United Artists

United Artists Corporation (UA), currently doing business as United Artists Digital Studios, is an American film and television entertainment studio. Founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, the studio was premised on allowing actors to control their own interests, rather than being dependent upon commercial studios.[2] UA was repeatedly bought, sold, and restructured over the ensuing century. The current United Artists company exists as a successor to the original; as a distributor of films across MGM and third-party titles and as a provider of digital content, in addition to handling most of its post-1952 in-house library and other content it has since acquired.[3] Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired the studio in 1981 for a reported $350 million ($1.0 billion today).[4]

On September 22, 2014, MGM acquired a controlling interest in Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's entertainment companies One Three Media and Lightworkers Media, then merged them to revive United Artists' TV production unit as United Artists Media Group (UAMG). However, on December 14 of the following year, MGM wholly acquired UAMG and folded it into MGM Television.[5]

UA was revived yet again in 2018 as United Artists Digital Studios. Mirror, the joint distribution venture between MGM and Annapurna Pictures was renamed as United Artists Releasing in early February 2019 just in time for UA's 100th anniversary.

United Artists Corporation
United Artists Digital Studios
Subsidiary
IndustryFilm
Television
FoundedFebruary 5, 1919 in Hollywood, California, United States
Founders
HeadquartersBeverly Hills, California, United States
Key people
Kevin Conroy
(President of Digital & New Platforms at MGM)[1]
ProductsTV series
ParentMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer

History

Early years

United Artists 1919
The first United Artists logo, used until the company's sale
to Transamerica in 1967

Pickford, Chaplin, Fairbanks, and Griffith incorporated UA as a joint venture on February 5, 1919. Each held a 25 percent stake in the preferred shares and a 20 percent stake in the common shares of the joint venture, with the remaining 20 percent of common shares held by lawyer and advisor William Gibbs McAdoo.[6] The idea for the venture originated with Fairbanks, Chaplin, Pickford and cowboy star William S. Hart a year earlier. Already Hollywood veterans, the four stars talked of forming their own company to better control their own work.

They were spurred on by established Hollywood producers and distributors who were tightening their control over actor salaries and creative decisions, a process that evolved into the studio system. With the addition of Griffith, planning began, but Hart bowed out before anything was formalized. When he heard about their scheme, Richard A. Rowland, head of Metro Pictures, apparently said, "The inmates are taking over the asylum."[7] The four partners, with advice from McAdoo (son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary of then-President Woodrow Wilson), formed their distribution company. Hiram Abrams was its first managing director, and the company established its headquarters at 729 Seventh Avenue in New York City.[3]

United Artists Stockholders
List of UA stockholders in 1920

The original terms called for each star to produce five pictures a year. By the time the company was operational in 1921, feature films were becoming more expensive and polished, and running times had settled at around ninety minutes (eight reels). The original goal was thus abandoned.

United Artists contract signature 1919
Griffith, Pickford, Chaplin (seated), and Fairbanks at the signing of the contract establishing the United Artists motion-picture studio in 1919.
Lawyers Albert Banzhaf (left)
and Dennis F. O'Brien (right)
stand in the background.

UA's first film, His Majesty, the American, written by and starring Fairbanks, was a success. Funding for movies was limited. Without selling stock to the public like other studios, all United had for finance was weekly prepayment installments from theater owners for upcoming movies. As a result, production was slow, and the company distributed an average of only five films a year in its first five years.[8]

By 1924, Griffith had dropped out, and the company was facing a crisis; the alternatives were to either bring in others to help support a costly distribution system or concede defeat. Veteran producer Joseph Schenck was hired as president.[8] He had produced pictures for a decade, and brought commitments for films starring his wife, Norma Talmadge,[8] his sister-in-law, Constance Talmadge, and his brother-in-law, Buster Keaton.[8] Contracts were signed with independent producers, including Samuel Goldwyn, and Howard Hughes.[8] In 1933, Schenck organized a new company with Darryl F. Zanuck, called Twentieth Century Pictures, which soon provided four pictures a year, forming half of UA's schedule.[8]

Schenck formed a separate partnership with Pickford and Chaplin to buy and build theaters under the United Artists name. They began international operations, first in Canada, and then in Mexico. By the end of the 1930s, United Artists was represented in over 40 countries.

When he was denied an ownership share in 1935, Schenck resigned. He set up 20th Century Pictures' merger with Fox Film Corporation to form 20th Century Fox.[9] Al Lichtman succeeded Schenck as company president. Other independent producers distributed through United Artists in the 1930s including Walt Disney Productions, Alexander Korda, Hal Roach, David O. Selznick, and Walter Wanger.[8] As the years passed, and the dynamics of the business changed, these "producing partners" drifted away. Samuel Goldwyn Productions and Disney went to RKO and Wanger to Universal Pictures.

In the late 1930s, UA turned a profit. Goldwyn was providing most of the output for distribution. He sued United several times for disputed compensation leading him to leave. MGM's 1939 hit Gone with the Wind was supposed to be a UA release except that Selznick wanted Clark Gable, who was under contract to MGM, to play Rhett Butler. Also that year, Fairbanks died.[8]

UA became embroiled in lawsuits with Selznick over his distribution of some films through RKO. Selznick considered UA's operation sloppy, and left to start his own distribution arm.[8]

In the 1940s, United Artists was losing money because of poorly received pictures. Cinema attendance continued to decline as television became more popular.[8] The company sold its Mexican releasing division to Crédito Cinematográfico Mexicano, a local company.

Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers (1940s and 1950s)

In 1941, Pickford, Chaplin, Disney, Orson Welles, Goldwyn, Selznick, Alexander Korda, and Wanger—many of whom were members of United Artists--formed the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers (SIMPP). Later members included Hunt Stromberg, William Cagney, Sol Lesser, and Hal Roach.

