Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios was founded on this day

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. (also known as Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, commonly shortened to MGM), is an American media company specializing in film and television production and distribution. Founded on April 17, 1924, and based in Beverly Hills, California, it is owned by the Amazon MGM Studios subsidiary of Amazon.

MGM was formed by Marcus Loew by combining Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Pictures into one company. It hired a number of well-known actors as contract players—its slogan was "more stars than there are in heaven"—and soon became Hollywood's most prestigious filmmaking company, producing popular musical films and winning many Academy Awards. MGM also owned film studios, movie lots, movie theaters and technical production facilities. Its most prosperous era, from 1926 to 1959, was bracketed by two productions of Ben Hur. It divested itself of the Loews movie theater chain and, in 1956, expanded into television production.

In 1969, businessman and investor Kirk Kerkorian bought 40% of MGM and dramatically changed the operation and direction of the studio. He hired new management, reduced the studio's output to about five films per year, and diversified its products, creating MGM Resorts International as a Las Vegas–based hotel and casino company (which it later divested in the 1980s). In 1980, the studio acquired United Artists. In 1986, Kerkorian sold MGM to Ted Turner, who retained the rights to the MGM film library, sold the studio lot in Culver City to Lorimar, and sold the remnants of MGM back to Kerkorian a few months later. After Kerkorian sold and reacquired the company again in the 1990s, he expanded MGM by purchasing Orion Pictures and the Samuel Goldwyn Company, including both of their film libraries. Finally, in 2004, Kerkorian sold MGM to a consortium that included Sony Pictures.

In 2010, MGM filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and reorganization. After reorganization, it emerged from bankruptcy later that year under its creditors' ownership. Two former executives at Spyglass Entertainment, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, became co-chairmen and co-CEOs of MGM's new holding company. After Barber's departure in 2018, the studio sought to be acquired by another company to pay its creditors. In May 2021, Amazon acquired MGM for $8.45 billion; the deal closed in March 2022. In October 2023, Amazon Studios absorbed MGM Holdings and rebranded itself as Amazon MGM Studios. As of 2023, its major film franchises include Rocky and James Bond, while its most recent television productions include Fargo and The Handmaid's Tale.


MGM was the last studio to convert to sound pictures—nonetheless, from the end of the silent film era through the late 1950s, it was the dominant motion picture studio in Hollywood. It was slow to respond to the changing legal, economic, and demographic nature of the motion picture industry during the 1950s and 1960s; and although its films often did well at the box office, it lost significant amounts of money throughout the 1960s. In 1966, MGM was sold to Canadian investor Edgar Bronfman Sr., whose son Edgar Jr. would later buy Universal Studios. Three years later, an increasingly unprofitable MGM was bought by Kirk Kerkorian, who slashed staff and production costs, forced the studio to produce low-quality, low-budget fare, and then ceased theatrical distribution in 1973. The studio continued to produce five to six films a year that were distributed through other studios, usually United Artists. Kerkorian did, however, commit to increased production and an expanded film library when he bought United Artists in 1981.

MGM ramped up internal production, and kept production going at UA, which was continuing to thrive, particularly with the lucrative James Bond film franchise. It also incurred significant amounts of debt to increase production. The studio took on additional debt as a series of owners took charge in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1986, Ted Turner bought MGM, but a few months later, sold the company back to Kerkorian to recoup massive debt, while keeping the library assets for himself. The series of deals left MGM even more heavily in debt. MGM was bought by Pathé Communications (led by Italian publishing magnate Giancarlo Parretti) in 1990, but Parretti lost control of Pathé and defaulted on the loans used to purchase the studio. The French banking conglomerate Crédit Lyonnais, the studio's major creditor, then took control of MGM. Even more deeply in debt, MGM was purchased by a joint venture between Kerkorian, producer Frank Mancuso, and Australia's Seven Network in 1996.

The debt load from these and subsequent business deals negatively affected MGM's ability to survive as an independent motion picture studio. After a bidding war which included Time Warner (the current parent of Turner Broadcasting) and General Electric (the owners of the NBC television network at the time), MGM was acquired on September 23, 2004, by a partnership consisting of Sony Corporation of America, Comcast, Texas Pacific Group (now TPG Capital, L.P.), Providence Equity Partners, and other investors.

After its bankruptcy in 2010, MGM reorganized, with its creditors' $4 billion debt transferred to ownership. MGM's creditors control MGM through MGM Holdings, a private company. New management of its film and television production divisions was installed. The creditors have since contracted Morgan Stanley and LionTree Advisors to explore a sale.


Founding and early years

The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio in 1925

In 1924, movie theater magnate Marcus Loew had a problem. He had bought Metro Pictures Corporation in 1919 for $3 million, to provide a steady supply of films for his large Loew's Theatres chain. However, he found that his new property only provided a lackluster assortment of films. Seeking to solve this problem, Loew purchased Goldwyn Pictures in 1924 for $5 million to improve the quality of the theaters' products. However, these purchases created a need for someone to oversee his new Hollywood operations, since longtime assistant Nicholas Schenck was needed in New York headquarters to oversee the 150 theaters. A solution came in the person of Louis B. Mayer, head of Louis B. Mayer Pictures. Loew bought the Mayer studio for $75,000. Loews Incorporated completed the merger of the Loews theater chain and the three studios on April 17, 1924, celebrated with a fete on April 26, 1924. Mayer became head of the renamed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with 24-year-old Irving Thalberg as head of production. Final approval over budgets and contracts rested with New York City-based Loews Inc., while production decisions rested with the production headquarters in Culver City.

MGM produced more than 100 feature films in its first two years. In 1925, MGM released the extravagant and successful Ben-Hur, taking a $4.7 million profit that year, its first full year. Also in 1925, MGM, Paramount Pictures and UFA formed a joint German distributor, Parufamet.

Marcus Loew died in 1927, and control of Loew's passed to Nicholas Schenck. In 1929, William Fox of Fox Film Corporation bought the Loew family's holdings with Schenck's assent. Mayer and Thalberg disagreed with the decision. Mayer was active in the California Republican Party and used his political connections to persuade the Justice Department to delay final approval of the deal on antitrust grounds. During this time, in the summer of 1929, Fox was badly hurt in an automobile accident. By the time he recovered, the stock market crash in the fall of 1929 had nearly wiped Fox out and ended any chance of the Loew's merger going through. Schenck and Mayer had never gotten along (Mayer reportedly referred to his boss as "Mr. Skunk"), and the abortive Fox merger increased the animosity between the two men.

1920s and 1930s

From the outset, MGM tapped into the audience's need for glamor and sophistication. Having inherited few big names from their predecessor companies, Mayer and Thalberg began at once to create and publicize a host of new stars, among them Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, William Haines, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer (who followed Thalberg from Universal). Established names like Lon Chaney, William Powell, Buster Keaton, and Wallace Beery were hired from other studios. They also hired top directors such as King Vidor, Clarence Brown, Erich von Stroheim, Tod Browning, and Victor Seastrom. The arrival of talking pictures in 1928–29 gave opportunities to other new stars, many of whom would carry MGM through the 1930s: Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Robert Montgomery, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, Robert Taylor, Jeanette MacDonald, and Nelson Eddy among them.

MGM was one of the first studios to experiment with filming in Technicolor. Using the two-color Technicolor process then available, MGM filmed portions of The Uninvited Guest (1924), The Big Parade (1925), and Ben–Hur (1925), among others, in the process. MGM released The Viking (1928), the first complete Technicolor feature with a synchronized score and sound effects, but no spoken dialogue.

With the arrival of "talkies", MGM moved slowly and reluctantly into the sound era, releasing features like White Shadows in the South Seas (1928) with music and sound effects, and Alias Jimmy Valentine (1928) with limited dialogue sequences. Their first full-fledged talkie, the musical The Broadway Melody (1929), however, was both a box-office success and won the Academy Award as Best Picture of the Year.

MGM was the last major studio to convert to sound. The studio's first all-color, "all-talking" sound feature with dialogue was the musical The Rogue Song in 1930. MGM included a sequence made in Technicolor's superior new three-color process, a musical number in the otherwise black-and-white The Cat and the Fiddle (1934), starring Jeanette MacDonald and Ramon Novarro. The studio then produced a number of three-color short subjects including the musical La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935); the first complete Technicolor feature was Sweethearts (1938) with MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, the earlier of the popular singing team's two films in color. From then on, MGM regularly produced several films a year in Technicolor with Northwest Passage (1939) being one of the most notable of this era.

