United Artists

United Artists

:"This article is about the film studio. Previously, it was affiliated with a cinema chain bearing its name, now owned by Regal Entertainment Group."] [] Her output as head of UA was two films, the flop "Lions for Lambs". [] and "Valkyrie", a story of Nazi Germany starring Tom Cruise that was troubled by reshoots and release delays. Wagner's departure has led to speculation that an overhaul at United Artists is imminent.

Historical List of Films

List of United Artists films

Film Archives

The value of film libraries has increased exponentially in recent years, even as ownership gets more fractured. Few studios had the foresight or ability to maintain control over every picture they produced or released.

United Artists, through various strategic purchases, built up a substantial film library. Included were rights not only to some of UA's own releases, but to the pre-1948 Warner Bros. and RKO libraries. Having passed through numerous hands, this catalog now belongs to Time Warner's Turner Entertainment unit. However, one post-1948 WB film, the 1956 version of "Moby Dick", is still owned by UA.

Since UA produced very few of the pictures it released, ownership of UA's output often rests with the individual or company producing. Some UA films of the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s fell into the public domain, to be picked up by Republic Pictures (today part of Paramount Pictures) or small boutique houses like Castle Hill Productions (with distribution by Warner Bros. Entertainment). A small fraction of UA's silent output is now owned by Kino International.

A good number of United Artists' films from the 1920s through the 1940s, in the public domain, have been forgotten. Of the hundreds of fiilms distributed by UA over eighty-plus years, those which it owns outright today are its own productions from 1951 forward, plus a few pre-1951 films such as 1933's "Hallelujah, I'm A Bum" and Howard Hawks's "Red River" (1948).

The Big Four (Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks and Griffith)

* Charlie Chaplin's films, features and shorts are controlled by his estate, with the DVD rights licensed to Warner Home Video.

* Most of the films Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith made at United Artists now rest with film restoration company Film Preservation Associates.

* When she retired from pictures in 1933, Mary Pickford wanted to destroy her films; afraid that they would be laughed-at, she was finally made to see that they would have artistic or historic value, and today rights to all of her films are held by the Mary Pickford Foundation.

Disney, Lantz and Twentieth Century Pictures' productions

* All of the Disney shorts released through United Artists in the early 1930s are owned by The Walt Disney Company.

* All of the Walter Lantz cartoons distributed by UA during 1947 up to 1948 are now held by Lantz's original home, Universal.

* The Twentieth Century pictures released by UA between 1933 and 1935 rest with the successor company, 20th Century Fox, which now handles video distribution for MGM.


Films made by UA in co-production with other companies rest with several studios in certain territories or under contractual agreements.

* Most ancillary rights to "Return of the Pink Panther" (in collaboration with ITC Entertainment) resides under Universal Pictures' Focus Features division, although UA still owns theatrical distribution rights (as sister company MGM owns theatrical rights to the ITC library).

*In another twist of irony, UA also owns theatrical distribution rights to the 1978 remake of "The Big Sleep" (another ITC production originally released by UA) by virtue of MGM's distribution rights to ITC's theatrical output.

* U.S. rights to the film "Network" (a co-production with MGM) are now owned by Warner Bros./Turner Entertainment, as the domestic rights were originally held by MGM and incorporated into the Turner library in 1986. But in other countries, the film still resides with MGM (due to UA distributing the film outside the U.S.).

* Worldwide rights to "Always" are now with Universal Pictures, the film's co-producing studio.

* Most ancillary rights to "Convoy" (an EMI Films production) are now with EMI's successor company, StudioCanal, although its copyright and home video re-release issues are currently uncertain.

* "Showgirls" is still owned by MGM/UA in the USA, but worldwide rights are still in the hands of various companies (under license from StudioCanal, the successor to Carolco Pictures).

Independent producers

* Rights to the UA-released Hal Roach films are now with RHI Entertainment, even though most of these are in the public domain.

