United Artists was formed in 1919 by four of the leading figures in early Hollywood era: Mary Pickford, Sir Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith. It was sold to Arthur Krim and Robert Benjamin in 1951; both Chaplin and Pickford sold the remaining shares to Krim and Benjamin in 1956. United Artists was sold to Transamerica Corporation on April 27, 1967, and later to Tracinda, Inc. (the then-current owner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.) on July 28, 1981. In 2001, United Artists was made as an art-house theater label of MGM. On April 8, 2005, Sony Corporation, Comcast, and four of its private partners bought MGM and United Artists for $4.8 billion. In November 2006, Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner were made the new owners of this revamped United Artists. However on August 14, 2008, Wagner left the studio, but still remained a stockholder in United Artists. In 2011, it became completely owned by MGM again when the studio purchased the stock formerly owned by Cruise and Wagner. In September 2014, MGM acquired a stake in Mark Burnett's companies One Three Media and Lightworkers Media, merging them into United Artists Media Group; however, next year, this unit was absorbed into MGM Television. In 2018, however, MGM brought it back as United Artists Digital Studio, and the name would be brought back the company in 2019 as United Artists Releasing, a re-branding of Mirror, a joint venture between MGM and Annapurna Pictures.
1st Logo (1919?)
Logo: We see a rounded UA monogram with the company name in the middle on a rock wall.
FX/SFX: Absolutely none.
Music/Sounds: Possibly silent.
Availability: Possibly extinct. It may have appeared on their earlier films.
Editor's Note: A United Artists logo that connected the two initials side to side was an idea that wouldn’t be used again until the 1980s.
2nd Logo (November 13, 1930-October 23, 1967)
Nicknames: "The Hexagon", "The UA Hexagon"
Logo: We see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing inside a 3-layerhexagon shape.
- On films produced by London Productions, this logo would appear as an in-credit version, with the words "Distributed by" above it.
- There were several color variants, including a sepia-toned variant from the mid 1940s-1950, three different black and white variants from 1930-1967, and a color variant from 1950-1967.
- A 20th anniversary variant was seen on Of Mice and Men, as well as on Laurel & Hardy's A Chump at Oxford (filmed and completed in 1939, released in 1940). This is also nicknamed "The Hal Roach Studios Variant".
Music/Sounds: Most of the time it is silent, though some films have their intro music playing.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- Despite being around for a good 37 years, this logo was extremely difficult to find due to scarce use on certain films as well as rampant plastering by the means of MGM and later UA variants. Now with MGM sub-licensing its films to video labels who are doing new scans and remasters, they usually leave the original studio card indents intact on their film scans unlike MGM themselves, so therefore this logo has started to become far more common than it was over the last few decades. It is believed to be first seen on The Bat Whispers.
- As most releases only used a text notice, a few films have originally used this logo but were removed or updated with newer ones (or a MGM logo), thus making it an extremely hard find. However, it does appear on the Hopalong Cassidy film False Colors, whenever CoziTV decides to rerun it.
- It's unknown if this logo appeared on Mclintock! as most VHS copies have no logo while DVD copies of the non-restored version also have no logo and the restored version's DVD uses the 2002 Paramount Pictures logo.
- Noticeably, out of all the pre-1967 James Bond films, the only one where this appeared was Goldfinger (not fully confirmed). Among the other films that originally featured this logo were The Magnificent Seven, West Side Story (at least on general release prints), One, Two, Three, and The Beatles' films A Hard Day's Night and Help!.
- This logo was also seen on international prints of some pre-1948 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts that they owned, while plastering the Warner Bros. opening of the era. It has been preserved on Stranger on Horseback, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Thunderbirds Are Go!, Tomorrow, the World!, Three Sundays to Live, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Happy Thieves, The Fabulous Dorseys, The Horse's Mouth, and How I Won the War (an early Transamerica-era film that was intended to be released six months earlier than it actually was; possibly the last film to feature the hexagon, before Transamerica took over). It also appears on the Scream Factory Blu-ray of Doctor Blood's Coffin, the Kino Lorber DVD and Blu-ray of 10 Seconds to Hell, and the Twilight Time Blu-ray and Vudu prints of Inserts (made in 1976, but it was rated X, so Transamerica didn't want its name nor insignia on the film, and since it was a period piece set in the '30s UA simply decided to use this logo as a stylistic choice in lieu of an in-credit notice), TCM airings of Tomorrow, the World! and Return from the Ashes, and ThisTV airings of Gentlemen Marry Brunettes.
- This was also seen on international prints of The Man with the Golden Arm, in which it makes a surprise reappearance on an Australian TV airing and on the German Blu-ray. The MGM/UA VHS of Marty also preserves this, and it's been suggested that this even appeared on its original VHS and Betamax release, from CBS/Fox Video.
- This logo also made a surprise appearance on an Australian HDTV airing of Call Me Bwana, following the 2012 MGM logo.
- On Topkapi, the logo was small and in-credit at the bottom-right corner of the end credits, with the words "Released by" above it. The in-credit variant can also be seen on all the British-made films from London Productions that were distributed by UA, though it does not appear on the 1942 Jungle Book film.
- The 20th anniversary variant appears on some prints of Of Mice and Men (as seen in the above photo), and A Chump at Oxford, both Hal Roach Studios-produced films.
- Don't expect to find this on It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Miracle Worker, The Barefoot Contessa, The Killing, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, Tom Jones, The Pink Panther, or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Very rarely, a videocassette or laser videodisc of these will preserve this logo's absence.
Editor’s Note: A semi-iconic logo representing the early days of UA.
3rd Logo (October 30, 1942-July 17, 1943)
Nickname: "The United Artists Eagle"
Logo: We see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing in front of a design of a bald eagle. Above this "A" is seen, and below it "Release" is seen. The latter two phrases are in cursive.