In addition to a large short-subjects program of its own, MGM also distributed the shorts and features produced by Hal Roach Studios, including comedy shorts starring Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang and Charley Chase. The studio's distribution deal with Roach lasted from 1927 to 1938, and MGM benefited in particular from the success of the popular Laurel and Hardy films. In 1938, MGM purchased the rights to the Our Gang series from Roach and production of the successful series moved to the MGM studios, where it continued until 1944. From 1929 to 1931, MGM produced a series of comedy shorts called All Barkie Dogville Comedies, in which trained dogs were dressed up to parody contemporary films and were voiced by actors. One of the shorts, The Dogway Melody (1930), spoofed MGM's hit 1929 musical The Broadway Melody.

MGM entered the music industry by purchasing the "Big Three" starting with Miller Music Publishing Co. in 1934, then Robbins Music Corporation. In 1935, MGM acquired a controlling interest in the capital stock of Leo Feist, Inc., the last of the Big Three. During the first musical craze of 1928–1930, a custom MGM label was created by Columbia using tunes from MGM productions that were recorded by Columbia. These records were sold only at Loew's theaters. (Columbia also created a label called Publix for Paramount music and sold only at Paramount Theaters.)

During the 1930s, MGM produced approximately 50 pictures a year, though it never met its goal of releasing a new motion picture each and every week (it was only able to release one feature film every nine days). Loew's 153 theaters were mostly located in New York, the Northeast, and Deep South; Gone with the Wind (1939) had its world premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. A fine reputation was gained for lavish productions that were sophisticated and polished to cater to an urban audience. Still, as the Great Depression deepened, MGM began to economize by "recycling" existing sets, costumes, and furnishings from yesteryear projects. This recycling practice never let up once started. In addition, MGM saved money because it was the only one of the big five studios that did not own an off-site movie ranch. Until the mid-1950s, MGM could make a claim its rivals could not: the studio never lost money, although it did produce an occasional disaster such as Parnell (1937), Clark Gable's biggest flop. MGM was the only Hollywood studio that continued to pay dividends during the 1930s.

MGM stars dominated the box office during the 1930s, and the studio was credited for inventing the Hollywood stable-of-stars system as well. MGM contracted with the American Musical Academy of Arts Association to handle all of their press and artist development. The AMAAA's main function was to develop the budding stars and to make them appealing to the public. Stars such as Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Myrna Loy, and Jeanette MacDonald reigned as the top-paid figures at the studio. Another MGM actress of the era, Jean Harlow, who had previously appeared in the Howard Hughes film Hell's Angels (1930), now had a big break and became a Hollywood sex symbol and one of MGM's most admired stars. Despite Harlow's gain, Garbo arguably remained the biggest star at MGM. Shearer was still a money maker despite her screen appearances becoming scarce, and Crawford continued her box-office popularity until 1937. MGM also received a boost through the man who would become known as "King of Hollywood", Clark Gable. Gable's career took off to new heights after he won an Oscar for the Columbia film It Happened One Night (1934).

Mayer and Irving Thalberg's association began warmly, but eventually relations between the two became strained; Thalberg preferred literary works and expensive costume pictures over the lower-budget, family-oriented crowd pleasers Mayer wanted. Thalberg, always physically frail, was removed as head of production in 1932. Mayer encouraged other staff producers, among them his son-in-law David O. Selznick, but no one seemed to have the sure touch of Thalberg. As Thalberg's health deteriorated in 1936, Mayer could now serve as his temporary replacement. Rumors had begun circulating for some time that Thalberg was leaving MGM to set up his own independent company; his premature death at age 37 in September 1936 cost MGM dearly.

After Thalberg's untimely death, Mayer became head of production, as well as studio chief, becoming the first million-dollar executive in American history. The company remained profitable, and an increase in MGM's "series" pictures (Andy Hardy starring Mickey Rooney, Maisie starring Ann Sothern, The Thin Man starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and Dr. Kildare/Dr. Gillespie with Lew Ayres and Lionel Barrymore) is cited as evidence of Mayer's restored influence. Also playing a huge role was Ida Koverman, Mayer's secretary and right hand.

In 1937, Mayer hired Mervyn LeRoy, a former Warner Bros. producer/director as MGM's top producer and Thalberg's replacement. LeRoy convinced Mayer to acquire the film rights to the popular children's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; MGM purchased the rights from Samuel Goldwyn for $75,000 in 1938.

