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United Artists is one of Hollywood's leading film companies from 1919 through its merging with MGM in 1981 and having a hit-and-miss life since (as United Artists Media Group, disappearing and then reappearing). The James Bond series is its most famous contribution to world cinema, in addition to a great many Best Picture Oscar winners. Yet its short subject program was never very consistent. Animated cartoons were the most popular and, like all of their shorts, released in spurts: most famously, Walt Disney distributed his Mickey Mouse & Silly Symphonies through them between 1932 and
Charles Urban was a giant in early cinema and a most fascinating character, an ambitious and forward thinking American tycoon who enjoyed his biggest success on the other side of the Atlantic. Then he returned to his home country during the last year of The Great War, but competition with Hollywood was too great and his fortunes collapsed in a few years. Sadly, so many of his films have been lost over time even though material that he financed got recycled in films made by other companies. Fortunately his stock has been on the rise in recent years, with one researcher working more devote