Universal Newsreel (sometimes known as Universal-International Newsreel or just U-I Newsreel) was a series of 7- to 10-minute newsreels that were released twice a week between 1929 and 1967 by Universal Studios. A Universal publicity official, Sam B. Jacobson, was involved in originating and producing the newsreels. Nearly all of them were filmed in black-and-white, and many were narrated by Ed Herlihy. From January 1919 to July 1929, Universal released International Newsreel, produced by Hearst's International News Service—this series later became Hearst Metrotone News released first by Fox Film Corporation 1929-1934 and then by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer beginning in 1934.
In 1976, the films' owner, MCA, made the unusual decision to turn over ownership of all of the newsreels to the National Archives. The decision effectively ended Universal's copyright claim, releasing the films into the public domain. Because royalties no longer have to be paid in order to broadcast them, Universal Newsreels have become a popular source of file footage in recent years. The History Channel made them a key part of the TV series Year-By-Year. Also, C-SPAN and CNN regularly use the films for video of events that took place before those networks were founded.
Other U.S. newsreel series included Pathé News (1910–1956), Fox Movietone News (1928–1963), Hearst Metrotone News/News of the Day (1914–1967), Paramount News (1927–1957), and The March of Time (1935–1951).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Universal Newsreels.|
- 25 newsreels from Prelinger Archives
- Universal Newsreel collection at Internet Archive. About 600 reels
- Extensive index and clips of the Universal Newsreels from San Diego University
- Collection of Universal Newsreels related to Texas at the Texas Archive of the Moving Image