The Society aimed to advance the interests of independent producers in an industry controlled by the studio system. SIMPP fought to end ostensibly anti-competitive practices by the seven major film studios—Loew's (MGM), Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros./First National—that controlled the production, distribution, and exhibition of motion pictures.

In 1942, SIMPP filed an antitrust suit against Paramount's United Detroit Theatres. The complaint accused Paramount of conspiracy to control first-and subsequent-run theaters in Detroit. This was the first antitrust suit brought by producers against exhibitors that alleged monopoly and restraint of trade. In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court Paramount Decision ordered the major Hollywood movie studios to sell their theater chains and to end certain anti-competitive practices. This court ruling ended the studio system.

By 1958, SIMPP achieved many of the goals that led to its creation, and the group ceased operations.

The 1950s and 1960s

Needing a turnaround, Pickford and Chaplin hired Paul V. McNutt, a former governor of Indiana, as chairman and Frank L. McNamee as president. McNutt did not have the skill to solve UA's financial problems and the pair was replaced after only a few months.[8]

On February 16, 1951, lawyers-turned-producers Arthur B. Krim (of Eagle-Lion Films) and Robert Benjamin approached Pickford and Chaplin with a wild idea: let them take over United Artists for ten years. If, at the end of those years, UA was profitable, they would own half the company. Fox Film Corporation president Spyros Skouras extended United Artists a $3 million loan through Krim and Benjamin's efforts.[8]

In taking over UA, Krim and Benjamin created the first studio without an actual "studio". Primarily acting as bankers, they offered money to independent producers. UA leased space at the Pickford/Fairbanks Studio but did not own a studio lot. Thus UA did not have the overhead, the maintenance, or the expensive production staff at other studios.

They had two hits, The African Queen and High Noon, turning a profit in their first year.[8] Among their first clients were Sam Spiegel and John Huston, whose Horizon Productions gave UA one major hit, The African Queen (1951) and a substantial success, Moulin Rouge (1952). Others followed, among them Stanley Kramer, Otto Preminger, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions, and actors newly freed from studio contracts and seeking to produce or direct their own films.

With the instability in the film industry due to theater divestment, the business was considered risky. In 1955, movie attendance reached its lowest level since 1923. Chaplin sold his 25 percent share during this crisis to Krim and Benjamin for $1.1 million, followed a year later by Pickford who sold her share for $3 million.[8]

Public company

United Artists went public in 1957 with a $17 million stock and debenture offering. The company was averaging 50 films a year.[8] In 1958, UA acquired Ilya Lopert's Lopert Pictures Corporation, which released foreign films that attracted criticism or had censorship problems.[10]

In 1957, UA created United Artists Records Corporation and United Artists Music Corporation after an unsuccessful attempt to buy a record company.[11] In 1968, UA Records merged with Liberty Records, along with its many subsidiary labels such as Imperial Records and Dolton Records. In 1972, the group was consolidated into one entity as United Artists Records and in 1979, EMI acquired the division which included Blue Note Records.[12]

In 1959, after failing to sell several pilots, United Artists offered its first ever television series, The Troubleshooters,[13] and later released its first sitcom, The Dennis O'Keefe Show.

In the 1960s, mainstream studios fell into decline and some were acquired or diversified. UA prospered while winning 11 Academy Awards, including five for best picture,[8] adding relationships with the Mirisch brothers, Billy Wilder, Joseph E. Levine and others. In 1961, United Artists released West Side Story, which won a record ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture).

In 1960, UA purchased Ziv Television Programs. UA's television division was responsible for shows such as Gilligan's Island, The Fugitive, Outer Limits, and The Patty Duke Show. The television unit had begun to build up a profitable rental library, including Associated Artists Productions,[14] owners of Warner Bros. pre-1950[15][note 1] features, shorts and cartoons and 231 Popeye cartoon shorts purchased from Paramount Pictures in 1958, becoming United Artists Associated, its distribution division.

In 1963, UA released two Stanley Kramer films, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and A Child Is Waiting. In 1964, UA introduced U.S. film audiences to the Beatles by releasing A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965).

At the same time, it backed two expatriate North Americans in Britain, who had acquired screen rights to Ian Fleming's James Bond novels. For $1 million, UA backed Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli's Dr. No in 1963 and launched the James Bond franchise.[16] The franchise outlived UA's time as a major studio, continuing half a century later. Other successful projects backed in this period included the Pink Panther series, which began in 1964, and Spaghetti Westerns, which made a star of Clint Eastwood.

In 1964, the French subsidiary, Les Productions Artistes Associés, released its first production That Man from Rio.

Transamerica subsidiary

United Artists logo 1975
The second United Artists logo, used during the company's sale to Transamerica from 1967 until 1982.

On the basis of its film and television hits, in 1967, Transamerica Corporation purchased 98 percent of UA's stock. Transamerica selected David and Arnold Picker to lead its studio.[8] UA debuted a new logo incorporating the parent company's striped T emblem and the tagline "Entertainment from Transamerica Corporation". This wording was later shortened to "A Transamerica Company". The following year, in 1968, United Artists Associated was reincorporated as United Artists Television Distribution.

UA released another Best Picture Oscar winner in 1967, In the Heat of the Night and a nominee for Best Picture, The Graduate, an Embassy production that UA distributed overseas.

