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United Artists

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The United Artists Corporation (aka United Artists Associated, United Artists Pictures, and United Artists Films) is a movie studio and a subsidiary of MGM, itself part of the Sony Pictures/Comcast joint venture. It is currently "branded" as an art-house studio.

UA, an MGM division for a quarter century, also shares the copyright (with Danjaq L.L.C.) of the wildly successful James Bond film franchise.

History

It backed two expatriate Americans in Britain, who had acquired screen rights to Ian Fleming's Bond novels. For $1 million, UA backed Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli's Dr. No (which was a sensation in 1962) and served as the launching point for the James Bond series. That franchise has outlived UA's life as a major studio, still running forty years later and still co-owned by UA. Other successful projects backed in this period included Blake Edwards's Pink Panther series, which began in 1964, and Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns, which made a star of Clint Eastwood.

In 1990 came the farcical sale to the Italian promoter Giancarlo Parretti; having bought MGM/UA by wildly overstating his own financial condition, within a year Parretti had defaulted to his primary bank, Crédit Lyonnais, which foreclosed on the studio in 1992. In an effort to make MGM/UA saleable, Credit Lyonnais ramped up production, reviving the James Bond films. MGM was sold in 1997, again to Kirk Kekorian. During the 2000s, UA was repositioned as a boutique or specialty studio, while the Bond francise was move to MGM. UA (re-christened United Artists Films) released a few "art-house" films.

On April 8, 2005, a partnership of Comcast, Sony and several merchant banks bought United Artists and its parent, MGM, for a total of $4.8 billion.

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Bond films

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s


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