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UA celebrates 100 years of film with centennial trailer

By
Fred Topel

Aug. 28 (UPI) -- United Artists released a trailer Wednesday celebrating their centennial anniversary. The trailer features clips from the classic films UA released in its 100 years of operation as a movie studio.

Silent Film stars Charlie Chaplin, Marie Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks founded United Artists with director D.W. Griffith in 1919. Chaplin's quote, "All it takes is imagination, courage and a little dough" opens the montage of classic film clips as his Little Tramp character walks off into the sunset.

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Clips span the century to include Some Like It Hot, the Rocky films, Raging Bull, Leaving Las Vegas, Midnight Cowboy, Yentyl, Annie Hall, Carrie, Rain Man, Road House, Capote, Wargames, The Great Escape, The Birdcage, and James Bond films from Dr. No and Goldfinger to Goldeneye.

Famous movie quotes include Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) saying, "I'm walking here" in Midnight Cowboy. Pussy Galore introduces herself to James Bond (Sean Connery) in Goldfinger. He replies, "I must be dreaming." Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) says, "Let's play something else" in the original Thomas Crown Affair. Jake LaMotta (Robert DeNiro) says, "That's entertainment" in Raging Bull.

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United Artists went public in 1957. Transamerica Corporation purchased 98 percent of UA's stock in 1967. Kirk Kerkorian purchased UA in 1981 and merged it with MGM, which he owned then. Ted Turner bought MGM/UA in 1985 for its film library but had to sell its production and distribution back to UA a year later.

Financial difficulties plagued UA through the '90s. In the early 2000s UA focused on independent, foreign and documentary films. Comcast, Sony and a host of banks bought UA in 2005. Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner bought and reopened UA in 2006. That incarnation only lasted three years.

In 2014, MGM acquired majority stakes in Mark Burnett and Roma Downey's companies One Three Media and Lightworks Media and merged them into United Artists Media Group for television projects. MGM relaunched United Artists in 2018 as a digital brand producing content based on UA's library of films like Stargate, Wargames and Weekend at Bernie's.

MGM and Annapurna's Mirror arm rebranded as United Artists Releasing on Feb. 5, 2019, on the 100th anniversary of Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks and Griffith's founding of the studio.

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