Republic Pictures (1985-2010)
(Redirected from National Telefilm Associates)
National Telefilm Associates, Inc. (commonly known by its initials, NTA) was a distribution company established by Ely A. Landau and Oliver A. Unger in 1954 as the successor of Ely Landau, Inc. It owned the libraries from U.M.&M. Television Corporation, Republic Pictures, and NBC Films, and distributed the library of 20th Century Fox. Later in 1956, NTA launched a syndication arm known as "NTA Film Network" to distribute the film and live programs to television stations not affiliated with main broadcasters, especially with ABC, CBS, and NBC, closing the unit in 1961.
On December 28, 1984, National Telefilm Associates was renamed Republic Pictures Corporation. After a 25-year hiatus, Republic Pictures returned to active production with a number of movies, series for television including the CBS series Beauty and the Beast, and TV movies, although they did produce few independent theatrical films including Freeway. Their Home Video unit was renamed to Republic Pictures Home Video.
In January 1989, Republic formed a television unit as a joint venture with United Artists Communications (not to be confused with United Artists Pictures). The joint venture planned to produce television programming over the next five years with $60 million in start-up costs, while Republic Pictures Corporation managed the unit and distributed its programs.
In 1993, Republic won a landmark legal decision reactivating the copyright on Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life (they had already owned the film's negative, music score, and the story on which it was based, "The Greatest Gift").
In 1994, Spelling Entertainment, controlled by Blockbuster Entertainment, acquired Republic and merged their Worldvision Enterprises' existing Home Video unit with Republic's. Shortly thereafter, Viacom purchased Blockbuster and Spelling consolidated its many divisions, with Republic Pictures being renamed as "Republic Entertainment, Inc." In 1996, Spelling shut down Republic Pictures' film production unit and reduced Republic solely as a home video company.
In 1998, Viacom dismantled Spelling's non-television assets, and after folding Republic's home video unit, licensed the home video rights of their films to Artisan Entertainment. Under license from Paramount, Artisan continued to use Republic Pictures' name and logo onscreen on video releases of Republic's library until 2010. A year later, Viacom acquired 100% interest in Spelling and Republic was then made an in-name-only unit of Paramount Pictures, a division of Viacom. Republic was soon folded by Viacom in 2015, who created a new holding company called "Melange Pictures, LLC" as the holder of the Republic film library and later signed a new video deal with Olive Films, who currently distributes their films on DVD/Blu-ray after Paramount's deal with Lionsgate expired.
As for the TV library, most of it is currently owned by Paramount Global through CBS Media Ventures and Spelling Television Inc., all of them controlled by National Amusements, Inc. The syndication rights to the theatrical library are controlled by Paramount, with U.S. broadcast syndication rights licensed to Trifecta Entertainment & Media.
National Telefilm Associates
1st Logo (1955-1957?)
Logo: Three frames of film are in a row, with the letters "NTA" individually placed inside the frames. Behind the frames is a reel of film, with a portion of the film out of the reel and curling down the screen. Also there are wavy lines as a background. The words "NATIONAL TELEFILM ASSOCIATES, INC." are in all capital letters, with the "N", "T", and "A", in larger letters and the texts "An" and "Release" (or "Presentation") above and below in italics respectively.
- These logos were also used for cartoon re-releases for television distribution. Click here for the description.
- There is also a variant for movie re-releases. Click here for the description.
Music/Sounds: The opening and closing themes of the show or movie. In exceptional cases, a generic theme was used.
Availability: Extremely rare. Appeared on NTA's prints of pre-1948 20th Century-Fox films, on which the '30s-'50s Fox logo cross-faded into the NTA logo halfway through. When NTA's syndication rights to the library ended, the films returned to Fox, who either made new prints from the original materials or "reverse-plastered" the classic Fox logo over the Fox/NTA combo. (for example, the fade-out of the NTA logo is briefly glimpsed after the Fox logo on the current print of Laura.) The Fox/NTA combo has been sighted intact on the current print of Les Miserables (1935), FXM's print of The Gay Deception, and at the end of Phantom From 10,000 Leagues; it is currently unknown if it appears on any old Fox films released by Magnetic Video Corporation.
2nd Logo (1956-1966?)
Logo: This is basically in-credit text that reads:
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.
