Viacom variation in all logo plasterings and TV movies such as those made for Showtime. Still easy to catch, even though it's not the current logo anymore.

The 75th Anniversary logo appeared on 1987 video releases of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Crocodile Dundee", and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", and was plastered with the Paramount Communications logo for many years. Paramount nicely unplastered the logo off, and the 75th Anniversary variation appears on the DVD releases of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" and "The Untouchables".

Scare Factor: None

5th Logo

Nicknames: "Majestic Mountain '02", "CGI Majestic Mountain"

Logo: We see a majestic shot of a large amount of clouds, high over the earth, in space. In the distance, comet-like objects descend from the sky and as they zoom towards us, we see that they are the trademark Paramount stars, shooting towards us. The shot appears to "shimmer" a bit and then we see that we've been watching a reflection all along-- the stars have been reflected through the familiar "Paramount" script. It too descends through the clouds, until we see a familiar mountain coming into view, now on a majestic sunrise-like background and surrounded by clouds. The stars zoom in below the script logo, which is now a light bluish color, twisting and encircling the mountain. The script logo assumes its position above the mountain peak as the logo is completely formed. The Viacom byline fades in below the logo.

Variation: During its first year of use, the words "90th Anniversary" fade in over the logo with the Viacom byline.

SFX: INCREDIBLE CGI, very reminiscent of the more majestic and stylized 1940s and 50s Mountains.

Music: Silent for the most part, like the last logo. Unknown if there's a fanfare this time.

Availability: Just emerging. Late 2001 films on video and DVD already have this logo attached, and as of March 1st, 2002, this logo has been in use in theaters.

Scare Factor: None. The animation is mind-blowing, and it is a suitable successor to Paramount's original CGI mountain.