* Rights to the The Caddo Company/Howard Hughes films produced by UA are now owned by Universal (except for a few like "Two Arabian Nights" and "The Front Page" which are in the public domain—home video rights rest with independent home video distributors like Flicker Alley and Reelclassicdvd.com).

* The pre-1941 Samuel Goldwyn films released by UA (as well as the films made during his tenure at RKO) were temporarily handled by The Samuel Goldwyn Company (with HBO Home Video handling home entertainment rights) but are now currently held by successor company MGM, with which Goldwyn feuded for years.

* The U.S. rights to "The African Queen" are now owned by CBS (part of the current version of CBS Corporation), with Paramount Pictures (part of Viacom) handling theatrical distribution on the network's behalf. CBS Corp. and Viacom are both controlled by National Amusements.

* Ancillary rights to "The Final Countdown" are now with Lionsgate (successor-in-interest to Producers Sales Organization), however the video rights are held by Blue Underground.

* Rights to Mike Todd's splashy "Around the World in Eighty Days" and the UA-distributed Lorimar and Saul Zaentz films are now in the hands of Warner Bros.

The Selznick library

* Rights to Selznick International Pictures and other later productions from David Selznick are held by ABC (which is also owned by Disney) and home video rights are held by MGM under license. Of course, this excludes "Gone with the Wind", which was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and is now owned by Warner Bros. (via subsidiary Turner Entertainment Company).

* Few films from the Selznick library did not make it to ABC but instead to other companies like Pioneer Pictures (which most films from the library are now in public domain) and Carlton.

Pre-1986 MGM/UA library

* Some of the pre-1986 MGM/UA films made around the early 1980s still remain in the MGM library and not picked up by Turner Entertainment due to most of these films produced by UA (ex. The "James Bond" and "Rocky" franchises).

* However, a specific film from the official UA library, the 1937 film "The Prisoner of Zenda", has managed to enter the Turner library, thus part of the Warner catalogs. MGM did themselves film a remake of "The Prisoner of Zenda" in 1952, and thus it is possible MGM bought the rights to the 1937 version just prior to making the 1952 version.

*The pre-1986 MGM films released through United Artists are also now with WB/Turner Entertainment.

The Beatles' films

* Most of The Beatles' films, all distributed by UA, are now owned by the surviving members of the group, through Apple Corps, with licensing from EMI.

* Rights to "A Hard Day's Night" is controlled by The Weinstein Company.

* While losing the rights to most of their films, UA held on to "Yellow Submarine", meaning MGM would gain rights to it when they purchased UA.

United Artists Broadcasting

United Artists owned and operated television two television stations between the years of 1968 and 1977. Legal ID's for the company would typically say "United Artists Broadcasting: an entertainment service of Transamerica Corporation," along with the Transamerica "T" logo. The company was permittee of another station KUAB (TV) in the Houston, TX area. The station signed on in a time when KVVV-TV was and KHTV (now KIAH) were beginning.

United Artists also owned one radio station, WWSH in Philadelphia, from 1970 to 1977.

UAB/Transamerica left the broadcasting business in 1977 by selling WUAB to the Gaylord Broadcasting Company and WWSH to Cox Communications.

See also

* United Artists Television
* United Artists Records
* List of Hollywood movie studios
* Production company



* Bach, Steven. "Final Cut". New York: Morrow, 1985.
* Balio, Tino. "United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars". Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1976.
* Balio, Tino. "United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry". Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
* Berg, A. Scott. "Goldwyn". New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.
* Gabler, Neal. "An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood." New York: Crown Publishers, 1988.
* Schickel, Richard. "D.W. Griffith: An American Life". New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983.
* Thomson, David. "Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick". New York: Alfred A, Knopf, 1992.

External links

* [http://www.unitedartists.com/ United Artists website]

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  • United Artists — United Ar|tists trademark a large US film company based in Hollywood, which has made many famous films …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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