Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Overview
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM) is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .-Biography:...

 gained control of Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in late 1915 by Richard A. Rowland . Louis B. Mayer who worked for Metro Pictures Corporation early on. It is not to be confused with MGM which is a much later franchise concerning itself, Goldwyn and Louis B....

, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
Goldwyn Pictures
Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using an amalgamation of both last names to create the name...

 and Louis B. Mayer Pictures
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

. Its headquarters are in the MGM Tower in Century City, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

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
Spyglass Entertainment
Spyglass Entertainment is an American film production company, co-founded by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum in 1998. The studio was founded with an investment from European media conglomerates Kirch Group and Mediaset, and a five-year distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company...

, Gary Barber
Gary Barber
Gary Barber is a film producer who is a co-founder and co-CEO of Spyglass Entertainment and co-CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.-Filmography:His production credits include:*Reign of Fire*Shanghai Noon*Bruce Almighty*Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls*The Recruit...

 and Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum is an American film producer who owns the company Spyglass Entertainment and is co-CEO and co-Chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.Birnbaum was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he graduated from Teaneck High School...

, became co-Chairs and co-CEOs of the company.
The studio's official motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

, "Ars Gratia Artis", is a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 phrase meaning "Art for art's sake
Art for art's sake
"Art for art's sake" is the usual English rendering of a French slogan, from the early 19th century, l'art pour l'art, and expresses a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art, and the only "true" art, is divorced from any didactic, moral or utilitarian function...

"; it was chosen by Howard Dietz
Howard Dietz
Howard Dietz was an American publicist, lyricist, and librettist.-Biography:Dietz was born in New York City and studied journalism at Columbia University...

, the studio's chief publicist.
Encyclopedia
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (MGM) is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .-Biography:...

 gained control of Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in late 1915 by Richard A. Rowland . Louis B. Mayer who worked for Metro Pictures Corporation early on. It is not to be confused with MGM which is a much later franchise concerning itself, Goldwyn and Louis B....

, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation
Goldwyn Pictures
Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using an amalgamation of both last names to create the name...

 and Louis B. Mayer Pictures
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

. Its headquarters are in the MGM Tower in Century City, Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

.

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
Spyglass Entertainment
Spyglass Entertainment is an American film production company, co-founded by Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum in 1998. The studio was founded with an investment from European media conglomerates Kirch Group and Mediaset, and a five-year distribution deal with The Walt Disney Company...

, Gary Barber
Gary Barber
Gary Barber is a film producer who is a co-founder and co-CEO of Spyglass Entertainment and co-CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.-Filmography:His production credits include:*Reign of Fire*Shanghai Noon*Bruce Almighty*Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls*The Recruit...

 and Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum is an American film producer who owns the company Spyglass Entertainment and is co-CEO and co-Chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.Birnbaum was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he graduated from Teaneck High School...

, became co-Chairs and co-CEOs of the company.

Overview

The studio's official motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

, "Ars Gratia Artis", is a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 phrase meaning "Art for art's sake
Art for art's sake
"Art for art's sake" is the usual English rendering of a French slogan, from the early 19th century, l'art pour l'art, and expresses a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art, and the only "true" art, is divorced from any didactic, moral or utilitarian function...

"; it was chosen by Howard Dietz
Howard Dietz
Howard Dietz was an American publicist, lyricist, and librettist.-Biography:Dietz was born in New York City and studied journalism at Columbia University...

, the studio's chief publicist. The studio's logo is a roaring lion surrounded by a ring of film inscribed with the studio's motto. The logo, which features Leo the Lion
Leo the Lion (MGM)
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss....

, was created by Dietz in 1916 for Goldwyn Pictures and updated in 1924 for MGM's use. Dietz based the logo on his alma mater's mascot
Mascot
The term mascot – defined as a term for any person, animal, or object thought to bring luck – colloquially includes anything used to represent a group with a common public identity, such as a school, professional sports team, society, military unit, or brand name...

—the Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 lion. Loew regarded its use for the consolidated studio as particularly appropriate, since "Loewe" is German for "lion". Originally silent, the sound of Leo the Lion's roar was added to films for the first time in August 1928. In the 1930s and 1940s the studio billed itself as having "more stars than there are in heaven", a reference to the large number of A-list
A-list
A-list is a term that alludes to major movie stars, or the most bankable in the Hollywood film industry.The A-list is part of a larger guide called The Hot List that has become an industry-standard guide in Hollywood...

 movie stars under contract to the company. This second motto was also coined by Deitz, and was probably first used in 1932.

From the end of the silent film era
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

 through World War II, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the dominant motion picture studio in Hollywood. It responded slowly to the changing legal, economic, and demographic nature of the motion picture industry during the 1950s and 1960s, and although at times its films did well at the box office the studio lost significant amounts of money throughout the 1960s. Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
Edgar Miles Bronfman is a Canadian businessman. He is a member of the Bronfman family.-Biography:Bronfman is the son of Samuel Bronfman, the founder of Distillers Corporation Limited, who purchased Seagram's in 1928...

 purchased a controlling interest in MGM in 1966 (and was briefly chairman of the board in 1969), and in 1967 Time Inc.
Time Inc.
Time Inc. is a subsidiary of the media conglomerate Time Warner, the company formed by the 1990 merger of the original Time Inc. and Warner Communications. It publishes 130 magazines, most notably its namesake, Time...

 became the company's second-largest shareholder. In 1969, Kirk Kerkorian
Kirk Kerkorian
Kerkor "Kirk" Kerkorian is an American businessman who is the president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. Kerkorian is known as one of the important figures in shaping Las Vegas and, with architect Martin Stern, Jr...

 purchased 40 percent of MGM from Bronfman and Time, Inc., slashed staff and production costs, forced the studio to produce low-budget fare, and then shut down theatrical distribution in 1973. The studio continued to produce five to six films a year that were released through other studios, mostly United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

. MGM proceeded to get back into theatrical distribution in 1981 with its purchase of United Artists, as UA's parent company Transamerica Corporation
Transamerica Corporation
Transamerica Corporation is a holding company for various life insurance companies and investment firms doing business primarily in the United States. It was acquired by the Dutch financial services conglomerate AEGON in 1999.-History:...

 decided to let go of the studio following the failure of Heaven's Gate
Heaven's Gate (film)
Heaven's Gate is a 1980 American epic Western film based on the Johnson County War, a dispute between land barons and European immigrants in Wyoming in the 1890s...

.
MGM ramped up internal production as well as keeping production going at UA which included the lucrative James Bond
James Bond (film series)
The James Bond film series is a British series of motion pictures based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond , who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming's novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines...

 film franchise. It also incurred significant amounts of debt in order to increase production. The studio took on additional debt as a series of owners took charge in the 1980s and early 1990s. On August 5, 1986, Ted Turner
Ted Turner
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the cable news network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television...

's Turner Broadcasting System
Turner Broadcasting System
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. is the Time Warner subsidiary managing the collection of cable networks and properties started and acquired by Robert Edward "Ted" Turner starting in the mid-1970s. The company has its headquarters in the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. TBS, Inc...

 purchased MGM in a cash-stock deal for $1.5 billion. Turner immediately sold MGM's United Artists subsidiary back to Kerkorian. But unable to find financing for the rest of the deal, Turner sold MGM's film and distribution business back to Kerkorian just 74 days after the original purchase was made. The MGM lot and lab facilities were sold to Lorimar-Telepictures
Lorimar-Telepictures
Lorimar-Telepictures was a production and television syndication firm established in 1986 with the merger of Lorimar and Telepictures until both TV divisions became separate in 1988...

. Turner kept the pre-1986 library of MGM films, along with pre-1950 Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 and RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chains and Joseph P...

 films which MGM had previously purchased. The series of deals left MGM even more heavily in debt. In 1989, Australian-based Qintex
Qintex
Qintex Ltd. was an Australian company that came to prominence during the 1980s, until its collapse in 1989. Its main shareholder and Managing Director was Christopher Skase....

 attempted to buy MGM from Kerkorian, but the deal collapsed. MGM was bought by Pathé Communications
Pathé
Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France.-History:...

 (led by Italian publishing magnate Giancarlo Parretti
Giancarlo Parretti
Giancarlo Parretti is an Italian financier.In 1989, he took over Cannon Film Group Inc. from Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Almost immediately, he made plans to take over the storied French studio Pathé, and changed Cannon's name to Pathé Communications...

) in 1990, but Parretti lost control of Pathé and defaulted on the loans used to purchase the studio. The French banking conglomerate Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais is a historic French bank. In the early 1990s it was the largest French bank, majority state-owned at that point. Crédit Lyonnais was the subject of poor management during that period which almost led to its bankruptcy in 1993...

, the studio's major creditor, then took control of MGM. Even more deeply in debt, MGM was purchased by Australia's Seven Network
Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

 in 1996.

MGM purchased Metromedia
Metromedia
Metromedia was a media company that owned radio and television stations in the United States from 1956 to 1986 and owned Orion Pictures from 1986-1997.- Overview :...

's film subsidiaries (Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures Corporation was an American independent production company that produced movies from 1978 until 1998. It was formed in 1978 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. and three former top-level executives of United Artists. Although it was never a large motion picture producer, Orion...

, The Samuel Goldwyn Company
The Samuel Goldwyn Company
The Samuel Goldwyn Company was an independent film company founded by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., the son of the famous Hollywood mogul, Samuel Goldwyn, in 1979.-Background:...

, and the Motion Picture Corporation of America
Motion Picture Corporation of America
Motion Picture Corporation of America is an American film production company founded by Brad Krevoy in 1986 to focus on producing, acquiring, and distributing commercial motion picture and television productions.-History:...

) for $573 million in 1997, and Kerkorian bought out Seven Network the following year. MGM used debt to acquire PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was a film studio, founded in 1979 as a European competitor to Hollywood, but eventually sold and merged with Universal Pictures in 1999....

's 1,300-title library from Seagram
Seagram
The Seagram Company Ltd. was a large corporation headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada that was the largest distiller of alcoholic beverages in the world. Toward the end of its independent existence it also controlled various entertainment and other business ventures...

 in 1999 for $250 million, and obtained the broadcast rights to more than 800 of its films previously licensed to Turner Broadcasting. MGM then purchased 20 percent of Cablevision Systems for $825 million in 2001. MGM attempted to take over Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

 in 2003 but failed, and was forced to sell several of its cable channel investments (taking a $75 million loss on the deal).

The debt load from these business deals negatively affected MGM's ability to survive as an independent motion picture studio. After a three-way bidding war which involved Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

 (successor to Time, Inc. and current parent of Turner Broadcasting) and General Electric
General Electric
General Electric Company , or GE, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation incorporated in Schenectady, New York and headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut, United States...

, MGM was acquired on September 23, 2004, by a partnership led by Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America , based in New York, is the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. It is the umbrella company under which all Sony companies operate in the United States....

, Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

, Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital, L.P.), Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners is a global private equity investment firm focused on media, entertainment, communications and information investments...

, and other investors.

MGM Resorts International, a Las Vegas
Las Vegas metropolitan area
The Las Vegas Valley is the heart of the Las Vegas-Paradise, NV MSA also known as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Henderson MSA which includes all of Clark County, Nevada, and is a metropolitan area in the southern part of the U.S. state of Nevada. The Valley is defined by the Las Vegas Valley landform, a ...

-based hotel and casino
Megaresort
A Megaresort is a type of destination resort which is of an exceptionally large size, sometimes featuringlarge-scale attractions . The hotels along the Las Vegas Strip are most typically thought of as megaresorts owing to their immense size and complexity...

 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
The New York Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, USA. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies at 13.39 trillion as of Dec 2010...

 under the symbol "MGM", is not currently affiliated with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Founding

In 1924, movie theater magnate Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew
Marcus Loew was an American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry who formed Loews Theatres and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer .-Biography:...

 had a problem. He had bought Metro Pictures Corporation
Metro Pictures
Metro Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in late 1915 by Richard A. Rowland . Louis B. Mayer who worked for Metro Pictures Corporation early on. It is not to be confused with MGM which is a much later franchise concerning itself, Goldwyn and Louis B....

 (founded in 1916) and Goldwyn Pictures
Goldwyn Pictures
Goldwyn Pictures Corporation was an American motion picture production company founded in 1916 by Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn using an amalgamation of both last names to create the name...

 (founded in 1917) to provide a steady supply of films for his large theater chain, Loew's Theatres
Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Loews Theatres, aka Loews Incorporated , founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew and Brantford Schwartz, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America until it merged with AMC Theatres on January 26, 2006. From 1924 until 1959, it was also the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. The...

. However, these purchases created a need for someone to oversee his new Hollywood operations, since longtime assistant Nicholas Schenck
Nicholas Schenck
Nicholas M. Schenck was a motion picture mogul and impresario.One of seven children, Schenck was born to a Jewish household in Rybinsk, a Volga River village in Tsarist Russia...

 was needed in New York to oversee the theaters. Loew addressed the situation by buying Louis B. Mayer
Louis B. Mayer
Louis Burt Mayer born Lazar Meir was an American film producer. He is generally cited as the creator of the "star system" within Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in its golden years. Known always as Louis B...

 Pictures on April 16, 1924. Because of his decade-long success as a producer, Mayer was made a vice-president of Loew's and head of studio operations in California, with Harry Rapf
Harry Rapf
Harry Rapf was a Jewish American producer. He began his career in 1917, and during a 20 year career became a well-known producer of films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He created the comedic duo Dane & Arthur featuring Karl Dane and George K...

 and Irving Thalberg
Irving Thalberg
Irving Grant Thalberg was an American film producer during the early years of motion pictures. He was called "The Boy Wonder" for his youth and his extraordinary ability to select the right scripts, choose the right actors, gather the best production staff and make very profitable films.-Life and...

 as heads of production. For decades MGM was listed on movie title cards as "Controlled by Loew's, Inc."

Originally, the new studio's films were presented in the following manner: "Louis B. Mayer presents a Metro-Goldwyn picture", but Mayer soon added his name to the studio with Loew's blessing. Though Loew's Metro was the dominant partner, the new studio inherited Goldwyn's studios in Culver City, California
Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883, up from 38,816 at the 2000 census. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Culver...

, the former Goldwyn mascot Leo the Lion
Leo the Lion (MGM)
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss....

 (which replaced Metro's parrot symbol), and the Goldwyn corporate motto Ars Gratia Artis ("Art for art's sake
Art for art's sake
"Art for art's sake" is the usual English rendering of a French slogan, from the early 19th century, l'art pour l'art, and expresses a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art, and the only "true" art, is divorced from any didactic, moral or utilitarian function...

").

Also inherited from Goldwyn was a runaway production, Ben–Hur
Ben-Hur (1925 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1925 silent film directed by Fred Niblo. It was a blockbuster hit for newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This was the second film based on the novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace...

, which had been filming in Rome for months at great cost. Mayer scrapped most of what had been shot and relocated production to Culver City. Though Ben–Hur was the most costly film made up to its time, it became MGM's first great public-relations triumph, establishing an image for the company that persisted for years. Also in 1925, with the success of both The Big Parade
The Big Parade
The Big Parade is a 1925 silent film. It tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.The film was...

 and Ben–Hur, MGM surpassed Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

 as the largest studio in Hollywood, a distinction it would maintain for over 30 years.

Marcus Loew died in 1927, and control of Loew's passed to Nicholas Schenck. In 1929, William Fox
William Fox (producer)
William Fox born Fried Vilmos was a pioneering Hungarian American motion picture executive who founded the Fox Film Corporation in 1915 and the Fox West Coast Theatres chain in the 1920s...

 of Fox Film Corporation bought the Loew family's holdings with Schenck's assent. Mayer and Thalberg disagreed with the decision. Mayer used political connections to persuade the Justice Department
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 to delay final approval of the deal on antitrust
Competition law
Competition law, known in the United States as antitrust law, is law that promotes or maintains market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies....

 grounds. During this time, in the summer of 1929, Fox was badly hurt in an automobile accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash
Wall Street Crash of 1929
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 , also known as the Great Crash, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929, was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States, taking into consideration the full extent and duration of its fallout...

 in the fall of 1929 had nearly wiped Fox out and ended any chance of the Loew's merger going through. Schenck and Mayer had never gotten along (Mayer reportedly referred to his boss as "Mr. Skunk"), and the abortive Fox merger increased the animosity between the two men.

MGM's golden age

From the outset, MGM tapped into the audience's need for glamour and sophistication. Having inherited few big names from their predecessor companies, Mayer and Thalberg began at once to create and publicize a host of new stars, among them Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

, John Gilbert
John Gilbert (actor)
John Gilbert was an American actor and a major star of the silent film era.Known as "the great lover," he rivaled even Rudolph Valentino as a box office draw...

, William Haines
William Haines
Charles William "Billy" Haines was an American film actor and interior designer. He was a star of the silent era until the 1930s, when Haines' career was cut short by MGM Studios due to his refusal to deny his homosexuality...

, Norma Shearer
Norma Shearer
Edith Norma Shearer was a Canadian-American actress. Shearer was one of the most popular actresses in North America from the mid-1920s through the 1930s...

, and Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

. Established names like Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Sr.
Lon Chaney , nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Faces," was an American actor during the age of silent films. He was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema...

, William Powell
William Powell
William Horatio Powell was an American actor.A major star at MGM, he was paired with Myrna Loy in 14 films, including the popular Thin Man series in which Powell and Loy played Nick and Nora Charles...

, Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
Joseph Frank "Buster" Keaton was an American comic actor, filmmaker, producer and writer. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".Keaton was recognized as the...

, and Wallace Beery
Wallace Beery
Wallace Fitzgerald Beery was an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill opposite Marie Dressler, as Long John Silver in Treasure Island, as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa!, and his titular role in The Champ, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor...

 were hired from other studios. They also hired top directors such as King Vidor
King Vidor
King Wallis Vidor was an American film director, film producer, and screenwriter whose career spanned nearly seven decades...

, Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown
Clarence Brown was an American film director.-Early life:Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, to a cotton manufacturer, Brown moved to the South when he was 11. He attended Knoxville High School and the University of Tennessee, both in Knoxville, Tennessee, graduating from the university at the age of...

, Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim
Erich von Stroheim was an Austrian-born film star of the silent era, subsequently noted as an auteur for his directorial work.-Background:...

, Tod Browning
Tod Browning
Tod Browning was an American motion picture actor, director and screenwriter.Browning's career spanned the silent and talkie eras...

, and Victor Seastrom. The arrival of talking pictures in 1928–29 gave opportunities to other new stars, many of whom would carry MGM through the 1930s: Clark Gable
Clark Gable
William Clark Gable , known as Clark Gable, was an American film actor most famous for his role as Rhett Butler in the 1939 Civil War epic film Gone with the Wind, in which he starred with Vivien Leigh...

, Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" , Harlow was ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute...

, Robert Montgomery
Robert Montgomery (actor)
Robert Montgomery was an American actor and director.- Early life :Montgomery was born Henry Montgomery, Jr. in Beacon, New York, then known as "Fishkill Landing", the son of Mary Weed and Henry Montgomery, Sr. His early childhood was one of privilege, since his father was president of the New...

, Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy was an American actress. Trained as a dancer, she devoted herself fully to an acting career following a few minor roles in silent films. Originally typecast in exotic roles, often as a vamp or a woman of Asian descent, her career prospects improved following her portrayal of Nora Charles...

, Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald
Jeanette MacDonald was an American singer and actress best remembered for her musical films of the 1930s with Maurice Chevalier and Nelson Eddy...

, and Nelson Eddy
Nelson Eddy
Nelson Ackerman Eddy was an American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred...

 among them.

MGM was one of the first studios to experiment with filming in Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

. Using the two-color Technicolor process then available, MGM filmed portions of The Uninvited Guest (1923), The Big Parade
The Big Parade
The Big Parade is a 1925 silent film. It tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.The film was...

 (1925), and Ben–Hur (1925), among others, in the process. In 1928, MGM released The Viking
The Viking (1928 film)
The Viking was the first feature-length Technicolor film that featured a soundtrack, and the first film made in Technicolor's Process 3.-Production background:...

, the first complete Technicolor feature with sound (including a synchronized score and sound effects but no spoken dialogue). MGM's first all-color, "all-talking" sound feature with dialogue was the 1930 musical The Rogue Song. In 1934 MGM included a sequence made in Technicolor's superior new three-color process, a musical number in the otherwise black-and-white The Cat and the Fiddle. The studio then produced a number of three-color short subjects including 1935's musical La Fiesta de Santa Barbara, however MGM waited until 1938 to film a complete feature in the process, Sweethearts
Sweethearts (film)
Sweethearts is a 1938 musical romance directed by W.S. Van Dyke, starring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The screenplay, by Dorothy Parker and Alan Campbell, uses the “play within a play” device: a contemporary Broadway production of the 1913 Victor Herbert operetta is the setting for...

 with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, the earlier of the popular singing team's two films in color.

From then on, MGM regularly produced several films a year in Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)
The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It was directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf received credit for the screenplay, but there were uncredited contributions by others. The lyrics for the songs...

 and Northwest Passage being two of the most notable. MGM also released the enormously successful Technicolor film Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind (film)
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American historical epic film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel of the same name. It was produced by David O. Selznick and directed by Victor Fleming from a screenplay by Sidney Howard...

, starring Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh
Vivien Leigh, Lady Olivier was an English actress. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire , a role she also played on stage in London's West End, as well as for her portrayal of the southern belle Scarlett O'Hara, alongside Clark...

 as Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. (Although Gone With the Wind was produced by Selznick International Pictures
Selznick International Pictures
-Origin:It was founded in 1935 by producer David O. Selznick and investor John Hay "Jock" Whitney after Selznick left Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and leased a section of the RKO Pictures lot in Culver City, California...

, it was released by MGM as part of a deal for producer David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick was an American film producer. He is best known for having produced Gone with the Wind and Rebecca , both of which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture.-Early years:...

 to obtain the services of Clark Gable. However, the film, being a Selznick International production, begins with that company's logo, rather than the usual MGM roaring lion.)

In addition to a large short subjects program of its own, MGM also released the shorts and features produced by Hal Roach Studios, including comedy shorts starring Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy were one of the most popular and critically acclaimed comedy double acts of the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema...

, Our Gang
Our Gang
Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach's Rascals, was a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and the adventures they had together. Created by comedy producer Hal Roach, the series is noted for showing children behaving in a relatively...

, and Charley Chase
Charley Chase
Charley Chase was an American comedian, actor, screenwriter and film director, best known for his work in Hal Roach short film comedies...

. MGM's distribution deal with Roach lasted from 1927 to 1938, and MGM benefited in particular from the success of the popular Laurel and Hardy films. In 1938, MGM purchased the rights to Our Gang and moved the production in-house, continuing production of the successful series of children's comedies until 1944. From 1929 to 1931, MGM produced a series of comedy shorts called All Barkie Dogville Comedies
Dogville Comedies
From 1929 to 1931, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studio produced a series of short comedy films called All Barkie Dogville Comedies, sometimes known as the "barkies" . The actors in these films were trained dogs, dressed up to parody the performers in contemporary films...

, in which trained dogs were dressed up to parody contemporary films and were voiced by actors. One of the shorts, The Dogway Melody (1930), spoofed MGM's hit 1929 musical The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody is a 1929 American musical film and the first sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It was one of the first musicals to feature a Technicolor sequence, which sparked the trend of color being used in a flurry of musicals that would hit the screens in 1929-1930...

.

MGM produced fifty pictures a year. Loew's theaters were mostly located in New York and the Northeastern United States (although Gone With the Wind had its world premiere at the Loew's Grand Theatre
Loew's Grand Theatre
Loew's Grand Theater, originally DeGive's Grand Opera House, was a movie theater at the corner of Peachtree and Forsyth Streets in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States...

 in Atlanta, Georgia), so MGM made films that were sophisticated and polished to cater to an urban audience. As the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 deepened, MGM could make a claim its rivals could not: it never lost money, although it did have an occasional disaster like Parnell
Parnell (film)
Parnell is a 1937 MGM film starring Clark Gable as Charles Stewart Parnell, the famous Irish politician. It is considered Gable's worst film, and is classified in The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.-Production:...

 (1937), Clark Gable's biggest flop. It was the only Hollywood studio that continued to pay dividends during the 1930s.

MGM stars dominated the box office in the '30s, and the studio was credited for inventing the Hollywood star system as well. MGM contracted with The American Musical Academy of Arts Association (now the International Academy of Music Arts and Sciences) to handle all of their press and artist development. The AMAAA's main function was to develop the budding stars and to make them appealing to the public. Stars like Norma Shearer
Norma Shearer
Edith Norma Shearer was a Canadian-American actress. Shearer was one of the most popular actresses in North America from the mid-1920s through the 1930s...

, Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

, and Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo
Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

 all reigned as not only the top three figures at the studio, but in Hollywood itself. Garbo started losing her American audience after Queen Christina
Queen Christina (film)
Queen Christina is a Pre-Code Hollywood feature film loosely based on the life of 17th century Queen Christina of Sweden, produced in 1933, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, starring Swedish-born actress Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith and Lewis Stone. It was billed as Garbo's return to cinema...

 (1933), as a contract dispute kept her out of Hollywood for two years, and other MGM sex symbol actress Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" , Harlow was ranked as one of the greatest movie stars of all time by the American Film Institute...

 now had a big break and became one of MGM's most admired stars as well; despite Jean Harlow's gain, Garbo still was a big star for MGM after she returned from her absence. Shearer was still a top money maker despite screen appearances becoming scarce, and Joan Crawford continued her box office power up until 1937. MGM would also receive a boost through the man who would become the "King of Hollywood", Clark Gable; Gable's career took off to new heights after he won an Oscar for the 1934 Columbia film It Happened One Night. By 1943, all three had left the studio. Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford , born Lucille Fay LeSueur, was an American actress in film, television and theatre....

 moved to Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 where her career took a dramatic upturn for the better; Shearer and Garbo never made another film after leaving MGM.

Mayer and Irving Thalberg's relationship began warmly but eventually the two became estranged; Thalberg preferred literary works to the crowd-pleasers Mayer wanted. Thalberg, always physically frail, was removed as head of production in 1932. Mayer encouraged other staff producers, among them his son-in-law David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick
David O. Selznick was an American film producer. He is best known for having produced Gone with the Wind and Rebecca , both of which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture.-Early years:...

, but no one seemed to have the sure touch of Thalberg. As Thalberg fell increasingly ill in 1936, Louis Mayer could now serve as his temporary replacement. Rumors flew that Thalberg was leaving to set up his own independent company; his early death in 1936, at age thirty-seven, cost MGM dearly.

As a result of Thalberg's death, Mayer became head of production as well as studio chief, becoming the first million-dollar executive in American history. The company remained profitable, although a change toward "series" pictures (Andy Hardy, Maisie, the Thin Man
The Thin Man (film)
The Thin Man is a 1934 American comic detective film starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, a flirtatious married couple who banter wittily as they solve crimes with ease. Nick is a hard drinking retired detective and Nora a wealthy heiress...

 pictures, et al.) is seen by some as evidence of Mayer's restored influence. Also playing a huge role was Ida Koverman, Mayer's "right hand woman".

Increasingly, before and during World War II, Mayer came to rely on his "College of Cardinals"—senior producers who controlled the studio's output. This management-by-committee may explain why MGM seemed to lose its momentum, developing few new stars and relying on the safety of sequels and bland material. (Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th century urban foibles....

 memorably referred to it as "Metro-Goldwyn-Merde.") Production values remained high, and even "B" pictures
B movie
A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse or pornographic film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified a film intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature....

 carried a polish and gloss that made them expensive to mount. After 1940, production was cut from fifty pictures a year to a more manageable twenty-five features per year. It was during this time that MGM released very successful musicals
Musical film
The musical film is a film genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing. The songs usually advance the plot or develop the film's characters, though in some cases they serve merely as breaks in the storyline, often as elaborate...

 with players such as Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

, Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. His stage and subsequent film career spanned a total of 76 years, during which he made 31 musical films. He was named the fifth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute...

, Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

, and Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

, to name just a few.

As audiences drifted away after the war, MGM found it difficult to attract them. While other studios backed away from the popular musicals of the war years, MGM increased its output to as many as five or six each year, roughly one-quarter of its annual output. Such pictures were expensive to produce, requiring a full staff of songwriters, arrangers, musicians, dancers, and technical support, and releasing so many each year affected the company's finances. By the late forties, as MGM's profit margins decreased, word came from Schenck in New York: find "a new Thalberg" who could improve quality while paring costs. Mayer thought he had found this savior in Dore Schary
Dore Schary
Isadore "Dore" Schary was an American motion picture director, writer, and producer, and playwright who became head of production at MGM and eventually president of the studio...

, a writer and producer who had had a couple of successful years running RKO
RKO Pictures
RKO Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum theater chains and Joseph P...

.

Mayer's taste for wholesomeness and "beautiful" movies conflicted with Schary's preference for gritty message picture
Message picture
A message picture is a motion picture that, in addition to or instead of being for entertainment, intends to communicate a certain message or ideal about society. Message pictures usually present the message they want to deliver in the form of a morality play, and are usually serious works...

s. In August 1951, after a period of friendly antagonism with Schary, Mayer was fired. One report says that Mayer called Schenck and New York with an ultimatum—"It's him or me". Mayer tried to stage a boardroom coup
Boardroom coup
A boardroom coup is the sudden overthrow of the management or governing body of a corporation by an individual or small group of individuals, usually from within the company.-Notable examples:...

 to oust his old nemesis, but failed.

Perhaps because of Mayer's leaving (although this has never been confirmed), the credit Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents does not appear on any MGM film made between 1950 and 1957, the year of Louis B. Mayer's death. In films made during those years, the credits segue straight from the roaring lion logo to the title of the film (as in MGM's 1951 film of Show Boat
Show Boat
Show Boat is a musical in two acts with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was originally produced in New York in 1927 and in London in 1928, and was based on the 1926 novel of the same name by Edna Ferber. The plot chronicles the lives of those living and working...

) or, in the case of above-the-title billing, the names of the stars and then the film's title. Beginning in 1957, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents credit was reinstated.

Gradually cutting loose expensive contract actors (perhaps most famously, Judy Garland in 1950), Schary managed to keep the studio running much as it had through the early 1950s though his sensibilities for hard-edged, message movies would never bear much fruit. He would be gone by 1956. The only bright spot was the MGM musicals. Under the aegis of producer Arthur Freed, who was operating what amounted to an independent unit within the studio, MGM produced some well-regarded musicals that would be later acknowledged as classics, among them An American in Paris
An American in Paris (film)
An American in Paris is a 1951 MGM musical film inspired by the 1928 orchestral composition by George Gershwin. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guetary, and Nina Foch, the film is set in Paris, and was directed by Vincente Minnelli from a script by Alan Jay Lerner...

, Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain
Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American comedy musical film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds and directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, with Kelly also providing the choreography...

 and The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon
The Band Wagon is a 1953 musical comedy film that many critics rank, along with Singin' in the Rain, as the finest of the MGM musicals, although it was only a modest box-office success. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway play will restart his career...

. However, it was a losing fight, as the mass audience preferred to stay home and watch television. An American in Paris and Singin' in the Rain, as well as the 1951 Technicolor Show Boat
Show Boat (1951 film)
Show Boat is a 1951 Technicolor film based on the musical by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II and the novel by Edna Ferber....

 (all begun while Mayer was still in power), were large box office successes; The Band Wagon was a modest success. But the 1954 Brigadoon
Brigadoon (film)
Brigadoon is a 1954 MGM musical feature film made in CinemaScope and Ansco Color based on the Broadway musical of the same name by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and stars Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, and Cyd Charisse...

, and 1955's Kismet
Kismet (1955 film)
Kismet is an American musical film in Cinemascope and Eastman Color released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is the fourth movie version of Kismet—the first was released in 1920 and the second in 1930 by Warner Brothers—and the second released by MGM...

, both filmed in CinemaScope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

, were flops. On the other hand, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a 1954 musical film directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul, and lyrics by Johnny Mercer....

, also made in Cinemascope, and released in 1954, became not only a huge critical success but a box office hit.

In 1954, as a settlement of the government's restraint-of-trade action, United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc.
United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc., 334 US 131 was a landmark United States Supreme Court anti-trust case that decided the fate of movie studios owning their own theatres and holding exclusivity rights on which theatres would...

 334 US 131 (1948), Loews, Inc.
Loews Cineplex Entertainment
Loews Theatres, aka Loews Incorporated , founded in 1904 by Marcus Loew and Brantford Schwartz, was the oldest theater chain operating in North America until it merged with AMC Theatres on January 26, 2006. From 1924 until 1959, it was also the parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios. The...

 gave up control of MGM. It would take another five years before the interlocking arrangements were completely undone, by which time both Loews and MGM were sinking.

MGM cartoon shorts

In animation, MGM purchased the rights in 1930 to distribute a series of cartoons that starred a character named Flip the Frog
Flip the Frog
Flip the Frog is an animated cartoon character created by American cartoonist Ub Iwerks. He starred in a series of cartoons produced by Celebrity Pictures and distributed through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from 1930 to 1933...

, produced by Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks
Ub Iwerks, A.S.C. was a two-time Academy Award winning American animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, creator of Mickey Mouse, and special effects technician, who was famous for his work for Walt Disney....

. The first cartoon in this series (entitled Fiddlesticks) was the first sound cartoon to be produced in two-color Technicolor. In 1933, Ub Iwerks cancelled the unsuccessful Flip the Frog series and MGM began to distribute its second series of cartoons, starring a character named Willie Whopper
Willie Whopper
Willie Whopper is an animated cartoon character created by American cartoonist Ub Iwerks. The Whopper series was the second from the Iwerks studio to be produced by Pat Powers and distributed through Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It lasted only two years; from 1933 to 1934.-History:Willie is a young lad who...

, that was also produced by Ub Iwerks.

In 1934, after Iwerks' distribution contract expired, contracted with animation producers/directors Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising
Harman and Ising
Hugh Harman and Rudolf "Rudy" Ising were an American animation team best known for founding the Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animation studios...

 to produce a new series of color cartoons. Harman and Ising came to MGM after breaking ties with Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger
Leon Schlesinger was an American film producer, most noted for founding Leon Schlesinger Productions, which later became the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio, during the golden age of Hollywood animation.-Early life and career:...

 and Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

, and brought with them their popular Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes
Looney Tunes is a Warner Bros. animated cartoon series. It preceded the Merrie Melodies series and was Warner Bros.'s first animated theatrical series. Since its first official release, 1930's Sinkin' in the Bathtub, the series has become a worldwide media franchise, spawning several television...

 character, Bosko. These were known as Happy Harmonies
Happy Harmonies
Happy Harmonies is the name of a series of animated cartoons distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and produced by Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising between 1934 and 1938....

 and in many ways resembled the Looney Tunes sister series, Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies
Merrie Melodies is the name of a series of animated cartoons distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures between 1931 and 1969.Originally produced by Harman-Ising Pictures, Merrie Melodies were produced by Leon Schlesinger Productions from 1933 to 1944. Schlesinger sold his studio to Warner Bros. in 1944,...

. The Happy Harmonies regularly ran over budget, and MGM dismissed Harman-Ising in 1937 to start its own animation studio
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio was the in-house division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studio in Hollywood, California during the Golden Age of American animation, responsible for producing animated short subjects to accompany MGM feature films in Loew's Theaters...

.

After initial struggles with a poorly received series of Captain and the Kids cartoons, the studio re-hired Harman and Ising in 1939, and Ising created the studio's first successful animated character, Barney Bear
Barney Bear
Barney Bear was a series of animated cartoon short subjects produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio. The titular character was an anthropomorphic cartoon character, a sluggish, sleepy bear who often is in pursuit of nothing but peace and quiet....

. However, MGM's biggest cartoon stars would come in the form of the cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry are the cat and mouse cartoon characters that were evolved starting in 1939.Tom and Jerry also may refer to:Cartoon works featuring the cat and mouse so named:* The Tom and Jerry Show...

, created by William Hanna
William Hanna
William Denby Hanna was an American animator, director, producer, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century. When he was a young child, Hanna's family moved frequently, but they settled in Compton, California, by...

 and Joseph Barbera
Joseph Barbera
Joseph Roland Barbera was an influential American animator, director, producer, storyboard artist, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of fans worldwide for much of the twentieth century....

 in 1940. The Tom and Jerry cartoons won seven Academy Awards between 1943 and 1953. In 1941, Tex Avery
Tex Avery
Frederick Bean "Fred/Tex" Avery was an American animator, cartoonist, voice actor and director, famous for producing animated cartoons during The Golden Age of Hollywood animation. He did his most significant work for the Warner Bros...

, another Schlesinger alumnus, joined the animation department. It was Avery who gave the unit its image, with successes like Red Hot Riding Hood
Red Hot Riding Hood
Red Hot Riding Hood is an animated cartoon short subject, directed by Tex Avery and released on May 8, 1943 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In 1994 it was voted #7 of The 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field...