- On some films, the text reads as "Released through" and lacks the eagle. Instead a single spotlight is seen, emerging from the bottom right corner.
- There's a colour version.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme to the film.
Availability: Ultra rare. Only two films are known to contain this logo, which are I Married a Witch and The Crystal Ball. This logo is preserved on the 2013 The Criterion Collection Blu-ray release and TCM airings of the former. It should be noted that both films were produced by Paramount Pictures and were sold to United Artists for distribution. The logo may appear on other films that Paramount produced and sold to United Artists. The variant can be seen on Victory Through Air Power.
Editor’s Note: One of UA's first attempts to use a consistent logo in the United States.
4th Logo (June 13, 1967-August 3, 1968)
Nicknames: "The UA-Transamerica Circle", "The UA Ovoid"
Logo: We see the words "UNITED ARTISTS" appearing inside a circular field. The words "A Transamerica CORPORATION" (or "A Transamerica COMPANY") are seen in small letters underneath. The "U" and the "A" are somewhat taller than the rest of the company name, and they overlap each other. The word "FROM" appears above the UA circle, in teeny, tiny letters. The logo is contained inside a yellow circle, focused off-center from the screen, but centered around the logo, which is inside a blue rectangle with rounded corners, encased inside an off-center purple box, surrounded by offset dark red bars.
Variants: There were a few color scheme variations used for this logo besides the normal version:
- A variant of the standard version with the blue rectangle resembling a TV tube, an uneven alignment of the (larger) yellow and black circles, and a smaller purple section with rounded corners.
- BG/white circle/black lettering/Transamerica logo byline.
- Print UA-Transamerica Circle (seen on most trailers and B&W films).
- Black circle on a red background, "UNITED ARTISTS" in white.
- Similar to the standard variant, except the blue rectangle looks more like a rectangle with rounded edges and the circles are more evenly aligned.
- Depending on the film, the placement of the logo would vary slightly.
Music/Sounds: Usually silent, or has the opening theme or audio to the film playing over it.
Music/Sounds Variants: On the American prints of the Italian James Bond spoof Operation Kid Brother (Original Italian title: O.K. Connery), this logo plastered the original Titanus logo that started the picture, but maintained Titanus' fanfare: A ten-note fanfare with the first seven notes sounding like a solo cornet, and the final three played by a brass trio. UA likely extended the animation of their logo at the time to match the length of the Titanus fanfare.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- Until recently, this was bordering on near extinction due to chronic plastering and its short life span. It was allegedly first seen on You Only Live Twice (which used the blue TV tube variant on both sides of the pond). Was also said to be seen on a Retroplex airing of the former.
- Among the other films that originally featured this logo were Billion Dollar Brain, Operation Kid Brother (American prints), Death Rides a Horse (American prints), The Party, Kill a Dragon, Danger Route, Live for Life, and Hang 'Em High.
- The trailer variant is seen on the Clambake! trailer, but on the main feature (Region 2 and 4 DVDs only), it has an odd United Artists/Ledy-Gardner-Laven productions in-credit logo.
- The original U.S. theatrical run of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly did not originally have this logo, as confirmed by the original 1967 continuity script which described the first reel as going straight to the title sequence from the leader (the absence thereof is preserved on the 1990 MGM/UA VHS and laser videodisc release). It does appear after the 2012 MGM logo on the Kino Blu-ray release of the former (at the start of the US theatrical cut, which is actually based off a reconstructed version used for the 1998 MGM/UA DVD release), as well as after the 2008 MGM logo on their release of A Fistful of Dollars (which was originally released while UA was still using its Hexagon logo).
- The continuity script for In the Heat of the Night also confirms that the logo didn't originally appear on that film, though sightings have been reported at Transamerica-era screenings.
- The blue rectangle variant is only known to have appeared on the aforementioned Kino Lorber Blu-ray releases of the Dollars Trilogy.
- The black background variant can be seen on some trailers of films, notably the trailer of The Party (1968).
Editor’s Note: Even though it was short-lived, this is a very interesting (and colorful) logo nonetheless.
5th Logo (June 19, 1968-April 30, 1976)
Nickname: "The Transamerica T"
Logo: It starts with two sets of blue lines going into place, one by one on a black background. One line turns to the left, another turns to the right, and so on. There are six lines altogether, revealing the logo of Transamerica Corporation, United Artists' former owner. The stylized blue "T" design zooms out to the right side to make room for the company name "United Artists", which appears in an Impact font. A small byline pops in afterward, reading "Entertainment from Transamerica Corporation", which appears under the UA name.
- This was the result of a branding strategy of the Transamerica Corporation, unifying all their owned companies under the main company's logo. This included, among others: Transamerica Distribution Services, Transamerica Airlines, Liberty Records, Blue Note Records, and of course, United Artists and subsidiary United Artists Television.
- This logo was animated at DePatie-Freleng, known for producing The Pink Panther, The Inspector, Roland and Rattfink, The Ant and The Aardvark and many others.
- There has been a version with the "T" zooming out to the bottom left corner. So far, this has been seen on The Killer Elite, Bugs Bunny Superstar, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Breakheart Pass, Brannigan, Rollerball, and Return of the Pink Panther, among other films from between 1975 and 1976.
- A prototype variant exists where the "T" forms at a faster rate, the byline is already present, and everything zooms out farther before jarringly cutting back to the normal spot. This is only known to have appeared on The Thomas Crown Affair.
- On some trailers, the "T" is white.
- On some films, such as most James Bond films of this period (with the confirmed exceptions of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and a 1971 reissue print of Dr. No), the logo would cut to black instead of fading out.