Availability: Rare. Seen mainly on television programs that were aired over the syndicated NTA Film Network, which lasted from 1956-1961. such as How to Marry a Millionaire, Sheriff of Cochise/U.S. Marshal, and The Third Man.
3rd Logo (1957-195?)
Logo: On a black & white gradient background, we see a filmstrip. The filmstrip has the letters "NTA" vertically arranged on them. Next to the letters, we see that they stand for "National Telefilm Associates". Above this is the letter "A," and the word "RELEASE." All text is seen inside a white TV tube-like shape with a black border.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.
Availability: Extinct. Might have appeared on shows by them, but they may be considered lost.
4th Logo (1966?-196?)
Logo: On a black & white background with filmstrips, we see three ellipses appearing and moving to the center of the screen: the topmost ellipse moves in from the top of the screen, the middle ellipse moves from the left of the screen, and the bottom ellipse moves from the right of the screen. After the ellipses move, the vertically arranged text "An NTA RELEASE" appears one-by-one, with "NTA" arranged vertically on the ellipses.
Variant: It has been said that there is a variant of this logo having the map from the 5th logo instead the filmstrips on the background. Probably there is a color version too, since the colors of the ellipses are different.
Technique: Traditional animation.
Music/Sounds: An ominious orchestral beat. Sometimes, it uses the opening or closing theme of the show or movie.
Availability: Rare. Seen on some public domain video releases of Gammera the Invincible, and surprisingly seen on TV prints of Lone Star movies, most notably Texas Terror, plastering their logo. Appeared at the beginning of a RaiPlay print of The New Frontier (1939).
5th Logo (1970s?-1984?)
Logo: It's almost the same as the Commonwealth United logo, except once the map is completed, the screen freezes, and the styled text "nta" zooms-out of the screen instead. Then "RELEASE" appears under the "NTA" lettering.
- There is a still variant for mid-60s prints of classic Paramount cartoons.
- A B&W variant exists for films in said colors NTA distributed.
Technique: Motion-controlled 2D animation, or none.
Music/Sounds: An abridged version of the Commonwealth United Entertainment jingle. In most cases, the opening and closing themes, a generic theme, or none.
Availability: Extremely rare. It was spotted on a print of The Devil Bat's Daughter, along with a WPIX airing of Flame of Barbary Coast.
6th Logo (1984-1986)
Logo: It's basically the same as the NTA Home Entertainment logo, except when all zoom out, the logo freezes. Then the word "presents" flies from the bottom of the logo and sets place under the NTA letters.
Technique: Same as the NTA Home Entertainment logo.
Availability: Extinct. Shown on some movies and TV shows syndicated by NTA on the mid-'80s on TV.
1st Logo (1985?-1987)
Logo: Same as the original Republic Pictures logo, but this time, the logo is computerized, with some clouds appearing to move, and the text "REPUBLIC PICTURES" flies in from the bottom of the screen.
- On some movies, the word "Presents" would fade in below the logo, in a script font.
- There is also a black and white variant.
- There are videotaped and filmed variants.
- There is also a variant with the text "REPUBLIC PICTURES" simply fading in. The text is in the same font, but is less-detailed.
- On TV shows, a still shot is used, with the text reading "Distributed by REPUBLIC PICTURES" in a yellow-ish orange Roman font. A black and white version is used as well for this variant
Technique: The clouds moving, and the company name flying up or fading in.
Music/Sounds: The opening theme of the movie, or none.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- It appears on some movies and home video releases. The "Presents" version appears on Gun Battle at Monterey on Starz Encore Westerns and TCM UK. The variant with the text fading in appears at the end of a 1995 VHS of It's a Wonderful Life.
- On TV shows, it appears on several episodes of Car 54, Where Are You? on Me-TV. Was also seen on Press Your Luck (now owned by FremantleMedia).
2nd Logo (1987-1990)
Logo: On a sky background, we see a redrawn version of the last logo; there are less clouds in the logo, leaving a clear blue sky in front of the eagle. The words REPUBLIC PICTURES fly up from behind the clouds.
Technique: The company name flying up. None on television shows.
Availability: Very rare.
- The animated version appears on releases from Republic Pictures Home Video from the late '80s.
