Universal Newsreel

From Audio Visual Identity Database

Credits
Compiled by
VPJHuk


Logo captures by
VPJHuk


Editions by
Henrynguye5 and BaldiBasicsFan


Video captures courtesy of
VPJLogo

Background

Universal Newsreel was a series of newsreels produced by Universal Studios, firstly in 1929. Universal stopped making newsreels in 1967, after producing at least 40 volumes. The majority of the 7-10 minute reels were shot in black and white. In 1976, MCA, Universal's owner at the time, unusually turned over ownership of all their newsreels to The National Archives. This decision effectively ended Universal's copyright claim, releasing the films into the public domain. Many of Universal's newsreels can be found online, and have since become a popular source of file footage in recent years (two notable examples of the films' use are the 80's PBS TV show Newton's Apple starring Ira Flatow, and the kids' series Retro News: A Blast from the Past on TBN's family-oriented network Smile).

1st Logo (1932?)


Logo: In a black and white flower-like background, we see a person's head. Above the face is the curved text "GRAHAM MCNAMEE broadcasting as the". Under the face is the text "Universal Talking Reporter". The text fades out and is replaced by "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL", with "NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" being curved above the head, and the bottom now has a byline "By Arrangement With NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY". The logo then cuts to a cloudy background with a globe. We see the text "THE NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL", and a biplane passing the globe. The biplane leaves the text "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" behind.

FX/SFX: In the first portion, the flower-like background. In the second portion, the globe spinning, the background moving, the biplane passing by and the appearing "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" text.

Music/Sounds: An announcer says "How do you do ladies and gentlemen? This is Graham McNamee broadcasting the latest event, as the Universal Newsreel Talking Reporter." As soon as the announcer stops, an orchestral horn is heard.

Availability: Extinct. The only known appearance of this logo was in the documentary Stringer - Portrait of a Newsreel Cameraman. This likely appeared on the first three volumes, but those are currently lost.

Editor's Note: This intro marks perhaps the beginning of the very long running relationship between Universal Pictures and NBC.

2nd Logo (1932)



Nicknames: "The Globe", "The Glowing Globe".

Logo: In a cloudy background, we see a glowing globe. We see the text "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" in a curvy font, and the text "THE NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" under the globe. Under the text, is a copyright notice. The volume and issue numbers are seen on the top-hand corners.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: An orchestral theme that goes higher as the theme progresses.

Availability: Extinct. It can be spotted at the end of the 4th volume.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo (March 5, 1933-January 1935?)

Nickname: "The Globe II"

Logo: In a cloudy background, we see the Universal globe. In front of the globe, we see "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" and at the bottom, there is a copyright notice. The text "THE TALK OF THE WORLD" fades and zooms in, making the other text fade out. After the "TALK OF THE WORLD" has zoomed in, we fade out to the NRA emblem.

FX/SFX: The globe moving from left to right.

Music/Sounds: A five note orchestral theme, with the last note stretched out, with a cymbal crash at the end, or the end of the last newsreel story.

Availability: Extinct. It was seen at the end of volume 5. Would probably be seen on volume 6 too.

Editor's Note: None.

4th Logo (July 7, 1934-1936)

Nicknames: "The Globe III", "The Fast Globe"

Logo: In a dark cloudy background, we see a globe spinning from left to right. We see the text "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" in a curvy font, and a copyright notice in the bottom. The texts fade out, as a new text, saying "THE TALK OF THE WORLD", fades in. It is still for a second, then it suddenly zooms towards the viewer. After a few seconds, it fades out to the NRA emblem.

Variant: A prototype version with a much cloudier background, as well as a different globe, which spins right to left exists.

FX/SFX: The globe and the clouds moving.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extinct. It has been spotted in Volume 7, issues 322 and 324.

Editor's Note: None.

5th Logo (1936-May 15, 1937?)


Nicknames: "The Globe IV", "Transparent Globe"

Logo: In a dark cloudy background, we see a globe spinning from left to right. We see the text "UNIVERSAL NEWSPAPER NEWSREEL" in a curvy font, and a copyright notice in the bottom. The texts fade out, as a new text zooms in, the text saying "THE TALK OF THE WORLD".

Variant: The copyright notice may change between newsreels.

FX/SFX: The globe and clouds moving, the text fading out and "THE TALK OF THE WORLD" zooming in.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extinct. It can be spotted at the end of the 8th and 9th volumes.

