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U.S. corporation and film studio. It was formed when the film distributor Marcus Loew, who bought Metro Pictures in 1920, merged it with the Goldwyn production company in 1924 and with Louis B. Mayer Pictures in 1925. Louis B. Mayer was executive head of the studio for 25 years, assisted by production manager Irving Thalberg. It reached its peak in the 1930s and '40s, when it had most of Hollywood's famous stars under contract. It produced such hits as Grand Hotel (1932), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Gaslight (1944), Ben-Hur (1959), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). It was especially celebrated for its lavish musicals, including The Wizard of Oz (1939), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952), and Gigi (1958). MGM began to decline in the 1950s and sold off many of its assets in the 1970s. It diversified into hotels and casinos and later merged with United Artists Corp. as MGM/UA Entertainment. In 1986 it was bought by Ted Turner, who resold the production and distribution units. Various transfers of ownership led to its purchase in 1992 by Crédit Lyonnais, which restored the name MGM Inc. It was subsequently bought by Tracinda Corp.
Variants of MGM
MGM in full Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on MGM, visit Britannica.com.
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