- There is also a B&W variant seen on late 1960s reissues of older black and white United Artists films. This was also seen on Woody Allen's Sleeper.
- On a few films, such as Midnight Cowboy, the logo faded into a white background to accompany the opening credits.
- On reissue trailers for some films a still version of this logo is used, only it says "Re-released thru" above the logo.
- On some Scope films, such as The World of Hans Christian Andersen, Fellini Satyricon, and Visit to a Chief's Son, the logo is zoomed out further than usual. Other Scope films, including The Bridge at Remagen, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and Fiddler on the Roof, simply used the standard variant cropped heavily, and on Scope films that use the 1975 variant, the logo zooms out similar to the Scope variant of the 1984 Tri-Star Pictures logo.
- On some full screen prints, including the RCA VideoDisc release of Fiddler on the Roof, the logo is squeezed to fit the 4:3 aspect ratio.
FX/SFX: The stacking of the lines and the zooming out.
Music/Sounds: An ascending musical scale of 6 groovy bass guitar notes accompanying each of the 6 blue lines, followed by a sharp drum roll, and concluded by a fanfare of horns and drums composed by Doug Goodwin, who also composed "From Head to Toes", the theme used at the intro and closing of The Pink Panther Show.
- On Fiddler on the Roof, it used a timpani drum piece. This variant can be only seen on original prints as well as the RCA VideoDisc release.
- Most releases had it silent or with the opening theme/audio of the film.
- On the current print of The Adventures of Gerard, it uses the last half of the 1982 fanfare, due to a sloppy reverse plaster, but it actually fits this logo quite nicely.
- On the Arrow Video Blu-ray release of Pulp (1972), the standard 1968 version is accompanied with the fanfare from the 11th logo. This oddity was due to a sloppy reverse plaster job that likely resulted from Arrow reusing the audio source from MGM's previous SD master (being the MGM DVDs had the 1994 logo) with the new 2k scan featuring this logo intact (as well as the vintage BBFC card).
Availability: Uncommon, bordering on rare.
- Until recently, this logo was very hard to find due to rampant plastering by the means of MGM and later UA variants. This is presumably done because Transamerica Corporation still exists as a company (and was still using the "T-Flower" logo in the 1980s). Nowadays, MGM licenses its films to various video labels that perform new scans and remasters and are more likely to leave studio logos intact on the film than MGM themselves. So thus, this logo has started to become much more common than it was during the last 10 years.
- The logo was allegedly first seen on The Thomas Crown Affair. Its last regular appearance was on the Dogfather cartoon Medicur, released in 1976.
- However, this logo (mainly the first variation) can currently be seen on the DVDs and TCM's prints of Cotton Comes to Harlem (original MGM DVD release only), Alice's Restaurant, Cops and Robbers, Sam Whiskey, Jennifer on My Mind, The Honkers, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Region 2 DVDs only), and Jeremy, all after either the 2001 MGM logo or 1994 logos.
- It was also prolific on Magnetic Video releases of United Artists films from the early 1980's, such as the pre-Transamerica films The Barefoot Contessa, West Side Story, and Tom Jones, the American print of Last Tango in Paris (plastering the textual notice at the start), and the extremely rare release of Let It Be.
- The version with the fanfare mainly appears on original prints of Pink Panther shorts and various DePatie-Freleng Enterprises cartoons of the time, co-produced with Mirisch/UA.
- It has recently resurfaced on the 1st episodes of Sheriff Hoot Kloot and Blue Racer, as well as all episodes of The Dogfather on the Kino Lorber DVD and Blu-ray releases. It also makes a surprise appearance on the Magnetic Video Corporation Laserdisc release of Carrie (oddly enough, plastering the 7th logo).
- Also made appearances on the 1998 VHS release of Mr. Majestyk (after the 1994 logo), an Australian airing of The Last Escape (after the 1987 logo), the Digiview DVD of The World of Hans Christian Andersen, and the U.S.A. Home Video/International Video Entertainment release of That's the Way of the World.
- The Fiddler on the Roof variant appeared on early television broadcasts, and on the 1981 RCA CED (Magnetic Video Corporation's version was released later that same year, and by that time, Transamerica no longer owned United Artists).
- The second version is much harder to find, but is kept intact on the 1993 Republic Pictures Home Video VHS of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and on the American MGM DVD and ThisTV airings of The Killer Elite. However, the new French Blu-ray and a recent TCM airing of the latter have the 2012 MGM logo and the 2001 United Artists plastering over this (with opening audio of the film playing over the United Artists logo).
- On James Bond films of this period, it originally appeared on On Her Majesty's Secret Service (appears on a 16mm print), Diamonds Are Forever (appears on the RCA CED version), Live and Let Die, and The Man with the Golden Gun. The black & white version has been spotted on the 1989 VHS and current prints of Sleeper and surprisingly, current releases of Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. It is currently unknown if any other full screen versions of Woody Allen titles on DVDs retain their original United Artists titles.
- This logo is also preserved on some trailers on DVDs, Blu-rays, and trailers on the iTunes store. The reissue variant can be seen on the 2000 MGM DVD release of Thunderball on a reissue trailer for a double feature of said film and You Only Live Twice. It is unknown if this logo originally appeared on original American prints of 1973 to 1975 MGM films.
- This logo may have appeared on some United Artists films on VHS and Betamax releases from VidAmerica in the United States, or from Intervision Video in the United Kingdom (some notable releases from both the companies include Coming Home, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), The Fountainhead, The Great Escape, Hair, Lenny, Some Like it Hot, and White Heat).
- On reissued UA trailers, the MGM/UA Distribution Co. print logo would often plaster the still UA logo.