, Swing Shift Cinderella
Swing Shift Cinderella
Swing Shift Cinderella is an animated cartoon short subject. It is in the same vein as Red Hot Riding Hood. Frank Graham voiced the wolf, and Colleen Collins voiced Cinderella.-Plot:...

, and the Droopy series.

Avery left the studio in 1953, leaving Hanna and Barbera to focus on the popular Tom and Jerry and Droopy series. After 1955, all cartoons were filmed in wide screen CinemaScope
CinemaScope
CinemaScope was an anamorphic lens series used for shooting wide screen movies from 1953 to 1967. Its creation in 1953, by the president of 20th Century-Fox, marked the beginning of the modern anamorphic format in both principal photography and movie projection.The anamorphic lenses theoretically...

 until MGM closed its cartoon division in 1957.

Decline

As the studio system faded in the late 1950s and 1960s, MGM's prestige faded with it. In 1957 (by coincidence, the year L.B. Mayer died) the studio lost money for the first time in its 34-year history. Cost overruns and the failure of the 1957 big-budget epic Raintree County
Raintree County (film)
Raintree County is a 1957 Technicolor film drama about the American Civil War. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk. The film stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, and Lee Marvin....

 prompted the studio to release Schary from his contract. Schary's reign at MGM had been marked with few bona-fide hits, but his departure (along with the retirement of Schenck in 1955) left a power vacuum that would prove difficult to fill. By 1960, MGM had released all of its contract players, with many either retiring or moving on to television.

At the urging of Leonard Goldenson
Leonard Goldenson
Leonard H. Goldenson was President of the U.S. television and radio broadcaster ABC.-Early life and career:...

, longtime head of Paramount's theater chain who now ran ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, MGM began to enter television production. MGM's first attempts at programming were cross-promotion of feature films (The MGM Parade
MGM Parade
MGM Parade is the title of a documentary television series produced by the MGM studio and broadcast by the ABC network during the 1955-56 season....

), and based on successful film properties like The Thin Man. Several years later, MGM produced highly successful TV series, like The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series that was broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows the exploits of two secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who work for a fictitious secret international espionage and law-enforcement...

 and the sitcom version of The Courtship of Eddie's Father
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
The Courtship of Eddie's Father is an American television sitcom based on the 1963 movie of the same name, which was based on the book written by Mark Toby...

.

The year 1957 also marked the end of MGM's animation department, as the studio determined it could generate the same amount of revenue by reissuing older cartoons as it could by producing and releasing new ones. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, by then the heads of the MGM cartoon studio, took most of their unit and made their own company, Hanna-Barbera Productions
Hanna-Barbera
Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. was an American animation studio that dominated North American television animation during the second half of the 20th century...

, a successful producer of television animation.

In 1956, MGM sold the television rights for The Wizard of Oz to CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, which scheduled it to be shown in November of that year. In a landmark event, Oz became the first theatrical film to be shown complete in one evening on prime time television over a major American commercial network. (Olivier's
Laurence Olivier
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century. He married three times, to fellow actors Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright...

 version of Hamlet
Hamlet (1948 film)
Hamlet is a 1948 British film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted and directed by and starring Sir Laurence Olivier. Hamlet was Olivier's second film as director, and also the second of the three Shakespeare films that he directed...

 was shown on prime time network TV a month later, but split in half over two weeks). Beginning in 1959, and lasting until 1991, telecasts of The Wizard of Oz became an annual tradition, drawing huge audiences in homes all over the U.S. and earning additional profits for the studio. The studio was all too happy to see Oz become, through television, one of the two or three most famous films MGM has ever made, and one of the few films that nearly everybody in the U.S. has seen at least once. Today The Wizard of Oz is regularly shown on the Turner
Ted Turner
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the cable news network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television...

-owned channels, no longer just once a year.

In 1958, MGM released what is generally considered their last great musical, Arthur Freed
Arthur Freed
Arthur Freed was born Arthur Grossman in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a Jewish American lyricist and a Hollywood film producer.- Biography :Freed began his career as a song-plugger and pianist in Chicago...

's Cinemascope color production of Gigi
Gigi (1958 film)
Gigi is a 1958 musical film directed by Vincente Minnelli. The screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner is based on the 1944 novella of the same name by Colette...

, starring Leslie Caron
Leslie Caron
Leslie Claire Margaret Caron is a French film actress and dancer, who appeared in 45 films between 1951 and 2003. In 2006, her performance in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit won her an Emmy for guest actress in a drama series...

, Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Chevalier
Maurice Auguste Chevalier was a French actor, singer, entertainer and a noted Sprechgesang performer. He is perhaps best known for his signature songs, including Louise, Mimi, Valentine, and Thank Heaven for Little Girls and for his films including The Love Parade and The Big Pond...

, and Louis Jourdan. It was adapted from the novel by Colette
Colette
Colette was the surname of the French novelist and performer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette . She is best known for her novel Gigi, upon which Lerner and Loewe based the stage and film musical comedies of the same title.-Early life and marriage:Colette was born to retired military officer Jules-Joseph...

, and written by the team of Lerner and Loewe
Lerner and Loewe
Lerner and Loewe are the duo of lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, known primarily for the music and lyrics of some of Broadway's most successful musical shows, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon....

, who also wrote My Fair Lady and Camelot. Gigi was a box-office and critical success which won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture
Academy Award for Best Picture
The Academy Award for Best Picture is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to artists working in the motion picture industry. The Best Picture category is the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible not only...

. From it came several hit songs, including Thank Heaven For Little Girls, I Remember It Well, the Waltz at Maxim's, and the Oscar-winning title song. The film was the last MGM musical to win a Best Picture Oscar, an honor that had previously gone to The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody
The Broadway Melody is a 1929 American musical film and the first sound film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It was one of the first musicals to feature a Technicolor sequence, which sparked the trend of color being used in a flurry of musicals that would hit the screens in 1929-1930...

 (1929), The Great Ziegfeld
The Great Ziegfeld
The Great Ziegfeld is a 1936 musical film produced by MGM. A fictionalized biography of Florenz Ziegfeld from his show business beginnings to his death, it showcases a series of spectacular musical productions. The film includes original music by Walter Donaldson and Irving Berlin...

 (1936), and An American in Paris
An American in Paris
An American in Paris is a symphonic tone poem by the American composer George Gershwin, written in 1928. Inspired by the time Gershwin had spent in Paris, it evokes the sights and energy of the French capital in the 1920s. It is one of Gershwin's best-known compositions.Gershwin composed the piece...

 (1951). The very last musical film produced by the "Freed Unit
Arthur Freed
Arthur Freed was born Arthur Grossman in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a Jewish American lyricist and a Hollywood film producer.- Biography :Freed began his career as a song-plugger and pianist in Chicago...

" was an adaptation of the Broadway musical Bells Are Ringing
Bells Are Ringing (film)
Bells Are Ringing is a 1960 romantic comedy-musical film directed by Vincente Minnelli. It stars Judy Holliday and Dean Martin.-Synopsis:Based on the successful 1956 Broadway production of the same name by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne, the film focuses on Ella Peterson, who works in...

 (1960) with Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday
Judy Holliday was an American actress.Holliday began her career as part of a night-club act, before working in Broadway plays and musicals...

 and Dean Martin
Dean Martin
Dean Martin was an American singer, film actor, television star and comedian. Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?"...

. However, MGM did release later musical films, including an adaptation of Meredith Willson
Meredith Willson
Robert Meredith Willson was an American composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music and lyrics for the hit Broadway musical The Music Man...

's The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) with Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds is an American actress, singer, and dancer.She was initially signed at age 16 by Warner Bros., but her career got off to a slow start. When her contract was not renewed, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gave her a small, but significant part in the film Three Little Words , then signed her to...

 and Harve Presnell
Harve Presnell
Harve Presnell was an American actor and singer. He began his career in the mid 1950s as a classical baritone, singing with orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States...

.

In 1959, MGM enjoyed what is quite likely their greatest financial success of later years, with the release of its nearly four-hour Technicolor
Technicolor
Technicolor is a color motion picture process invented in 1916 and improved over several decades.It was the second major process, after Britain's Kinemacolor, and the most widely used color process in Hollywood from 1922 to 1952...

 epic Ben–Hur
Ben-Hur (1959 film)
Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film adaptation of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay was written by Karl Tunberg, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry. The score was composed by...

, a remake of their 1925 silent film hit, based on the novel by General Lew Wallace
Lew Wallace
Lewis "Lew" Wallace was an American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War, territorial governor and statesman, politician and author...

. Starring Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston
Charlton Heston was an American actor of film, theatre and television. Heston is known for heroic roles in films such as The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, El Cid, and Planet of the Apes...

 in the title role, the film was critically acclaimed, and won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a record that held until Titanic
Titanic (1997 film)
Titanic is a 1997 American epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, Kate Winslet as Rose DeWitt Bukater and Billy Zane as Rose's fiancé, Cal...

 matched it in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...

 in 2003.

In 1961, MGM resumed the release of new Tom and Jerry shorts, and production moved to Rembrandt Films in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, under the supervision of Gene Deitch
Gene Deitch
Eugene Merril "Gene" Deitch is an American illustrator, animator and film director. He has been based in Prague, capital of Czechoslovakia and the present-day Czech Republic, since 1959. Since 1968, Deitch has been the leading animation director for the Connecticut organization Weston...

. Deitch's Tom and Jerry cartoons are very different in style to the original Hanna and Barbera style of animation. In 1963, the production of Tom and Jerry returned to Hollywood under Chuck Jones
Chuck Jones
Charles Martin "Chuck" Jones was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio...

 and his Sib Tower 12 Productions
MGM Animation/Visual Arts
MGM Animation/Visual Arts was an animation studio established in 1962 by animation director/producer Chuck Jones and producer Les Goldman as Sib Tower 12 Productions...

 studio (later absorbed by MGM and renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts
MGM Animation/Visual Arts
MGM Animation/Visual Arts was an animation studio established in 1962 by animation director/producer Chuck Jones and producer Les Goldman as Sib Tower 12 Productions...

). Jones' group also produced its own works, winning an Oscar for The Dot and the Line
The Dot and the Line
The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics is a book written and illustrated by Norton Juster, first published by Random House in 1963. The story was inspired by Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions...

, as well as producing the classic television version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children's story by Dr. Seuss written in rhymed verse with illustrations by the author. It was published as a book by Random House in 1957, and at approximately the same time in an issue of Redbook...

 (with Theodor Geisel
Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel was an American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen names Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg and, in one case, Rosetta Stone....

). Tom and Jerry folded in 1967, and the animation department continued with television special
Television special
A television special is a television program which interrupts or temporarily replaces programming normally scheduled for a given time slot. Sometimes, however, the term is given to a telecast of a theatrical film, such as The Wizard of Oz or The Ten Commandments, which is not part of a regular...

s and one feature film, The Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth (film)
The Phantom Tollbooth is a 1970 American live-action/animated film based on Norton Juster's 1961 children's book The Phantom Tollbooth. This film was produced by Chuck Jones at MGM Animation/Visual Arts. Jones also directed the film, save for the live action bookends directed by fellow Warner Bros....

.

MGM fell into a habit in this period that would eventually sink the studio: an entire year's production schedule relied on the success of one big-budget epic each year. This policy began in 1959, when Ben–Hur was profitable enough to carry the studio through 1960. However, later attempts at big-budget epics failed, among them four films which, in addition to Ben–Hur, were also remakes—Cimarron
Cimarron (1960 film)
Cimarron is a 1960 western film based on the Edna Ferber novel Cimarron, featuring Glenn Ford and Maria Schell. It was directed by Anthony Mann, known for his westerns and film noirs....

 (1960), King of Kings (1961), Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (film)
The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse is a 1962 drama film based on a novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and starred Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer, Lee J. Cobb, Paul Lukas, Yvette Mimieux, Karlheinz Böhm, and Paul Henreid.Released by MGM, the film lost six...

 (1961), and most notoriously, the 1962 Mutiny on the Bounty
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962 film)
Mutiny on the Bounty is a 1962 film starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard based on the novel Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall. The film retells the 1789 real-life mutiny aboard HMAV Bounty led by Fletcher Christian against the ship's captain, William Bligh...

. The 1962 Cinerama film The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm is a 1962 American film directed by Henry Levin and George Pal. The latter was the producer and also in charge of the stop motion animation. The film was one of the highest grossing films of 1962. It won one Oscar and was nominated for three additional...

