Closing Logo Group
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Background[]

Four Star International (also known as Four Star Television, Four Star Productions, Four Star Films, and starting in 1968 as Four Star Entertainment) was an American television production studio formed in 1952 by prominent Hollywood actors Dick Powell, David Niven, Ida Lupino, and Charles Boyer. Their first program was Four Star Playhouse; the studio itself being named after it. In 1967, David Charnay acquired the company and was renamed to "Four Star International". Compact Video acquired Four Star International in 1986. When Compact shut down, Four Star was made an in-name-only unit of owner Ronald Perelman's Andrews Group, and folded into New World Entertainment after Perelman acquired that company in 1989. Today, rights to most of the Four Star productions are currently held by The Walt Disney Company via 20th Television.

1st Logo (September 25, 1952-July 26, 1956)[]

Logo: In the end credits of Four Star Playhouse, the text “A FOUR STAR” appears written at the top of the screen. Below it appear four stacked stars appearing one-by-one, each bearing names of the producers to the right. Below them appears the word “PRODUCTION, INC.”, and in smaller text, a copyright stamp.

Trivia: The people named in the logo are the producers of Four Star Playhouse, who did double duty as recurring lead players in the show.

Variants:

  • Depending on the episode, the producers listed and the order sometimes varies.
  • A rare variant exists where it has "A FOUR" appear on top, four diagonal white stars appearing one-by-one from the top-left to bottom-right, and "PRODUCTION" below that. It then crossfades to "PRODUCED BY CHARLES BOYER", with the stars in the background turning black.

FX/SFX: The appearing of the stars and words.

Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show, composed by Leon Klatzkin.

Availability: Intact on all episodes of Four Star Playhouse, as it is part of the end credits. Select episodes were given VHS releases by Marathon Music and Video during the 90s.

2nd Logo (1956-1966)[]

Nickname: "The Banner (of Doom)"

Logo: On a space background, four big stars appear with shadows extending down and meeting at a vanishing point. From the vanishing point, a shady banner with the words “FOUR STAR” in a majestic font zooms up and stops just below the stars.

Variants:

  • When used at the beginning, "Presents" fades in below.
  • On color shows starting in 1965, the logo is tinted blue.
  • A sped-up version also exists, with faster animation and an abridged version of the Schrader fanfare.
  • A sped-up version with an abridged version of the Gilbert fanfare also exists.
  • An in-credit version of this logo was seen on People Will Talk, The Celebrity Game, Shenanigans, P.D.Q, Showdown, and the 1965 pilot of The Hollywood Squares that were co-produced by Heatter-Quigley Productions.

FX/SFX: The “FOUR STAR” banner zooming-up.

Music/Sounds: Various fanfares were used throughout the logo's run:

  • 1956-1958: A booming fanfare composed by Rudy Schrader, usually accompanied with an announcer saying: “Filmed by Four Star” or “This Has Been a Four Star Production”. 
  • 1958-1965: A rearranged version of the last logo. A low tone version exists with the announcer saying: “Filmed by Four Star” or “This Has Been a Four Star Production”.
  • 1965?: Another rearranged version of the last logo but a little more bombastic. A long version exists.
  • 1965-1966: Later in its existence, it was replaced with another fanfare composed by Joseph Mullendore (which sounds like a combination of the Desilu "Merging Circles" fanfare and the first Four Star fanfare).
  • 1965-1966: A more patriotic fanfare composed by Herschel Burke Gilbert.
  • In rare cases, it is silent.

Availability: Rare.

  • Seen on The Big Valley reruns on Me-TV as well as Honey West and Burke's Law.
  • The in-credit version is extinct and was seen only on the short-lived game show Shenanigans and the pilot of The Hollywood Squares.
  • On current prints of Trackdown, the logo is plastered by the CBS Television Distribution logo.

Editor's Note: The zooming of the banner is quite rough, but if anything is especially cheesy, its got to be those gaudy shadows used on the stars, which are just way too tacky.

3rd Logo (1964-1965)[]

Nicknames: "Album Cover", "Zooming Vertical Stars", "Zooming Four Star Ribbon"

Logo: On a gray background, several thin black lines come in from the top and bottom, overlapping on the left. From the right side, thin white lines come in, alongside a thick black horizontal line dividing it in two. Four white stars pop in on the thin black lines one-by-one, and at the same time, the words “FOUR STAR” in a thick slab serif font (bearing a resemblance to Clarendon) and the word "TELEVISION" in a smaller size fade in slowly below.

