British Lion Films

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Founded in 1927, British Lion Films is one of the UK's leading production companies. Purchased by EMI in 1976, British Lion was later sold to producer Peter Snell (the studio's former head) in 1988 and continues to produce films.


1st Logo (1930s-1942)


Visuals: On a gray background is a tall chess-piece like tower with a human statue on top. Surrounding the tower are three lion statues to the left, center and right. Superimposed is the text "British Lion Film Corpn LTD. Presents" in a majestic bold font. The logo holds still for a few seconds then fades out.

Technique: None.

Audio: A majestic brass fanfare.

Availability: Seen on movie releases of the period such as Rembrandt and Mr. District Attorney

2nd Logo (September 17, 1942-1952)

Visuals: "British Lion Film Corp. Ltd." rotate over a nighttime skyline background in the script font like a barrel.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: Unknown.

Availability: Seen on movies from the era.

3rd Logo (June 9, 1952-1955)

Visuals: On a rough concrete background is a shape which resembles what door numbers were on. Inside is a text message:

Distributed by
BRITISH LION
FILM CORPORATION LTD.
76-78, Wardour Street
London, W.I.

Variant: The words A British Lion Release in plain text against a black or gray background.

Technique: A still, printed image.

Audio: None.

Availability: Appears on Derby Day. The Variant has been spotted on The Belles of St. Trinian's and The Teckman Mystery.

4th Logo (September 2, 1955-1962)

Visuals: There is the words "A BRITISH LION RELEASE" on a gray background with rays coming out of it (or, for color releases, a red background). The words "BRITISH LION" looks like it pops out in a Four Star-like fashion, and "RELEASE" is confined into Tootsie Roll-like banner.

Technique: A still, printed image.

Audio: For each movie, a custom fanfare is heard.

Availability: Can be found on I'm All Right Jack, Lucky Jim and other movies. The colored version is rare and can be found on Josephine and Men.

5th Logo (May 20, 1963-1970s)

Visuals: A black square is seen zooming slowly towards the camera. Then a white eye is drawn inside starting with the eyeball. Then the drawing line extends to the right of the square, where the white words "BRITISH" (above the line) "LION" (below the line) appear.

Variants:

  • The background can be red, light blue, dark blue, orange, green, or yellow. On the orange and yellow versions, the letters are red; on the light and dark blue versions, the letters are white; and on the red and green versions, the letters are yellow.
  • The logo can be black and white as well.
  • There is an international version with a paisley green background and pink letters that are in a different font, and the text says "LION INTERNATIONAL".

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A timpani drum roll for the square zooming, followed by a snare rum roll for when the line is drawn, ending with three timpani drum hits. Sometimes, it's the opening theme of the film, or silent.

Availability: Can be seen on movies starting with 1963 like Til Death Us Do Part. The monochrome version was spotted on Morgan and Heavens Above. This logo is often removed on most DVD releases, but some films preserve it following the StudioCanal logo. The international variant is seen on Australian fullscreen prints of The Baby and the Battleship. It can also be seen on DVD releases of Twisted Nerve.