Liberty Films was an independent film company owned by director Frank Capra and producer Samuel J. Briskin. The company produced two films; It's a Wonderful Life for RKO Radio Pictures, and State of the Union for MGM. Both films did poorly at the box office, which resulted in the company being bought by Paramount Pictures in 1947. Paramount then sold the company to U.M.&M. Television Corporation, which was in turn bought by National Telefilm Associates and added to their Republic Pictures library (they later renamed themselves to Republic Pictures). The film was later released by accident to the public domain due to NTA failing to renew its copyright properly in 1974; however, they later regained the rights in 1993 by arguing in court that because they still had the film rights to It's a Wonderful Life's source material, "The Greatest Gift", they still owned the film's copyright. As for State of the Union, MCA would later acquire that film's rights from Paramount as part of their purchasing of Paramount's pre-1950 sound film library. Today, Paramount owns the rights to It's a Wonderful Life due to Viacom purchasing Republic in 1999 from then-owner Spelling Entertainment, while Universal Pictures owns State of the Union through EMKA, Ltd.
Logo (December 20, 1946)
Visuals: There is a scene of a live-action bell (a replica of Philadelphia's Liberty Bell) ringing. The text “LIBERTY FILMS PRESENTS” fades in with "LIBERTY" in a large font and "FILMS" in a medium-sized font underneath "LIBERTY" with 3D shadows that extend downward to a vanishing point (a la the Four Star logo) as well as "P R E S E N T S" written on a thick bar.
- There is also a "color" variant for when the film It's a Wonderful Life was colorized. The logo was tinted yellow.
- At the end of it's a Wonderful Life before the credits, the text "The End" is shown over the bell footage.
Technique: Just the text fading in while the bell rings.
Audio: The bell “ringing” several times.Availability: Only seen on It's a Wonderful Life. However, due to this movie's frequent showings during the Christmas season, it's a pretty easy find.