, the first film in Cinerama
Cinerama
Cinerama is the trademarked name for a widescreen process which works by simultaneously projecting images from three synchronized 35 mm projectors onto a huge, deeply-curved screen, subtending 146° of arc. It is also the trademarked name for the corporation which was formed to market it...

 to actually tell a story, was also a flop. But one other epic that was a success, however, was the MGM-Cinerama co-production How the West Was Won
How the West Was Won (film)
How the West Was Won is a 1962 American epic Western film. The picture was one of the last "old-fashioned" epic films made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to enjoy great success. It follows four generations of a family as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean...

, with a huge all-star cast. King of Kings, while a commercial and critical flop at the time, has since come to be regarded as a film classic. In 1965 though, MGM released David Lean
David Lean
Sir David Lean CBE was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Lawrence of Arabia ,...

's immensely popular Doctor Zhivago
Doctor Zhivago
-Original creation:*Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak, published in 1957**Yuri Andreyevich Zhivago, a fictional character and the main protagonist of the book Doctor Zhivago-Adaptations:There are several adaptations based on the Doctor Zhivago book:...

, only to back the same director's
David Lean
Sir David Lean CBE was an English film director, producer, screenwriter, and editor best remembered for big-screen epics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai , Lawrence of Arabia ,...

 Ryan's Daughter
Ryan's Daughter
Ryan's Daughter is a 1970 film directed by David Lean. The film, set in 1916, tells the story of a married Irish woman who has an affair with a British officer during World War I, despite opposition from her nationalist neighbours...

 which flopped badly in 1970.

As MGM sank (along with several other mainline studios), a series of studio heads came and went, along with a succession of corporate managers, all hoping to bring back the studio's glory days.

Kerkorian takes over and MGM downsized

In 1967, MGM was sold to the Canadian investor Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
Edgar Miles Bronfman is a Canadian businessman. He is a member of the Bronfman family.-Biography:Bronfman is the son of Samuel Bronfman, the founder of Distillers Corporation Limited, who purchased Seagram's in 1928...

, whose son Edgar, Jr.
Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Edgar Miles Bronfman, Jr. , is the Chairman of Warner Music Group. He previously served as CEO of the company from 2004 to 2011. In May, 2011, the sale of WMG was announced; Bronfman would continued as CEO in the transaction. In August 2011, he became Chairman of the company as Stephen Cooper...

 would later buy Universal Studios
Universal Studios
Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

. Two years later, an increasingly unprofitable MGM was bought by Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 millionaire Kirk Kerkorian
Kirk Kerkorian
Kerkor "Kirk" Kerkorian is an American businessman who is the president/CEO of Tracinda Corporation, his private holding company based in Beverly Hills, California. Kerkorian is known as one of the important figures in shaping Las Vegas and, with architect Martin Stern, Jr...

. What appealed to Kerkorian was MGM's Culver City real estate, and the value of 45 years' worth of glamour associated with the name, which he attached to a Las Vegas hotel and casino
Casino
In modern English, a casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions...

. As for film-making, that part of the company was quickly and severely downsized
Layoff
Layoff , also called redundancy in the UK, is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or a group of employees for business reasons, such as when certain positions are no longer necessary or when a business slow-down occurs...

 under the supervision of James T. Aubrey, Jr.
James Thomas Aubrey, Jr.
James Thomas Aubrey, Jr. was a leading American television and film executive. President of the CBS television network during the early 1960s, he put some of television's most enduring series on the air, including Gilligan's Island and The Beverly Hillbillies...

 With changes in its business model including fewer pictures per year, more location shooting and more distribution of independent productions, MGM's operations were rationalized. Aubrey sold off MGM's accumulation of props, furnishings and historical memorabilia, including a pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers
Ruby slippers
The ruby slippers are the shoes worn by Dorothy in the 1939 MGM movie The Wizard of Oz. Because of their iconic stature, they are now among the most treasured and valuable of film memorabilia. As was customary for important props, a number of pairs were made for the film, though no one knows...

 from The Wizard of Oz. Lot 3, 40 acres (161,874.4 m²) of back-lot property was sold off for real-estate development.

Through the 1970s studio output slowed considerably—Aubrey preferred four or five medium-budget pictures each year, along with a smattering of low-budget fare. With the decline in output, Kerkorian closed MGM's sales and distribution offices in 1973 and outsourced those functions to United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

. Kerkorian now distanced himself from the operations of the studio, focusing on his casino properties. Another portion of the back lot was sold in 1974. The last shooting done on the backlot
Backlot
A backlot is an area behind or adjoining a movie studio, containing permanent exterior buildings for outdoor scenes in filmmaking or television productions, or space for temporary set construction....

 was the introductory material for That's Entertainment!
That's Entertainment!
That's Entertainment! is a 1974 compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate its 50th anniversary. It was followed by two sequels and a related film called That's Dancing!....

 a retrospective documentary that became a surprise hit for the studio. The MGM Recording Studios
Cherokee Studios
Cherokee Studios was a recording facility in Hollywood, founded in 1972 and closed in August 2007 to make way for a new building, after 35 years of operation under the Cherokee name as a well-renowned studio...

 were sold in 1975.

In 1979, Kerkorian declared that MGM was now primarily a hotel company. The company hit a symbolic low point in 1980 when David Begelman
David Begelman
David Begelman was a Hollywood producer who was involved in a studio embezzlement scandal in the 1970s.-Agent and studio head:...

, earlier let go by Columbia following the discovery of his acts of forgery and embezzlement, was installed as MGM's President and CEO. Kerkorian did, however, commit to increased production and an expanded film library when he bought United Artists
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 in 1981.

MGM/UA, Turner, and Parretti

The "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" lettering on the studio's logo
Leo the Lion (MGM)
Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss....

 was changed to reflect their acquisition of UA, now reading "MGM/UA Entertainment Co."—the new name for the company.

In 1986, Ted Turner
Ted Turner
Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the cable news network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television...

 bought MGM/UA; changing the name to "MGM Entertainment Co.". But due to concerns in the financial community over the debt-load of his companies, on October 17, 1986 he was forced to sell MGM back to Kerkorian for approximately $780 million USD ($480 million for United Artists and $300 million for the MGM logo) after only 74 days of ownership.

Turner retained the one MGM asset he really craved, the MGM film and television library (excepting most shows produced by UA itself and its predecessor Ziv Television Programs
Ziv Television Programs
Ziv Television Programs, Inc. was an American television syndication and production company, producer of popular syndicated TV programs in the 1950s.- History :...

, with Gilligan's Island
Gilligan's Island
Gilligan's Island is an American television series created and produced by Sherwood Schwartz and originally produced by United Artists Television. The situation comedy series featured Bob Denver; Alan Hale, Jr.; Jim Backus; Natalie Schafer; Tina Louise; Russell Johnson; and Dawn Wells. It aired for...

 going to Turner). Kerkorian got United Artists and the rights to the MGM name and trademark. The venerable Culver City lot, home to MGM and its predecessor since 1918, was sold to Lorimar-Telepictures
Lorimar-Telepictures
Lorimar-Telepictures was a production and television syndication firm established in 1986 with the merger of Lorimar and Telepictures until both TV divisions became separate in 1988...

, a television production company. The lot has since become Sony Pictures Studios
Sony Pictures Studios
The Sony Pictures Studios are a television and film studio complex located in Culver City, California at 10202 West Washington Boulevard and bounded by Culver Boulevard , Washington Boulevard , Overland Avenue and Madison Avenue...

.

How much of MGM's back catalog Turner actually obtained was a point of conflict for a time; eventually it was determined that Turner owned all of the pre-May 1986 MGM library, as well as the pre-1950 Warner Bros. catalog, the Popeye
Popeye
Popeye the Sailor is a cartoon fictional character created by Elzie Crisler Segar, who has appeared in comic strips and animated cartoons in the cinema as well as on television. He first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929...

 cartoons released by Paramount (both the pre-1950 WB library and Popeye cartoons were sold to Associated Artists Productions
Associated Artists Productions
Associated Artists Productions was a distributor of theatrical feature films and short subjects for television. It existed from 1953 to 1958. It was later folded into United Artists. The former a.a.p. library was later owned by MGM/UA Entertainment and then Turner Entertainment. Turner continues...

, which was later bought by United Artists), the US/Canadian rights to the RKO library, and a good share of United Artists's own back list.

Turner began broadcasting MGM films through his Turner Network Television, and caused a controversy when he began "colorizing
Film colorization
Film colorization is any process that adds color to black-and-white, sepia or monochrome moving-picture images. It may be done as a special effect, or to modernize black-and-white films, or to restore color films...

" many black and white classics. After Kerkorian reclaimed MGM, the MGM/UA name continued to be utilized, but it changed its name to MGM/UA Communications Co., now using MGM and UA as separate brands.

In July of 1988, Kerkorian announced plans to split MGM and UA into separate studios. Under this deal, Kerkorian, which owned 82% of MGM/UA Communications, would have sold 25% of MGM to Barris Industries (controlled by producers Burt Sugarman
Burt Sugarman
Burt Sugarman is an American television producer best known for producing the 1970s game show Celebrity Sweepstakes, and The Richard Pryor Show.He also produced The Midnight Special and The Wizard of Odds in the 1970s....

, Jon Peters
Jon Peters
Jon Peters is an American movie producer.-Early life:Peters was born John H. Peters in Van Nuys, California, the son of Helen , a receptionist, and Jack Peters, a cook...

, and Peter Guber
Peter Guber
Howard Peter Guber is an American film producer and executive and Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment...

). The proposition to spin-off MGM was called off a few weeks later.

In 1990, the Italian financier, Giancarlo Parretti
Giancarlo Parretti
Giancarlo Parretti is an Italian financier.In 1989, he took over Cannon Film Group Inc. from Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. Almost immediately, he made plans to take over the storied French studio Pathé, and changed Cannon's name to Pathé Communications...

, announced that he was about to buy MGM/UA. Although the French government had scuttled Parretti's bid to buy Pathé
Pathé
Pathé or Pathé Frères is the name of various French businesses founded and originally run by the Pathé Brothers of France.-History:...

 due to concerns about his character, background and past dealings, Parretti got backing from Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais
Crédit Lyonnais is a historic French bank. In the early 1990s it was the largest French bank, majority state-owned at that point. Crédit Lyonnais was the subject of poor management during that period which almost led to its bankruptcy in 1993...

 and bought MGM/UA from Kirk Kerkorian. He then merged it with his Pathé Communications Group (formerly Cannon Group, a distributor that Parretti had renamed before his aborted bid for Pathé) to form MGM–Pathe Communications Co. The well-respected executive, Alan Ladd, Jr.
Alan Ladd, Jr.
Alan Ladd, Jr. is an American film industry executive and producer. He is famous for giving George Lucas the go-ahead to make Star Wars and remained as Lucas' only support at times when the Board of Directors wished to shut down production...

, a former President of MGM/UA, was brought on board as CEO of MGM in 1991. However the same year Parretti's ownership dissolved in a flurry of lawsuits and a default by Crédit Lyonnais, and Parretti faced securities
Security (finance)
A security is generally a fungible, negotiable financial instrument representing financial value. Securities are broadly categorized into:* debt securities ,* equity securities, e.g., common stocks; and,...

 fraud charges in the United States and Europe. On the verge of bankruptcy and failure, Crédit Lyonnais took full control of MGM–Pathé and converted its name back to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The bank fired Ladd and replaced him with former Paramount executive Frank Mancuso, Sr. and former Warner Bros. executive John Calley (as United Artists head). As part of his exit package Ladd took some of the top properties, including Braveheart
Braveheart
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical drama war film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. The film was written for the screen and then novelized by Randall Wallace...

.

Because of the way they had acquired control of the company, Crédit Lyonnais soon put the studio up for sale, with the highest bidder being Kirk Kerkorian. Now the owner of MGM for the third time, Kerkorian's deal with Mancuso quickly angered John Calley, who quit United Artists and was named head of Sony. By selling a portion of the studio to Australia's Seven Network
Seven Network
The Seven Network is an Australian television network owned by Seven West Media Limited. It dates back to 4 November 1956, when the first stations on the VHF7 frequency were established in Melbourne and Sydney.It is currently the second largest network in the country in terms of population reach...

, Kerkorian was able to convince Wall Street that a revived MGM was worthy of a place on the stock market, where it languished until he sold the company to a group of hedge funds tied to Sony, which wanted to control the studio library to promote the Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 format.