In 1970, UA lost $35 million; thus the Pickers were pushed aside for the return of Krim and Benjamin.[8]

Other successful pictures included the 1971 screen version of Fiddler on the Roof. However, the 1972 film version of Man of La Mancha was a failure. New talent was encouraged, including Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Sylvester Stallone, Saul Zaentz, Miloš Forman, and Brian De Palma. In 1973, United Artists took over the sales and distribution of MGM's films in Anglo-America until the latter bought UA in 1981 due to the massive losses from Heaven's Gate. Cinema International Corporation assumed international distribution rights for MGM's films and carried on to United International Pictures (made from CIC and UA's International assets being owned by partner MGM) in the 1980s.

In 1975, Harry Saltzman sold UA his 50 percent stake in Danjaq, the holding-company for the Bond films. UA was to remain a silent partner, providing money, while Albert Broccoli took producer credit. Danjaq and UA remained the public co-copyright holders for the Bond series, and the 2006 Casino Royale remake shares the copyright with Columbia Pictures.

UA released One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975 a film which won the Best Picture Academy Award and earned $56 million. UA followed with the next two years' Best Picture Oscar winners, Rocky and Annie Hall.[8]

However, Transamerica was not pleased with UA's releases such as Midnight Cowboy and Last Tango in Paris that were rated X by the Motion Picture Association of America. In these instances, Transamerica demanded the byline "A Transamerica Company" be removed on the prints and in all advertising. At one point, the parent company expressed its desire to phase out the UA name and replace it with Transamerica Films. Krim tried to convince Transamerica to spin off United Artists, but he and Transamerica's chairman could not come to an agreement.[17] Finally in 1978, following a dispute with Transamerica chief John R. Beckett[8] over administrative expenses, UA's top executives, including chairman Krim, president Eric Pleskow, Benjamin and other key officers walked out. Within days they announced the formation of Orion Pictures,[8] with backing from Warner. The departures concerned several Hollywood figures enough that they took out an ad in a trade paper warning Transamerica that it had made a fatal mistake in letting them go.

Transamerica inserted Andy Albeck as UA's president. United had its most successful year with four hits in 1979: Rocky II, Manhattan, Moonraker, and The Black Stallion.[8]

The new leadership agreed to back Heaven's Gate, a project of director Michael Cimino, which vastly overran its budget and cost $44 million. This led to the resignation of Albeck who was replaced by Norbert Auerbach.[8] United Artists recorded a major loss for the year due almost entirely to the box-office failure of Heaven's Gate.[18] It destroyed UA's reputation with Transamerica and the greater Hollywood community. However, it may have saved the United Artists name, as UA's final head before the sale, Steven Bach, wrote in his book Final Cut that there was talk about renaming United Artists to Transamerica Pictures.

In 1980, Transamerica decided to exit the film making business, and put United Artists on the market. Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. purchased the company in 1981.[19][20] Tracinda also owned Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[21]

United Artists Classics

In 1981, United Artists Classics, which had formerly been a division of the company that re-released library titles, was turned into a first-run art film distributor by Nathaniel T. Kwit, Jr. Tom Bernard was hired as the division's head of sales and Ira Deutchman[22][23] as head of marketing. Later the division added Michael Barker and Donna Gigliotti. Deutchman left to form Cinecom, and Barker and Bernard formed Orion Classics and Sony Pictures Classics. The label mostly released foreign and independent films such as Ticket to Heaven and The Grey Fox, and occasional first-run reissues from the UA library, such as director's cuts of Head Over Heels and Cutter's Way. When Barker and Bernard left to form Orion, the label was briefly rechristened MGM/UA Classics before it ceased operating in the late 1980s.

MGM/UA Entertainment Company

The merged companies became MGM/UA Entertainment Company and in 1982 began launching new subsidiaries: the MGM/UA Home Entertainment Group, MGM/UA Classics and MGM/UA Television Group. Kerkorian also bid for the remaining, outstanding public stock, but dropped his bid, facing lawsuits and vocal opposition.[8]

After the purchase, David Begelman's duties were transferred from MGM to MGM/UA. Under Begelman, MGM/UA produced unsuccessful films and he was fired in July 1982. Of the 11 films he put into production, by the time of his termination only Poltergeist proved to be a hit.[24]

As part of the consolidation, in 1983, MGM closed and marketed United Artists' long time headquarters at 729 Seventh Avenue in New York City.[25]

WarGames and Octopussy made substantial profits for the new MGM/UA in 1983, but were not sufficient for Kerkorian. A 1985-restructuring led to independent MGM and UA production units with the combined studio leaders each placed in charge of a single unit. Speculation from analysts was that one of the studios, most likely UA, would be sold to fund the other's (MGM) stock buy-back to take that studio private. However, soon afterwards, one unit's chief was fired and the remaining executive, Alan Ladd, Jr., took charge of both.[8]

Turner

On August 7, 1985, Ted Turner announced that his Turner Broadcasting System would buy MGM/UA. As film licensing to television became more complicated, Turner saw the value of acquiring MGM's film library for his superstation WTBS.[26] Under the terms of the deal, Turner would immediately sell United Artists back to Kerkorian.[21]

In anticipation, Kerkorian installed film producer Jerry Weintraub as the chairman and chief executive of United Artists Corporation in November 1985.[27] Former American Broadcasting Company executive Anthony Thomopoulos was recruited as UA's president[28] Weintraub's tenure at UA was brief; he left the studio in April 1986, replaced by former Lorimar executive Lee Rich.[29]

On March 25, 1986, Turner finalized his acquisition of MGM/UA in a cash-stock deal for $1.5 billion and renamed it MGM Entertainment Co.[26][30][31][32][33][34] Kerkorian then repurchased most of United Artists' assets for roughly $480 million.[30][31] As a result of this transaction, the original United Artists ceased to exist. Kerkorian, for all intents and purposes, created an entirely new company implementing the inherited assets; thus, the present day UA is not the legal successor to the original incarnation, though it shares similar assets.[35]

MGM/UA Communications Company

United Artists 1987
Logo from 1987 to 1994.

