Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures originally started off as two separate film studios -- Metro Pictures Coproration and Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. In 1924, Marcus Loew bought these two companies to form Metro-Goldwyn Pictures, and on April 17, Louis B. Mayer merged his company with Metro-Goldwyn Pictures to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, or simply MGM. Today, many movies distributed by this company are actually United Artists films.
Before 1928, the MGM logo had a silent lion who just moves his head from left to right and was spotted on He Who Gets Slapped (1924) and The Circle (1925) but other silent MGM films have him replaced by this lion. This logo was the first to have a roaring lion in it Up until 1932, there was also an extended version where he would roar three times, then look away then look back at the camera and fade out. Also in 1932, a roar track used a roar of Telly the lion and was used until 1956. If you're a fan of The Wizard of Oz (1939), you will see this logo on all prints of the film mentioned. Color films such as The Viking (1928), The Mysterious Island (1929) and Crazy House (1930) include Telly. Others from 1932-1935 such as the Happy Harmonies cartoons, The Menu (1933) and Wild People (1932) have Coffee. Color films from 1934-1956 such as Quo Vadis (1951), On The Town (1949), Anchors Aweigh (1945), In The Good Old Summertime (1949), Meet Me In St. Louis (1944), Show Boat (1951), Singin' In The Rain (1952), Good News (1947), Royal Wedding (1951), An American In Paris (1951), Dangerous When Wet (1953) and The Naked Spur (1953) has Tanner. Tanner and Jackie's logos were redone in 1953. Jackie's is found on The MGM Parade and Blackboard Jungle (1955). Tanner's is found on Torch Song (1953), Kiss Me Kate (1953), Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954), The Cobweb (1955), Bad Day At Black Rock (1954), Moonfleet (1955), Forbidden Planet (1956) and a few others.
Lived for at least 30 years, this was Leo the Lion's first logo ever made in the history of MGM films. There are three variants of this logo. In the first version (1957-1960), Leo roars three times. On films released as of 1960, Leo roars twice. And from 1983-1987, the words "Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" would be replaced by "MGM/UA Entertainment Co."
Examples of films that have this logo are Ben-Hur (1959) and A Christmas Story (1983).
This logo has three variants. The first one has the byline "An MGM/UA Communications Company", seen from 1987 to 1992. The second variant, which has no byline whatsoever, was seen on all MGM films from 1992 to 2001. And finally, the third variant carries the byline "www.mgm.com", the web address for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. This byline was seen from 2001 to 2008.
In 1994 and 1999, respectively, temporary logos were used on MGM films for the studio's 70th and 75th anniversaries.
Films with this logo include Spaceballs (1987), Death Warrant (1990), Thelma & Louise (1991), Species (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Legally Blonde (2001).
From November 14, 2008 to March 16, 2012 (March 24, 2009 to June 26, 2012 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc), films released between these dates had the logo containing the byline "MGM.COM". The first film to have this byline on the MGM logo was Quantum of Solace (2008), and the last was 21 Jump Street (2012).
As of August 8, 2012 (December 4, 2012 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc), starting with Hope Springs (2012), the logo is now seen animated on all brand-new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures films. One of them is Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013).