MGM's hits in 1939 included The Wizard of OzNinotchka, starring Greta Garbo; The Women, starring Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer; and Gone with the Wind, starring Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara and Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. Although Gone With the Wind was produced by Selznick International Pictures, the film was distributed by MGM as part of a deal for producer David O. Selznick, Mayer's son-in-law, to obtain the services of Gable as well as financial assistance necessary for Selznick to complete the film. After Selznick International foundered in 1944, MGM acquired the full rights to Gone With the Wind. While The Wizard of Oz was a critical hit, the production costs for the film were so expensive it took 20 years before it turned a profit.


Within one year, beginning in 1942, Mayer released his five highest-paid actresses from their MGM contracts: Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Jeanette MacDonald and Myrna Loy. After being labeled "box office poison", Crawford's MGM contract was terminated and she moved to Warner Brothers, where her career took a dramatic upturn. Garbo and Shearer never made another film after leaving the lot. Of the five stars, Loy and MacDonald were the only two whom Mayer later rehired, in 1947 and 1948 respectively; Crawford returned to MGM after Mayer's departure for the musical drama Torch Song in 1953.

Increasingly, before and during World War II, Mayer came to rely on his "College of Cardinals"—senior producers who controlled the studio's output. This management-by-committee resulted in MGM losing its momentum, developing few new stars, and relying on the safety of sequels and bland material. (Dorothy Parker memorably referred to the studio as "Metro-Goldwyn-Merde".) Production values remained high, and even "B" pictures carried a polish and gloss that made them expensive to mount. After 1940, production was cut from 50 pictures a year to a more manageable 25 features per year. During this period, MGM released several very successful musicals with stars such as Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Frank Sinatra.


Audiences began drifting to television in the late 1940s, and MGM and the other studios were finding it increasingly difficult to attract them to theaters. With its high overhead expenses, MGM's profit margins continued to decrease. Word came from Nicholas Schenck in New York to find "a new Thalberg" who could improve quality while paring costs. Mayer thought he had found this savior in Dore Schary, a writer and producer who had found success at running RKO Pictures. Lavish musicals were Schary's focus, and hits like Easter Parade (1948) and the popular films of Mario Lanza (including The Toast of New Orleans (1950) and The Great Caruso (1951)) helped keep MGM profitable.

In August 1951, Mayer was fired by MGM's East Coast executives and he was replaced by Schary. Gradually cutting loose expensive contract players (including $6,000-a-week Judy Garland in 1950 and "King of Hollywood" Clark Gable in 1954), saving money by recycling existing movie sets instead of building costly new scenery, and reworking expensive old costumes, Schary managed to keep the studio running much as it had through the early 1940s, though his sensibilities for hard-edged, message movies would never bear much fruit. One bright spot was MGM musical pictures, under the aegis of producer Arthur Freed, who was operating what amounted to an independent unit within the studio. MGM produced some well-regarded and profitable musicals that would later be acknowledged as classics, among them An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954). However, Brigadoon (1954), Deep in My Heart (1954), It's Always Fair Weather (1955), Invitation to the Dance (1956), and Les Girls (1957) were extravagant song and dance flops, and even the now-classic The Band Wagon (1953) and Silk Stockings (1957) lost money upon their initial releases.

In 1952, as a settlement of the government's restraint-of-trade action, United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. 334 US 131 (1948), Loews, Inc. gave up control of MGM. It would take another five years before the interlocking arrangements were completely undone, by which time both Loews and MGM were losing money. In 1956, Schary was ousted from MGM in another power struggle against the New York-based executives. Cost overruns and the failure of the big-budget epic Raintree County (1957) prompted the studio to terminate Schary's contract.

Schary's reign at MGM had been marked with few legitimate hits, but his departure (along with the retirement of Schenck in 1955) left a power vacuum that would prove difficult to fill. Initially Joseph Vogel became president and Sol Siegel head of production. In 1957 (by coincidence, the year Mayer died), the studio lost money for the first time in its 34-year history. After Spencer Tracy left MGM in 1955, the only major star remaining under contract from MGM's heyday was Robert Taylor; by 1960, MGM had released Taylor and the last of its contract players, with many either retiring or moving on to television.