Due to financial community concerns over his debt load, Ted Turner was forced to sell MGM's production and distribution assets to United Artists for $300 million on August 26, 1986.[30][31][36][37] The MGM lot and lab facilities were sold to Lorimar-Telepictures.[36] Turner kept the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television library, along with the Associated Artists Productions library, Gilligan's Island and its animated spin-offs, and the RKO Pictures films that United Artists had previously purchased.[36]

United Artists was renamed MGM/UA Communications Company (MUCC) and organized into three main units: one television production and two film units. David Gerber headed up the TV unit with Anthony Thomopoulous at UA, and Alan Ladd, Jr. at MGM. Despite a resurgence at the box office in 1987 with Spaceballs, The Living Daylights, and Moonstruck, MUCC lost $88 million.[8]

In April 1988, Kerkorian's 82 percent of MUCC was up for sale. MGM and UA were split by July. Eventually, 25 percent of MGM was offered to Burt Sugarman, and producers Jon Peters and Peter Guber, but the plan fell-through. Rich, Ladd, Thomopoulous and other executives grew tired of Kerkorian's antics and began to leave.[8] By summer 1988, the mass exodus of executives started to affect productions, with many film cancellations. The 1989 sale of MGM/UA to the Australian company Qintex/Australian Television Network (owners of the Hal Roach library, which both MGM and UA had distributed in the 1930s) also fell-through, due to the company's bankruptcy later that year. On November 29, 1989, Turner Broadcasting System (the owners of the pre-May 1986 MGM library) attempted to buy entertainment assets from Tracinda Corporation, including MGM/UA Communications Co. (which also included United Artists, MGM/UA Home Video, and MGM/UA Television Productions), but failed.[38] UA was essentially dormant after 1990 and released no films for several years.

The 1990s

Eventually, in 1990, Italian promoter Giancarlo Parretti purchased UA. He purchased a small company and renamed it Pathé Communications anticipating a successful purchase of Pathé, the original French company. But his attempt failed and instead he merged MGM/UA with his former company, resulting in MGM-Pathé Communications Co. During the transaction, Parretti overstated his own financial condition and within a year defaulted to his primary lender, Crédit Lyonnais, which foreclosed on the studio in 1992.[39][20] This resulted in the sale or closure of MGM/UA's string of US theaters. On July 2, 1992, MGM-Pathé Communications was again named Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. In an effort to make MGM/UA saleable, Credit Lyonnais ramped up production and convinced John Calley to run UA. Under his supervision, Calley revived the Pink Panther and James Bond franchises and highlighted UA's past by giving the widest release ever to a film with an NC-17 rating, Showgirls. Credit Lyonnais sold MGM in 1996, again to Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda, leading to Calley's departure.[20]

In 1999, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola attempted to buy UA from Kerkorian who rejected the offer. Coppola signed a production deal with the studio instead.[17]

The 2000s to present

In 1999, UA was repositioned as a specialty studio. MGM had just acquired The Samuel Goldwyn Company, which had been a leading distributor of arthouse films. After that name was retired, MGM folded UA into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. G2 Films, the renamed Goldwyn Company and MGM's specialty London operations, was renamed United Artists International.[40] The distributorship, branding, and copyrights for two of UA's main franchises (Pink Panther, and Rocky) were moved to MGM, although select MGM releases (notably the James Bond franchise co-held with Danjaq, LLC and the Amityville Horror remake) carry a United Artists copyright. The first arthouse film to bear the UA name was Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her.

United Artists
Logo from 2001 to 2019.

United Artists hired Bingham Ray to run the company on September 1, 2001.[20] Under his supervision, it produced and distributed many art films, including Bowling for Columbine, 2002's Nicholas Nickleby, and the winner of that year's Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, No Man's Land; and 2004's Undertow, and Hotel Rwanda, a co-production of UA and Lions Gate Entertainment, and made deals with companies like American Zoetrope and Revolution Films.[41] Ray stepped down from the company in 2004.[42]

In 2005, a partnership of Comcast, Sony and several merchant banks bought United Artists and its parent, MGM, for $4.8 billion.[20] Though only a minority investor, Sony closed MGM's distribution system and folded most of its staff into its own studio. The movies UA had completed and planned for release—Capote, Art School Confidential, The Woods, and Romance and Cigarettes—were reassigned to Sony Pictures Classics.[20]

In March 2006, MGM announced that it would return again as a domestic distribution company. Striking distribution deals with The Weinstein Company, Lakeshore Entertainment, Bauer Martinez Entertainment, and other independent studios, MGM distributed films from these companies. MGM continued funding and co-producing projects released in conjunction with Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group on a limited basis and produced tent-poles for its own distribution company, MGM Distribution.

Sony had a minority stake in MGM, but otherwise MGM and UA operated under the direction of Stephen Cooper (CEO and minority owner of MGM).

United Artists Entertainment

On November 2, 2006, MGM announced that Tom Cruise and his long-time production partner Paula Wagner were resurrecting UA.[43][44] This announcement came after the duo were released from a fourteen-year production relationship at Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures. Cruise, Wagner and MGM Studios created United Artists Entertainment LLC and the producer/actor and his partner owned a 30 percent stake in the studio,[45] with the approval by MGM's consortium of owners. The deal gave them control over production and development. Wagner was named CEO, and was allotted an annual slate of four films with varying budget ranges, while Cruise served as a producer for the revamped studio and the occasional star.