- It also makes Blu-ray reappearances on the MGM release of Sleeper, the Kino Lorber releases of Cops and Robbers and Busting, the Arrow Video releases of Pulp and Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (including the U.S. Twilight Time release), the Criterion Collection Blu-ray of Midnight Cowboy, the Scream Factory release of What's the Matter With Helen?, and the UK BFI Blu-ray of Women in Love (the Criterion Collection release of the latter, oddly enough, has the current UA logo in its place after the 2012 MGM logo).
- It may appear on Cartrivision tapes of UA and AAP features, including The Jazz Singer.
Editor’s Note: This logo is a favorite among many due to its unique animation and funky fanfare. It's also one of the earliest examples of brand unification, as Transamerica used the same font and logo throughout all of its divisions.
6th Logo (April 23, 1976-September 18, 1981)
Nicknames: "Transamerica T '75", "The Transamerica T II"
Logo: We see the text "United Artists" in a similar Impact font on a black background. A few seconds later, the blue "T" design fades in on the left side of the company name. Like the previous logo variant, the "T" is made up of 6 blue lines, with three stacked on top of each other on both sides. At the same time, a blue text that says "A Transamerica Company" appears underneath the United Artists name.
- On trailers for some films (mostly when distributing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films), the "T" and Transamerica Corporation byline are in white and the words "Released thru" are seen above the logo. On trailers for the films from about 1977 to 1981, the 1966 MGM logo is seen above the standard logo (with "Released thru" above it). "An MGM Presentation" is seen next to the MGM logo.
- A similar variant appears on some films such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, a full screen print of Moonraker, and the Lorimar-produced Being There, Cruising, Carny, and The Big Red One. The "T" and the text are bigger and the Transamerica byline is smaller. It was known as a print logo, and was seen on movie posters. Given its presence on the last four films mentioned, this could also be thought of as the "Lorimar variant", and given its presence on the first two, this also appears to have been used for plastering and/or fullscreen prints of Scope films.
- The print variant also appears on black and white films, including Manhattan, Stardust Memories (both Woody Allen films), Raging Bull, and Eye of the Needle (which was mostly in color), only the full animation is used, and unlike the trailers, "Released thru" doesn't appear at all.
- On trailers for films, the logo is still and the Transamerica byline is in white. However, the original theatrical trailer for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has the still version of the regular version, though the film itself has the variant from a full screen version print of Moonraker.
- On Moonraker, the logo was in freeze-frame.
- Depending on the film, the placement and colors of the logo would vary ever so slightly.
- On European releases, such as the Italian release of Cannibal Holocaust, it would say "United Artists Europa Inc.", in the 5th logo's font. This can be seen on the Shameless UK DVD & Blu-ray release. This logo is not on American releases, as early VHS copies edited it out, while on the Grindhouse DVD, it is replaced with the Grindhouse Releasing logo. This logo was also seen on Primo Amore.
FX/SFX: The "United Artists" text appearing, the blue stacked "T" and Transamerica byline fading into view.
Music/Sounds: Silent, or the film's opening cue/theme.
Music/Sounds Variant: On a recent TCM print of Return of the Pink Panther and a Russian print of Audrey Rose, it uses the 1995 music due to sloppy reverse plastering.
- Until recently, this logo was very hard to find due outside of old TV airings and select prints, due to rampant plastering by the means of MGM and later UA variants. Nowadays, MGM sub-licenses its films to video labels that perform new scans and remasters and leave studio logos intact on the film unlike MGM themselves. Therefore, this logo and its later variant have been making more reappearances than in the past few years. Most United Artists films of the time have had this logo edited over with newer logos or recent MGM logos, but it occasionally appears on older prints.
- It has been preserved on the 1990 MGM/UA Home Video VHS releases of The Black Stallion and Thunderbird 6, the 1980 MGM/CBS Home Video releases of the United Artists-distributed Lorimar Motion Pictures films Being There (same for the Criterion Collection Blu-ray), Cruising (same for the CBS/Fox Video and Warner Home Video re-releases of the latter), and Carny. In the case of Carny, it was removed.
- It was also on the 1997 Warner Home Video VHS and DVD release of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (this is not on the Thorn EMI Video and Republic Pictures Home Video VHS releases and Warner Home Video's later Blu-ray and DVD releases). It makes an appearance on the trailer for The Last Wave on The Criterion Collection DVD release.
- This also makes a surprise reappearance on the 2010 Warner Home Video DVD and Blu-ray releases of Ralph Bakshi's The Lord of the Rings (1978), though it is absent on all older releases. It is also intact on the MGM MOD DVD-R and Kino Lorber Blu-rays of Valentino, Burnt Offerings, and the Scream Factory Blu-ray of the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which uses a new 2K transfer (the 2007 MGM DVD & Blu-ray and Arrow Video UK Blu-ray have the 2001 MGM lion and UA logos in its place).
- The U.S. print of the ITC Entertainment Group-produced The Big Sleep also had this logo. The original home video release and early television airings of Apocalypse Now should preserve this logo, although the 1990s Paramount Home Video Laserdisc uses the 1990 Paramount Pictures logo, and none of the DVD releases contain a logo at all.
- It is preserved on trailers on the iTunes movie store.
- It also appears on the original Magnetic Video Corporation release of The Jazz Singer, followed by the 1923 Warner Bros. logo. The black and white variant is preserved on the RCA CED and Magnetic Video Corporation VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc releases of Raging Bull, as well as the Blu-ray release and Netflix viewings of Stardust Memories (oddly after the 2001 MGM logo and 2001 UA "Swoosh").
- Also seen on the Magnetic releases of The Black Stallion, Annie Hall, and La Cage Aux Folles. Also seen on the international prints of Piranha, which is preserved on the Region 2 DVD after the 1995 logo. It also appeared on pre-1981 prints of Rocky II, including HBO broadcasts (the best place to look for that, and previous versions of the Transamerica logos in general, would be through commercial-free cable TV broadcasts, and old network TV broadcasts from before 1981).
