Hollywood Lost and Found - Studio Logos - UA, Republic
Hollywood Lost and Found

Everything You Wanted To Know About
American Film Company Logos
But Were Afraid To Ask

by Rick Mitchell

Page 9
United Artists, Republic, and others

Although United Artists had a logo prior to 1967, the company name stacked inside a hexagon, it was rarely used after the early Thirties where it appeared on the 65mm version of "The Bat Whispers" (1930) and "White Zombie" (1932), among others; later instances of its use include "I Married A Witch" (1942) (ironically a film made by, and purchased from, Paramount), "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), and "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" (1966). In place of its own logo UA allowed the companies making films for it to distribute to use their own logos, such as Zanuck's 20th Century Pictures, the Tower of London for Alexander Korda, or the facade of RKO-Pathe Studios for David 0. Selznick (for whom Alfred Newman also wrote and recorded a fanfare). As late as the Fifties, the Bel-Air Productions of Howard W. Koch and Aubrey Schenck had its own logo. Otherwise, UA films opened with the opening credits or a pre-credit sequence with no advance notice that the feature was starting.

When Transamerica Insurance purchased UA in 1967, they insisted on a logo. Their first was the UA company name, stacked within a circle, first used on "You Only Live Twice." Later it was changed to animated lines forming a "T" next to which would be: "United Artists-A Transamerica Company". When the company was sold to MGM in 1981, the "T" and reference to Transamerica was dropped.

During the Eighties, United Artists went through two different logos. The first started out as a vertical line which turned to reveal itself as a stylized silver rendering of the letters "UA" with "United Artists" appearing at the bottom, and accompanied by a musical fanfare. The second was a similar rendering of "United Artists" which wiped across the screen. Their current logo was introduced in 1994.

The logos of some "minor" companies are also worth noting. Republic was formed in 1935 via Consolidated Film Labs foreclosing on several independent companies which owed it money, including Monogram, and Mascot, whose logo was a small roaring lion resting on a spinning globe, combining elements of two better known logos. Republic’s original logo was the tower of Liberty Hall with a tolling bell. In the late Forties, this was changed to an eagle resting on a mountain peak. In 1953 Victor Young wrote a fanfare for the Republic logo, and a different one the following year which Republic used until it ceased production in 1959.

In the mid-Eighties, National Telefilm Associates, which owned the Republic library among others, changed its name to Republic Pictures and had a new painting of the eagle logo done to appear at the head of its tv syndication prints. A few years ago, when it began limited theatrical distribution, a computer generated version which added a move in to the eagle was done.

American International's logo consisted of the company name within an oval with the capitol dome on top zooming out from billowing clouds in black-and-white, or a sunset in color, often accompanied by a fanfare written by Albert Glasser. (The company's original name was American Releasing Corp. when it was founded in 1954, changed to the more familiar one in 1956.) In 1960, with the production of its first American CinemaScope picture, "The House Of Usher," a new logo was introduced, the company name spelled out in script with the dome between "American" and "International", matted over a dusky sky and accompanied by a fanfare written by Les Baxter. This logo was not used on every picture the company released over the next four years as many would open with just the text matted over the opening shot of the film. Throughout the Sixties and into the early Seventies, the AlP logo went through a number of variations until its final permutation, a stylized small "a" designed to resemble a combined "aI" in a circle matted over flowing clouds with "American International" underneath. After co-founder James H. Nicholson left the company in 1972, the text would dissolve to "Samuel Z. Arkoff Presents". American International was purchased by Filmways in 1980 and the name changed to Filmways Pictures, which in turn was purchased by Orion Pictures in 1982.

Originally Orion’s films were distributed by Warner Bros. and this was reflected in the logo copy but that was dropped when they took over Filmways. Orion's logo, that constellation forming a ring which becomes the "0" of the then wiped on company name, was introduced in 1978 when the company was formed by executives who had left United Artists.

Allied Artists originally had a logo consisting of stacked letters in a box with the "A"s connected which was only used at the end title. In the late Sixties, this was changed to small "A"s connected together in a mirror image. The company's precursor, Monogram Pictures, had a logo consisting of an "N" inside a circle that may have been used on some of their films; when many of them were sold to tv in the early Fifties, the logos were replaced in the pre-print material by the tv distributors which is all that is left as the original negatives of many of their films no longer exist

Early in its existence the infamous Producers Releasing Corporation or PRC used a windblown flag accompanied by a rather cheesy fanfare and later had a painting of the company name formed into an edifice as its logo. Like Monogram these logos were often discarded by tv distributors whose preprint is all that remains on their surviving films. Its successor company, Eagle-Lion Films, used a medallion showing an eagle on the back of a lion above the comp-any name spelled out in script.


Page 1 - Introduction
Page 2 - MGM
Page 3 - 20th Century Fox
Page 4 - RKO
Page 5 - Paramount
Page 6 - Warner Bros
Page 7 - Columbia
Page 8 - Universal

Specific information for this article was contributed over time by the late Ben Ashe, Pacific Title; Jim Danforth; Linwood Dunn, ASC; Rudi Fehr, formerly of Warner Bros.; the late Ron Haver; Ron Kowall; R.A. Lee and Pierre Wilson, both formerly of Universal Pictures; Scott MacQueen, the Walt Disney Company; Edward R. Nassour, 20th Century Fox TV.

© 2005 by Rick Mitchell. Universe rights reserved

Updated 5 September 2005

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