Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., or MGM, is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of films and television programs. MGM was founded in 1924 when the entertainment entrepreneur Marcus Loew gained control of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation and Louis B. Mayer Pictures.
MGM and its legendary roaring lion logo was formed in April 1924, by theater magnate Marcus Lowe, who orchestrated the merger of Metro Pictures Corp., Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions. With visionary Louis B. Mayer and production genius Irving Thalberg at the helm, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was a powerhouse of prolific artistry and filmmaking expertise that the studio famously said attracted "more stars than are in the heavens." During a golden three decades from 1924 to 1954, the Culver City-based studio dominated the movie business, creating a Best Picture nominee every year for two straight decades. One of the more memorable years at the Academy Awards® was in 1939 when MGM's Gone With the Wind and MGM's The Wizard of Oz were both nominated for Best Picture. Gone With the Wind took home Best Picture that year, along with 8 other Oscars. The Wizard of Oz secured two Oscars. Hattie McDaniel Won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Oscar®.
The studio's official motto, "Ars Gratia Artis", is a Latin phrase meaning "Art for art's sake". It was chosen by Howard Dietz, the studio's chief publicist, in 1924. The studio's logo is a roaring lion surrounded by a circle inscribed with the studio's motto. The logo, which features "Leo the Lion", was created by Dietz in 1916 for Goldwyn Pictures and updated in 1924 for MGM's use. Dietz based the logo on his alma mater's mascot—the Columbia University lion. Originally silent, the sound of Leo the Lion's roar was added to films for the first time in August 1928. The studio's informal motto is "more stars than there are in heaven", a reference to the large number of A-list movie stars under contract to the company in the 1930s.
Today MGM boasts an impressive library comprised of titles from the United Artists, Orion Pictures, Goldwyn Entertainment and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment libraries. With approximately 4,100 films and over 10,400 hours of television programming, the library also includes the Rocky and Pink Panther franchises and the celebrated James Bond franchise, the longest running and most profitable series in film history.
Inception Date: 1924