- It is also seen intact on the Region 2 and Region 4 DVDs of Rocky II, the Warner Archive Instant print of Americathon, and the Shout! Factory DVD and Blu-ray of Deadly Blessing (a film Universal Studios owns because they control some of the pre-1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment library, in addition to being the very last film released in the Transamerica era, though not the last to use this logo--that would be The French Lieutenant's Woman), and Jaws of Satan (a.k.a. King Cobra).
- This was also reportedly seen on the 2014 Twilight Time Blu-ray of the U.S. theatrical cut version of The Dogs of War, but no solid outside evidence of this sighting has been provided as of yet.
- On James Bond films of this period, it originally appeared on The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker, and For Your Eyes Only.
- This logo was on the trailers for the 1976 to 1981 MGM films That's Entertainment Part II, Logan's Run, Fame, and He Knows Where You Sleep (on the latter two films this logo appears under the 1966 MGM logo). However, it does not appear on the actual release prints of MGM films from the era.
- This logo may have been seen on U.S. VidAmerica and U.K. Intervision Video VHS and Betamax releases of United Artists films.
- Oddly, it plasters the 1968 logo on some prints of Return of the Pink Panther and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It first appeared on The Pink Panther Strikes Again (despite trailers of the film having the 6th logo instead). This logo was also recently seen on Grit network's airings of The Big Red One, though it is absent on all other releases.
- It appeared on a late '80s Cinemax airing of The End and an Italian Sky Cinema broadcast of The Missouri Breaks.
- International prints of Buffalo Bill and the Indians (or, Sitting Bull's History Lesson), owned by StudioCanal as part of the Carolco Pictures library courtesy of producer Dino de Laurentiis, also retain this.
Editor’s Note: While not as memorable as the previous logo, it still has its fans.
7th Logo (August 4-December 17, 1976)
Nicknames: "Blue Light", "The Secret Transamerica T", "UA Glow"
Logo: The text "UNITED ARTISTS" starts appearing on a black screen in five segments, outlined by a blue light. After "UNITED ARTISTS" is completely revealed, the Transamerica "T" and the byline "A Transamerica Company" (which is sometimes tinted gold) fade in below as "UNITED ARTISTS" turns orange. Then, various spots on the word "UNITED ARTISTS" sparkle for a few seconds.
- There is a variant without the Transamerica byline.
- A short version seen on trailers starts with the logo already revealed and the sparkles on the "UNITED ARTISTS" text.
FX/SFX: The logo appearing in segments, the outline, the fade in of the "Transamerica T" and the byline (when it applies), and the sparkling on various on the "UNITED ARTISTS" text.
Music/Sounds: Silent or the film's opening theme. On the 2001 Special Edition DVD release of Rocky, however, it uses the 1995 music, due to a reverse plastering error (the previous 1998 DVD had the 1995 logo).
Availability: Very rare, due to this logo being short-lived.
- The bylineless version can be found on the original 1976 film Carrie (which has no logical reason to be plastered).
- The rendition with the Transamerica byline is much harder to find due to plastering, and was seen on films such as Rocky and The Return of a Man Called Horse (the earliest film known to have this logo). It is however, preserved on the 2001 DVD and the Blu-ray releases of Carrie and Rocky (with the 1995 music tacked on, due to sloppy editing!), but then replaced with the current logo on the 2006 DVD release of the latter. However, the 1990 VHS of Rocky has this logo plastered with the 1987 logo and the MGM/UA Communications logo, while the 1996 VHS and 1998 DVDs of Rocky have it plastered with the 1994 logo, along with the 2014 Blu-ray. It is possible it may be on the 1981 USA RCA CED release, but this has yet to be seen.
- Also seen on current TV airings of Champion of Death (AKA Karate Bullfighter), after the 2008 MGM logo. This logo was last seen on Bound for Glory, in which the R2 DVDs and ThisTV airings (following the 10th logo) retain it, while the R1 releases have it plastered with the 1987 logo.
- Can also be seen in some trailers of films of the time period like Carrie and even The Pink Panther Strikes Again (the film would use the next logo below).
Editor’s Note: An interesting concept, though it's not as fun as the 5th logo.
8th Logo (September 25, 1981-December 1982)
Nicknames: "Blank United Artists", "T-less United Artists"
Logo: It's just the on-screen text of the 7th logo without the Transamerica "T" logo and byline.
Trivia: This was later used during the time of MGM/UA Entertainment Co.'s formation after MGM merged with United Artists.
- A videotaped version exists when plastering older logos. It's also several seconds longer.
- A variant has the font the same as in the 5th logo.
- On European releases, it would say "United Artists Europa Inc."
Music/Sounds: Usually silent.
Availability: Very rare, due to it being a placeholder logo. Was seen on the original American prints of Last Tango in Paris (although the original Magnetic Video Corporation VHS and Betamax uses the contemporary "Transamerica T"), Rancho Deluxe, 92 in the Shade, Undercovers Hero, Trackdown, Drum, and other sleaze films Transamerica wanted nothing to do with. Was seen on later Magnetic Video Corporation and most 20th Century-Fox Video VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc prints of Rocky, Dr. No, Goldfinger, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, For Your Eyes Only, White Lightning, The Return of a Man Called Horse, and Rollerball. Currently appears on the 2002 MGM DVD and the Criterion DVD & BD releases of The French Lieutenant's Woman (the last film with any Transamerica references), though streaming prints and overseas Blu-rays have the last logo in its place. Can also be currently found on Vigilante Force, Safari 3000, Born to Win, Rancho Deluxe, Drum, and The House Where Evil Dwells. Appears on some public domain DVDs of The Magic Sword. It first appeared on True Confessions and made its last appearance on The House Where Evil Dwells.
