National General Corporation

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Logo descriptions by
codyfinke, Sagan Blob and indycar

Logo captures by
Eric S., Stephen Cezar, Livin' and Supermarty-o

Editions by
Martin V.B., indycar, and KramdenII

Video captures courtesy of
Peakpasha, LogicSmash, SCMediaWorks and THeH-Man


Contents

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1st Logo (1960s-1970) 2nd Logo (August 7, 1968?-August 9, 1972?) 3rd Logo (1970-1971, 1972) 4th Logo (1972)


Background

National General Corporation origins as a studio started as "National Theatres, Inc." in 1952, when an anti-trust decree forced 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation to spin-off its exhibition holdings. By the early 1960s, National Theatres became a diversified company, National General Corporation, whose operations included insurance and real estate. In 1965, National General signed a deal to produce films for Columbia Pictures. After their original deal expired in 1967, National General signed an exclusive distribution deal with the CBS-owned film production subsidiary, Cinema Center Films. When the company failed to acquire Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1969, the film production unit eventually closed, distributing films until 1973. National General sold the former 20th Century-Fox theaters to Ted Mann. Today, the in-house productions are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures, while the Cinema Center films are owned by successor CBS Films (although Cinema Center does retain the copyright). National General, out of the film industry, was sold to the American Financial Group, Inc. in 1974.

Alongside Cinerama Releasing Corporation and Commonwealth United Entertainment, National General was considered one of Hollywood's "instant major" studios.

1st Logo (1960s-1970)

Nicknames: "NGC I", "Merging Gs"

Logo: On a red background, four Gs, one moving down from the top, another moving up from the bottom, another moving right from the left, and another moving left from the right, merging into one "G". Then the letters "nc" fade inside the "G". Then, "NATIONAL GENERAL CORPORATION" appears under it.

FX/SFX: The joining of the Gs.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic fanfare similar to the 20th Century Fox/Studios fanfare. Sometimes, it is silent or has the opening them/audio to the film.

Music/Sounds Variant: On US prints of Twisted Nerve, the drum fanfare from the 1963 British Lion Films logo plays over this logo. It actually works quite well with the logo, if only it were synchronised better.

Availability: Uncommon. Was seen on National General films of this time period, but was sometimes plastered by the 1984 or 1992 Warner Bros. Pictures logos. It is preserved on The Stalking Moon, Charro, Twisted Nerve and Daddy's Gone a Hunting!. Films produced by Cinema Center Films will go straight to that studio's 1968 logo.


2nd Logo (August 7, 1968?-August 9, 1972?)

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Logo: It is just a credit that says "A CINEMA CENTER FILMS PRESENTATION" with "A NATIONAL GENERAL RELEASE" below it on a blue background.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the closing theme.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the Kino Lorber DVD and Blu-Ray release of Me, Natalie, the 1990 Viacom "Wigga Wigga" music is heard over the ending National General logo. This is probably due to the 2k restoration using the original negatives (which lack an audio soundtrack), while the English audio track was sourced from a 1990s Digibeta tape master. Whoever edited the audio together didn't check for the Viacom logo at the end.

Availability: Very rare. Was seen on films produced by Cinema Center Films, but is usually removed from current prints, although it is preserved on A Boy Named Charlie Brown, The Reivers, and Boys In The Band.


3rd Logo (1970-1971, 1972)

Nicknames: "NGC II", "Spinning Arrow-like Lines"

Logo: On a sky blue or red background, we see many brass lines, looking like a wheel, spinning, which zooms in. It stops zooming, a "G" appears. Then the wheel disappears, and then "nc" zoom in, located inside the "G". Then "NATIONAL GENERAL CORPORATION" appears under it.

Variant: There is a version where the logo says "NATIONAL GENERAL".

FX/SFX: The lines spinning, the G zooming, the golden "N" and "C" forming between the G and the text fading in.

Music/Sounds: Silent or the opening theme/audio to the film.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the original American theatrical release of Latitude Zero, it has opening tanko drums. It actually plastered over the 1950 Toho Co., Ltd. logo. The Toho logo was retained on the Tokyo Shock DVD release while retaining the drums, possibly due to Tokyo Shock using the original Japanese print.

Availability: Extremely rare. Like the first logo, it was seen on films of this period and is usually plastered by the 1984 or 1998 Warner Bros. Pictures logos. Currently preserved on The Baby Maker and The Todd Killings.


4th Logo (1972)

Logo: On a blue background, we see "NATIONAL GENERAL PICTURES" with "Presents" below.

Closing Logo: Same as the opening version, but with "Released by" above the text, and the "G" with "nc" inside it below replacing "Presents".

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None for the opening variant, while the closing theme from the film on the closing variant.

Availability: Near extinction. Was seen on the 2000 GoodTimes Entertainment DVD release of The Big Boss (originally and also known as Fists of Fury), which uses the original American theatrical print of the film, however, it is not present on the 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/Fortune Star DVD release of the film. Also found on The Dead Are Alive, and the Prism Entertainment VHS of The Master Touch with Kirk Douglas (which the company used a U.S. print for the film, as well as public domain DVDs sourced from the same print).


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