1997–2001: MGM restructures

On April 11, 1997, MGM bought Metromedia
Metromedia
Metromedia was a media company that owned radio and television stations in the United States from 1956 to 1986 and owned Orion Pictures from 1986-1997.- Overview :...

's film subsidiaries (Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures
Orion Pictures Corporation was an American independent production company that produced movies from 1978 until 1998. It was formed in 1978 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. and three former top-level executives of United Artists. Although it was never a large motion picture producer, Orion...

, The Samuel Goldwyn Company
The Samuel Goldwyn Company
The Samuel Goldwyn Company was an independent film company founded by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., the son of the famous Hollywood mogul, Samuel Goldwyn, in 1979.-Background:...

, and the Motion Picture Corporation of America
Motion Picture Corporation of America
Motion Picture Corporation of America is an American film production company founded by Brad Krevoy in 1986 to focus on producing, acquiring, and distributing commercial motion picture and television productions.-History:...

) for US$573 million, substantially enlarging its library of films and television series and acquiring additional production capacity. The deal closed in July of that year. This catalog, along with the James Bond
James Bond (film series)
The James Bond film series is a British series of motion pictures based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond , who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming's novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines...

 franchise, was considered to be MGM's primary asset. In the same year, MGM's long-running cable television series, Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1 is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 feature film Stargate by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich...

, first aired.

In 2000, MGM changed the way it distributed its products internationally. MGM had until that time distributed its films internationally through United International Pictures
United International Pictures
United International Pictures is a joint venture of Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios , to distribute some of the two studios' films theatrically outside the United States , Canada, and the Anglophone...

 (UIP), a joint venture of MGM, Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. UIP was accused by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 of being an illegal cartel
Cartel
A cartel is a formal agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production. Cartels usually occur in an oligopolistic industry, where there is a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products...

, and effective November 2000 MGM severed its ties with UIP and distributed films internationally through 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

.

Consortium ownership and financial troubles

Many of MGM's competitors started to make bids to purchase the studio, beginning with Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

. It was not unexpected that Time Warner would bid, since the largest shareholder in the company was Ted Turner. His Turner Entertainment
Turner Entertainment
Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. is an American media company founded by Ted Turner. Now owned by Time Warner, the company is largely responsible for overseeing its library for worldwide distribution Turner Entertainment Company, Inc. (commonly known as Turner Entertainment Co.) is an American...

 Group had risen to success in part through its ownership of the pre-May 1986 MGM library. After a short period of negotiation with MGM, Time Warner was unsuccessful. The leading bidder proved to be Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America
Sony Corporation of America , based in New York, is the United States subsidiary of Japan's Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo. It is the umbrella company under which all Sony companies operate in the United States....

, backed by Comcast and private equity firms Texas Pacific Group
Texas Pacific Group
TPG Capital is one of the largest private equity investment firms globally, focused on leveraged buyout, growth capital and leveraged recapitalization investments in distressed companies and turnaround situations. TPG also manages investment funds specializing in growth capital, venture capital,...

 (now TPG Capital, L.P.), DLJ and Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners is a global private equity investment firm focused on media, entertainment, communications and information investments...

. Sony's primary goal was to ensure Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 support at MGM; cost synergies with Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. is the television and film production/distribution unit of Japanese multinational technology and media conglomerate Sony...

 were secondary. Time Warner made a counter-bid (which Ted Turner reportedly tried to block), but on September 13, 2004, Sony increased its bid of US$11.25/share (roughly $4.7 billion) to $12/share ($5 billion), and Time Warner subsequently withdrew its bid of $11/share ($4.5 billion). MGM and Sony agreed on a purchase price of nearly $5 billion, of which about $2 billion was to pay off MGM debt http://money.cnn.com/2004/09/13/news/fortune500/twx_mgm/?cnn=yes http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=582625§ion=finance. From 2005–2006, the Columbia
Columbia Pictures
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

 TriStar
TriStar Pictures
TriStar Pictures, Inc. is an American film production/distribution studio and subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, itself a subdivision of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which is owned by Sony Pictures...

 Motion Picture Group has domestically distributed films by MGM and UA.

MGM announced that it would return as a theatrical distribution company. MGM negotiated and struck deals with The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company is an American film studio founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 2005 after the brothers left the then-Disney-owned Miramax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979...

, Lakeshore Entertainment
Lakeshore Entertainment
Lakeshore Entertainment Group is an American independent film production company founded in 1994 by Tom Rosenberg and Ted Tannebaum . Lakeshore Entertainment is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California...

, Bauer Martinez, and many other independent studios, and then announced its plans to release 14 feature films for 2006 and early 2007. MGM also hoped to increase the amount to over 20 by 2007. Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin, renamed for the German/USA DVDs as Lucky # Slevin , is a 2006 crime thriller film written by Jason Smilovic, directed by Paul McGuigan and starring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, and Lucy Liu...

, released April 7, was the first film released under the new MGM era. Other recent films under the MGM/Weinstein deal include Clerks II
Clerks II
Clerks II is a 2006 American comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, sequel to his 1994 film Clerks, and his sixth and latest feature film to be set in the View Askewniverse...

 and Bobby
Bobby (2006 film)
Bobby is a 2006 American drama film written and directed by Emilio Estevez. The screenplay is a fictionalized account of the hours leading up to the June 5, 1968 shooting of United States Senator from New York and former U.S. Attorney General Robert F...

. Upon the MGM/Weinstein films' release on home video, however, full distribution rights revert to Weinstein (under Genius Products
Genius Products
Genius Products was an entertainment company based in Santa Monica, California, United States.On December 5, 2005, Genius Products, Inc. announced a distribution joint venture with The Weinstein Company called Genius Products, LLC, with Weinstein holding a 70% stake...

).

On May 31, 2006 MGM announced that it would transfer its home video output
MGM Home Entertainment
MGM Home Entertainment is the home video and DVD arm of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.-History:The home video division of MGM started in 1979 as MGM Home Video, releasing all the movies and TV shows by MGM. In 1980, MGM joined forces with CBS Video Enterprises, the home video division of the CBS television...

 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the home video distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation. It was established in November 1979 as Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment, releasing 20 titles: The Anderson Tapes, Bell, Book and Candle, Born Free, Breakout,...

 to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is the home video distribution arm of the 20th Century Fox film studio. It was established in 1976 as Magnetic Video Corporation, and later as 20th Century Fox Video, CBS/Fox Video and FoxVideo, Inc....

 (excepting co-productions with Columbia or TriStar, such as EON Productions' James Bond franchise where Sony is a majority partner).

MGM also announced plans to restructure its worldwide television distribution operation. In addition MGM signed a deal with New Line Television
New Line Television
New Line Television was the television arm of the company of the same name, in turn a subsidiary of Time Warner.The company was founded in 1988 in order to produce Freddy's Nightmares, a television series based on the studio's popular Nightmare on Elm Street film series...

 in which MGM would handle New Line's U.S. film and series television syndication packages. MGM served as New Line's barter sales rep in the television arena until 2008.

On November 2, 2006, producer/actor Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
Thomas Cruise Mapother IV , better known as Tom Cruise, is an American film actor and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and he has won three Golden Globe Awards....

 and his production partner, Paula Wagner
Paula Wagner
Paula Wagner is an American film producer and film executive.-Early career:Wagner began her career at Creative Artists Agency. In 1993 she launched Cruise/Wagner Productions with her former CAA client Tom Cruise. C/W's first film, Mission: Impossible, was an international hit that brought the...

, signed an agreement with MGM to run United Artists. Wagner will serve as United Artists' chief executive. Cruise will produce and star in films for UA and MGM will distribute the movies.

Over the next several years, MGM launched a number of initiatives in distribution and the use of new technology and media as well as joint ventures to promote and sell its products. In April 2007, it was announced that MGM movies would be able to be downloaded through Apple's iTunes
ITunes
iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad....

 service, with MGM bringing an estimated 100 of its existing movies to iTunes service, the California-based computer company revealed. The list of movies included the likes of modern features such as Rocky
Rocky
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

, Ronin
Ronin (film)
Ronin is a 1998 action-thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer and written by J.D. Zeik and David Mamet. It stars Robert De Niro and Jean Reno as two of several former special forces and intelligence agents who team up to steal a mysterious, heavily guarded suitcase while navigating a maze of...

, Mad Max
Mad Max
Mad Max is a 1979 Australian dystopian action film directed by George Miller and revised by Miller and Byron Kennedy over the original script by James McCausland. The film stars Mel Gibson, who was unknown at the time. Its narrative based around the traditional western genre, Mad Max tells a story...

 and Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 epic western film directed by and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells the story of a Union Army Lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find a military post, and his dealings with a...

, along with more golden-era classics such as Lilies of the Field and The Great Train Robbery
The First Great Train Robbery
The First Great Train Robbery — known in the U.S. as The Great Train Robbery — is a 1979 film directed by Michael Crichton, who also wrote the screenplay based on his novel The Great Train Robbery...

. In October, the company launched MGM HD
MGM HD
MGM HD is an all high-definition television channel. It features commercial-free movies from MGM's library of approximately 1,200 movies mastered in a high-definition-compatible format as well as feature films from their library of 4,100 theatrical titles...

 on DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

, offering a library of movies formatted in Hi Def. Also in 2007, MGM sold its distribution rights for countries outside of the United States to 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

. MGM teamed up with Weigel Broadcasting
Weigel Broadcasting
Weigel Broadcasting is an American locally based television broadcasting company. The company is based in downtown Chicago, Illinois, alongside its flagship station WCIU-TV , at the apt address of 26 North Halsted Street in the Greektown neighborhood.- History :The company was founded by Chicago...

 to launch a new channel titled This TV
This TV
This TV is a United States general entertainment television network, with a large emphasis in its programming on movies....

 on November 1, 2008. On August 12, 2008, MGM teamed up with Comcast
Comcast
Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

 to launch a new video-on-demand network titled Impact. On November 10, 2008, MGM announced that it will release full length films on YouTube.

As of mid-2009, MGM had US$3.7 billion in debt, and interest payments alone totalled $250 million a year. MGM earns approximately $500 million a year on income from its extensive film and television library, but the economic recession is reported to have reduced this income substantially.

Whether MGM could avoid voluntary or involuntary bankrupty had been a topic of much discussion in the film industry. MGM had to repay a US$250 million line of credit in April 2010, a US$1 billion loan in June 2011, and its remaining US$2.7 billion in loans in 2012. In May 2009, MGM's auditor gave the company a clean bill of health, concluding it was still on track to meet its debt obligations. At that time, the company was negotiating with its creditors to either extend the debt repayment deadlines or engage in a debt-for-equity swap. Industry observers, however, questioned whether MGM could avoid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing
Chapter 11, Title 11, United States Code
Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most...

 under any circumstances, and concluded that any failure to conclude the negotiations must trigger a filing. MGM and its United Artists subsidiary now produce very few films each year, and it was widely believed that MGM's solvency will depend on the box office performance of these films (especially its upcoming 23rd James Bond film). There was some indication that Relativity Media
Relativity Media
Relativity Media is an American independent motion picture production and investment company based in West Hollywood, California.- Company :...

 and its financial backer, Elliott Associates (a hedge fund
Hedge fund
A hedge fund is a private pool of capital actively managed by an investment adviser. Hedge funds are only open for investment to a limited number of accredited or qualified investors who meet criteria set by regulators. These investors can be institutions, such as pension funds, university...

 based in New York), had been acquiring MGM debt in an attempt to force the company into involuntary bankruptcy.

On August 17, 2009, chief executive officer Harry E. Sloan stepped down and MGM hired Stephen F. Cooper as its new CEO, a corporate executive who guided Enron
Enron
Enron Corporation was an American energy, commodities, and services company based in Houston, Texas. Before its bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, Enron employed approximately 22,000 staff and was one of the world's leading electricity, natural gas, communications, and pulp and paper companies, with...

 through its post-2001 bankruptcy and oversaw the restructuring and growth of Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme is the name of an international chain of doughnut stores that was founded by Vernon Rudolph in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The parent company of Krispy Kreme is Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc...

 in 2005. Expectations were that Cooper was hired to act quickly on MGM's debt problems. On October 1, 2009, the studio's new leadership negotiated a forbearance
Forbearance
In the context of a mortgage process, forbearance is a special agreement between the lender and the borrower to delay a foreclosure. The literal meaning of forbearance is “holding back.”...

 agreement with its creditors under which interest payments due from September to November 2009 did not have to be paid until December 15, 2009.