Editor’s Note: A boring variant of the previous logo.
9th Logo (May 28, 1982-October 8, 1987)
Nicknames: "Turning UA", "UA Paperclip", "The Sad/Happy Music"
Logo: On a black screen, a whitish line slowly fades in. The line then rotates clockwise at an extremely slow pace and reveals itself to be a silvery blue stylized "UA". The logo is in the shape of a "U" with a bigger left side, and a diagonal line protruding from the shorter right side to form the "A." When the symbol finishes turning around, the words "United Artists" appear under it in the same font that was used during the "Transamerica" era.
Trivia: The logo was created and designed by Sandy Dvore (who also created the Lorimar 1971 "LP" logo). The "UA" was a wood model sprayed with chrome-like paint and suspended with a black rod covered in a velvet cloth to avoid reflection. The background was simply a black piece of paper. The model was then rotated on a small stage.
- There is a rare variant which has the logo in white. It just zooms out from the left.
- There was also a variant with larger "United Artists" text underneath the UA paperclip. This was mainly seen on reissue prints and films shot in 2.35:1 such as Trail of The Pink Panther and Death Rides a Horse. It was also seen (after the 2012 MGM logo and Overture) on an Amazon Prime viewing of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, which was of the director's second 1981 edit running 149 minutes.
- A black & white version was used on old UA & pre-1948 WB films in the said colors.
- A still version appears on the CBS/Fox release of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
FX/SFX: The "turning UA", designed by Sandy Dvore.
Music/Sounds: A low sonic tone plays in the background as the line fades in, then a soft "ping" is heard and a slow, somewhat somber five-note piano tune plays when the line begins rotating; a long "whoosh" is also heard throughout this section. When the "UA" is revealed and the words "United Artists" appear, they are accompanied by a short, swelling progression of violins immediately leading to an uplifting, dramatic 5-note orchestral conclusion. This theme was composed by Joe Harnell.
- A rare rearranged version of the music was heard on an unknown film.
- A higher pitched version is used on many PAL releases, as well as on the 1987 American MGM/UA release of Yellow Submarine. This said variant had popped up on a late '80s TV broadcast of the film.
- There is a variation without the long "whoosh" and "ping", leaving only the music. This was spotted on a 1988 Disney Channel airing of Fiddler on the Roof.
- On a few films, such as Attack on the Iron Coast and The Thomas Crown Affair, it is silent.
- On rare occasions, such as on Jinxed and older releases (including the 2001 DVD, Blu-Ray, and Hulu prints) of They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!, the logo is accompanied by the films' respective opening themes (in the case of the latter, the logo is silent in the beginning. But when the "UA" is revealed, the film's opening cue plays; this plasters the original 1968 logo).
- A lower pitched version is found on AMC's prints of Rocky III.
- The still version uses the second half of the regular music, beginning with the short, swelling progression of violins.
- Was prolific on video releases and cable during the 1980s. This logo was used to update its catalog and provide a visual branding presence in the process, especially considering that most pre-Transamerica UA films did not have a logo at the beginning.
- This plasters older logos on the CBS/FOX releases of The Spy Who Loved Me, The Black Stallion, Rocky, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, Goldfinger, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, the Playhouse Video release of Apache, the 1983 MGM/UA Home Video release of The Last Waltz, the 1983 Warner Home Video rental-only VHS and Betamax release of A Fistful of Dollars (it also appears on the 1985 CBS/Fox Video laserdisc) and the RCA SelectaVision CED release of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
- It has also been seen on some VHS releases of older Warner Bros. films, preceding the aforementioned company's old logo.
- Most 1980s UA releases were released with the MGM/UA lion logo (which still survives on some current prints). However, it can still be found on some '90s MGM/UA Home Video releases such as the early 1990s MGM/UA release of The Secret of NIMH (in addition to the 2007 DVD release and the Blu-ray), along with the 1991 VHS of West Side Story. Also seen on UK prints of The Plague Dogs (the shorter U.S. version was distributed by Embassy Pictures and had their logo in place), and is also intact on Optimum Releasing's DVD release and Shout! Factory's Blu-Ray of the movie. Strangely appears on an VHS trailer for Teachers (on a 1986 Australian tape of American Flyers). Also, it plasters the 1st UA logo on a CBS/FOX release of Witness for the Prosecution, in which this logo is shown in B&W. Also currently seen on Rocky III, preceded by the 2001 MGM lion (the 2001 and 2004 DVDs, as well as the Fox Blu-ray releases, also preserve it) and The Wilby Conspiracy, preceded by the 2008 MGM lion. It can also seen on TCM airings of The Horse Soldiers.
- This is also seen on the 2004 MGM DVD and 2010 Blu-ray of The Thomas Crown Affair, as well as on the 2018 Kino Lorber 4K remastered Blu-ray. Can also be seen on '80s prints of older 007 films, mainly on VHS and Laserdisc. The variant appeared on a video from Kyron Home Video in Colombia. (NOTE: In terms of packaging, this logo only appeared on British, European, Latin, African, Australian, Asian, and Japanese 1980's video releases of UA films from Warner Home Video. CBS/Fox video releases simply had the MGM/UA logo on the packaging. This was perhaps due to branding rights that were different overseas, especially since this logo only actually appeared on film on occasion).
- It was also seen on the original MGM/UA VHS and Laserdisc of Rock and Rule; however, the DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the movie edit out the logo.
- This can also be seen at the start of The Outer Limits on videocassette.
- It is proceeded by the early 2001 MGM logo on current prints of The Secret of NIMH and Rocky III (which was also seen on the 2020 re-release).