Editor's Note: None.



6th Logo (1936-1939)

Nickname: "The Screens"

Logo: We start off with the Universal Pictures logo from the time, then it transitions to a top-down view of an ocean. A ship comes from the top of the screen. While the ship is passing, we see the text:

THE NEW UNIVERSAL
Presents
UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL
COPYRIGHT (year)
UNIVERSAL PICTURES COMPANY, INC.

Then we transition to different things. In order, we see a volcanic scene with volcanoes exploding, then a wavy beach with a boat, a horse race, an explosion and seven airplanes going on a straight line. The logo fades out, along with the background.

Variants:

  • A variant with a different copyright year exists.
  • Sometimes, different footage is played.
  • Sometimes, the copyright text is in a different font.

FX/SFX: The logo fading in and out and the transitions.

Music/Sounds: Bombastic music, that slows down at the end, accompanied with sound effects. In other cases, none.

Availability: Extinct.

  • This can be seen in the beginning of volumes 10 and 11.
  • The variant with different footage can be seen in the documentary Stringer - Portrait of a Newsreel Cameraman.

Editor's Note: None.

7th Logo (1939-1940)

Nicknames: "The Globe V", "The Screens II", "The Globe of Cameramen"

Logo: We see the Universal Pictures logo of the time, then we fade to a a globe spinning from right to left in a cloudy background. On top of the globe, we see cameramen with equipment. There is the text "THE NEW UNIVERSAL PRESENTS. The text "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" in a curvy font fades in from top to bottom. A copyright notice appears on the bottom of the screen. Then the globe disappears. As the globe disappears, we see screens showing footage of different things.

Variant: A closing variant exists, where we see the text "The Talk of the World" zooming in the middle, along with "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" on top replacing "THE NEW UNIVERSAL PRESENTS", though separated by the cameramen, and a different copyright notice on the bottom. The zooming of the "The Talk of the World" text varies.

FX/SFX: The globe moving, the text appearing and the footage changing. In the closing variant, the text zooming and the globe moving.

Music/Sounds: Two bombastic themes were used during the usage of this logo. One for the opening, and one for the closing. In some cases, none.

Availability: Extinct. It has been spotted in the 11th volume.

Editor's Note: None.

8th Logo (1941-1944)

Nicknames: "The Globe VI", "The Screens III"

Logo: In a cloudy background, we see the Universal globe moving from left to right. We have a huge text saying: "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" coupled with a copyright notice on the bottom, and "THE NEW UNIVERSAL PRESENTS" on the top, with "PRESENTS" stacked under the former. Then we transition into four screens that show different things. The "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" text turns into an outlined text. The screens change every 2 seconds.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the text is in a different font.
  • A Canadian version exists, in which we see an outlined "THE CANADIAN UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL".

FX/SFX: The globe moving, the transition to the screens and the screens changing the footage.

Music/Sounds: Same as the previous logo's opening variant.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen from volumes 12 to 16. The Canadian variant is harder to find, since it was only seen on Canadian prints.

Editor's Note: None.

9th Logo (1944-1946)

Nicknames: "The Globe VII", "The Allied Globe", "Flags", "Nations"

Logo: In a cloudy background, we see a globe and flags circling around from right to left. We also see "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" in a curvy font, and the text "'COVERS WORLD-WIDE EVENTS'". In the bottom, we see a copyright notice.

Trivia:

  • The flags over the smaller globe in the closing variant are the main Allied nations of World War II, thus they're the flags of the Soviet Union, the United States, the UK, France, Norway, (Republic of) China, Canada (with the former Canadian Red Ensign), Australia, New Zealand, Czechoslovakia, British India(?), Greece and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
  • The referred "bonds" in the closing variant are war bonds, dept that the government sold to the population to fund military operations in the war effort. This campaign commonly appeared in the end card of various WWII-era movies.

Variant: A closing variant exists where in a gradient background with lines, we see flags both on the top and bottom over a smaller second globe and the texts "BUY BONDS" in a transparent but a dotty font, "THE END" and "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL".

FX/SFX: On the opening, the globe and flags moving. On the closing, none.

Music/Sounds: A typical 40's military march.

Music/Sounds Variant: A variant with bombastic music exists. The closing variants have a shorter version of the music, or the closing music from the 6th logo.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen in volumes 17 to 19. Both the closing variant and the bombastic music variant have been spotted on later issues of the 17th volume.

