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Heraldry In The Movies


Palmerin
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I am a self-taught heraldist, and am interested in all sorts of symbols. Naturally I am interested in the emblems of the movie studios, such as the roaring lion of MGM. Why did that studio choose that symbol? The Columbia of COLUMBIA, the mount of PARAMOUNT, and the lion of LIONSGATE are pretty obvious, as they are examples of canting symbols: symbols that illustrate the name of the institution that has said symbol. So what does a roaring lion have to do with MGM?

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I just read about this in a book I was reading about the Hollywood studio system.  The guy who designed MGM's logo and mascot back in I believe 1915 (?) (1916 maybe?) based the logo and mascot on his alma mater's mascot-- the Columbia University lion.  The lion's roar was also silent until the late 20s when they added the audible roar. 

 

So to answer your question, the lion has nothing to do with MGM. 

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I just read about this in a book I was reading about the Hollywood studio system.  The guy who designed MGM's logo and mascot back in I believe 1915 (?) (1916 maybe?) based the logo and mascot on his alma mater's mascot-- the Columbia University lion.  The lion's roar was also silent until the late 20s when they added the audible roar. 

 

So to answer your question, the lion has nothing to do with MGM. 

Thank you.

UNIVERSAL has certainly had a very impressive set of emblems based on the planet Earth; WARNER BROTHERS' initials, on the other hand, don't win any prizes for originality.

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So, ya REALLY wanna know about this, Palmerin?!

 

Well, I ALWAYS heard they used that mascot because whenever Louis B. Mayer said the folks at MGM were just "one big happy family", he was lion!

 

(...err, I mean lyin'...though EVERY company has its disgruntled employees, ya know) ;)

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Thank you.

UNIVERSAL has certainly had a very impressive set of emblems based on the planet Earth; WARNER BROTHERS' initials, on the other hand, don't win any prizes for originality.

 

Yea,  that WB logo was rather simple.    I always liked the RKO one with the plane going around.

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Yea,  that WB logo was rather simple.    I always liked the RKO one with the plane going around.

 

I could be wrong here James, but I don't remember any airplane going around the radio tower while it's emitting those radio waves and Morse Code sound effects during any of the RKO movie opening symbols.

 

 

Might you perhaps be confusing this one and/or combining in your mind the old Universal Pictures opening symbol here?...

 

 

(...as they both of course feature the Earth or part of it)

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I could be wrong here James, but I don't remember any airplane going around the radio tower while it's emitting those radio waves and Morse Code sound effects during any of the RKO movie opening symbols.

 

Might you perhaps be confusing this one and/or combining in your mind the old Universal Pictures opening symbol here?...

 

 

 

Yes,  I was confusing the two.   I like both of them because there is some cool movement in them. 

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What the heck does all this have to with heraldry? I was all set to talk about The Black Shield of Falworth.

 

Anyway, the MGM lion was dreamed up by Goldwyn studios publicist Howard Dietz (who in his spare time wrote lyrics for Broadway shows like The Band Wagon). As stated Dietz took the lion from the Columbia U mascot. When Goldwyn studios became part of MGM the logo went along too.

 

VbEH3nz.jpg

 

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Greta Garbo does some routine PR

 

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What the heck does all this have to with heraldry? I was all set to talk about The Black Shield of Falworth.

 

 

Well then, ya KNOW Doc, in THAT case I suppose you COULD have said somethin' like:

 

"Yondah stands da lion of our Foddah, Louis B. Mayah!", and STILL kind'a sort'a have been on topic here, RIGHT?! ;)

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What the heck does all this have to with heraldry? I was all set to talk about The Black Shield of Falworth.

 

Anyway, the MGM lion was dreamed up by Goldwyn studios publicist Howard Dietz (who in his spare time wrote lyrics for Broadway shows like The Band Wagon). As stated Dietz took the lion from the Columbia U mascot. When Goldwyn studios became part of MGM the logo went along too.

 

VbEH3nz.jpg

 

xKfejDh.jpg

 

 

VJZACLb.jpg

 

 

Greta Garbo does some routine PR

 

5F1OXrb.jpg

You are into heraldry, too? Oh, thank you!

THE BLACK SHIELD OF FALWORTH: that was SABLE, A GRIFFIN GULES, right?

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