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, hit the big time with the outstanding and multi-Oscar winning success of It Happened One Night in 1934, 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 United States vs. Paramount Pictures 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 1965–74 "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 under the newly formed Columbia Pictures Entertainment entity, owning 49% of the the stand-alone company. During the same year, CPE acquired the remaining stake of TriStar Pictures (which Columbia partially owned at the time) from HBO following another major flop, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, bringing them fully to the fold and merging them with Columbia. Sony bought CPE in 1989, including the merged Columbia/TriStar, and has held on to the two studios since. 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.) In addition to the flagship Columbia label and the TriStar label (now mainly used for DTV movies, acquisitions and genre films), they operate Destination Films (anime and "low-profile" films), Sony Pictures Classics (the art-house label), Triumph Films (which started out as a joint venture with France's Gaumont in the 80s, before being reused as the low-budget/DTV label, before being shut down in 2008), Affirm Films (Christian films), and a revived Screen Gems, which now mainly distributes horror and other genre films.
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 Cartoons or Columbia Pictures:
Shows created by Merv Griffin (distributed by CBS for historical reasons):
Shows from the Norman Lear and Embassy catalog:
Shows from Spelling-Goldberg Productions: