Goldwyn Pictures

By | Apr 16, 2010

It was in 1916 that Samuel Goldfish in partnership with Broadway producers Edgar and Archibald Selwyn formed Goldwyn Pictures Corporation. The name came from a combination their names using Gold from Goldfish and Wyn from Selwyn. Shortly afterward Samuel Goldfish seeing an opportunity had his name legally changed to Samuel Goldwyn.

Nearly a year later Goldwyn Studios released on September 9th Polly at the Circus. This film featured as its logo Leo the Lion’s roar that was designed by Howard Dietz.

By the time that the Goldwyn Studios merged with Marcus Loew and his Metro Pictures Corporation in 1924, Samuel Goldwyn had been forced out of the company by his partners and had formed Samuel Goldwyn Productions in 1923. Also in 1924 Loew merged with Louis B. Mayer Pictures and renamed the corporation Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) on April 16, 1924.

The Leo the Lion logo opening of Goldwyn Pictures continued to be the opening logo for MGM pictures. The first film to feature the MGM Leo the Lion log was the 1924 film He Who Gets Slap starring Lon Chaney and Norma Shearer. This film was not the first release MGM production, just the first that featured the famous Lion logo.

MGM first sound movie was The Broadway Melody released on February 1, 1929. MGM was the last of the major studios to have a sound picture, but they did it right producing the first full musical and won the Oscar for Best Picture, the first sound picture to do so.

From there MGM became the biggest movie studio releasing at its peak on average one new feature film per week. The studio produced many of the best musical and drams of the period.


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