Variant:

  • When used at the beginning, the text fades out and "PRESENTS" fades in.
  • An alternate variant exists with the finished product quickly zooming in.

FX/SFX: The lines and stars appearing, the text fading.

Music/Sounds: The first theme from the previous logo.

Availability: Rare.

4th Logo (1966-1968)[]

Nicknames: "Diamonds", "Flying Triangles"

Logo: On a cerulean blue brush-stroke space background, a set of ten multicolored diamonds divided in two rows of five appear stacked together, each composed of a top and bottom triangle in different colors. The diamonds split up into triangles and fly, and each of the triangles of a particular identical color merge at the bottom ends, forming four stars of the colors from left-to-right: green, red, white, and baby blue. The words “FOUR” and “STAR” pop out from the top and bottom of the stars, respectively, to complete the logo.

FX/SFX: The triangle animations, the “FOUR” and “STAR” uncovering.

Music/Sounds: The same Herschel Burke Gilbert fanfare from the 2nd logo with twinkle sounds, either full or abridged.

Availability: Rare. Appears on Me-TV's Big Valley reruns.

5th Logo (1968-1974)[]

Nicknames: "Album Cover II", "Four Star ‘70", "Vertical Stars", "Four Star Ribbon"

Logo: On a black background, several thin Persian blue lines are seen on the left of the screen, and a thick red horizontal line divides the screen in two. On the right are the words “FOUR STAR,” in a thin white slab serif font, which is placed in between the red line. Suddenly, four yellow stars pop into place on the set of lines. After the last star appears, the word "International", in a red script typeface, fades in under the company name, with the whole thing looking similar to the 3rd logo.

Variant: A black-and-white variant exists for black-and-white shows.

FX/SFX: The stars popping into place, the word "International" fading-in.

Music/Sounds: A short "ringing" sound followed by a gently tinkling woodwind, riding cymbals, and harpsichord scale, ending with a single orchestra hit.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • Sometimes, the "ringing" sound is skipped.
  • Another abridged variant of the theme exists.

Availability: Rare. Appears on Me-TV's reruns of The Big Valley.

Editor's Note: The design is very gaudy even by late-'60s standards; the mixing of the two wildly different fonts really doesn't work here. Its resemblance to a number of 45 RPM record labels from earlier in the decade doesn't help matters any with this logo.

6th Logo (1984-1989)[]

Nicknames: "CGI", "CGI-4", "The Filmstrip 4", "The 4-Star"

Logo: On a black background, four large 2D red stars appear one-by-one, zooming by from left to right at an angle. As the 4th star appears, the number “4” comes from the right and attaches itself to the star. The background then gains a spotlight with lavender, and three lines (the first slightly thicker than the others) pass over the logo and settle under, wiping the silver words “FOUR” and “STAR” to the left and right of the logo, respectively. The finished product shines.

Variants:

  • A shortened variant with the logo completely formed exists.
  • A rare opening variant is used at the beginning of some colorized/Stereo-simulated prints of classic films in which the Four Star logo, the company name, and "STEREO" (which is silver, but not set in the same typeface) flash in one-by-one in the bottom right corner.
  • On several episodes of Matchmaker, the first half of this logo is superimposed on the closing credits.

FX/SFX: The star animations, the background turning purple, the line animations, the “shine”.

Music/Sounds: A rising new-age synth theme that sounds like THX's "Deep Note". In other cases, it uses the end theme of the show.

Music/Sounds Variant: On Matchmaker, Bill Armstrong (later Susan Tangman?) would announce, "Matchmaker is a Four Star production".

Availability: Very rare, as Four Star was coming to an end by this time. This was last seen on 1984-1985 episodes of Mad Movies with the L.A. Connection, as well as mid-'80s prints of the game shows Liar’s Club and Matchmaker, and the 1987 colorized version of Scrooge in syndication, as well on the 1997 Canadian VHS of the B&W version.

Editor's Note: The CGI is rather dated, looking two-dimensional and utilizing overly simple animation effects. Nonetheless, this once state-of-the-art logo was a fitting end to a company with a memorable library of logos.

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