UA became the first motion picture studio granted a Writers Guild of America, West (WGA) waiver in January 2008 during the Writers' Strike.[46]

On August 14, 2008, MGM announced that Wagner would leave UA to produce films independently.[47] Her output as head of UA was two films, both starring Cruise, Lions for Lambs[48] and Valkyrie.[49] Wagner's departure led to speculation that a UA overhaul was imminent.[47]

Since then, UA has served as a co-producer with MGM for two releases: the 2009 remake of Fame and Hot Tub Time Machine—these are the last original films to date to bear the UA banner.

A 2011 financial report revealed that MGM reacquired its 100 percent stake in United Artists.[45] MGM stated that it might continue to make new films under the UA brand.[45]

United Artists Media Group

On September 22, 2014, MGM acquired a 55 percent interest in One Three Media and Lightworkers Media, both operated by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey and partly owned by Hearst Entertainment. The two companies were consolidated into a new television company, United Artists Media Group (UAMG), a revival of the UA brand. Burnett became UAMG's CEO and Downey became president of Lightworkers Media, the UAMG family and faith division. UAMG became the distributing studio for Mark Burnett Productions programming such as Survivor. UAMG was to form an over-the-top faith-based channel.[20][50]

On December 14, 2015, MGM announced that it had acquired the remaining 45 percent stake of UAMG it did not already own and folded UAMG into MGM Television. Hearst, Downey, and Burnett received stakes in MGM collectively valued at $233 million. Additionally, Burnett was promoted to CEO of MGM TV, replacing the outgoing Roma Khanna. The planned over-the-top faith service became a separate entity owned by MGM, Burnett, Downey and Hearst.[51]

United Artists Digital Studios

By August 2018, MGM relaunched the United Artists brand as a digital production and distribution company aimed at creating original motion pictures, television programs, short-form content and digital series as well as building upon MGM's existing IP for distribution across digital platforms. Known as United Artists Digital Studios, the company's projects include mid-form original series Stargate Origins, interactive digital series #WarGames, and scripted series The Baxters (which is also the first for LightWorkers Media) and Weekend at Bernie's.[52] In early October 2018, MGM and Walmart agreed to a partnership for MGM Digital to create exclusive content for Walmart's Vudu and Movies On Us service to begin showing in the first quarter 2019.[53]

MGM's and Annapurna Pictures' Mirror distribution venture was rebranded as United Artists Releasing on February 5, 2019, 100 years to the day of United Artists' founding.[54]

Library and historical list of films

A majority of UA's post-1952 library is now owned by MGM, while the pre-1952 films (with few exceptions) are now either owned by other companies (such as Turner Entertainment) or are in the public domain. However, throughout the studio's history, UA acted more as a distributor than a film studio, crediting the copyright to the production company responsible. This explains why certain UA releases, such as High Noon (1952) and The Final Countdown (1980), are still under copyright but not owned by MGM. The MGM titles which UA distributed from 1973 to 1982 are now owned by Turner.

UA films on video

UA originally leased the home video rights to its films to Magnetic Video, the first home video company. Fox purchased Magnetic in 1981 and renamed it 20th Century-Fox Video that year. In 1982, 20th Century-Fox Video merged with CBS Video Enterprises (which earlier split from MGM/CBS Home Video after MGM merged with UA) giving birth to CBS/Fox Video. Although MGM owned UA around this time, UA's licensing deal with CBS/Fox was still in effect. However, the newly renamed MGM/UA Home Video started releasing some UA product, including UA films originally released in the mid-80s. Prior to MGM's purchase, UA licensed foreign video rights to Warner Bros. through Warner Home Video, in a deal that was set to expire in 1991.[55] In 1986, the pre-1950 WB and the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television libraries were purchased by Ted Turner after his short-lived ownership of MGM/UA, and as a result CBS/Fox lost home video rights to the pre-1950 WB films to MGM/UA Home Video. When the deal with CBS/Fox (inherited from Magnetic Video) expired in 1989, the UA released films were released through MGM/UA Home Video.

Before the Magnetic Video and Warner Home Video deals in 1980, United Artists had exclusive rental contacts with a small video label called VidAmerica in the US, and another small label called Intervision Video in the UK.[56][57][58] for the home video release of 20 titles from the UA library (e.g. The Great Escape, Some Like It Hot, and Hair, along with a few pre-1950 WB titles).

United Artists Broadcasting

United Artists owned and operated two television stations between the years of 1968 and 1977. Legal ID's for the company would typically say "United Artists Broadcasting: an entertainment service of Transamerica Corporation," along with the Transamerica "T" logo.

DMA Market Station Years Owned Current Affiliation Notes
17. ClevelandAkronCanton WUAB 43 1968–1977 The CW affiliate owned
by Gray Television
Licensed to Lorain. The call letters stand for United Artists Broadcasting, which founded the station.
Kaiser Broadcasting owned a minor stake from 1975 to 1977 following the closure of crosstown WKBF.
In 1977, Gaylord Entertainment Company acquired WUAB.
NR San JuanPonceMayagüez WRIK-TV 7 1970–1978 Independent station WSTE
owned by Univision
Licensed to Ponce. Operates 3
booster stations throughout
Puerto Rico.

Additionally, United Artists Broadcasting also held the permit to KUAB-TV in Houston, Texas, which would have possibly launched sometime around 1969 on channel 20. United Artists also owned one radio station, WWSH in Philadelphia, from 1970 to 1977.

UAB/Transamerica left the broadcasting business in 1977 by selling WUAB to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company and WWSH to Cox Enterprises.

