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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (initialized as MGM; often referred to as Metro; common metonym: the Lion or Leo) is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
MGM Resorts International, a Las Vegas-based hotel and casino company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MGM", was created in 1973 as a division of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The company was spun out in 1979, with the studio's then owner Kirk Kerkorian maintaining a large share, but it ended all affiliation with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1986.
With the arrival of talkies, MGM moved slowly and reluctantly into 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.
In August 1951, Mayer was fired by MGM's East Coast executives and was replaced by Schary. Gradually cutting loose expensive contract players (including $6,000-a-week Judy Garland in 1950), saving money by recycling existing movie sets instead of building costly new scenery, and reworking pricey 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 be later 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), and Invitation to the Dance (1956), were extravagant song and dance flops, and even the now-classic The Band Wagon (1953) lost money in its initial release. Movie audiences more and more were staying home and watching television.
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 Hood, Swing Shift Cinderella, and the Droopy series.
In July 1988, Kerkorian announced plans to split MGM and UA into separate studios. Under this deal, Kerkorian, who owned 82% of MGM/UA Communications, would have sold 25% of MGM to Barris Industries (controlled by producers Burt Sugarman, Jon Peters, and Peter Guber). The proposition to spin off MGM was called off a few weeks later. In 1989, Australian-based Qintex attempted to buy MGM from Kerkorian, but the deal collapsed. On November 29, 1989, Turner (owners of the pre-May 1986 MGM library) attempted to buy Tracinda's entertainment assets such as MGM/UA Communications Co. but every time the deal had failed.