Editor's Note: None.

10th Logo (1944)

Nickname: "The US Capitol Building"

Logo: Above the US Capitol Building, that's surrounded with searchlights in a cloudy background, we see "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" curved above the building. Above, we see "UNIVERSAL PICTURES" and "Present", with the latter being written in a script.

FX/SFX: The searchlights moving.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen in volume 17.

Editor's Note: None.

11th Logo (1946-1949)

Nicknames: "The Globe VIII", "The Screens IV"

Logo: In a cloudy background, we see a globe, which transitions into an explosion. The explosion fades to a boat, which fades into another explosion, which fades into a marching army, which transitions to a ship going against a wave, which transitions back to yet another explosion. After the explosion, we fade into some smoke and a horse race. During the entire duration of this, we see the "UNIVERSAL Newsreel" text, with the "Newsreel" text being in a script font. Under that, is "COVERS WORLD-WIDE EVENTS" and a copyright stamp.

Variant: A closing version exists, where in a gradient/shiny-looking background, we see the text "THE END" stacked to each other. Under that, we see "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" and "COVERS WORLDWIDE EVENTS" stacked to each other.

FX/SFX: The moving globe, the archive footage, and the transitions.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic theme.

Availability: Extinct. This could be in Volumes 18 and 19.

Editor's Note: None.


12th Logo (1949-1955)

Nicknames: "The Globe VIII", "International Globe"

Logo: In a starry background, we see the Universal globe from the time spinning from left to right. We also see text "Universal International NEWSREEL" and a copyright notice on the bottom.

Variant: A closing version exists where we see "THE END" in the middle and "Universal International NEWSREEL" in the bottom right corner.

FX/SFX: Just the globe moving.

Music/Sounds: Typical 50's music.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Later newsreels have a more bombastic theme.
  • In Volume 25, it has a different bombastic theme, where the last 5 notes are slower, with the last one being held out the longest.
  • On the closing variants, a shorter version of the music is used. This applies to the later variants.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen from volumes 20 till 26.

Editor's Note: None.

13th Logo (March 31, 1955-January 27, 1964)

Nicknames: "Globes", "The Ring of Globes", "Spinning Globes"

Logo: In a starry background, we see globes spinning counterclockwise in a ring. We also see the text "Universal International NEWS" along with a copyright notice.

Variants:

  • A closing version exists where we see a bold "THE END" in the middle and "Universal International NEWSREEL" in the bottom right corner. On earlier newsreels using this logo, the closing variant from the previous logo is used.
  • A variant with bigger letters exists.

FX/SFX: The globes moving.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic theme.

Music/Sounds Variant: The closing version has a shortened version of the opening theme.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen from every newsreel from Volumes 28 up to early issues of Volume 37. The later issues of Volume 37 plaster the big letter variant with the next logo.

Editor's Note: This is the only logo to omit "REEL" from "NEWS" in the opening version.

14th Logo (September 3, 1964-October 24, 1967)

Nicknames: "The Globe IX", "Zooming Globe", "60's Globe"

Logo: Just the 1963 Universal Pictures logo, but when the camera is zooming in the globe, the text "UNIVERSAL" pops up while glowing. The glow dims as we reach the globe. The text "NEWSREEL" and a copyright notice pop up when the camera has stopped zooming.

Variants:

  • A closing version exists, where we see the globe zooming in and "THE END" in the center of the screen, and "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" on the bottom right of the screen.
  • A later variant was made in 1965, where we see "Universal Pictures" coupled with their print logo at the time appearing from the glow, and "NEWSREEL" popping up before the camera has stopped zooming. The copyright notice appears when the camera has stopped zooming. The closing version exists has the globe zooming in and "THE END" in the center of the screen. This later closing version used a different font for "THE END" and the "UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL" text was removed.

FX/SFX: The camera zooming, the globe and rings moving and the letters popping up.

Music/Sounds: A bombastic theme composed by Hal Mooney, who at that time was Universal's director of music.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The closing version has a shortened version of the opening theme.
  • An alternate theme can be heard on Volume 40.

Availability: Extinct. It can be seen on newsreels from the later issues of Volume 37 until Volume 40, the last known volume. The later version was in use from Volume 39 onwards.

Editor's Note: None.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.