Editor's Note: This is a very popular logo, thanks to the effective model work, its uplifting fanfare, and its prevalence on VHS releases in the golden age of the format.
10th Logo (June 30, 1987)
Logo: On a black background, we see a blue "UA," similar-looking to the previous logo but more uniformed in structure and with three cross-indentations on the "A." Once it reaches a comfortable distance, the "UA" stops zooming, and "United Artists" in a white thin sans-serif font fades in below it.
FX/SFX: The zoom-in and fading.
Music/Sounds: None. On current prints of The Living Daylights, the next logo's fanfare is used, possibly due to botched reverse plastering.
Availability: Rare. It was seen on the initial theatrical prints of the James Bond movie The Living Daylights, particularly the ones seen in Britain. When the movie was released in America and most international countries, it was replaced with the next logo. It is, however, restored on the DVD releases and remains intact on current prints of the film.
Editor's Note: Clearly, this was intended as a placeholder logo, judging by the simple animation and its rarity.
11th Logo (July 31, 1987-August 27, 1993)
Nickname: "UA Swoosh"
Logo: Over a black background, we see a giant pattern of blue crystallized "UAs", styled like the 9th logo but a bit more uniformed in structure. The pattern smoothly merges together to form one medium-sized "UA" as it zooms out. A streak of light glides by to slash the "A", leaving spikes on the "A". Then "United Artists", in ITC Avant Garde Gothic, fades in underneath and the logo shines.
Trivia: This logo was animated by Rhythm & Hues in 1987. Appeared on their 1988 showreel.
- In its early years, the MGM/UA Communications logo preceded this logo. In its later years, the logo would be by itself, starting from the point where the UA logo has already merged from the giant pattern, and the byline "An MGM/UA Communications Company" appears underneath. This later variant is seen on Licence to Kill, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and Rocky V, among others.
- A black & white version was used on reissues of UA films in the said colors.
- On the 1988 Rhythm & Hues showreel (which can be viewed here), the logo animates at a smoother rate.
- There is a still version which appears at the end of Pink Panther: A Pink Christmas.
- A variant of the 1990 version has the logo zoomed further back than usual.
FX/SFX: The merging and zooming out of the logo and the slashing of the "A". CGI effects.
Music/Sounds: A low bass sound, followed by a jet engine-like "swoosh" and a single note timed with the logo shining. Other times, it's silent or even the opening soundtrack to the film.
- On one early DVD print of Rocky, it uses the last half of the fanfare from the 9th logo, due to a plastering error.
- A low-tone variant exists.
Availability: Common. Although subject to plastering with the 1994 and 2001 logos, it is still fairly common on UA-released films of the period such as Baby Boom, Rain Man, and Rocky V to name a few. First appeared on The Living Daylights and it made a final appearance on Son of The Pink Panther. It can also be found on the 1997 DVD of The Black Stallion, the MGM MOD DVD-R of Tomorrow Is Forever, the 2001 DVD of All Dogs Go to Heaven, License to Kill, and Child's Play, TCM airings of Malta Story and Valdez Is Coming, ThisTV airings of The World of Henry Orient, Call Me Bwana, The Barefoot Contessa, Bound for Glory (with the 6th logo following it), Ten Seconds of Hell, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Trail of the Pink Panther, True Love, The Aviator, and Heaven's Gate (the shorter general release cut) and Comet airings of The Man from Planet X and Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete. Interestingly, this logo also appears on 2005 DVD of Fatal Beauty (1987 MGM film). This logo was often paired off with the popular MGM/UA Communications logo (which is sometimes cut off like on current prints of The Living Daylights and a 1993 MGM/UA Home Video print of Rocky), and both logos are thus regarded as favorites. However, the short variant seems slightly easier to find than the normal variant. The Scope variant is extinct and only appears on older letterboxed video releases of The Living Daylights and used to plaster older logos on certain older DVD releases. The low tone version was spotted on the Blu-Ray release of Rain Man, on the French audio track.
Editor’s Note: A very popular logo that introduced UA’s current design.
12th Logo (December 1994-2000)
Nicknames: "The Gathering Lights", "The UA Gathering Lights", "UA Shining Light", "The Shining Lights", "UA Marble Stone"
Logo: It starts with a couple dozen bright stars showering over. The backdrop is a dark-colored marble wall, which appears a few seconds later. The glittering stars glide over the screen causing the words, "UNITED ARTISTS" with "U" and "A" bigger than the rest of the letters, wiping in from the left. After this progression, two stars criss-cross each other's paths and fade away left and right underneath to reveal, in smaller text, the words, "PICTURES INC.", in spaced-out letters. As the logo completes, one big star goes against the "U" and flashes. Then it shines, a la the Columbia Torch Lady's torch shining.
- Starting in 1996, the words, "PICTURES INC." were changed into the byline, "AN MGM COMPANY", again in spaced-out letters.
- A black & white version can be seen on B&W UA films.
- There is a print closing version where the words "UNITED ARTISTS" are stacked and the shine is intact.
FX/SFX: The glittering stars and the bright shining star.
Music/Sounds: Some tingling sounds followed by an orchestral tune with a dramatic, trip hop-esque backbeat, ending with a rhythmic twinkling sound. Composed by Starr Parodi and Jeff Eden Fair. On some films such as The Birdcage and Man in the Iron Mask (1998), it has the opening theme.
Music/Sounds Variant: On the Starz and ThisTV prints of Leaving Las Vegas, it uses the 2001 music.
