Sunday, March 14, 2010

Studio Logos Tournament: Round One (continued)

Last week, Universal knocked off Warner Bros. for an easy 11-2 victory and The Archers upended 20th Century-Fox by a 7-4 score for a huge upset win. This week, we move the right side of the bracket with little Republic facing off against MGM and Paramount clashing with Columbia. (Click on the graphic below to view an enlarged version.)

Republic’s first logo was the Liberty Hall tower with a tolling bell. In the late 1940s, the logo was changed to the now familiar eagle on the mountain peak.

The MGM logo of a growling lion first appeared in the 1920s for the Metro-Goldwyn Company. The logo stuck when Louis Mayer joined the fold and MGM was born. There have been a few different lions over the years and a handful of interesting variations, such as when the lion transformed into an animated vampire at the start of The Fearless Vampire Killers.

Created in 1914, Paramount's mountain may be the oldest surviving studio logo. Naturally, it has been tweaked a few times, most notably when it was redesigned for widescreen films in the 1950s. It has also made "guest appearances" in films like The Road to Utopia.

Columbia's logo, known as both "Miss Liberty" and "Torch Lady," appeared as early as the 1920s. Like the Paramount mountain, it was redesigned for widescreen in the 1950s. It has also been tailored for certain films, such as Cat Ballou, in which Miss Liberty transformed into an animated, gun-toting version of the title character.

Those are the teams for the match-ups this week. Cast your votes in the green sidebar on the right and join us next week when then Final Four teams are revealed in the Studio Logos Tournament!

(To read more about the history of studio logos, check out Rick Mitchell's excellent article "Everything You Wanted To Know About American Film Company Logos But Were Afraid To Ask" at Hollywood Lost and Found.


  1. I remember the MGM lion becoming a kitten with the initials MTM in the Mary Tyler Moore Show. And I recall Hope and Crosby joking about the Paramount mountain being their bread and butter in "The Road to Utopia," as you mentioned, Rick. I think this is really a fun poll!

  2. Toto, MGM had a lot of fun with its logo. In the trailer for NIGHT AT THE OPERA, Groucho and then Chico appear inside the "Ars Gratia Artis" circle. When they open their mouths, the lion roars. Then Harpo does it and there's no sound. I posted this trailer at the Corner in the Cafe for those want to see it.

  3. That FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS/MGM logo change is wonderful. So many times, I see that lion and expect it to transform into the long-fanged green vampire, with that creepy music! The Logo Wars are a blast, Rick!

  4. I agree, Sark! The first time I saw FEARLESS that had me laughing out loud.