In 1958, MGM released what is generally considered its last great musical, Arthur Freed's Cinemascope color production of Gigi, starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, and Louis Jourdan. It was adapted from the novel by Colette, and written by the team of Lerner and Loewe, who also wrote My Fair Lady and CamelotGigi was a box-office and critical success which won nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. From it came several hit songs, including "Thank Heaven For Little Girls", "I Remember It Well", the "Waltz at Maxim's", and the Oscar-winning title song. The film was the last MGM musical to win a Best Picture Oscar, an honor that had previously gone to The Broadway Melody (1929), The Great Ziegfeld (1936), and An American in Paris (1951). The last musical film produced by the "Freed Unit" was an adaptation of the Broadway musical Bells Are Ringing (1960) with Judy Holliday and Dean Martin. However, MGM did release later musical films, including an adaptation of Meredith Willson's The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) with Debbie Reynolds and Harve Presnell.

MGM enters television

MGM's first television program, The MGM Parade, was produced by MGM's trailer department as one of the compilation and promotional shows that imitated Disney's series Disneyland which was also on ABC. Parade was canceled by ABC in the 2nd quarter of 1956. MGM took bids for its movie library in 1956 from Lou Chesler and others, but decided on entering the TV market itself. Chesler had offered $50 million for the film library. MGM Television was started with the hiring of Bud Barry to head up the operation in June 1956. MGM Television was to distribute its films to TV (starting with the networks), TV production and purchasing TV stations. TV production was expected to start with the 1957–58 season and was to include half-hour remakes of, or series based on, its pictures. Initial feature film sales focused on selling to the networks.

The year 1957 also marked the end of MGM's animation department, as the studio determined it could generate the same amount of revenue by reissuing older cartoons as it could by producing and releasing new ones. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, by then the heads of the MGM cartoon studio, took most of their unit and made their own company, Hanna-Barbera Productions, a successful producer of television animation.

In 1956, MGM sold the television rights for The Wizard of Oz to CBS, which scheduled it to be shown in November of that year. In a landmark event, the film became the first American theatrical fiction film to be shown complete in one evening on prime time television over a major American commercial network. (Olivier's version of Hamlet was shown on prime time network TV a month later, but split in half over two weeks, and the 1950 film, The Titan: Story of Michelangelo was telecast by ABC in 1952, but that was a documentary.) Beginning in 1959, and lasting until 1991, telecasts of The Wizard of Oz became an annual tradition, drawing huge audiences in homes all over the U.S. and earning additional profits for MGM. The studio was all too happy to see Oz become, through television, one of the two or three most famous films MGM has ever made, and one of the few films that nearly everybody in the U.S. has seen at least once. Today The Wizard of Oz is regularly shown on the Turner-owned channels, no longer just once a year.

MGM cartoons In animation, MGM purchased the rights in 1930 to distribute a series of cartoons that starred a character named Flip the Frog, produced by Ub Iwerks. The first cartoon in this series (titled Fiddlesticks) was the first sound cartoon to be produced in two-color Technicolor. In 1933, Ub Iwerks canceled the unsuccessful Flip the Frog series and MGM began to distribute its second series of cartoons, starring a character named Willie Whopper, that was also produced by Ub Iwerks.

In 1934, after Iwerks' distribution contract expired, MGM contracted with animation producers/directors Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising to produce a new series of color cartoons. Harman and Ising came to MGM after breaking ties with Leon Schlesinger and Warner Bros. and brought with them their popular Looney Tunes character, Bosko. These were known as Happy Harmonies, and in many ways resembled the Looney Tunes' sister series, Merrie Melodies. The Happy Harmonies regularly ran over budget, and MGM dismissed Harman-Ising in 1937 to start its own animation studio.

After initial struggles with a poorly received series of The Captain and the Kids cartoons, the studio rehired Harman and Ising in 1939, and Ising created the studio's first successful animated character, Barney Bear. However, MGM's biggest cartoon stars would come in the form of the cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry, created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera in 1940. The Tom and Jerry cartoons won seven Academy Awards between 1943 and 1953. In 1941, Tex Avery, another Schlesinger alumnus, joined the animation department. Avery gave the unit its image, with successes like Red Hot Riding HoodSwing Shift Cinderella, and the Droopy series.

Avery left the studio in 1953, leaving Hanna and Barbera to focus on the popular Tom and Jerry and Droopy series. After 1955, all cartoons were filmed in CinemaScope until MGM closed its cartoon division in 1957.

