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File:ColumbiaPictures 4681.jpg

No, it's not Annette Bening.


Columbia Pictures is a major Hollywood studio, now owned by Sony and based at the old Metro Goldwyn Mayer lot in Culver City, CA. Columbia was represented by the "torch lady", a conflation of the Anthropomorphic Personification of America as "Columbia" with the torch of "Liberty Enlightening the World".

Columbia started as CBC Film Sales in the 1920s, and became a reliable front-runner after World War II. Since it didn't own any theaters, it wasn't as affected by the Fall of the Studio System, and emerged as a leader in Hollywood in The Fifties while the Big Five were left reeling by the Paramount decision. And while the rest of the industry was scared to death of the new medium of Television, Columbia wholeheartedly embraced it, becoming one of the first big names to enter television production. Columbia started an entire division named "Screen Gems" to manage its television properties, and produced several well known shows over the years. (Screen Gems is also well known for its 1965-1974 "S From Hell" Vanity Plate, which has acquired a cult following on the Internet.)

As Columbia entered The Sixties, however, its brand became increasingly wishy-washy, with the studio producing both old-fashioned fare and New Hollywood-type movies. It nearly went bankrupt in the early 1970s before it was saved by a radical overhaul of the management, a partnership with Warner Bros., and a series of high-profile star vehicles. By 1982, Columbia was healthy again and was purchased by an unlikely suitor — Coca-Cola. The marriage didn't last long, though, as Columbia had few hits during this time (aside from the blockbuster Ghostbusters franchise). After making two key purchases in the mid-1980s (Norman Lear's and Merv Griffin's television holdings) and a major flop in Ishtar, Coke spun the company off in 1987. Sony bought Columbia in 1989, and has held on to the studio since, merging it with Tri-Star Pictures following another major flop, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Due to these ownerships by prominent consumer brand-names, too many films from the studio to count feature Product Placement from the owners. (The Sony logo [with slogan] now appears at the end of credit rolls just to drive it in.)

Films produced by Columbia include:

Live-action TV shows produced by Screen Gems or Columbia Pictures Television include:

Animated films and shows produced by Columbia Pictures:

Shows created by Merv Griffin (distributed by CBS for historical reasons):

Shows from the Norman Lear catalog:

Shows from Spelling-Goldberg Productions:

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