Amazon buy newest twist in MGM saga

From “Gone With the Wind” to “Ben-Hur” to James Bond, the long-lasting MGM film studio, symbolized by its roaring lion, has a storied historical past worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Within the newest chapter within the up-and-down saga of the almost century-old firm, MGM is being purchased by on-line procuring big Amazon for $8.45 billion.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer was created in 1924 with the merger of Metro Photos Corp., Goldwyn Photos and Louis B. Mayer Productions.

Mayer and producer Irving Thalberg, often called “The Boy Surprise,” seized the reins of the studio and helped usher in what got here to be often called the Golden Age of Hollywood.

MGM’s wealthy historical past spans from the early days of black-and-white silent films to the primary movies in Technicolor to the digital period of at present.

Its heyday was within the Thirties, ’40s and ’50s when it dominated the Hollywood scene with a galaxy of stars that included Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn, Mickey Rooney, Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.

The corporate’s unofficial motto: “Extra stars than there are in heaven.”

Its official motto — in lettering above Leo the Lion — “Ars Gratia Artis,” or “Artwork for artwork’s sake.”

In 1939, MGM films “Gone With the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz” had been each nominated for Greatest Image on the Academy Awards.

“Gone With the Wind” gained.

Lavish musicals resembling “Singin’ within the Rain” additionally turned an indicator of the studio that includes such stars as Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

In 1959, MGM produced one in all its largest field workplace hits, “Ben-Hur” starring Charlton Heston, which went on to win 11 Academy Awards.

– Artistic hunch –

MGM went right into a inventive hunch starting within the Nineteen Sixties although it nonetheless produced such classics through the decade resembling “Physician Zhivago” in 1965 and “2001: A House Odyssey” in 1968.

After years of decline, the fading studio was purchased by billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian in 1969.

Kerkorian would go on to purchase and promote MGM twice extra over the following few years, together with as soon as to Ted Turner, who would take management of a lot of the corporate’s pre-1986 catalog of movies.

One other main studio, United Artists, as soon as dwelling to Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and different early silent film stars, merged with MGM in 1981.

In 2010, MGM filed for chapter and resurfaced beneath new possession.

MGM’s present archive contains greater than 4,000 films together with Greatest Image winners resembling “The Condominium,” “West Facet Story,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Rocky,” “Annie Corridor,” “Platoon,” “Rain Man,” “Dances With Wolves” and “The Silence of the Lambs.”

Among the many movie franchises nonetheless owned by MGM are James Bond, Rocky and The Pink Panther.

In line with MGM, 007 alone has earned the corporate almost $7 billion in worldwide field workplace receipts whereas the Rocky and Creed sequence has pulled in one other $1 billion.

MGM’s present tv archive of greater than 17,000 episodes contains such standard sequence as “The Handmaid’s Story” and “Fargo” in addition to actuality TV reveals resembling “Survivor.”

Like different film studios, MGM was laborious hit over the previous 12 months by the Covid-19 pandemic and was pressured to delay the discharge of its newest money-spinning Bond flick, “No Time to Die.”

The motion movie starring Daniel Craig was initially scheduled to hit theaters in March 2020. It should now be launched in September.

cl/bgs

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