Availability: Fairly common. Not as common as it once was when it was the chief means of plastering during most of the 1990s and some of the 2000s. United Artists first unveiled this logo in 1994 on a trailer for Tank Girl, with the full version premiering on the feature itself. This also plastered the MGM/UA Communications variant of the 10th logo on the original MGM DVD releases (as well as on select mid-1990s VHS reissues) of Child's Play and Rain Man. Also seen on the 007 films GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies and even appeared on a trailer of The World Is Not Enough (though the film itself used the MGM 75th anniversary logo). It is also preserved on older MGM tapes and DVDs (an example being 12 Angry Men). On Blu-ray, this appears on the Scream Factory release of The Rage: Carrie 2, MGM's releases of The Birdcage, Rob Roy, the 2014 remastered release of Rocky (even appearing on the 2020 theatrical re-release), and Ronin (as well as on the 2017 Arrow Video remastered Blu-ray). Strangely, this logo appears on late '90s VHS releases of MGM produced titles such as Death Warrant, Thelma and Louise, Delirious, Shattered (1991), and other early '90s MGM-Pathè films. Made a surprise appearance on ThisTV broadcasts of Separate Tables and Buffalo Bill and the Indians (the latter of which plasters over a Transamerica logo). This is also seen on the Region 4 DVD release of The Secret Of NIMH.
Editor's Note: Some people who prefer UA's older logos don't like this logo, but it still has amazing CGI and an excellent musical score.
13th Logo (2000-April 20, 2001)
Nicknames: "UA 2000", "The New UA Paperclip", "UA Paperclip II"
Logo: On a black screen, white streaks appear, streaking to form a new UA logo that looks similar to the 1982 and 1987 logos, except the logo is a little narrower and there are no streaks. The words "UNITED ARTISTS" come from both sides of the lower part of the screen and converge. The words "AN MGM COMPANY" soon fade in afterwards, where we later see a shining wipe effect on the UA logo.
- This on-screen rendition was ultimately a placeholder for the reintroduction and revitalization of the "UA Swoosh", which the revised print logo was already using during this time.
- This logo is usually preceded by the current MGM Lion on older United Artists releases.
Variant: There is a variant where the logo is zooming out from 1.78:1 to 2.35:1 scope. This was because the film was in scope but the MGM lion preceding was in "flat" aspect.
FX/SFX: The streaks, the appearance of the logo, and the convergence of the words "UNITED ARTISTS". Very good CGI done by R. Paul Seymour.
Music/Sounds: A short instrumental bed consisting of a drum beat, a synth harmony, and sounds of wind, with a short 4-note piano stinger at the end. On some films, it is silent or has the film's opening music playing over it.
Availability: Rare, due to this logo being a placeholder. It was seen on United Artists' limited output of this time before it became an in-name only subsidiary of MGM. Can be seen on DVD releases of The Black Stallion Returns, Juggernaut, and The Dogs of War, and ThisTV airings of The Mechanic and The Last Waltz.
Editor’s Note: An interesting logo concept that got fully utilized in the next logo.
14th Logo (June 16, 2001-November 21, 2012)
Nicknames: "UA Swoosh 2001", "UA 2001", "The Silver Slices", "Silver Spikes", "The UA Swoosh Returns", "UA Swoosh II", "Metallic UA Swoosh"
Logo: Essentially the same as the previous logo, except this one includes a metallic version of the "UA Swoosh" logo from 1987. Instead of the cross-indentations of the "A" being swooshed in this time around, they are "sliced" in by a light effect from left to right, one by one. There is also a URL for "www.unitedartists.com" underneath the company byline.
Trivia: This logo also appears preceded by the current MGM lion on new prints of older United Artists releases.
- From 2007-2010 and 2012, Sony and several other companies each took a stake in MGM. As a result, the logo was rendered bylineless from that point forward, even when MGM took back UA. There is also no URL.
- At the end of Fame (2009) and Red Dawn (2012), a still version is used.
- On Hot Tub Time Machine, the logo is darker and the light effect of the word "United Artists" is more enhanced. There is a lighter version of this logo, seen on the 2008 Blu-ray & DVD of The Spy Who Loved Me.
- On newer prints of Heaven's Gate on Starz Encore Westerns, the logo has a slightly enhanced look. The streaks are brighter, the logo is formed a little faster. The words "UNITED" and "ARTISTS" show their streaks a little more before they converge, the "UA" logo shines a little more, and the logo fades out a little faster instead of slowly.
- On Lions for Lambs, once the logo is formed, "UA" turns red.
FX/SFX: The streaks, the slicing effects, and the convergence of the words "UNITED ARTISTS". A remade CGI of the previous logo, also done by R. Paul Seymour.
Music/Sounds: Same as above. On some films such as Valkyrie and Hot Tub Time Machine, it's silent or has the movie's opening theme playing over it.
- In an unusual variation that is likely an editing foul-up, the 2002 UK film 24 Hour Party People accompanies this logo with the theme music of Pathé, which had European distribution rights to the movie. This actually suits the logo well.
- TCM's print of The Magic Sword has the second half of the 1982 logo fanfare playing over it. Quite possibly an editing error as well.
- On some films, such as Fiddler on the Roof, Bananas, and local airings of Leaving Las Vegas, it uses the 1995 fanfare due to a plaster error. This also actually suits this logo well.
Availability: Common. It's seen on some new and recent films released by UA, including Jeepers Creepers, Ghost World, and Hot Tub Time Machine. This logo has now become the standard for plastering the Transamerica and later logos on notable films such as the James Bond and Rocky franchises. It also appears on PBS's print of The Last Waltz. On the 2020 re-release of the Rocky movies, this appears (after the 2001 MGM logo) on Rocky II. This logo hasn't been used since the release of 2012's Red Dawn (and even then, only as a sort of legacy credit), as United Artists now operates in-name-only.
Editor's Note: A refinement of the previous logo, thanks in large part to the use of the 1987 design.