United Artists Releasing

Mirror Releasing, LLC
United Artists Releasing
Formerly
Mirror Releasing
Joint Venture
IndustryMotion pictures
FoundedDecember 2017
HeadquartersWest Hollywood, California, United States
Key people
Pam Kunath (COO)
ProductsFilm distribution
OwnersMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (50%)
Annapurna Pictures (50%)

United Artists Releasing (UAR), formerly Mirror (commonly, given its former use as the third party label and legally, Mirror Releasing, LLC[59]), is a film distribution joint venture between Annapurna Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and MGM's Orion Pictures unit with offices in West Hollywood and Annapurna's offices in New York City's Soho neighborhood. The distributor also offers alternative services to the major studios and streaming companies[54][60] with 10–14 films to be released each year.[60]

Mirror was founded as a film distribution joint venture between Annapurna and MGM in December 2017.[54] This marks MGM's return to domestic distribution, in which they expect to have approximately six to eight releases per year starting in March 2018. Annapurna's existing distribution staff would be the initial staff of the joint venture. Films issued by MGM and Annapurna would be distributed respectively under their own names, while films released for third parties would use the Mirror releasing label. Death Wish was MGM's first release by the joint venture on March 2, 2018.[61] Under the initial agreement, the distribution unit reported to MGM and Annapurna on their movies. By the end of January 2019, the distributor released eight titles total.[54]

The venture was rebranded as United Artists Releasing on February 5, 2019, 100 years to the day of United Artists' founding.[54] Reasoning behind the move is to better compete against the major studios given their tentpole films that dictate the release calendar.[60] Orion Pictures, an MGM company, would add its distribution staff and films to the venture as part of the change.[60] Pam Kunath, a former Screen Gems executive, was appointed chief operating officer.[54] A board of directors consisting of executives from the partner firms would oversee the three executives running UAR; Kunath, David Kaminow and Erik Lomis, Annapurna's president of marketing and president of distribution, respectively. Missing Link would be the first release under the UAR banner.[62]

Releases

Mirror

UAR

See also

Notes

  1. ^ WB retained a pair of features from 1949 that they merely distributed, and all short subjects released on or after September 1, 1948, in addition to all cartoons released in August 1948.

References

  1. ^ Petski, Denise (July 21, 2017). "MGM Revives 'Stargate' Franchise With 'Stargate Origins' Digital Series & SVOD Platform – Watch The Teaser". Deadline. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
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  67. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony; D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 15, 2019). "'Bond 25' Looks To Shake Up Easter 2020". Deadline. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
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  69. ^ https://www.gamespot.com/articles/bill-and-ted-3-will-finally-face-the-music-as-sequ/1100-6465721/

Further reading

  • Bach, Steven. Final Cut. New York: Morrow, 1985.
  • Balio, Tino. United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976.
  • Balio, Tino. United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
  • Berg, A. Scott. Goldwyn. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.
  • Gabler, Neal. An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood. New York: Crown Publishers, 1988.
  • Schickel, Richard. D.W. Griffith: An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983.
  • Thomson, David. Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick. New York: Alfred A, Knopf, 1992.

External links

A Hard Day's Night (album)

A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, released on 10 July 1964, with side one containing songs from the soundtrack to their film of the same name. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing. In contrast to their first two albums, all 13 tracks on A Hard Day's Night were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney showcasing the development of their songwriting talents. The album includes the title track, with its distinct opening chord, and the previously released "Can't Buy Me Love", both transatlantic number-one singles for the band.

The title of the album was the accidental creation of drummer Ringo Starr. According to Lennon in a 1980 interview with Playboy magazine: "I was going home in the car and Dick Lester [director of the movie] suggested the title, 'Hard Day's Night' from something Ringo had said. I had used it in In His Own Write, but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny ... just said it. So Dick Lester said, 'We are going to use that title.'"

Ace Hotel Los Angeles

Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles, originally built as the United Artists Building and later known as the Texaco Building, is a 243 ft (74 m), 13-story highrise hotel and theater building located at 937 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, California. It was the tallest building in the city for one year after its completion in 1927, and was the tallest privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956. Its style is Spanish Gothic, patterned after Segovia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain.

The building contains the historic United Artists Theater, the flagship theater built for the United Artists motion picture studio. The theater was later used as a church by pastors Gene Scott and his widow Melissa Scott under the name "Los Angeles University Cathedral". In October 2011, Scott's Wescott Christian Center Inc. sold the building to Greenfield Partners, a real estate investment company located in Westport, Connecticut, for $11 million. It was converted to a hotel, and opened in 2014. The hotel is part of the Ace Hotels chain.

Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now is a 1979 American epic war film about the Vietnam War, directed, produced and co-written by Francis Ford Coppola. It stars Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne and Dennis Hopper. The screenplay, co-written by Coppola and John Milius and narration written by Michael Herr, was loosely based on the 1899 novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The setting was changed from late 19th-century Congo to the Vietnam War (1969–70). The film follows a river journey from South Vietnam into Cambodia undertaken by Captain Benjamin L. Willard (a character based on Conrad's Marlow and played by Sheen), who is on a secret mission to assassinate Colonel Kurtz (Brando, with the character being based on Conrad's Mr. Kurtz), a renegade Army officer accused of murder and who is presumed insane.

Milius became interested in developing Heart of Darkness into a Vietnam War film. Coppola expressed interest and eventually decided to take on the project, with the filmmaker taking influence from Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). Initially set to be a five month shoot, the film became noted for the problems encountered while making it for over a year, as chronicled in the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991). These problems included Brando arriving on the set overweight and completely unprepared, expensive sets being destroyed by severe weather and Sheen having a breakdown and suffering a near-fatal heart attack while on location. Problems continued after production as the release was postponed several times while Coppola edited over a million feet of film.Apocalypse Now was honored with the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered unfinished before it was finally released on August 15, 1979 by United Artists. The film performed well at the box office, grossing $78 million domestically and going on to grossed over $150 million worldwide. Initial reviews were mixed; while Vittorio Storaro's cinematography was widely acclaimed, several critics found Coppola's handling of the story's major themes to be anticlimactic and intellectually disappointing. Apocalypse Now is today considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards at the 52nd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Coppola), and Best Supporting Actor for Duvall, and went on to win for Best Cinematography and Best Sound. It ranked No. 14 in Sight & Sound's greatest films poll in 2012. In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant".