- The still variant is seen on season 1 of the TV series Beauty and the Beast on Chiller and DVD (with the CBS Paramount Domestic Television "Eye in the Sky" logo following), while the later seasons has been plastered in favor of either the CBS Paramount Network Television "Wallpaper" or the CBS Television Distribution logos. It can also be spotted on a few episodes of I Spy on RTV.
- A B&W version made an appearance at the end of a TCM airing of The Senator was Indiscreet.
3rd Logo (1990-1994)
Logo: On a blue sky background, we see the bald eagle standing on a mountain with the words "REPUBLIC PICTURES" below. White clouds are also shown at the bottom.
Technique: The company name fading in or none.
Music/Sounds: The patriotic fanfare from the '50s. In most cases, the opening theme of the movie, or none. On TV shows, a majestic fanfare is used.
Availability: Very rare.
- On movies, once again it appears on a few Republic Pictures Home Video releases, and also appeared at the beginning of a Talking Pictures TV airing of Viva Max!, the end of a recent TCM UK airing of Thunder Pass and a Movies! airing of Robinson Crusoe of Mystery Island.
- On TV shows, it tends to plaster older logos within prints from the pre-1973 NBC catalog (such as Bonanza and Little House on the Prairie (the latter premiering in 1974)), and most of the Quinn Martin produced shows; but still saved on Bonanza VHS and non-CBS DVD releases and when reran on TV Land and TVLand.com, preceding the 1995 Paramount Domestic Television logo. Also appears on Me-TV's prints of Bonanza (on some episodes, others may use the Worldvision or CBS Television Distribution logos) and Get Smart.
- It also appeared on a mid '90s PBS broadcast of Victory at Sea.
4th Logo (1993-2010)
Logo: We start with a white cloud background. Then the sky and the clouds disperse, revealing the old view of the Republic Pictures bald eagle, redone in CGI. At the bottom-right is the rock. "REPUBLIC PICTURES", in white fades-in underneath and until 2006, the respective company byline appears below the company name.
- 1993-1994, 2006-2010: Bylineless
- 1994-1995:"A Unit of Spelling Entertainment, Inc."
- 1995: "A UNIT OF SPELLING ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, INC."
- 1995-2006: "A Subsidiary of Spelling Entertainment Group, Inc."
- There is also a "60th Anniversary" variant.
- There is also a still variant.
- In 1997, a slightly shorter version appeared which cuts the fade-in from white in the first few seconds of the logo. This was used in tandem with the standard version.
- On some television movies, a shortened animated variant without the Spelling byline was used.
- Some Artisan DVD releases used an extremely short version that fades in when the "REPUBLIC PICTURES" text appears.
Technique: The camera panning to show the Republic bald eagle.
Music/Sounds: A wind-blowing effect, followed by a dramatic string tune. The still variant uses the second half of the jingle.
Music/Sounds Variant: This logo plastered the Paramount logo on some 1990s-era prints of the Fleischer Brothers' animated Gulliver's Travels. On said prints, the beginning of the opening credits music played over this logo.
Availability: Uncommon. It was mostly used as a de-facto home video logo or as a TV logo.
- It rarely appears on films, but such films that feature this logo include the remastered version of It's a Wonderful Life and Two-Bits & Pepper. You can also find it on TV movies such as Armed and Innocent.
- VHS releases that feature this logo include The Tin Soldier, the 1997 release of Highlander, several Hallmark Hall of Fame tapes from the era, among others.
- The 1995 byline variant can be found on the VHS release of A Lady Takes a Chance.
- Also appeared on the Roku Channel's print of Highlander II: The Quickening, which was clearly derived from a pan-and-scan master from the '90s.
- The bylineless variant was seen on the mini-series The Stand, as well as DVD releases from Artisan Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Home Entertainment such as Freeway and Bound.
- On television shows, it appears on shows like The High Chaparral on INSP, H&I and Decades (occasionally, although some updated prints plaster this with the CBS Television Distribution logo) and Bonanza. On the DVD release of the short-lived series Kindred: The Embraced, this is seen after the Spelling Television logo, however, it was not seen on the original Fox airings.
Legacy: It's unusual why the logo kept the name of its former owner (Spelling Entertainment) until 2006, as Spelling had already been absorbed by this point.