Attempted sale and bankruptcy protection

After being installed in August 2009 as MGM's new CEO, Stephen Cooper tried to convince MGM's lenders that they should restructure the company's long-term debt in order to allow the studio to continue with its current business model. The lenders refused to do so and argued that a sale was the only way to recoup their investment. Cooper agreed to conduct an auction to gauge the level of interest by potential buyers and the value of the assets for sale.

On November 12, 2009, MGM announced it was "beginning a process to explore various strategic alternatives including operating as a standalone entity, forming strategic partnerships and evaluating a potential sale of the company." Alternatives the company was exploring included the sale of the company or merger with another media firm, or an asset auction, which could've included the sale of its 4,000-title film and television library, the company logo, rights to the James Bond franchise
James Bond (film series)
The James Bond film series is a British series of motion pictures based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond , who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming's novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines...

, and half-ownership in the two Hobbit films (part one now due for release December 14, 2012 and part two December 13, 2013). The studio also held out the possibility of gaining a large influx of cash from new investors, although industry analysts believed that alternative was unlikely to happen. Some industry analysts said sale of the studio could net $1.5 billion to $3 billion. Others pegged the value at between $2 billion to $2.5 billion. Potential buyers include Time Warner (which already owns the pre-May 1986 MGM library, has enough cash reserves, and is co-producing the Hobbit films with MGM), Qualia Capital (a private equity fund
Private equity fund
A private equity fund is a collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity....

 led by Hollywood producer Amir Malin), 20th Century Fox (MGM's home entertainment distributor), and Lionsgate.

MGM also announced that its creditors agreed to a forbearance on the company's debt payments originally until January 31, 2010, but the forbearance was extended to March 31, 2010.

As of early December 2009, 16 companies had expressed interest in purchasing all or parts of MGM, although only two had actually negotiated a confidentiality agreement that would allow them to examine MGM's financial statements. The Hollywood Reporter said Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate were the leading suitors for the company. Industry observers worried, however, that buyers might only bid on a few of MGM's assets such as the James Bond film franchise or The Hobbit film which would draw bids of less than $1 billion. At least one industry trade publication said creditors would accept offers amounting to $2 billion for parts or all of the studio. Even a bid or bids totalling $1.8 billion might be accepted, industry observers said, if the buyer agreed to "schmuck insurance" (the right to convert debt to equity, under certain conditions and time-frames). On December 18, press reports said that News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

's 20th Century Fox film studio had been interested in purchasing MGM, but that News Corp. could not agree to the "restrictive" terms of MGM's nondisclosure agreement, which (in part) do not permit potential buyers to speak with MGM's creditors. The strict terms of the nondisclosure agreement also led two other potential buyers to refuse to participate, and several others were negotiating over the terms and unable to participate in the process. The due diligence process was "going slowly" one trade publication reported, with only four of the potential 20 companies participating as of December 18.

MGM originally set Friday, January 15, as the deadline to receive bids from the companies interested in acquiring the studio. However, fewer bids than expected were made. Reliance Entertainment, which has a joint venture with DreamWorks
DreamWorks
DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming...

, joined the bidding on the deadline date. News Corp. reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement on or about January 15, and was considering a bid. On January 17, the New York Times reported that bids had been received from Time Warner, Lionsgate, and a few smaller companies but that most of the offers were below the $2 billion minimum. Some of the bids may have been below $1 billion, and nearly all the bids would require MGM to file for bankruptcy first and shed its debt obligations. But the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

 said sources believed most bids were within the $1.5 to $2 billion range. Barclays Capital
Barclays Capital
Barclays Capital is a global British investment bank. It is the investment banking division of Barclays plc which has a balance sheet of over £1.2 trillion . Barclays Capital provides financing and risk management services to large companies, institutions and government clients. It is a primary...

, a British investment bank
Investment banking
An investment bank is a financial institution that assists individuals, corporations and governments in raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client's agent in the issuance of securities...

, was quoted as saying, "We find it unlikely that MGM's creditors would cleanly agree to a sale price materially below $2bn." Time Warner, one media source reported, is seen by industry observers as the leading bidder since it already owns much of the MGM library and has large cash reserves. Qualia Capital, previously thought to be a potential bidder, has suggested that MGM's creditors could avoid forcing the studio into bankruptcy by agreeing to transform $500 million of debt into company stock (which would provide MGM with a cash infusion as well as eliminate a substantial portion of debt). By January 23, bids from Relativity Media
Relativity Media
Relativity Media is an American independent motion picture production and investment company based in West Hollywood, California.- Company :...

 (about $1.6 billion) and Reliance Entertainment (about $1.8 billion) were received as well. Six days later, MGM extended its deadline to March 31, and by the next day, News Corporation suggested that the company should offer MGM some cash to keep the company running.

A few days later, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes stated that he was interested in MGM, but didn't need to be in any deals, but stated that they would think about it. At the same time, News Corporation announced that they were kicked out of the bidding after CEO Rupert Murdoch stated that he was being outbid by the other bidders, and later considered buying the now-defunct Miramax Films
Miramax Films
Miramax Films is an American entertainment company known for distributing independent and foreign films. For its first 14 years the company was privately owned by its founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein...

 from Disney. Later, other bidders began bidding on Miramax and Liberty Media's Overture Films
Overture Films
Overture Films, LLC is an American film production and distribution company. It is a subsidiary of Liberty Media ....

 as well, which their respective owners have put up for bidding.

MGM stated in February 2010 that the studio would likely be sold in the next 4 months, and that its latest film, Hot Tub Time Machine
Hot Tub Time Machine
Hot Tub Time Machine is a 2010 American science fiction adult comedy film directed by Steve Pink. Four men, all of them bored with their adult lives, travel back to their 1980s teen-hood, courtesy of a time-shifting hot tub. It stars John Cusack, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Kellee Stewart, Rob...

, may be one of the last four films to bear the MGM name. However, some stated that the company may continue as a label for new James Bond productions, as well as other movie properties culled from the MGM library. A few weeks later, MGM set March 19 as a deadline to receive bids from companies interested in acquiring the studio, including Time Warner and Lionsgate, although Time Warner was considered the most likely to buy the studio since its Warner Bros. catalog already included all the pre-1986 MGM titles originally acquired by Ted Turner.

On December 2, 2010, the Federal Bankruptcy Court approved MGM's Chapter 11 reorganization plan. On December 17, 2010, the company laid off about 50 staff members.

Post-bankruptcy

On December 20, 2010, MGM executives announced that the studio had emerged from bankruptcy. Spyglass partners Gary Barber
Gary Barber
Gary Barber is a film producer who is a co-founder and co-CEO of Spyglass Entertainment and co-CEO of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.-Filmography:His production credits include:*Reign of Fire*Shanghai Noon*Bruce Almighty*Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls*The Recruit...

 and Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum
Roger Birnbaum is an American film producer who owns the company Spyglass Entertainment and is co-CEO and co-Chairman of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.Birnbaum was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he graduated from Teaneck High School...

 became co-Chairs and co-CEOs of the studio.

After MGM emerged from bankruptcy, on December 23, 2010, MGM named Ann Mather, the ex-Pixar CFO to head MGM's new board of directors. On December 29, 2010, MGM signed a new lease with New York-based group George Comfort & Sons for a 6-story building in the corner of 235–269 N. Beverly Drive that was intended to be the new headquarters for William Morris Agency. MGM will be leaving its old headquarters in Century City.

On January 4, 2011, MGM and Weigel Broadcasting announced plans to distribute MeTV
MeTV
Me-TV is a television network owned by Weigel Broadcasting and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that airs classic television sitcoms, dramas and classic commercials from the 1950s through the 1980s. The network is a sister network to This TV...

 nationwide.

On February 2, 2011, MGM named Jonathan Glickman
Jonathan Glickman
Jonathan Glickman is an American film producer and the President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Picutres Film Division.-Personal life and education:...

 to be the film president of MGM. Six days later, MGM was finalizing a distribution deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to handle distribution of its 4,000 films and DVDs worldwide and on digital platforms, including the two upcoming Bond films: Skyfall and Bond 24. There were four studios who were bidding on the Bond distribution rights: Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

, Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and Columbia Pictures. Paramount was the first studio who dropped out of the Bond bidding. With the deal finalized on April 13, 2011, Sony will also distribute MGM's completed films: Red Dawn and The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods
The Cabin in the Woods is an upcoming American tongue-in-cheek thriller-horror film, co-written and directed by Drew Goddard and co-written and produced by Joss Whedon. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Amy Acker.-Plot:...

. MGM is also interested to co-finance SPE's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an upcoming English-language drama thriller film that is the second film based on the Swedish novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The first film was the 2009 Swedish-language adaptation. The upcoming film is written by Steven Zaillian and directed by David...

, the Spider-Man reboot film titled The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012 film)
The Amazing Spider-Man is an upcoming American superhero film based on the comic book of the same name that is currently in post-production. It is the fourth Columbia Pictures film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man and the first film in a rebooted Spider-Man film franchise. The film...

, and other films that are in production and headed to production. 20th Century Fox's deal with MGM handling its library distribution worldwide was set to expire in September 2011. However, the deal was renewed and extended on April 14, 2011 and will expire in 2016.

MGM is finally moving forward with several upcoming projects, including remakes of RoboCop
RoboCop
RoboCop is a 1987 American science fiction-action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future, RoboCop centers on a police officer who is brutally murdered and subsequently re-created as a super-human cyborg known as "RoboCop"...

 and Poltergeist, and released their first post-bankruptcy film Zookeeper
Zookeeper (film)
Zookeeper is a 2011 comedy film starring Kevin James, and featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, Don Rickles, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Cher and Faizon Love. The film contains computer animation, is produced by Sandler's production company, Happy Madison, and is...

 that was co-distributed by Columbia Pictures on July 8th, 2011.

The MGM library

Currently, the Turner Entertainment Co. unit of Time Warner owns the rights to nearly all of the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television library, with Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 handling distribution. Turner acquired the MGM library during its brief ownership of the company in 1986. For some time after the sale, MGM continued to handle home video distribution of its films; those rights were reassigned to Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video
Warner Home Video is the home video unit of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., itself part of Time Warner. It was founded in 1978 as WCI Home Video . The company launched in the United States with twenty films on VHS and Betamax videocassettes in late 1979...

 in 1999.

Through its purchases of many different companies and film and television libraries, MGM has greatly enhanced its film and TV holdings.

Material owned by MGM

  • Nearly all of its own film and television library from May 23, 1986 starting with the film Poltergeist II: The Other Side
    Poltergeist II: The Other Side
    Poltergeist II: The Other Side is a 1986 horror film. A sequel to Poltergeist, it features the return of the original's family and once again sees a spirit trying to harm their daughter, Carol Anne. It received mixed reviews from critics and did not gross as much at the box office as its...

    ;
  • Most of the post-November 1952 United Artists
    United Artists
    United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

     catalog (although it also includes a tiny fraction of pre-December 1952 UA material);
    • The 1956 film Moby Dick
      Moby Dick (1956 film)
      Moby Dick is a 1956 film adaptation of Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick. It was directed by John Huston with a screenplay by Ray Bradbury and the director. The film starred Gregory Peck, Richard Basehart, and Leo Genn...

      , which was originally released by WB, but was sold to a.a.p. However, even after Turner's purchase of the a.a.p. library in 1986, it remained under the ownership of UA.
    • Interestingly, MGM still owns some control to a film the studio made before 1986. MGM co-financed Network
      Network (film)
      Network is a 1976 American satirical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about a fictional television network, Union Broadcasting System , and its struggle with poor ratings. The film was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet...

       (1976) with UA, with both companies sharing the copyright. As a result of the transactions mentioned above, the film is now copyrighted by both MGM and Turner.
  • The post-1981 Orion Pictures
    Orion Pictures
    Orion Pictures Corporation was an American independent production company that produced movies from 1978 until 1998. It was formed in 1978 as a joint venture between Warner Bros. and three former top-level executives of United Artists. Although it was never a large motion picture producer, Orion...

     film and television library (with the exceptions of Amadeus
    Amadeus (film)
    Amadeus is a 1984 period drama film directed by Miloš Forman and written by Peter Shaffer. Adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus, the story is based loosely on the lives of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, two composers who lived in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the...

     and Lionheart
    Lionheart (1987 film)
    Lionheart is a 1987 adventure film directed by Academy Award-winner Franklin J. Schaffner...

     which are now distributed by Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

    )
    • The Filmways
      Filmways
      Filmways, Inc. was a television and film production company founded by American film executive Martin Ransohoff in 1958...

       library (except distribution of The Beverly Hillbillies
      The Beverly Hillbillies
      The Beverly Hillbillies is an American situation comedy originally broadcast for nine seasons on CBS from 1962 to 1971, starring Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, and Max Baer, Jr....

       and Petticoat Junction
      Petticoat Junction
      Petticoat Junction is an American situation comedy produced by Filmways which originally aired on CBS from 1963 to 1970. The series is one of three interrelated shows about rural characters created by Paul Henning; the others are The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres.The setting for the series...

      , currently handled by CBS Television Distribution
      CBS Television Distribution
      CBS Television Distribution is a global television distribution company, formed from the merger of CBS Corporation's two domestic television distribution arms CBS Paramount Domestic Television and King World Productions, including its home entertainment arm CBS Home Entertainment...

      );
      • The American International Pictures
        American International Pictures
        American International Pictures was a film production company formed in April 1956 from American Releasing Corporation by James H. Nicholson, former Sales Manager of Realart Pictures, and Samuel Z. Arkoff, an entertainment lawyer...

         library (except early films and Godzilla films);
      • The Heatter-Quigley Productions
        Heatter-Quigley Productions
        Heatter-Quigley Productions was an American television production company that was launched in 1960 by two former television writers, Merrill Heatter and Bob Quigley....

         library;
    • The pre-1997 The Samuel Goldwyn Company
      The Samuel Goldwyn Company
      The Samuel Goldwyn Company was an independent film company founded by Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., the son of the famous Hollywood mogul, Samuel Goldwyn, in 1979.-Background:...

       library;
    • The pre-1996 Motion Picture Corporation of America
      Motion Picture Corporation of America
      Motion Picture Corporation of America is an American film production company founded by Brad Krevoy in 1986 to focus on producing, acquiring, and distributing commercial motion picture and television productions.-History:...

       library (excluding co-productions with other studios such as Dumb and Dumber with New Line Cinema
      New Line Cinema
      New Line Cinema, often simply referred to as New Line, is an American film studio. It was founded in 1967 by Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne as a film distributor, later becoming an independent film studio. It became a subsidiary of Time Warner in 1996 and was merged with larger sister studio Warner...

      );
    • In regards to the 1991 film version of The Addams Family
      The Addams Family (film)
      The Addams Family is a 1991 American black comedy film based on the characters from the cartoon of the same name created by cartoonist Charles Addams....

      , MGM only owns the international rights, as Orion had sold North American rights to Paramount Pictures
      Paramount Pictures
      Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film production and distribution company, located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. Founded in 1912 and currently owned by media conglomerate Viacom, it is America's oldest existing film studio; it is also the last major film studio still...

       due to Orion's bankruptcy.
  • The theatrical rights to most of the ITV Global Entertainment
    Granada Productions
    Granada Productions was a British commercial television production and distribution company. The company took its name from the successful ITV franchise, Granada Television....

     catalog, including their inherited Granada International and ITC Entertainment
    ITC Entertainment
    The Incorporated Television Company was a British television company largely involved in production and distribution. It was founded by Lew Grade.-History:...

     (The Return of the Pink Panther
    The Return of the Pink Panther
    The Return of the Pink Panther is the fourth film in the Pink Panther series, released in 1975. The film stars Peter Sellers in the role of Inspector Clouseau in his third Panther appearance, after the original The Pink Panther and A Shot in the Dark.Herbert Lom also reprises his role as Chief...

    , Capricorn One
    Capricorn One
    Capricorn One is a 1977 science fiction thriller movie about a Mars landing hoax. It was written and directed by Peter Hyams and produced by Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment. It stars James Brolin, Sam Waterston and O. J...

    , On Golden Pond
    On Golden Pond (1981 film)
    On Golden Pond is a 1981 American drama film directed by Mark Rydell. The screenplay by Ernest Thompson was adapted from his 1979 play of the same title. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award in what was his final film role. Co-star Katharine Hepburn also received an Oscar, as did Thompson for his...

    , etc.) libraries;
  • Most of the Cannon Films library (King Solomon's Mines
    King Solomon's Mines (1985 film)
    King Solomon's Mines is a 1985 action and adventure film loosely based on the novel King Solomon's Mines by H. Rider Haggard. It stars Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, Herbert Lom and John Rhys-Davies. It was adapted by Gene Quintano and James R. Silke and directed by J. Lee Thompson...

    , That Championship Season
    That Championship Season (1982 film)
    That Championship Season is Jason Miller's 1982 film version of his 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway play of the same name. It stars Robert Mitchum, Martin Sheen, Bruce Dern, Stacy Keach and Paul Sorvino and was filmed on location in Scranton, Pennsylvania where it is set.In 1999, Sorvino...

    , etc., with a few exceptions, including films distributed by/co-produced with Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros.
    Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

    , the television rights to Lifeforce
    Lifeforce (film)
    Lifeforce is a 1985 science fiction film directed by Tobe Hooper from a screenplay by Dan O'Bannon and Don Jakoby, from the novel The Space Vampires, published in 1976, by Colin Wilson.-Plot:...

    —those stand with Sony Pictures Television
    Sony Pictures Television
    Sony Pictures Television, Inc. is an American and global television production/distribution subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. In turn, the latter is part of the Japanese conglomerate Sony.-Background:...

    , and most territorial rights to Surrender and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace is a 1987 superhero film directed by Sidney J. Furie. It is the fourth film in the Superman film series and the last installment to star Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. It is the first film in the series not to be produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, but...

    );
  • Most of the pre-1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
    PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
    PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was a film studio, founded in 1979 as a European competitor to Hollywood, but eventually sold and merged with Universal Pictures in 1999....

     library
    • The international rights to most of the Interscope Communications co-productions with The Walt Disney Company
      The Walt Disney Company
      The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

      , who handles U.S. rights;
    • The Island Pictures
      Island Records
      Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...

      /Atlantic Releasing Corporation catalog; (such as: Heathcliff: The Movie
      Heathcliff: The Movie
      Heathcliff: The Movie is a 1986 low budget animated film from DiC Entertainment, released by Atlantic Releasing under their Clubhouse Pictures label. Paramount Home Video released Heathcliff: The Movie on VHS in 1988...

       and Teen Wolf
      Teen Wolf
      Teen Wolf is a 1985 American fantasy comedy film released by Atlantic Releasing Corporation starring Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a high school student who discovers that his family has an unusual pedigree when he finds himself transforming into a werewolf...

      )
    • Selected Nelson Entertainment properties (including the pre-Turner-merger Castle Rock Entertainment
      Castle Rock Entertainment
      Castle Rock Entertainment is a film and television production company founded in 1987 by Martin Shafer, director Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Glenn Padnick and Alan Horn. It is a subsidiary of Warner Bros...

       library with the exception of co-productions with Columbia Pictures
      Columbia Pictures
      Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. is an American film production and distribution company. Columbia Pictures now forms part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Sony. It is one of the leading film companies...

      ), and Embassy Pictures
      Embassy Pictures
      Embassy Pictures Corporation was an independent studio and distributor responsible for such films as The Graduate, The Lion in Winter, This Is Spinal Tap and Escape from New York.-Founding:The company was founded in 1942 by producer Joseph E...

       properties, under license from StudioCanal
      StudioCanal
      StudioCanal is a French-based production and distribution company that owns the third-largest film library in the world...

       (with the exception of two films co-produced and co-distributed by Columbia);
  • The television and international rights to the 1980 film Flash Gordon
    Flash Gordon (film)
    Flash Gordon is a 1980 British/American science fiction film, based on the comic strip of the same name created by Alex Raymond. The film was directed by Mike Hodges and produced and presented by Dino De Laurentiis. It stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Brian...

     (under license from StudioCanal). Universal Studios
    Universal Studios
    Universal Pictures , a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, is one of the six major movie studios....

    , who originally released the film in North America, retains the domestic theatrical and home video rights.
  • The Epic Productions library, which includes the Trans World Entertainment
    Trans World Entertainment
    Trans World Entertainment Corporation is a chain of entertainment media retail stores in the United States. It currently operates just over 440 freestanding and shopping mall-based stores under several brand names....

     and Vision P.D.G. International catalogs.
  • The Intercontinental Releasing Corporation
    Intercontinental Releasing Corporation
    The Intercontinental Releasing Corporation , was an American media company, primarily involved in the production and distribution of films and television programs. IRC was founded in September 1974 as the larger film studios' grip on domestic and international distribution diminished...

     library and catalogs.
  • Those of other smaller defunct studios, including Empire Pictures
    Empire International Pictures
    Empire Pictures was a small scale theatrical distribution company that was formed in 1983 by Charles Band.The company produced a number of low-budget horror and fantasy features including Trancers and The Dungeonmaster...

    , Scotti Bros. Pictures
    Scotti Brothers Records
    Scotti Brothers Records was a California-based record label founded by Tony and Ben Scotti in 1974. Their first success was releasing albums from teen pop star Leif Garrett. They later helped launch the careers of Felony, Survivor, and "Weird Al" Yankovic...

     and Hemdale Film Corporation
    Hemdale Film Corporation
    Hemdale Film Corporation, known as Hemdale Communications after 1993, was an independent film production company and distributor founded in London in 1967 as the Hemdale Company by actor David Hemmings and his manager, John Daly. Hemdale was initially founded as a talent agency that helped launch...

    .

See also

  • Epix
    Epix (TV network)
    Epix is an American premium television channel that is operated by Studio 3 Partners—a joint venture among Viacom , MGM, and Lionsgate. Viacom handles operational support, including marketing and affiliate services for the service through its MTV Networks division.Epix offers a companion video on...

  • Leo the Lion
    Leo the Lion (MGM)
    Leo the Lion is the mascot for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and one of its predecessors, Goldwyn Pictures, featured in the studio's production logo, which was created by the Paramount Studios art director Lionel S. Reiss....

    , the MGM mascot
  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation, or MGM Animation for short, was the animation division of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studio in Hollywood, California, USA that specializes in animated productions for theatrical features and television...

  • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio
    The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio was the in-house division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture studio in Hollywood, California during the Golden Age of American animation, responsible for producing animated short subjects to accompany MGM feature films in Loew's Theaters...

  • MGM HD
    MGM HD
    MGM HD is an all high-definition television channel. It features commercial-free movies from MGM's library of approximately 1,200 movies mastered in a high-definition-compatible format as well as feature films from their library of 4,100 theatrical titles...

  • MGM Networks
    MGM Networks
    MGM Networks is a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. It manages MGM interests in cable television, satellite television, other television channels and services that reach nearly 120 countries and territories....

  • MGM Television
    MGM Television
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television is an American television production/distribution launched in 1955 and a subsidiary of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc....

  • MGM Worldwide Television
    MGM Worldwide Television
    MGM Worldwide Television is the Global operating division of MGM Television formed in 1995, responsible for the production/distribution of MGM's vast television library around the world....

  • This TV
    This TV
    This TV is a United States general entertainment television network, with a large emphasis in its programming on movies....


Further reading

  • Altman, Diana. Hollywood East: Louis B. Mayer and the Origins of the Studio System (Carol Publishing, 1992).
  • Bart, Peter
    Peter Bart
    Peter Benton Bart is an American journalist and film producer. He perhaps best known for his lengthy tenure as the editor of Variety, an entertainment-trade magazine....

    . Fade Out: The Calamitous Final Days of MGM (Morrow, 1990).
  • Crowther, Bosley
    Bosley Crowther
    Bosley Crowther was a journalist and author who was film critic for The New York Times for 27 years. His reviews and articles helped shape the careers of actors, directors and screenwriters, though his reviews, at times, were unnecessarily mean...

    . The Lion's Share: The Story of an Entertainment Empire (E.P. Dutton and Company, 1957).
  • Eames, John Douglas. The MGM Story (Octopus, 1975).
  • Hay, Peter
    Peter Hay
    Peter Háy, is the son of Gyula Háy, and is the author of over a dozen books, including an anecdote book series for Oxford University Press, a history of MGM, MGM: When the Lion Roars and Ordinary Heroes: Chana Szenes and the dream of Zion the story of Hannah Senesh, the Hungarian Jewish poet and...

    . MGM: When the Lion Roars (Turner, 1991).
  • Vieira, Mark A. Hollywood Dreams Made Real: Irving Thalberg and the Rise of M-G-M (Abrams, 2008).

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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