Monday, April 11, 2011

The MGM Lion

One of the best production logos (yes, I am blogging about a production logo, reason #68 that I am a film nerd)is the MGM lion logo. Starting in 1924, when Samuel Goldwyn, Marcus Loew's Metro Studios, and Louis B. Mayer joined studio forces,  MGM used several lions before settling on Leo in 1957. First came Slats, then Jackie, Coffee, Tanner, George and finally Leo, which is the lion you see on most MGM logos. 


Slats


Jackie


Coffee


Tanner


George


Leo

Ralph Helfer was Leo's trainer and cared very deeply for him. Ralph started a new way of training that didn't involve whips or chains, but was based on respect for the animal. 

MGM lions at work:





Greta Garbo and Leo. She looks thrilled to be at work today!



My alma mater, Loyola Marymount University, used to borrow Leo for their sporting events and chain him to a tree as thier mascot. He was rumored to spend the night in the dorm lobby after a late night game. 

 Anything to intimidate the visiting competators!

7 comments:

KC said...

I never knew all the names of the lions. Some of them are so random--I mean Tanner? Slats? Actually, I never knew how many logo lions there were period!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting, nice blog.

Anonymous said...

You made a few errors in the identification of the lions that you posted:Jackie and Coffee are the same lion, as are George and Leo.

Anonymous said...

You made a few errors in the identification of the lions that you posted:Jackie and Coffee are the same lion, as are George and Leo.

Anonymous said...

You made a few errors in the identification of the lions that you posted:Jackie and Coffee are the same lion, as are George and Leo.

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Marky Montigo said...

The man in the picture that is recording the lion is TT Triplett. He is a Great Uncle of ours. He help pioneer sound in the motion picture business. We have originals or those pictures hanging on our wall. I love those pictures of Trip recording the lion. Those weren't when he was being recorded, those pictures were taken as a press release. But they are still cool pictures. :)