Amazon buy newest twist in MGM saga

From “Gone With the Wind” to “Ben-Hur” to James Bond, the enduring 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 buying 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, generally known as “The Boy Surprise,” seized the reins of the studio and helped usher in what got here to be generally known as 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 as we speak.

Its heyday was within the Nineteen 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 similar to “Singin’ within the Rain” additionally grew to become a trademark of the studio that includes such stars as Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.

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

– Artistic droop –

MGM went right into a inventive droop starting within the Nineteen Sixties although it nonetheless produced such classics through the decade similar to “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 house to Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and different early silent film stars, merged with MGM in 1981.

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

MGM’s present archive contains greater than 4,000 films together with Greatest Image winners similar to “The Residence,” “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 response to 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 common sequence as “The Handmaid’s Story” and “Fargo” in addition to actuality TV exhibits similar to “Survivor.”

Like different film studios, MGM was onerous hit over the previous yr by the Covid-19 pandemic and was compelled 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 can now be launched in September.

cl/bgs

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