D. W. Griffith

David Wark Griffith (January 22, 1875 – July 23, 1948) was an American director, writer, and producer who pioneered many modern cinematic techniques. He is remembered for The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916). The Birth of a Nation made use of advanced camera and narrative techniques, and its popularity set the stage for the dominance of the feature-length film in the United States. The film has sparked significant controversy surrounding racism in the United States, focusing on its negative depiction of black people and the glorification of the Ku Klux Klan. Today, it is both acclaimed for its contributinos to cinema and condemned for its inherently racist philosophy. The film was subject to boycotts by the NAACP; screenings caused riots at several theaters and it was censored in many cities, including New York City. Intolerance, which explored the negative consequences of prejudice, was an answer to his critics.Several of Griffith's later films were also successful, including Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), and Orphans of the Storm (1921), but his high costs for production, promotion, and roadshow often made his ventures commercial failures. He made roughly 500 films by the time of his final feature, The Struggle (1931).Griffith is one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and among the most important figures in the history of film. He popularized the use of the close-up shot.

Douglas Fairbanks

Douglas Fairbanks (born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman; May 23, 1883 – December 12, 1939) was an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was best known for his swashbuckling roles in silent films including The Thief of Bagdad, Robin Hood, and The Mark of Zorro but spent the early part of his career making comedies.

Fairbanks was a founding member of United Artists. He was also a founding member of The Motion Picture Academy and hosted the 1st Academy Awards in 1929. With his marriage to Mary Pickford in 1920, the couple became Hollywood royalty and Fairbanks was referred to as "The King of Hollywood", a nickname later passed on to actor Clark Gable.

Though widely considered as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood during the 1910s and 1920s, Fairbanks' career rapidly declined with the advent of the "talkies". His final film was The Private Life of Don Juan (1934).

Dr. Feelgood (band)

Dr. Feelgood are an English pub rock band formed in 1971. Hailing from Canvey Island, Essex, the group are best known for early singles such as "She Does It Right", "Roxette", "Back in the Night" and "Milk and Alcohol" . The group's original distinctively British R&B sound was centred on Wilko Johnson's choppy guitar style. Along with Johnson, the original band line-up included singer Lee Brilleaux and the rhythm section of John B. Sparks, known as "Sparko", on bass guitar and John Martin, known as "The Big Figure", on drums. Although their most commercially productive years were the early to mid-1970s, and in spite of Brilleaux's death in 1994 of lymphoma, a version of the band (featuring none of the original members) continues to tour and record to this day.

Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. (born November 17, 1938) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s. He is often referred to as Canada's greatest songwriter and is known internationally as a folk-rock legend.Lightfoot's songs, including "For Lovin' Me", "Early Morning Rain", "Steel Rail Blues", "Ribbon of Darkness"—a number one hit on the U.S. country chart with Marty Robbins's cover in 1965—and "Black Day in July" about the 1967 Detroit riot, brought him wide recognition in the 1960s. Canadian chart success with his own recordings began in 1962 with the No. 3 hit "(Remember Me) I'm the One", followed by recognition and charting abroad in the 1970s. He topped the US Hot 100 and/or AC chart with the hits "If You Could Read My Mind" (1970), "Sundown" (1974); "Carefree Highway" (1974), "Rainy Day People" (1975), and "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" (1976), and had many other hits that appeared within the top 40.Several of Lightfoot's albums achieved gold and multi-platinum status internationally. His songs have been recorded by renowned artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr., The Kingston Trio, Marty Robbins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Herb Alpert, Harry Belafonte, Scott Walker, Sarah McLachlan, Eric Clapton, John Mellencamp, Jack Jones, Bobby Vee, Roger Whittaker, Tony Rice, Peter, Paul and Mary, Glen Campbell, The Irish Rovers, Nico, Olivia Newton-John, Paul Weller, Nine Pound Hammer, Ultra Naté, The Tragically Hip, and The Unintended.Robbie Robertson of the Band described Lightfoot as "a national treasure". Bob Dylan, also a Lightfoot fan, called him one of his favorite songwriters and, in an often-quoted tribute, Dylan observed that when he heard a Lightfoot song he wished "it would last forever". Lightfoot was a featured musical performer at the opening ceremonies of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Alberta. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (arts) in 1979 and the Companion of the Order of Canada in 2003. In November 1997, Lightfoot was bestowed the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts. On February 6, 2012, Lightfoot was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. June of that year saw his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. On June 6, 2015, Lightfoot received an honorary doctorate of music in his hometown of Orillia from Lakehead University.

Independent film

An independent film, independent movie, indie film or indie movie, is a feature film or short film that is produced outside the major film studio system, in addition to being produced and distributed by independent entertainment companies. Independent films are sometimes distinguishable by their content and style and the way in which the filmmakers' personal artistic vision is realized. Usually, but not always, independent films are made with considerably lower budgets than major studio films.Generally, the marketing of independent films is characterized by limited release, but can also have major marketing campaigns and a wide release. Independent films are often screened at local, national, or international film festivals before distribution (theatrical or retail release). An independent film production can rival a mainstream film production if it has the necessary funding and distribution.