In 1961, MGM resumed the release of new Tom and Jerry shorts, and production moved to Rembrandt Films in Prague, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) under the supervision of Gene Deitch, who had been hired away from Terrytoons. Although Deitch's Tom and Jerry cartoons were considered to be vastly inferior to the earlier Hanna and Barbera shorts, they did receive positive reviews in some quarters. In 1963, the production of Tom and Jerry returned to Hollywood under Chuck Jones and his Sib Tower 12 Productions studio (later absorbed by MGM and renamed MGM Animation/Visual Arts). Jones' group also produced its own works, winning an Oscar for The Dot and the Line (1965), as well as producing the classic television version of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) featuring the voice of Boris Karloff. Tom and Jerry folded in 1967, and the animation department continued with television specials and one feature film, The Phantom Tollbooth. A revived Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Animation was in existence from 1993 to 1999.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. MGM in the 1960s

In 1959, MGM enjoyed what is quite probably its greatest financial success of later years, with the release of its nearly four-hour Technicolor epic Ben–Hur, a remake of its 1925 silent film hit, loosely based on the novel by General Lew Wallace. Starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the film was critically acclaimed, and won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a record that held until Titanic matched it in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King also did in 2003.

During this period, MGM fell into a questionable practice that eventually nearly doomed the studio: an entire year's production schedule relied on the success of one big-budget epic film each year. This policy began in 1959, when Ben–Hur proved profitable enough to carry the studio through 1960. However, four succeeding big-budget epics—like Ben–Hur, each a remake—failed: Cimarron (1960), King of Kings (1961), Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1961), and, most notoriously, Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). The Cinerama film The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (also 1962), the first film in Cinerama to actually tell a story, was also a financial failure. But one other big-budget epic that was a success, however, was the MGM-Cinerama co-production How the West Was Won (1962), with a huge all-star cast. King of Kings, while a commercial and critical bomb at the time, has since come to be regarded as a film classic. The losses caused by these films led to the resignations of Sol Siegel and Joseph Vogel who were replaced by Robert M. Weitman (head of production) and Robert O'Brien (president).

The combination of O'Brien and Weitman seemed to temporarily revive the studio. MGM released David Lean's immensely popular Doctor Zhivago (1965), later followed by such hits as The Dirty Dozen (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Where Eagles Dare (1968). However the company's time was taken up fighting off proxy attacks by corporate raiders, and then MGM backed another series of box office failures, including the musical remake of Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969) and Ryan's Daughter (1970). Weitman moved over to Columbia in 1967 and O'Brien was forced to resign a few years later.

In the mid-1960s, MGM began to diversify by investing in real estate. Edgar Bronfman Sr. purchased a controlling interest in MGM in 1966 (and was briefly chairman of the board in 1969), and in 1967 Time Inc. became the company's second-largest shareholder.

Kirk Kerkorian investment

In 1969, Kirk Kerkorian purchased 40 percent of MGM stock. What appealed to Kerkorian was MGM's asset value, which included subsidiary businesses, real estate, and the value of 45 years' worth of glamour associated with the name, which he attached to a Las Vegas hotel and casino. As for film-making, that part of the company was bleeding money and was quickly and severely downsized under the supervision of James T. Aubrey Jr. With changes in its business model including fewer pictures per year, more location shooting and more distribution of independent productions, MGM's operations were reduced. Aubrey sold off MGM's accumulation of props, furnishings and historical memorabilia, including a pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Lot 3, 40 acres (160,000 m2) of back-lot property, was sold off for real-estate development. In 1971, it was announced that MGM was in talks with 20th Century-Fox about a possible merger, a plan which never came into fruition. Under Aubrey, MGM also sold off MGM Records and its overseas theater holdings.

Through the 1970s, studio output slowed considerably as Aubrey preferred four or five medium-budget pictures each year along with a smattering of low-budget fare. In October 1973 and in decline in output, MGM closed its distribution offices then outsourced distribution for its films for a ten-year period to United Artists. UA also purchased MGM's music publishing arm, Robbins, Feist & Miller plus half of Canadian record label Quality Records.

Kerkorian had largely distanced himself from the operations of the studio, focusing on the MGM Grand Hotel, investing $120 million into that project. Another portion of the backlot was sold in 1974. The last shooting done on the backlot was the introductory material for That's Entertainment! (1974), a retrospective documentary that became a surprise hit for the studio.

That's Entertainment! was authorized by Dan Melnick, who was appointed head of production in 1972. Under Melnick's regime, MGM produced a number of successful films in the 1970s, including Westworld (1973), Soylent Green (1973), The Sunshine Boys (1975), The Wind and the Lion (1975), Network (1976) and Coma (1978). Despite these successes, MGM never reclaimed its former status.

