TWO-SENTENCE HISTORY: It began as a noble idea: a partnership involving four leading figures of their time—actors Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along with director D.W. Griffith—that was supposed to give more freedom and control to the creative types. Never a huge Hollywood player, United Artists did have its share of hits (and became the U.S. distributor of the James Bond franchise), but barely survived the legendary fiasco that was 1980’s Heaven’s Gate—a few years later, the studio was sold to MGM.
MEMORABLE FILMS INCLUDE: Broken Blossoms (1919), Wuthering Heights (1939), High Noon (1952), Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Rain Man (1988)
THE LOGO: For a period lasting almost 50 years, the United Artist logo stayed basically the same: the name of the studio enclosed in a long hexagonal box. And then, as if to make up for all that lost time, the logo went through a number of major looks—adopting, losing and finally reverting back to the ‘UA’ familiar to so many Bond fans.