Lena Horne

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne (June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010) was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist. Horne's career spanned over 70 years appearing in film, television, and theater. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood.

Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963 and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway. She then toured the country in the show, earning numerous awards and accolades. Horne continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000. Horne died of congestive heart failure on May 9, 2010, at the age of 92.

Lenny (film)

Lenny is a 1974 American biographical drama film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same name.

Liberty Records

Liberty Records was an American recorded label started by chairman Simon Waronker in 1955 with Al Bennett as president and Theodore Keep as chief engineer. It was reactivated in 2001 in the United Kingdom and had two previous revivals.

List of American films of 1957

A list of American films released in 1957. The Bridge on the River Kwai won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (initialized as MGM; often referred to as Metro; common metonym: the Lion or Leo) is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and Louis B. Mayer Pictures.In 1971, it was announced that MGM was to merge with 20th Century Fox, but the plan never came to fruition. Over the next 39 years, the studio was bought and sold at various points in its history until, on November 3, 2010, MGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. MGM emerged from bankruptcy on December 20, 2010, at which time the executives of Spyglass Entertainment, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, became co-chairmen and co-CEOs of the holding company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. As of 2017, MGM co-produces, co-finances, and co-distributes a majority of its films with Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros.MGM Resorts International, a Las Vegas-based hotel and casino company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MGM", was created in 1973 as a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company was spun out in 1979, with the studio's then owner Kirk Kerkorian maintaining a large share, but it ended all affiliation with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1986.

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American buddy drama film. Based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy, the film was written by Waldo Salt, directed by John Schlesinger, and stars Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman, with notable smaller roles being filled by Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Salt, and Barnard Hughes. Set in New York City, Midnight Cowboy depicts the unlikely friendship between two hustlers: naive prostitute Joe Buck (Voight), and ailing con man "Ratso" Rizzo (Hoffman).

The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated film ever to win Best Picture (though such a classification no longer exists), and was the first LGBT Best Picture winner. It has since been placed 36th on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films of all time, and 43rd on its 2007 updated version.

In 1994, Midnight Cowboy was deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Regal Cinemas

Regal Cinemas, formerly known as Regal Entertainment Group, is an American movie theater chain headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Regal operates the second-largest theater circuit in the United States, with over 7,307 screens in 564 theaters as of June 2016. The three main theatre brands operated by Regal Entertainment Group are Regal Cinemas, Edwards Theatres, and United Artists Theatres.

These chains retain their exterior signage, but most indoor branding (popcorn bags, policy trailers) uses the Regal Entertainment Group name and logo. Where applicable, the REG logo is used alongside the three individual brands. Most new cinema construction uses the Regal Cinemas name, although Regal has built new Edwards locations in California and Idaho. Regal has acquired several smaller chains since this merger; these, however, have been rebranded as Regal Cinemas.

On December 5, 2017, it was officially announced that the UK theater chain Cineworld would acquire Regal for $3.6 billion. On February 27, 2018, the acquisition of Regal by Cineworld was completed, making it the second largest global cinema exhibitor behind AMC.

The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)

The Lord of the Rings is a 1978 animated high fantasy film directed by Ralph Bakshi. It is an adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings, comprising The Fellowship of the Ring and the first half of The Two Towers. Set in Middle-earth, the film follows a group of hobbits, elves, men, dwarves, and wizards who form a fellowship. They embark on a quest to destroy the One Ring made by the Dark Lord Sauron, and ensure his destruction.

Ralph Bakshi encountered Tolkien's writing early in his career, and had made several attempts to produce The Lord of the Rings as an animated film before being given funding by producer Saul Zaentz and distributor United Artists. The film is notable for its extensive use of rotoscoping, a technique in which scenes are first shot in live-action, then traced onto animation cels. It uses a hybrid of traditional cel animation and rotoscoped live action footage. The film features the voices of William Squire, John Hurt, Michael Graham Cox, and Anthony Daniels, and was one of the first animated films to be presented theatrically in the Dolby Stereo sound system. The screenplay was written by Peter S. Beagle, based on an earlier draft by Chris Conkling.

Although Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings was a financial success, it received mixed reactions from critics, and there was no official sequel to cover the remainder of the story. Nonetheless, the film became a cult classic that continued to run as a matinee and a midnight movie for nearly two decades, and was an influence on Peter Jackson's trilogy, as detailed in the DVD extras of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

United Artists Records

United Artists Records was a record label founded by Max E. Youngstein of United Artists in 1957 to issue movie soundtracks. The label expanded into other genres, such as easy listening, jazz, pop, and R&B.

West Side Story (film)

West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp in Super Panavision 70. Released on October 18, 1961, through United Artists, the film received high praise from critics and viewers, and became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won ten, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), becoming the record holder for the most wins for a musical.

The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for the National Film Registry in 1997.

Yellow Submarine (film)

Yellow Submarine (also known as The Beatles: Yellow Submarine) is a 1968 British animated musical fantasy film inspired by the music of the Beatles, directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists and King Features Syndicate. Initial press reports stated that the Beatles themselves would provide their own character voices; however, aside from composing and performing the songs, the real Beatles participated only in the closing scene of the film, while their cartoon counterparts were voiced by other actors.

The film received widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, in contrast to some of the Beatles' previous film ventures. Pixar co-founder and former chief creative officer John Lasseter has credited the film with bringing more interest in animation as a serious art form. Time commented that it "turned into a smash hit, delighting adolescents and aesthetes alike". Half a century after its release, it is still regarded as a landmark of animation.

Film studios in the United States and Canada
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studios
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financers
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independents
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TV Group & Digital
Miscellaneous
Former units
Films about
Books / Novels
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Other

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