The MGM Recording Studios were sold in 1975. In 1979, Kerkorian issued a press statement that MGM was now primarily a hotel company. In 1980, MGM hit a symbolic low point when David Begelman, earlier fired by Columbia following the discovery of his acts of forgery and embezzlement, was installed as MGM's president and CEO.

In 1980, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. split its production and casino units into separate companies: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co. and MGM Grand Hotels, Inc. The rise of ancillary markets was enough to allow MGM to increase production to 10-15 films a year compared to three to six in the previous decade, but first it needed to revive its distribution unit.

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2Pulp FictionPulp Fiction12.05.1994de, en, fr, lt, lv, pl, ru, ua
3Comedy film "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (1988)Comedy film "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (1988)14.12.1988de, en, fr, lv, pl, ru, ua
4"Casino Royale" is a spy parody film"Casino Royale" is a spy parody film13.04.1967en, ru
5A Hard Day's Night is a musical comedy film with the BeatlesA Hard Day's Night is a musical comedy film with the Beatles02.03.1964en, ru
6Lolita (film)Lolita (film)13.06.1962en, fr, lv, pl, ru, ua
7"West Side Story" - a 1961 American musical romantic drama film"West Side Story" - a 1961 American musical romantic drama film18.10.1961de, ee, en, lv, ru
8Some Like It HotSome Like It Hot29.03.1959en, lv, ru
927th Academy Awards27th Academy Awards30.03.1955en, lv
10Casablanca (film)Casablanca (film)26.11.1942de, ee, en, fr, lt, lv, pl, ru, ua
11Citizen KaneCitizen Kane05.12.1941en, lv, ru
12Started Tom and JerryStarted Tom and Jerry20.02.1940en, lv, pl, ru
13Gone with the Wind Gone with the Wind 15.12.1939en
14Odbyła się 3. ceremonia wręczenia OscarówOdbyła się 3. ceremonia wręczenia Oscarów05.11.1930pl
15The first Academy Awards were held in HollywoodThe first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood16.05.1929en, lv, pl
16Nodibināts uzņēmums Paramount PicturesNodibināts uzņēmums Paramount Pictures08.05.1912lv, pl
17The Ziegfeld FolliesThe Ziegfeld Follies01.02.1907en, ru


No places assigned


    Name Born / Since / At Died Languages
    1Rob PilatusRob Pilatus08.06.196402.04.1998de, en, fr
    2Isabella BlowIsabella Blow19.11.195807.05.2007de, en, fr
    3Nancy Laura SpungenNancy Laura Spungen27.02.195812.10.1978en
    4Jeffrey FoskettJeffrey Foskett17.02.195611.12.2023en
    5Stevie Ray VaughanStevie Ray Vaughan03.10.195427.08.1990de, en, fr, lt, pl, ru, ua
    6Mel SmithMel Smith03.12.195219.07.2013de, en, fr, lv, ru
    7Patrick SwayzePatrick Swayze18.08.195214.09.2009de, ee, en, fr, lv, pl, ru, ua
    8William HurtWilliam Hurt20.03.195013.03.2022en
    9France GallFrance Gall09.10.194707.01.2018de, en, fr, lv, pl, ru, ua
    10Jane BirkinJane Birkin14.12.194616.07.2023en, fr, lv, pl, ru
    11Silvija TaylorSilvija Taylor05.10.194608.07.1992lv
    12Paula WeinsteinPaula Weinstein19.11.194525.03.2024de, en
    13Tony ScottTony Scott21.06.194419.08.2012de, en, fr, lv, pl, ru
    14Sharon  TateSharon Tate24.01.194309.08.1969de, en, fr, lv, pl, ru
    15Annette FunicelloAnnette Funicello22.10.194208.04.2013de, en, fr, pl, ru
    16René AngélilRené Angélil16.01.194214.01.2016en, fr, lv, pl, ru
    17Yvette MimieuxYvette Mimieux08.01.194217.01.2022en, pl, ru
    18Helen ReddyHelen Reddy25.10.194129.09.2020en, lv, ru
    19Frank ZappaFrank Zappa21.12.194004.12.1993ee, en, lt, lv, pl, ru
    20Pina BauschPina Bausch27.07.194030.06.2009de, en, fr, pl, ru, ua